981 research outputs found

    Talking Nets: A Multi-Agent Connectionist Approach to Communication and Trust between Individuals

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    A multi-agent connectionist model is proposed that consists of a collection of individual recurrent networks that communicate with each other, and as such is a network of networks. The individual recurrent networks simulate the process of information uptake, integration and memorization within individual agents, while the communication of beliefs and opinions between agents is propagated along connections between the individual networks. A crucial aspect in belief updating based on information from other agents is the trust in the information provided. In the model, trust is determined by the consistency with the receiving agents’ existing beliefs, and results in changes of the connections between individual networks, called trust weights. Thus activation spreading and weight change between individual networks is analogous to standard connectionist processes, although trust weights take a specific function. Specifically, they lead to a selective propagation and thus filtering out of less reliable information, and they implement Grice’s (1975) maxims of quality and quantity in communication. The unique contribution of communicative mechanisms beyond intra-personal processing of individual networks was explored in simulations of key phenomena involving persuasive communication and polarization, lexical acquisition, spreading of stereotypes and rumors, and a lack of sharing unique information in group decisions

    Illusory correlation, group size and memory

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    Two studies were conducted to test the predictions of a multi-component model of distinctiveness-based illusory correlation (IC) regarding the use of episodic and evaluative information in the production of the phenomenon. Extending on the standard paradigm, participants were presented with 4 groups decreasing in size, but all exhibiting the same ratio of positive to negative behaviours. Study 1 (N = 75) specifically tested the role of group size and distinctiveness, by including a zero-frequency cell in the design. Consistent with predictions drawn from the proposed model, with decreasing group size, the magnitude of the IC effect showed a linear in- crease in judgments thought to be based on evaluative information. In Study 2 (N = 43), a number of changes were introduced to a group assignment task (double presentation, inclusion of decoys) that allowed a more rig- orous test of the predicted item-specific memory effects. In addition, a new multilevel, mixed logistic regression approach to signal-detection type analysis was used, providing a more flexible and reliable analysis than previ- ously. Again, with decreasing group size, IC effects showed the predicted monotonic increase on the measures (group assignment frequencies, likability ratings) thought to be dependent on evaluative information. At the same time, measures thought to be based on episodic information (free recall and group assignment accuracy) partly revealed the predicted enhanced episodic memory for smaller groups and negative items, while also supporting a distinctiveness-based approach. Additional analysis revealed that the pattern of results for judg- ments though to be based on evaluative information was independent of interpersonal variation in behavioral memory, as predicted by the multi-component model, and in contrast to predictions of the competing models. The results are discussed in terms of the implications of the findings for the proposed mechanisms of illusory correlation

    The neural representation of mental beliefs held by two agents

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    Neuroimaging research has demonstrated that mentalizing about false beliefs held by other people recruits the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ). However, earlier work was limited to a single agent that held a false belief. We investigated the effect of two agents that held similar or mixed false and/or true beliefs. Participants saw animated stories with two smurfs holding true or false beliefs (Story phase). At the end of each trial, they were requested to take the perspective of the self or one of the smurfs (Question phase). We predicted that an increasing number of smurfs holding a false belief would increase activation in the TPJ when participants have to report the belief of the smurf, because the incongruent belief should have a stronger influence if it is held by two compared with one agent. This prediction was confirmed as activation in the TPJ during the Story and Question phase increased when more smurfs held a false belief. Taking the perspective of the self led to stronger activation of the TPJ in the two conditions that involved a true belief and weakest activation in the condition of two false beliefs. These data suggest that activation in TPJ depends on the perspective participants take, and that the number of agents holding a false belief influences activation in the TPJ only when taking the agent's perspective

    Connectivity between the cerebrum and cerebellum during social and non-social sequencing using dynamic causal modelling

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    This analysis explores the effective connectivity of the cerebellum with the cerebral cortex during the generation of correct sequences of social and non-social events, using dynamic causal modelling (DCM). Our hypothesis is that during human evolution, the cerebellum’s function evolved from a mere coordinator of fluent sequences of motions and actions, to an interpreter of action sequences without overt movements that are important for social understanding. This requires efficient neural communication between the cerebellum and cerebral cortex. In a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, participants generated the correct chronological order of (non-)social events, including stories involving mechanical and social scripts, and true or false beliefs. Across all stories, a DCM analysis of these data revealed, as predicted, bidirectional (closed-loop) connections linking the bilateral posterior cerebellum with the bilateral temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) associated with behavior understanding, and this connectivity pattern was almost entirely significant. There was also a unidirectional connection from the right posterior cerebellum to the precuneus, but no direct connections with the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC). Moreover, all connections emanating from the bilateral posterior cerebellum were negative, indicative of some kind of error signal. Within the cerebral cortex, there were unidirectional connections from the bilateral TPJ to the dmPFC, as well as bidirectional connections between the precuneus and dmPFC, and between the bilateral TPJ. These results confirm that the effective connectivity between the posterior cerebellum and mentalizing areas in the cerebral cortex play a critical role in the understanding and construction of the correct order of social and non-social action sequences

    The role of the cerebellum in social and non-social action sequences : a preliminary LF-rTMS study

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    An increasing number of studies demonstrated the involvement of the cerebellum in (social) sequence processing. The current preliminary study is the first to investigate the causal involvement of the cerebellum in sequence generation, using low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (LF-rTMS). By targeting the posterior cerebellum, we hypothesized that the induced neuro-excitability modulation would lead to altered performance on a Picture and Story sequencing task, which involve the generation of the correct chronological order of various social and non-social stories depicted in cartoons or sentences. Our results indicate that participants receiving LF-rTMS over the cerebellum, as compared to sham participants, showed a stronger learning effect from pre to post stimulation for both tasks and for all types of sequences (i.e. mechanical, social scripts, false belief, true belief). No differences between sequence types were observed. Our results suggest a positive effect of LF-rTMS on sequence generation. We conclude that the cerebellum is causally involved in the generation of sequences of social and nonsocial events. Our discussion focuses on recommendations for future studies

    Inconsistencies in spontaneous and intentional trait inferences

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    This study explores the fMRI correlates of observers making trait inferences about other people under conflicting social cues. Participants were presented with several behavioral descriptions involving an agent that implied a particular trait. The last behavior was either consistent or inconsistent with the previously implied trait. This was done under instructions that elicited either spontaneous trait inferences (‚Äėread carefully‚Äô) or intentional trait inferences (‚Äėinfer a trait‚Äô). The results revealed that when the behavioral descriptions violated earlier trait implications, regardless of instruction, the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) was more strongly recruited as well as the domain-general conflict network including the posterior medial frontal cortex (pmFC) and the right prefrontal cortex (rPFC). These latter two areas were more strongly activated under intentional than spontaneous instructions. These findings suggest that when trait-relevant behavioral information is inconsistent, not only is activity increased in the mentalizing network responsible for trait processing, but control is also passed to a higher level conflict monitoring network in order to detect and resolve the contradiction
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