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Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

Yanli Lin, Megan E Fisher, Jason S Moser
Mindfulness is frequently associated with improved attention. However, the nature of the relationship between mindfulness and executive attention, a core function of the attentional system, is surprisingly unclear. Studies employing behavioral measures of executive attention have been equivocal. Although neuroscientific studies have yielded more consistent findings, reporting functional and structural changes in executive attention brain regions, the observed changes in brain activity have not been linked to behavioral performance...
December 11, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Yanqing Wang, Todd Braver, Shouhang Yin, Hu Xueping, Xiangpeng Wang, Antao Chen
Reward plays a crucial role in enhancing response inhibition. While it is generally assumed that the process of response inhibition involves attentional capture and the stopping of action, it is unclear whether this reflects a direct impact of reward on response inhibition or rather an indirect mediation via attentional capture. Here, we employed a revised stop-signal task (SST) that explicitly distinguished between these processes, by including a Continue signal that required the same motor response as in Go trials, but also attention to a cue, as in Stop trials...
December 7, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Samantha DePasque, Adriana Galván
While emerging research implicates the striatum in adolescents' ability to learn from feedback, little is known about how motivational contexts, such as emphasizing the evaluative nature of learning tasks, modulate adolescents' striatal learning. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a feedback-based learning task, in conjunction with a within-subject evaluative threat manipulation, to determine whether evaluation threat influences behavioral and neural responses to feedback in adolescents...
December 6, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Noam Schneck, Tao Tu, Stefan Haufe, George A Bonanno, Hanga GalfaIvy, Kevin Ochsner, J John Mann, Paul Sajda
An avoidant grief style is marked by repeated and often unsuccessful attempts to prevent thinking about loss. Prior work shows avoidant grief involves monitoring the external environment in order to avoid reminders of the loss. Here we sought to determine whether avoidant grievers also monitor the internal environment in attempts to minimize conscious awareness of loss-related thoughts. Individuals bereaved of a first-degree relative, spouse or partner within the last 14 months participated in an fMRI study (N=29)...
December 6, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Xiaofei Niu, Jianbiao Li, Glenn J Browne, Dahui Li, Qian Cao, Xiaoli Liu, Guangrong Wang, Pengcheng Wang
Decision makers often follow other similarly-situated people in making decisions, creating a sequential decision-making context. Although rational behavior is often to make the same choice as previous decision makers, which can result in an information cascade, people may assign inappropriately higher weight to their own private information and discount public information about predecessors' choices. Recent findings suggest that overweighting private information may be associated with increased activities in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG)...
November 27, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Nykan Mirchi, Richard F Betzel, Boris C Bernhardt, Alain Dagher, Bratislav Mišic
Subjective mood is a psychophysiological property that depends on complex interactions among the central and peripheral nervous systems. How network interactions in the brain drive temporal fluctuations in mood is unknown. Here we investigate how functional network configuration relates to mood profiles in a single individual over the course of 1 year. Using data from the MyConnectome Project, we construct a comprehensive mapping between resting state functional connectivity patterns and subjective mood scales using an associative multivariate technique (partial least squares)...
November 27, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Diana S Ferreira de Sá, Tanja Michael, Frank H Wilhelm, Peter Peyk
Social threat detection is important in everyday life. Studies of cortical activity have shown that event-related potentials (ERPs) of motivated attention are modulated during fear conditioning. The time course of motivated attention in learning and extinction of fear is however still largely unknown. We aimed to study temporal dynamics of learning processes in classical fear conditioning to social cues (neutral faces) by selecting an experimental setup that produces large effects on well-studied ERP components (early posterior negativity, EPN; late positive potential, LPP; stimulus preceding negativity, SPN), and then exploring small consecutive groups of trials...
November 27, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Imme C Zillekens, Marie-Luise Brandi, Juha M Lahnakoski, Atesh Koul, Valeria Manera, Cristina Becchio, Leonhard Schilbach
Interpersonal predictive coding (IPPC) describes the behavioral phenomenon whereby seeing a communicative rather than an individual action helps to discern a masked second agent. As little is known, yet, about the neural correlates of IPPC, we conducted an fMRI study in a group of 27 healthy participants using point-light displays of moving agents embedded in distractors. We discovered that seeing communicative compared to individual actions was associated with higher activation of right superior frontal gyrus, whereas the reversed contrast elicited increased neural activation in an action observation network that was activated during all trials...
November 27, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Simon Dunne, Vikram S Chib, Joseph Berleant, John P O'Doherty
It has been observed that the pressure of performing for high stakes can, paradoxically, lead to uncharacteristically poor performance. Here we investigate a novel approach to attenuating such 'choking under pressure' by instructing participants performing a demanding motor task that rewards successful performance with a monetary gain, to reappraise this incentive as a monetary loss for unsuccessful performance. We show that when participants applied this simple strategy, choking was significantly reduced. This strategy also influenced participants' neural and physiological activity...
November 27, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Kyosuke Takami, Masahiko Haruno
Recent studies have shown that the reactions of bystanders who witness bullying significantly affect whether the bullying persists. However, the underlying behavioral and neural mechanisms that determine a peer-influenced bystander's participation in bullying remain largely unknown. Here, we designed a new "catch-ball" task where four players choose to throw a sequence of normal or strong (aggressive) balls in turn and examined whether the players (n=43) participated in other players' bullying. We analyzed behaviors with a computational model that quantifies the tendencies of a participant's 1) baseline propensity for bullying, 2) reactive revenge, 3) conformity to bullying, and 4) capitulation to threat and estimated these effects on the choice of balls...
November 27, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
I Bègue, M Vaessen, J Hofmeister, M Pereira, S Schwartz, P Vuilleumier
Metacognitive beliefs about emotions expressed by others are crucial to social life, yet very little studied. To what extent does our confidence in emotion expression recognition depend on perceptual or other non-perceptual information? We obtained behavioral and MRI measures while participants judged either the emotion in ambiguous faces or the size of two lines flanking these faces, and then rated their confidence on decision accuracy. Distinct behavioral and neural mechanisms were identified for confidence and perceptual decision in both tasks...
November 27, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
L G Speck, J Schöner, F Bermpohl, A Heinz, J Gallinat, T Majic, C Montag
Background: Oxytocin (OXT) is critically involved in the regulation of attachment and interpersonal function. In this study, emotional children's movies were used to stimulate OXT secretion in patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls. Furthermore, associations of OXT levels with measures of attachment style (Psychosis Attachment Measure), childhood adversity (Childhood Trauma Questionnaire) and symptom severity (Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale) were considered. Methods: In 35 patients with schizophrenia and 35 matched healthy controls, RIA with sample extraction was used to determine OXT plasma levels before and after viewing of movie scenes portraying emotional bonding and loss and compared to a non-emotional condition...
November 27, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
So-Yeon Kim, Jung Eun Shin, Yoonji Irene Lee, Haena Kim, Hang Joon Jo, Soo-Hee Choi
Does the biased attention towards social threats dwells on or disappears in patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD)? We investigated the neural mechanism of attentional bias in terms of attentional capture and holding in SAD. Thirty-one SAD patients and 30 healthy controls performed a continuous performance task detecting the orientation of a red letter "T" while angry or neutral face distractors appeared or disappeared at the center of the screen. Behaviorally, typical attentional capture effects were found in response to abruptly appearing distractors in both groups...
November 15, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Mareike Bacha-Trams, Yuri I Alexandrov, Emilia Broman, Minna Kauppila, Janne Kauttonen, Elisa Ryyppö, Mikko Sams, Iiro P Jääskeläinen
People socialized in different cultures differ in their thinking styles. Eastern-culture persons view objects more holistically by taking context into account, whereas Western-culture persons view objects more analytically by focusing on them at the expense of context. Here we studied whether participants, who have different thinking styles but live within the same culture, exhibit differential brain activity when viewing a drama movie. 26 Finnish participants, who were divided into holistic and analytical thinkers based on self-report questionnaire scores, watched a shortened drama movie during functional magnetic resonance imaging...
November 9, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Nicolas Burra, Dirk Kerzel, David Munoz, Didier Grandjean, Leonardo Ceravolo
Salient vocalizations, especially aggressive voices, are believed to attract attention due to an automatic threat detection system. However, studies assessing the temporal dynamics of auditory spatial attention to aggressive voices are missing. Using event-related potential markers of auditory spatial attention (N2 ac and LPCpc), we show that attentional processing of threatening vocal signals is enhanced at two different stages of auditory processing. As early as 200 ms post stimulus onset, attentional orienting/engagement is enhanced for threatening as compared to happy vocal signals...
November 9, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Shuting Mei, Wei Yi, Shiyu Zhou, Xun Liu, Ya Zheng
Previous research has demonstrated that reward-related neural activity is enhanced for choice relative to no-choice opportunities in the gain context. The current event-related potential study examined whether this modulatory effect of choice can be observed in both the gain and the loss contexts across anticipatory and consummatory phases of incentive processing. Thirty-two participants performed a simple choice task during which choices were made either by themselves (a choice condition) or by a computer (a no-choice condition) during a gain context (gain vs...
November 5, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Daniela M Pfabigan, Anna M Wucherer, Xuena Wang, Xinyue Pan, Claus Lamm, Shihui Han
This study investigated cultural differences regarding social connectedness in association with social vs. non-social comparison feedback. We performed electroencephalography in 54 Chinese and 49 Western adults while they performed a time estimation task in which response-accuracy feedback was either delivered pertaining to participants' own performance (non-social reference frame) or to the performance of a reference group (social reference frame). Trait interdependence and independence were assessed using a cultural orientations questionnaire...
November 5, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Kevin J Clancy, Sarah K Baisley, Alejandro Albizu, Nika Kartvelishvili, Mingzhou Ding, Wen Li
Growing evidence of transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) modulating intrinsic neural oscillations has spawned interest in applying tACS to treat psychiatric disorders associated with aberrant neural oscillations. The alpha rhythmic activity is known to dominate neural oscillations at the awake restful state, while attenuated resting-state alpha activity has been implicated in anxious mood. Administering repeated alpha-frequency tACS (at individual peak alpha frequency; 8-12 Hz) over 4 consecutive days (in the experiment group, sham stimulation in the control group), we demonstrated immediate and lasting (> 24 hours) increases in resting-state posterior ➔frontal connectivity in the alpha frequency, quantified by Granger causality...
October 30, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Paola Sessa, Arianna Schiano Lomoriello, Roy Luria
Simulation models of facial expressions propose that sensorimotor regions may increase the clarity of facial expressions representations in extrastriate areas. We monitored the event-related potential marker of visual working memory (VWM) representations, namely the sustained posterior contralateral negativity (SPCN), also termed contralateral delay activity (CDA), while participants performed a change detection task including to-be-memorized faces with different intensities of anger. In one condition participants could freely use their facial mimicry during the encoding/VWM maintenance of the faces, while in a different condition, participants had their facial mimicry blocked by a gel...
October 26, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Audrey Liu, Alison M Harris, Anthony P Atkinson, Catherine L Reed
Both when actions are executed and observed, electroencephalography (EEG) has shown reduced alpha-band (8-12 Hz) oscillations over sensorimotor cortex. This "μ-alpha" suppression is thought to reflect mental simulation of action, which has been argued to support internal representation of others' emotional states. Despite the proposed role of simulation in emotion perception, little is known about the effect of emotional content on μ-suppression. We recorded high-density EEG while participants viewed point-light displays of emotional versus neutral body movements in "coherent" biologically-plausible and "scrambled" configurations...
October 23, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
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