Science posts

See science posts on page 30 below.

    • 2015
    • Alexa M. Tullett
    • In Search Of True Things Worth Knowing: Considerations For A New Article Prototype
    • Within social and personality psychology, the existing “old prototype” of a publishable article is at odds with new expectations for transparent reporting. If researchers anticipate having to report everything while continuing to aim for a research product that includes multiple studies, examining a novel effect, with only statistically significant results, this will have negative implications for initial decisions about what research to conduct. First, researchers will be discouraged from collecting additional data because this could potentially mar existing findings. Second, they will be discouraged from pursuing questions for which the answers are unknown, as this would be a waste if the results do not fit old-prototype expectations. These practices undermine what seem to be two universal values within personality and social psychology: truth and interestingness. Suggestions for a “new prototype” that de-emphasizes p-value cutoffs, multiple studies, and nov..
    • 2014
    • Mark Plitt et al.
    • Are corporations people too? The neural correlates of moral judgments about companies and individuals
    • To investigate whether the legal concept of “corporate personhood” mirrors an inherent similarity in the neural processing of the actions of corporations and people, we measured brain responses to vignettes about corporations and people while participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging. We found that anti-social actions of corporations elicited more intense negative emotions and that pro-social actions of people elicited more intense positive emotions. However, the networks underlying the moral decisions about corporations and people are strikingly similar, including regions of the canonical theory of mind network. In analyzing the activity in these networks, we found differences in the emotional processing of these two types of vignettes: neutral actions of corporations showed neural correlates that more closely resembled negative actions than positive actions. Collectively, these findings indicate that our brains understand and analyze the actions of co..
    • 2012
    • Anthony Jack & Joseph Gabriel
    • Individual and gender differences demonstrate a trade‐off between empathetic concern and physical reasoning abilities
    • In examining the reciprocally inhibitory relationship between the Task Positive Network (TPN) and the Default Mode Network (DMN), we (in Jack et al. 2012) provide evidence supporting the opposing domains hypothesis. This hypothesis states that the inhibitory relationship between the networks reflects incompatible cognitive modes which can be directed towards understanding the external world. These modes are associated with two broad cognitive domains: social information processing and non‐social, physical, information processing. In our evaluation, we found that social reasoning tasks produced a pattern of activation in the DMN, while physical reasoning tasks produced activation in the TPN; both of these tasks produced deactivation in the opposite networks. Experiments 1 – 4 With Experiments 1 – 5, we find enough evidence to support the application of the three stance model to understand individual differences. Using the Intuitive Physics Test (IPT) of m..
    • 2013
    • J.P. Friedman & A.I. Jack
    • Are you sure you don’t believe in God?
    • Recent findings indicate that individuals with acquired sociopathy due to ventro-medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) brain damage are inclined to greater fundamentalism in their religious beliefs (Asp et al., 2012). However, whereas measures of religious fundamentalism (RF) are specific to individuals espousing religious worldviews, dogmatism captures a closely related but independent construct. Altemeyer (1996, p.201) defines dogmatism as “relatively unchangeable, unjustified certainty” in one’s beliefs, independent of ideology or content; accordingly, measures of dogmatism are equally applicable to religious and non-religious individuals alike. Here, we present the results of two studies examining how increasing levels of dogmatism among the religious and non-religious relate to prosocial sentiments. Recent empirical work has largely neglected the possibility of a link between religious belief and prosocial sentiments, including increased empathy, emotional sensitivi..
    • 2013
    • Anni Richter et al.
    • Motivational salience and genetic variability of dopamine D2 receptor expression interact in the modulation of interference processing
    • Dopamine has been implicated in the fine-tuning of complex cognitive and motor function and also in the anticipation of future rewards. This dual function of dopamine suggests that dopamine might be involved in the generation of active motivated behavior. The DRD2 TaqIA polymorphism of the dopamine D2 receptor gene (rs1800497) has previously been suggested to affect striatal function with carriers of the less common A1 allele exhibiting reduced striatal D2 receptor density and increased risk for addiction. Here we aimed to investigate the influences of DRD2 TaqIA genotype on the modulation of interference processing by reward and punishment. Forty-six young, healthy volunteers participated in a behavioral experiment, and 32 underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants performed a flanker task with a motivation manipulation (monetary reward, monetary loss, neither, or both). Reaction times (RTs) were shorter in motivated flanker trials, irrespective of congruen..
    • 2013
    • Jan Wacker et al.
    • Dopamine-D2-Receptor Blockade Reverses the Association Between Trait Approach Motivation and Frontal Asymmetry in an Approach-Motivation Context
    • Individual differences in the behavioral approach system (BAS)—referred to as trait approach motivation or trait BAS)—have been linked to both frontal electroencephalogram (EEG) alpha asymmetry between left and right hemispheres (frontal alpha asymmetry) and brain dopamine. However, evidence directly linking frontal alpha asymmetry and dopamine is scarce. In the present study, female experimenters recorded EEG data in 181 male participants after double-blind administration of either a placebo or a dopamine D2 blocker. As expected, trait BAS was associated with greater left- than right-frontal cortical activity (i.e., greater right- than left-frontal EEG alpha) in the placebo group, but a reversed association emerged in the dopamine-blocker group. Furthermore, frontal alpha asymmetry was associated with a genetic variant known to modulate prefrontal dopamine levels (the catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met polymorphism). Finally, each of these effects was signifi..
    • 2012
    • Dara G. Ghahremani et al.
    • Striatal Dopamine D2/D3 Receptors Mediate Response Inhibition and Related Activity in Frontostriatal Neural Circuitry in Humans
    • Impulsive behavior is thought to reflect a traitlike characteristic that can have broad consequences for an individual's success and well-being, but its neurobiological basis remains elusive. Although striatal dopamine D2-like receptors have been linked with impulsive behavior and behavioral inhibition in rodents, a role for D2-like receptor function in frontostriatal circuits mediating inhibitory control in humans has not been shown. We investigated this role in a study of healthy research participants who underwent positron emission tomography with the D2/D3 dopamine receptor ligand [18F]fallypride and BOLD fMRI while they performed the Stop-signal Task, a test of response inhibition. Striatal dopamine D2/D3 receptor availability was negatively correlated with speed of response inhibition (stop-signal reaction time) and positively correlated with inhibition-related fMRI activation in frontostriatal neural circuitry. Correlations involving D2/D3 receptor availability were strongest ..
    • 2013
    • Daniella Laureiro-Martínez et al.
    • Frontopolar cortex and decision-making efficiency: comparing brain activity of experts with different professional background during an exploration-exploitation task
    • An optimal balance between efficient exploitation of available resources and creative exploration of alternatives is critical for adaptation and survival. Previous studies associated these behavioral drives with, respectively, the dopaminergic mesocorticolimbic system and frontopolar-intraparietal networks. We study the activation of these systems in two age and gender-matched groups of experienced decision-makers differing in prior professional background, with the aim to understand the neural bases of individual differences in decision-making efficiency (performance divided by response time). We compare brain activity of entrepreneurs (who currently manage the organization they founded based on their venture idea) and managers (who are constantly involved in making strategic decisions but have no venture experience) engaged in a gambling-task assessing exploitative vs. explorative decision-making. Compared with managers, entrepreneurs showed higher decision-making efficiency, and a..
    • 2009
    • Markus Knauff
    • A Neuro-Cognitive Theory of Deductive Relational Reasoning with Mental Models and Visual Images
    • Many neuro-imaging studies have provided evidence that the parietal cortex plays a key role in reasoning based on mental models, which are supposed to be of abstract spatial nature. However, these studies have also shown concurrent activation in vision-related cortical areas which have often been interpreted as evidence for the role of visual mental imagery in reasoning. The aim of the paper is to resolve the inconsistencies in the previous literature on reasoning and imagery and to develop a neurally and cognitively plausible theory of human relational reasoning. The main assumption is that visual brain areas are only involved if the problem information is easy to visualize and when this information must be processed and maintained in visual working memory. A regular reasoning process, however, does not involve visual images but more abstract spatial representations—spatial mental models—held in parietal cortices. Only these spatial representations are crucial for the ge..
    • 2010
    • Wim De Neys et al.
    • Feeling we’re biased: Autonomic arousal and reasoning conflict
    • Human reasoning is often biased by intuitive beliefs. A key question is whether the bias results from a failure to detect that the intuitions conflict with logical considerations or from a failure to discard these tempting intuitions. The present study addressed this unresolved debate by focusing on conflict-related autonomic nervous system modulation during biased reasoning. Participants’ skin conductance responses (SCRs) were monitored while they solved classic syllogisms in which a cued intuitive response could be inconsistent or consistent with the logical correct response. Results indicated that all reasoners showed increased SCRs when solving the inconsistent conflict problems. Experiment 2 validated that this autonomic arousal boost was absent when people were not engaged in an active reasoning task. The presence of a clear autonomic conflict response during reasoning lends credence to the idea that reasoners have a “gut” feeling that signals that their intui..