Social Cognition

Acute and sustained effects of methylphenidate on cognition and presynaptic dopamine metabolism: an [18F]FDOPA PET study

Abstract Methylphenidate (MPH) inhibits the reuptake of dopamine and noradrenaline. PET studies with MPH challenge show increased competition at postsynaptic D2/3-receptors, thus indirectly revealing presynaptic dopamine release. We used [(18)F]fluorodopamine ([(18)F]FDOPA)-PET in conjunction with the inlet-outlet model (IOM) of Kumakura et al. (2007) to investigate acute and long-term changes in dopamine synthesis capacity and turnover …

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Affect-specific activation of shared networks for perception and execution of facial expressions

Abstract Previous studies have shown overlapping neural activations for observation and execution or imitation of emotional facial expressions. These shared representations have been assumed to provide indirect evidence for a human mirror neuron system, which is suggested to be a prerequisite of action comprehension. We aimed at clarifying whether shared representations in and beyond human …

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Comparing the neural correlates of affective and cognitive theory of mind using fMRI: Involvement of the basal ganglia in affective theory of mind

Abstract Theory of Mind (ToM) is the ability to infer other people’s mental states like intentions or desires. ToM can be differentiated into affective (i.e., recognizing the feelings of another person) and cognitive (i.e., inferring the mental state of the counterpart) subcomponents. Recently, subcortical structures such as the basal ganglia (BG) have also been ascribed …

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Elaborative encoding during REM dreaming as prospective emotion regulation

Abstract Rapid eye movement (REM) dreaming results in “emotionally intelligent encoding,” according to the target article. Building on this, we argue that elaborative encoding alters emotional processing of upcoming events and thereby functions as prospective emotion regulation. After elaborative encoding, future events are appraised differently and result in a redirected emotional response. Disturbed elaborative encoding …

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Oxytocin influences processing of socially relevant cues in the ventral tegmental area of the human brain

Abstract Background: Evidence accumulates that the neuropeptide oxytocin plays an important role in mediating social interaction among humans and that a dysfunction in oxytocin-modulated brain mechanisms might lie at the core of disturbed social behavior in neuropsychiatric disease. Explanatory models suggest that oxytocin guides social approach and avoidance by modulating the perceived salience of socially meaningful …

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