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Social Neuroscience

Caroline J Charpentier, John P O'Doherty
Interactions with conspecifics are key to any social species. In order to navigate this social world, it is crucial for individuals to learn from and about others. From learning new skills by observing parents perform them to making complex collective decisions, understanding the mechanisms underlying social cognitive processes has been of considerable interest to psychologists and neuroscientists. Here, we review studies that have used computational modelling techniques, combined with neuroimaging, to shed light on how people learn and make decisions in social contexts...
September 12, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Helena J V Rutherforda, Angela N Maupin, Linda C Mayes
Prior reproductive experience, or parity, may contribute to differential neural responses to infant stimuli during pregnancy. We examined the P300 elicited by viewing infant and adult faces, as well as houses, in women pregnant with their first child and compared their neural responses to women who had at least one child prior to their current pregnancy. We found the P300 amplitude was larger in women pregnant with their first child as compared to pregnant women who had previously had children. This larger P300 response was observed in response to all visual stimuli and was not specific to infant faces...
September 9, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Elisabeth E F Bradford, Juan-Carlos Gomez, Ines Jentzsch
Theory of Mind (ToM) refers to the ability to compute and attribute mental states to oneself and other people. This study sought to assess the extent of differentiation between "Self" and "Other" in ToM processes, and, of particular importance, the key role of perspective-shifting between "Self" and "Other". Utilizing a newly established false-belief paradigm in a matched design, healthy adult participants completed the task whilst behavioural measures (response times, error rates) and electrophysiological (EEG) recordings were taken...
August 27, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Julie Zanesco, Eda Tipura, Andres Posada, Fabrice Clément, Alan J Pegna
Over 6 decades ago, experimental evidence from social psychology revealed that individuals could alter their responses in perceptual judgement tasks if they differed from the prevailing view emitted by a group of peers. Responses were thus modulated to agree with the opinion of the social group. An open question remains whether such changes actually reflect modified perception, or whether they are simply the result of a feigned agreement, indicating submissive acceptance. In this study, we addressed this topic by performing a perceptual task involving the assessment of ambiguous and distinct stimuli...
August 23, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Matthew Joseph Russell, Takahiko Masuda, Koichi Hioki, Anthony Singhal
Recent cultural psychology findings suggest that social orientation affects neural social attention. Whereas independent cultures process people as separate from social context, interdependent cultures process people as dependent on social context. This research expands upon these findings, investigating what role culture plays in people's neural processing of social context for two relationship contexts, close and acquaintance relationships. To investigate, we had European Canadian and Japanese participants rate the emotions of center faces in face lineups while collecting ERP data...
August 20, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Anne C Laurita, Cindy Hazan, R Nathan Spreng
Some of the closest reciprocal relationships are between parents and their children. As part of the attachment characterizing many parent-child bonds, individuals form mental representations that are chronically accessible and calibrate expectations for future relationships. We predict that there exist unique neural signatures of this chronic accessibility. Young (N = 29, 16 females) and older adults (N = 27, 12 females) made trait judgments for parent or child, respectively, during fMRI scanning. Multivariate analysis identified whole-brain patterns of activation that covaried with the magnitude of parent-child attachment when thinking about that individual...
August 20, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Bo Yuan, Yiwen Wang, Kathryn Roberts, Emilio Valadez, Jun Yin, Weiqiang Li
Human social decision-making is significantly modulated by previous decision outcomes. Using event-related potentials (ERPs), we examined whether ERP components evoked by outcome feedback could serve as electrophysiological indices to examine the influence of current outcome evaluation on subsequent cooperative or aggressive decision-making. Thirty-four adult volunteers participated in a social game task, in which they were asked to choose between cooperation and aggression with an opponent player.Conventionally-averaged ERPs and temporospatial principal components analysis (PCA) factors were tested for their associations with subsequent decision-making...
July 23, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Amanda Mazzoni, Rachel Grove, Valsamma Eapen, Rhoshel K Lenroot, Jason Bruggemann
Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a neuroimaging technique that has been gaining increasing interest as a method to investigate the brain function of individuals on the autism spectrum. It is a non-invasive, portable and relatively motion-tolerant method of measuring haemodynamic activity in the brain. fNIRS can be particularly effective for quantifying brain function in challenging clinical populations. In light of this, there is a growing body of fNIRS literature focusing on individuals on the autism spectrum...
July 21, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Pin-Hao A Chen, William M Kelley, Richard B Lopez, Todd F Heatherton
According to the strength model, self-regulation relies on a domain-general capacity that may be strengthened by training. From this perspective, training self-regulation in one domain may transfer to other domains. Here we used two inhibitory training paradigms, a domain-general and domain-specific stop-signal training task and compared their effects on brain reward activity as well as daily food desires in female dieters. Before and after the training, functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess food cue-reactivity, coupled with one week of smart-phone ecological momentary assessments to examine eating urges...
July 20, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Madeline Huberth, Tysen Dauer, Chryssie Nanou, Irán Román, Nick Gang, Wisam Reid, Matthew Wright, Takako Fujioka
During joint action tasks, expectations for outcomes of one's own and other's actions are collectively monitored. Recent evidence suggests that trait empathy levels may also influence performance monitoring processes. The present study investigated how outcome expectation and empathy interact during a turn-taking piano duet task, using simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG) recording. During the performances, one note in each player's part was altered in pitch to elicit the feedback-related negativity (FRN) and subsequent P3 complex...
July 9, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Mingliang Chen, Zhen Zhao, Hongxia Lai
The unfairness effects are always the hotspot within social psychology and cognitive neuroscience. However, people's neural responses to social versus non-social unfairness remain under-researched, especially about temporal features. We engaged participants in the Ultimatum Game to respond to human and computer proposers (representing social and non-social contexts respectively) and recorded their event-related potentials. The interactions elicited three components of interest: medial frontal negativity (MFN), late positive potential (LPP) and response related negativity (RRN)...
July 4, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Arianna Rigon, Michelle W Voss, Lyn S Turkstra, Bilge Mutlu, Melissa C Duff
Although facial affect recognition deficits are well documented in individuals with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), little research has examined the neural mechanisms underlying these impairments. Here, we use diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), specifically the scalars fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), and radial diffusivity (RD), to examine relationships between regional white-matter integrity and two facial affect sub-skills: perceptual affect recognition abilities (measured by an affect matching task) and verbal categorization of facial affect (measured by an affect labeling task)...
June 28, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Jayne Morriss, Tiffany Bell, Tom Johnstone, Carien M van Reekum, Jonathan Hill
The neural circuitry associated with threat regulation in the absence of other people is well established. An examination of threat regulatory processes with people from different domains of an individual's social world is key to understanding social emotion regulation and personality functioning conceptualised as social domain organisation. In this study, 42 healthy female participants completed functional magnetic imaging sessions in which they underwent a scan in the presence of a romantic partner or friend, whilst completing a threat of shock task...
June 21, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Jean Decety, Robert Pape, Clifford I Workman
Why are some people capable of sympathizing with and/or committing acts of political violence, such as attacks aimed at innocent targets? Attempts to construct terrorist profiles based on individual and situational factors, such as clinical, psychological, ethnic, and socio-demographic variables, have largely failed. Although individual and situational factors must be at work, it is clear that they alone cannot explain how certain individuals are radicalized. In this paper, we propose that a comprehensive understanding of radicalization and of how it may lead to political violence requires the integration of information across multiple levels of analysis and interdisciplinary perspectives from evolutionary theory, social, personality and cognitive psychology, political science and neuroscience...
October 2018: Social Neuroscience
Ofir Turel, Qinghua He, Damien Brevers, Antoine Bechara
Social lives have shifted, at least in part, for large portions of the population to social networking sites. How such lifestyle changes may be associated with brain structures is still largely unknown. In this manuscript, we describe two preliminary studies aimed at exploring this issue. The first study (n = 276) showed that Facebook users reported on increased social-semantic and mentalizing demands, and that such increases were positively associated with people's level of Facebook use. The second study (n = 33) theorized on and examined likely anatomical correlates of such changes in demands on the brain...
October 2018: Social Neuroscience
Tapani Riekki, Annika M Svedholm-Häkkinen, Marjaana Lindeman
Using the empathizing-systemizing theory as our framework, we investigated how people with high self-reported empathizing (having good social skills and being interested in people) and systemizing (being interested in physical things and processes) differ in the social information processing of emotionally negative photographs of people during "spontaneous watching" and emotional and cognitive empathy tasks. Empathizers evaluated the pictures as more emotionally touching and the reactions in the photographs more understandable than the systemizers...
October 2018: Social Neuroscience
Yukiko Matsumoto, Hideyuki Takahashi, Jun Miyata, Genichi Sugihara, Toshiya Murai, Hidehiko Takahashi
Schizophrenia patients have impairments of biological motion (BM) perception, which provides critical information about social cognition. Because social cognition is underpinned by attention, the impairments of BM perception in schizophrenia could be partially attributable to altered attention. To elucidate the impairments in attention and social perception in schizophrenia, we investigated the neural basis of impaired BM processing using MRI in respect to attention deficits by eye tracker. Voxel-based morphometry was performed to evaluate the relationship between BM perception and gray matter (GM) volume...
October 2018: Social Neuroscience
Tagiru Nakamura, Tomoko Matsui, Akira Utsumi, Mika Yamazaki, Kai Makita, Tokiko Harada, Hiroki C Tanabe, Norihiro Sadato
A dominant theory of humor comprehension suggests that people understand humor by first perceiving some incongruity in an expression and then resolving it. This is called "the incongruity-resolution theory." Experimental studies have investigated the neural basis of humor comprehension, and multiple neural substrates have been proposed; however, the specific substrate for incongruity resolution is still unknown. The reason may be that the resolution phase, despite its importance in humor comprehension, has not been successfully distinguished from the perception phase because both phases occur almost simultaneously...
October 2018: Social Neuroscience
W Tang Watanasriyakul, Joshua Wardwell, Neal McNeal, Rachel Schultz, Matthew Woodbury, Ashley Dagner, Miranda Cox, Angela J Grippo
Physical activity can combat detrimental effects of stress. The current study examined the potential protective effects of exercise against a combination of social isolation and chronic mild stress (CMS) in a prairie vole model. Female voles were isolated for 4 weeks, with the addition of CMS during the final 2 weeks. Half of the voles were allowed access to a running wheel during this final 2 weeks, while the other half remained sedentary. Animals underwent behavioral tests to assess depressive- and anxiety-behaviors...
October 2018: Social Neuroscience
Elien Heleven, Siham Boukhlal, Frank Van Overwalle
Prior neuroimaging research demonstrated that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) houses neural representations for traits and familiar persons that possess these traits. But do such neural representations also exist for people we do not know? We hypothesized that knowledge about unknown persons is encoded in "generic" mentalizing representations as opposed to "specific" representations for well-known individuals. Neural representations for unfamiliar persons were investigated by fMRI repetition suppression, which is a rapid suppression of fMRI responses upon repeated presentation of the same stimulus signaling the neural representation of this stimulus...
October 2018: Social Neuroscience
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