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Perceived burdensomeness and neural responses to ostracism in the Cyberball task.

Authors
  • Le, Thang M1
  • Zhornitsky, Simon2
  • Wang, Wuyi2
  • Li, Chiang-Shan R3
  • 1 Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, 06519, USA. Electronic address: [email protected]
  • 2 Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, 06519, USA.
  • 3 Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, 06519, USA; Department of Neuroscience, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, 06520, USA; Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, 06520, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of psychiatric research
Publication Date
Jul 28, 2020
Volume
130
Pages
1–8
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2020.06.015
PMID: 32763557
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Previous studies have identified the brain correlates of social pain processing during ostracism. However, the affective response to ostracism may vary according to individual differences in interpersonal needs and subsequent social actions. Despite this relationship, how the neural processes underlying ostracism may be modulated by interpersonal needs to regulate prosocial behaviors remains unknown. Here, in an fMRI study of 64 adults performing the Cyberball task, we quantified ball catching and tossing response time (RT) as a behavioral measure of participants' willingness to seek and reciprocate social interactions. Neural activations to social exclusion were identified and characterized in relation to individual differences in behavioral performance and perceived burdensomeness (PB), a measure of interpersonal needs. The results showed that social exclusion elicited activity in the anterior insula, middle frontal gyrus, postcentral gyrus, and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, replicating previous studies on ostracism. Importantly, those with higher PB also exhibited greater brain activations to exclusion as well as reduced prosocial behaviors, as reflected by slower ball catching and tossing RT in the Cyberball task. Taken together, these findings suggest that emotional distress in ostracism may increase with PB, resulting in stronger neural responses to social pain and behavioral avoidance of social interactions. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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