Homeworks writing service


A report on social cognition and violent behavior in children

Advanced Search Abstract Aggressive behavior is common during adolescence. Although aggression-related functional changes in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex vmPFC and frontopolar cortex FPC have been reported in adults, the neural correlates of aggressive behavior in adolescents, particularly in the context of structural neurodevelopment, are obscure. We used functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging MRI to measure the blood oxygenation level-depended signal and cortical thickness.

In a block-designed experiment, 14—17-year old adolescents imagined aggressive and non-aggressive interactions with a peer.

Trajectories of Aggressive Behavior and Children's Social-Cognitive Development

a report on social cognition and violent behavior in children We show reduced vmPFC activation associated with imagined aggressive behavior as well as enhanced aggression-related activation and cortical thinning in the FPC with increasing age.

Changes in FPC activation were also associated with judgments of the severity of aggressive acts. Reduced vmPFC activation was associated with greater aggression indicating its normal function is to exert inhibitory control over aggressive impulses.

Concurrent FPC activation likely reflects foresight of harmful consequences that result from aggressive acts. The correlation of age-dependent activation changes and cortical thinning demonstrates ongoing maturation of the FPC during adolescence towards a refinement of social and cognitive information processing that can potentially facilitate mature social behavior in aggressive contexts.

There was a problem providing the content you requested

The prefrontal cortex PFC plays a key role in the regulation of aggressive behavior. Findings in adult patients with brain damage Damasio et al. Although developmental neuroimaging studies show that adolescence is a critical time for changes in the neural processes underling social behavior Blakemore, 2008bthe neural correlates of aggressive behavior in adolescents are obscure.

The frontal cortex undergoes significant developmental changes at least until the late 20s Giedd, 2008. Frontal grey matter reaches peak thickness in pre-adolescent boys at age 10. It has been argued that the relatively late onset of synaptic elimination in the adolescent PFC and asynchronized neural development with other brain regions limits the efficiency of social information processing and may increase the vulnerability for adolescent-onset psychiatric problems such as antisocial and risky behavior Blakemore, 2008b.

Here, we used functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging MRI to investigate brain activation changes during imagined physical aggression and cortical thickness in healthy male adolescents 14—17 years of age.

In a block-designed functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI experiment, participants imagined their own aggressive or non-aggressive neutral and pleasant behavior during interactions that were initiated by a fictitious male adolescent that they incidentally met in a parking garage. Trials consisted of screen-prompted instructions, a period of a report on social cognition and violent behavior in children of the scene with closed eyes that started and ended with a beep, followed by emotional ratings using a self-assessment manikin SAM Lang et al.

Cortical thickness values were derived from structural MRI images to investigate whether structural changes as adolescents aged were associated with activation differences between aggressive and non-aggressive conditions in the FPC. We hypothesized reduced activations in the vmPFC during imagined aggressive behavior compared with imagined non-aggressive acts based on findings a report on social cognition and violent behavior in children adults Pietrini et al.

Finally, we predicted that these age-related differences in brain structure are likely reflected in age-dependent changes in activation levels in the FPC during imagined aggression.

All participants, except for one participant who was ambidextrous, were right-handed Edinburgh inventory; laterality quotient: After complete description of the study, parents gave written informed consent and adolescents gave their written assent for the procedures that were approved by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Institutional Review Board at the National Institutes of Health.

Participants received financial compensations for their participation. Procedure Participants underwent first a screening pre-scanning phasethen the fMRI scan scanning phase and finally completed questionnaires post-scanning phase. They came in twice for testing, and all parts of the study were completed within three to five weeks. Furthermore, we administrated the AQ Buss and Warren, 2000 to measure trait aggression and a severity a report on social cognition and violent behavior in children of 13 scenes describing aggressive behavior see Methods, Procedure, Questionnaires in Supplementary data.

The psychiatric screening was performed by a board-certified child psychiatrist. In addition, participants underwent a neurological examination by a board-certified neurologist to rule out neurological disorders. Scanning phase In the beginning of visit 2, participants completed a paper and pencil version of the SAM Hodes et al. The SAM is a three-dimensional, non-verbal, visual measure of the emotional content of stimuli and events that requires participants to choose one of five manikins with visual expressions to indicate their degree of happiness valenceexcitement arousal and control dominance.

Faces of manikins in the valance dimension vary from smiling happy to frowning unhappy. In the arousal dimension, manikins show different degrees of excitement through a sleepy face with eyes closed calm to a jumping manikin with his eyes wide open excited. Finally, dominance is depicted by manikins that differ in size with the smallest manikin indicating the feeling of being controlled submissiveness and the largest manikin depicting being in control dominance.

In this phase of the experiment, participants marked their emotional state below the appropriate manikin once for each dimension. Then, participants were familiarized with the experimental task. They were introduced to a general scenario that they were asked to imagine during all scenes in the experiment. After viewing a picture of a parking garage, participants were asked to close their eyes and imagine that a tall, mean-looking teenager was walking toward them and stopping right in front of them in the otherwise empty garage.

Social Information-Processing Bases of Aggressive Behavior in Children

Participants were asked to imagine the scenario in great detail and as vividly as possible. They were told that they would imagine interactions between themselves and the other teenager in this general scene while in the scanner see Methods, Procedure, Task instructions in supplementary data.

During scanning, we employed a blocked fMRI design that required participants to imagine three types of interactions with the tall, mean-looking teenager two control and one experimental condition: Although blocked fMRI designs have been criticized for their neuropsychological drawbacks and numerous assumptions involved, they are known to elicit robust MRI signals Amaro and Barker, 2006. We have chosen this design for our study to enable the investigation of brain responses to aggressive and non-aggressive interactions.

Our main goal was to elicit imagery of complex social behavior that extends over a longer period of time and involves a course of actions rather then a brief, single act that might better be presented in an event-related design. Previous a report on social cognition and violent behavior in children including PET and fMRI studies of motor imagery, social planning, emotional correlates of past events and imagery of obsessive compulsive associations to visual stimuli have used blocked designs to investigate brain responses over relatively longer periods of time Partiot et al.

Imagining of aggressive interactions had been successfully shown by some of us to reduce brain glucose metabolism in adults Pietrini et al. Participants completed a practice version of the task prior to the scan. Neutral and pleasant control conditions were used to compare aggressive with non-aggressive interactions.

A trial consisted of three phases: During the imagination phase, a beep at the beginning and end indicated when participants had to start and stop imagining the scene. During the SAM rating phase, participants rated their emotional valence, arousal and dominance on a 5-point Likert scale. The experiment a report on social cognition and violent behavior in children one experimental and two control conditions.

For each condition, an example of the word material used in an individual trial is shown.