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Neural bases of social feedback processing and self–other distinction in late childhood: The role of attachment and age

Miller, Jonas G and Shrestha, Sharon and Reiss, Allan L and Vrticka, Pascal (2020) 'Neural bases of social feedback processing and self–other distinction in late childhood: The role of attachment and age.' Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience. ISSN 1530-7026

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Attachment plays a key role in how children process information about the self and others. Here, we examined the neural bases of interindividual differences in attachment in late childhood and tested whether social cognition-related neural activity varies as function of age. In a small sample of 8-year-old to 12-year-old children (n = 21/19), we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure neural responses during social feedback processing and self–other distinction. Attachment was assessed using child self-report. The social feedback processing task presented smiling and angry faces either confirming or disconfirming written information about participant performance on a perceptual game. In addition to observing main effects of facial emotion and performance, an increase in age was related to a shift from negative (i.e., angry faces/bad performance) to positive (i.e., smiling faces/good performance) information processing in the left amygdala/hippocampus, bilateral fusiform face area, bilateral anterior temporal pole (ATP), and left anterior insula. There were no effects of attachment on social feedback processing. The self–other distinction task presented digital morphs between children’s own faces and faces of their mother or stranger females. We observed differential activation in face processing and mentalizing regions in response to self and mother faces versus morphed faces. Furthermore, left ATP activity was associated with attachment anxiety such that greater attachment anxiety was related to a shift from heightened processing of self and mother faces to morphed faces. There were no effects of age on self–other distinction. We discuss our preliminary findings in the context of attachment theory and previous work on social evaluation and self–other processing.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 19 May 2020 15:40
Last Modified: 19 May 2020 15:40

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