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  • McLatchie_et_al_in_press_Guilty_thoughts_Guilty_feelings_fMRI

    Rights statement: © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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    Available under license: CC BY: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

  • Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci-2016-Mclatchie-scan-nsw001

    Rights statement: © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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‘Imagined guilt’ versus ‘recollected guilt’: implications for fMRI

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>05/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Issue number5
Volume11
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)703-711
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date8/01/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Guilt is thought to maintain social harmony by motivating reparation (Haidt, 2003; Trivers, 1971). The present study compared two methodologies commonly used to identify the neural correlates of guilt. The first, imagined guilt, requires participants to read hypothetical scenarios and then imagine themselves as the protagonist. The second, recollected guilt, requires participants to reflect on times they personally experienced guilt. In the fMRI scanner, participants were presented with guilt/neutral memories and guilt/neutral hypothetical scenarios. Contrasts confirmed a priori predictions that guilt memories, relative to guilt scenarios, were associated with significantly greater activity in regions associated with affect (ACC, Caudate, Insula, OFC) and social cognition (TP, precuneus). Similarly, results indicated that guilt memories, relative to neutral memories, were also associated with greater activity in affective (ACC, amygdala, Insula, OFC) and social cognition (mPFC, TP, precuneus, TPJ) regions. There were no significant differences between guilt hypothetical scenarios and neutral hypothetical scenarios in either affective or social cognition regions. The importance of distinguishing between different guilt inductions inside the scanner are discussed. We offer explanations of our results and discuss ideas for future research.

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© The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.