Publication

Pang, L., Li, H., Liu, Q., Luo, Y. J*., Mobbs, D., & Wu, H*. (2022). Resting-state functional connectivity of social brain regions predicts motivated dishonesty. NeuroImage.
Motivated dishonesty is a typical social behavior varying from person to person. Resting-state fMRI (rsfMRI) is capable of identifying unique patterns from functional connectivity (FC) between brain regions. Recent work has built a link between brain networks in resting state to dishonesty in Western participants. To determine and reproduce the relevant neural patterns and build an interpretable model to predict dishonesty, we analyzed two conceptually similar datasets containing rsfMRI data with different dishonesty tasks. Both tasks implemented the information-passing paradigm, in which monetary rewards were employed to induce dishonesty. We applied connectome-based predictive modeling (CPM) to build a model among FC within and between four social brain networks (reward, self-referential, moral, and cognitive control). The CPM analysis indicated that FCs of social brain networks are predictive of dishonesty rate, especially FCs within reward network, and between self-referential and cognitive control networks. Our study offers a conceptual replication with integrated model to predict dishonesty with rsfMRI, and the results suggest that frequent motivated dishonest decisions may require the higher engagement of social brain regions.
Wang, Y., Wang, R., & Wu, H*. (2022). The role of oxytocin in modulating self-other distinction brain: a pharmacological fMRI study. Cerebral Cortex.
Self-other distinction is crucial for human interaction. Although with conflicting results, studies have found that oxytocin (OT) sharpens the self-other perceptual boundary. However, little is known about the effect of OT on self-other perception, especially its neural basis. Moreover, it is unclear whether OT influences self-other discrimination when the other is a child or an adult. This double-blind, placebo-controlled study investigated the effect of OT on self-face perception at the behavioral and neural levels. For the stimuli, we morphed participants' faces and child or adult strangers' faces, resulting in four conditions. After treatment with either OT or placebo, participants reported whether a stimulus resembled themselves while being scanned using fMRI. Behavioral results showed that people judged adult-morphed faces better than child-morphed faces. Moreover, fMRI results showed that the OT group exhibited increased activity in visual areas and the inferior frontal gyrus for self-faces. This difference was more pronounced in the adult-face condition. In multivariate fMRI and ROI analyses, better performance in the OT group indicated that OT increased self-other distinction, especially for adult-faces and in the left hemisphere. Our study shows a significant effect of OT on self-referential processes, proving the potential effect of OT on a left hemisphere self-network.
曹思琪, 汤晨晨, 伍海燕*, 刘勋*. (2022). 价值计算决定何时与如何努力. 心理科学进展, 30(4), 877-887.
优化努力的分配, 最小化努力成本和最大化收益是各个领域的关键问题。本文梳理了基于努力的决策(effort-based decision-making)的理论与实证研究, 讨论了努力的两面性: 固有成本和潜在价值。通过拓展控制期望价值理论(Expected Value of Control, EVC), 本研究探讨了影响努力的非社会与社会因素。探索人们何时以及如何付出努力的计算神经机制, 有利于理解与促进社会互动中的努力行为, 以及为干预精神疾病中动机缺失症状提供参考。
Yang, G., Xu, H., Li, Z., Nan, W., Wu, H., Li, Q., & Liu, X. (2021). The Congruency Sequence Effect Is Modulated by the Similarity of Conflicts. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition.
The congruence effect can be modulated by adjacent conflict conditions, producing the congruency sequence effect (CSE). However, many boundary conditions prevent the transfer of the cross-conflict CSE. A consensus has been achieved that the CSE reflects both top-down control and bottom-up associative learning, but neither perspective could perfectly interpret the various boundary conditions. Their imperfections recently inspired an integrative learning account of cognitive control, which predicts that conflict similarity affects the magnitude of the cross-conflict CSE. We examined this hypothesis with the spatial Stroop-Simon paradigm by introducing a compound condition containing both the Stroop and Simon components (Experiment 1). The conflict similarity was defined by the degree of component overlap, as manipulated by the polar angle of the target arrow in Experiments 2a and 2b and by the Euclidean distance of the target arrow in Experiments 3a and 3b. Mixed-effect modeling analyses indicated that, in all experiments, the cross-conflict CSEs were positively correlated with the similarity among conflict conditions. Specifically, the compound condition with equal Stroop and Simon components generated comparable CSEs with both the Stroop and Simon conditions (Experiment 1). When the compound condition was more similar to the Stroop than the Simon condition, a trend of a larger CSE was observed between the compound conflict and the Stroop condition than between the compound conflict and the Simon condition, and vice versa (Experiments 2 and 3). Our study revealed that the continuum of the cross-conflict CSE was modulated by conflict similarity, hence supporting the integrative learning account of cognitive control.
Shuguang Wei, Zhaoxia Xue, Wujun Sun, Jie Han, Haiyan Wu*, Xun Liu*. (2021). Altered neural processing of reward and punishment in women with methamphetamine use disorder. Frontiers in Psychiatry.
It has been suggested that the altered function of reward and punishment is an important vulnerability factor leading to the development of drug use disorders. Previous studies have identified evidence of neurophysiological dysfunction in the reward process of individuals with substance use disorders. To date, only a few event-related potential (ERP) studies have examined the neural basis of reward and punishment processing in women with methamphetamine (MA) use disorders. The current ERP research aims to investigate the neurophysiological mechanisms of reward and punishment in women with MA use disorder using a monetary incentive delay task. Nineteen women with MA use disorder (MA group) and 20 healthy controls (HC group) were recruited in this study. The behavioral data showed that the reaction time (RT) was faster and the response accuracy (ACC) was higher for the potential reward and punishment conditions compared to neutral conditions. During the monetary incentive anticipation stage, the Cue-P3, and stimulus-preceding negativity (SPN) were larger in the MA group than in the HC group. The SPN under the potential reward condition was larger than that under the neutral condition in the MA group but not in the HC group. During the monetary incentive consummation stage, the feedback-related negativity and feedback P3 (FB-P3) following positive feedback were significantly larger than negative feedback in the potential reward condition for the HC group, but not for the MA group. However, the FB-P3 following negative feedback was significantly larger than positive feedback in the potential punishment condition for the MA group, but not the HC group. The results suggest that women with MUD have stronger expectations of generic reward and stronger response of generic harm avoidance, which could be targeted in designing interventions for women with MA use disorder.
Shuhan Zheng, Zhichao Liang, Youzhi Qu, Qingyuan Wu, Haiyan Wu*, Quanying Liu*. (2021). Kuramoto model based analysis reveals oxytocin effects on brain network dynamics. International Journal of Neural Systems.
The oxytocin effects on large-scale brain networks such as Default Mode Network (DMN) and Frontoparietal Network (FPN) have been largely studied using fMRI data. However, these studies are mainly based on the statistical correlation or Bayesian causality inference, lacking interpretability at the physical and neuroscience level. Here, we propose a physics-based framework of the Kuramoto model to investigate oxytocin effects on the phase dynamic neural coupling in DMN and FPN. Testing on fMRI data of 59 participants administrated with either oxytocin or placebo, we demonstrate that oxytocin changes the topology of brain communities in DMN and FPN, leading to higher synchronization in the FPN and lower synchronization in the DMN, as well as a higher variance of the coupling strength within the DMN and more flexible coupling patterns at group level. These results together indicate that oxytocin may increase the ability to overcome the corresponding internal oscillation dispersion and support the flexibility in neural synchrony in various social contexts, providing new evidence for explaining the oxytocin modulated social behaviors. Our proposed Kuramoto model-based framework can be a potential tool in network neuroscience and offers physical and neural insights into phase dynamics of the brain.
Tanaz Molapour, Cindy C Hagan, Brian Silston, Haiyan Wu, Maxwell Ramstead, Karl Friston, Dean Mobbs. (2021). Seven computations of the social brain. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 745-760.
The social environment presents the human brain with the most complex of information processing demands. The computations that the brain must perform occur in parallel, combine social and nonsocial cues, produce verbal and non-verbal signals, and involve multiple cognitive systems; including memory, attention, emotion, learning. This occurs dynamically and at timescales ranging from milliseconds to years. Here, we propose that during social interactions, seven core operations interact to underwrite coherent social functioning; these operations accumulate evidence efficiently - from multiple modalities - when inferring what to do next. We deconstruct the social brain and outline the key components entailed for successful human social interaction. These include (1) social perception; (2) social inferences, such as mentalizing; (3) social learning; (4) social signaling through verbal and non-verbal cues; (5) social drives (e.g., how to increase one's status); (6) determining the social identity of agents, including oneself; and (7) minimizing uncertainty within the current social context by integrating sensory signals and inferences. We argue that while it is important to examine these distinct aspects of social inference, to understand the true nature of the human social brain, we must also explain how the brain integrates information from the social world.
Huang, Q., Cao, S., Zhou, S., Punia, D., Zhu, X., Luo, Y., & Wu, H.. (2021). How anxiety predicts interpersonal curiosity during the COVID-19 pandemic: The mediation effect of interpersonal distancing and autistic tendency. Personality and Individual Differences, 180, 110973.
With the worldwide implementation of quarantine regulations to suppress the spread of the COVID-19, anxiety, interpersonal distancing and autistic tendency may decrease individuals' desire to seek interpersonal information and thus might have negative effects on their interpersonal curiosity. Through behavioral paradigms and scales, two studies were conducted (Study 1: n = 570; Study 2: n = 501). We explored the predictive effect of anxiety on interpersonal curiosity in situations when mandatory isolation measures have led to dramatic changes in interpersonal distancing and autistic tendency. We found that interpersonal distancing and autistic tendency negatively predicted interpersonal curiosity, and these predictive effects suppressed the positive prediction of state anxiety to interpersonal curiosity. Our research provides insights into the relationships among anxiety, curiosity, interpersonal distancing, and autistic tendency during the COVID-19 pandemic.
曹思琪, 刘勋*, 伍海燕*. (2021). 共情可控?以自上而下视角考察共情的可调节性. 心理科学进展, 29(8), 1420-1429.
以往研究表明共情的特点包括自动化与情境依赖性。但是, 有关共情的理论模型与潜在神经机制仍存有争议。为更好地适应现实需求, 研究重点从共情的结构和功能角度逐渐向塑造和调节共情发展。近年来, 有研究者提出自上而下的心理过程与共情调节有关, 特别是共情的目标表征形式, 以及目标的价值权衡。因此, 考虑到共情的目标导向性对于共情的内部构建与外部表现形式的影响, 建议未来研究考虑从自上而下视角考察共情的可调节性。
黄骐, 陈春萍, 罗跃嘉, 伍海燕*. (2021). 好奇心的机制及作用. 心理科学进展, 29(4), 723-736.
作为一种常见的心理状态和人格特质, 好奇心是认知心理学研究领域中的重要主题。大脑多个脑区的分工和协同作用, 使个体形成了产生与评估预测误差、触发与缓解好奇心以及产生惊奇与新预测误差的认知过程。这些认知过程能够减少对事物和环境的预测误差与信息差距, 消除对事物的不确定性。好奇心在个体终生发展过程中, 对促进认知功能, 保持心理和身体健康有积极的作用。未来研究可以从跨物种、跨学科和多领域交叉的角度切入, 推动好奇心主题研究的深入、研究手段的发展以及研究成果的应用。
Zheng, S., Punia, D., Wu, H., & Liu, Q.. (2021). Graph theoretic analysis reveals intranasal oxytocin induced network changes over frontal regions. Neuroscience, 459, 153-165.
In this study, we aim to elucidate how intranasal oxytocin modulates brain network characteristics, especially over the frontal network. As an essential brain hub of social cognition and emotion regulation, we also explore the association between graphic properties of the frontal network and individual personality traits under oxytocin (OT) administration. Fifty-nine male participants administered intranasal OT or placebo were followed by resting-state fMRI scanning. The correlation-based network model was applied to study OT modulation effects. We performed community detection algorithms and conducted further network analyses, including clustering coefficient, average shortest path and eigenvector centrality. In addition, we conducted a correlation analysis between clustering coefficients and the self-assessed psychological scales. Modular organizations in the OT group reveal integrations of the frontoparietal network (FPN) and the default mode network (DMN) over frontal regions. Results show that frontal nodes within the FPN are characterized by lower clustering coefficients and higher average shortest path values compared to the placebo group. Notably, these modulation effects on frontal network property are associated with Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) fantasy value. Our results suggest that OT elevates integrations between FPN, DMN and limbic system as well as reduces small-worldness within the FPN. Our results support graph theoretic analysis as a potential tool to assess OT induced effects on the information integration in the frontal network.
Wu, H., Liu, X., Hagan, C. C., & Mobbs, D. (2020). Mentalizing during social InterAction: A four component model. Cortex, 126, 242-252.
Mentalizing, conventionally defined as the process in which we infer the inner thoughts and intentions of others, is a fundamental component of human social cognition. Yet its role, and the nuanced layers involved, in real world social interaction are rarely discussed. To account for this lack of theory, we propose the interactive mentalizing theory (IMT) -to emphasize the role of metacognition in different mentalizing components. We discuss the connection between mentalizing, metacognition, and social interaction in the context of four elements of mentalizing: (i) Metacognition-inference of our own thought processes and social cognitions and which is central to all other components of mentalizing including: (ii) first-order mentalizing-inferring the thoughts and intentions of an agent's mind; (iii) personal second-order mentalizing-inference of other's mentalizing of one's own mind; (iv) Collective mentalizing: which takes at least two forms (a) vicarious mentalizing: adopting another's mentalizing of an agent (i.e., what we think others think of an agent) and (b) co-mentalizing: mentalizing about an agent in conjunction with others' mentalizing of that agent (i.e., conforming to others beliefs about another agent's internal states). The weights of these four elements is determined by metacognitive insight and confidence in one's own or another's mentalizing ability, yielding a dynamic interaction between these circuits. To advance our knowledge on mentalizing during live social interaction, we identify how these subprocesses can be organized by different target agents and facilitated by combining computational modeling and interactive brain approaches.
Wei S, Liu Q, Harrington M, Sun J, Yu H, Han J, Hao M, Wu H, and Liu X. (2020). Nonconformist tendencies related to risky choices in female methamphetamine abstainers. The American journal of drug and alcohol abuse, 46(1), 68-77.
Background: Many experimental studies and theoretical models have tried to explain the multifaceted formation of drug addiction. In most addiction models, social factors are an important component; however, few empirical studies have investigated the social influences on the safe or risky choices of drug-addicted individuals during the abstinence stage. Objectives: To investigate the behavioral patterns of female methamphetamine abstainers under social influence. Methods: Thirty-seven female methamphetamine abstainers (average abstinence time: 8.61 ± 4.75 months) and 40 matched controls performed a gambling task in the presence of peers' choices. We applied both model-free and computational model-based analysis to examine how the decision patterns differed with social influence between the two groups. Results: 1) the choice data from the two groups showed a social influence effect such that participants made more risky choices when others made risky choices; 2) overall, the female methamphetamine abstainers made more risky choices in the social influence task; and 3) in the computational model parameters, the female methamphetamine abstainers exhibited more nonconforming attitudes (with negative other-conferred utility) with respect to peer influence, whereas controls showed higher conformity to peers. Conclusion: Our findings provide the first objective evidence that female methamphetamine abstainers show peer nonconformity. This nonconformist tendency may be a potential behavioral marker to track drug addiction and help to elucidate the mechanisms of decisions made by female methamphetamine abstainers.
张紫琦, 贺则宇, 罗文波, & 伍海燕. (2020). 元认知中自信心对联合决策的预测作用. 心理科学进展, 28(4), 604.
元认知通常指个体对自身认知活动的主观判断, 自信心作为其指标之一, 对个体认识和调节自己的行为有重要作用。研究表明自信心指标在联合研究过程中常见的任务类型涉及基础和高级心理加工过程, 此外, 自信心对联合决策的预测逐渐向基于计算模型的探索性参数变化。最后, 自信心的神经生理研究发现了前额叶皮层及其相关脑区和后顶叶皮层的重要性。今后应注重探索可能的预测参数和模型, 优化自信心对联合决策的预测作用。
Qi, Y., Nan, W., Cai, H., Wu, H., & Liu, X. (2020). Empathy or schadenfreude? Social value orientation and affective responses to gambling results. Personality and Individual Differences, 153, 1096.
Social value orientation (SVO) refers to the social motivation that guides people to trade off interests between the self and others, which plays an important role in human prosocial behaviors. In this research, three studies were conducted to investigate whether people with high versus low SVO differ in their affective response to winning and losing in a gambling task when the gambler is a stranger (Study 1), when both oneself and strangers are the gamblers and social comparison is involved (Study 2) and when the gambler is a liked or disliked person (Study 3). The results show that when the gambler is a stranger (Study 1) or a liked person (Study 3), people manifest empathy regardless of their level of SVO. When the self is involved (Study 2) or when the target is a disliked person (Study 3), however, people with high SVO manifest empathy-like responses, but people with low SVO manifest schadenfreude. Overall, whether SVO influences affective responses to economic gain and loss depends on the gambling situation or the target person, thus enriching our understandings of humans' prosocial behaviors.
Wu, H., Feng, C., Lu, X., Liu, X., & Liu, Q. (2020). Oxytocin effects on the resting-state mentalizing brain network. Brain imaging and behavior, 14, 2530-2541.
Oxytocin (OT) has modulatory effects in both human behavior and in the brain, which is not limited in the specific brain area but also with the potential effect on connectivity with other brain regions. Evidence indicates that OT effects on human behavior are multifaceted, such as trust behavior, decrease anxiety, empathy and bonding behavior. For the vitalrole of mentalizing in understanding others, here we examine whether OT has a general effect on mentalizing brain network which is associated to the effect of related social behavioral and personality traits. Using a randomized, doubleblind placebo-controlled group design, we investigate the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging after intranasal OT or placebo. The functional connectivity (FC) maps with seed in left/right temporoparietal junction (lTPJ/rTPJ) showed that OT significantly increased connectivity between rTPJ and default attention network (DAN), but decreased the FC between lTPJ and medial prefrontal network (MPN). With machine learning approach, we report that identified altered FCs of TPJ can classify OT and placebo (PL) group. Moreover, individual's empathy trait can modulate the FC between left TPJ and right rectus (RECT), which shows a positive correlation with empathic concern in PL group but a negative correlation in OT group. These results demonstrate that OT has significant effect on FC with lTPJ and rTPJ, brain regions where are critical for mentalizing, and the empathy concern can modulate the FC. These findings advance our understanding of the neural mechanisms by which OT modulates social behaviors, especially in social interaction involving mentalizing.
Raiha, S., Yang, G., Wang, L., Dai, W., Wu, H., Meng, G., ... & Liu, X.. (2020). Altered Reward Processing System in Internet Gaming Disorder. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11.
Converging evidence indicates that addiction involves impairment in reward processing systems. However, the patterns of dysfunction in different stages of reward processing in internet gaming addiction remain unclear. In previous studies, individuals with internet gaming disorder were found to be impulsive and risk taking, but there is no general consensus on the relation between impulsivity and risk-taking tendencies in these individuals. The current study explored behavioral and electrophysiological responses associated with different stages of reward processing among individuals with internet gaming disorders (IGDs) with a delayed discounting task and simple gambling tasks. Compared to the healthy control (HC) group, the IGD group discounted delays more steeply and made more risky choices, irrespective of the outcome. As for the event-related potential (ERP) results, during the reward anticipation stage, IGDs had the same stimulus-preceding negativity (SPN) for both large and small choices, whereas HCs exhibited a higher SPN in large vs. small choices. During the outcome evaluation stage, IGDs exhibited a blunted feedback-related negativity for losses vs. gains. The results indicate impairment across different stages of reward processing among IGDs. Moreover, we found negative correlation between impulsivity indexed by BIS-11 and reward sensitivity indexed by SPN amplitude during anticipation stage only, indicating different neural mechanisms at different stages of reward processing. The current study helps to elucidate the behavioral and neural mechanisms of reward processing in internet gaming addiction.
杨国春, 伍海燕, 齐玥, & 刘勋. (2020). 人类性别加工的认知神经机制. 心理科学进展, 28(12), 2008.
性别信息是人类重要的生物和社会属性, 对性别快速而准确的识别对人类的生存和繁衍具有重要意义。人类的性别加工具有自动化、刻板化以及不对称性等特点, 并受性别加工主体、其他性别信息、社会类别信息以及高级认知调节的影响。聚焦于面孔和声音这两个性别信息的主要来源, 综述了性别加工的行为和神经机制研究, 并提出了两阶段性别加工模型, 早期阶段为对性别信息物理属性的特异性加工, 晚期阶段为对抽象性别信息的一般性加工。未来的研究可以重点关注性别加工的系统性研究、性别分类和机器学习、以及性别的二相性问题等方面。
Liu, Q., Wu, H., & Liu, A.. (2019). Modeling and Interpreting Real-world Human Risk Decision Making with Inverse Reinforcement Learning. arXiv preprint, arXiv:1906.05803.
We model human decision-making behaviors in a risk-taking task using inverse reinforcement learning (IRL) for the purposes of understanding real human decision making under risk. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work applying IRL to reveal the implicit reward function in human risk-taking decision making and to interpret risk-prone and risk-averse decision-making policies. We hypothesize that the state history (e.g. rewards and decisions in previous trials) are related to the human reward function, which leads to risk-averse and risk-prone decisions. We design features that reflect these factors in the reward function of IRL and learn the corresponding weight that is interpretable as the importance of features. The results confirm the sub-optimal risk-related decisions of human-driven by the personalized reward function. In particular, the risk-prone person tends to decide based on the current pump number, while the risk-averse person relies on burst information from the previous trial and the average end status. Our results demonstrate that IRL is an effective tool to model human decision-making behavior, as well as to help interpret the human psychological process in risk decision-making.
Zhu, R., Liu, C., Li, T., Xu, Z., Fung, B., Feng, C., ... & Wang, L. (2019). Intranasal oxytocin reduces reactive aggression in men but not in women: A computational approach. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 108, 172-181.
Aggression is an important behaviour that concerns individual survival and large-scale social stability. It comprises a variety of psychological subcomponents and is modulated by different biological factors. Two factors in particular, gender and oxytocin, appear to play a robust role in aggressive behaviour. However, whether these two factors interact to impact aggressive behaviour is not currently known. The current study investigated the modulating effect of gender on the relationship between oxytocin and aggression and characterized its underlying mechanisms by combining behavioural economic, pharmacological, and computational approaches. Specifically, we employed a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, between-subjects design, in which one hundred participants (50 men and 50 women) completed a norm-training version of the multi-round one-shot ultimatum game (UG) after intranasal oxytocin or placebo administration. Rejection rates in the UG were adopted as an indicator of reactive aggression. The results indicated that oxytocin compared with placebo administration decreased aggression among men but not among women. Further analyses suggested that this decrease in aggression was a result of changes in men's sensitivity to provocation and positive affect, rather than norm adaptation rates or concerns about the cost of aggression. These findings highlight the role of gender in the relationship between oxytocin and reactive aggression and reveal its underlying psychological and computational mechanisms.
Wu, H., & Fung, B. J.. (2019). Mentalizing during social interaction: the development and validation of the interactive mentalizing questionnaire. PsyArXiv Preprints.
Studies have shown that during social interaction a shared system underlies inferring one's own mental state, and the mental states of others - processes often referred to as mentalization. However, no validated assessment has been developed to measure second order mentalization (one's beliefs about how transparent one's thoughts are to others), or whether this capacity plays a significant role in social interaction. The current work presents a interactive mentalization theory, which divides these directional and second order aspects of mentalization, and investigates whether these constructs are measurable, stable, and meaningful in social interactions. We developed a 20-item, self-report interactive mentalization questionnaire (IMQ) in order to assess the different sub-components of mentalization: self-self, self-other, and other-self mentalization (Study 1). We then tested this scale on a large, online sample, and report convergent and discriminant validity in the form of correlations with other measures (Study 2), as well as correlations with social deception behaviors in real interaction with Mturk studies (Study 3 and Study 4). These results validate the IMQ, and support the idea that these three factors can predict mentalization in social interaction.
Feng, C., Cao, J., Li, Y., Wu, H., & Mobbs, D. (2018). The pursuit of social acceptance: aberrant conformity in social anxiety disorder. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, 13(8), 809-817.
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 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. Afterwards, participants were asked to rerate the same faces without the presence of peer ratings. When compared with healthy controls, social anxiety disorder patients exhibited more positive attitudes to unfamiliar others and conformed more with peers-higher feedback. These behavioral effects were in parallel with neural responses associated with social conflict in the N400 signal, showing higher conformity to peers-higher feedback compared with peers-lower or peers-agree feedback among social anxiety disorder patients. Our findings provide evidence on the behavioral and neural patterns of social anxiety disorder during social interactions, and support the hypothesis that individuals with social anxiety disorder are more motivated to pursue social acceptance and possibly avoid social rejection.
Cui, F., Wu, S., Wu, H., Wang, C., Jiao, C., & Luo, Y. (2018). Altruistic and self-serving goals modulate behavioral and neural responses in deception. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, 13(1), 63-71.
People tell lies not only for their own self-interests but sometimes also to help others. Little is known about the ways in which different types of goals modulate behaviors and neural responses in deception. The present study investigated the neural processes associated with spontaneous deception that occurs with altruistic reasons (i.e. the money would be donated to charity), self-serving reasons (i.e. the participant receives all of the money) and mixed goals (i.e. the money would be equally split between the participant and the charity). Altruistic motivation for deception reduced the intensity of moral conflict and the subsequent mental cost of resolving this conflict, reflected by a smaller N2-P3 effect in the purely altruistic condition. When making decisions about whether to lie, self-interest was a stronger motivator than others' interests, and the participants tended to lie more for themselves than for others. When the lie could be mutually beneficial for both of the self and others, the participants tended to lie even when they knew that they could be easily caught, but they actually lied for their own self-interest rather than for altruistic reasons. These findings shed light on the neural basis of ‘good lies' and decision-making in mutually beneficial situations.
QI, Y., WU, H., & LIU, X. (2017). The influences of social value orientation on prosocial behaviors: The evidences from behavioral and neuroimaging studies. Chinese Science Bulletin, 62(11), 1136-1144.
'Economic Man Assumption' proposed that humans are rational, whose only goal is to pursue their maximum self- interest. However, costly prosoial behaviors, such as helping, comforting, or donation, are commonly seen in daily life. Researchers put forward social value orientation (SVO) to explain why people exhibit such behaviors. SVO refers to a stable preference for outcomes for self versus others in interdependent situation, which further affects prosocial behaviors in social dilemmas. The commonly used measurements of SVO are the Triple-Dominance Scale and the Slider Measure. Based on these measures, SVO is classified into two categories: prosocial value orientation, and proself value orientation. The latter one is further subdivided to individualistic and competitive value orientations. People with prosocial orientation tend to maximize joint interest, people with individualistic orientation tend to maximize absolute outcome, while people with competitive orientation tend to maximize relative outcome. Previous studies have suggested that SVO can express automatically, and stably influence social behaviors. This article reviewed existing researches and mainly discusses its influence on trust behavior, cooperation and fair decisions in social contexts. A growing body of evidence suggests that prosocial individuals show more trust behaviors, cooperation, and fair decisions, which are further reflected on neural activities. Specifically, temporal-parietal junction (TPJ), insula and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) show stronger activation when prosocials choose to cheat compared to be honest/trustworthy in trust game, while for proselfs there are no significant differences. In social dilemma games, prosocials show more cooperative behavior, accompanied by increased activation in lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), anterior superior temporal sulcus (aSTS) and inferior parietal lobule, which brain regions are relevant to norm compliance, routine moral judgment, and social awareness. While for proselfs, increased activation is found in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which is relevant to calculation. Researches have also found prosocials make more rejection to unfair allocation, and the degree of inequity aversion in prosocials is predictable from amygdala activity. In light of existing literature, we summarized four aspects of how SVO affects prosocial behaviors. The first one is that prosocials have a stronger internal cooperation motivation relative to proselfs so that prosocial behaviors are processed automatically for prosocials. Second, prosocials have a higher expectation of others' prosocial behaviors, this expectation in turn influences himself/herself's behaviors. The third is that prosocial ones show more social responsibility in social interaction that they tend to maximize joint outcome. Last but not least, individuals with different SVOs show different social learning patterns which affects information collection and decision making during social interaction. Before the end, we propose several research directions. First is the differences in social learning patterns between individuals with different SVOs. Secondly, the interactive effects of SVO and other personality traits, such as empathy and trust, on prosocial behavior need to be investigated. More neural biochemical researches which focus on neurotransmitter as well as gene of different SVOs are also required. At last, in order to better apply research results to real life, ecological validity of research need to be improved..
FU, D., QI, Y., WU, H., & LIU, X. (2017). Integrative neurocognitive mechanism of empathy and counter-empathy. Chinese Science Bulletin, 62(22), 2500-2508.
Empathy is an essential psychological process regarding emotional experience and social interaction. According to the observers' emotional valence, empathy can be categorized into positive empathy—positive feelings on others' success, and negative empathy—negative feelings on others' misfortune. Similarly, counter-empathy refers to that observers generate opposite valence of emotional responses to others' affective state, for example, enjoy others' misfortune or envy others' success. Empathy has been widely studied from diverse perspectives. However, few studies have focused on the phenomena, impact factors, psychological mechanism, and theorization of counter-empathy. In this review, we briefly summarized inducing methods and three impact factors on both empathy and counter-empathy: (i) group identity—out- group or conflict group members might elicit greater counter-empathy compared with in-group members; (ii) social comparison—comparing performance between participants and other competitors could lead them to gloat over others' loss and envy others' gain; (iii) perspective-taking—taking others' perspective could decrease stereotypic bias and in- group bias, both of which usually lead to counter-empathy. Therefore, we inferred perspective-taking might be a potential way to mediate or even reverse counter-empathy. Next, we reviewed the literature on psychological mechanisms, electrophysiological indices and brain networks regarding empathy and counter-empathy. Previous theories on empathy and counter-empathy were summarized as followed: (i) the Theory of Mind—mentalizing had been proved to be the key cognitive mechanism of empathy, contributing to understand others' and own emotional states; (ii) deservedness and social comparison—when people think others' misfortune is deserved, they would feel a sense of schadenfreude, and when they think others' success is undeserved, they would feel envious or angry; (iii) intergroup relation—negative attitudes towards out-group members resulted from in-group bias have evolutionary meaning but also resulted in negative effects such as discrimination, stereotyping and counter-empathy. We further proposed a unified two-dimension framework based on the observer and others' emotional valences to systematically study and understand empathy and counter-empathy. Current literatures indicate that negative emotional valence involves larger negative feedback related negativity (FRN) and activation in brain regions such as anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and anterior insula (AI). Positive emotional valence involves smaller or no FRN and activation in brain regions such as ventral striatum (VS) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Under such an integrative framework, we predicted that brain networks of positive and negative valences would be activated in an opposite manner for empathy and counter-empathy situations. When others' feelings are negative, empathy activates negative emotion brain networks, whereas counter-empathy activates reward brain networks; on the other hand, when others' feelings are positive, empathy activates reward brain networks, whereas counter-empathy activates negative emotion brain networks. We proposed that future studies need to further examine the reversal mechanism of empathy and counter-empathy. Moreover, research in the future should expand to the other areas of the framework and especially fill in the gap on empathy of others' positive affect.
Wu, H., Luo, Y., & Feng, C. (2016). Neural signatures of social conformity: A coordinate-based activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis of functional brain imaging studies. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 71, 101-111.
People often align their behaviors with group opinions, known as social conformity. Many neuroscience studies have explored the neuropsychological mechanisms underlying social conformity. Here we employed a coordinate-based meta-analysis on neuroimaging studies of social conformity with the purpose to reveal the convergence of the underlying neural architecture. We identified a convergence of reported activation foci in regions associated with normative decision-making, including ventral striatum (VS), dorsal posterior medial frontal cortex (dorsal pMFC), and anterior insula (AI). Specifically, consistent deactivation of VS and activation of dorsal pMFC and AI are identified when people's responses deviate from group opinions. In addition, the deviation-related responses in dorsal pMFC predict people's conforming behavioral adjustments. These are consistent with current models that disagreement with others might evoke “error” signals, cognitive imbalance, and/or aversive feelings, which are plausibly detected in these brain regions as control signals to facilitate subsequent conforming behaviors. Finally, group opinions result in altered neural correlates of valuation, manifested as stronger responses of VS to stimuli endorsed than disliked by others.