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Title: Development of the human action-observation network during early adolescence
Author: Shaw, Daniel Joel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 1409
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2011
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Adolescence is a developmental phase during which social relationships take on particular importance, placing high demands on inter-personal interactions. Social cognition continues to mature throughout adolescence, as do many of the brain systems involved in its individual facets. This thesis comprises analyses applied to data collected from adolescents under the first longitudinal study to employ an action-observation design while measuring brain response to hands and faces with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In the first of these analyses (Chapter 3) I assess developmental trajectories of brain response within discrete nodes of the action-observation network (AON). Using univariate mixed-model regression I reveal linear and quadratic trajectories within this fronto-parietal network. In Chapter 4, a multivariate statistical approach to functional connectivity reveals a greater recruitment of the social-emotional network during the observation of angry hand actions in male relative to female adolescents. In Chapter 5, by applying the same multivariate statistical approach used in Chapter 4 to measure functional connectivity within a pre-defined face-processing network, further sex differences in patterns of age-related changes in functional connectivity are identified. Finally, the analyses comprising Chapter 6 illustrate not only a relationship between relative increases in heart rate and brain response during the observation of hand- and face-actions, but also that this relationship is modulated by higher scores on a measure of resistance to peer influence.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available