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Emotional Learning in Social Interaction

Objective

This project will open up new horizons in the study of emotional learning by describing and modeling its role in social interaction. It brings together a novel set of experimental manipulations with two hitherto unconnected lines of research; biology of aversive learning and social cognition, with the aim to answer four specific objectives, namely to identify the mechanisms of aversive learning (1) about others and its dependence on stimulus bound (e.g. ethnic group belonging) and conceptual (e.g. moral and social status) features; (2) from others through observation, and its dependence on processing of stimulus bound (e.g. emotional expressiveness) and conceptual (e.g. empathy and mental state attributions) features; (3) during interaction and its dependence social characteristics as described in 1 and 2; and (4) build and test a neural model of social-emotional learning. To achieve these objectives, this project proposes a multi-method research program using novel behavioral experimental paradigms and manipulated virtual environments, drawing on cognitive neuroscience, psychophysiology, and behavioral genetics. It is predicted that social emotional learning will be accomplished through the interaction of four, partially overlapping, neural networks coding for affective, associative, social cognitive and instrumental/goal directed aspects, respectively. Whereas it is expected that the two first networks will be common to classical conditioning and social learning, the latter is hypothesized to be distinguished by its reliance on the social-cognitive network. The fourth network is predicted to be integral to the social learning through interactions and the shaping of behavioral norms. The proposed research will enhance our understanding of important social phenomena, such as the emergence and maintanance of group conflicts and norm compliance. It will also shed light on common psychological disorders, such as social anxiety, autism and psychopathy that are characterized by dysfunctions of the social emotional learning system.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/neurobiology/cognitive neuroscience
  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/artificial intelligence/computational intelligence

Call for proposal

ERC-2011-StG_20101124
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant

Host institution

KAROLINSKA INSTITUTET
Address
Nobels Vag 5
17177 Stockholm
Sweden
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 498 243,69
Principal investigator
Andreas Olsson (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Karin Blomberg (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (1)

KAROLINSKA INSTITUTET
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 1 498 243,69
Address
Nobels Vag 5
17177 Stockholm
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Andreas Olsson (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Karin Blomberg (Ms.)