Neurobiological foundations of flexible social behaviour (360G-Wellcome-213630_Z_18_Z)


A core aspect of healthy social function is the ability to map our private beliefs onto those that we express publicly according to the social context. It may be socially appropriate to express gratitude for a gift we do not want, or remorse for an action we do not regret. My goal is to understand the neurocognitive mechanisms supporting context-appropriate social behaviours and how they are altered in neuropsychiatric conditions. I will use a novel social interaction task which requires subjects to learn a repertoire of context-dependent mappings from private to public beliefs. I will first apply computational modelling to reveal how subjects solve this problem, identifying ‘prediction-error’ signals that drive changes in ‘private-public’ mappings. I will then relate these time-varying components to voltammetric recordings of dopamine and serotonin in human striatum during task performance. These neuromodulators are relevant because they are known to support learning and are implicated in neuropsychiatric conditions with prominent social dysfunction. Finally, I will complement the voltammetric recordings with non-invasive whole-brain OPM-MEG recordings, to identify neural areas which provide contextual ‘inputs’ for updating private-public mappings and are the ‘targets’ of such updates. This work promises to enhance our understanding of possible routes to social dysfunction.

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Grant Details

Amount Awarded 300000
Applicant Surname Bang
Approval Committee Basic Science Interview Committee
Award Date 2018-10-31T00:00:00+00:00
Financial Year 2018/19
Grant Programme: Title Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship
Internal ID 213630/Z/18/Z
Lead Applicant Dr Dan Bang
Partnership Value 300000
Planned Dates: End Date 2023-06-01T00:00:00+00:00
Planned Dates: Start Date 2019-06-01T00:00:00+00:00
Recipient Org: Country United Kingdom
Region Greater London
Sponsor(s) Prof Gareth Barnes