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Social Neuroscience

Elien Heleven, Frank Van Overwalle
Earlier neuroimaging studies on social inferences applying repetition suppression indicated that psychological entities of persons are represented in the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). These representations were identified by suppression of activation in neural populations after repetition of the same persons, and are interpreted as abstract summary representations for the repeated social entity. However, an alternative explanation might be that suppression for persons does not reflect the representation of a person as such, but rather some degree of knowledge about this person...
May 7, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Michael P Kelly, Natasha M Kriznik, Ann Louise Kinmonth, Paul C Fletcher
This paper presents a hypothesis about how social interactions shape and influence predictive processing in the brain. The paper integrates concepts from neuroscience and sociology where a gulf presently exists between the ways that each describe the same phenomenon - how the social world is engaged with by thinking humans. We combine the concepts of predictive processing models (also called predictive coding models in the neuroscience literature) with ideal types, typifications and social practice - concepts from the sociological literature...
May 2, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Amandine Lassalle, Nicole R Zürcher, Carlo A Porro, Francesca Benuzzi, Loyse Hippolyte, Eric Lemonnier, Jakob Åsberg Johnels, Nouchine Hadjikhani
The circumstances under which empathy is altered in ASD remain unclear, as previous studies did not systematically find differences in brain activation between ASD and controls in empathy-eliciting paradigms, and did not always monitor whether differences were primarily due to ASD "per se", or to conditions overlapping with ASD, such as alexithymia and anxiety. Here, we collected fMRI data from 47 participants (22 ASD) viewing pictures depicting hands and feet of unknown others in painful, disgusting, or neutral situations...
April 23, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Joyce J Endendijk, Hannah Spencer, Peter A Bos, Belle Derks
Processes like gender socialization (the ways in which parents convey information to their children about how girls and boys should behave) often happen unconsciously and might therefore be studied best with neuroscientific measures. We examined whether neural processing of gender-stereotype-congruent and incongruent information is more robustly related to mothers' gendered socialization of their child than mothers' implicit and explicit gender stereotypes. To this end, we examined event-related potentials (ERPs) of mothers (N = 35) completing an implicit gender-stereotype task and mothers' gender stereotypes in relation to observed gendered communication with their child (2-6 years old) in a naturalistic picture-book-reading setting...
April 20, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Alejandro Rosas, Hugo Viciana, Esteban Caviedes, Alejandra Arciniegas
Research on moral judgment with moral dilemmas suggests that "utilitarian" responses (UR) to sacrificial high-conflict dilemmas are due to decreased harm aversion, not only in individuals with clinical conditions, but also in healthy participants with high scores in antisocial personality traits. We investigated the patterns of responses to different dilemma types in healthy participants and present evidence that some URs to sacrificial dilemmas are morally motivated, as indicated by their empathic concern (EC) or primary psychopathy (PP) scores...
April 18, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Tal Ivancovsky, Jenny Kurman, Hiroaki Morio, Simone Shamay-Tsoory
Although evidence points to the existence of cultural differences in creativity, the mechanisms that underlie these differences are largely unknown. The twofold model of creativity posits two recursive stages: a generation phase and an evaluation phase. Considering that recent studies suggest that the left inferior frontal gyrus) L-IFG(may inhibit creativity during the evaluation phase, we hypothesized that manipulating IFG activity would affect participants' level of creativity. We further predicted that the IFG may be "hyperactive" in a culture that typically discourages uniqueness (e...
April 11, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Caitlin M Hudac
The present study sought to evaluate whether social priming modulates neural responses to ostracism, such that making arbitrary interpersonal decisions increases the experience of social exclusion more than making arbitrary physical decisions. This exploratory event-related potential (ERP) study utilized the Lunchroom task, in which adults (N=28) first selected one of two options that included either interpersonal or physical descriptors. Participants then received ostracism outcome feedback within a lunchroom scenario in which they were either excluded (e...
April 10, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Matt T Richins, Manuela Barreto, Anke Karl, Natalia Lawrence
Individuals feel more empathy for those in their group (i.e. ingroup members) than those who are not (i.e. outgroup members). But empathy is not merely selective to group distinctions, rather it fluctuates according to how groups are perceived. The goal of this research was to determine whether group-based evaluations can drive biases in self-reported empathy as well as in the underlying neural activity. Participants were asked to rate a target's physical pain while BOLD responses were recorded via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)...
April 10, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Joseph Dien, Valerie Karuzis, Henk J Haarmann
Relational Models Theory or RMT proposes that there are four universal ways in which socio-economic relations can be organized. According to the RMT, each of its four relational models (Communal Sharing, Authority Ranking, Equality Matching, and Market Pricing) is associated with a distinct cognitive representation, with a cumulative pattern in which each relational model is a superset of the next lower model. This report for the first time uses a combination of cognitive and the social neuroscience to put this model to the test...
April 3, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Andre T Walcott, Monique L Smith, Jennifer M Loftis, Andrey E Ryabinin
The expression of pain serves as a way for animals to communicate potential dangers to nearby conspecifics. Recent research demonstrated that mice undergoing alcohol or morphine withdrawal, or inflammation, could socially communicate their hyperalgesia to nearby mice. However, it is unknown whether such social transfer of hyperalgesia can be observed in other species of rodents. Therefore, the present study investigated if the social transfer of hyperalgesia occurs in the highly social prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster)...
March 22, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Inez M Greven, Paul E Downing, Richard Ramsey
Body shape cues inferences regarding personality and health, but the neural processes underpinning such inferences remain poorly understood. Across two fMRI experiments, we test the extent to which neural networks associated with body perception and theory-of-mind (ToM) support social inferences based on body shape. Participants observed obese, muscular, and slim bodies that cued distinct social inferences as revealed in behavioural pilot experiments. To investigate judgment intentionality, the first fMRI experiment required participants to detect repeat presentations of bodies, whereas in fMRI Experiment 2 participants intentionally formed an impression...
March 13, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Kirsten Arnett, Alexandra Roach, Meredith Elzy, Laura Jelsone-Swain
Empathy is a critical aspect of social behavior, and impairment in empathic processing is linked to hindered social interactions and several disorders. Despite much interest in this topic, our understanding of the developmental and neural involvement for empathic processing is limited. Recent evidence suggests the Mirror Neuron System (MNS) may play a role in this behavior, and that mu rhythm suppression found over the sensorimotor cortices may be a proxy for the MNS. Therefore, we aimed to measure mu rhythm oscillations in response to empathic processing during observation of painful action-based situations using electroencephalogram (EEG)...
March 4, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Alexandra E D'Agostino, David Kattan, Turhan Canli
Loneliness, the subjective experience of social isolation, may reflect, in part, underlying neural processing of social signals. Aging may exacerbate loneliness due to decreased social networks and increased social isolation, or it may reduce loneliness due to preferential attentional processing of positive information and increased interactions with emotionally close partners. Here, we conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study of loneliness in younger (N = 50, 26 female, Mage  = 20...
February 28, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Alexander Prehn-Kristensen, Anna Lorenzen, Fabian Grabe, Lioba Baving
Deficits in facial affect recognition (FAR) are often reported in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) due to inappropriate visual search strategies. It is unclear, however, whether or not deficits in subliminal FAR are still present in autism when visual focus is controlled. Thirteen persons with ASD and 13 healthy participants took part in this experiment. Supraliminal FAR was assessed using a standardized, computer-aided test. Subliminal FAR was obtained by an emotional face priming paradigm. By using an eye-tracking technique, it was assured that the initial visual focus was on the eyes of the prime...
February 22, 2018: Social Neuroscience
James W Roberts, Merryn D Constable, Raquel Burgess, James L Lyons, Timothy N Welsh
The coupling of perception and action has been strongly indicated by evidence that the observation of an action primes a response in the observer. It has been proposed that these primed responses may be inhibited when the observer is able to more closely distinguish between self- and other-generated actions - the greater the distinction, then the greater the inhibition of the primed response. This self-other distinction is shown to be enhanced following a period of visual feedback of self-generated action. The present study was designed to examine how sensorimotor experiences pertaining to self-generated action affect primed responses from observed actions...
April 2018: 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...
April 2018: 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 behavior and emotional responses while participants performed a moral decision task...
April 2018: Social Neuroscience
Dominic Oliver, Ilias Tachtsidis, Antonia F de C Hamilton
Previous studies have shown right parietal activation in response to observing irrational actions. Behavioral studies show that people sometimes imitate irrational actions, a phenomenon called overimitation. However, limitations on movement in functional magnetic resonance imaging (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 computerized puzzle task...
April 2018: 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...
April 2018: 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...
April 2018: Social Neuroscience
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