Global brain dynamics during social exclusion predict subsequent behavioral conformity

Global brain dynamics during social exclusion predict subsequent behavioral conformity

Published in: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Volume 13, Issue 2, 182-191

“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 and in the presence of a peer who expressed risk-averse or risk-accepting driving norms. We computed the difference in functional connectivity between social exclusion and social inclusion from each node in the brain to nodes in two brain networks, one previously associated with mentalizing (medial prefrontal cortex, temporoparietal junction, precuneus, temporal poles) and another with social pain (dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, anterior insula). Using predictive modeling, this measure of global connectivity during exclusion predicted the extent of conformity to peer pressure during driving in the subsequent experimental session. These findings extend our understanding of how global neural dynamics guide social behavior, revealing functional network activity that captures individual differences.”

Written by: Nick Wasylyshyn, Brett Hemenway Falk, Javier O. Garcia, Christopher N. Cascio, Matthew Brook O’Donnell, C. Raymond Bingham, Bruce Simons-Morton, Jean M. Vettel, Emily B. Falk

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