Psychological well-being modulates neural synchrony during naturalistic fMRI
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Klamer, Keva M.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Neuroscience
Psychological well-being (PWB) is a combination of self-acceptance, life purpose, personal growth, positive relationships, and autonomy, and has a significant relationship with physical and mental health (Huppert, 2009). Previous studies using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and static picture stimuli have implicated the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), insula, and thalamus in PWB, however, the replication of associations across studies is scarce, both in strength and direction, resulting in the absence of a model of how PWB impacts neurological processing (King, 2019). Naturalistic stimuli better encapsulate everyday experiences and can elicit more “true-to-life” neurological responses, and therefore may be a more appropriate tool to study PWB. The current research uses data from the Naturalistic Neuroimaging Database (Aliko et al., 2020; v2.0) to examine differences in comparative low and high levels of PWB using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In four experiments, we assessed neural synchrony patterns associated with comparative low and high levels of PWB, and how this neural synchrony may be modulated by the emotional valence of the incoming stimulus. Results from this thesis emphasize that differing levels of PWB impact naturalistic processing, serving as an implicit prime for how we perceive the world, and that the valence of incoming stimuli modulates the neural response differently based on PWB level. These findings bridge the gap between PWB and "real-world" cognitive processing.
psychological well-being , neural synchrony patterns , naturalistic fMRI , naturalistic stimuli