Brain Reward Activity to Masked In-Group Smiling Faces Predicts Friendship Development

Pin Hao A Chen, Paul J. Whalen, Jonathan B. Freeman, James M. Taylor, Todd F. Heatherton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study examined whether neural responses in the ventral striatum (VS) to in-group facial expressions—presented without explicit awareness—could predict friendship patterns in newly arrived individuals from China 6 months later. Individuals who initially showed greater VS activity in response to in-group happy expressions during functional neuroimaging later made considerably more in-group friends, suggesting that VS activity might reflect reward processes that drive in-group approach behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-421
Number of pages7
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2015

Keywords

  • acculturation
  • fMRI
  • face
  • friendship
  • reward

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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