Poster C20, Sunday, March 25, 1:00-3:00 pm, Exhibit Hall C
Effect of social context on stimuli processing: comparing the ERPs of individuals tested alone, with a friend or with a stranger
Ashley Chau-Morris1, Maud Haffar1,3, Sheila Bouten1, Tarlan Daryoush1, Natalie Frye1, Ursula Hess4, Hugo Pantecouteau1,5, J. Bruno Debruille1,2,3; 1Research Center of the Douglas Institute, Montréal, Canada., 2Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montréal, Canada., 3Department of Neurosciences, McGill University, Montréal, Canada., 4Department of Psychology, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany., 5École Normale Supérieure, Lyon, France
When we are with a close other, we know what reactions to expect from them. On the contrary, when we are with an unknown person we cannot anticipate his/her behavior. These two situations could correspond to different modes of processing. For instance, with the unknown person we have to be prepared for any reaction. We sought to determine whether these modes of processing actually exist and whether they impact the processing of stimuli that are neither related or relevant to the other person. To achieve that goal, we recorded the event-related brain potentials (ERPs) elicited by pictures in 34 participants who were tested next to a stranger and in 32 participants who were tested next to a friend. The former had ERPs that were much less negative than the latter in the time windows of the N300s, N400s, and late posterior positivities. In a second experiment, we tested 32 matched participants who went through the same experiment alone. Although their ERPs were closer to those who were tested with a friend, some specific differences exist that were not accounted for by anxiety. Thus, stimulus processing largely and automatically depends on whom we are with.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Other