Category: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

Global brain dynamics during social exclusion predict subsequent behavioral conformity

Published in: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Volume 13, Issue 2, 182-191 Abstract “Individuals react differently to social experiences; for example, people who are more sensitive to negative social experiences, such as being excluded, may be more likely to adapt their behavior to fit in with others. We examined whether functional brain connectivity during social exclusion in the fMRI scanner can be used to predict subsequent conformity to peer norms. Adolescent males (n = 57) completed a two-part study on teen driving risk: a social exclusion task (Cyberball) during an fMRI session and a subsequent driving simulator session in which they drove alone… Read More

The interaction between embodiment and empathy in facial expression recognition

Published in: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Volume 13, Issue 2, 203-215 Abstract “Previous research has demonstrated that the Action-Observation Network (AON) is involved in both emotional-embodiment (empathy) and action-embodiment mechanisms. In this study, we hypothesized that interfering with the AON will impair action recognition and that this impairment will be modulated by empathy levels. In Experiment 1 (n = 90), participants were asked to recognize facial expressions while their facial motion was restricted. In Experiment 2 (n = 50), we interfered with the AON by applying transcranial Direct Current Stimulation to the motor cortex. In both experiments, we found that interfering with the AON… Read More

Resting-state functional connectivity predicts neuroticism and extraversion in novel individuals

Published in: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Volume 13, Issue 2, 224-232 Abstract “The personality dimensions of neuroticism and extraversion are strongly associated with emotional experience and affective disorders. Previous studies reported functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activity correlates of these traits, but no study has used brain-based measures to predict them. Here, using a fully cross-validated approach, we predict novel individuals’ neuroticism and extraversion from functional connectivity (FC) data observed as they simply rested during fMRI scanning. We applied a data-driven technique, connectome-based predictive modeling (CPM), to resting-state FC data and neuroticism and extraversion scores (self-reported NEO Five Factor Inventory)… Read More

Neurobiological correlates of emotional intelligence in voice and face perception networks

Published in: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Volume 13, Issue 2, 233-244 Abstract “Facial expressions and voice modulations are among the most important communicational signals to convey emotional information. The ability to correctly interpret this information is highly relevant for successful social interaction and represents an integral component of emotional competencies that have been conceptualized under the term emotional intelligence. Here, we investigated the relationship of emotional intelligence as measured with the Salovey-Caruso-Emotional-Intelligence-Test (MSCEIT) with cerebral voice and face processing using functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging. MSCEIT scores were positively correlated with increased voice-sensitivity and gray matter volume of the… Read More

Relating experimentally-induced fear to pre-existing phobic fear in the human brain

Published in: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Volume 13, Issue 2, 164-172 Abstract “While prior work has demonstrated that fear-conditioning changes the neural representation of previously neutral stimuli, it remains unknown to what extent this new representation abstracts away from specific fears and which brain areas are involved therein. To investigate this question, we sought commonalities between experimentally-induced fear via electric shocks and pre-existing phobia. Using functional MRI, we tested the effect of fear-conditioning pictures of dogs in 21 spider-fearful participants across three phases: baseline, post-conditioning, and extinction. Considering phobic stimuli as a reference point for the state of fear allowed… Read More

Sleep deprivation affects fear memory consolidation: bi-stable amygdala connectivity with insula and ventromedial prefrontal cortex

Published in: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Volume 13, Issue 2, 145-155 Abstract “Sleep plays an important role for successful fear memory consolidation. Growing evidence suggests that sleep disturbances might contribute to the development and the maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a disorders characterized by dysregulations in fear learning mechanisms, as well as exaggerated arousal and salience processing. Against this background, the present study examined the effects of sleep deprivation (SD) on the acquisition of fear and the subsequent neural consolidation. To this end, the present study assessed fear acquisition and associated changes in fMRI-based amygdala-functional connectivity following 24 h… Read More

Theta resting EEG in TPJ/pSTS is associated with individual differences in the feeling of being looked at

Published in: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Volume 13, Issue 2, 216-223 Abstract “Direct eye gaze is a powerful stimulus in social interactions, yet people vary considerably in the range of gaze lines that they accept as being direct (cone of direct gaze, CoDG). Here, we searched for a possible neural trait marker of these individual differences. We measured the width of the CoDG in 137 healthy participants and related their individual CoDG to their neural baseline activation as measured with resting electroencephalogram. Using a source-localization technique, we found that resting theta current density in the left temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) and… Read More

Emotion recognition associated with polymorphism in oxytocinergic pathway gene ARNT2

Published in: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Volume 13, Issue 2, 173-181 Abstract “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. The SNP rs4778599 in the gene encoding aryl hydrocarbon… Read More

Music models aberrant rule decoding and reward valuation in dementia

Published in: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Volume 13, Issue 2, 192-202 Abstract “Aberrant rule- and reward-based processes underpin abnormalities of socio-emotional behaviour in major dementias. However, these processes remain poorly characterized. Here we used music to probe rule decoding and reward valuation in patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) syndromes and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) 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). Results were adjusted for elementary pitch and executive processing;… Read More

Aging is associated with a prefrontal lateral-medial shift during picture-induced negative affect

Published in: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Volume 13, Issue 2, 156-163 Abstract “The capacity to adaptively respond to negative emotion is in part dependent upon lateral areas of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Lateral PFC areas are particularly susceptible to age-related atrophy, which affects executive function (EF). We used structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to test the hypothesis that older age is associated with greater medial PFC engagement during processing of negative information, and that this engagement is dependent upon the integrity of grey matter structure in lateral PFC as well as EF. Participants (n = 64, 38–79 years) viewed negative and… Read More