Poster Session E, Monday, March 25, 2:30 – 4:30 pm, Pacific Concourse
Resting-state functional connectivity fails to exhibit neural homophily between friends
Carolyn McNabb1, Laura Burgess1, Amy Fancourt2, Patricia Riddell1, Kou Murayama1,3; 1University of Reading, United Kingdom, 2Queen Anne's School, United Kingdom, 3Kochi University of Technology, Japan
Previous research suggests that the proximity of individuals in a social network predicts how similarly their brains respond to naturalistic stimuli. The relationship between social network proximity and brain connectivity in the absence of external stimuli, however, has not been examined. This study investigated whether neural homophily between friends exists at rest. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) data from 51 12- to 14-year-old girls attending a local school were accompanied by social network information from all girls in their year groups. Participants were asked to rate the amount of time they voluntarily spent with each person in their year group and then directed social network matrices and community structure were determined from these data. rs-fMRI data were corrected for motion and divided into 272 functional regions. Time-series correlations between all regions (representing functional connectivity) were performed for each subject. Between-subjects comparisons were made using Pearson's correlation and the DeltaCon similarity function. Correlation and similarity scores within each dyad were analysed as a function of social distance and whether dyads belonged to the same network community. No statistically significant relationships between social distance, community homogeneity and correlation strength or similarity index of resting state brain networks were observed. Although neural homophily between friends exists when viewing naturalistic stimuli, this finding does not extend to rs functional connectivity. Rs connectivity may be less susceptible to the influences of a person's social environment, whereas responses to naturalistic stimuli may reflect conscious cognitive processing, influenced by social interactions.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Other