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So pretty! The neural correlates of self-other vs familiar-other attractiveness comparisons.

Kedia, Gayannee and Mussweiler, Thomas and Adam, Ruth and Ischebeck, Anja and Ihssen, Niklas and Linden, David E. J. (2019) 'So pretty! The neural correlates of self-other vs familiar-other attractiveness comparisons.', Social neuroscience., 14 (1). pp. 41-52.

Abstract

Previous research has demonstrated that comparing two persons activates a frontoparietal network associated with numbers and nonsocial magnitudes. However, it is unclear whether this network is also recruited by comparisons involving the self. Self-reflection engages self-serving motivations (e.g., the maintenance of a positive self-image) and is associated with specific brain structures, such as the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), the anterior insula (AI) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Self-other comparisons may thus rely on distinct neural activity. To clarify this question, we used fMRI and asked female participants to compare their own attractiveness (or the attractiveness of a familiar woman) to pictures of unknown women. Participants were slower for comparisons with targets whose attractiveness was similar to their own (or their familiar other). Yet although this behavioral result resembles the distance effect reported for nonsocial magnitudes, at the brain level, it was linked to the activity of the AI, the ACC and the MPFC. The effect of distance in these regions was stronger for self-other than familiar-other comparisons. We interpret these results in relation to previous literature in social psychology and social neuroscience.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.
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Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.
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(1649Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1080/17470919.2017.1397544
Publisher statement:© 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Date accepted:07 November 2017
Date deposited:16 January 2018
Date of first online publication:10 November 2017
Date first made open access:No date available

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