PSYC 213 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex, Animacy, Amygdala

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23 Jul 2016
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!patients with amygdala lesions don’t look at eyes and have trouble
identifying fearful expressions, perhaps due to a problem with
marking the eyes in fearful expressions as stimuli meriting further
inspection
!patients with amygdala damage judge fearful or aggressive faces to
be more trustworthy than controls
!failure to interpret animacy
!in humans, we also have alternate methods to process information,
impairment of social functioning in monkeys with bilateral amygdala
damage is greater than that in humans
damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex results in a fundamental
incapacity to incorporate social knowledge into behavior
!Iowa gambler’s task: patients don’t show autonomic changes seen
in controls, and an incapacity to convert emotional hunches into
useful behavior (i.e. avoiding the bad deck)
!Wason card sorting task: showed greater impairment in reasoning
for social version of the task, and lesser impairment than controls
for the standard version
right somatosensory damage can impair ability to attribute mental states to
others, important aspect of theory of mind
!probably has to do with damage to the mirror neuron system
o!activation of mirror neurons depends on there being an
interaction between the effector and an object (no activation
if there’s no object)
!thought that we might understand other peoples’ emotional states
by recreating their facial expressions in our minds
monkey “pay per view” experiment: monkeys would “pay” more to see
“monkey porn” and the faces of high-status monkeys, but had to be “paid”
more to look at images of low-status monkeys
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