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Increased frequency of social interaction is associated with enjoyment enhancement and reward system activation.

Kawamichi H, Sugawara SK, Hamano YH, Makita K, Kochiyama T, Sadato N - Sci Rep (2016)

Bottom Line: Enjoyment of feelings associated through social interaction motivates humans to build social connections according to their personal preferences.Furthermore, ventral striatal activation covaried with individual participants' preference for interactions with others.These findings suggest that an elevated frequency of social interaction is represented as a social reward, which might motivate individuals to promote social interaction in a manner that is modulated by personal preference.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Graduate School of Human Health Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo, 116-8551 Japan.

ABSTRACT
Positive social interactions contribute to the sense that one's life has meaning. Enjoyment of feelings associated through social interaction motivates humans to build social connections according to their personal preferences. Therefore, we hypothesized that social interaction itself activates the reward system in a manner that depends upon individual interaction preferences. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study in which 38 participants played a virtual ball-toss game in which the number of ball tosses to the participant was either similar to (normal-frequency condition) or higher than (high-frequency condition) the number of tosses to the other players. Participants reported greater-than-anticipated enjoyment during the high-frequency condition, suggesting that receiving a social reward led to unexpected positive feelings. Consistent with this, the high-frequency condition produced stronger activation in the ventral striatum, which is part of the reward system, and the precuneus, representing positive self-image, which might be translated to social reward. Furthermore, ventral striatal activation covaried with individual participants' preference for interactions with others. These findings suggest that an elevated frequency of social interaction is represented as a social reward, which might motivate individuals to promote social interaction in a manner that is modulated by personal preference.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Schematic of the experiment.(A) Time course of stimulus presentation in the ball-toss run. Participants were required to toss a ball with the other four players for 30 s (A1). After a fixation cross appeared for 2.5 s (A2), participants were asked to evaluate their level of enjoyment during the preceding ball-toss block for 5 s (A3). This was followed by the presentation of a fixation cross for 15 s. (B) Time course of stimulus presentation during the button-press run. Participants were required to press a button when “O” appeared (B1). The button-press block was 30 s. After a fixation cross was presented for 2.5 s (B2), participants were asked to evaluate their level of enjoyment during the preceding button-press block for 5 s (B3). This was followed by the presentation of a fixation cross for 15 s.
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f6: Schematic of the experiment.(A) Time course of stimulus presentation in the ball-toss run. Participants were required to toss a ball with the other four players for 30 s (A1). After a fixation cross appeared for 2.5 s (A2), participants were asked to evaluate their level of enjoyment during the preceding ball-toss block for 5 s (A3). This was followed by the presentation of a fixation cross for 15 s. (B) Time course of stimulus presentation during the button-press run. Participants were required to press a button when “O” appeared (B1). The button-press block was 30 s. After a fixation cross was presented for 2.5 s (B2), participants were asked to evaluate their level of enjoyment during the preceding button-press block for 5 s (B3). This was followed by the presentation of a fixation cross for 15 s.

Mentions: There was one run of the ball-toss task, consisting of six ball-toss blocks, six rating blocks, and six rest blocks. In the ball-toss blocks, the participants played the ball-toss game with the four other virtual players for 30 s. There were 30 ball tosses in each block. There were two types of ball-toss block: normal- and high-frequency conditions. In the normal-frequency condition, each participant had six ball tosses during a block. In the high-frequency condition, the number of ball tosses from each participant was 13 per block. Each of the other four players received the ball with equal probability during the normal- and high-frequency conditions. Similar to the experimental design of a previous study16, if the target condition (in this study, the high-frequency condition) occurred prior to the normal situation, the participants anticipated a similar pattern in the normal condition, and such anticipation might interfere with investigation of the high-frequency effects. Taking this into account, the high-frequency condition always occurred during the last three blocks of the task. If participants failed to pass the ball within a given time period (1 s), the ball was automatically tossed to another player. After the ball-toss block, the participants were presented with a fixation cross, located at the center of a screen, for 2.5 s. Then, the participants rated how much they enjoyed the prior ball-toss block using a VAS (ranging from 0 to 100, where 0 indicated “not at all” and 100 indicated “very much”). The time period for completing the enjoyment ratings was 5 s. After the rating block, the fixation cross was presented for 15 s (rest block) to allow cerebral blood-flow levels to return to baseline (Fig. 6).


Increased frequency of social interaction is associated with enjoyment enhancement and reward system activation.

Kawamichi H, Sugawara SK, Hamano YH, Makita K, Kochiyama T, Sadato N - Sci Rep (2016)

Schematic of the experiment.(A) Time course of stimulus presentation in the ball-toss run. Participants were required to toss a ball with the other four players for 30 s (A1). After a fixation cross appeared for 2.5 s (A2), participants were asked to evaluate their level of enjoyment during the preceding ball-toss block for 5 s (A3). This was followed by the presentation of a fixation cross for 15 s. (B) Time course of stimulus presentation during the button-press run. Participants were required to press a button when “O” appeared (B1). The button-press block was 30 s. After a fixation cross was presented for 2.5 s (B2), participants were asked to evaluate their level of enjoyment during the preceding button-press block for 5 s (B3). This was followed by the presentation of a fixation cross for 15 s.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4835785&req=5

f6: Schematic of the experiment.(A) Time course of stimulus presentation in the ball-toss run. Participants were required to toss a ball with the other four players for 30 s (A1). After a fixation cross appeared for 2.5 s (A2), participants were asked to evaluate their level of enjoyment during the preceding ball-toss block for 5 s (A3). This was followed by the presentation of a fixation cross for 15 s. (B) Time course of stimulus presentation during the button-press run. Participants were required to press a button when “O” appeared (B1). The button-press block was 30 s. After a fixation cross was presented for 2.5 s (B2), participants were asked to evaluate their level of enjoyment during the preceding button-press block for 5 s (B3). This was followed by the presentation of a fixation cross for 15 s.
Mentions: There was one run of the ball-toss task, consisting of six ball-toss blocks, six rating blocks, and six rest blocks. In the ball-toss blocks, the participants played the ball-toss game with the four other virtual players for 30 s. There were 30 ball tosses in each block. There were two types of ball-toss block: normal- and high-frequency conditions. In the normal-frequency condition, each participant had six ball tosses during a block. In the high-frequency condition, the number of ball tosses from each participant was 13 per block. Each of the other four players received the ball with equal probability during the normal- and high-frequency conditions. Similar to the experimental design of a previous study16, if the target condition (in this study, the high-frequency condition) occurred prior to the normal situation, the participants anticipated a similar pattern in the normal condition, and such anticipation might interfere with investigation of the high-frequency effects. Taking this into account, the high-frequency condition always occurred during the last three blocks of the task. If participants failed to pass the ball within a given time period (1 s), the ball was automatically tossed to another player. After the ball-toss block, the participants were presented with a fixation cross, located at the center of a screen, for 2.5 s. Then, the participants rated how much they enjoyed the prior ball-toss block using a VAS (ranging from 0 to 100, where 0 indicated “not at all” and 100 indicated “very much”). The time period for completing the enjoyment ratings was 5 s. After the rating block, the fixation cross was presented for 15 s (rest block) to allow cerebral blood-flow levels to return to baseline (Fig. 6).

Bottom Line: Enjoyment of feelings associated through social interaction motivates humans to build social connections according to their personal preferences.Furthermore, ventral striatal activation covaried with individual participants' preference for interactions with others.These findings suggest that an elevated frequency of social interaction is represented as a social reward, which might motivate individuals to promote social interaction in a manner that is modulated by personal preference.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Graduate School of Human Health Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo, 116-8551 Japan.

ABSTRACT
Positive social interactions contribute to the sense that one's life has meaning. Enjoyment of feelings associated through social interaction motivates humans to build social connections according to their personal preferences. Therefore, we hypothesized that social interaction itself activates the reward system in a manner that depends upon individual interaction preferences. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study in which 38 participants played a virtual ball-toss game in which the number of ball tosses to the participant was either similar to (normal-frequency condition) or higher than (high-frequency condition) the number of tosses to the other players. Participants reported greater-than-anticipated enjoyment during the high-frequency condition, suggesting that receiving a social reward led to unexpected positive feelings. Consistent with this, the high-frequency condition produced stronger activation in the ventral striatum, which is part of the reward system, and the precuneus, representing positive self-image, which might be translated to social reward. Furthermore, ventral striatal activation covaried with individual participants' preference for interactions with others. These findings suggest that an elevated frequency of social interaction is represented as a social reward, which might motivate individuals to promote social interaction in a manner that is modulated by personal preference.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus