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Interpersonal Comparison of Utility by Measuring Neural Activity [article]

Kaosu Matsumori, Kazuki Iijima, Yukihito Yomogida, Kenji Matsumoto
2021 bioRxiv   pre-print
Aggregating welfare across individuals to reach collective decisions is one of the most fundamental problems in our society. Interpersonal comparison of utility is pivotal and inevitable for welfare aggregation, because if each person's utility is not interpersonally comparable, there is no rational aggregation procedure that simultaneously satisfies even some very mild conditions for validity (Arrow's impossibility theorem). However, scientific methods for interpersonal comparison of utility
more » ... ve thus far not been available. Here, we have developed a method for interpersonal comparison of utility based on brain signals, by measuring the neural activity of participants performing gambling tasks. We found that activity in the medial frontal region was correlated with changes in expected utility, and that, for the same amount of money, the activity evoked was larger for participants with lower household incomes than for those with higher household incomes. Furthermore, we found that the ratio of neural signals from lower-income participants to those of higher-income participants coincided with estimates of their psychological pleasure by "impartial spectators", i.e. disinterested third-party participants satisfying specific conditions. Finally, we derived a decision rule based on aggregated welfare from our experimental data, and confirmed that it was applicable to a distribution problem. These findings suggest that our proposed method for interpersonal comparison of utility enables scientifically reasonable welfare aggregation by escaping from Arrow's impossibility and has implications for the fair distribution of economic goods. Our method can be further applied for evidence-based policy making in nations that use cost-benefit analyses or optimal taxation theory for policy evaluation.
doi:10.1101/2021.06.04.447048 fatcat:2d236ybkgrfgtiytxmrhwxz5uu

The Neural Basis of Event Simulation: An fMRI Study

Yukihito Yomogida, Motoaki Sugiura, Yoritaka Akimoto, Carlos Makoto Miyauchi, Ryuta Kawashima, Cosimo Urgesi
2014 PLoS ONE  
Event simulation (ES) is the situational inference process in which perceived event features such as objects, agents, and actions are associated in the brain to represent the whole situation. ES provides a common basis for various cognitive processes, such as perceptual prediction, situational understanding/prediction, and social cognition (such as mentalizing/ trait inference). Here, functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to elucidate the neural substrates underlying important
more » ... ons within ES. First, the study investigated whether ES depends on different neural substrates when it is conducted explicitly and implicitly. Second, the existence of neural substrates specific to the future-prediction component of ES was assessed. Subjects were shown contextually related object pictures implying a situation and performed several picture-word-matching tasks. By varying task goals, subjects were made to infer the implied situation implicitly/explicitly or predict the future consequence of that situation. The results indicate that, whereas implicit ES activated the lateral prefrontal cortex and medial/lateral parietal cortex, explicit ES activated the medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, and medial/lateral temporal cortex. Additionally, the left temporoparietal junction plays an important role in the future-prediction component of ES. These findings enrich our understanding of the neural substrates of the implicit/explicit/ predictive aspects of ES-related cognitive processes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096534 pmid:24789353 pmcid:PMC4008581 fatcat:do2edz2yr5fz5g5ap2alkxfppy

The cerebellum as a moderator of negative bias of facial expression processing in depressive patients [article]

Anna Nakamura, Yukihito Yomogida, Miho Ota, Junko Matsuo, Ikki ishida, Shinsuke Hidese, Hiroshi Kunugi
2021 bioRxiv   pre-print
Negative bias-a mood-congruent bias in emotion processing-is an important aspect of major depressive disorder (MDD), and such a bias in facial expression recognition has a significant effect on patients' social lives. Neuroscience research shows abnormal activity in emotion-processing systems regarding facial expressions in MDD. However, the neural basis of negative bias in facial expression processing has not been explored directly. Methods: Sixteen patients with MDD and twenty-three healthy
more » ... ntrols (HC) who underwent an fMRI scan during an explicit facial emotion task with happy to sad faces were selected. We identified brain areas in which the MDD and HC groups showed different correlations between the behavioral negative bias scores and functional activities. Results: Behavioral data confirmed the existence of a higher negative bias in the MDD group. Regarding the relationship with neural activity, higher activity of happy faces in the posterior cerebellum was related to a higher negative bias in the MDD group, but lower negative bias in the HC group. Limitations: The sample size was small, and the possible effects of medication were not controlled for in this study. Conclusions: We confirmed a negative bias in the recognition of facial expressions in patients with MDD. fMRI data suggest the cerebellum as a moderator of facial emotion processing, which biases the recognition of facial expressions toward their own mood.
doi:10.1101/2021.05.12.443029 fatcat:or5rf7krzjgc3igu6wke4e2mdm

Neural Mechanism for Mirrored Self-face Recognition

Motoaki Sugiura, Carlos Makoto Miyauchi, Yuka Kotozaki, Yoritaka Akimoto, Takayuki Nozawa, Yukihito Yomogida, Sugiko Hanawa, Yuki Yamamoto, Atsushi Sakuma, Seishu Nakagawa, Ryuta Kawashima
2014 Cerebral Cortex  
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 other
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.
doi:10.1093/cercor/bhu077 pmid:24770712 pmcid:PMC4537432 fatcat:nce5qp6xzrgqjp3szzhjqg7i24

Coordinated activation of premotor and ventromedial prefrontal cortices during vicarious reward

Sotaro Shimada, Madoka Matsumoto, Hidefumi Takahashi, Yukihito Yomogida, Kenji Matsumoto
2015 Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience  
The vicarious reward we receive from watching likable others obtaining a positive outcome is a pervasive phenomenon, yet its neural correlates are poorly understood. Here, we conducted a series of functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments to test the hypothesis that the brain areas responsible for action observation and reward processing work in a coordinated fashion during vicarious reward. In the first experiment (manipulation phase), the participant was instructed to cheer for a
more » ... cular player in a two-player competitive game (Rock-Paper-Scissors). This manipulation made participants feel more unity with that player and resulted in unity-related activation in the premotor area during action observation. In the following main experiment, the participant witnessed the previously cheered-for or non-cheered-for player succeed in a new solitary game (a stopwatch game). The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) was activated when the cheered-for player succeeded in the game but not when the other player did. Interestingly, this vmPFC activation was functionally connected with premotor activation only during the cheered-for player's success. These results suggest that vicarious reward is processed in the vmPFC-premotor network, which is activated specifically by the success of the other person with whom the individual feels unity and closeness.
doi:10.1093/scan/nsv134 pmid:26500290 pmcid:PMC4769636 fatcat:knpizoqstrhsjli6hfesiq4x54

The neural basis of the imitation drive

Sugiko Hanawa, Motoaki Sugiura, Takayuki Nozawa, Yuka Kotozaki, Yukihito Yomogida, Mizuki Ihara, Yoritaka Akimoto, Benjamin Thyreau, Shinichi Izumi, Ryuta Kawashima
2015 Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience  
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 subsequently
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.
doi:10.1093/scan/nsv089 pmid:26168793 pmcid:PMC4692314 fatcat:lxkvs6totbflngzcz7lalvrpee

Regional gray matter volume in the posterior precuneus is associated with general self-efficacy

Ayaka Sugiura, Ryuta Aoki, Kou Murayama, Yukihito Yomogida, Tomoki Haji, Atsuko Saito, Toshikazu Hasegawa, Kenji Matsumoto
2016 NeuroReport  
doi:10.1097/wnr.0000000000000702 pmid:27824732 fatcat:pu5shq5smbhxlihrdceey4tgdu

From social-signal detection to higher social cognition: an fMRI approach

Motoaki Sugiura, Yukihito Yomogida, Yoko Mano, Yuko Sassa, Toshimune Kambara, Atsushi Sekiguchi, Ryuta Kawashima
2013 Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience  
Implicit or automatic detection of social signals, which discriminate animate, intentional objects in the environment, is essential for higher social cognition and its development. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we identified the neural substrate of detecting simple visual social signals and examined its functional link with the mechanism of inferring anothers mental state. Healthy participants were presented with the eye-gaze shift (EG) and self-propelling motion (SP) under both
more » ... mplicit and explicit task conditions. They also performed a social role-playing game in which mental inference (MI) was implicitly prompted during the presentation of faces (implicit MI). Implicit detection of EG and SP activated the posterior middle temporal gyrus (pMTG) bilaterally, whereas the right posterior superior temporal sulcus was activated during the explicit conditions. We revealed that the individual variation in neural response in the right pMTG during implicit eye-gaze detection explains the individual tendency to recruit the regions implicated in mental-state inference (medial prefrontal cortex, temporal pole and striatum) during the implicit MI task. Our results suggest that the implicit detection of visual social signals involves the pMTG and underlies the development of higher social cognition.
doi:10.1093/scan/nst119 pmid:23887806 pmcid:PMC4158369 fatcat:62uol6k32fgb5m3zcsoe7kw3ma

Motivated for near impossibility: How task type and reward modulates intrinsic motivation and the striatal activation for an extremely difficult task [article]

Kou Murayama, Michiko Sakaki, Stef Meliss, Yukihito Yomogida, Kaosu Matsumori, Ayaka Sugiura, Madoka Matsumoto, Kenji Matsumoto
2019 bioRxiv   pre-print
Economic and decision-making theories suppose that people would disengage from an extremely difficult task, because such a task does not implicate any normative utility values (i.e. success probability is almost zero). However, humans are often motivated for an extremely challenging task with little chance of success, even without any extrinsic incentives. The current study aimed to address the neural mechanisms underlying the challenge-based motivation for a near impossible task, and how this
more » ... otivation is modulated by the nature of the task (luck vs. skill) and the presence of extrinsic rewards. Participants played a game-like, skill-based task with three different probabilities of success (i.e., high, moderate, and extremely-low chance of success), in one group without performance-based rewards (no-reward group) and the other group with performance-based monetary rewards (reward group). Participants in the third group played a similar task but the reward outcome was determined in a probabilistic manner (gambling group). Consistent with previous research, participants in the gambling group showed decreased activation in the striatum as the chance of success decreased. In contrast, in the no-reward group, as the chance of success decreased (i.e. the task becomes more difficult), the striatal activation increased, even if the task was almost impossible to achieve. The reward group exhibited the highest striatal activation when the task had a moderate chance of success. These results suggest that motivation for a nearly impossible task is related to the striatal functioning but only when the task requires certain skills and extrinsic rewards are not available.
doi:10.1101/828756 fatcat:3bxwz5ngnvetdfudzeyfr3ecou

Compensatory Effort Parallels Midbrain Deactivation during Mental Fatigue: An fMRI Study

Seishu Nakagawa, Motoaki Sugiura, Yuko Akitsuki, S. M. Hadi Hosseini, Yuka Kotozaki, Carlos Makoto Miyauchi, Yukihito Yomogida, Ryoichi Yokoyama, Hikaru Takeuchi, Ryuta Kawashima, Friedemann Paul
2013 PLoS ONE  
Fatigue reflects the functioning of our physiological negative feedback system, which prevents us from overworking. When fatigued, however, we often try to suppress this system in an effort to compensate for the resulting deterioration in performance. Previous studies have suggested that the effect of fatigue on neurovascular demand may be influenced by this compensatory effort. The primary goal of the present study was to isolate the effect of compensatory effort on neurovascular demand.
more » ... y male volunteers participated in a series of visual and auditory divided attention tasks that steadily increased fatigue levels for 2 hours. Functional magnetic resonance imaging scans were performed during the first and last quarter of the study (Pre and Post sessions, respectively). Tasks with low and high attentional load (Low and High conditions, respectively) were administrated in alternating blocks. We assumed that compensatory effort would be greater under the High-attentional-load condition compared with the Low-load condition. The difference was assessed during the two sessions. The effect of compensatory effort on neurovascular demand was evaluated by examining the interaction between load (High vs. Low) and time (Pre vs. Post). Significant fatigue-induced deactivation (i.e., Pre.Post) was observed in the frontal, temporal, occipital, and parietal cortices, in the cerebellum, and in the midbrain in both the High and Low conditions. The interaction was significantly greater in the High than in the Low condition in the midbrain. Neither significant fatigue-induced activation (i.e., Pre,Post), nor its interaction with factor Load, was identified. The observed midbrain deactivation ([PreH -PostH]. [PreE-PostE]) may reflect suppression of the negative feedback system that normally triggers recuperative rest to maintain homeostasis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056606 pmid:23457592 pmcid:PMC3573002 fatcat:4htaqnehbvfmvdw6yzyup7hjou

Neural Correlates of the Difference between Working Memory Speed and Simple Sensorimotor Speed: An fMRI Study

Hikaru Takeuchi, Motoaki Sugiura, Yuko Sassa, Atsushi Sekiguchi, Yukihito Yomogida, Yasuyuki Taki, Ryuta Kawashima, Pedro Antonio Valdes-Sosa
2012 PLoS ONE  
The difference between the speed of simple cognitive processes and the speed of complex cognitive processes has various psychological correlates. However, the neural correlates of this difference have not yet been investigated. In this study, we focused on working memory (WM) for typical complex cognitive processes. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired during the performance of an N-back task, which is a measure of WM for typical complex cognitive processes. In our N-back
more » ... k, task speed and memory load were varied to identify the neural correlates responsible for the difference between the speed of simple cognitive processes (estimated from the 0-back task) and the speed of WM. Our findings showed that this difference was characterized by the increased activation in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the increased functional interaction between the right DLPFC and right superior parietal lobe. Furthermore, the local gray matter volume of the right DLPFC was correlated with participants' accuracy during fast WM tasks, which in turn correlated with a psychometric measure of participants' intelligence. Our findings indicate that the right DLPFC and its related network are responsible for the execution of the fast cognitive processes involved in WM. Identified neural bases may underlie the psychometric differences between the speed with which subjects perform simple cognitive tasks and the speed with which subjects perform more complex cognitive tasks, and explain the previous traditional psychological findings.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030579 pmid:22291992 pmcid:PMC3264572 fatcat:uwm6znnjhnhqjkbeb5omt34cuy

An fMRI Investigation into the Effects of Ketogenic Medium-Chain Triglycerides on Cognitive Function in Elderly Adults: A Pilot Study

Yukihito Yomogida, Junko Matsuo, Ikki Ishida, Miho Ota, Kentaro Nakamura, Kinya Ashida, Hiroshi Kunugi
2021 Nutrients  
Evidence suggests that oral intake of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which promote the production of ketone bodies, may improve cognitive functions in elderly people; however, the underlying brain mechanisms remain elusive. We tested the hypothesis that cognitive improvement accompanies physiological changes in the brain and reflects the use of ketone bodies as an extra energy source. To this end, by using functional magnetic resonance imaging, cerebral blood oxygenation level-dependent
more » ... D) signals were measured while 20 healthy elderly subjects (14 females and 6 males; mean age: 65.7 ± 3.9 years) were engaged in executive function tasks (N-back and Go-Nogo) after ingesting a single MCT meal (Ketonformula®) or placebo meal in a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled design (UMIN000031539). Morphological characteristics of the brain were also examined in relation to the effects of an MCT meal. The MCT meal improved N-back task performance, and this was prominent in subjects who had reduced grey matter volume in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), a region known to promote executive functions. When the participants were dichotomized into high/low level groups of global cognitive function at baseline, the high group showed improved N-back task performance, while the low group showed improved Go-Nogo task performance. This was accompanied by decreased BOLD signals in the DLPFC, indicative of the consumption of ketone bodies as an extra energy source.
doi:10.3390/nu13072134 fatcat:5iuimekunffc3nyp6cnnr2b2jq

Dissociable Roles of the Anterior Temporal Regions in Successful Encoding of Memory for Person Identity Information

Takashi Tsukiura, Yoko Mano, Atsushi Sekiguchi, Yukihito Yomogida, Kaori Hoshi, Toshimune Kambara, Hikaru Takeuchi, Motoaki Sugiura, Ryuta Kawashima
2010 Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience  
■ Memory for person identity information consists of three main components: face-related information, name-related information, and person-related semantic information, such as the person's job title. Although previous studies have demonstrated the importance of the anterior temporal lobe (ATL) in the retrieval of associations between these kinds of information, there is no evidence concerning whether the ATL region contributes to the encoding of this memory, and whether ATL roles are
more » ... e between different levels of association in this memory. Using fMRI, we investigated dissociable roles within the ATL during successful encoding of this memory. During encoding, participants viewed unfamiliar faces, each paired with a job title and name. During retrieval, each learned face was presented with two job titles or two names, and participants were required to choose the correct job title or name. Successful encoding conditions were categorized by subsequent retrieval conditions: successful encoding of names and job titles (HNJ), names (HN), and job titles (HJ). The study yielded three main findings. First, the dorsal ATL showed greater activations in HNJ than in HN or HJ. Second, ventral ATL activity was greater in HNJ and HJ than in HN. Third, functional connectivity between these regions was significant during successful encoding. The results are the first to demonstrate that the dorsal and ventral ATL roles are dissociable between two steps of association, associations of person-related semantics with name and with face, and a dorsal-ventral ATL interaction predicts subsequent retrieval success of memory for person identity information. ■
doi:10.1162/jocn.2009.21349 pmid:19803684 fatcat:pycxghx3ifh3nc3syaauvfasbq

Brain Training Game Improves Executive Functions and Processing Speed in the Elderly: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Rui Nouchi, Yasuyuki Taki, Hikaru Takeuchi, Hiroshi Hashizume, Yuko Akitsuki, Yayoi Shigemune, Atsushi Sekiguchi, Yuka Kotozaki, Takashi Tsukiura, Yukihito Yomogida, Ryuta Kawashima, André Aleman
2012 PLoS ONE  
The beneficial effects of brain training games are expected to transfer to other cognitive functions, but these beneficial effects are poorly understood. Here we investigate the impact of the brain training game (Brain Age) on cognitive functions in the elderly. Methods and Results: Thirty-two elderly volunteers were recruited through an advertisement in the local newspaper and randomly assigned to either of two game groups (Brain Age, Tetris). This study was completed by 14 of the 16 members
more » ... the Brain Age group and 14 of the 16 members in the Tetris group. To maximize the benefit of the interventions, all participants were non-gamers who reported playing less than one hour of video games per week over the past 2 years. Participants in both the Brain Age and the Tetris groups played their game for about 15 minutes per day, at least 5 days per week, for 4 weeks. Each group played for a total of about 20 days. Measures of the cognitive functions were conducted before and after training. Measures of the cognitive functions fell into four categories (global cognitive status, executive functions, attention, and processing speed). Results showed that the effects of the brain training game were transferred to executive functions and to processing speed. However, the brain training game showed no transfer effect on any global cognitive status nor attention. Conclusions: Our results showed that playing Brain Age for 4 weeks could lead to improve cognitive functions (executive functions and processing speed) in the elderly. This result indicated that there is a possibility which the elderly could improve executive functions and processing speed in short term training. The results need replication in large samples. Long-term effects and relevance for every-day functioning remain uncertain as yet.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029676 pmid:22253758 pmcid:PMC3256163 fatcat:tqupwu62czgfbfv3atyhqdhkxm

Effect of Lacticaseibacillus paracasei Strain Shirota on Improvement in Depressive Symptoms, and Its Association with Abundance of Actinobacteria in Gut Microbiota

Machiko Otaka, Hiroko Kikuchi-Hayakawa, Jun Ogura, Hiroshi Ishikawa, Yukihito Yomogida, Miho Ota, Shinsuke Hidese, Ikki Ishida, Masanori Aida, Kazunori Matsuda, Mitsuhisa Kawai, Sumiko Yoshida (+1 others)
2021 Microorganisms  
We previously reported lower counts of lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium in the gut microbiota of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), compared with healthy controls. This prompted us to investigate the possible efficacy of a probiotic strain, Lacticaseibacillus paracasei strain Shirota (LcS; basonym, Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota; daily intake of 8.0 × 1010 colony-forming units), in alleviating depressive symptoms. A single-arm trial was conducted on 18 eligible patients with MDD
more » ... or bipolar disorder (BD) (14 females and 4 males; 15 MDD and 3 BD), assessing changes in psychiatric symptoms, the gut microbiota, and biological markers for intestinal permeability and inflammation, over a 12-week intervention period. Depression severity, evaluated by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, was significantly alleviated after LcS treatment. The intervention-associated reduction of depressive symptoms was associated with the gut microbiota, and more pronounced when Bifidobacterium and the Atopobium clusters of the Actinobacteria phylum were maintained at higher counts. No significant changes were observed in the intestinal permeability or inflammation markers. Although it was difficult to estimate the extent of the effect of LcS treatment alone, the results indicated that it was beneficial to alleviate depressive symptoms, partly through its association with abundance of Actinobacteria in the gut microbiota.
doi:10.3390/microorganisms9051026 pmid:34068832 fatcat:j5gtnwieznefbasrqxgpovrtti
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