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Social attitudes differentially modulate imitation in adolescents and adults.

Cook J, Bird G - Exp Brain Res (2011)

Bottom Line: They then completed an Imitation task wherein participants were required to perform a lift action with either the index or middle finger, whilst observing either a compatible action (e.g. index finger response and observed index finger lift) or an incompatible action (e.g. index finger response and observed middle finger lift).In adolescents, however, no effect of social priming was seen on either the Imitation or Effector Priming measures.We consider possible explanations for these results including the immature development of social brain regions and reduced experience of the relationship between social attitudes and imitation in adolescence.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, 17 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AR, UK.

ABSTRACT
Previous studies have demonstrated a bidirectional relationship between social attitudes and imitation in adults: pro-social attitudes promote imitation, and imitation further increases positive social attitudes. Social attitudes and the social brain are developing throughout the adolescent years. Thus, the aim of this study was to test whether pro-social attitudes promote imitation in an Adolescent Group to the same extent as in an Adult Group. Participants were primed with pro-social or non-social words in a Scrambled Sentence Priming task. They then completed an Imitation task wherein participants were required to perform a lift action with either the index or middle finger, whilst observing either a compatible action (e.g. index finger response and observed index finger lift) or an incompatible action (e.g. index finger response and observed middle finger lift). In an Effector Priming control condition, observed fingers remained stationary but a semi-transparent green mask was added to either the compatible or incompatible finger. The magnitude of the Imitation Effect and Effector Priming Effect was calculated by subtracting reaction times on compatible trials from those on incompatible trials. In the Adult Group, social priming specifically modulated the Imitation Effect: pro-social priming produced a larger Imitation Effect but did not modulate the Effector Priming Effect. In adolescents, however, no effect of social priming was seen on either the Imitation or Effector Priming measures. We consider possible explanations for these results including the immature development of social brain regions and reduced experience of the relationship between social attitudes and imitation in adolescence.

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Imitation Effects for Adolescent and Adult Pro- and Non-social Prime Groups. The ANOVA revealed a significant interaction between Age and Prime Group. Post hoc t tests revealed that for the Adult Group the Imitation Effect was significantly greater for the Pro-social Group than for the Non-social Group. No such significant difference between Prime Groups existed for the Adolescent Age Group
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Fig2: Imitation Effects for Adolescent and Adult Pro- and Non-social Prime Groups. The ANOVA revealed a significant interaction between Age and Prime Group. Post hoc t tests revealed that for the Adult Group the Imitation Effect was significantly greater for the Pro-social Group than for the Non-social Group. No such significant difference between Prime Groups existed for the Adolescent Age Group

Mentions: Paired samples t tests on compatible and incompatible RTs for Imitation trials demonstrated that each of the four groups exhibited a significant Imitation Effect (Adolescent Non-social Group incompatible trials mean RT (SEM) = 547.87 (23.50), compatible trials mean RT (SEM) = 497.26 (18.05), t(16) = 4.22, P < 0.001, 1-tailed; Adolescent Pro-social Group incomp mean RT (SEM) = 516.53 (21.49), comp mean RT (SEM) = 478.55 (17.01), t(16) = 4.12, P < 0.001, 1-tailed; Adult Non-social Group incomp mean RT (SEM) = 508.89 (14.35), comp mean RT (SEM) = 470.91 (12.90), t(27) = 5.28, P < 0.001, 1-tailed; Adult Pro-social Group incomp mean RT (SEM) = 573.29 (29.76), comp mean RT (SEM) = 502.18 (22.13), t(27) = 6.03, P < 0.001, 1-tailed). That is, for each group, responses were faster when observing a lift of the same finger than when observing a lift of a different finger. To examine whether social priming differentially affects adolescents and adults, we conducted a 2 × 2 ANOVA with between-subjects factors Age Group (Adolescent, Adult) and Prime Group (Pro-social, Non-social). The ANOVA revealed a significant interaction between Age and Prime Group (F(1,86) = 4.61, P = 0.02, 1-tailed). There was no main effect of Age Group (F(1,86) = 0.93, P = 0.34 or Prime Group (F(1,86) = 0.93, P = 0.34). Post hoc independent t-tests revealed that for the Adult Group the Imitation Effect was significantly greater for the Pro-social Group (Mean = 71.11, SEM = 11.79) than for the Non-social Group (Mean = 37.98, SEM = 7.19; t(54) = −2.40, P < 0.01, 1-tailed). No such significant difference between Prime Groups existed for the Adolescent Age Group (Fig. 2: Pro-social: Mean = 37.98, SEM = 9.23; Non-social: Mean = 50.62, SEM = 11.99; t(32) = 0.84, P = 0.41). Hence, social priming differentially affected imitation in adolescents and adults.Fig. 2


Social attitudes differentially modulate imitation in adolescents and adults.

Cook J, Bird G - Exp Brain Res (2011)

Imitation Effects for Adolescent and Adult Pro- and Non-social Prime Groups. The ANOVA revealed a significant interaction between Age and Prime Group. Post hoc t tests revealed that for the Adult Group the Imitation Effect was significantly greater for the Pro-social Group than for the Non-social Group. No such significant difference between Prime Groups existed for the Adolescent Age Group
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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Fig2: Imitation Effects for Adolescent and Adult Pro- and Non-social Prime Groups. The ANOVA revealed a significant interaction between Age and Prime Group. Post hoc t tests revealed that for the Adult Group the Imitation Effect was significantly greater for the Pro-social Group than for the Non-social Group. No such significant difference between Prime Groups existed for the Adolescent Age Group
Mentions: Paired samples t tests on compatible and incompatible RTs for Imitation trials demonstrated that each of the four groups exhibited a significant Imitation Effect (Adolescent Non-social Group incompatible trials mean RT (SEM) = 547.87 (23.50), compatible trials mean RT (SEM) = 497.26 (18.05), t(16) = 4.22, P < 0.001, 1-tailed; Adolescent Pro-social Group incomp mean RT (SEM) = 516.53 (21.49), comp mean RT (SEM) = 478.55 (17.01), t(16) = 4.12, P < 0.001, 1-tailed; Adult Non-social Group incomp mean RT (SEM) = 508.89 (14.35), comp mean RT (SEM) = 470.91 (12.90), t(27) = 5.28, P < 0.001, 1-tailed; Adult Pro-social Group incomp mean RT (SEM) = 573.29 (29.76), comp mean RT (SEM) = 502.18 (22.13), t(27) = 6.03, P < 0.001, 1-tailed). That is, for each group, responses were faster when observing a lift of the same finger than when observing a lift of a different finger. To examine whether social priming differentially affects adolescents and adults, we conducted a 2 × 2 ANOVA with between-subjects factors Age Group (Adolescent, Adult) and Prime Group (Pro-social, Non-social). The ANOVA revealed a significant interaction between Age and Prime Group (F(1,86) = 4.61, P = 0.02, 1-tailed). There was no main effect of Age Group (F(1,86) = 0.93, P = 0.34 or Prime Group (F(1,86) = 0.93, P = 0.34). Post hoc independent t-tests revealed that for the Adult Group the Imitation Effect was significantly greater for the Pro-social Group (Mean = 71.11, SEM = 11.79) than for the Non-social Group (Mean = 37.98, SEM = 7.19; t(54) = −2.40, P < 0.01, 1-tailed). No such significant difference between Prime Groups existed for the Adolescent Age Group (Fig. 2: Pro-social: Mean = 37.98, SEM = 9.23; Non-social: Mean = 50.62, SEM = 11.99; t(32) = 0.84, P = 0.41). Hence, social priming differentially affected imitation in adolescents and adults.Fig. 2

Bottom Line: They then completed an Imitation task wherein participants were required to perform a lift action with either the index or middle finger, whilst observing either a compatible action (e.g. index finger response and observed index finger lift) or an incompatible action (e.g. index finger response and observed middle finger lift).In adolescents, however, no effect of social priming was seen on either the Imitation or Effector Priming measures.We consider possible explanations for these results including the immature development of social brain regions and reduced experience of the relationship between social attitudes and imitation in adolescence.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, 17 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AR, UK.

ABSTRACT
Previous studies have demonstrated a bidirectional relationship between social attitudes and imitation in adults: pro-social attitudes promote imitation, and imitation further increases positive social attitudes. Social attitudes and the social brain are developing throughout the adolescent years. Thus, the aim of this study was to test whether pro-social attitudes promote imitation in an Adolescent Group to the same extent as in an Adult Group. Participants were primed with pro-social or non-social words in a Scrambled Sentence Priming task. They then completed an Imitation task wherein participants were required to perform a lift action with either the index or middle finger, whilst observing either a compatible action (e.g. index finger response and observed index finger lift) or an incompatible action (e.g. index finger response and observed middle finger lift). In an Effector Priming control condition, observed fingers remained stationary but a semi-transparent green mask was added to either the compatible or incompatible finger. The magnitude of the Imitation Effect and Effector Priming Effect was calculated by subtracting reaction times on compatible trials from those on incompatible trials. In the Adult Group, social priming specifically modulated the Imitation Effect: pro-social priming produced a larger Imitation Effect but did not modulate the Effector Priming Effect. In adolescents, however, no effect of social priming was seen on either the Imitation or Effector Priming measures. We consider possible explanations for these results including the immature development of social brain regions and reduced experience of the relationship between social attitudes and imitation in adolescence.

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