Similarity to the self influences cortical recruitment during impression formation.
ABSTRACT: Prior work has shown that whether or not someone is similar to the self influences person memory--a type of self-reference effect for others. In this study, we were interested in understanding the neural regions supporting the generation of impressions and subsequent memory for targets who vary in similarity to the self. Participants underwent fMRI scanning while forming positive or negative impressions of face-behavior pairs. We tested participants' memory for their generated impressions and then back-sorted the impression trials (encoding) into different levels of self-similarity (high, medium, low) using a self-similarity posttest that came after recognition. Extending prior behavioral work, our data confirmed our hypothesis that memory would be highest for self-similar others and lowest for self-dissimilar others. Dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) activity increased with self-similarity (high > medium > low) to targets, regardless of later memory for them. An analysis of regions supporting impression memory revealed a double dissociation within medial temporal lobe regions: for similar others, amygdala recruitment supported memory, whereas for dissimilar others, hippocampal activation supported memory. These results suggest that self-similarity influences evaluation and memory for targets but also affects the underlying neural resources engaged when thinking about others who vary in self-similarity.
Project description:The present studies investigated whether similarity to the self influenced memory for impressions of others. We predicted that similarity to the self would facilitate impression memory for others, paralleling the self-reference effect found when information is processed relative to the self. We were interested in how the initial valence of the impression, whether positive or negative, affected impression memory. Across two experiments, participants formed impressions while viewing faces paired with traits and behaviors. After recognition, participants rated the self-descriptiveness of the studied traits allowing impression memory to be sorted into high-, medium-, and low-self-similarity. For positive impressions, similar others were remembered better than dissimilar others. For negative impressions, similar others were remembered more poorly than dissimilar others. These results illustrate that similarity to the self has multifaceted effects on person memory, leading to memory enhancement in the case of people given positive impressions, but reducing memory for people associated with negative impressions.
Project description:Similarity to the self has been shown to affect memory for impressions in younger adults, suggesting a self-reference effect in person memory. Because older adults show comparable self-reference effects, but prioritize memory for positive over negative information relative to young adults, we examined age differences in self-similarity effects on memory for positive and negative impressions.Younger and older adults formed positive and negative impressions of others differing in the degree of similarity to the self (high, medium, low).For positive impressions, both groups showed enhanced memory for self-similar others relative to dissimilar others, whereas for negative impressions, memory was poorer for those similar to the self. When collapsed across similarity to the self, younger adults remembered negative impressions better than older adults, but interestingly, older adults exhibited a trend for better memory for the positive impressions.Results suggest that self-reference effects in impression memory are preserved with age and that older adults exhibit positivity effects in person memory consistent with previous findings.
Project description:People are adept at forming impressions of others, but how easily can impressions be updated? Although implicit first impressions have been characterized as difficult to overturn, recent work shows that they can be reversed through reinterpretation of earlier learning. However, such reversal has been demonstrated only in the same experimental session in which the impression formed, suggesting that implicit updating might be possible only within a brief temporal window, before impressions are consolidated and when memory about the initial information is strongest. Implicit impressions may be unable to be revised when reinterpreting details are learned later, due to memory consolidation or forgetting of the details to be reinterpreted. This study tested whether implicit first impressions can be reversed through reinterpretation after a two-day delay following the initial formation. Results showed that implicit revision emerged after the delay, even among those with poor explicit recall or who were not cued to recall. We discuss implications for theory on impression formation and updating.
Project description:How do people update their impressions of close others? Although people may be motivated to maintain their positive impressions, they may also update their impressions when their expectations are violated (i.e. prediction error). Combining neuroimaging and computational modeling, we test the hypothesis that brain regions associated with theory of mind, especially right temporoparietal junction (rTPJ), underpin both motivated impression maintenance and impression updating evoked by prediction error. Participants had money either given to or taken away from them by a friend or a stranger and were then asked to rate each partner on trustworthiness and closeness across trials. Overall, participants engaged in less impression updating for friends vs strangers. Decreased rTPJ activity in response to a friend's negative behavior (taking money) was associated with reduced negative updating and increased positive ratings of the friend. However, to the extent that participants did update their impressions (more negative ratings) of friends, this behavioral pattern was explained by greater prediction error and greater rTPJ activity. These findings suggest that rTPJ recruitment represents the integration of prediction error signals and the capacity to overcome people's motivation to maintain positive impressions of friends in the face of conflicting evidence.
Project description:Humans seamlessly infer the expanse of personality traits from others' facial appearance. These facial impressions are highly intercorrelated within a structure known as "face trait space." Research has extensively documented the facial features that underlie face impressions, thus outlining a bottom-up fixed architecture of face impressions, which cannot account for important ways impressions vary across perceivers. Classic theory in impression formation emphasized that perceivers use their lay conceptual beliefs about how personality traits correlate to form initial trait impressions, for instance, where trustworthiness of a target may inform impressions of their intelligence to the extent one believes the two traits are related. This considered, we explore the possibility that this lay "conceptual trait space"-how perceivers believe personality traits correlate in others-plays a role in face impressions, tethering face impressions to one another, thus shaping face trait space. In study 1, we found that conceptual and face trait space explain considerable variance in each other. In study 2, we found that participants with stronger conceptual associations between two traits judged those traits more similarly in faces. Importantly, using a face image classification task, we found in study 3 that participants with stronger conceptual associations between two traits used more similar facial features to make those two face trait impressions. Together, these findings suggest lay beliefs of how personality traits correlate may underlie trait impressions, and thus face trait space. This implies face impressions are not only derived bottom up from facial features, but also shaped by our conceptual beliefs.
Project description:Previous research has shown that autobiographical episodic counterfactual thinking-i.e., mental simulations about alternative ways in which one's life experiences could have occurred-engages the brain's default network (DN). However, it remains unknown whether or not the DN is also engaged during impersonal counterfactual thoughts, specifically those involving other people or objects. The current study compares brain activity during counterfactual simulations involving the self, others and objects. In addition, counterfactual thoughts involving others were manipulated in terms of similarity and familiarity with the simulated characters. The results indicate greater involvement of DN during person-based (i.e., self and other) as opposed to object-based counterfactual simulations. However, the involvement of different regions of the DN during other-based counterfactual simulations was modulated by how close and/or similar the simulated character was perceived to be by the participant. Simulations involving unfamiliar characters preferentially recruited dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. Simulations involving unfamiliar similar characters, characters with whom participants identified personality traits, recruited lateral temporal gyrus. Finally, our results also revealed differential coupling of right hippocampus with lateral prefrontal and temporal cortex during counterfactual simulations involving familiar similar others, but with left transverse temporal gyrus and medial frontal and inferior temporal gyri during counterfactual simulations involving either oneself or unfamiliar dissimilar others. These results suggest that different brain mechanisms are involved in the simulation of personal and impersonal counterfactual thoughts, and that the extent to which regions associated with autobiographical memory are recruited during the simulation of counterfactuals involving others depends on the perceived similarity and familiarity with the simulated individuals.
Project description:Pattern separation and completion are fundamental hippocampal computations supporting memory encoding and retrieval. However, despite extensive exploration of these processes, it remains unclear whether and how top-down processes adaptively modulate the dynamics between these computations. Here we examine the role of expectation in shifting the hippocampus to perform pattern separation. In a behavioral task, 29 participants (7 males) learned a cue-object category contingency. Then, at encoding, one-third of the cues preceding the to-be-memorized objects, violated the studied rule. At test, participants performed a recognition task with old objects (targets) and a set of parametrically manipulated (very similar to dissimilar) foils for each object. Accuracy was found to be better for foils of high similarity to targets that were contextually unexpected at encoding compared with expected ones. Critically, there were no expectation-driven differences for targets and low similarity foils. To further explore these effects, we implemented a computational model of the hippocampus, performing the same task as the human participants. We used representational similarity analysis to examine how top-down expectation interacts with bottom-up perceptual input, in each layer. All subfields showed more dissimilar representations for unexpected items, with dentate gyrus (DG) and CA3 being more sensitive to expectation violation than CA1. Again, representational differences between expected and unexpected inputs were prominent for moderate to high levels of input similarity. This effect diminished when inputs from DG and CA3 into CA1 were lesioned. Overall, these novel findings strongly suggest that pattern separation in DG/CA3 underlies the effect that violation of expectation exerts on memory.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT What makes some events more memorable than others is a key question in cognitive neuroscience. Violation of expectation often leads to better memory performance, but the neural mechanism underlying this benefit remains elusive. In a behavioral study, we found that memory accuracy is enhanced selectively for unexpected highly similar foils, suggesting expectation violation does not enhance memory indiscriminately, but specifically aids the disambiguation of overlapping inputs. This is further supported by our subsequent investigation using a hippocampal computational model, revealing increased representational dissimilarity for unexpected highly similar foils in DG and CA3. These convergent results provide the first evidence that pattern separation plays an explicit role in supporting memory for unexpected information.
Project description:Emotion plays important and diverse roles across various social relations. Although the social functions of emotion have attracted increased attention, the effects of positive emotions such as pride on impression formation remain poorly understood. Drawing on social projection theory, this study examined how incidental experiences of pride influenced the impressions of those who made a blunder, along with two other characteristics: the person's warmth and competence. Participants were designated randomly to receive inductions of pride, awe, or a neutral emotion. Subsequently, they were asked to indicate their own impression of a person who had made a blunder and to rate their overall sense of that individual's warmth and competence. A laboratory experiment recruiting university students (Study 1, N = 79) demonstrated that pride, a positive emotion elicited by a self-relevant achievement, led to higher competency evaluations of others. However, a pre-registered online experiment in middle-aged adults (Study 2, N = 108) failed to replicate the effects of pride on competency evaluations of others. Furthermore, another pre-registered online experiment in younger adults (Study 3, N = 290) did not show successful manipulation of incidental emotions. These results suggest that strictly controlled experimental settings that induce robust incidental emotions might be better for demonstrating a strong pride effect on the evaluation of others.
Project description:Purpose. For a precise fit of multiple implant framework, having an accurate definitive cast is imperative. The present study evaluated dimensional accuracy of master casts obtained using different impression trays and materials with open tray impression technique. Materials and Methods. A machined aluminum reference model with four parallel implant analogues was fabricated. Forty implant level impressions were made. Eight groups (n = 5) were tested using impression materials (polyether and vinylsiloxanether) and four types of impression trays, two being custom (self-cure acrylic and light cure acrylic) and two being stock (plastic and metal). The interimplant distances were measured on master casts using a coordinate measuring machine. The collected data was compared with a standard reference model and was statistically analyzed using two-way ANOVA. Results. Statistically significant difference (p < 0.05) was found between the two impression materials. However, the difference seen was small (36??m) irrespective of the tray type used. No significant difference (p > 0.05) was observed between varied stock and custom trays. Conclusions. The polyether impression material proved to be more accurate than vinylsiloxanether impression material. The rigid nonperforated stock trays, both plastic and metal, could be an alternative for custom trays for multi-implant impressions when used with medium viscosity impression materials.
Project description:Verbal working memory is one of the most studied non-motor functions with robust cerebellar involvement. While the superior cerebellum (lobule VI) has been associated with articulatory control, the inferior cerebellum (lobule VIIIa) has been linked to phonological storage. The present study was aimed to elucidate the differential roles of these regions by investigating whether the cerebellum might contribute to verbal working memory via predictions based on sequence learning/detection. 19 healthy adult subjects completed an fMRI-based Sternberg task which included repeating and novel letter sequences that were phonologically similar or dissimilar. It was hypothesized that learning a repeating sequence of study letters would reduce phonological storage demand and associated right inferior cerebellar activations and that this effect would be modulated by phonological similarity of the study letters. Specifically, while increased phonological storage demand due to high phonological similarity was expected to be reflected in increased right inferior cerebellar activations for similar relative to dissimilar study letters, the reduction in activation for repeating relative to novel sequences was expected to be more profound for phonologically similar than for dissimilar study letters, especially at higher memory load. Results confirmed the typical effects of cognitive load (5 vs. 2 study letters) and phonological similarity in several cerebellar and neocortical brain regions as well as in behavioral data (accuracy and response time). Importantly, activations in superior and inferior cerebellar regions were differentially modulated as a function of similarity and sequence novelty, indicating that particularly lobule VIIIa may contribute to verbal working memory by generating predictions of letter sequences that reduce the likelihood of phonological loop failure before stored items need to be retrieved. The present study is consistent with other investigations that support prediction, which can be based on sequence learning or detection, as an overarching cerebellar function.