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Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

Brittany S Cassidy, Gregory T Sprout, Jonathan B Freeman, Anne C Krendl
Less racially prototypic faces elicit more category competition during race categorization. Top-down factors (e.g. stereotypes), however, affect categorizations, suggesting racial prototypicality may enhance category competition in certain perceivers. Here, we examined how prejudice affects race category competition and stabilization when perceiving faces varying in racial prototypicality. Prototypically low vs high Black relative to White faces elicited more category competition and slower response latencies during categorization (Experiment 1), suggesting a pronounced racial prototypicality effect on minority race categorization...
January 10, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Carla L Harenski, Michael Brook, David S Kosson, Juan R Bustillo, Keith A Harenski, Michael F Caldwell, Gregory J Van Rybroek, Michael Koenigs, Jean Decety, David M Thornton, Vince D Calhoun, Kent A Kiehl
Relative to the general population, individuals with psychotic disorders have a higher risk of suicide. Suicide risk is also elevated in criminal offenders. Thus, psychotic-disordered individuals with antisocial tendencies may form an especially high-risk group. We built upon prior risk analyses by examining whether neurobehavioral correlates of social cognition were associated with suicidal behavior in criminal offenders with psychotic disorders. We assessed empathic accuracy and brain structure in four groups: (i) incarcerated offenders with psychotic disorders and past suicide attempts, (ii) incarcerated offenders with psychotic disorders and no suicide attempts, (iii) incarcerated offenders without psychotic disorders and (iv) community non-offenders without psychotic disorders...
January 8, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Mareike Bayer, Valentina Rossi, Naomi Vanlessen, Annika Grass, Annekathrin Schacht, Gilles Pourtois
Motivation and attention constitute major determinants of human perception and action. Nonetheless, it remains a matter of debate whether motivation effects on the visual cortex depend on the spatial attention system, or rely on independent pathways. This study investigated the impact of motivation and spatial attention on the activity of the human primary and extrastriate visual cortex by employing a factorial manipulation of the two factors in a cued pattern discrimination task. During stimulus presentation, we recorded event-related potentials and pupillary responses...
December 28, 2016: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Martin Möbius, Lylis Lacomblé, Thomas Meyer, Dennis J L G Schutter, Tom Gielkens, Eni S Becker, Indira Tendolkar, Philip van Eijndhoven
High frequency repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has been found to alleviate depressive symptoms. However, the mechanisms driving these effects are still poorly understood. In the current study, we tested the idea that this intervention protects against negative mood shifts following emotional provocation. We furthermore explored changes in EEG activity (frontal alpha asymmetry) and effects on attentional processing (emotional Stroop). To this end, 23 healthy individuals participated in two sessions separated by one week, whereby they once received 15 min of 10Hz rTMS stimulation (1500 pulses) at 110% of the individual motor threshold, and once sham stimulation...
December 21, 2016: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Walker S Pedersen, Nicholas L Balderston, Tara A Miskovich, Emily L Belleau, Fred J Helmstetter, Christine L Larson
The amygdala responds to stimulus novelty, which may correspond to an evaluation of novel stimuli for potential threat, and trait anxiety may modulate this response. The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) may also be sensitive to novelty as it responds to both uncertainty and threat. If so, a BNST novelty response may also be affected by trait anxiety and interact with stimulus negativity. We presented participants with novel and repeated negative and neutral images while measuring brain activity via fMRI, and assessed participants' self-reported trait anxiety...
December 21, 2016: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Markus Junghöfer, Maimu Alissa Rehbein, Julius Maitzen, Sebastian Schindler, Johanna Kissler
Humans have a remarkable capacity for rapid affective learning. For instance, using first-order US such as odors or electric shocks, magnetoencephalography (MEG) studies of Multi-CS conditioning demonstrate enhanced early (<150 ms) and mid-latency (150-300 ms) visual evoked responses to affectively conditioned faces, together with changes in stimulus evaluation. However, particularly in social contexts, human affective learning is often mediated by language, a class of complex higher-order US. To elucidate mechanisms of this type of learning, we investigate how face processing changes following evaluative Multi-CS conditioning...
December 21, 2016: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Philipp Reicherts, Julian Wiemer, Antje B M Gerdes, Stefan M Schulz, Paul Pauli, Matthias J Wieser
: Negative emotions such as anxiety enhance pain perception. However, certain threat characteristics are discussed to have different or even divergent effects on pain (hypoalgesia versus hyperalgesia). In order to investigate the neurobiological basis of different threats, we compared the impact of conditioned threat (CT) versus instructed threat (IT) on pain using fMRI. In two groups, participants underwent either Pavlovian threat conditioning or an instructed threat procedure. Afterwards, in an identical test phase participants watched the same visual cues from the previous phase indicating potential threat or safety, and received painful thermal stimulation...
December 21, 2016: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Hilary A Marusak, Clara Zundel, Suzanne Brown, Christine A Rabinak, Moriah E Thomason
Individuals differ in their tendency to perceive negativity in ambiguous situations or facial expressions. Prior research demonstrates that this so-called "negativity bias" is exaggerated in children; for instance, when they rate the emotional content of neutral facial expressions. However, neutral faces are frequently used as a baseline condition in pediatric emotion processing studies, as they are thought to be emotionally neutral. Here, we present data that challenge that notion. We demonstrate that children and adolescents rate neutral faces, particularly of adults, as negative, similar to ratings elicited by angry faces...
December 21, 2016: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Laurie-Anne Sapey-Triomphe, Laurie Centelles, Muriel Roth, Pierre Fonlupt, Marie-Anne Hénaff, Christina Schmitz, Christine Assaiante
Non-verbal communication plays a major role in social interaction understanding. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we explored the development of the neural networks involved in social interaction recognition based on human motion in children (8-11), adolescents (13-17), and adults (20-41). Participants watched point-light videos depicting two actors interacting or moving independently and were asked whether these agents were interacting or not. All groups successfully performed the discrimination task, but children had a lower performance and longer response times than the older groups...
December 21, 2016: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Katie L Burkhouse, Max Owens, Cope Feurer, Effua Sosoo, Anastacia Kudinova, Brandon E Gibb
The current study combined multiple levels of analysis to examine whether disrupted neural and pupillary reactivity to emotional faces serves as a state- or trait-like marker of adolescent major depressive disorder (MDD). The study examined differences in pupil dilation and the event-related potential (ERP) late positive potential (LPP) component to emotional faces before and after a negative mood induction between 71 adolescents (age 11-18 years) with (i) a current diagnosis of MDD, (ii) a past episode of MDD currently in full remission, and (iii) no lifetime history of any Axis I disorder...
December 21, 2016: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Jordan B Leitner, Ozlem Ayduk, Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, Adam Magerman, Rachel Amey, Ethan Kross, Chad E Forbes
Previous research suggests that people show increased self-referential processing when they provide criticism to others, and that this self-referential processing can have negative effects on interpersonal perceptions and behavior. The current research hypothesized that adopting a self-distanced perspective (i.e., thinking about a situation from a non-first person point of view), as compared to a typical self-immersed perspective (i.e., thinking about a situation from a first-person point of view), would reduce self-referential processing during the provision of criticism, and in turn improve interpersonal perceptions and behavior...
December 20, 2016: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Akos Szekely, Rebecca L Silton, Wendy Heller, Gregory A Miller, Aprajita Mohanty
The rostral-ventral subdivision of the anterior cingulate cortex (rACC) plays a key role in the regulation of emotional processing. Although rACC has strong anatomical connections with anterior insular cortex (AIC), amygdala, prefrontal cortex and striatal brain regions, it is unclear whether the functional connectivity of rACC with these regions changes when regulating emotional processing. Furthermore, it is not known whether this connectivity changes with deficits in emotion regulation seen in different kinds of anxiety and depression...
December 20, 2016: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Carmen Morawetz, Stefan Bode, Juergen Baudewig, Hauke R Heekeren
The ability to voluntarily regulate our emotional response to threatening and highly arousing stimuli by using cognitive reappraisal strategies is essential for our mental and physical well-being. This might be achieved by prefrontal brain regions (e.g., inferior frontal gyrus, IFG) down-regulating activity in the amygdala. It is unknown, to which degree effective connectivity within the emotion-regulation network is linked to individual differences in reappraisal skills. Using psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analyses of functional magnetic resonance imaging data, we examined changes in inter-regional connectivity between the amygdala and IFG with other brain regions during reappraisal of emotional responses and used emotion regulation success as an explicit regressor...
December 20, 2016: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Tyler Colasante, Sarah Mossad, Joanna Dudek, David W Haley
Understanding the relative and joint prioritization of age- and valence-related face characteristics in adults' cortical face processing remains elusive because these two characteristics have not been manipulated in a single study of neural face processing. We used electroencephalography to investigate adults' P1, N170, P2, and LPP responses to infant and adult faces with happy and sad facial expressions. Viewing infant versus adult faces was associated with significantly larger P1, N170, P2, and LPP responses, with hemisphere and/or participant gender moderating this effect in select cases...
December 20, 2016: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Markus Kiefer, Nathalie Liegel, Monika Zovko, Dirk Wentura
Research with the evaluative priming paradigm has shown that affective evaluation processes reliably influence cognition and behavior, even when triggered outside awareness. However, the precise mechanisms underlying such subliminal evaluative priming effects, response activation vs. semantic processing, are matter of a debate. In the present study, we determined the relative contribution of semantic processing and response activation to masked evaluative priming with pictures and words. To this end, we investigated the modulation of masked pictorial vs...
December 20, 2016: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
P Neumeister, K Feldker, C Y Heitmann, R Helmich, B Gathmann, M P I Becker, T Straube
Interpersonal violence (IPV) is one of the most frequent causes for the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in women. Trauma-related triggers have been proposed to evoke automatic emotional responses in PTSD. The present functional magnetic resonance study investigated the neural basis of trauma-related picture processing in women with IPV-PTSD (n = 18) relative to healthy controls (n = 18) using a new standardized trauma-related picture set and a nonemotional vigilance task. We aimed to identify brain activation and connectivity evoked by trauma-related pictures, and associations with PTSD symptom severity...
December 20, 2016: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Onno Kruse, Isabell Tapia León, Rudolf Stark, Tim Klucken
Appetitive extinction receives attention as an important model for the treatment of psychiatric disorders. However, in humans, its underlying neural correlates remain unknown. To close this gap, we investigated appetitive acquisition and extinction with fMRI in a 2-day Monetary Incentive Delay paradigm.During appetitive conditioning, one stimulus (CS+) was paired with monetary reward, while another stimulus (CS-) was never rewarded. 24h later, subjects underwent extinction, in which neither CS was reinforced...
November 1, 2016: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Frederike Beyer, Nura Sidarus, Sofia Bonicalzi, Patrick Haggard
Diffusion of responsibility across agents has been proposed to underlie decreased helping and increased aggression in group behaviour. However, few studies have directly investigated effects of the presence of other people on how we experience the consequences of our actions. This EEG study investigated whether diffusion of responsibility simply reflects a post-hoc self-serving bias, or rather has direct effects on how we process the outcomes of our actions, and our experience of agency over them. Participants made voluntary actions whose outcomes were more or less negative...
November 1, 2016: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
E E Hecht, L M Mahovetz, T M Preuss, W D Hopkins
The ability to recognize one's own reflection is shared by humans and only a few other species, including chimpanzees. However, this ability is highly variable across individual chimpanzees. In humans, self-recognition involves a distributed, right-lateralized network including frontal and parietal regions involved in the production and perception of action. The superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) is a system of white matter tracts linking these frontal and parietal regions. The current study measured mirror self-recognition (MSR) and SLF anatomy in 60 chimpanzees using diffusion tensor imaging...
November 1, 2016: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Robert P Spunt, Emily Ellsworth, Ralph Adolphs
Humans cannot help but attribute human emotions to non-human animals. Although such attributions are often regarded as gratuitous anthropomorphisms and held apart from the attributions humans make about each other's internal states, they may be the product of a general mechanism for flexibly interpreting adaptive behavior. To examine this, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in humans to compare the neural mechanisms associated with attributing emotions to humans and non-human animal behavior...
November 1, 2016: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
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