Poster F29, Tuesday, March 28, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Investigating the Neural Basis of Shared Preferences and Affiliation
Harry Farmer1, Antonia Hamilton1; 1University College London
Similarity to the self is a key factor in our judgement of others with people showing greater feelings of affiliation towards those they perceive as being more similar to themselves. We aimed to investigate the neural basis of this phenomena using an fMRI. In this study participants were required to choose which of two paintings they preferred and then observed the choices of two confederates one of whom chose the same picture as them 75% of the time while the other only chose the same 25% of the time. Behaviourally we found that participants showed greater liking to the similar confederate compared to the dissimilar confederate replicating the previous evidence for a similarity liking link. Examination of BOLD activation showed that observing the different confederate’s choice led to greater activation in both the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, which is implicated in response switching and has previously been linked to social influence. The dissimilar confederate’s choice also led to greater activation in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex a region heavily implicated in processing information about others. In addition we found that viewing one’s own chosen stimuli after seeing the choices of both confederates led to increased activation in regions involved in self processing and in social cognition including the temporal-parietal junction, the mid cingulate and the precuneus. Our findings suggest that the link between shared preference and affiliation involves brain areas that are involved in learning about other preferences and also regions involved in the processing of value similarity between self and others.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Person perception