Social neuroscience and the self

HideShow resource information
View mindmap
  • Social Neuroscience and the Self
    • Definition of Neuroscience
      • A study of the neural systems involved in perception, socognition, emotion and behaviour using fMRI
        • fMRI = functional magnetic resonance imaging
          • Non-invasive technique
            • Can be used to measure normal brain activity via changes in blood flow
              • Researchers can see which areas of the brain become activated when different tasks are being performed
    • Anorexia - Foerde et al
      • When making choices about which foods to eat
        • Women  without an ED
          • Use parts of the brain for conscious, rational decision making
          • Women with an ED
            • Neural circuitry associated with control of habitual actions is activated
              • Images of high calorie foods activated the neural cicuitry responsible for self control in anorexic women
    • Effects of child abuse and neglect
      • Toxic stress changes structure and activity of developing brain
        • Causes hypersensitivity to potential signs of danger
          • Triggers emotional / aggressive responses
        • Diminished self control and cognitive flexibility
        • Diminished capacity for empathy
          • Empathy is the vicarious, embodied, experience of another person's feelings
            • Automatic response rather than a controlled response
    • Romanian Orphans
      • Extreme deprivation of children in Romanian orphans
        • Had underdeveloped and damaged neural circuitry associated with cognition, emotional reactions and empathy
          • Children fostered in loving environements before aged 2 showed dramatic reversals in this damage
    • Advantages of social neuroscience
      • Can study both implicit and explicit psychological processes
        • Can overcome the nature vs nurture dualism
    • Social Cognition
      • Thinking about people involves activation of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC)
        • This brain region is larger in humans than other animals
    • Thinking about other people and about what other people think of us uses:
      • Dorsomedial PFC - especially active during adolesence
      • Thinking about ourselves (self-awareness, introsepction, AM) uses the Ventral and dorsal anterior mPFC
        • Effortful self control uses the ventrolateral PFC
    • The mirror-neuron system (MNS)
      • Recorded the neural activity occuring when the moneky reached for food
    • Why does rejection 'hurt'?
      • There is an overlap between the neural regions activated during 'social pain' and those involved in the physical experiences of pain
      • Singer et al - can we feel another person's pain
        • Witnessing a loved one's pain activated the neural regions associated with the affective experience of pain
    • Failure to respond to pain and suffering of others
      • Neural networks associated with empathy are less likely to be activated when:
        • We think about other people in masses or are represented by numbers
          • We perceive other people to be distant from ourselves in terms of time or space
    • How can some people deliberately inflict pain on others
      • We experience less empathy towards outgroup members than ingroup members
        • Intergroup empathy gap
          • The tendency to respond with more empathy to an ingroup member suffering than an outgroup member suffering
          • Dehumanisation
            • The tendency to attribute outgroup members with fewer 'human' qualities and emotions than ingroup members
    • Singer et al - Empathic responses to another's pain and perception of fairness
      • both sexes witnessing the fait players being shocked has heightened levels of activation in areas of the brain associated with the affective experience of pain
        • When witnessing the unfair players being shocked
          • Male but not female respondents showed decreased empathetic response and activation in areas of the typically associated with reward
    • fMRI can't distinguish between people who are telling the truth and:
      • self-deception: people who believe they are telling the truth
      • Suppression: consciously putting thoughts and feelings 'out of your mind'
    • Neural markers of a criminal psychopath
      • Lack empathy - can be manipulative
        • Poor impulse control, possible problems with forward planning and insight
          • Lack of fearfulness and anxiety - high levels of risk-taking
            • Abnormalities in:
              • Amygdala - mediates fear and anxiety // triggers emotional responses, manages threat-detection
              • Pre-frontal cortex - regulates self-control, empathy and guilt
                • Used for rational judgement and decision making, impulse control
    • Social neuroscience and youth justice
      • Actus reus - the physical criminal act
        • Mens rea - Knowledge/ intention
          • Aware of acts
            • Action is under voluntary control
              • Aware of possible consequences

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Social neuroscience and the self resources »