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Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

Ethan M McCormick, Jorien Hoorn, Jessica R Cohen, Eva H Telzer
Previous research has characterized a collection of neural regions which support social-cognitive processes. While this "social brain" is often described as a cohesive unit, it has been largely assessed with univariate methodologies, which cannot account for functional relationships between brain regions, and therefore cannot test the idea of the social brain as a network. In the present work, we utilized a multi-method approach to empirically assess the functional architecture of the social brain...
August 2, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Maayan Pratt, Abraham Goldstein, Ruth Feldman
Research on the human parental brain implicated brain networks involved in simulation, mentalization, and emotion processing and indicated that stimuli of own parent-child interaction elicit greater integration among networks supporting attachment. Here, we examined children's neural activation while viewing own parent-child interactions and asked whether similar networks activate when children are exposed to attachment stimuli. Sixty-five 11-year old children underwent magnetoencephalography (MEG) while observing own versus unfamiliar mother-child interaction...
August 2, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
G Zacharopoulos, A Shenehav, S Constantino, G R Maio, D E J Linden
The continuous balancing of the risks and benefits of exploiting known options or exploring new opportunities is essential to human life. We forage for new opportunities when they are deemed to be more attractive than the available option, but this decision to forage also entails costs. People differ in their propensity to exploit or forage, and both the social circumstances and our individual value orientations are likely influences. Here, participants made foraging decisions for themselves and for a charity of their choice in two paradigms: one that features two distinct modes of decision making (foraging vs classical economic decision making) and one which is more directly related to the classical animal foraging and ethology literature...
August 2, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Christina R Rogers, Ethan M McCormick, Jorien Hoorn, Susannah L Ivory, Eva H Telzer
Sibling relationships have been linked to adolescent externalizing behaviors, but the neurobiological factors that underlie this association have not been identified. This study investigated sibling closeness and birth order as a predictor of adolescent externalizing behavior via differences in neural processes during safe decision-making. 77 adolescents (range = 12-15 years, Mage = 13.45 years, 40 females) completed a computerized driving task during a functional MRI scan. Results showed that adolescents' perceptions of sibling closeness were associated with greater neural activation in the anterior insula, ventral striatum, and left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex when making safe decisions, suggesting that the quality of sibling relationships modulates adolescent neurocognition even without being present...
July 31, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Kathleen Kang, Dana Schneider, Stefan R Schweinberger, Peter Mitchell
Posed facial expressions of actors have often been used as stimuli to induce mental state inferences, in order to investigate "Theory of Mind" processes. However, such stimuli make it difficult to determine whether perceivers are using a basic or more elaborated mentalizing strategy. The current study used as stimuli covert recordings of target individuals who viewed various emotional expressions, which caused them to spontaneously mimic these expressions. Perceivers subsequently judged these subtle emotional expressions of the targets: In one condition ("classification") participants were instructed to classify the target's expression (i...
July 31, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Frank A Fishburn, Vishnu P Murty, Christina O Hlukowsky, Caroline MacGillivray, Lisa M Bemis, Meghan E Murphy, Theodore J Huppert, Susan B Perlman
Shared intentionality, or collaborative interactions in which individuals have a shared goal and must coordinate their efforts, is a core component of human interaction. However, the biological bases of shared intentionality and, specifically, the processes by which the brain adjusts to the sharing of common goals, remain largely unknown. Using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), coordination of cerebral hemodynamic activation was found in subject pairs when completing a puzzle together in contrast to a condition in which subjects completed identical, but individual puzzles (same intention without shared intentionality)...
July 29, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
K F Jankowski, J Batres, H Scott, G Smyda, J H Pfeifer, K Quevedo
Depression is associated with negative attention and attribution biases and maladaptive emotion responsivity and regulation, which adversely impact self-evaluations and interpersonal relationships. Using fMRI, we investigated the neural substrates of these impairments. We compared neural activity recruited by 126 clinically depressed and healthy adolescents (ages 11-17) during social exclusion (Exclusion>Inclusion) using Cyberball. Results revealed significant interaction effects within left anterior insula/inferior frontal gyrus and left middle temporal gyrus...
July 29, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Massimo Lumaca, Niels Trusbak Haumann, Peter Vuust, Elvira Brattico, Giosuè Baggio
A core design feature of human communication systems and expressive behaviours is their temporal organization. The cultural evolutionary origins of this feature remain unclear. Here, we test the hypothesis that regularities in the temporal organization of signalling sequences arise in the course of cultural transmission as adaptations to aspects of cortical function. We conducted two experiments on the transmission of rhythms associated with affective meanings, focusing on one of the most widespread forms of regularity in language and music: isochronicity...
July 17, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Liang Shi, Jiangzhou Sun, Xinran Wu, Dongtao Wei, Qunlin Chen, Wenjing Yang, Hong Chen, Jiang Qiu
Subjective well-being (SWB) reflects the cognitive and emotional evaluations of an individual's life and plays an important role in individual's success in health, work, and social relationships. Although previous studies have revealed the spontaneous brain activity underlying SWB, little is known about the relationship between brain network interactions and SWB. The present study investigated the static and dynamic functional connectivity among large-scale brain networks during resting state fMRI in relation to SWB in two large independent datasets...
July 17, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Catherine Insel, Leah H Somerville
Adolescence has been characterized as a developmental period of heightened reward seeking and attenuated aversive processing. However, it remains unclear how the neural bases of distinct outcome valuation processes shift during this stage of the lifespan. N = 74 participants ranging in age from 13 to 20 completed a value-modulated fMRI task in which participants earn low and high magnitude monetary outcomes to test whether gain and loss magnitude tracking- the neural representation of relative value in context- change differentially over this age span...
July 17, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Ziyan Yang, Constantine Sedikides, Ruolei Gu, Yu L L Luo, Yuqi Wang, Huajian Cai
Narcissists are prone to risky decision-making, but why? This study tested-via behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measures-two accounts: Deficiencies in error monitoring and deficiencies in action updating. High and low narcissists were engaged in a monetary gambling task by choosing between a high-risk and a low-risk option while the electroencephalogram (EEG) was being recorded. Two ERP components relevant to outcome evaluation-feedback-related negativity (FRN) and P3-were analyzed, with the FRN serving as an index of error monitoring and the P3 as an index of action updating...
July 17, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Sylvia A Morelli, Brian K Knutson, Jamil Zaki
Individuals stably vary in their responses to rewards, but researchers have not yet determined whether sensitivity to rewarding outcomes translates across social and non-social contexts, or whether different forms of reward sensitivity relate to distinct behavioral tendencies. We tested for responsiveness to different types of rewards by assessing individuals' neural sensitivity to personal versus vicarious monetary reward outcomes, and explored how responses to each related to prosociality and well-being. Forty-six participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning while winning money for themselves and observing a friend and stranger win money...
July 17, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Chunliang Feng, Jianqin Cao, Yingli Li, Haiyan Wu, Dean Mobbs
The defining pathological features of social anxiety disorder primarily concern the social landscape, yet few empirical studies have examined the potentially aberrant behavioral and neural patterns in this population using socially interactive paradigms. We addressed this issue by investigating the behavioral and neural patterns associated with social conformity in patients with social anxiety disorder. We recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) when healthy subjects (n = 19), and patients with social anxiety disorder (n = 20) made attractiveness judgements of unfamiliar others, while at the same time, being exposed to congruent/incongruent peer ratings...
July 6, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Lauren E Sherman, Leanna M Hernandez, Patricia M Greenfield, Mirella Dapretto
Evidence increasingly suggests that neural structures that respond to primary and secondary rewards are also implicated in the processing of social rewards. The "Like" - a popular feature on social media - shares features with both monetary and social rewards as a means of feedback that shapes reinforcement learning. Despite the ubiquity of the Like, little is known about the neural correlates of providing this feedback to others. In the present study, we mapped the neural correlates of providing Likes to others on social media...
July 4, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Nobuhito Abe, Joshua D Greene, Kent A Kiehl
A large body of research indicates that psychopathic individuals lie chronically and show little remorse or anxiety. Yet, little is known about the neurobiological substrates of dishonesty in psychopathy. In a sample of incarcerated individuals (N = 67), we tested the hypothesis that psychopathic individuals show reduced activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) when confronted with an opportunity for dishonest gain, reflecting dishonest behavior that is relatively unhindered by response conflict...
July 3, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Zohar Berman, Yaniv Assaf, Ricardo Tarrasch, Daphna Joel
Sexual assault is a frequent interpersonal trauma, which often leads to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Among other postassault characteristics, self-blame attributions were suggested to play an important role in sexually assaulted individuals' coping, and were consistently associated with PTSD in this population. The present study aimed to elucidate the neural underpinnings that may associate self-blame and PTSD in women who experienced sexual assault at adulthood, using structural and resting-state functional MRI...
June 25, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Chad E Forbes, Rachel Amey, Adam B Magerman, Kelly Duran, Mengting Liu
Stress engendered by stereotype threatening situations may facilitate encoding of negative, stereotype confirming feedback received during a performance among women in STEM. It is unclear, however, whether this process is comprised of the same neurophysiological mechanisms evident in any emotional memory encoding context, or if this encoding bias directly undermines positive self-perceptions in the stigmatized domain. 160 men and women completed a math test that provided veridical positive and negative feedback, a memory test for feedback, and math self-enhancing and valuing measures in a stereotype threatening or neutral context while continuous EEG activity and startle probe responses to positive and negative feedback was recorded...
June 25, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Julian Koenig, Mindy Westlund Schreiner, Bonnie Klimes-Dougan, Benjamin Ubani, Bryon Mueller, Michael Kaess, Kathryn R Cullen
Major depressive disorder (MDD) has been associated with abnormalities in cortical thickness and autonomic function. Adolescence is a time notable for brain development and MDD onset. In healthy adolescents, greater resting state vagal activity (RVA) is associated with lower cortical thickness. The relationship between brain structural thickness and RVA in adolescents with MDD has not previously been studied. This secondary analysis drew on a sample of 37 non-depressed controls and 53 adolescents with MDD. Resting state heart rate and two indices of RVA (HF-HRV and RMSSD) were recorded during a neuroimaging session...
June 25, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Feng Kong, Xiaosi Ma, Xuqun You, Yanhui Xiang
Psychological resilience reflects the capacity to bounce back from stress, which plays an important role in health and well-being. However, less is known about the neural substrate for psychological resilience and the underlying mechanism for how psychological resilience enhances subjective well-being in the healthy brain. To investigate these issues, we employed fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) measured with resting-state fMRI in 100 young healthy adults. The correlation analysis found that higher psychological resilience was related to lower fALFF in the left orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), which is involved in reward-related processing and emotion regulation...
June 25, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Nathan M Petro, Tien T Tong, Daniel J Henley, Maital Neta
Facial expressions offer an ecologically valid model for examining individual differences in affective decision-making. They convey an emotional signal from a social agent and provide important predictive information about one's environment (presence of potential rewards or threats). Although some expressions provide clear predictive information (angry, happy), others (surprised) are ambiguous in that they predict both positive and negative outcomes. Thus, surprised faces can delineate an individual's valence bias, or the tendency to interpret ambiguity as positive or negative...
June 21, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
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