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Title: The influence of self-reported ethnic origin and mood on elicited emotion and brain reactivity to happy and sad social films
Author: Macaulay, Katherine
ISNI:       0000 0004 2725 6516
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2011
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In recent years Social Neuroscience has started to investigate how mood and culture influence social and emotional situations. In the present study differences in elicited emotion and neural activation were investigated when participants viewed films depicting social interactions. Film clips are preferred stimuli for elicitation of emotion in laboratory studies, but given the lack of standardised film sets in the literature, two behavioural studies were conducted prior to imaging. The first study (147 females, 30 males; 98.8% 18 to 24 years) identified a set of clips that elicited emotion profiles in which the target emotion (happy, sad) was strongest, as well as neutral clips, and demonstrated an effect of participants’ stable mood. The second study (143 females, 19 males; mean age 19.2 years) optimised the stimulus set and demonstrated effects of self-reported ethnic origin, mood and interest on profiles of elicited emotion. In the fMRI investigation 33 female and 8 male participants (mean age 19.2 years) viewed film clips in a block design experiment with loose and tight t-contrasts and retrospective ratings of elicited emotion. Across all-participants, social interaction depicting sadness activated key emotion-related structures such as left amygdala and insula, and medial frontal cortex that were not significantly activated with social interaction depicting happiness. However, greater activation was observed for Europeans than for non-Europeans in orbitofrontal cortex, anterior and posterior cingulate for happy social interaction and in hippocampus, precuneus and retrosplenial cortex for sad social interaction. Individual differences in trait emotions and stable mood were measured with PANAS-X. For high fatigue participants greater activation was observed in the left amgydala for happy social interaction. For participants with high positive stable mood greater activation was observed in the insula for happy and sad social interaction. The research described here indicates that self-reported ethnic origin and mood are potentially significant influences on elicited emotion and brain reactivity to positive and negative social and emotional situations.
Supervisor: Wright, M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Orbitofrontal cortex ; Anterior cingulate ; Posterior cingulate ; Amgydala