Gaze direction is a vital communicative channel through which people transmit information to each other. By signaling the locus of social attention, gaze cues convey information about the relative importance of objects, including other people, in the environment. For the most part, this information is communicated via patterns of gaze direction, with gaze shifts signaling changes in the objects of attention. Noting the relevance of gaze cues in social cognition, we speculated that gaze shifts may modulate people's evaluations of others.
In event-related potential (ERPs) studies, emotional stimuli usually elicit an enhanced late positive potential (LPP), which is assumed to reflect motivated attention. However, whether a stimulus elicits emotional responses may depend on the individual's state, such as experiencing romantic love. It has been suggested that stimuli that are related to someone's beloved will elicit increased attention in that infatuated individual. In this study, participants who were in love viewed faces of their beloved, their friend, and of an unknown, beautiful person.
The present event-related potential (ERP) study was conducted to investigate the P3 component in response to love-related stimuli while controlling for task-related factors, and to dissociate the influences of both love-related and task-related attention on the P3 amplitude. In an oddball paradigm, photographs of beloved and friends served as target and distractor stimuli. Love-related and task-related attention were separated by varying the target and distractor status of the beloved and friends full factorially.
This article examines cognitive links between romantic love and creativity and between sexual desire and analytic thought based on construal level theory. It suggests that when in love, people typically focus on a long-term perspective, which should enhance holistic thinking and thereby creative thought, whereas when experiencing sexual encounters, they focus on the present and on concrete details enhancing analytic thinking.
This study capitalizes on individual episodic memories to investigate the question, how dif-ferent environments affect us on a neural level. Instead of using predefined environmental stimuli, this study relied on individual representations of beauty and pleasure. Drawing upon episodic memories we conducted two experiments. Healthy subjects imagined pleasant and non-pleasant environments, as well as beautiful and non-beautiful environments while neural activity was measured by using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
Four studies examined the effects of nature on valuing intrinsic and extrinsic aspirations. Intrinsic aspirations reflected prosocial and other-focused value orientations, and extrinsic aspirations predicted self-focused value orientations. Participants immersed in natural environments reported higher valuing of intrinsic aspirations and lower valuing of extrinsic aspirations, whereas those immersed in non-natural environments reported increased valuing of extrinsic aspirations and no change of intrinsic aspirations.
Social memory plays a pivotal role in social behaviors, from mating behaviors to cooperative behaviors based on reciprocal altruism. More specifically, social/person recognition memory is supposed, by behavioral-economic and game-theoretic analysis, to be required for tit-for-tat like cooperative behaviors to evolve under the N-person iterated prisoner's dilemma game condition. Meanwhile, humans are known to show a social stress response during face-to-face social interactions, which might affect economic behaviors.
The fear facial expression is a distress cue that is associated with the provision of help and prosocial behavior. Prior psychiatric studies have found deficits in the recognition of this expression by individuals with antisocial tendencies. However, no prior study has shown accuracy for recognition of fear to predict actual prosocial or antisocial behavior in an experimental setting. In 3 studies, the authors tested the prediction that individuals who recognize fear more accurately will behave more prosocially.
Are men more likely than women to take into account a child's facial resemblance to themselves when making hypothetical parental investment choices? The benefits of self-resemblance in decreasing relatedness uncertainty are larger in men than in women for direct descendants. However, they are identical in men and women for collateral relatives, such as siblings, cousins, nephews, and nieces; these individuals can also be the recipients of parental-like altruism, which comes primarily from women. Published data are contradictory.
The current study examined how 18-month-old infants react to a "stoic" person, that is, someone who displays a neutral facial expression following negative experiences. Infants first watched a series of events during which an actor had an object stolen from her. In one condition, infants then saw the actor display sadness, while she remained neutral in the other condition. Then, all infants interacted with the actor in emotional referencing, instrumental helping, empathic helping, and imitation tasks.