SBI Research Seminar April 13, 2015 at 12.15

Place: Tellus, Karolinska Institutet, Scheeles väg 1, plan 5

Lunch sandwich will be served.

Title: The Influence of Social Learning on Interactive Behavior


Tanaz Molapour

Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Psychology

Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm


It is well understood that learned aversions play a key role in human behavior in general, however, their role in social interactions remains largely unknown. We investigated how aversive experiences guide and influence behavior in a social context. In the first study, we used a fear-conditioning paradigm to investigate the neural substrates of aversive learning biases towards in-group and out-group members, and their predictive value for discriminatory interactive behavior towards other virtual members of the racial out-group. Our results demonstrate that activity in brain regions previously linked to conditioned fear, and perception of individuals belonging to racial or stigmatized outgroups, jointly contribute to differential brain activity and biased behavior based on race. In 2 preliminary experiments, we sought out to investigate whether learned fears can provoke aggressive behavior in a social context. Our findings reveal the importance of learned aversions in anti-social behaviors in social contexts.

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