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Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

Yang Hu, Lisheng He, Lei Zhang, Thorben Wölk, Jean-Claude Dreher, Bernd Weber
People tend to pay the generosity they receive from a person forward to someone else even if they have no chance to reciprocate directly. This phenomenon, known as paying-it-forward (PIF) reciprocity, crucially contributes to the maintenance of a cooperative human society by passing kindness among strangers and has been widely studied in evolutionary biology. To further examine its neural implementation and underlying computations, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) together with computational modeling...
June 7, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
John C Ksander, Laura E Paige, Hunter A Johndro, Angela H Gutchess
A growing body of evidence suggests culture influences how individuals perceive the world around them. The current study investigates whether these cultural differences extend to a simple object viewing task and visual cortex by examining voxel pattern representations with Multi-Voxel Pattern Analysis (MVPA). During fMRI scanning, 20 East Asian and 20 American participants viewed photos of everyday items, equated for familiarity and conceptual agreement across cultures. Whole brain searchlight mapping with non-parametric statistical evaluation tested whether these stimuli evoked multi-voxel patterns that were distinct between cultural groups...
June 7, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Lisa J M van den Berg, Marieke S Tollenaar, Katharina Pittner, Laura H C G Compier-de Block, Renate S M Buisman, M H van IJzendoorn, Bernet M Elzinga
Rejection by parents is an important aspect of child maltreatment. Altered neural responses to social rejection have been observed in maltreated individuals. The current study is the first to examine the impact of experienced and perpetrated abuse and neglect on neural responses to social exclusion by strangers versus family using a multi-generational family design, including 144 participants. The role of neural reactivity to social exclusion in the intergenerational transmission of maltreatment was also examined...
June 7, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Anna J Finley, Adrienne L Crowell, Brandon J Schmeichel
Self-affirmation reduces defensive responding to self-threats. The present study extended beyond self-threats to assess affirmation's influence on responses to negative emotional pictures as measured by the late positive potential (LPP), an event-related potential in the encephalogram that reflects motivational significance. Participants completed a trait measure of behavioral inhibition system (BIS) sensitivity. Then they affirmed (or did not affirm) a core personal value before viewing a series of emotionally evocative pictures...
June 5, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Alexandra M Martelli, David S Chester, Kirk Warren Brown, Naomi I Eisenberger, C Nathan DeWall
Social rejection is a distressing and painful event that many people must cope with on a frequent basis. Mindfulness - defined here as a mental state of receptive attentiveness to internal and external stimuli as they arise, moment-to-moment - may buffer such social distress. However, little research indicates whether mindful individuals adaptively regulate the distress of rejection-or the neural mechanisms underlying this potential capacity. To fill these gaps in the literature, participants reported their trait mindfulness and then completed a social rejection paradigm (Cyberball) while undergoing functional MRI...
June 4, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Jean-Baptiste Eichenlaub, Elaine van Rijn, M Gareth Gaskell, Penelope A Lewis, Emmanuel Maby, Josie Malinowski, Matthew P Walker, Frederic Boy, Mark Blagrove
Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep and its main oscillatory feature, frontal theta, have been related to the processing of recent emotional memories. As memories constitute much of the source material for our dreams, we explored the link between REM frontal theta and the memory sources of dreaming, so as to elucidate the brain activities behind the formation of dream content. Twenty participants were woken for dream reports in REM and Slow Wave Sleep (SWS) while monitored using electroencephalography. Eighteen participants reported at least one REM dream and 14 at least one SWS dream, and they, and independent judges, subsequently compared their dream reports with log records of their previous daily experiences...
June 4, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Amanda C Marshall, Antje Gentsch, Lena Schröder, Simone Schütz-Bosbach
Interoception refers to the processing of homeostatic bodily signals. Research demonstrates that interoceptive markers can be modulated via exteroceptive stimuli and suggests that the emotional content of this information may produce distinct interoceptive outcomes. Here, we explored the impact of differently valenced exteroceptive information on the processing of interoceptive signals. Participants completed a repetition-suppression paradigm viewing repeating or alternating faces. In experiment 1, faces wore either angry or pained expressions to explore the interoceptive response to different types of negative stimuli in the observer...
June 4, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
John E Kiat, Jacob E Cheadle
Links between individual differences in risk processing and high-risk behaviors such as binge drinking have long been the focus of active research. However, investigations in this area almost exclusively utilize decision-making focused paradigms. This emphasis makes it difficult to assess links between risk behaviors and raw risk reactivity independent of decision and feedback processes. A deeper understanding of this association has the potential to shed light on the role of risk reactivity in high-risk behavior susceptibility...
May 31, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Nele Hellbernd, Daniela Sammler
Our ability to understand others' communicative intentions in speech is key to successful social interaction. Indeed, misunderstanding an "excuse me" as apology, while meant as criticism, may have important consequences. Recent behavioural studies have provided evidence that prosody, i.e., vocal tone, is an important indicator for speakers' intentions. Using a novel audio-morphing paradigm, the present fMRI study examined the neurocognitive mechanisms that allow listeners to 'read' speakers' intents from vocal-prosodic patterns...
May 16, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
A M Proverbio, L Ornaghi, V Gabaro
The role of facial coding in body language comprehension was investigated by ERP recordings in 31 participants viewing 800 photographs of gestures (iconic, deictic and emblematic), which could be congruent or incongruent with their caption. Facial information was obscured by blurring in half of the stimuli. The task consisted of evaluating picture/caption congruence. Quicker response times were observed in women than in men to congruent stimuli, and a cost for incongruent vs. congruent stimuli was found only in men...
May 14, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Wei Cheng, Edmund T Rolls, Jiang Qiu, Xiongfei Xie, Wujun Lyu, Yu Li, Chu-Chung Huang, Albert C Yang, Shih-Jen Tsai, Fajin Lyu, Kaixiang Zhuang, Ching-Po Lin, Peng Xie, Jianfeng Feng
To analyze the functioning of the amygdala in depression, we performed the first voxel-level resting state functional-connectivity neuroimaging analysis of depression of voxels in the amygdala with all other voxels in the brain, with 336 patients with major depressive disorder and 350 controls. Amygdala voxels had decreased functional connectivity with the orbitofrontal cortex, temporal lobe areas, including the temporal pole, inferior temporal gyrus, and the parahippocampal gyrus. The reductions in the strengths of the functional connectivity of the amygdala voxels with the medial orbitofrontal cortex and temporal lobe voxels were correlated with increases in the Beck Depression Inventory score and in the duration of illness measures of depression...
May 14, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Shannon M Burns, Lianne Barnes, Perri L Katzman, Daniel L Ames, Emily B Falk, Matthew D Lieberman
Activity in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) during persuasive messages predicts future message-consistent behavior change, but there are significant limitations to the types of persuasion processes that can be invoked inside an MRI scanner. For instance, real world persuasion often involves multiple people in conversation. Functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) allows us to move out of the scanner and into more ecologically valid contexts. As a first step, the current study used fNIRS to replicate an existing fMRI persuasion paradigm (i...
May 4, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Laura K Noll, Nicole R Giuliani, Kathryn G Beauchamp, Philip A Fisher
In this study, we utilized a novel fMRI paradigm to examine the behavioral and neural correlates of parenting self-evaluation in a sample of mothers with at least one child under the age of four (N = 37). Prior self-report, behavioral, and observational research documents the implications of parenting self-evaluations for parent well-being and caregiving behavior; however, relatively little is known about the neural circuitry underlying these self-referential processes and to what extent they are influenced by caregiving experience...
April 28, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Lily Tsoi, James A Dungan, Aleksandr Chakroff, Liane L Young
While we may think about harm as primarily being about physical injury, harm can also take the form of negative psychological impact. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we examined the extent to which moral judgments of physical and psychological harms are processed similarly, focusing on brain regions implicated in mental state reasoning or theory of mind, a key cognitive process for moral judgment. First, univariate analyses reveal item-specific features that lead to greater recruitment of theory of mind regions for psychological harm versus physical harm...
April 28, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Vikram S Chib, Ryo Adachi, John P O'Doherty
Throughout our lives we must perform tasks while being observed by others. Previous studies have shown that the presence of an audience can cause increases in an individual's performance as compared to when they are not being observed - a phenomenon called 'social facilitation'. However, the neural mechanisms underlying this effect, in the context of skilled-task performance for monetary incentives, are not well understood. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to monitor brain activity while healthy human participants performed a skilled-task during conditions in which they were paid based on their performance and observed and not observed by an audience...
April 10, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Julian Wills, Oriel FeldmanHall, Michael R Meager, Jay J Van Bavel
The success of our political institutions, environmental stewardship, and evolutionary fitness all hinge on our ability to prioritize collective-interest over self-interest. Despite considerable interest in the neuro-cognitive processes that underlie group cooperation, the evidence to date is inconsistent. Several papers support models of prosocial restraint, while more recent work supports models of prosocial intuition. We evaluate these competing models using a sample of lesion patients with damage to brain regions previously implicated in intuition and deliberation...
March 28, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Zhenhong He, Yiqin Lin, Lisheng Xia, Zhenli Liu, Dandan Zhang, Rebecca Elliott
There is abundant evidence suggesting that the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (rVLPFC) plays an important role in down-regulating the emotional response to social exclusion. However, a causal relationship between rVLPFC function and explicit emotional regulation is not clear in the context of social exclusion. This study employed anodal tDCS to activate rVLPFC while participants used emotional regulation to reappraise pictures of social exclusion. Forty-four participants were randomly assigned to an active tDCS group or a sham group...
March 28, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Sophie Betka, Cassandra Gould Van Praag, Yannis Paloyelis, Rod Bond, Gaby Pfeifer, Henrique Sequeira, Theodora Duka, Hugo Critchley
Interoception, i.e. the perception and appraisal of internal bodily signals, is related to the phenomenon of craving, and is reportedly disrupted in alcohol use disorders. The hormone oxytocin influences afferent transmission of bodily signals and, through its potential modulation of craving, is proposed as a possible treatment for alcohol use disorders. However, oxytocin's impact on interoception in alcohol users remains unknown.Healthy alcohol users (N = 32) attended two laboratory sessions to perform tests of interoceptive ability (heartbeat tracking: attending to internal signals and, heartbeat discrimination: integrating internal and external signals) after intranasal administration of oxytocin or placebo...
March 28, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Marigrace Ambrosia, Kristen L Eckstrand, Judith K Morgan, Nicholas B Allen, Neil P Jones, Lisa Sheeber, Jennifer S Silk, Erika E Forbes
Adolescents are notorious for engaging in risky, reward-motivated behavior, and this behavior occurs most often in response to social reward, typically in the form of peer contexts involving intense positive affect. A combination of greater neural and behavioral sensitivity to peer positive affect may characterize adolescents who are especially likely to engage in risky behaviors. To test this hypothesis, we examined 50 adolescents' reciprocal positive affect and neural response to a personally relevant, ecologically valid pleasant stimulus: positive affect expressed by their best friend during a conversation about past and future rewarding mutual experiences...
May 1, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Michael P Ewbank, Luca Passamonti, Cindy C Hagan, Ian M Goodyer, Andrew J Calder, Graeme Fairchild
There is accumulating evidence that youths with antisocial behavior or psychopathic traits show deficits in facial emotion recognition, but little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying these impairments. A number of neuroimaging studies have investigated brain activity during facial emotion processing in youths with Conduct Disorder (CD) and adults with psychopathy, but few of these studies tested for group differences in effective connectivity-i.e. changes in connectivity during emotion processing...
May 1, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
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