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Social Neuroscience

Elien Heleven, Frank Van Overwalle
Prior neuroimaging studies revealed neural correlates for various aspects of self processing, but did not identify the neural representation of the self in terms of personality traits isolated from other processes. To identify this representation of the self, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) repetition suppression which is based on the assumption that repeated processing of the same stimulus results in decreased activation of the neural population representing this stimulus. Participants read two successive trait implying behavioral descriptions in which the agent was twice the self, the self and a close other or two different close others...
February 13, 2019: Social Neuroscience
Andrea Bocincova, Taylor Nelson, Jeffrey Johnson, Clay Routledge
To initiate a neuroscientific approach to the science of nostalgia, we conducted an experiment testing distinct hypotheses involving the effects of nostalgia on the event-related negativity (ERN). Based on the view of the ERN as an index of action monitoring and research suggesting a negative impact of loneliness on cognitive control, we predicted that high loneliness would be associated with lower neural (ERN amplitude) and cognitive (post-error accuracy) indices of cognitive control. We further predicted that nostalgia would mitigate these effects based on past research indicating nostalgia counteracts loneliness...
February 12, 2019: Social Neuroscience
Joël Macoir, Carol Hudon, Marie-Pier Tremblay, Robert Jr Laforce, Maximiliano A Wilson
There is compelling evidence that semantic memory is involved in emotion recognition. However, its contribution to the recognition of emotional valence and basic emotions remains unclear. We compared the performance of 10 participants with the semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia (svPPA), a clinical model of semantic memory impairment, to that of 33 healthy participants using three experimental tasks assessing the recognition of: 1) emotional valence conveyed by photographic scenes, 2) basic emotions conveyed by facial expressions, and 3) basic emotions conveyed by prosody sounds...
February 4, 2019: Social Neuroscience
Pietro De Carli, Marian J Bakermans-Kranenburg, Laura Parolin, Carlotta Lega, Beatrice Zanardo, Zaira Cattaneo, Madelon M E Riem
Infant signals, including infant sounds and facial expressions, play a critical role in eliciting parental proximity and care. Processing of infant signals in the adulthood brain is likely to recruit emotional empathy neural circuits, including the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Here, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to test the role of right IFG (rIFG) in behavioral responses to infant signals. Specifically, a group of nulliparous women were asked to perform a handgrip dynamometer task and an Approach Avoidance Task (AAT) after receiving TMS over the right IFG or over a control site (vertex)...
January 25, 2019: Social Neuroscience
Kandice J Varcin, Sarah A Grainger, Jenny L Richmond, Phoebe E Bailey, Julie D Henry
Emotional expressions evoke rapid facial reactions in the perceiver that are consistent with the valence of the observed expression. We aimed to investigate whether this robust facial reaction is purely a motor matching response or instead represents underlying affective processes. Participants' (N = 60) corrugator supercilii and zygomaticus major muscle activity was quantified using facial electromyography (EMG) while they viewed three sets of images; (i) upright happy and angry facial expressions, (ii) inverted happy and angry facial expressions, and (iii) sad and happy eyes and mouth expressions...
January 22, 2019: Social Neuroscience
Peter H Donaldson, Melissa Kirkovski, Nicole J Rinehart, Peter G Enticott
Prior studies have demonstrated that aspects of social cognition can be modulated via temporoparietal junction (TPJ) transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). However, this technique lacks focality and electrophysiological effects or correlates are rarely examined. The present study investigated whether anodal and/or cathodal high-definition tDCS (HD-tDCS) would influence facial emotion processing performance relative to sham stimulation, and whether task performance changes were related to neurophysiological changes...
January 22, 2019: Social Neuroscience
Angela J Grippo, Neal McNeal, W Tang Watanasriyakul, Stephanie Cacioppo, Melissa-Ann L Scotti, Ashley Dagner
Negative social experiences may influence psychological and physiological health via altered central oxytocin communication. The prairie vole is valuable for investigating the potential influence of oxytocin on responses to social experiences. Prairie voles are socially monogamous, live in pairs or family groups, and respond negatively to changes in the social environment. This study investigated the hypothesis that disruptions of oxytocin in one prairie vole of a cohabitating male-female pair would alter social behavior in that specific animal; and these behavioral changes in turn would influence the untreated partner's behavior and physiology...
January 18, 2019: Social Neuroscience
Haoye Sun, Willem J M I Verbeke, Rumen Pozharliev, Richard P Bagozzi, Fabio Babiloni, Lei Wang
We used dual electroencephalography (EEG) to measure brain activity simultaneously in pairs of trustors and trustees playing a 15-round trust game framed as a "trust game" versus a "power game". Four major findings resulted: first, earnings in each round were higher in the trust than in the power game. Second, in the trust game, reaction time for strategic deliberations was significantly longer for the trustee than the trustor. In the power game, however, the trustee took longer to think about how much money to repay, whereas the trustor took longer to think about how much money to invest...
January 9, 2019: Social Neuroscience
Irene Cristofori, Sanya Pal, Wanting Zhong, Barry Gordon, Frank Krueger, Jordan Grafman
Loneliness is perceived as social isolation and exclusion. The neural substrate of loneliness has been investigated with functional neuroimaging; however, lesion-based studies and their associated outcomes are needed to infer causal involvement between brain regions and function. Here, we applied voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping (VLSM) analyses to investigate the causal role of brain lesions on self-report of loneliness (UCLA Loneliness Scale) in a unique sample from the Vietnam Head Injury Study, including veterans with penetrating traumatic brain injuries (pTBI) (n = 132) and healthy controls (HCs) (n = 35)...
December 3, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Hiroaki Kawamichi, Sho K Sugawara, Yuki H Hamano, Kai Makita, Takanori Kochiyama, Yoshiaki Kikuchi, Yuichi Ogino, Shigeru Saito, Norihiro Sadato
Good reputation enhances positive self-image, which motivates prosocial behavior, a phenomenon known as indirect reciprocity. Thus, good reputation should promote prosocial behavior toward estranged people to whom affective responses leading to direct reciprocity are suppressed. We predicted that such behaviors involve an interrelationship between self-image, processed in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and precuneus, and social reward, processed in the reward system. To test our hypothesis, we performed fMRI on 21 participants during a virtual ball-toss game after subjects formed negative impressions (estrangement) or neutral impressions of other players...
November 28, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Caroline J Charpentier, John P O'Doherty
Interactions with conspecifics are key to any social species. In order to navigate this social world, it is crucial for individuals to learn from and about others. From learning new skills by observing parents perform them to making complex collective decisions, understanding the mechanisms underlying social cognitive processes has been of considerable interest to psychologists and neuroscientists. Here, we review studies that have used computational modelling techniques, combined with neuroimaging, to shed light on how people learn and make decisions in social contexts...
December 2018: Social Neuroscience
Andre T Walcott, Monique L Smith, Jennifer M Loftis, Andrey E Ryabinin
The expression of pain serves as a way for animals to communicate potential dangers to nearby conspecifics. Recent research demonstrated that mice undergoing alcohol or morphine withdrawal, or inflammation, could socially communicate their hyperalgesia to nearby mice. However, it is unknown whether such social transfer of hyperalgesia can be observed in other species of rodents. Therefore, the present study investigated if the social transfer of hyperalgesia occurs in the highly social prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster)...
December 2018: Social Neuroscience
Philipp Berger, Florian Bitsch, Arne Nagels, Benjamin Straube, Irina Falkenberg
Previous research and theory implicate that personality traits, such as extraversion and neuroticism, influence the processing of humor, as indicated by alterations in the activation of fronto-temporal and mesocorticolimbic brain regions during humor processing. In the current study, we sought to complement these findings by testing whether inter-individual differences in functional connectivity of humor-related brain regions are modulated by stable personality characteristics during humor processing. Using fMRI techniques, we studied 19 healthy subjects during the processing of standardized humorous and neutral cartoons...
December 2018: Social Neuroscience
Rowena Ng, Philip Lai, Timothy T Brown, Anna Järvinen, Eric Halgren, Ursula Bellugi, Doris Trauner
In this study, MRI and DTI were employed to examine subcortical volume and microstructural properties (FA, MD) of the limbic network, and their relationships with affect discrimination in 13 FL (6 right FL, M = 10.17 years; 7 left FL; M = 10.09) and 13 typically-developing children (TD; M = 10.16). Subcortical volume of the amygdala, hippocampus and thalamus and FA and MD of the fornix and anterior thalamic radiation (ATR) were examined. Results revealed no group differences across emotion-perception tasks or amygdalar volume...
December 2018: Social Neuroscience
Giulia Prete, Bruno Laeng, Luca Tommasi
Cerebral asymmetries for emotion processing are controversial, the right hemisphere being considered either superior in the recognition of all emotions, or superior in the recognition of negative emotions (together with the left-hemispheric superiority for positive emotions). In a number of previous studies, tDCS was applied on the left/right prefrontal cortex (PFC) in order to disentangle this issue, but the results remain controversial. We applied hf-tRNS/sham stimulation over the left/right PFC, during the presentation of neutral, angry and happy faces presented as broadband images (supraliminal condition), and as "hybrid" stimuli in which an emotional face in low spatial frequency is superimposed to the neutral expression of the same individual in high spatial frequency (subliminal condition), during a friendliness evaluation task...
November 10, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Monika Eckstein, Vera Bamert, Shannon Stephens, Kim Wallen, Larry J Young, Ulrike Ehlert, Beate Ditzen
Research on oxytocin (OT) has revealed a substantial involvement of this neuropeptide in social cognition processes and attachment behavior. The rationale of the present project was to decipher the differential role of OT in basic social cognition processes towards non-erotic attachment stimuli vs. reproduction-related stimuli in human subjects. In a randomized double-blind repeated-measures cross-over design, N = 82 participants were investigated twice and received either intranasal OT or placebo at the first assessment followed by placebo or OT at second assessment...
October 31, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Julie Walsh-Messinger, Christine Stepanek, Julia Wiedemann, Deborah Goetz, Raymond R Goetz, Dolores Malaspina
The ability to mentalize, or theory of mind (ToM), is sexually dimorphic in humans and impaired in schizophrenia. This sex-stratified study probed cognitive (indexed by intelligence) and affective (indexed by olfactory tasks) contributions to ToM performance in 37 individuals with schizophrenia and 31 healthy controls. The schizophrenia group showed impairments in mental state identification and inferring intentions compared to controls. Higher intelligence was correlated with mental state identification and inferring intentions in healthy females, whereas better smell identification was associated with mental state identification in healthy males...
October 29, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Helga O Miguel, Óscar F Gonçalves, Sara Cruz, Adriana Sampaio
The affective-motivational component of touch has been shown to consistently activate the social- brain network in children, adolescents and adults, including the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS). However, very little is known about the neural mechanisms of affective touch processing during the first year of life. The objective of the present study was to analyze brain response to affective and discriminative touch in a sample of seven-month-old infants (N = 35) who were followed longitudinally at 12 months of age (N = 25)...
October 23, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Helena M Blumen, Joe Verghese
Extensive social networks are associated with better physical, mental, and cognitive health in aging, but the underlying brain substrates remain largely unexplored. Voxel-based morphometry and multivariate statistics were used to identify gray matter volume covariance networks associated with social networks in 86 older adults without dementia (M Age = 75.20 years, 53% women). Gray matter networks associated with the number of high-contact social roles and the total number of network members were identified after adjusting for age, sex, education, global health, and total intracranial volume - and shared nodes included medial, lateral and orbital prefrontal, hippocampal, precuneus, insular, and cingulate regions...
October 16, 2018: Social Neuroscience
Giulia Prete, Luca Tommasi
The Own-Race Bias (ORB) is the ability to better recognize and categorize a face when the depicted person belongs to the observer's ethnicity group. The relationship between the ORB and hemispheric asymmetries has been poorly explored, and the present study was aimed at investigating this relationship, as well as that between the ORB and the bias to better recognize own gender faces. Female and male Caucasian participants categorized the ethnicity of Caucasian and Asian female and male facial stimuli in a divided visual field paradigm...
October 12, 2018: Social Neuroscience
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