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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...
April 12, 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
Vanessa Era, Matteo Candidi, Marco Gandolfo, Lucia Maria Sacheli, Salvatore Maria Aglioti
Creating real-life dynamic contexts to study interactive behaviors is a fundamental challenge for the social neuroscience of interpersonal relations. Real synchronic interpersonal motor interactions involve online, inter-individual mutual adaptation (the ability to adapt one's movements to those of another in order to achieve a shared goal). In order to study the contribution of the left anterior Intra Parietal Sulcus (aIPS) (i.e. a region supporting motor functions) to mutual adaptation, here, we combined a behavioral grasping task where pairs of participants synchronized their actions when performing mutually adaptive imitative and complementary movements, with the inhibition of activity in the aIPS via non-invasive brain stimulation...
April 5, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
L Holper, C J Burke, C Fausch, E Seifritz, P N Tobler
Humans typically display inequality aversion in social situations, which manifests itself as a preference for fairer distributions of resources. However, people differ in the degree to which they dislike being worse off (disadvantageous inequality aversion) or better off (advantageous inequality aversion) than others. Competing models explain such behavior by focusing on aversion to payoff differences, maximization of total payoff, or reciprocity. Using functional near-infrared spectroscopy, we asked which of these theories could better explain dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity while participants accepted or punished fair versus unfair monetary transfers in an anonymous norm compliance task...
April 4, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Heini Saarimäki, Lara Farzaneh Ejtehadian, Enrico Glerean, Iiro P Jääskeläinen, Patrik Vuilleumier, Mikko Sams, Lauri Nummenmaa
The functional organization of human emotion systems as well as their neuroanatomical basis and segregation in the brain remains unresolved. Here we used pattern classification and hierarchical clustering to characterize the organization of a range of specific emotion categories in the human brain. We induced 14 emotions (6 "basic", e.g. fear and anger; and 8 "non-basic", e.g. shame and gratitude) and a neutral state using guided mental imagery while participants' brain activity was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)...
March 28, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
David S Chester, Donald R Lynam, Richard Milich, C Nathan DeWall
Social rejection is a painful event that often increases aggression. However, the neural mechanisms of this rejection-aggression link remain unclear. A potential clue may be that rejected people often recruit the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex's (VLPFC) self-regulatory processes to manage the pain of rejection. Using functional MRI, we replicated previous links between rejection and activity in the brain's mentalizing network, social pain network, and VLPFC. VLPFC recruitment during rejection was associated with greater activity in the brain's reward network (i...
March 28, 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
Kendra L Seaman, Nickolas Brooks, Teresa M Karrer, Jaime J Castrellon, Scott F Perkins, Linh Dang, Ming Hsu, David H Zald, Gregory R Samanez-Larkin
Every day, humans make countless decisions which require the integration of information about potential benefits (i.e., rewards) with other decision features (i.e., effort required, probability of an outcome, or time delays). Here we examine the overlap and dissociation of behavioral preferences and neural representations of subjective value in the context of three different decision features (physical effort, probability, time delays) in a healthy adult life-span sample. While undergoing functional neuroimaging, participants (N = 75) made incentive-compatible choices between a smaller monetary reward with lower physical effort, higher probability, or a shorter time delay, versus a larger monetary reward with higher physical effort, lower probability, or a longer time delay...
March 28, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Anne T Park, Julia A Leonard, Patricia Saxler, Abigail B Cyr, John D E Gabrieli, Allyson P Mackey
Early life stress has been associated with disrupted functional connectivity between the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), but it is unknown how early in development stress-related differences in amygdala-mPFC connectivity emerge. In a resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC) analysis with 79 four- to seven-year-old children, we found a significant correlation between more adverse experiences and weaker amygdala-mPFC rs-FC. We also found that weaker amygdala-mPFC rs-FC was associated with higher levels of aggressive behavior and attention problems...
March 6, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Martin Klasen, Clara von Marschall, Güldehen Isman, Mikhail Zvyagintsev, Ruben C Gur, Klaus Mathiak
The neurobiology of emotional prosody production is not well investigated. In particular, the effects of cues and social context are not known. The present study sought to differentiate cued from free emotion generation and the effect of social feedback from a human listener. Online speech filtering enabled fMRI during prosodic communication in 30 participants. Emotional vocalizations were a) free, b) auditorily cued, c) visually cued, or d) with interactive feedback. In addition to distributed language networks, cued emotions increased activity in auditory and - in case of visual stimuli - visual cortex...
March 5, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
C C van Schie, C D Chiu, S A R B Rombouts, W J Heiser, B M Elzinga
Introduction: The way we view ourselves may play an important role in our responses to interpersonal interactions. In this study, we investigate how feedback valence, consistency of feedback with self-knowledge and global self-esteem influence affective and neural responses to social feedback. Methods: Participants (N = 46) with a high range of self-esteem levels performed the social feedback task in an MRI scanner. Negative, intermediate and positive feedback was provided, supposedly by another person based on a personal interview...
February 27, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Jorien van Hoorn, Ethan M McCormick, Eva H Telzer
Adolescence is a time of increased social-affective sensitivity, which is often related to heightened health-risk behaviors. However, moderate levels of social sensitivity, relative to either low (social vacuum) or high levels (exceptionally attuned), may confer benefits as it facilitates effective navigation of the social world. The present fMRI study tested a curvilinear relationship between social sensitivity and adaptive decision-making. Participants (ages 12-16; N = 35) played the Social Analogue Risk Task (SART), which measures participants' willingness to knock on doors in order to earn points...
February 24, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Xi Yang, Katelyn Garcia, Youngkyoo Jung, Christopher T Whitlow, Kateri McRae, Christian E Waugh
Despite accruing evidence showing that positive emotions facilitate stress recovery, the neural basis for this effect remains unclear. To identify the underlying mechanism, we compared stress recovery for people reflecting on a stressor while in a positive emotional context with that for people in a neutral context. While BOLD data were being collected, participants (N = 43) performed a stressful anagram task, which was followed by a recovery period during which they reflected on the stressor while watching a positive or neutral video...
February 16, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Lindsay D Oliver, Joana B Vieira, Richard W J Neufeld, Isabel Dziobek, Derek G V Mitchell
Empathy is crucial for successful interpersonal interactions, and it is impaired in many psychiatric and neurological disorders. Action-perception matching, or action simulation mechanisms, have been suggested to facilitate empathy by supporting the simulation of perceived experience in others. However, this remains unclear, and the involvement of the action simulation circuit in cognitive empathy (the ability to adopt another's perspective) versus emotional empathy (the capacity to share and react affectively to another's emotional experience) has not been quantitatively compared...
February 15, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Danielle Cosme, Arian Mobasser, Dagmar Zeithamova, Elliot T Berkman, Jennifer H Pfeifer
Goal-directed behavior and lifelong well-being often depends on the ability to control appetitive motivations, such as cravings. Cognitive reappraisal is an effective way to modulate emotional states, including cravings, but is often studied under explicit instruction to regulate. Despite the strong prediction from Self-Determination Theory that choice should enhance task engagement and regulation success, little is known empirically about whether and how regulation is different when participants choose (versus are told) to exert control...
February 15, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Sarah M Tashjian, Diane Goldenberg, Martin M Monti, Adriana Galván
Sleep suffers during adolescence and is related to academic, emotional and social behaviors. How this normative change relates to ongoing brain development remains unresolved. The default mode network (DMN), a large-scale brain network important for complex cognition and socioemotional processing, undergoes intra-network integration and inter-network segregation during adolescence. Using resting state functional connectivity and actigraphy over 14 days we examined correlates of naturalistic individual differences in sleep duration and quality in the DMN at rest in fifty-five human adolescents (ages 14-18)...
February 7, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Liman Man Wai Li, Junji Ma, Ying Lin, Linlin Fan, Shengqi Zhong, Junkai Yang, Yingyu Huang, Li Gu, Leyi Fan, Siyang Luo, Zhengjia Dai, Xiang Wu
Independent versus interdependent self-construal is a concept that reflects how people perceive the relationship between self and other people, which has been extensively examined across disciplines. However, little evidence on the whole-brain functional connectivity pattern of independent versus interdependent self-construal has been reported. Here, in a sample of 51 healthy participants, we used resting-state fMRI and voxel-based functional connectivity analysis [i.e., Functional connectivity strength (FCS) and seed-based functional connectivity (FC)] by measuring the temporal correlation of blood oxygen level-dependent signals between spatially separate brain regions to investigate the neural mechanism of independent versus interdependent self-construal...
January 29, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Johannes T Krautheim, Benjamin Straube, Udo Dannlowski, Martin Pyka, Henriette Schneider-Hassloff, Rebecca Drexler, Axel Krug, Jens Sommer, Marcella Rietschel, Stephanie H Witt, Tilo Kircher
A high frequency of outgroup contact - as experienced by urban dwellers and migrants - possibly increases schizophrenia risk. This risk might be further amplified by genetic and environmental risk factors, such as the A-allele of rs1006737 within the Calcium Voltage-Gated Channel Subunit Alpha1 C (CACNA1C) gene and Childhood Interpersonal Trauma (CIT). Both have been related to ventral anterior cingulate cortex (vACC) functioning. We investigated vACC functioning, during ingroup and outgroup emotion perception in relation to rs1006737 and CIT...
January 29, 2018: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
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