Social Development

brasscoffeeAI and Robotics

Nov 17, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

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Social Development

Brain system involved in social
behavior


Limbic system


Amygdala


Memory areas


Hypothalamus


Anterior cingulate


Ventral prefrontal cortex


Areas specific to different tasks and behaviors


Face areas

Amygdala and hippocampus

Fornix

Thalamus and hypothalamus

Anterior Cingulate

Prefrontal Cortex

Face Recognition


Are faces special?


What brain systems are involved in
processing faces?


Is experience important for face
processing?








1. Faces are special


Infants respond to faces as though they
are special


Prefer to look at faces and stimuli that are like
faces


Case study of child with damage to
fusiform face area


2. Brain systems for faces
changes from early to later infancy


Nature of face recognition must be
considered in light of the tasks used to
measure it.


Face preference declines and then returns


Early in development, responses to faces
is subserved by subcortical mechanisms


With development, cortical mechanisms
take over for subcortical ones

How are faces processed?


Adults process the face as a whole,
configuratively


Inversion effect


We process faces better if they’re upright than if
they’re upside down


This effect is slow to emerge in children, but it
might depend on how you measure it


This processing is dominated by the right
hemisphere in the brain


There is some controversy over
whether/when children use configural
strategies when processing faces


More traditional methods of measuring
configural processing don’t show a shift
from featural to configural processing until
over 5 years of age




Brain system for faces


Amygdala


Visual system/ventral stream


Fusiform face area


Possibly other areas


Areas related to social responses

3.
Expertise view


Activity in the fusiform face area is
observed in face processing


Activity in the same area is observed when
experts view stimuli in areas at which they
are experts.


Do infants become “experts” at processing
faces?

Studies of face processing


Recognition of the mother’s face


Newborn infants attend more to their mother’s
face in a very short period of time


6
-
month
-
olds’ ERPs to mother’s face are
different than to a stranger’s face


Increased amplitude of the Nc component to
mother’s face


Implies that 6
-
month
-
olds attend preferentially to
mother’s face.


Development in face processing


4
-
year
-
olds also respond differentially to
mother’s face and a stranger’s face


However, their responses are larger to
strangers than to mother



By 4 years of age, children attend
preferentially to strangers


The change is due to age
-
related
differences in response to mother’s face


Face specific ERP activity


N170 component is specific to faces and
occurs over right hemisphere


Precursors to this component are
observed in infants as young as 6 months
of age.


This component is abnormal in people with
autism

Face recognition in autism


Children with autism fail to respond differently to
mother’s face and a stranger’s face


Children with autism do respond differentially to
familiar and unfamiliar objects


Possible explanations?


There is something wrong with a “face module” in their
brain


They do not attend to faces, so they never develop
cortical control of face processing


They do not attend to faces, so they don’t become
experts in faces



Autism data

Emotion recognition



Probably involves amygdala as well as
face recognition areas


There is some evidence that experience
has an effect



Role of experience in emotion
recognition


Infants respond differently (ERP, looking
time) to positive than to negative
expressions


Progression of responses


First infants differentiate positive from
negative, then differentiate within negative
between fear, anger, etc.


Older children are still developing
expression recognition: 9
-

and 10
-
year
-
olds treat neutral like fear


Categorical perception of emotion


Children who have been abused have
category boundaries that are closer to the
negative end of the continuum, especially
for anger

Exam 2


100 % (average of 2 high scores) = 95.75


90% (A cutoff) = 86.18


80% (B) = 76.6


70% (C) = 67.03


60% (D) = 57.45

Emotion regulation


Normal pattern of emotion regulation
-
EEG


Positive emotions


more left lateralized


Negative emotions


more right lateralized


This pattern is not seen in adults with depression


These EEG patterns can be elicited in children


Looking at expressions, stories, play, separation


Children whose mothers are depressed have brain
patterns like depressed adults


This effect may be moderated by the attachment
relationship



Social Cognition



How children understand others


Social Referencing


Joint Attention


Theory of mind



Theories about brain systems


Connections between amygdala and
Ventral prefrontal cortex


Experience with positive feedback leads to
repeating positive behavior, increased
sharing of attention (Ventral PFC)


Probably not that simple


Dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex, including
motor planning areas and frontal eye fields
are activated in initiating joint attention and in
Theory of Mind


Relationships


Attachment


Developments in response to mother’s face
and stranger’s face might be related to
attachment stage


Strange situation elicits increased heart rate,
right lateralized EEG, increased cortisol


Cortisol effects may vary by attachment, results
are mixed, and this may only apply to disorganized
attachment, or differences between avoidant and
disorganized children

Attachment (cont.)


Studies of monkeys separated from
caregiver


Changes in norepinephrine


Effects on behavior


Clinging


Lack of normal relationship development


May have impact on structure or function in
amygdala, hippocampus

Peer relationships?


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Other aspects of social behavior?


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