Dysfunction in The Prefrontal Cortex Psychology Worksheet “

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Lecture outline
Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen
Guest Lecture for PSY355 Spring 2023
April 27, 2023
• Loneliness Epidemic and health implications
• What factors make people vulnerable to loneliness? (breakout
room)
• What is loneliness and how is it measured
• Behavioral model – loneliness self-reinforcing loop
• Social neuroscience – social brain circuit
• Neuroimaging of loneliness
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Social Neuroscience of
Loneliness
• Task fMRI findings – task-based fMRI
• Anatomical findings – structural MRI: VBM and DTI
• Functional network findings – resting-state fMRI
Why is Loneliness Matter?
Loneliness Epidemic
• Social bonding and connectedness increase the chance
to survive.
• Loneliness is on the rise in our society.
• Societal structural change from agricultural society to
industrial and urbanized society results in increasing 29%
number of migrations, increasing number 26%
of people
living
alone, and decreasing face-to-face interaction
3.14
17%
(Fields et al., 2001; U.S. Census, 2020) .
• Losing social connection can be detrimental to our
survival.
2.62
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Loneliness Epidemic
• Loneliness is on the rise in the modern society.
• Societal structural change from agricultural society to
industrial and urbanized society results in increasing
number of migrations, increasing number of people
living alone, and decreasing face-to-face interaction
(Fields et al., 2001; U.S. Census, 2020).
• We are not only facing with distant physical disconnection but also weakened emotional
connection, e.g., small discussion network (Brashears,
2011; McPherson et al., 2006).
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
2.51
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Loneliness Epidemic
• Loneliness is experienced at all ages and to everyone
• 2018 BBC Loneliness Experiment (Hammond, 2018; Qualter, 2018)
• Launched in 2018 in U.K. with 55,000 respondents aged from 16
and above
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the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Loneliness Epidemic
• Loneliness is often trivialized, even stigmatized (Griffin,
2010)
• Small-to-modest effect size of the existing
interventions targeting loneliness (Hickin et al., 2021,
Masi et al., 2011).
• Existing interventions included cognitive behavioral
therapy, social cognitive training, reminiscence,
social identity approach, social skill improvement,
enhancing social support and interaction, etc.
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Loneliness Takes a Toll on Our Health
• Loneliness has negative impact on physical and
mental health.
• Impact on physical health: cardiovascular, physical function,
sleep
• Impact on older people: cognitive decline, quality of life, risk
of dementia
• Impact on psychological wellbeing: negative affect, substance
use, self-esteem
• Impact on mental health: depression, anxiety, suicide
• Impact on disease-related gene expression
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
COVID-19 and Loneliness
• During the shelter-in-place period in the U.S., a study
showed that, among 1,013 adults aged 18 – 35, 62% of
respondents reported “socially isolated much of the time ”
(Killgore et al., 2020).
https://www.rootsofloneliness.com/
loneliness-statistics#ref-49
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the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Loneliness Takes a Toll on Our
Health
• Its impact is beyond objective social factors,
including, but not limited to, social network size, social
support, and social engagement (Cacioppo & Hawkley,
2009; Canli et al., 2017, 2018; Gow et al., 2007; Wilson
et al., 2007).
• Loneliness imposes an economic cost on the society
(Duncan et al., 2021)
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What do you think…
(Breakout Room Discussion)
What factors make people
vulnerable to loneliness?
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Loneliness Definition
• The subjective and complex emotional experience of
perceived social isolation, in which one’s intimate and
social needs are not satisfied by both quantity and
quality of one’s social relationships (Cacioppo et al.,
2006; Hawkley & Cacioppo, 2010).
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Conceptualizing Loneliness
Conceptualizing Loneliness
• UCLA Loneliness Scale Revised (Russell, 1996)
• 20 items 4-point scale
• 1 (Never) to 4 (Often)
• Loneliness is a multi-dimensional construct: Three-factor
structure (Hawkley, Browne, and Cacioppo, 2005; Weiss,
1973)
• Isolation/Emotional Loneliness : the absence of
emotion fulfillment and satisfactory when they need it
• Social Loneliness: the absence of social connection
either at the individual level (e.g., family, friends) or at
the society level (e.g., community)
• Relational Connectedness
• Collective Connectedness
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Loneliness Self-Reinforcing Loop
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the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Loneliness Self-Reinforcing Loop
• Loneliness self-reinforcing loop discusses the effect of
loneliness on cognition in maladaptive ways (Cacioopo
& Hawkley, 2009).
Cacioppo & Hawkley, 2009
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Loneliness Self-Reinforcing Loop
Loneliness Self-Reinforcing Loop
Attention and memory biases
• Lonely people responded faster to
negative social stimuli (Du et al.,
2022).
• Lonely people showed greater
automatic attention to warmth
faces, relative to neutral faces
(Saito et al., 2020).
• Lonely people showed better recall
on social, relative to non-social
events (Gardner et al., 2005).
Hypervigilant to Social Threat
• Lonely people fixed longer on
socially threatened stimuli during
the first couple seconds after the
stimulus onset (Bangee et al.,
2014).
• Lonely children spent longer time
on socially threatening stimuli and
showed difficulty disengaging
those stimuli (Qualter et al., 2013).
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Loneliness Self-Reinforcing Loop
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the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Loneliness Self-Reinforcing Loop
Behavioral confirmation
• Lonely people had lower and
negative social expectation, e.g.,
greater fear of being rejected
(Gabel 2006; Hammond, 2018).
• Lonely people reported lower
satisfaction and positivity of
social interaction (Hawkley et al.,
2003, 2007).
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Loneliness Self-Reinforcing Loop
• Revolutionary speaking, like feeling hunger and pain,
the feeling of loneliness serves as survival warning to
motivate to (re-)connect with others (Cacioppo et al.,
2006, 2014, 2015).
• However, if an individual fails to resume the social
connection and the feeling of loneliness persists, it
could become chronic loneliness.
Negative display, withdrawal
• Withdrawal from social
interaction as a coping strategy
for (expected) social rejection
(Watson & Nesdale, 2012).
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the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Re-Affiliation Motive of Loneliness
Perceived
Social
Isolation
Re-Affiliation
Motive: motivated to
reconnect
Reconnection
Regulate adaptive
behavior to
reconnect
Behavioral and
Cognitive Affiliation
processes activated
Modified from Qualter et al., 2015
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Social Neuroscience of Loneliness
• Social neuroscience is the interdisciplinary field that
seeks to study neural, hormonal, cellular, and genetic
mechanisms underlying social behavior (Cacioppo et al.,
2010).
• Social brain hypothesis: human brain, which is larger in
size and expensive in energy consumption, is to support
more complicated social demand and social bond
(Dunbar & Shultz, 2007).
• Social brain comprises multiple brain regions/systems
(Cacioppo et al., 2015; Eisenberger & Cole, 2012; Frith,
2007; Wong et al., 2018)
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Neuroimaging of loneliness
Negative social information
processing; emotion processing
• Dorsal anterior cingulate cortex
• Amygdala
• Anterior insula
Social cognition; mentalizing
• Medial
PrefrontalTPJ,
Cortex
Mentalizing:
pSTS
• Temporo-parietal junction
• Posterior superior temporal
sulcus
Eisenberger &
Cole, 2012
Wong, Yeung, &
Lee, 2018
Social cue visual
processing
• Occipital cortex
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enrolled
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Social reward processing
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen.
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• Ventral
striatum
Neuroimaging of loneliness
• Task-based functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
(fMRI)
• Signals represent “activity” of the brain
• Participants performing a task while being scanned in MRI
machine
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Neuroimaging of loneliness
Pleasant social > non-social:
Less ventral striatum activity
Changes in reward processing of
social information
Task-based functional MRI
• First task fMRI study by
Cacioppo et al. (2009)
• 23 undergraduates
• Social – Emotional paradigm
• Social vs. Non-Social
• Pleasant vs. Unpleasant
Unpleasant social > non-social:
Greater visual cortex activity
and vigilance
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information
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Yen-Wen
(Samantha)
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Cacioppo et al., 2009
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Neuroimaging of loneliness
Task-based functional MRI
• Inagaki et al. (2016)
• 31 adults with mean age 24
• Viewing images of close friends vs.
strangers
• Lonely people showed greater
ventral striatum activity in
response to images of closer
friends, relative to strangers
• Ventral striatum has been shown to
be involved in reward processing
• This could indicate social craving
when people feel lonely
Inagaki et al., 2016
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Neuroimaging of loneliness
Neuroimaging of loneliness
• Structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging
• High-resolution structural image
• Participants simply “rest” in the scanner
• Measuring brain structural volume (mainly gray matter
volume (GMV))
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the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Neuroimaging of loneliness
• 108 adults aged 18 – 23
• People reported higher
loneliness showed smaller GMV
at posterior superior
temporal sulcus (pSTS)
• pSTS has been shown to be
involved in social perception,
e.g., process eye gaze
information from others
Kanai et
al., 2012
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the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Neuroimaging of loneliness
Structural MRI
• Duzel et al. (2019)
Structural MRI
• Kong et al. (2015):
• 308 adults aged 18 – 27
• People reported higher
loneliness showed larger
dorsolateral prefrontal
cortex GMV
• DLPFC has been shown to be
involved in emotional
regulation and executive
control
Structural MRI
• Kanai et al. (2012):
Kong et al., 2015
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Neuroimaging of loneliness
• Diffusion weighted imaging (DWI)
• Detecting the random movements of water molecules
(diffusion of water) to measure white matter microstructure
• The diffusion of water in brain tissue varies with direction
(“anisotropic”)
• On the contrary, the diffusion in a glass of water is the same in all
direction ? “isotropic”
• Fractional anisotropy (FA): measures the fraction of the diffusion that is
anisotropic ? proxy of “white matter (axon tract) integrity” (the
lower the FA, the poorer the integrity)
• Participants simply “rest” in the scanner
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the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
• 319 older adults aged 61 – 81
• People reported higher loneliness
showed smaller GMV at
amygdala, parahippocampus,
and cerebellum
• Amygdala and parahippocamous
has been shown to be involved in
emotion processing
• Recent studies showed evidence
of cerebellum in social
cognition
Duzel et al., 2019
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Neuroimaging of loneliness
Diffusion weighted imaging
• Tian et al. (2014)
• 30 adults with mean age 21.3
• People reported higher loneliness
showed lower FA (i.e., lower white
matter integrity) at white matter
tracts connecting inferior frontal
gyrus, temporo-parietal junction,
and anterior insula
• Those regions had been shown to
be Involved in social cognition
like theory of mind and inferencing
other’s intention
Tian et al., 2014
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Neuroimaging of loneliness
Neuroimaging of loneliness
• Resting-state functional MRI
• Participants simply “rest” while being scanned
• Resting-State Functional Connectivity (RSFC) is defined as
the temporal coupling of the intrinsic neuronal activity between
anatomically separated brain regions (i.e., two regions activate
at the same time)
• RSFC has been suggested to reveal the intrinsic brain
functional organization (Fox et al., 2005; Fox & Raichle,
Visual
2007).
• RSFC-derived brain networks
Somatomotor
Dorsal
attention
Ventral
attention
Limbic
Yeo et al., 2011
Frontopariet
al per
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Default
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Neuroimaging of loneliness
Mars et al., 2012
Resting-state functional MRI
• Spreng et al. (2020)
• 38,701 adults aged 40 – 69
• People reported higher loneliness
showed stronger within-connectivity
in Default Mode Network
• Default Mode Network (DMN):
activated when people are not
engaged in any tasks (“rest” state)
• Mars et al. (2012) suggested
DMN overlaps with social brain,
including medial PFC, posterior
cingulate cortex, and precuneus
This material was produced for the sole use of students at Stony Brook University currently enrolled in PSY355 as per
the TEACH Act Copyright © 2023 Yen-Wen (Samantha) Chen. All rights reserved.
Social Neuroscience and Loneliness
• The brain is the key organ that connects our internal and external
environment.
• The social neuroscience model of loneliness suggests that the
mal-/adaptation of the social brain in response to the social world
could help to explain the association between loneliness and its
adverse health consequence (Cacioppo et al., 2014; 2015).
• Neuroscience and neuroimaging provide tools to investigate possible
mechanisms for loneliness and its psychosomatic cost.
• It’s still at beginning of the field to understand loneliness and it impact
on brain health and mental health. The goal is to identify targets for
prevention and intervention.
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