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Social Neuroscience

Giulia Prete, Bruno Laeng, Luca Tommasi
Cerebral asymmetries for emotion processing are controversial, the right hemisphere being considered either superior in the recognition of all emotions, or superior in the recognition of negative emotions (together with the left-hemispheric superiority for positive emotions). In a number of previous studies, tDCS was applied on the left/right prefrontal cortex (PFC) in order to disentangle this issue, but the results remain controversial. We applied hf-tRNS/sham stimulation over the left/right PFC, during the presentation of neutral, angry and happy faces presented as broadband images (supraliminal condition), and as 'hybrid' stimuli in which an emotional face in low spatial frequency is superimposed to the neutral expression of the same individual in high spatial frequency (subliminal condition), during a friendliness evaluation task...
November 10, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Monika Eckstein, Vera Bamert, Shannon Stephens, Kim Wallen, Larry J Young, Ulrike Ehlert, Beate Ditzen
Research on oxytocin (OT) has revealed a substantial involvement of this neuropeptide in social cognition processes and attachment behavior. The rationale of the present project was to decipher the differential role of OT in basic social cognition processes towards non-erotic attachment stimuli vs. reproduction-related stimuli in human subjects. In a randomized double-blind repeated-measures cross-over design, N = 82 participants were investigated twice and received either intranasal OT or placebo at the first assessment followed by placebo or OT at second assessment...
October 31, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Julie Walsh-Messinger, Christine Stepanek, Julia Wiedemann, Deborah Goetz, Raymond R Goetz, Dolores Malaspina
The ability to mentalize, or theory of mind (ToM), is sexually dimorphic in humans and impaired in schizophrenia. This sex-stratified study probed cognitive (indexed by intelligence) and affective (indexed by olfactory tasks) contributions to ToM performance in 37 individuals with schizophrenia and 31 healthy controls. The schizophrenia group showed impairments in mental state identification and inferring intentions compared to controls. Higher intelligence was correlated with mental state identification and inferring intentions in healthy females, whereas better smell identification was associated with mental state identification in healthy males...
October 29, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Helga O Miguel, Óscar F Gonçalves, Sara Cruz, Adriana Sampaio
The affective-motivational component of touch has been shown to consistently activate the social- brain network in children, adolescents and adults, including the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS). However, very little is known about the neural mechanisms of affective touch processing during the first year of life. The objective of the present study was to analyze brain response to affective and discriminative touch in a sample of seven-month-old infants (N = 35) who were followed longitudinally at 12 months of age (N = 25)...
October 23, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Helena M Blumen, Joe Verghese
Extensive social networks are associated with better physical, mental, and cognitive health in aging, but the underlying brain substrates remain largely unexplored. Voxel-based morphometry and multivariate statistics were used to identify gray matter volume covariance networks associated with social networks in 86 older adults without dementia (M Age = 75.20 years, 53% women). Gray matter networks associated with the number of high-contact social roles and the total number of network members were identified after adjusting for age, sex, education, global health, and total intracranial volume - and shared nodes included medial, lateral and orbital prefrontal, hippocampal, precuneus, insular, and cingulate regions...
October 16, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Giulia Prete, Luca Tommasi
The Own-Race Bias (ORB) is the ability to better recognize and categorize a face when the depicted person belongs to the observer's ethnicity group. The relationship between the ORB and hemispheric asymmetries has been poorly explored, and the present study was aimed at investigating this relationship, as well as that between the ORB and the bias to better recognize own gender faces. Female and male Caucasian participants categorized the ethnicity of Caucasian and Asian female and male facial stimuli in a divided visual field paradigm...
October 12, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Taishi Kawamoto, Kazuo Hiraki
External feedback plays an important role in adapting to the environment; however, feedback processing in preschoolers has not been fully understood. The present event-related brain potential (ERP) study sought to understand the influence of parental presence with encouragement on feedback processing by focusing on reward positivity (RewP: mean amplitude between 200-350 ms). Five-year-old children (N = 21) completed an animal search task both alone (the alone condition) and with a parent who offered words of encouragement (the with a parent condition)...
September 22, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Helena J V Rutherford, 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 was observed in response to all visual stimuli and was not specific to infant faces...
September 21, 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
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...
December 2018: Social Neuroscience
Rowena Ng, Philip Lai, Timothy T Brown, Anna Järvinen, Eric Halgren, Ursula Bellugi, Doris Trauner
In this study, MRI and DTI were employed to examine subcortical volume and microstructural properties (FA, MD) of the limbic network, and their relationships with affect discrimination in 13 FL (6 right FL, M = 10.17 years; 7 left FL; M = 10.09) and 13 typically-developing children (TD; M = 10.16). Subcortical volume of the amygdala, hippocampus and thalamus and FA and MD of the fornix and anterior thalamic radiation (ATR) were examined. Results revealed no group differences across emotion-perception tasks or amygdalar volume...
December 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
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