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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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For the Adult Group, there was a significant difference in the magnitude of the Imitation Effect for the Pro-social compared to Non-social Prime Group but no significant difference between the Prime Groups in terms of the Effector Priming Effect
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Fig3: For the Adult Group, there was a significant difference in the magnitude of the Imitation Effect for the Pro-social compared to Non-social Prime Group but no significant difference between the Prime Groups in terms of the Effector Priming Effect

Mentions: Data from the Imitation task show that adult participants are significantly affected by social priming, but that adolescent participants are not. In order to confirm that the social priming effect on imitation seen in adults is specific to imitation (as found by Leighton et al. 2010), we conducted a 2 × 2 ANOVA with between-subjects factor Prime Group (Pro-social, Non-social) and within-subjects factor Experimental Task (Imitation task, Effector Priming Control task) for the Adult Group. There was a significant interaction between Prime Group and Experimental Task (F(1,54) = 2.89, P < 0.05, 1-tailed). The same analysis conducted on the Adolescent Pro- and Non-social Groups (which do not differ in terms of imitation) did not show a significant interaction (F(1,32) = 0.30, P = 0.58). T-tests showed that for the Adult Group the interaction was driven by a significant difference in the magnitude of the Imitation Effect for the Pro-social (Mean = 71.11, SEM = 11.79) compared to Non-social Group (Mean = 37.98, SEM = 7.19; t(54) = −2.40, P < 0.01, 1-tailed) but no significant difference between the Prime Groups in terms of the Effector Priming Effect (Fig. 3: Pro-social: Mean = 55.55, SEM = 14.84; Non-social: Mean = 49.44, SEM = 8.28; t(54) = −0.36, P = 0.36). The three-way interaction between Prime Group (Pro-social, Non-social), Age Group (Adolescent, Adult) and Experimental Task (Imitation task, Effector Priming Control task) approached significance (F(F(1,86) = 2.22, P = 0.07, 1-tailed). The preceding analyses were repeated on the raw RT data, including a repeated measures factor of Compatibility (Compatible, Incompatible) in order to assess whether Prime Group, Age Group, or the interaction between these factors affected RT irrespective of Compatibility. These effects were all non-significant (all Ps > 0.1).Fig. 3


Social attitudes differentially modulate imitation in adolescents and adults.

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

For the Adult Group, there was a significant difference in the magnitude of the Imitation Effect for the Pro-social compared to Non-social Prime Group but no significant difference between the Prime Groups in terms of the Effector Priming Effect
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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Fig3: For the Adult Group, there was a significant difference in the magnitude of the Imitation Effect for the Pro-social compared to Non-social Prime Group but no significant difference between the Prime Groups in terms of the Effector Priming Effect
Mentions: Data from the Imitation task show that adult participants are significantly affected by social priming, but that adolescent participants are not. In order to confirm that the social priming effect on imitation seen in adults is specific to imitation (as found by Leighton et al. 2010), we conducted a 2 × 2 ANOVA with between-subjects factor Prime Group (Pro-social, Non-social) and within-subjects factor Experimental Task (Imitation task, Effector Priming Control task) for the Adult Group. There was a significant interaction between Prime Group and Experimental Task (F(1,54) = 2.89, P < 0.05, 1-tailed). The same analysis conducted on the Adolescent Pro- and Non-social Groups (which do not differ in terms of imitation) did not show a significant interaction (F(1,32) = 0.30, P = 0.58). T-tests showed that for the Adult Group the interaction was driven by a significant difference in the magnitude of the Imitation Effect for the Pro-social (Mean = 71.11, SEM = 11.79) compared to Non-social Group (Mean = 37.98, SEM = 7.19; t(54) = −2.40, P < 0.01, 1-tailed) but no significant difference between the Prime Groups in terms of the Effector Priming Effect (Fig. 3: Pro-social: Mean = 55.55, SEM = 14.84; Non-social: Mean = 49.44, SEM = 8.28; t(54) = −0.36, P = 0.36). The three-way interaction between Prime Group (Pro-social, Non-social), Age Group (Adolescent, Adult) and Experimental Task (Imitation task, Effector Priming Control task) approached significance (F(F(1,86) = 2.22, P = 0.07, 1-tailed). The preceding analyses were repeated on the raw RT data, including a repeated measures factor of Compatibility (Compatible, Incompatible) in order to assess whether Prime Group, Age Group, or the interaction between these factors affected RT irrespective of Compatibility. These effects were all non-significant (all Ps > 0.1).Fig. 3

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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