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Self-face recognition in the mirror is considered to involve multiple processes that integrate 2 perceptual cues: temporal contingency of the visual feedback on one's action (contingency cue) and matching with self-face representation in long-term memory (figurative cue). The aim of this study was to examine the neural bases of these processes by manipulating 2 perceptual cues using a "virtual mirror" system. This system allowed online dynamic presentations of realtime and delayed self-or otherdoi:10.1093/cercor/bhu077 pmid:24770712 pmcid:PMC4537432 fatcat:nce5qp6xzrgqjp3szzhjqg7i24
more »... facial actions. Perception-level processes were identified as responses to only a single perceptual cue. The effect of the contingency cue was identified in the cuneus. The regions sensitive to the figurative cue were subdivided by the response to a static self-face, which was identified in the right temporal, parietal, and frontal regions, but not in the bilateral occipitoparietal regions. Semantic-or integration-level processes, including amodal self-representation and belief validation, which allow modality-independent self-recognition and the resolution of potential conflicts between perceptual cues, respectively, were identified in distinct regions in the right frontal and insular cortices. The results are supportive of the multicomponent notion of self-recognition and suggest a critical role for contingency detection in the co-emergence of self-recognition and empathy in infants.
Spontaneous imitation is assumed to underlie the acquisition of important skills by infants, including language and social interaction. In this study, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to examine the neural basis of 'spontaneously' driven imitation, which has not yet been fully investigated. Healthy participants were presented with movie clips of meaningless bimanual actions and instructed to observe and imitate them during an fMRI scan. The participants were subsequentlydoi:10.1093/scan/nsv089 pmid:26168793 pmcid:PMC4692314 fatcat:lxkvs6totbflngzcz7lalvrpee
more »... wn the movie clips again and asked to evaluate the strength of their 'urge to imitate' (Urge) for each action. We searched for cortical areas where the degree of activation positively correlated with Urge scores; significant positive correlations were observed in the right supplementary motor area (SMA) and bilateral midcingulate cortex (MCC) under the imitation condition. These areas were not explained by explicit reasons for imitation or the kinematic characteristics of the actions. Previous studies performed in monkeys and humans have implicated the SMA and MCC/caudal cingulate zone in voluntary actions. This study also confirmed the functional connectivity between Urge and imitation performance using a psychophysiological interaction analysis. Thus, our findings reveal the critical neural components that underlie spontaneous imitation and provide possible reasons why infants imitate spontaneously.
Empathizing is defined as "the drive to identify another's mental states and to respond to these with an appropriate emotion" and systemizing is defined as "the drive to the drive to analyze and construct rule-based systems". While mean diffusivity (MD) has been robustly associated with several cognitive traits and disorders related with empathizing and systemizing, its direct correlation with empathizing and systemizing remains to be investigated. We undertook voxel-by-voxel investigations ofdoi:10.1038/s41598-019-45106-1 pmid:31222093 pmcid:PMC6586867 fatcat:qxpbi2jjhfcztphbkhubwen7t4
more »... egional MD to discover microstructural correlates of empathizing, systemizing, and the discrepancy between them (D score: systemizing - empathizing). Whole-brain analyses of covariance revealed that across both sexes, empathizing was positively correlated with MD of (a) an anatomical cluster that primarily spreads in the areas in and adjacent to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, left anterior to the middle cingulate cortex, and left insula and (b) an anatomical cluster of the left postcentral gyrus and left rolandic operculum. The former overlaps with positive MD correlates of cooperativeness. The D score and systemizing did not show significant correlations. In conclusion, while increased MD has generally been associated with reduced neural tissues and possibly area function, higher empathizing and cooperativeness were commonly reflected by greater MD values in areas (a) that mainly overlap with areas that play a key role in emotional salience and empathy. In addition, higher empathizing was correlated with greater MD values in areas (b) that play a key role in the mirror neuron system.
Empathic concern (EC) is an important interpersonal resilience factor that represents positive adaptation, such as "relating to others" (a factor of posttraumatic growth [PTG]) after disaster. However, controversy exists regarding whether the changes in EC (e.g., the intra-personal change between the acute phase and the disillusionment phase) positively or negatively affect mental health after a disaster. We hypothesized that increased EC may increase chronic fatigue due to over-adjustmentdoi:10.1186/s12888-019-2323-0 pmid:31684912 pmcid:PMC6829815 fatcat:hzksplk5pvb3nmuhct7efl4m5a
more »... thesis 1). We also hypothesized that increasing the changes in "relating to others" could decrease the changes in chronic fatigue (hypothesis 2).
Although the prevalence of chronic fatigue is approximately 20% in healthy individuals, there are no studies of brain structure that elucidate the neural correlates of fatigue outside of clinical subjects. We hypothesized that fatigue without evidence of disease might be related to changes in the basal ganglia and prefrontal cortex and be implicated in fatigue with disease. We aimed to identify the white matter structures of fatigue in young subjects without disease using magnetic resonancedoi:10.1038/srep21386 pmid:26893077 pmcid:PMC4759547 fatcat:kfalr563mrfvrdmfhjsev7scai
more »... ing (MRI). Healthy young adults (n = 883; 489 males and 394 females) were recruited. As expected, the degrees of fatigue and motivation were associated with larger mean diffusivity (MD) in the right putamen, pallidus and caudate. Furthermore, the degree of physical activity was associated with a larger MD only in the right putamen. Accordingly, motivation was the best candidate for widespread basal ganglia, whereas physical activity might be the best candidate for the putamen. A plausible mechanism of fatigue may involve abnormal function of the motor system, as well as areas of the dopaminergic system in the basal ganglia that are associated with motivation and reward. The prevalence of chronic fatigue is approximately 20% in some developed countries 1 and more than 33% in Japan 2 . Chronic fatigue is sometimes irreversible, and the compensation mechanisms that are useful in reducing acute fatigue are not effective 3 . Chronic fatigue has been associated with an increase in traffic accidents due to inattention, and contributes to mental health issues, such as depression, burnout syndrome 4 , and karoshoi (death due to overworking) 5 . A younger age was related to fatigue levels in non-clinical samples that included Australian patients aged 18 to 70 years 6 . A high prevalence of fatigue was also demonstrated among graduate students in Taiwan (46.6%) 7 . Fatigue can have numerous implications on an individual's health and well-being; thus, it is important to elucidate the mechanisms of fatigue in young adults. Fatigue may be defined as the failure to initiate and sustain attention-oriented tasks and physical activities requiring self-motivation 8 . A loss of motivational influence from striato-thalamic inputs to the frontal lobe is integral to the development of fatigue 8, 9 . Moreover, the evaluation of predicted rewards and energy costs might be central to the phenomenon of mental fatigue 9 . When tasks must be performed for a prolonged period, the amount of energy that must be invested in performing the task increases compared to the potential rewards, resulting in a decrease in motivation 9 . Dopamine is involved in the control of motivational processes 10 and reward-seeking
Nationalism and patriotism both entail positive evaluations of one's nation. However, the former inherently involves derogation of other nations, whereas the latter is independent of comparisons with other nations. We used voxel-based morphometry and psychological measures and determined nationalism and patriotism's association with gray matter density (rGMD) and their cognitive nature in healthy individuals (433 men and 344 women; age, 20.7 ± 1.9 years) using whole-brain multiple regressiondoi:10.1038/srep29912 pmid:27418362 pmcid:PMC4945903 fatcat:qslqechd6jcazpiv2pvdnpirie
more »... lyses and post hoc analyses. We found higher nationalism associated with greater rGMD in (a) areas of the posterior cingulate cortex and greater rGMD in (b) the orbitofrontal cortex, and smaller rGMD in (c) the right amygdala area. Furthermore, we found higher patriotism associated with smaller rGMD in the (d) rostrolateral prefrontal cortex. Post hoc analyses revealed the mean rGMD of the cluster (a) associated with compassion, that of (b) associated with feeling of superiority, that of (c) associated with suicide ideation, and that of (d) associated with quality of life. These results indicate that individual nationalism may be mediated by neurocognitive mechanisms in social-related areas and limbic neural mechanisms, whereas patriotism may be mediated by neurocognitive mechanisms in areas related to well-being. A recent study showed that political orientation (conservativeness-liberalism) is underlain by human brain structures such as the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and amygdala 1 . However, human political opinions have axes other than conservativeness-liberalism. In particular, nationalism as defined below is an important factor that has pushed much of the world into chaos and war 2 . Most studies related to nationalism focus on two factors: nationalism and patriotism 3-5 , both of which are associated with conservativeness in the US 4 , although there are other parallel political opinions. It has been argued that the distinction between nationalism and patriotism is important 3,4 . There are several ways of defining nationalism and patriotism, but one states that nationalism is an identification with and a positive evaluation of one's nation, which is inherently related to derogation of other nations 5 . In contrast, patriotism is defined as pride in one's nation, which is based on a positive evaluation of the nation independently of comparisons with other countries 5 . Nationalism and patriotism have distinct unique psychological characteristics, as follows. Nationalism is negatively associated with acceptance of the Euro 6 in Austria and European identity 6 , and it is positively associated with xenophobia 7 ; greater tolerance toward immigration in Switzerland 8 ; support toward nuclear armament policies and readiness to go to war, but less willingness to risk ones' life, as compared with patriotism 4,9 ; militarism 10 ;
Atsushi Sekiguchi, Yuka Kotozaki, Motoaki Sugiura, Tsuyoshi Araki, Sugiko Hanawa, Seishu Nakagawa, and Carlos Makoto Miyauchi contributed to data acquisition. ...doi:10.1155/2014/180468 pmid:24551840 pmcid:PMC3914581 fatcat:vf6eavvl6ffithvomrhkw77zfy
The contingency of sensory feedback to one's actions is essential for the sense of agency, and experimental violation of this contingency is a standard paradigm in the neuroscience of self-awareness and schizophrenia. However, neural responses to this violation have arbitrarily been interpreted either as activation of the system generating forward prediction (agency-error account) or decreased suppression of processing of predictable input (prediction-error account). In this functional magneticdoi:10.1038/s41598-019-46350-1 pmid:31285501 pmcid:PMC6614391 fatcat:3tmuyexunrc3zd7z63q6pwbqwa
more »... resonance imaging (fMRI) study, the regions responsive to auditory contingency errors were examined if they exhibited responses to an isolated auditory stimulus and to passive-contingency delay, which the prediction-error account expects. These responses were observed only in the auditory association cortex in the right superior temporal gyrus. Several multimodal and motor-association cortices did not exhibit these responses, suggesting their relevance to the agency-error account. Thus, we formulated the coexistence and dissociation of two accounts in neural contingency-error responses.
The relating to others factor of post-traumatic growth (PTG), which involves mutual help and a strong sense of connection with humanity, is important for young people who are coping with stress. The prefrontal cortex (PFC), especially the dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC), may play an important role in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with regard to coping and resilience. We hypothesized that the neural correlates of PTG may be responsible for resilience to the correlates of PTSD. Our study testeddoi:10.1038/srep34364 pmid:27670443 pmcid:PMC5037468 fatcat:qoedaartgrdrnaycvhnz43g6vi
more »... is hypothesis by examining whether measures of PTG, particularly the measures of relating to others after a disaster, were associated with increased regional grey matter volume (rGMV) in the PFC by assessing individuals who had experienced the East Japan Great Earthquake. We calculated the delta-rGMV by subtracting the rGMV obtained 3 months before the disaster from the rGMV obtained after this disaster using voxel-based morphometry. The magnetic resonance imaging data obtained from 26 subjects (M/F: 21/5; age: 21.2 ± 1.6 yrs.) showed that the total scores on a PTG inventory and the subscore for relating to others at the post-assessment were positively and significantly associated with the delta-rGMV in the right DLPFC. The DLPFC seems to be the main neural correlate of PTG. Post-traumatic growth (PTG) is characterised by subjective, positive psychological changes resulting from major life crises or traumatic events 1 . Increases in appreciation of life, personal resilience, the quality of intimate relationships, and spiritual wellbeing, as well as the resetting of life priorities and openness to new possibilities, are typical of these positive psychological changes 2 . In PTG, successful coping in the aftermath of a traumatic event occurs when an individual's perceptions of the self, others, and the meaning of the event are positively reconstructed 2 . In the present study, a particular focus was placed on the relating to others factor of the PTG Inventory (PTGI) because Japanese individuals live in a collective culture and do not tend to report personal strengths 3 . The relating to others factor is associated with significant changes in attitudes towards subjective relationships, such as increased compassion, intimacy, and closeness 2 . Relating to others is crucial for individuals who are coping with stress because relationships serve as a buffer against the negative effects of stressful experiences 4 . When mutual support is available to meet the needs of individuals coping with stress, they respond in more active, flexible, and positive ways 4 . Accordingly, relating to others may mitigate the impact of negative experiences. For example, relating to others has a significant negative correlation with the degree of chronic fatigue 5 . Increased ability to relate to others promotes willingness to accept help when in need, as well as utilisation of social support that had previously not been exploited 2 . These positive psychological changes appear to be effective in preventing cumulative fatigue. Interestingly, the type of traumatic event, and the age of the individual who experiences it, were found to modify the relationship between PTG and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms significantly in a
Feelings of guilt are associated with widespread self and social cognitions, e.g., empathy, moral reasoning, and punishment. Neural correlates directly related to the degree of feelings of guilt have not been detected, probably due to the small numbers of subjects, whereas there are growing numbers of neuroimaging studies of feelings of guilt. We hypothesized that the neural networks for guilty feelings are widespread and include the insula, inferior parietal lobule (IPL), amygdala, subgenualdoi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.11.004 pmid:25462799 fatcat:izqeomortragvgwpwj3sc7kixi
more »... ngulate cortex (SCC), and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), which are essential for cognitions of guilt. We investigated the association between regional gray matter density (rGMD) and feelings of guilt in 764 healthy young students (422 males, 342 females; 20.7 ± 1.8 years) using magnetic resonance imaging and the guilty feeling scale (GFS) for the younger generation which comprises interpersonal situation (IPS) and rule-breaking situation (RBS) scores. Both the IPS and RBS were negatively related to the rGMD in the right posterior insula (PI). The IPS scores were negatively correlated with rGMD in the left anterior insula (AI), right IPL, and vmPFC using small volume correction. A post hoc analysis performed on the significant clusters identified through these analyses revealed that rGMD activity in the right IPL showed a significant negative association with the empathy quotient. These findings at the whole-brain level are the widespread 4 comprehensive neural network regions for guilty feelings. Interestingly, the novel finding in this study is that the PI was implicated as a common region for feelings of guilt with interaction between the IPS and RBS. Additionally, the neural networks including the IPL were associated with empathy and with regions implicated in moral reasoning (AI and vmPFC), and punishment (AI).
Many survivors of severe disasters need psychological support, even those not suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The critical issue in understanding the psychological response after experiencing severe disasters is to distinguish neurological microstructural underpinnings as vulnerability factors from signs of emotional distress acquired soon after the stressful life event. We collected diffusion-tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DTI) data from a group of healthy adolescentsdoi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083967 pmid:24400079 pmcid:PMC3882214 fatcat:hd7ojhn6bzbvbeyiy7y6xgwnpy
more »... e the Great East Japan Earthquake and re-examined the DTIs and anxiety levels of 30 non-PTSD subjects from this group 3-4 months after the earthquake using voxel-based analyses in a longitudinal DTI study before and after the earthquake. We found that the state anxiety level after the earthquake was negatively associated with fractional anisotropy (FA) in the right anterior cingulum (Cg) before the earthquake (r = 20.61, voxel level p,0.0025, cluster level p,0.05 corrected), and positively associated with increased FA changes from before to after the earthquake in the left anterior Cg (r = 0.70, voxel level p,0.0025, cluster level p,0.05 corrected) and uncinate fasciculus (Uf) (r = 0.65, voxel level p,0.0025, cluster level p,0.05 corrected). The results demonstrated that lower FA in the right anterior Cg was a vulnerability factor and increased FA in the left anterior Cg and Uf was an acquired sign of state anxiety after the earthquake. We postulate that subjects with dysfunctions in processing fear and anxiety before the disaster were likely to have higher anxiety levels requiring frequent emotional regulation after the disaster. These findings provide new evidence of psychophysiological responses at the neural network level soon after a stressful life event and might contribute to the development of effective methods to prevent PTSD.
The areas of academic interest (sciences or humanities) and area of study have been known to be associated with a number of factors associated with autistic traits. However, despite the vast amount of literature on the psychological and physiological characteristics associated with faculty membership, brain structural characteristics associated with faculty membership have never been investigated directly. In this study, we used voxel-based morphometry to investigate differences in regionaldoi:10.1007/s00429-014-0857-y pmid:25079346 pmcid:PMC4575694 fatcat:an5kmlcejjhp7jff7rangzx3g4
more »... matter volume (rGMV)/regional white matter volume (rWMV) between science and humanities students to test our hypotheses that brain structures previously robustly shown to be altered in autistic subjects are related to differences in faculty membership. We examined 312 science students (225 males and 87 females) and 179 humanities students (105 males and 74 females). Whole-brain analyses of covariance revealed that after controlling for age, sex, and total intracranial volume, the science students had significantly larger rGMV in an anatomical cluster around the medial prefrontal cortex and the frontopolar area, whereas the humanities students had significantly larger rWMV in an anatomical cluster mainly concentrated around the right hippocampus. These anatomical structures have been linked to autism in previous studies and may mediate cognitive functions that characterize differences in faculty membership. The present results may support the ideas that autistic traits and characteristics of the science Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (
Lonely individuals may exhibit dysfunction, particularly with respect to social empathy and selfefficacy. White matter (WM) structures related to loneliness have not yet been identified. We investigated the association between regional WM density (rWMD) using the UCLA Loneliness Scale in 776 healthy young students aged 18-27 years old. Loneliness scores were negatively correlated with rWMD in eight clusters: the bilateral inferior parietal lobule (IPL), right anterior insula (AI), posteriordoi:10.1038/srep17001 pmid:26585372 pmcid:PMC4653806 fatcat:53wut43u7jhjvkoavbfz3olqe4
more »... oroparietal junction (pTPJ), left posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC), and rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC). The bilateral IPL, right AI, left pSTS, pTPJ, and RLPFC were strongly associated with Empathy Quotient (EQ), whereas the bilateral IPL, right AI, left pTPJ, and dmPFC were associated with General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSES) score. The neural correlates of loneliness comprise widespread reduction in WMD in areas related to self-and social cognition as well as areas associated with empathy and self-efficacy. Loneliness is an unpleasant state experienced when a discrepancy exists between the interpersonal relationships one wishes to have and those that one perceives oneself as currently having 1 . Loneliness is widespread 2 , particularly among young people 3 . Empathy and self-efficacy appear to be critical factors related to loneliness. Loneliness is inversely correlated with empathy in young adults, while the social-skills factor in the Empathy Quotient (EQ) is a strong predictor of loneliness 4 . Self-efficacy, a person's beliefs about his/her ability to complete tasks that impact the course of his/her life 5 , is negatively correlated with loneliness 6 . On the physiological level, loneliness is associated with increased tonic sympathetic tonus, immunological impairment, reduced sleep quality, and neuroendocrine changes such as hypothalamic-pituitaryadrenocortical activation and the expression of genes regulating glucocorticoid responses in humans 3,7 . Clinically, the feeling of loneliness is associated with stress-related physical illness (e.g., cardiovascular
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