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Functional connectivity during a social emotion task in adolescents and in adults

Burnett, S.; Blakemore, S.-J.; (2009) Functional connectivity during a social emotion task in adolescents and in adults. European Journal of Neuroscience , 29 (6) pp. 1294-1301. 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2009.06674.x. Green open access

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Abstract

In this fMRI study we investigated functional connectivity between components of the mentalising system during a social emotion task, using psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analysis. Ten adults (22–32 years) and 18 adolescents (11–18 years) were scanned while thinking about scenarios in which a social or a basic emotion would be experienced. Unlike basic emotions (such as disgust and fear), social emotions (such as embarrassment and guilt) require the representation of another's mental states. In both adults and adolescents, an anterior rostral region of medial prefrontal cortex (arMPFC) involved in mentalising showed greater connectivity with the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) bordering on the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) and with anterior temporal cortex (ATC) during social than during basic emotion. This result provides novel evidence that components of the mentalising system interact functionally during a social emotion task. Furthermore, functional connectivity differed between adolescence and adulthood. The adolescent group showed stronger connectivity between arMPFC and pSTS/TPJ during social relative to basic emotion than did the adult group, suggestive of developmental changes in functional integration within the mentalising system.

Type: Article
Title: Functional connectivity during a social emotion task in adolescents and in adults
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2009.06674.x
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-9568.2009.06674.x
Language: English
Additional information: © The Authors (2009). Journal Compilation © Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Re-use of this article is permitted in accordance with the Creative Commons Deed, Attribution 2.5, which does not permit commercial exploitation
Keywords: Functional integration, medial prefrontal cortex, mentalising network, PPIs, social brain, social cognition, theory of mind
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Brain Repair and Rehabilitation
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/19150
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