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      Neural signatures of social conformity: A coordinate-based activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis of functional brain imaging studies.

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          Abstract

          People often align their behaviors with group opinions, known as social conformity. Many neuroscience studies have explored the neuropsychological mechanisms underlying social conformity. Here we employed a coordinate-based meta-analysis on neuroimaging studies of social conformity with the purpose to reveal the convergence of the underlying neural architecture. We identified a convergence of reported activation foci in regions associated with normative decision-making, including ventral striatum (VS), dorsal posterior medial frontal cortex (dorsal pMFC), and anterior insula (AI). Specifically, consistent deactivation of VS and activation of dorsal pMFC and AI are identified when people's responses deviate from group opinions. In addition, the deviation-related responses in dorsal pMFC predict people's conforming behavioral adjustments. These are consistent with current models that disagreement with others might evoke "error" signals, cognitive imbalance, and/or aversive feelings, which are plausibly detected in these brain regions as control signals to facilitate subsequent conforming behaviors. Finally, group opinions result in altered neural correlates of valuation, manifested as stronger responses of VS to stimuli endorsed than disliked by others.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Neurosci Biobehav Rev
          Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews
          Elsevier BV
          1873-7528
          0149-7634
          December 2016
          : 71
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100101, Beijing, China.
          [2 ] State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, 100875, Beijing, China.
          [3 ] State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, 100875, Beijing, China. Electronic address: chunliang.feng@gmail.com.
          Article
          S0149-7634(16)30400-6
          10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.08.038
          27592151

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