Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition LIBC

Leiden, Netherlands

Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition LIBC

Leiden, Netherlands

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Kret M.E.,Leiden University | Kret M.E.,Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition LIBC | De Dreu C.K.W.,Leiden University | De Dreu C.K.W.,Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition LIBC | De Dreu C.K.W.,University of Amsterdam
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2017

Across species, oxytocin, an evolutionarily ancient neuropeptide, facilitates social communication by attuning individuals to conspecifics’ social signals, fostering trust and bonding. The eyes have an important signalling function; and humans use their salient and communicative eyes to intentionally and unintentionally send social signals to others, by contracting the muscles around their eyes and pupils. In our earlier research, we observed that interaction partners with dilating pupils are trusted more than partners with constricting pupils. But over and beyond this effect, we found that the pupil sizes of partners synchronize and that when pupils synchronously dilate, trust is further boosted. Critically, this linkage between mimicry and trust was bound to interactions between ingroup members. The current study investigates whether these findings are modulated by oxytocin and sex of participant and partner. Using incentivized trust games with partners from ingroup and outgroup whose pupils dilated, remained static or constricted, this study replicates our earlier findings. It further reveals that (i) male participants withhold trust from partners with constricting pupils and extend trust to partners with dilating pupils, especially when given oxytocin rather than placebo; (ii) female participants trust partners with dilating pupils most, but this effect is blunted under oxytocin; (iii) under oxytocin rather than placebo, pupil dilation mimicry is weaker and pupil constriction mimicry stronger; and (iv) the link between pupil constriction mimicry and distrust observed under placebo disappears under oxytocin. We suggest that pupil-contingent trust is parochial and evolved in social species in and because of group life. © 2017 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

Schel M.A.,Leiden University | Schel M.A.,Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition LIBC | Scheres A.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Crone E.A.,Leiden University | Crone E.A.,Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition LIBC
Neuropsychologia | Year: 2014

The ability to exert self-control over one[U+05F3]s thoughts and actions is crucial for successful functioning in daily life. To date, self-control development has been primarily studied from the perspective of externally driven inhibition. In this review, we introduce a new perspective on the development of self-control by highlighting the importance of intentional inhibition. First, we will review the existing behavioral and neuroscientific literature on the development of self-control from the perspective of externally driven inhibition. Next, we will introduce a new framework for studying the development of self-control from the perspective of intentional inhibition. We will discuss several recent studies in this domain, showing that intentional inhibition within cold contexts has an early development, but continues to develop through adolescence in motivational contexts. We conclude that understanding the developmental trajectory of intentional inhibition in cold and motivationally relevant contexts and its underlying mechanisms is an important direction for future research, which has important implications for our understanding of developmental disorders associated with problems in self-control, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Verhoeven J.E.,VU University Amsterdam | Van Oppen P.,VU University Amsterdam | Puterman E.,University of California at San Francisco | Elzinga B.,Leiden University | And 2 more authors.
Psychosomatic Medicine | Year: 2015

Objectives: Chronic exposure to psychosocial stressors is related to worse somatic health. This association applies both to stressors early in life, such as childhood adversities, and more recent life stress, such as stressful life events. This study examined whether accelerated telomere shortening, as an indicator of cellular aging, might be an explanatory mechanism. Methods:We examinedwhether childhood adversities and recent stressful life events were associatedwith shorter telomeres in 2936 participants (mean [standard deviation] age = 41.8 [13.1] years, 66% women, 57% current depression) of the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety. Telomeres are specialized nucleic acid-protein complexes at the ends of linear DNA that shorten with age; telomere length (TL) was measured with quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Results: Childhood life events (β = .004, p = .805) and childhood trauma (β = .023, p = .205) were not related to shorter TL. However, we found negative associations between recent stressful life events and TL. Persons had shorter telomeres if they reported more stressful life events in the past year (β = .039, p = .028) and 1 to 5 years ago (β = .042, p = .018, adjusted for sociodemographics). The relationship between stressful life events and TL became borderline significant when further adjusted for smoking status. No associations with TL were found when stressful life events occurred more than 6 years ago (p < .10). Conclusions: Results show that recent stressful life events are associated with shorter TL. This association is not observed for psychosocial stressors that occur earlier in life.Whether these results are indicative of physiological resiliency remains to be explored by future longitudinal research. Copyright © 2015 by the American Psychosomatic Society.

Roelofs K.,Leiden University | Roelofs K.,Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition LIBC | Putman P.,Leiden University | Schouten S.,Leiden University | And 4 more authors.
Behaviour Research and Therapy | Year: 2010

Increasing evidence indicates that eye gaze direction affects the processing of emotional faces in anxious individuals. However, the effects of eye gaze direction on the behavioral responses elicited by emotional faces, such as avoidance behavior, remain largely unexplored. We administered an Approach-Avoidance Task (AAT) in high (HSA) and low socially anxious (LSA) individuals. All participants responded to photographs of angry, happy and neutral faces (presented with direct and averted gaze), by either pushing a joystick away from them (avoidance) or pulling it towards them (approach). Compared to LSA, HSA were faster in avoiding than approaching angry faces. Most crucially, this avoidance tendency was only present when the perceived anger was directed towards the subject (direct gaze) and not when the gaze of the face-stimulus was averted. In contrast, HSA individuals tended to avoid happy faces irrespectively of gaze direction. Neutral faces elicited no approach-avoidance tendencies. Thus avoidance of angry faces in social anxiety as measured by AA-tasks reflects avoidance of subject-directed anger and not of negative stimuli in general. In addition, although both anger and joy are considered to reflect approach-related emotions, gaze direction did not affect HSA's avoidance of happy faces, suggesting differential mechanisms affecting responses to happy and angry faces in social anxiety. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

van Duijvenvoorde A.C.K.,Leiden University | van Duijvenvoorde A.C.K.,Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition LIBC | Op de Macks Z.A.,University of California at Berkeley | Overgaauw S.,Leiden University | And 6 more authors.
Brain and Cognition | Year: 2014

Neurobiological models suggest that adolescents are driven by an overactive ventral striatum (VS) response to rewards that may lead to an adolescent increase in risk-taking behavior. However, empirical studies showed mixed findings of adolescents' brain response to rewards. In this study, we aimed to elucidate the relationship between reward-related brain activation and risky decision-making. In addition, we examined effects of age, puberty, and individuals' reward sensitivity. We collected two datasets: Experiment 1 reports cross-sectional brain data from 75 participants (ages 10-25) who played a risky decision task. Experiment 2 presents a longitudinal extension in which a subset of these adolescents (n= 33) was measured again 2. years later. Results showed that (1) a reward-related network including VS and medial PFC was consistently activated over time, (2) the propensity to choose the risky option was related to increased reward-related activation in VS and medial PFC, and (3) longitudinal comparisons indicated that self-reported reward sensitivity was specifically related to VS activation over time. Together, these results advance our insights in the brain circuitry underlying reward processing across adolescence. © 2014.

Schel M.A.,Leiden University | Schel M.A.,Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition LIBC | Ridderinkhof K.R.,University of Amsterdam | Crone E.A.,Leiden University | Crone E.A.,Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition LIBC
Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Choosing not to act, or the ability to intentionally inhibit your actions lies at the core of self-control. Even though most research has focused on externally primed inhibition, an important question concerns how intentional inhibition develops. Therefore, in the present study children (aged 10-12) and adults (aged 18-26) performed the marble task, in which they had to choose between acting on and inhibiting a prepotent response, while fMRI data were collected. Intentional inhibition was associated with activation of the fronto-basal ganglia network. Activation in the subthalamic nucleus and dorsal fronto-median cortex, regions which have previously been associated with intentional inhibition, did not differ between intentional inhibition and intentional action. Even though both children and adults intentionally inhibited their actions to a similar extent, children showed more activation in the fronto-basal ganglia network during intentional inhibition, but not in the subthalamic nucleus and dorsal fronto-median cortex. Furthermore, a positive relation between self-reported impulsivity and intentional inhibition was observed. These findings have important implications for our understanding of disorders of impulsivity, such as ADHD, which are associated with poor self-control abilities. © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

van Peer J.M.,Leiden University | Spinhoven P.,Leiden University | Roelofs K.,Leiden University | Roelofs K.,Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition LIBC
Psychoneuroendocrinology | Year: 2010

The stress hormone cortisol is important for the regulation of social motivational processes. High cortisol levels have been associated with social fear and avoidance, which play an important role in social anxiety disorder (SAD), as does hypervigilant processing of social threat. However, causal effects of cortisol on threat processing in SAD remain unclear. In an event-related potential (ERP) study we investigated the effects of cortisol on task-irrelevant (implicit) processing of social threat in SAD, exploring the temporal dynamics as well as the role of symptom severity and stimulus awareness. Angry face processing was measured in participants with clinical SAD after double-blind, within-subject oral administration of cortisol (50 mg) and placebo, using a masked and an unmasked emotional Stroop task. Both tasks showed significantly increased P2 midline ERP amplitudes for angry compared to neutral and happy faces in the placebo condition, reflecting an early attentional bias for social threat in SAD. Furthermore, cortisol administration significantly decreased P2 amplitudes for masked angry faces. This effect correlated with social anxiety, showing stronger decreases in patients with higher levels of social anxiety. These results indicate a highly specific effect of cortisol on early motivated attention to social threat and, together with previous findings, highlight the importance of motivational context (stimulus- or task-relevance) as well as symptom severity. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Teeuwisse W.M.,Leiden University | Teeuwisse W.M.,Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition LIBC | Schmid S.,Leiden University | Ghariq E.,Leiden University | And 4 more authors.
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine | Year: 2014

Conclusion: Adjusting the timing of encoding blocks in te-pCASL allows for tailoring the acquisition to specific applications. With the free lunch setup, te-pCASL delivers CBF and high resolution ATT maps within a single scan, with a small penalty in tSNR.Purpose: In this study, the basic properties and requirements of time-encoded pseudocontinuous arterial spin labeling (tepCASL) are investigated. Also, the extra degree of freedom delivered by changing block durations is explored.Methods: First, the minimal duration of encoding blocks, the influence of cardiac triggering, and the effect of dividing the labeling period into blocks are evaluated. Two new strategies for timing the encoding blocks in te-pCASL are introduced: variable block duration to compensate for T1-decay and the free lunch approach that uses the postlabeling delay time that is idle in standard pCASL to acquire arterial transit time (ATT) information. Simulations are used to probe possible signal losses.Results: No signal loss was found when dividing the labeling period into blocks with duration >50 ms. In time-encoded perfusion imaging, no cardiac triggering is required. Summation of results for individual blocks in te-pCASL postprocessing causes severe loss of temporal SNR. Quality of cerebral blood flow (CBF) maps was not affected by the encoding line order. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Veer I.M.,Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition LIBC | Veer I.M.,Leiden University | Oei N.Y.L.,Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition LIBC | Oei N.Y.L.,Leiden University | And 8 more authors.
Psychoneuroendocrinology | Year: 2012

Whether glucocorticoids mediate medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) regulation of the amygdala in humans remains unclear. In the current study we investigated whether cortisol levels under relatively stress-free circumstances are related to amygdala resting-state functional connectivity with the mPFC. Resting-state fMRI data were acquired from 20 healthy male participants. Salivary cortisol was sampled at multiple times throughout the experiment. The cortisol area under the curve increase (AUCi) was calculated as a measure of cortisol dynamics. Next, seed based correlations were employed on the resting-state fMRI data to reveal regions of amygdala functional connectivity related to variations in cortisol AUCi. The resulting statistical maps were corrected for multiple comparisons using cluster based thresholding (. Z>. 2.3, . p<. .05). Two regions in the mPFC showed decreasing negative functional connectivity with the amygdala when a lesser decrease in cortisol AUCi was observed: the perigenual anterior cingulate cortex and medial frontal pole (BA10). Although we initially showed a relation with cortisol AUCi, it seemed that the baseline cortisol levels were actually driving this effect: higher baseline cortisol levels related to stronger negative functional connectivity with the mPFC. Endogenous cortisol levels may modulate amygdala functional connectivity with specific regions in the mPFC, even under relatively stress-free circumstances. Our results corroborate previous findings from both animal and human studies, suggesting cortisol-mediated regulation of the amygdala by the mPFC. We propose that through this feedback mechanism the stress response might be adjusted, pointing to the putative role of cortisol in modulating stress- and, more generally, emotional responses. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Timmer K.,Leiden University | Timmer K.,Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition LIBC | Schiller N.O.,Leiden University | Schiller N.O.,Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition LIBC
Brain Research | Year: 2012

This study investigated the role of orthographic and phonological information in reading aloud. Dutch-English bilinguals (L2) and native English (L1) participants read aloud English words. The contribution of orthographic and phonological activation was distinguished with prime manipulation. Phonological overlap, but not orthographic overlap, facilitated the response latencies for both English L1 and L2 speakers. In contrast, event-related brain potentials also revealed orthographic priming for both groups. Altogether, the present results demonstrate that late L2 speakers exhibit a Masked Onset Priming Effect similar to that of native speakers. In addition, the ERP results revealed that orthographic information is activated earlier during reading, but is not detectable anymore at the behavioral response level when the task is reading aloud. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

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