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Nostalgia enhances detection of death threat: neural and behavioral evidence

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journal contribution
posted on 02.07.2021, 05:15 by Z Yang, C Sedikides, K Izuma, T Wildschut, Emiko Kashima, YLL Luo, J Chen, H Cai
An experiment examined the potency of nostalgia—a sentimental longing for one’s past—to facilitate detection of death-related stimuli, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and behavioral techniques (i.e., judgmental accuracy, reaction times). We hypothesized and found that, at the neural level, nostalgic (relative to control) participants evinced more intense activation in right amygdala in response to death-related (vs. neutral) words. We also hypothesized and found that, at the behavioral level, nostalgic (relative to control) participants manifested greater accuracy in judging whether two death-related (vs. neutral) words belonged in the same category. Exploratory analyses indicated that nostalgic (relative to control) participants did not show faster reaction times to death-related (vs. neutral) words. In all, nostalgia appeared to aid in death threat detection. We consider implications for the relevant literatures.

History

Publication Date

01/12/2021

Journal

Scientific Reports

Volume

11

Issue

1

Article Number

12662

Pagination

(p. 12662)

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC

ISSN

2045-2322

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The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

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