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Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

Daniel Hovey, Susanne Henningsson, Diana S Cortes, Tanja Bänziger, Anna Zettergren, Jonas Melke, Håkan Fischer, Petri Laukka, Lars Westberg
The ability to correctly understand the emotional expression of another person is essential for social relationships and appears to be a partly inherited trait. The neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin have been shown to influence this ability as well as face processing in humans. Here, recognition of the emotional content of faces and voices, separately and combined, was investigated in 492 subjects, genotyped for 25 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in eight genes encoding proteins important for oxytocin and vasopressin neurotransmission...
November 28, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Alexy-Assaf Beck, Bruno Rossion, Dana Samson
The frequency-tagging approach has generally been confined to study low-level sensory processes and always found related activation over the occipital region. Here for the first time, we investigated with it, high-level socio-cognitive functions i.e. the processing of what other people are looking at which is referred to as level 1 visual perspective taking (VPT). Sixteen participants were presented with visual scenes alternating at 2.5 Hz which were depicting a person and an object in a room, while recording electrophysiological brain activity...
November 27, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Camilla N Clark, Hannah L Golden, Oliver McCallion, Jennifer M Nicholas, Miriam H Cohen, Catherine F Slattery, Ross W Paterson, Phillip D Fletcher, Catherine J Mummery, Jonathan D Rohrer, Sebastian J Crutch, Jason D Warren
Aberrant rule- and reward-based processes underpin abnormalities of socio-emotional behaviour in major dementias. However, these processes remain poorly characterised. Here we used music to probe rule decoding and reward valuation in patients with frontotemporal dementia syndromes and Alzheimer's disease relative to healthy age-matched individuals. We created short melodies that were either harmonically resolved ('finished') or unresolved ('unfinished'); the task was to classify each melody as finished or unfinished (rule processing) and rate its subjective pleasantness (reward valuation)...
November 24, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Annett Schirmer
This meta-analysis compares the brain structures and mechanisms involved in facial and vocal emotion recognition. Neuroimaging studies contrasting emotional with neutral (face: N = 76, voice: N = 34) and explicit with implicit emotion processing (face: N = 27, voice: N = 20) were collected to shed light on stimulus and goal driven mechanisms, respectively. Activation likelihood estimations were conducted on the full data sets for the separate modalities and on reduced, modality-matched data sets for modality comparison...
November 23, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Maria Teresa Turano, Junpeng Lao, Anne-Raphaëlle Richoz, Peter de Lissa, Sarah B A Degosciu, Maria Pia Viggiano, Roberto Caldara
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 22, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Angela E Abbott, Annika Linke, Aarti Nair, Afrooz Jahedi, Laura A Alba, Christopher L Keown, Inna Fishman, Ralph-Axel Müller
The neural underpinnings of repetitive behaviors (RBs) in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), ranging from cognitive to motor characteristics, remain unknown. We assessed RB symptomatology in 50 ASD and 52 typically developing (TD) children and adolescents (ages 8-17 years), examining intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) of corticostriatal circuitry, which is important for reward-based learning and integration of emotional, cognitive, and motor processing, and considered impaired in ASDs. Connectivity analyses were performed for three functionally distinct striatal seeds (limbic, frontoparietal, motor)...
November 21, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Mengsi Xu, Senqing Qi, Zhiai Li, Liuting Diao, Lingxia Fan, Lijie Zhang, Dong Yang
Social exclusion has been found to impair visual working memory (WM), while the underlying neural processes are currently unclear. Using two experiments, we tested whether the poor WM performance caused by exclusion was due to reduced storage capacity, impaired attentional filtering ability, or both. The Cyberball game was used to manipulate social exclusion. Seventy-four female participants performed WM tasks while event-related potentials were recorded. In Experiment 1, participants were made to remember the orientations of red rectangles while ignoring salient green rectangles...
November 15, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Benjamin J Smith, Feng Xue, Vita Droutman, Emily Barkley-Levenson, A James Melrose, Lynn C Miller, John R Monterosso, Antoine Bechara, Paul Robert Appleby, John L Christensen, Carlos G Godoy, Stephen J Read
HIV is most prevalent among men who have sex with men (MSM), and although most MSM use condoms consistently during casual sex, some take risks. To better understand the psychology of those risky decisions, we examined neural correlates of playing a virtual sexual "hook up" game in an fMRI scanner in MSM who had, in the past 90 days, been sexually risky (N = 76) or safe (N = 31). We found that during potentially risky sexual choices, previously risky MSM had more right insula activity than previously safe MSM...
November 15, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Fang Cui, Song Wu, Haiyan Wu, Chengyao Wang, Can Jiao, Yuejia Luo
People tell lies not only for their own self-interests but sometimes also to help others. Little is known about the ways in which different types of goals modulate behaviors and neural responses in deception. The present study investigated the neural processes associated with spontaneous deception that occurs with altruistic reasons (i.e., the money would be donated to charity), self-serving reasons (i.e., the participant receives all of the money), and mixed goals (i.e., the money would be equally split between the participant and the charity)...
November 15, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Anne-Kathrin Schobert, Corrado Corradi-Dell'Acqua, Sascha Frühholz, Wietske van der Zwaag, Patrik Vuilleumier
The superior temporal sulcus (STS) is a major component of the human face perception network, implicated in processing dynamic changeable aspects of faces. However, it remains unknown whether STS holds functionally segregated subdivisions for different categories of facial movements. We used high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at 7T in 16 volunteers to compare STS activation to faces displaying angry or happy expressions, eye-gaze shifts, and lip-speech movements. Combining univariate and multivariate analyses, we show a systematic topological organization within STS, with gaze-related activity predominating in the most posterior and superior sector, speech-related activity in the anterior sector, and emotional expressions represented in the intermediate middle STS...
November 11, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Richard Huskey, J Michael Mangus, Benjamin O Turner, René Weber
While a persuasion network has been proposed, little is known about how network connections between brain regions contribute to attitude change. Two possible mechanisms have been advanced. One hypothesis predicts that attitude change results from increased connectivity between structures implicated in affective and executive processing in response to increases in argument strength. A second functional perspective suggests that highly arousing messages reduce connectivity between structures implicated in the encoding of sensory information, which disrupts message processing and thereby inhibits attitude change...
November 11, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Hyesang Chang, Lisa Sprute, Erin A Maloney, Sian L Beilock, Marc G Berman
Fluency with simple arithmetic, typically achieved in early elementary school, is thought to be one of the building blocks of mathematical competence. Behavioral studies with adults indicate that math anxiety (feelings of tension or apprehension about math) is associated with poor performance on cognitively demanding math problems. However, it remains unclear whether there are fundamental differences in how high and low math anxious individuals approach overlearned simple arithmetic problems that are less reliant on cognitive control...
November 11, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Anastasia E Rigney, Jessica E Koski, Jennifer S Beer
Despite robust associations between the ventral anterior cingulate cortex (vACC) and social evaluation, the role of vACC in social evaluation remains poorly understood. Two hypotheses have emerged from existing research: detection of positive valence and detection of opportunities for subjective reward. It has been difficult to understand whether one or both hypotheses are supported because previous research conflated positive valence with subjective reward. Therefore, the current fMRI study drew on a social evaluation paradigm that disentangled positive valence and subjective reward...
November 6, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Walker S Pedersen, L Tugan Muftuler, Christine L Larson
Political conservatism is associated with an increased negativity bias, including increased attention and reactivity toward negative and threatening stimuli. Although the amygdala has been implicated in the human response to threatening stimuli, no studies to date have investigated whether conservatism is associated with altered amygdala function toward threat. Furthermore, although an influential theory (Davis et al., 2010) posits that connectivity between the amygdala and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is important in initiating the response to sustained or uncertain threat, whether individual differences in conservatism modulate this connectivity is unknown...
November 6, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Marta Poyo Solanas, Minye Zhan, Maarten Vaessen, Ruud Hortensius, Tahnée Engelen, Beatrice de Gelder
In the natural world, faces are not isolated objects but are rather encountered in the context of the whole body. Previous work has studied the perception of combined faces and bodies using behavioural and electrophysiological measurements, but the neural correlates of emotional face-body perception still remain unexplored. Here, we combined happy and fearful faces and bodies to investigate the influence of body expressions on the neural processing of the face, the effect of emotional ambiguity between the two and the role of the amygdala in this process...
October 28, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Dennis Hernaus, Conny W E M Quaedflieg, Jan Stefan Offermann, Marta M Casales Santa, Thérèse van Amelsvoort
It is generally thought that the effect of acute stress on higher-order functions such as working memory is, for an important part, mediated by central catecholamine activity. However, little is known about the association between neuroendocrine stress responses and catecholamine-dependent working memory-related brain function in the absence of stress. Here, we investigate for the first time in healthy humans (n = 18) how neuroendocrine responses to stress (cortisol and alpha-amylase) relate to fronto-parietal working memory activity changes in response to atomoxetine, a noradrenaline transporter inhibitor that selectively increases extracellular cortical dopamine and noradrenaline...
October 26, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Dienke J Bos, Eliana A Ajodan, Melanie S Silverman, Jonathan P Dyke, Sarah Durston, Jonathan D Power, Rebecca M Jones
The activities we choose to spend our leisure time with are intrinsically motivating and vary across individuals. Yet it is unknown how impulse control or neural activity changes when processing a preferred stimulus related to a hobby or interest. Developing a task that assesses the response to preferred interests is of importance as it would be relevant to a range of psychiatric disorders that have hyper- or hypo-arousal to such cues. During functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), 39 healthy adults completed a novel task to test approach behavior and cognitive control to cues that were personalized to the participants' interests compared to stimuli the participants identified as being of non-interest and colored shapes...
October 25, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Bradley D Mattan, Jennifer T Kubota, Tzipporah P Dang, Jasmin Cloutier
Those who are high in external motivation to respond without prejudice tend to focus on non-racial attributes when describing others (Norton, Sommers, Apfelbaum, Pura, & Ariely, 2006). This fMRI study examined the neural processing of race and an alternative yet stereotypically relevant attribute (viz., socioeconomic status: SES) as a function of the perceiver's external motivation to respond without prejudice (EMS). Sixty-one White participants privately formed impressions of Black and White faces ascribed with high or low SES...
October 25, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Susannah E Murphy, M Clare O'Donoghue, Simon E Blackwell, Anna Christina Nobre, Michael Browning, Emily A Holmes
The ability to form positive mental images may be an important aspect of mental health and wellbeing. We have previously demonstrated that the vividness of positive prospective imagery is increased in healthy older adults following positive imagery cognitive training. The rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC) is involved in the simulation of future affective episodes. Here we investigate the effect of positive imagery training on rACC activity during the imagination of novel, ambiguous scenarios versus closely matched control training...
October 23, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Magali Comte, Xavier Y Zendjidjian, Jennifer T Coull, Aïda Cancel, Claire Boutet, Fabien C Schneider, Thierry Sage, Pierre-Emmanuel Lazerges, Nematollah Jaafari, El Chérif Ibrahim, Jean-Michel Azorin, Olivier Blin, Eric Fakra
Functional dysconnection is increasingly recognized as a core pathological feature in schizophrenia. Aberrant interactions between regions of the cortico-limbic circuit may underpin the abnormal emotional processing associated with this illness. We used a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) paradigm designed to dissociate the various components of the cortico-limbic circuit (i.e. a ventral automatic circuit that is intertwined with a dorsal cognitive circuit), in order to explore bottom-up appraisal as well as top-down control during emotion processing...
October 23, 2017: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
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