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Title: The neural basis of social information processing : influencing factors and associated neural mechanisms
Author: Wake, Stephanie
ISNI:       0000 0004 9358 4868
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2019
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Understanding social information posits one of the most important leeway’s into being a successful member of society. The current doctoral thesis aims to shed light on the complex factors that facilitate and hinder this process, and the underlying neural mechanisms. Presented is an introductory chapter, three empirical chapters with relevant linking chapters, and a conclusive chapter. The first empirical chapter assesses the neural correlates of socio-political information processing across political orientation, in order to understand whether intolerance is accounted for by specific attitudinal orientation or opposing ideology. In this, no neural or behavioural variation is found in the processing of socio-political information across the political left-right, indirectly supporting the notion intolerance stems from ideological conflict. The second empirical chapter assesses the more specific role of the posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC) in social conflict processing, specifically a role in conflict detection as opposed to resolution via behavioural amendment. Here is found that dorsal medial prefrontal cortex activity (dmPFC) was sensitive to social conflict detection as opposed to conflict resolution. The final empirical chapter assesses whether as humans, we have a specified neural network and circuitry dedicated to social information processing exclusively. Using multivariate analysis techniques, it was found the activation patterns elicited in the ventral striatum were alike between monetary versus social reward. This indicates a subset of neurons responded similarly across both types of reward, signifying a common neural code in some regions for processing both social and non-social information. Collectively this knowledge can aid future research in continuing to decipher the mechanisms relevant to social information processing with more direction. This assists in not only the development of scientific understanding, but also paradigms aiming to produce positive behavioural change within social contexts.
Supervisor: Izuma, Keise ; Mattys, Sven Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available