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Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2019 Dec;40:100734. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2019.100734. Epub 2019 Nov 6.

Prosocial behavior relates to the rate and timing of cortical thinning from adolescence to young adulthood.

Author information

1
Center for Lifespan Changes in Brain and Cognition, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway. Electronic address: lia.ferschmann@psykologi.uio.no.
2
School of Psychology, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. Electronic address: nvijaya@deakin.edu.au.
3
Center for Lifespan Changes in Brain and Cognition, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway. Electronic address: hakon.grydeland@psykologi.uio.no.
4
Center for Lifespan Changes in Brain and Cognition, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway. Electronic address: knut.overbye@psykologi.uio.no.
5
Center for Lifespan Changes in Brain and Cognition, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway. Electronic address: donatas.sederevicius@psykologi.uio.no.
6
Department of Radiology, Rikshospitalet, Oslo University Hospital, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway. Electronic address: pdue@ous-hf.no.
7
Center for Lifespan Changes in Brain and Cognition, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway. Electronic address: a.m.fjell@psykologi.uio.no.
8
Center for Lifespan Changes in Brain and Cognition, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway. Electronic address: k.b.walhovd@psykologi.uio.no.
9
Department of Psychology, University of Oregon, Eugene, USA. Electronic address: jpfeifer@uoregon.edu.
10
PROMENTA Research Center, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Department of Psychiatry, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, NORMENT, Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo University Hospital & Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway. Electronic address: c.k.tamnes@psykologi.uio.no.

Abstract

Prosocial behavior, or voluntary actions that intentionally benefit others, relate to desirable developmental outcomes such as peer acceptance, while lack of prosocial behavior has been associated with several neurodevelopmental disorders. Mapping the biological foundations of prosociality may thus aid our understanding of both normal and abnormal development, yet how prosociality relates to cortical development is largely unknown. Here, relations between prosociality, as measured by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (self-report), and changes in thickness across the cortical mantle were examined using mixed-effects models. The sample consisted of 169 healthy individuals (92 females) aged 12-26 with repeated MRI from up to 3 time points, at approximately 3-year intervals (301 scans). In regions associated with social cognition and behavioral control, higher prosociality was associated with greater cortical thinning during early-to-middle adolescence, followed by attenuation of this process during the transition to young adulthood. Comparatively, lower prosociality was related to initially slower thinning, followed by comparatively protracted thinning into the mid-twenties. This study showed that prosocial behavior is associated with regional development of cortical thickness in adolescence and young adulthood. The results suggest that the rate of thinning in these regions, as well as its timing, may be factors related to prosocial behavior.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescence; Cortical thickness; Development; Longitudinal; Prosocial behavior; Structural MRI

PMID:
31739096
DOI:
10.1016/j.dcn.2019.100734
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