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Frequency-Tagging EEG of Superimposed Social and Non-Social Visual Stimulation Streams Provides No Support for Social Salience Enhancement after Intranasal Oxytocin Administration

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

The social salience hypothesis proposes that the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) can impact human social behavior by modulating the salience of social cues. Here, frequency-tagging EEG was used to quantify the neural responses to social versus non-social stimuli while administering a single dose of OT (24 IU) versus placebo treatment. Specifically, two streams of faces and houses were superimposed on one another, with each stream of stimuli tagged with a particular presentation rate (i.e., 6 and 7.5 Hz or vice versa). These distinctive frequency tags allowed unambiguously disentangling and objectively quantifying the respective neural responses elicited by the different streams of stimuli. This study involved a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial with 31 healthy adult men. Based on four trials of 60 s, we detected robust frequency-tagged neural responses in each individual, with entrainment to faces being more pronounced in lateral occipito-temporal regions and entrainment to houses being focused in medial occipital regions. However, contrary to our expectation, a single dose of OT did not modulate these stimulus-driven neural responses, not in terms of enhanced social processing nor in terms of generally enhanced information salience. Bayesian analyses formally confirmed these null findings. Possibly, the baseline ceiling level performance of these neurotypical adult participants as well as the personal irrelevance of the applied stimulation streams might have hindered the observation of any OT effect.
Tijdschrift: Brain Sciences
ISSN: 2076-3425
Issue: 9
Volume: 12
Jaar van publicatie:2022