Incorporating Social Psychological Theories in the Model Training Regime: How Neural Representations for Social Cognition Emerge from Interactions with Others

Taiji UenoNagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
Saori TsukamotoNagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
Tokika KuritaNagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
Minoru KarasawaNagoya University, Nagoya, Japan

Abstract

Social psychology aims to reveal how social behaviors are acquired through interactions with others (i.e., past interpersonal experiences) whereas social neuroscience investigates the neural substrates that correlate with acquired social behaviors. For example, people with greater ingroup bias are known to avoid or have avoided interactions with outgroup members than those with weaker ingroup bias, and their brain activation patterns are more distinct when viewing an ingroup member from an outgroup member. The present study aimed to examine the causal relation of these findings from different disciplines and integrate them within a single framework. A connectionist model was trained with/without the training regime reflecting the interpersonal experiences that were assumed to increase ingroup bias. As a result, if trained with such a training environment, the model’s internal representations of ingroup exemplars were more distinct from those of outgroup exemplars. Thus, this model reproduced the dissimilarity structure in the neural representations of ingroup bias. In contrast, training without such a regime alleviated the representation dissimilarities.

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