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Functional brain connectivity when cooperation fails

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Abstract

Cooperation represents a main component of our social life. In previous studies it was found that cooperative tasks are often able to improve the subjective performance and that they simultaneously contribute to modify the self-perception of social ranking position. From a neurophysiological perspective, it was found the relevant contribution of prefrontal neural areas in the case of a cooperative task specifically limbic regions and the prefrontal cortex (PFC). In addition it was found that dorsal (DLPFC) and ventral (VLPFC) portions of the lateral prefrontal cortex are generally recruited during social status inference. Studies that directly compared the effects of positive external feedback on cooperative joint actions in the case of an interpersonal performance are now numerous. Nevertheless, at present, no specific study directly and deeply explored the influence of a negative feedback on performance and brain responsiveness simultaneously in inter-agents.
Functional brain connectivity when cooperation fails
Laura Gatti2, Maria Elide Vanutelli1,2,3, Michela Balconi1,2
1Research Unit in Affective and Social Neuroscience, Catholic University of Milan, Milan, Italy
2 Department of Psychology, Catholic University of Milan, Milan, Italy
3 University of Milan, Milan, Italy
INTRODUCTION
Cooperation represents a main component of our social life. In previous studies it was found that cooperative tasks are often able to improve the
subjective performance and that they simultaneously contribute to modify the self-perception of social ranking position. From a neurophysiological
perspective, it was found the relevant contribution of prefrontal neural areas in the case of a cooperative task specifically limbic regions and the
prefrontal cortex (PFC). In addition it was found that dorsal (DLPFC) and ventral (VLPFC) portions of the lateral prefrontal cortex are generally recruited
during social status inference. Studies that directly compared the effects of positive external feedback on cooperative joint actions in the case of an
interpersonal performance are now numerous. Nevertheless, at present, no specific study directly and deeply explored the influence of a negative
feedback on performance and brain responsiveness simultaneously in inter-agents.
AIMS AND HYPOTHESIS
to investigate the effect of an external
feedback (negative feedback about
subjects’ performance) on the
intersubjective cognitive performance
and on brains’ responses.
to investigate the relationship between
intra and inter-brain functional
connectivity by using functional
Infrared-Spectroscopy (fNIRS) to
address the functional connectivity
effect and temporal course of the brain
activation during cooperation within an
hyperscanning paradigm in which
participants were required to
synchronize their behavioral
performance.
13 dyads (26 total subjects)
(M = 25.89, SD = 1.21)
PARTICIPANTS AND METHOD
RESULTS CONCLUSIONS
The external negative feedback modulated
both the behavioral and brain response.
An unsuccessful strategy may require an
increased demand of cognitive resources.
DLPFC area was associated with a systematic
brain-to-brain coupling.
Consistent decreased inter-brain connectivity
compared to control and pre-feedback
condition in consequence of negative feedback
The absence of functional strategic plan may
have induced the subject to act as individual
instead of as a couple
Increased ERs for post-feedback condition
compared with both control and pre-
feedback condition. Similarly, about RTs,
ANOVA indicated significant main effect for
Cond with increased RTs during post-
feedback compared to control and pre-
feedback
Intra-brain functional connectivity
was generally higher in DLPFC than
in other areas. In addition, intra-
brain connectivity was higher in
post-feedback that the other two
conditions
A general decreased inter-brain connectivity was
observed in post-feedback than pre-feedback
condition. In addition, as revealed by significant
interaction. Inter-brain connectivity decreased in
post-feedback than in pre-feedback and in post-
feedback than control condition within DLPFC. Inter-
brain connectivity increased in pre-feedback than
control condition
Significant Cond x Localization interaction effect was found. Indeed, a decreased Index
was observed in post-feedback than pre-feedback and control condition within the
DLPFC. Therefore, as shown by the Index (Γ = (Γ ij ) = Σ −1), we may conclude in favor of a
general decreased inter-brainthan intra-brain connectivity in DLPFC for the post-feedback
condition compared to the other two conditions
michela.balconi@unicatt.it
... However, it did not include tuning analyses. Starting from previous literature on hyperscanning in interactive situations ( Balconi et al., 2018b;Balconi, Vanutelli, & Gatti, 2018;Liu et al., 2016;Liu, Saito, & Oi, 2015), we specifically focused on the prefrontal and frontal areas of the brain which are known to be involved in higher-order cognitive functions. Indeed, one of the fundamental requirements of organizational leaders is to regulate and monitor their and others' behavior (Zaccaro, Foti, & Kenny, 1991). ...
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Full-text available
Inter-brain synchronization during joint actions is a core question in social neuroscience, and the differential contribution of intra- and inter-brain functional connectivity has yet to be clarified along with the role of psychological variables such as perceived self-efficacy. The cognitive performance and the neural activation underlying the execution of joint actions were recorded by functional Near-Infrared imaging during a synchronicity game. An 8-channel array of optodes was positioned over the frontal and prefrontal regions. During the task, the dyads received reinforcing feedback that was experimentally manipulated to induce adoption of common strategies. Intra- and inter-brain connectivity indices were computed along with an inter-brain/intra-brain connectivity index (ConIndex). Finally, correlation analyses were run to assess the relationship between behavioral and physiological levels. The results showed that the external feedback could modulate participant responses in both behavioral and neural components. After the reinforcing manipulation, there were faster response times and increased inter-brain connectivity, and ConIndex emerged primarily over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Additionally, the presence of significant correlations between response times and inter-brain connectivity revealed that only the “two-players connection” may guarantee an efficient performance. The present study provides a significant contribution to the identification of intra- and inter-brain functional connectivity when social reinforcement is provided.
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