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Social domain based modulation of neural responses to threat: the different roles of romantic partners versus friends

Morriss, J., Bell, T., Johnstone, T., Van Reekum, C. M. and Hill, J. (2018) Social domain based modulation of neural responses to threat: the different roles of romantic partners versus friends. Social neuroscience. ISSN 1747-0927

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/17470919.2018.1486735

Abstract/Summary

The neural circuitry associated with threat regulation in the absence of other people is well established. An examination of threat regulatory processes with people from different domains of an individual’s social world is key to understanding social emotion regulation and personality functioning conceptualised as social domain organisation. In this study, 42 healthy female participants completed functional magnetic imaging sessions in which they underwent a scan in the presence of a romantic partner or friend, whilst completing a threat of shock task. In the presence of a romantic partner vs. friend, we found a reduction in amygdala activation to threat vs. safe trials over time. Furthermore, in the presence of a romantic partner vs. friend we observed greater subgenual anterior cingulate cortex and ventromedial prefrontal cortex activation to threat vs safe trials overall. The results support the hypothesis that recruitment of threat regulation circuitry is modulated by romantic partner relative to another person well-known to the individual. Future work needs to examine neural responses to a wider range of stimuli across more social domains, and implications of failures of this neural organisation for psychopathology.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Psychopathology and Affective Neuroscience
ID Code:77803
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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