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Social Neuroscience

Daniela Schwab, Anne Schienle
The present event-related potential (ERP) study investigated for the first time whether children with early-onset social anxiety disorder (SAD) process affective facial expressions of varying intensities differently than non-anxious controls. Participants were 15 SAD patients and 15 non-anxious controls (mean age of 9 years). They were presented with schematic faces displaying anger and happiness at four intensity levels (25%, 50%, 75%, 100%), as well as with neutral faces. ERPs in early and later time windows (P100, N170, late positivity), as well as affective ratings (valence and arousal) for the faces, were recorded...
March 9, 2017: Social Neuroscience
Albert Wabnegger, Sonja Übel, Anne Schienle
BACKGROUND: Difficulties with the regulation of negative affect have been extensively studied in neuroimaging research. However, dysregulation of a specific emotion, disgust, has hardly been investigated. In the present study, we used voxel-based morphometry to identify whether gray matter volume (GMV) of frontal regions is correlated with personality traits associated with general and disgust-specific emotion regulation difficulties. METHOD: We analyzed T1-weighted images of 49 females (mean age = 22...
February 6, 2017: Social Neuroscience
Sebastian Schindler, Johanna Kissler
Recently, several event-related potential (ERP) studies investigated the impact of sender attributions on language-based social feedback processing. Results showed very early responses to the social context, while interactions or effects of emotional content started later. However, in these studies, sender attribution was varied across blocks, possibly inducing unspecific, anticipatory effects. Here, who was giving feedback was disclosed simultaneously with the decision itself. Participants' ERPs differentiated between attributed senders starting with the early posterior negativity...
February 6, 2017: Social Neuroscience
Cinzia Cecchetto, Sebastian Korb, Raffaella Ida Rumiati, Marilena Aiello
The role of emotional processes in driving moral choices remains debated. In particular, diminished emotional processing and reduced empathy have been associated with unusual high rates of utilitarian responses in moral judgments while, to date, the effects of diminished emotional processing and empathy on moral decision-making have been only partially considered. In this study, we investigated the influence of empathy and alexithymia on behaviour and emotional responses while participants performed a moral decision task...
January 27, 2017: Social Neuroscience
Dominic Oliver, Ilias Tachtsidis, Antonia F de C Hamilton
Previous studies have shown right parietal activation in response to observing irrational actions. Behavioural studies show that people sometimes imitate irrational actions, a phenomenon called overimitation. However, limitations on movement in fMRI mean that the neural basis of overimitation has not been studied. To address this, our study employed a less restrictive neuroimaging technique, functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Measurements were taken while participants observed either rational or irrational movements before performing movements on a computerised puzzle task...
January 26, 2017: Social Neuroscience
Neal McNeal, Eden M Anderson, Deirdre Moenk, Diane Trahanas, Leslie Matuszewich, Angela J Grippo
Animal models have shown that social isolation and other forms of social stress lead to depressive- and anxiety-relevant behaviors, as well as neuroendocrine and physiological dysfunction. The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of prior social isolation on neurotransmitter content following acute restraint in prairie voles. Animals were either paired with a same-sex sibling or isolated for 4 weeks. Plasma adrenal hormones and ex vivo tissue concentrations of monoamine neurotransmitters and their metabolites were measured following an acute restraint stressor in all animals...
January 9, 2017: Social Neuroscience
John T Cacioppo, Stephanie Cacioppo, Richard E Petty
Persuasion, a prevalent form of social influence in humans, refers to an active attempt to change a person's attitudes, beliefs, or behavior. There is a growing literature on the neural correlates of persuasion. As is often the case in an emerging literature, however, there are a number of questions, concerns, and alternative interpretations that can be raised about the research and interpretations. We provide a critical review of the research, noting potential problems and issues that warrant attention to move the field forward...
January 9, 2017: Social Neuroscience
Marion E Snowdon, Stuart Cathcart
Previous studies suggest the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is involved in processing of empathic concern. This has not been experimentally tested to date. We tested the hypotheses that electrical potentiation in the right DLPFC would be associated with increased empathic concern and prosocial behavior. Participants were randomly allocated to one of three transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) conditions: (a) relative right potentiation, (b) relative left potentiation, and (c) sham. Participants viewed images of African children in distressing circumstances, and completed measures of empathic concern pre- and post-tDCS manipulation...
January 2, 2017: Social Neuroscience
Fernando Caravaggio, Jun Ku Chung, Philip Gerretsen, Gagan Fervaha, Shinichiro Nakajima, Eric Plitman, Yusuke Iwata, Alan Wilson, Ariel Graff-Guerrero
Differences in striatal dopamine (DA) function may be related to differences in the degree of social attachment to others. Using positron emission tomography (PET), socially detached persons demonstrate reduced DA D2/3 receptor (D2/3R) availability in the striatum. However, previous PET studies have only used antagonist radiotracers for D2/3R and have not specifically examined regions of interest (ROIs) such as the ventral striatum (VS). In 32 healthy persons, we investigated the relationship between self-reported attachment and DA D2/3R availability in striatal and extrastriatal ROIs as measured using the agonist radiotracer [(11)C]-(+)-PHNO...
April 2017: Social Neuroscience
Brittany R Howell, Matthew S McMurray, Dora B Guzman, Govind Nair, Yundi Shi, Kai M McCormack, Xiaoping Hu, Martin A Styner, Mar M Sanchez
Maternal presence has a potent buffering effect on infant fear and stress responses in primates. We previously reported that maternal presence is not effective in buffering the endocrine stress response in infant rhesus monkeys reared by maltreating mothers. We have also reported that maltreating mothers show low maternal responsiveness and permissiveness/secure-base behavior. Although still not understood, it is possible that this maternal buffering effect is mediated, at least partially, through deactivation of amygdala response circuits when mothers are present...
February 2017: Social Neuroscience
Amanda M Dettmer, Lauren J Wooddell, Kendra L Rosenberg, Stefano S K Kaburu, Melinda A Novak, Jerrold S Meyer, Stephen J Suomi
Early life experience and socioeconomic status (SES) are well-established predictors of health outcomes in people. Both factors likely influence health outcomes via hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis regulation. However, it is unclear how early experience and HPA axis activity influence adult social status. We studied differentially reared female rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta, N = 90) as models to test the hypothesis that chronic HPA axis activity assessed via hair cortisol concentrations (HCCs) mediated the relationship between early life experience and adult social rank...
February 2017: Social Neuroscience
Sanne J H van Rooij, Dorthie Cross, Jennifer S Stevens, L Alexander Vance, Ye Ji Kim, Bekh Bradley, Nim Tottenham, Tanja Jovanovic
Parental availability influences fear expression and learning across species, but the effect of maternal buffering on fear learning in humans is unknown. Here we investigated the effect of maternal availability during fear conditioning in a group of children (ages 8-10) and adolescents (ages 11-13) from a low-income population with a range of trauma exposure. Acoustic startle response data were collected to measure fear-potentiated startle (FPS) in 104 participants. A total of 62 participants were tested with the mother available and 42 when the mother was not in the testing room...
February 2017: Social Neuroscience
Jessica E Flannery, Kathryn G Beauchamp, Philip A Fisher
There is growing evidence that social support can buffer the physiological stress response, specifically cortisol reactivity. We use a developmental framework to review the importance of social buffering in early childhood, a period of heightened plasticity for programming of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The social environment, in which parents play the largest role in early life, is a critical agent in the developmental trajectory of the HPA axis. A prevailing model of social buffering primarily focuses on the role of social support in the context of acute stressors and cortisol response...
February 2017: Social Neuroscience
Nurit El-Bar, Offir Laufer, Roni Yoran-Hegesh, Rony Paz
Over-generalization of dangerous stimuli is a possible etiological account of anxiety. Recently, we demonstrated it could result from alterations in early perceptual mechanisms, i.e., a fundamental change in the way the stimulus is perceived. Yet it is still unclear if these mechanisms already exist in youth, or develop only later. The purpose of this study was therefore to explore the mechanism of generalization in youth suffering from anxiety disorders. Children and adolescents with anxiety disorders and age-matched control participants underwent a conditioning task where a loss or gain outcome was associated with two well-separated tones...
February 2017: Social Neuroscience
Syrina Al Aïn, Rosemarie E Perry, Bestina Nuñez, Kassandra Kayser, Chase Hochman, Elizabeth Brehman, Miranda LaComb, Donald A Wilson, Regina M Sullivan
Social support can attenuate the behavioral and stress hormone response to threat, a phenomenon called social buffering. The mother's social buffering of the infant is one of the more robust examples; yet we understand little about the neurobiology. Using a rodent model, we explore the neurobiology of social buffering by assessing neural processing of the maternal odor, a major cue controlling social buffering in rat pups. We used pups before (postnatal day (PN) 7) and after (PN14, PN23) the functional emergence of social buffering...
February 2017: Social Neuroscience
Jenalee R Doom, Colleen M Doyle, Megan R Gunnar
Previous research has demonstrated that before puberty, parents are able to buffer, and often completely block, cortisol responses to social evaluative stressors (e.g., Trier Social Stress Test; TSST). However, after puberty, parents no longer provide a powerful buffer of the HPA axis from a social-evaluative stressor. The current study investigates whether friends can buffer the HPA axis in both children and adolescents compared to parents and whether similar stress-ameliorating patterns can also be observed in oxytocin activity...
February 2017: Social Neuroscience
Megan R Gunnar, Regina M Sullivan
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 2017: Social Neuroscience
Michael B Hennessy, Katie Chun, John P Capitanio
Psychosocial stressors appear to promote the onset of depressive illness through activation and sensitization of inflammatory mechanisms. Here, adult male rhesus monkeys brought from large outdoor social groups to indoor housing for 8 days reliably exhibited a hunched, depressive-like posture. When rehoused indoors a second 8 days about 2 weeks later, monkeys housed alone, but not those with an affiliative partner, showed sensitization of the depressive-like hunched posture. Housing indoors also affected circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines: IL-1β showed increased responsiveness to immune challenge, and IL-1β and TNF-α showed reduced suppression by dexamethasone...
February 2017: Social Neuroscience
Yanbing Zhao, Qing Sun, Gang Chen, Jiongjiong Yang
Previous studies have shown that the amygdala is more involved in processing animate categories, such as humans and animals, than inanimate objects, but little is known regarding whether this animate advantage applies to auditory stimuli. To address this issue, we performed a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) study with emotion and category as factors, in which subjects heard sounds from different categories (i.e., humans, animals, and objects) in negative and neutral dimensions. Emotional levels and semantic familiarity were matched across categories...
December 10, 2016: Social Neuroscience
Na Yeon Kim, Gregory McCarthy
Our prior research showed that faces and bodies activate overlapping regions of the ventral occipitotemporal cortex (VOTC). However, faces and bodies were nonetheless discriminable in these same overlapping regions when their spatial patterns of activity were classified using multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA). Here we investigated whether these spatial patterns and their time courses were influenced by different categorization tasks. Participants viewed pictures of faces or headless bodies depicting a happy or fearful emotion...
December 2016: Social Neuroscience
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