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Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2012 Jan;7(1):81-92. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsr043. Epub 2011 Aug 9.

Neural circuitry underlying affective response to peer feedback in adolescence.

Author information

  • 1Department of Human and Community Development, Center for Mind and Brain, University of California Davis, 267 Cousteau Place, Davis, CA 95618, USA. aeguyer@ucdavis.edu

Abstract

Peer feedback affects adolescents' behaviors, cognitions and emotions. We examined neural circuitry underlying adolescents' emotional response to peer feedback using a functional neuroimaging paradigm whereby, 36 adolescents (aged 9-17 years) believed they would interact with unknown peers postscan. Neural activity was expected to vary based on adolescents' perceptions of peers and feedback type. Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC) activity was found when adolescents indicated how they felt following feedback (acceptance or rejection) from peers of low vs high interest. Greater activation in both cortical (e.g. superior temporal gyrus, insula, anterior cingulate) and subcortical (e.g. striatum, thalamus) regions emerged in response to acceptance vs rejection feedback. Response to acceptance also varied by age and gender in similar regions (e.g. superior temporal gyrus, fusiform, insula), with greater age-related increases in activation to acceptance vs rejection for females than males. Affective response to rejection vs acceptance did not yield significantly greater neural activity in any region. vlPFC response suggests cognitive flexibility in reappraising initial perceptions of peers following feedback. Striatal response suggests that acceptance is a potent social reward for adolescents, an interpretation supported by more positive self-reported affective response to acceptance than rejection from high- but not low-interest peers.

PMID:
21828112
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3252630
Free PMC Article

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