Social pain and social gain in the adolescent brain: A common neural circuitry underlying both positive and negative social evaluation
van Harmelen, A
Nature Publishing Group
Social interaction inherently involves the subjective evaluation of cues salient to social inclusion and exclusion. Testifying to the importance of such social cues, parts of the neural system dedicated to the detection of physical pain, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and anterior insula (AI), have been shown to be equally sensitive to the detection of social pain experienced after social exclusion. However, recent work suggests that this dACC-AI matrix may index any socially pertinent information. We directly tested the hypothesis that the dACC-AI would respond to cues of both inclusion and exclusion, using a novel social feedback fMRI paradigm in a population-derived sample of adolescents. We show that the dACC and left AI are commonly activated by feedback cues of inclusion and exclusion. Our findings suggest that theoretical accounts of the dACC-AI network as a neural alarm system restricted within the social domain to the processing of signals of exclusion require significant revision.
The authors gratefully thank colleagues at the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge for help during this work. This work was supported by grants from Friends of Peterhouse Medical Fund Cambridge (RG 51114), the Wellcome Trust (RG 074296), and the UK Medical Research Council (MC US A060 0019).
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Nature Publishing Group via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 7, Art. No. 42010