Mikko Sams

Mikko Sams
Aalto University · Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering (NBE)

PhD

About

307
Publications
40,767
Reads
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18,200
Citations
Introduction
Human behaviour under naturalistic conditions

Publications

Publications (307)
Article
Full-text available
Empathy is argued to be a key factor for a successful design discussion. However, such causality cannot be empirically proven based on how empathy is currently defined in design community. Empathy is used as an umbrella construct, broad and encompassing of diverse phenomena, making it difficult to quantify. We suggest improving such a situation by...
Article
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Perception of the same narrative can vary between individuals depending on a listener’s previous experiences. We studied whether and how cultural family background may shape the processing of an audiobook in the human brain. During functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), 48 healthy volunteers from two different cultural family backgrounds lis...
Article
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Music performance anxiety (MPA) affects musicians at various stages of a performance, from its preparation until the aftermath of its delivery. Given the commonality and potentially grave consequences of MPA, it is understandable that much attention has been paid to the musician experiencing it. Consequently, we have learned a great deal about the...
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Neurophysiological and psychological models posit that emotions depend on connections across wide-spread corticolimbic circuits. While previous studies using pattern recognition on neuroimaging data have shown differences between various discrete emotions in brain activity patterns, less is known about the differences in functional connectivity. Th...
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Empathy is often split into an affective facet for embodied simulation or sometimes sensorial processing, and a cognitive facet for mentalizing and perspective-taking. However, a recent neurophenomenological framework proposes a graded view on empathy (i.e., “ Graded Empathy ”) that extends this dichotomy and considers multiple levels while integra...
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Humans across all societies engage in music-listening and making, which they find pleasurable, despite music does not appear to have any obvious survival value. Here we review the recent studies on the social dimensions of music that contribute to music-induced hedonia. Meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies shows that listening to both positively a...
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Using movies and narratives as naturalistic stimuli in human neuroimaging studies has yielded significant advances in understanding of cognitive and emotional functions. The relevant literature was reviewed, with emphasis on how the use of naturalistic stimuli has helped advance scientific understanding of human memory, attention, language, emotion...
Preprint
Humans across all societies engage in music-listening and making, which they find pleasurable, despite music having no obvious survival value. Here we review the neurobiology of musical pleasures and propose a “simulated sociability” hypothesis – that the social dimension of music is the key reason for musical hedonia. Neuroimaging studies show tha...
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Empathic design highlights the relevance of understanding users and their circumstances in order to obtain good design outcomes. However, theory-based quantitative methods, which can be used to test user understanding, are hard to find in the design science literature. Here, we introduce a validated method used in social psychological research – th...
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Human speech production requires the ability to couple motor actions with their auditory consequences. Nonhuman primates might not have speech because they lack this ability. To address this question, we trained macaques to perform an auditory–motor task producing sound sequences via hand presses on a newly designed device (“monkey piano”). Catch t...
Article
Human behavior is inherently multimodal and relies on sensorimotor integration. This is evident when pianists exhibit activity in motor and premotor cortices, as part of a dorsal pathway, while listening to a familiar piece of music, or when naïve participants learn to play simple patterns on the piano. Here we investigated the interaction between...
Preprint
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Using neuroimaging, we studied influence of family cultural background on processing of an audiobook in human brain. The audiobook depicted life of two young Finnish men, one with the Finnish and the other with the Russian family background. Shared family cultural background enhanced similarity of narrative processing in the brain at prelexical, wo...
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Putting oneself into the shoes of others is an important aspect of social cognition. We measured brain hemodynamic activity and eye-gaze patterns while participants were viewing a shortened version of the movie 'My Sister's Keeper' from two perspectives: that of a potential organ donor, who violates moral norms by refusing to donate her kidney, and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Neurophysiological and psychological models posit that emotions depend on connections across wide-spread corticolimbic circuits. While previous studies using pattern recognition on neuroimaging data have shown differences between various discrete emotions in brain activity patterns, less is known about the differences in functional connectivity. Th...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the emotional and psychophysiological underpinnings of social interaction in the context of autism spectrum disorder, more specifically, involving participants diagnosed with Asperger syndrome (AS). We recorded participants’ autonomic nervous system (ANS) activation (electrodermal activity, heart rate, and heart rate variability) and fa...
Article
Individuals often align their emotional states during conversation. Here, we reveal how such emotional alignment is reflected in synchronization of brain activity across speakers and listeners. Two “speaker” subjects told emotional and neutral autobiographical stories while their hemodynamic brain activity was measured with functional magnetic reso...
Article
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We are constantly categorizing other people as belonging to our in-group ('one of us') or out-group ('one of them'). Such grouping occurs fast and automatically and can be based on others' visible characteristics such as skin color or clothing style. Here we studied neural underpinnings of implicit social grouping not often visible on the face, mal...
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Introduction When listening to a narrative, the verbal expressions translate into meanings and flow of mental imagery. However, the same narrative can be heard quite differently based on differences in listeners' previous experiences and knowledge. We capitalized on such differences to disclose brain regions that support transformation of narrative...
Article
Emotions can be characterized by dimensions of arousal and valence (pleasantness). While the functional brain bases of emotional arousal and valence have been actively investigated, the neuromolecular underpinnings remain poorly understood. We tested whether the opioid and dopamine systems involved in reward and motivational processes would be asso...
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People socialized in different cultures differ in their thinking styles. Eastern-culture persons view objects more holistically by taking context into account, whereas Western-culture persons view objects more analytically by focusing on them at the expense of context. Here we studied whether participants, who have different thinking styles but liv...
Article
The auditory dorsal stream has been implicated in sensorimotor integration and concatenation of sequential sound events, both being important for processing of speech and music. The auditory ventral stream, by contrast, is characterized as subserving sound identification and recognition. We studied the respective roles of the dorsal and ventral str...
Article
Recent advances in machine learning allow faster training, improved performance and increased interpretability of classification techniques. Consequently, their application in neuroscience is rapidly increasing. While classification approaches have proved useful in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies, there are concerns regarding e...
Preprint
Full-text available
When listening to a narrative, the verbal expressions translate into meanings and flow of mental imagery, at best vividly immersing the keen listener into the sights, sounds, scents, objects, actions, and events in the story. However, the same narrative can be heard quite differently based on differences in listeners’ previous experiences and knowl...
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Full-text available
Two central dimensions in psychotherapeutic work are a therapist’s empathy with clients and challenging their judgments. We investigated how they influence psychophysiological responses in the participants. Data were from psychodynamic therapy sessions, 24 sessions from 5 dyads, from which 694 therapist’s interventions were coded. Heart rate and el...
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The functional organization of human emotion systems as well as their neuroanatomical basis and segregation in the brain remains unresolved. Here we used pattern classification and hierarchical clustering to characterize the organization of a range of specific emotion categories in the human brain. We induced 14 emotions (6 "basic", e.g. fear and a...
Preprint
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Only a few of us are skilled lipreaders while most struggle at the task. To illuminate the poorly understood neural substrate of this variability, we estimated the similarity of brain activity during lipreading, listening, and reading of the same 8-min narrative with subjects whose lipreading skill varied extensively. The similarity of brain activi...
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Seeing an action may activate the corresponding action motor code in the observer. It remains unresolved whether seeing and performing an action activates similar action-specific motor codes in the observer and the actor. We used novel hyperclassification approach to reveal shared brain activation signatures of action execution and observation in i...
Article
Recent functional studies suggest that noise sensitivity, a trait describing attitudes towards noise and predicting noise annoyance, is associated with altered processing in the central auditory system. In the present work, we examined whether noise sensitivity could be related to the structural anatomy of auditory and limbic brain areas. Anatomica...
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Previous behavioural studies have shown that humans act more altruistically towards kin. Whether and how knowledge of genetic relatedness translates into differential neurocognitive evaluation of observed social interactions has remained an open question. Here, we investigated how the human brain is engaged when viewing a moral dilemma between gene...
Preprint
Recent advances in machine learning allow faster training, improved performance and increased interpretability of classification techniques. Consequently, their application in neuroscience is rapidly increasing. While classification approaches have proved useful in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies, there are concerns regarding e...
Article
It has been presented that Western cultures (USA, Western Europe) are mostly characterized by competitive forms of social interaction, whereas Eastern cultures (Japan, China, Russia) are mostly characterized by cooperative forms. It has also been stated that thinking in Eastern countries is predominantly holistic and in Western countries analytic....
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Introduction We examined which brain areas are involved in the comprehension of acoustically distorted speech using an experimental paradigm where the same distorted sentence can be perceived at different levels of intelligibility. This change in intelligibility occurs via a single intervening presentation of the intact version of the sentence, and...
Article
Neuroimaging studies have shown that seeing others in pain activates brain regions that are involved in first-hand pain, suggesting that shared neuromolecular pathways support processing of first-hand and vicarious pain. We tested whether the dopamine and opioid neurotransmitter systems involved in nociceptive processing also contribute to vicariou...
Article
The size of human social networks significantly exceeds the network that can be maintained by social grooming or touching in other primates. It has been proposed that endogenous opioid release after social laughter would provide a neurochemical pathway supporting long-term relationships in humans (Dunbar, 2012), yet this hypothesis currently lacks...
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The functional network approach, where fMRI BOLD time series are mapped to networks depicting functional relationships between brain areas, has opened new insights into the function of the human brain. In this approach, the choice of network nodes is of crucial importance. One option is to consider fMRI voxels as nodes. This results in a large numb...
Article
To understand temporally extended events, the human brain needs to accumulate information continuously across time. Interruptions that require switching of attention to other event sequences disrupt this process. To reveal neural mechanisms supporting integration of event information, we measured brain activity with functional magnetic resonance im...
Preprint
Full-text available
The functional organization of human emotion systems as well as their neuroanatomical basis and segregation in the brain remains unresolved. Here we used pattern classification and hierarchical clustering to reveal and characterize the organization of discrete emotion categories in the human brain. We induced 14 emotions (6 “basic”, such as fear an...
Preprint
Full-text available
Previous behavioural studies have shown that humans act more altruistically towards kin. Whether and how such kinship preference translates into differential neurocognitive evaluation of social interactions has remained an open question. Here, we investigated how the human brain is engaged when viewing a moral dilemma between genetic vs. non-geneti...
Article
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We studied behavioral matching during joint decision making. Drawing on motion-capture and voice data from 12 dyads, we analyzed body-sway and pitch-register matching during sequential transitions and continuations, with and without mutual visibility. Body sway was matched most strongly during sequential transitions in the conditions of mutual visi...
Article
During a conversation or when listening to music, auditory and visual information are combined automatically into audiovisual objects. However, it is still poorly understood how specific type of visual information shapes neural processing of sounds in lifelike stimulus environments. Here we applied multi-voxel pattern analysis to investigate how na...
Article
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Networks have become a standard tool for analysing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. In this approach, brain areas and their functional connections are mapped to the nodes and links of a network. Even though this mapping reduces the complexity of the underlying data, it remains challenging to understand the structure of the resulti...
Article
Music is often used to regulate emotions and mood. Typically, music conveys and induces emotions even when one does not attend to them. Studies on the neural substrates of musical emotions have, however, only examined brain activity when subjects have focused on the emotional content of the music. Here we address with functional magnetic resonance...
Article
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Human behaviour is context-dependent—based on predictions and influenced by the environment and other people. We live in a dynamic world where both the social stimuli and their context are constantly changing. Similar dynamic, natural stimuli should, in the future, be increasingly used to study social brain functions, with parallel development of a...
Article
The reinforcement-sensitivity theory proposes that behavioural activation and inhibition systems (BAS and BIS, respectively) guide approach and avoidance behaviour in potentially rewarding and punishing situations. Their baseline activity presumably explains individual differences in behavioural dispositions when a person encounters signals of rewa...
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The ability to evaluate others' errors makes it possible to learn from their mistakes without the need for first-hand trial-and-error experiences. Here, we compared functional magnetic resonance imaging activation to self-committed errors during a computer game to a variety of errors committed by others during movie clips (e.g., figure skaters fall...
Article
To investigate specific features of systemic organization of behavior in individuals with analytic and holistic cognitive styles we presented a simple decision-making task to pairs of subjects who performed the same task in several modes of social interaction (independent, competition, and cooperation). We assumed that the modes of social interacti...
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Recent brain imaging findings suggest that there are widely distributed abnormalities affecting the brain connectivity in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Using graph theoretical analysis, it is possible to investigate both global and local properties of brain’s wiring diagram, i.e., the connectome. We acquired diffusion-weighted ma...
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In conversational storytelling, the recipients are expected to show affiliation with the emo- tional stance displayed by the storytellers. We investigated emotional arousal-related auto- nomic nervous system responses in tellers and recipients of conversational stories. The data consist of 20 recordings of 45- to 60-minute dyadic conversations betw...
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Musical training leads to sensory and motor neuroplastic changes in the human brain. Motivated by findings on enlarged corpus callosum in musicians and asymmetric somatomotor representation in string players, we investigated the relationship between musical training, callosal anatomy, and interhemispheric functional symmetry during music listening....
Article
Human attachment behavior mediates establishment and maintenance of social relationships. Adult attachment characteristically varies on anxiety and avoidance dimensions, reflecting the tendencies to worry about the partner breaking the social bond (anxiety) and feeling uncomfortable about depending on others (avoidance). In primates and other mamma...