Journal Article

Adolescent neighborhood quality predicts adult dACC response to social exclusion

Marlen Z. Gonzalez, Lane Beckes, Joanna Chango, Joseph P. Allen and James A. Coan

in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

Volume 10, issue 7, pages 921-928
Published in print July 2015 | ISSN: 1749-5016
Published online October 2014 | e-ISSN: 1749-5024 | DOI:
Adolescent neighborhood quality predicts adult dACC response to social exclusion

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Neuroimaging studies using the social-exclusion paradigm Cyberball indicate increased dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and right insula activity as a function of exclusion. However, comparatively less work has been done on how social status factors may moderate this finding. This study used the Cyberball paradigm with 85 (45 females) socio-economically diverse participants from a larger longitudinal sample. We tested whether neighborhood quality during adolescence would predict subsequent neural responding to social exclusion in young adulthood. Given previous behavioral studies indicating greater social vigilance and negative evaluation as a function of lower status, we expected that lower adolescent neighborhood quality would predict greater dACC activity during exclusion at young adulthood. Our findings indicate that young adults who lived in low-quality neighborhoods in adolescence showed greater dACC activity to social exclusion than those who lived in higher quality neighborhoods. Lower neighborhood quality also predicted greater prefrontal activation in the superior frontal gyrus, dorsal medial prefrontal cortex and the middle frontal gyrus, possibly indicating greater regulatory effort. Finally, this effect was not driven by subsequent ratings of distress during exclusion. In sum, adolescent neighborhood quality appears to potentiate neural responses to social exclusion in young adulthood, effects that are independent of felt distress.

Keywords: dACC; fMRI; social exclusion; neighborhood SES; Cyberball

Journal Article.  6491 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognition and Behavioural Neuroscience

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