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Psychol Sci. 2016 Jun;27(6):821-35. doi: 10.1177/0956797616638319. Epub 2016 May 5.

Early-Childhood Social Reticence Predicts Brain Function in Preadolescent Youths During Distinct Forms of Peer Evaluation.

Author information

1
Emotion and Development Branch, National Institute of Mental Health Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University johanna.jarcho@stonybrook.edu.
2
Department of Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
3
Department of Psychology, University of Haifa.
4
Department of Human Development, University of Maryland, College Park.
5
Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo.
6
Emotion and Development Branch, National Institute of Mental Health.
7
Emotion and Development Branch, National Institute of Mental Health Center for Biobehavioral Health, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio Department of Pediatrics, Ohio State University.

Abstract

Social reticence is expressed as shy, anxiously avoidant behavior in early childhood. With development, overt signs of social reticence may diminish but could still manifest themselves in neural responses to peers. We obtained measures of social reticence across 2 to 7 years of age. At age 11, preadolescents previously characterized as high (n = 30) or low (n = 23) in social reticence completed a novel functional-MRI-based peer-interaction task that quantifies neural responses to the anticipation and receipt of distinct forms of social evaluation. High (but not low) social reticence in early childhood predicted greater activity in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and left and right insula, brain regions implicated in processing salience and distress, when participants anticipated unpredictable compared with predictable feedback. High social reticence was also associated with negative functional connectivity between insula and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, a region commonly implicated in affect regulation. Finally, among participants with high social reticence, negative evaluation was associated with increased amygdala activity, but only during feedback from unpredictable peers.

KEYWORDS:

adolescent development; brain; neuroimaging; social cognition; social interaction

PMID:
27150109
PMCID:
PMC4899210
DOI:
10.1177/0956797616638319
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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