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Nucleus accumbens response to gains in reputation for the self relative to gains for others predicts social media use.

Meshi D, Morawetz C, Heekeren HR - Front Hum Neurosci (2013)

Bottom Line: We demonstrate that across participants, when responding to gains in reputation for the self, relative to observing gains for others, reward-related activity in the left nucleus accumbens predicts Facebook use.However, nucleus accumbens activity in response to monetary reward did not predict Facebook use.Overall, our results demonstrate how individual sensitivity of the nucleus accumbens to the receipt of self-relevant social information leads to differences in real-world behavior.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cluster of Excellence "Languages of Emotion," Freie Universität Berlin Berlin, Germany ; Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin Berlin, Germany ; Dahlem Institute for the Neuroimaging of Emotion, Freie Universität Berlin Berlin, Germany ; Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin Berlin, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Our reputation is important to us; we've experienced natural selection to care about our reputation. Recently, the neural processing of gains in reputation (positive social feedback concerning one's character) has been shown to occur in the human ventral striatum. It is still unclear, however, how individual differences in the processing of gains in reputation may lead to individual differences in real-world behavior. For example, in the real-world, one way that people currently maintain their reputation is by using social media websites, like Facebook. Furthermore, Facebook use consists of a social comparison component, where users observe others' behavior and can compare it to their own. Therefore, we hypothesized a relationship between the way the brain processes specifically self-relevant gains in reputation and one's degree of Facebook use. We recorded functional neuroimaging data while participants received gains in reputation, observed the gains in reputation of another person, or received monetary reward. We demonstrate that across participants, when responding to gains in reputation for the self, relative to observing gains for others, reward-related activity in the left nucleus accumbens predicts Facebook use. However, nucleus accumbens activity in response to monetary reward did not predict Facebook use. Finally, a control step-wise regression analysis showed that Facebook use primarily explains our results in the nucleus accumbens. Overall, our results demonstrate how individual sensitivity of the nucleus accumbens to the receipt of self-relevant social information leads to differences in real-world behavior.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Distribution of Facebook intensity scores across all participants.
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Figure 1: Distribution of Facebook intensity scores across all participants.

Mentions: With social media's relation to reputation management in mind, we employed Facebook use as a proxy for a real-world behavior aimed at obtaining a good reputation. We selected participants for their Facebook use (Figure 1) and then, in the scanner, participants received gains in reputation, observed the gains in reputation of another person, or received monetary reward. We hypothesized that individual differences in the nucleus accumbens response to gains in reputation for the self, relative to observing gains for others (what we term “self-relevant”), will predict Facebook use (see fMRI data analysis in Materials and Methods). Conversely, nucleus accumbens sensitivity to monetary reward should not predict Facebook use because personal use of the Facebook website is not motivated by obtaining monetary reward.


Nucleus accumbens response to gains in reputation for the self relative to gains for others predicts social media use.

Meshi D, Morawetz C, Heekeren HR - Front Hum Neurosci (2013)

Distribution of Facebook intensity scores across all participants.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3757324&req=5

Figure 1: Distribution of Facebook intensity scores across all participants.
Mentions: With social media's relation to reputation management in mind, we employed Facebook use as a proxy for a real-world behavior aimed at obtaining a good reputation. We selected participants for their Facebook use (Figure 1) and then, in the scanner, participants received gains in reputation, observed the gains in reputation of another person, or received monetary reward. We hypothesized that individual differences in the nucleus accumbens response to gains in reputation for the self, relative to observing gains for others (what we term “self-relevant”), will predict Facebook use (see fMRI data analysis in Materials and Methods). Conversely, nucleus accumbens sensitivity to monetary reward should not predict Facebook use because personal use of the Facebook website is not motivated by obtaining monetary reward.

Bottom Line: We demonstrate that across participants, when responding to gains in reputation for the self, relative to observing gains for others, reward-related activity in the left nucleus accumbens predicts Facebook use.However, nucleus accumbens activity in response to monetary reward did not predict Facebook use.Overall, our results demonstrate how individual sensitivity of the nucleus accumbens to the receipt of self-relevant social information leads to differences in real-world behavior.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cluster of Excellence "Languages of Emotion," Freie Universität Berlin Berlin, Germany ; Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin Berlin, Germany ; Dahlem Institute for the Neuroimaging of Emotion, Freie Universität Berlin Berlin, Germany ; Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin Berlin, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Our reputation is important to us; we've experienced natural selection to care about our reputation. Recently, the neural processing of gains in reputation (positive social feedback concerning one's character) has been shown to occur in the human ventral striatum. It is still unclear, however, how individual differences in the processing of gains in reputation may lead to individual differences in real-world behavior. For example, in the real-world, one way that people currently maintain their reputation is by using social media websites, like Facebook. Furthermore, Facebook use consists of a social comparison component, where users observe others' behavior and can compare it to their own. Therefore, we hypothesized a relationship between the way the brain processes specifically self-relevant gains in reputation and one's degree of Facebook use. We recorded functional neuroimaging data while participants received gains in reputation, observed the gains in reputation of another person, or received monetary reward. We demonstrate that across participants, when responding to gains in reputation for the self, relative to observing gains for others, reward-related activity in the left nucleus accumbens predicts Facebook use. However, nucleus accumbens activity in response to monetary reward did not predict Facebook use. Finally, a control step-wise regression analysis showed that Facebook use primarily explains our results in the nucleus accumbens. Overall, our results demonstrate how individual sensitivity of the nucleus accumbens to the receipt of self-relevant social information leads to differences in real-world behavior.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus