Chapter 15 Social Cogntition

  1. faces
    • fusiform face area in the ventral visual pathway is critical for recognising and identifying human faces 
    • damage produces prosopagnosia (cant recognise face)
  2. face processing network
    • important for recognising social-emotional cues that we convey to others through facial expressions 
    • amygdala to fear, insula to disgust
  3. judging faces
    traits can be mapped into trustworthiness and dominance
  4. social semantic knowledge
    knowledge of social conceptions (conventions and rules of behaviour), obligations and priveledges of social roles, social behavioural characteristics
  5. social knowledge
    • depends on temporal poles (liked to amygdala)
    • lesions impair semantic knowledge (concepts and properties of objects) including the ability to ID famous people and recall info about them
  6. social signals
    • we learn about people by visual and verbal cues they provide
    • gaze direction, body posture, vocalisation
  7. gaze
    • indicate dominance, threat (direct gaze) or submission, nonthreat (lowered gaze)
    • neurons in primate superior temporal sulcus (STS)
  8. superior temporal sulcus STS
    • respond to faces with particular head or gaze; many respond specifically to direct gaze
    • also responds to moving lips, hand gestures, bodily movements, facial expressions, and yawning
    • can also social cues like voice and recognising people by voice
  9. theory of mind
    • capacity to attribute mental states to other individuals; to understand that they have beliefs, thoughts, intentions, and other desires that may different from our own
    • allows us to work out what people intent, believe, want 
    • allows us to cooperate with people 
    • allows us advantage when competing (know what they're thinking so think ahead)
  10. first order theory of mind
    it seems like he doesn't understand the project but he's afraid to say it
  11. second-order theory of mind
    it seems like he doesn't understand the project, and I bet she's annoyed that he won't admit it
  12. testing theory of mind
    • the false belief task 
    • hiding info that other person doesn't know and guessing where they'll look
  13. neural mechanism of theory of mind
    • reflecting on intentions behind other's actions
    • reflectings on others thoughts and beliefs
    • the mirror system - observing, performing, or imitating actions
  14. mirror neurons
    • fire not only when the monkey perform a specific kind of movement, but also when observing someone else performing the same action
    • lateral premotor areas of monkey brain (receives input from STS)
    • representing intentions behind actions
  15. mirror system
    central premotor cortex, superior temporal sulcus, intraparietal sulcus
  16. mirror system and theory of mind
    • overlap in some places, but have clear distinctions
    • medial prefrontal cortex involved in TOM 
    • lateral premotor cortex involved i mirror system
  17. two mirror systems?
    • lateral prefrontal one for external movements (whether executed by you or by other)
    • medial prefrontal one for inner motivations e.g. goals, beliefs, desires whether belong to you or inferred in others
  18. disorders of theory of mind
    • TOM network not share much with regions involved in general intelligence
    • some types of disorders may impair theory of mind while leaving general intellectual functioning intact
  19. autism spectrum disorder
    • show social and communication impairments, as well as repetitive behaviours and restricted interests
    • struggle with social intelligence and theory of mind though can be very smart
  20. neuroimaging of autism
    • STS: decreased gray matter, lower activity at rest
    • weaker network connectivity between posterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex 
    • abnormalities in brain areas linked to social cognition
  21. schizophrenia and theory of mind
    • have distortions in theory of mind functions, problems reasoning about the intentions, beliefs, and desires of others
    • lose distinction between their thoughts and the thoughts of others leading to the belief that their thoughts are being broadcast
  22. empathy
    • capacity to understand the experience of another individual, in particular, that person's emotional state or perspective
    • involves sensory and motor side (feel others and generate inner response)
  23. emotional theory of mind
    • ability to infer another mind's inner emotional states (e.g. happiness, sadness, anger, etc) even when these contradict one's own emotional state
    • understand emotional state of another person without feeling empathy
  24. mimicry
    when two people interact with one another, they tend to gradually synchronise their emotional expressions (you laugh they laugh, you frown they frown)
  25. complementarity
    reverse mimicry; one emotional expression draws its opposite - a person with a dominant tone may draw submissive vocal tone or posture
  26. emotional contagion
    • the tendency of emotional states to engender similar states in others even in the absence of inferring those states 
    • e.g. babies cry when hear other babies cry
  27. true empathy
    • subjective experience involving the other's emotional state and our own, involves process of mental inference 
    • mimicry and emotional contagion may be building blocks of empathy and emotional theory of mind
  28. neural correlates of mimicry
    pupil size of sad faces is mirroed by that of the person looking at them; faces with small vs large pupils are judged to be sadder
  29. neural correlates of emotional contagion
    • a good candidate system for mediating emotional contagion is the mirror system, which can translate an observed action into a performance of the same action 
    • problem: if lateral parts of network for motor actions, and not emotional states 
    • if mirror neurons existed in the anterior insula, they might be able to mediate emotional contagion
  30. disgust
    observing or experiencing activates the anterior insula;
  31. pain
    • some areas active when feel pain vs when you observe significant other in pain 
    • participants with higher scores on empathy questionnaires show more empathetic pain-related activity in these regions social context can modulate empathetic pain response
  32. psychopathy
    • clinical condition characterised by superficial social normality, but the individual lacks the ability to experience emotional empathy; the result is manipulative or callous antisocial behaviour
    • no deficits in theory of mind
  33. social emotions
    emotions that depend on our assessment of what other people think, feel, or do in response to our actions
  34. guilt
    • social emotion that enables us to adapt our behaviour to social and moral norms and avoid antisocial activities 
    • requires theory of mind
  35. guilt, shame, sadness
    • activate common network involving posterior cingulate, retrosplenial cortex, temporal pole, STS, anterior insula
    • regions involved in memory recall, social knowledge, social perception, and interception
  36. social reward
    • positive facial expression, increases in social reputation, positive feedback
    • ventral striatum activated for social and monetary 
    • dmPFC active for social rewards but less for monetary reareds
  37. social punishment
    • ostracism, criticism, social defeat
    • mPFC correlated 
    • individuals with social anxiety show activity in the amygdala, greater functional connectivity between mPFC and amygdala
  38. self awareness
    self reflection activates a network of brain involved in social cognition and theory of mind
  39. somatoparaphrenia
    • syndrome in which patients fail to recognise their arm or leg as part of their body 
    • anosognosia: lack of awareness or denial of physical or mental illness
  40. self-awareness and social cognition
    many types of self awareness e.g. awareness of thoughts, reflecting on goals and future plans, reflection on our feelings, awareness of our bodies, reflecting on our own actions
Card Set
Chapter 15 Social Cogntition
cognitive neuroscience