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Neural and computational processes underlying dynamic changes in self-esteem.

Will, G-J; Rutledge, RB; Moutoussis, M; Dolan, RJ; (2017) Neural and computational processes underlying dynamic changes in self-esteem. eLife , 6 , Article e28098. 10.7554/eLife.28098. Green open access

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Abstract

Self-esteem is shaped by the appraisals we receive from others. Here, we characterize neural and computational mechanisms underlying this form of social influence. We introduce a computational model that captures fluctuations in self-esteem engendered by prediction errors that quantify the difference between expected and received social feedback. Using functional MRI, we show these social prediction errors correlate with activity in ventral striatum/subgenual anterior cingulate cortex, while updates in self-esteem resulting from these errors co-varied with activity in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). We linked computational parameters to psychiatric symptoms using canonical correlation analysis to identify an 'interpersonal vulnerability' dimension. Vulnerability modulated the expression of prediction error responses in anterior insula and insula-vmPFC connectivity during self-esteem updates. Our findings indicate that updating of self-evaluative beliefs relies on learning mechanisms akin to those used in learning about others. Enhanced insula-vmPFC connectivity during updating of those beliefs may represent a marker for psychiatric vulnerability.

Type: Article
Title: Neural and computational processes underlying dynamic changes in self-esteem.
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.28098
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.28098
Language: English
Additional information: © Copyright Will et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Computational psychiatry, human, neuroscience, reinforcement learning, self-evaluation, social acceptance, social rejection, sociometer
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10026110
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