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    Social and non-social relational reasoning in adolescence and adulthood

    Magis-Weinberg, L. and Blakemore, S.-J. and Dumontheil, Iroise (2017) Social and non-social relational reasoning in adolescence and adulthood. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 29 (10), pp. 1739-1754. ISSN 0898-929X.

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    Reasoning during social interactions requires the individual manipulation of mental representations of one’s own traits and those of other people, as well as their joint consideration (relational integration). Research using non-social paradigms has linked relational integration to activity in the rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC). Here, we investigated whether social reasoning is supported by the same general system or whether it additionally relies on regions of the social brain network, such as the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC). We further assessed the development of social reasoning. In the social task, participants evaluated themselves or a friend, or compared themselves with their friend, on a series of traits. In the non-social task, participants evaluated their hometown or another town, or compared the two. In a behavioural study involving 325 participants (11-39 years), we found that integrating relations compared to performing single relational judgements improves during adolescence, both for social and non-social information. Thirty-nine female participants (10-31 years) took part in a neuroimaging study using a similar task. Activation of the relational integration network, including the RLPFC, was observed in the comparison condition of both the social and non-social tasks, while MPFC showed greater activation when participants processed social as opposed to non-social information across conditions. Developmentally, the right anterior insula showed greater activity in adolescents compared with adults during the comparison of non-social vs. social information. This study shows parallel recruitment of the social brain and the relational reasoning network during the relational integration of social information in adolescence and adulthood.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Iroise Dumontheil
    Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2017 07:36
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:34


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