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Le Touquet – Paris-Plage, France

Monfardini E.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Monfardini E.,Institute Of Medecine Environnementale | Gazzola V.,University of Groningen | Gazzola V.,Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and science | And 6 more authors.

Learning what behaviour is appropriate in a specific context by observing the actions of others and their outcomes is a key constituent of human cognition, because it saves time and energy and reduces exposure to potentially dangerous situations. Observational learning of associative rules relies on the ability to map the actions of others onto our own, process outcomes, and combine these sources of information. Here, we combined newly developed experimental tasks and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural mechanisms that govern such observational learning. Results show that the neural systems involved in individual trial-and-error learning and in action observation and execution both participate in observational learning. In addition, we identified brain areas that specifically activate for others' incorrect outcomes during learning in the posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC), the anterior insula and the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS). © 2013 Monfardini et al. Source

Reynaud A.J.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Reynaud A.J.,University of Lyon | Guedj C.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Guedj C.,University of Lyon | And 7 more authors.
Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience

Social psychology has long established that the mere presence of a conspecific, be it an active co-performer (coaction effect), or a passive spectator (audience effect) changes behavior in humans. Yet, the process mediating this fundamental social influence has so far eluded us. Brain research and its nonhuman primate animal model, the rhesus macaque, could shed new light on this long debated issue. For this approach to be fruitful, however, we need to improve our patchy knowledge about social presence influence in rhesus macaques. Here, seven adults (two dyads and one triad) performed a simple cognitive task consisting in touching images to obtain food treats, alone vs. in presence of a co-performer or a spectator. As in humans, audience sufficed to enhance performance to the same magnitude as coaction. Effect sizes were however four times larger than those typically reported in humans in similar tasks. Both findings are an encouragement to pursue brain and behavior research in the rhesus macaque to help solve the riddle of social facilitation mechanisms. © 2015 Reynaud, Guedj, Hadj-Bouziane, Meunier and Monfardini. Source

Monfardini E.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Monfardini E.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Monfardini E.,University of Lyon | Monfardini E.,Institute Of Medecine Environnementale | And 6 more authors.

Monkeys readily learn to discriminate between rewarded and unrewarded items or actions by observing their conspecifics. However, they do not systematically learn from humans. Understanding what makes human-to-monkey transmission of knowledge work or fail could help identify mediators and moderators of social learning that operate regardless of language or culture, and transcend inter-species differences. Do monkeys fail to learn when human models show a behavior too dissimilar from the animals' own, or when they show a faultless performance devoid of error? To address this question, six rhesus macaques trained to find which object within a pair concealed a food reward were successively tested with three models: a familiar conspecific, a 'stimulus-enhancing' human actively drawing the animal's attention to one object of the pair without actually performing the task, and a 'monkey-like' human performing the task in the same way as the monkey model did. Reward was manipulated to ensure that all models showed equal proportions of errors and successes. The 'monkey-like' human model improved the animals' subsequent object discrimination learning as much as a conspecific did, whereas the 'stimulus-enhancing' human model tended on the contrary to retard learning. Modeling errors rather than successes optimized learning from the monkey and 'monkey-like' models, while exacerbating the adverse effect of the 'stimulus-enhancing' model. These findings identify error modeling as a moderator of social learning in monkeys that amplifies the models' influence, whether beneficial or detrimental. By contrast, model-observer similarity in behavior emerged as a mediator of social learning, that is, a prerequisite for a model to work in the first place. The latter finding suggests that, as preverbal infants, macaques need to perceive the model as 'like-me' and that, once this condition is fulfilled, any agent can become an effective model. © 2014 Monfardini et al. Source

Monfardini E.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Monfardini E.,University of Lyon | Monfardini E.,Institute Of Medecine Environnementale | Redoute J.,CERMEP Imagerie du Vivant | And 9 more authors.
Cerebral Cortex

The sheer presence of another member of the same species affects performance, sometimes impeding it, sometimes enhancing it. For well-learned tasks, the effect is generally positive. This fundamental form of social influence, known as social facilitation, concerns human as well as nonhuman animals and affects many behaviors from food consumption to cognition. In psychology, this phenomenon has been known for over a century. Yet, its underlying mechanism (motivation or attention) remains debated, its relationship to stress unclear, and its neural substrates unknown. To address these issues, we investigated the behavioral, neuronal, and endocrinological markers of social facilitation in monkeys trained to touch images to obtain rewards. When another animal was present, performance was enhanced, but testing-induced stress (i.e., plasma cortisol elevation) was unchanged, as was metabolic activity in the brain motivation network. Rather, task-related activity in the (right) attention frontoparietal network encompassing the lateral prefrontal cortex, ventral premotor cortex, frontal eye field, and intraparietal sulcus was increased when another individual was present compared with when animals were tested alone. These results establish the very first link between the behavioral enhancement produced by the mere presence of a peer and an increase of metabolic activity in those brain structures underpinning attention. © 2015 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Source

Fornette M.-P.,Institute Of Recherche Biomedicale Des Armees | Bardel M.-H.,Institute Of Medecine Environnementale | Lefrancois C.,Institute Of Medecine Environnementale | Lefrancois C.,Paris 8 University | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Aviation Psychology

This study investigated the effects of cognitive-adaptation training on flight performance and stress management in a sample of pilot cadets who were undergoing a basic flying program (N = 21). The aim of the training was to enhance the participants' awareness of the cognitive processes that they used in a given situation, and to strengthen reflective processes. Cadets were assigned to a training group or to a control group. In-flight performance, stress-management mode, anxiety, and mood were measured. A significant pre- to posttraining improvement in in-flight performance was observed for the lowest ranked cadets in the training group. Anxiety and mood scores did not differ significantly between the training and control groups. However, trained cadets reported changing their stress-management mode. On the whole, these results indicate that cognitive-adaptation training of the type used in this study can enhance both cognitive and emotional adaptation skills. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

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