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Social Neuroscience

Justin Chamberland, Annie Roy-Charland, Melanie Perron, Joël Dickinson
The perceptual-attentional limitation hypothesis posits that the confusion between emotional facial expressions of fear and surprise may be due to their visual similarity, with shared muscle movements. In Experiment 1 full face images of fear and surprise varying as a function of distinctiveness (mouth index, brow index or both indices) were displayed in a gender oddball task. Experiment 2, in a similar task, directed attention towards the eye or mouth region with a blurring technique. The current two studies used response time and event-related potentials (ERP) to test the perceptual-attentional limitation hypothesis...
October 21, 2016: Social Neuroscience
Richard A I Bethlehem, Carrie Allison, Emma M van Andel, Alexander I Coles, Kym Neil, Simon Baron-Cohen
Why do people act altruistically? One theory is that empathy is a driver of morality. Experimental studies of this are often confined to laboratory settings, which often lack ecological validity. In the present study we investigated whether empathy traits predict if people will act altruistically in a real-world setting, 'in the wild'. We staged a situation in public that was designed to elicit helping, and subsequently measured empathic traits in those who either stopped to help or walked past and did not help...
October 19, 2016: Social Neuroscience
Katherine K M Stavropoulos, Michaela Viktorinova, Adam Naples, Jennifer Foss-Feig, James C McPartland
BACKGROUND: Difficulty with emotion perception is a core feature of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is also associated with the broader autism phenotype. OBJECTIVES: The current study explored the neural underpinnings of conscious and non-conscious perceptions of affect in typically developing individuals with varying levels of autistic-like traits, as measured by the Autism Quotient (AQ). We investigated the relationship between autistic traits and face processing efficiency using event-related potentials (ERPs)...
October 18, 2016: Social Neuroscience
Bertram Gawronski, Jennifer S Beer
The distinction between utilitarianism and deontology has become a prevailing framework for conceptualizing moral judgment. According to the principle of utilitarianism, the morality of an action depends on its outcomes. In contrast, the principle of deontology states that the morality of an action depends on its consistency with moral norms. To identify the processes underlying utilitarian and deontological judgments, research in psychology and neuroscience has investigated responses to moral dilemmas that pit one principle against the other (e...
October 15, 2016: Social Neuroscience
Madelon M E Riem, Marinus H van IJzendoorn, Pietro De Carli, Ad J J M Vingerhoets, Marian J Bakermans-Kranenburg
The current fMRI study examines brain activity during the perception of infant and adult tears. Infant tears evoke stronger responses in the visual cortex than adult tears, indicating that infant tears are highly salient. In addition, our study shows that infant tears uniquely activate somatosensory pain regions, which could stimulate actions directed at the elimination of the source of pain. Shedding tears may be a strong means to elicit the parent's sharing of the infant's feelings,, thereby strengthening caregiver-infant bonding and securing infant survival...
October 11, 2016: Social Neuroscience
Shameem Fatima, Imran Sharif
The main focus of the current study was to assess whether executive functions (EFs) moderate the effect of parental punishment on adolescent aggression. The sample were 370 participants (53% girls, 47% boys) enrolled at secondary and higher secondary levels and ranged in age between 13-19 years (M = 15.5, SD = 1.3). Participants were assessed on a self-report measure of aggression and two punishment measures, in addition to a demographic sheet. Then, they were individually assessed on four tests taken from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Functions System (D-KEFS) namely Trial Making Test (TMT), Design Fluency Test (DFT), Color Word Interference Test (CWIT), and Card Sorting Test (CST) to assess cognitive flexibility, nonverbal fluency, inhibition, and problem-solving ability, respectively...
October 11, 2016: Social Neuroscience
Agustín Ibáñez, Adolfo M García, Sol Esteves, Adrián Yoris, Edinson Muñoz, Lucila Reynaldo, Marcos Luis Pietto, Federico Adolfi, Facundo Manes
Multiple disorders once jointly conceived as 'nervous diseases' became segregated by the distinct institutional traditions forged in neurology and psychiatry. As a result, each field specialized in the study and treatment of a subset of such conditions. Here we propose new avenues for interdisciplinary interaction through a triangulation of both fields with social neuroscience. To this end, we review evidence from five relevant domains (facial emotion recognition, empathy, theory of mind, moral cognition, social context assessment), highlighting their common disturbances across neurological and psychiatric conditions and discussing their multiple pathophysiological mechanisms...
October 6, 2016: Social Neuroscience
Katrin Döhnel, Tobias Schuwerk, Beate Sodian, Göran Hajak, Rainer Rupprecht, Monika Sommer
False belief reasoning is a key Theory of Mind (ToM) competence. By four years of age children understand that a person's behaviour can be based on a false belief about reality. Children cannot understand that a person's emotion can also be based on a false belief before the age of six. In order to generate hypothesis on basic processes distinguishing these two types of belief reasoning, the present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study in adults directly compares functional activity associated with these two false belief tasks...
October 5, 2016: Social Neuroscience
Łukasz Okruszek, Kirsty Dolan, Megan Lawrence, Matteo Cella
There is a long standing debate on the influence of physiological signals on social behavior. Recent studies suggested that heart rate variability (HRV) may be a marker of social cognitive processes. However, this evidence is preliminary and limited to laboratory studies. In this study 25 participants were assessed with a social cognition battery and asked to wear a wearable device measuring HRV for 6 consecutive days. The results showed that reduced HRV correlated with higher hostility attribution bias. However, no relationship was found between HRV and other social cognitive measures including facial emotion recognition, theory of mind or emotional intelligence...
October 4, 2016: Social Neuroscience
Sarah Fabi, Hartmut Leuthold
In the present study we investigated the nature and chronometry of empathy for pain influences on perceptual and motor processes. Thus, event-related brain potentials (ERPs), response force (RF) and oscillatory electroencephalography (EEG) activity were measured while participants were presented with pictures of body parts in painful or neutral situations. Their task consisted in either judging the painfulness of the stimuli or counting the body parts displayed. ERP results supported the assumption of an early automatic component of empathy for pain, as reflected by the early posterior negativity (EPN), and of a late controlled component, as reflected by the late posterior positivity (P3)...
September 28, 2016: Social Neuroscience
George Zacharopoulos, Paul H P Hanel, Thomas M Lancaster, Niklas Ihssen, Mark Drakesmith, Sonya Foley, Gregory R Maio, David E J Linden
Human values guide behaviour and the smooth functioning of societies. Schwartz's circumplex model of values predicts a sinusoidal waveform in relations between ratings of the importance of diverse human value types (e.g., achievement, benevolence) and any variables psychologically relevant to them. In this neuroimaging study, we examined these non-linear associations between values types and brain structure. In 85 participants, we found the predicted sinusoidal relationship between ratings of values types and two measures of white matter, volume and myelin volume fraction, as well as for grey matter parameters in several frontal regions...
September 16, 2016: Social Neuroscience
Pan Liu, Simon Rigoulot, Marc D Pell
To explore how cultural immersion modulates emotion processing, this study examined how Chinese immigrants to Canada process multisensory emotional expressions, which were compared to existing data from two groups, Chinese and North Americans. Stroop and Oddball paradigms were employed to examine different stages of emotion processing. The Stroop task presented face-voice pairs expressing congruent/incongruent emotions and participants actively judged the emotion of one modality while ignoring the other. A significant effect of cultural immersion was observed in the immigrants' behavioral performance, which showed greater interference from to-be-ignored faces, comparable with what was observed in North Americans...
September 2, 2016: Social Neuroscience
Bingbing Leng, Xiangling Wang, Bihua Cao, Fuhong Li
The present study aimed to reveal the temporal course and electrophysiological correlates of interpersonal guilt. Human participants were asked to perform multiple rounds of a dot-estimation task with their partners, while event-related potential being recorded. The paired participants were informed that they would win money if both responded correctly; otherwise, both of them would lose money. The feeling of guilt in Self-Wrong condition (SW) was significantly higher than that in Both-Wrong and Partner-Wrong conditions...
August 25, 2016: Social Neuroscience
John E Kiat, Elizabeth Straley, Jacob E Cheadle
The importance of understanding how we anticipate and prepare for being socially excluded is underscored by the numerous adverse mental and physical consequences of social rejection. In this study, we adapted a social exclusion paradigm, the Lunchroom task, to investigate the use of social context cues in the formation of social outcome expectations as indexed by the P3b, an ERP component associated with attention orientation and context updating. In this task, Black and White participants were presented with either neutral or stereotyped cues prior to being exposed to simulated inclusion versus exclusion outcome scenarios...
August 24, 2016: Social Neuroscience
Qingguo Ma, Liang Meng, Qiang Shen
Previous studies examining empathy have revealed the neural substrates of how the physical pain of others is represented in the human brain. However, little is known about the empathic modulation of behavioral and neural responses to others' economic payoffs, especially in the social context. In the present study, we engaged participants in a revised Dictator Game as observers who observe the powerless players receiving varied offers proposed by the dominant players, establishing the link between empathy and fairness perception...
August 23, 2016: Social Neuroscience
Ryu-Ichiro Hashimoto, Takashi Itahashi, Haruhisa Ohta, Takashi Yamada, Chieko Kanai, Motoaki Nakamura, Hiromi Watanabe, Nobumasa Kato
In interactive social situations, it is often crucial to be able to take another person's perspective when evaluating one's own or another person's specific trait; individuals with ASD critically lack this social skill. To examine how perspective-dependent self- and other-evaluation processes modulate functional connectivity in ASD, we conducted an fMRI study in which 26 high-functioning adults with ASD and 24 typically developed (TD) controls were asked to decide whether an adjective describing a personality trait correctly described the participant himself/herself ("self") or the participant's mother ("other") by taking either the first (1P) or third person (3P) perspective...
August 18, 2016: Social Neuroscience
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No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 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
Anya K Bershad, Jessica J Weafer, Matthew G Kirkpatrick, Margaret C Wardle, Melissa A Miller, Harriet de Wit
3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") enhances desire to socialize and feelings of empathy, which are thought to be related to increased oxytocin levels. Thus, variation in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) may influence responses to the drug. Here, we examined the influence of a single OXTR nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) on responses to MDMA in humans. Based on findings that carriers of the A allele at rs53576 exhibit reduced sensitivity to oxytocin-induced social behavior, we hypothesized that these individuals would show reduced subjective responses to MDMA, including sociability...
December 2016: Social Neuroscience
Margaret C Wardle, Anya K Bershad, Harriet de Wit
Endogenous opioids have complex social effects that may depend on specific receptor actions and vary depending on the "stage" of social behavior (e.g., seeking vs. responding to social stimuli). We tested the effects of a nonspecific opioid antagonist, naltrexone (NTX), on social processing in humans. NTX is used to treat alcohol and opiate dependence, and may affect both mu and kappa-opioid systems. We assessed attention ("seeking"), and subjective and psychophysiological responses ("responding") to positive and negative social stimuli...
December 2016: Social Neuroscience
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