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Flashcards in 13- Social Cognition Deck (17)
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what is social cognition ?

-how the brain supports our ability to know ourselves , to know other people, and to make decisions about our social world

-how brain function supports the cognitive processes underlying social behavior

-emphasizes that situations or contexts determine how we think or act


describe the positive symptoms of schizophrenia

too much release of dopamine

-abnormal behavior


schizophrenia has been associated with reduced activity in what area of the brain?

Pre-frontal lobe (cortex)


describe the hallmark behaviors in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

-show little interest in other individuals or social interaction, focusing instead on internal thoughts or inanimate objects

-prefer routines
-repetitive behavior
-don't use eye gaze as a meaningful cue for social interaction


is ASD associated with deficits in theory of mind


-disregard for the mental states of others


describe the brain abnormalities in ASD

-small heads at birth, rapid growth until age 1, then slows down

-reduced volume in frontal lobes, superior temporal sulcus, amygdala, cerebellum, hippocampus

-changes in white matter connectivity

-hyperconnectivity in the frontal lobes


what is the default network ....what cognitive functions is it thought to serve...how is it affected in ASD

-areas of the brain that are active at "rest" when not actively engaged in a task

-self-referential processing (self-reflective thought)

-in autistic individuals shows no change in activation between "rest" and doing a task (seems like they are not turning off the default mode network when doing tasks, hence making it more difficult)


what is theory of mind

-ability to infer the mental states of others


Sally-Anne False-Belief task

-sally places her marble in the basket
-sally exits
-anne transfers Sally's marble a drawer
-sally reenters
-where does Sally look for the marble?

-kids below 3: drawer (fail)
-kids 4 to 5: basket (pass)


what area of the brain is associated with theory of mind in terms of understanding the mental states of others

-rTPJ (right temporoparietal junction)


what area of the brain is involved in non-verbal cues and mental states

superior temporal sulcus


what is the self-reference effect

-enhanced memory for information processed in relation to the self

-more knowledge about the self which leads to more elaborate coding

-activity in MPFC


what behavioral deficits are seen in patients with orbitofrontal damage by lesion or by degenerative disease?

-patients likely to introduce impolite conversation topics in a structured conversation with a stranger

-Once they see themselves acting inappropriately (on video) they feel embarrassed, but while engaging socially they are unaware that they are violating social norms

-Unaware that their behavior violated social rules


what role is the orbitofrontal cortex thought to play in cognition

-helps identify which social rules are appropriate for a given situation so that they may flexibly change their behavior


what is neuroeconomics

integrative field studying how pool make value-based decisions


trolley and footbridge problem ....is brain activation the same or different when the moral dilemma involves a personal or an impersonal situation

-Impersonal (pulling the lever) : rLPFC, parietal, working memory

-personal (pushing someone): MPFC, PCC, amygdala


area of the brain involved in evaluating negative consequences of social decision making *

-ventromedial PFC