Neural substrates of self control subsequent to social exclusion
Krusemark, Elizabeth Ann
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Past research shows that social exclusion leads to a host of difficulties in self-control. The present study examined the neural correlates of this effect using magneto-encephalography (MEG). Participants were placed in either a social exclusion (n=15) or control condition (n=15) and received computer-administered feedback Next, a self-control task consisting of 180 moderately difficult math problems was presented to subjects while measuring the speed with which they identified a supplied answer as correct or incorrect while collecting MEG data. In response to the self control task, socially excluded participants showed greater activity in left lateral prefrontal and medial superior parietal cortex. When presented with the answers to the math problems, socially excluded participants showed lesser activity in medial inferior parietal cortex, which was associated with slower response times in answering the math problems. These results suggest that the self-control deficits from social exclusion are related to an imbalance between executive control of attention during the task and maintenance of important information and provisions for attention during responses.