Enhanced sensitivity to optimistic cues is manifested in brain structure: A voxel-based morphometry study

Aue, Tatjana; Dricu, Mihai; Singh, Laura; Moser, Dominik A.; Kotikalapudi, Raviteja (2021). Enhanced sensitivity to optimistic cues is manifested in brain structure: A voxel-based morphometry study. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, 16(11), pp. 1170-1181. Oxford University Press 10.1093/scan/nsab075

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Recent research shows that congruent outcomes are more rapidly (and incongruent less rapidly) detected when individuals receive optimistic rather than pessimistic cues, an effect that was termed optimism robustness. In the current voxel-based morphometry study, we examined whether optimism robustness has a counterpart in brain structure. The participants’ task was to detect two different letters (symbolizing monetary gain or loss) in a visual search matrix. Prior to each onset of the search matrix, two different verbal cues informed our participants about a high probability to gain (optimistic expectancy) or lose (pessimistic expectancy) money. The target presented was either congruent or incongruent with these induced expectancies. Optimism robustness revealed in the participants’ reaction times correlated positively with gray matter volume (GMV) in brain regions involved in selective attention (medial visual association area, intraparietal sulcus), emphasizing the strong intertwinement of optimistic expectancies and attention deployment. In addition, GMV in the primary visual cortex diminished with increasing optimism robustness, in line with the interpretation of optimism robustness arising from a global, context-oriented perception. Future studies should address the malleability of these structural correlates of optimism robustness. Our results may assist in the identification of treatment targets in depression.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > PSY-Weitere Forschungsgruppen

UniBE Contributor:

Aue, Tatjana; Dricu, Mihai; Moser, Dominik and Kotikalapudi, Raviteja

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

1749-5024

Publisher:

Oxford University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Tatjana Aue

Date Deposited:

23 Jul 2021 11:01

Last Modified:

21 Nov 2021 01:44

Publisher DOI:

10.1093/scan/nsab075

PubMed ID:

34128051

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/157209

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/157209

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