Cindy has successfully defended her MPhil thesis, great work Cindy! Her master's research investigated the relationship between sleep and attitude change, and focused on two aspects - evaluative conditioning and implicit gender bias. Congratulations again!
Our new paper titled Altered brain activity related to inhibitory processing in youth with insomnia got accepted by Journal of Sleep Research ! This work was cooperated with the Sleep Research Clinic and Laboratory supervised by Dr. Shirley Xin Li. Jiefan Ling (Sleep Research Clinic and Laboratory) and Xuanyi Lin (Social and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab) contributed equally to this work.
Congratulations on Cindy's RA position offer from HKUST, and Tammy's master offer from Radboud University!
Our new paper authored by Hui Xie, titled Forgetting positive social feedback is difficult: ERP evidence from a directed forgetting paradigm is accpected by Psychophysiology!
Abstract: Voluntary forgetting of unwanted memories is an adaptive cognitive function. However, it remains unknown how voluntary forgetting of unwanted social feedback may influence subsequent memories and evaluations, and what the underlying neurocognitive processes are. Here, we presented participants with peer photos together with feedback indicating social acceptance or rejection, followed by “remember” or “forget” instructive cues, while electroencephalograms were recorded during the experiment. We examined the Directed Forgetting (DF) effect in a recognition memory test, and tested participants' explicit and implicit attitudes toward the peers using a social evaluation task and an affect misattribution procedure (AMP). Both the memory test and the AMP were examined immediately and 3 days after the DF task so to estimate both the instant and the long‐term effects of memory control. Behaviorally, immediate memory test showed smaller DF effect for positive than negative social feedback, which suggests that forgetting positive social feedback was more difficult than forgetting negative social feedback. Regarding the ERP results, although participants showed comparable frontal N2 amplitudes (reflecting inhibitory control efforts) following the instruction of forgetting positive and negative social feedback, positive feedback elicited larger late positive potential (LPP) amplitudes than negative feedback during initial encoding phase, suggesting an encoding bias for positive self‐relevant information. Intriguingly, voluntary efforts to forget negative social feedback enhanced people's explicit and implicit evaluations toward the feedback senders. These findings provide new evidence for the adaptive function of memory control, which broadens the influence of voluntary forgetting in the context of social interaction and social evaluation.
Danni and Mohith have been chosen as an International Registration Award recipient for the 2021 SPSP Virtual Convention. Registration awards will cover the full extent of your convention registration costs. Congratulations Danni and Mohith!
Our new paper authored by Ziqing Yao, Xuanyi Lin and Dr. Xiaoqing Hu, titled Optimistic amnesia: How online and offline processing shape belief updating and memory biases in immediate and long-term optimism biases just got accepted by Social cognitive and affective neuroscience!
Abstract: When people are confronted with feedback that counters their prior beliefs, they preferentially rely on desirable rather than undesirable feedback in belief updating, i.e., an optimism bias. In two pre-registered EEG studies employing an adverse life event probability estimation task, we investigated the neurocognitive processes that support the formation and the change of optimism biases in immediate and 24-hour delayed tests. We found that optimistic belief updating biases not only emerged immediately, but also became significantly larger after 24 hours, suggesting an active role of valence-dependent offline consolidation processes in the change of optimism biases. Participants also showed optimistic memory biases: they were less accurate in remembering undesirable than desirable feedback probabilities, with inferior memories of undesirable feedback associated with lower belief updating in the delayed test. Examining event related brain potentials (ERPs) revealed that desirability of feedback biased initial encoding: desirable feedback elicited larger P300s than undesirable feedback, with larger P300 amplitudes predicting both higher belief updating and memory accuracies. These results suggest that desirability of feedback could bias both online and offline memory-related processes such as encoding and consolidation, with both processes contributing to the formation and change of optimism biases.
Welcome to our new Post-doc fellow Dr. Haiyang Geng!
Welcome to our new Ph.D. students, Yiwen! Josephine will continue her journey with us as research assistant~
Our newly renovated sleep lab located in the Hong Kong Jockey Club Building for Interdisciplinary Research will put into use~
The COVID-19 pandemic poses significant threat to humans’ physical and mental wellbeing. In response, there has been an urgent “call to action” for psychological interventions that enhance positive emotion and psychological resilience. Extending upon past research documenting the wellbeing benefits of generous action, we conducted two online pre-registered experiments (N =1,623) during the pandemic in which participants were randomly assigned to engage in other- or self-beneficial action. Specifically, participants made charitable donations or gained money for themselves (Experiment 1); purchased COVID-19-related or COVID-19-unrelated items for someone else or for themselves (Experiment 2). Results showed that prosocial behavior led to greater positive affect, meaningfulness, empathy and social connectedness. Affect benefits were detectable whether prosocial spending was COVID-19-related or not. These findings provide support for one strategy to bolster wellbeing during the pandemic – generous action – which may also promote cooperation and social cohesiveness needed to contain and overcome the virus. [link]
Our new meta-analysis Promoting memory consolidation during sleep: A meta-analysis of targeted memory reactivation got published on Psychological Bulletin. [link]