Interdependent self-construal and neural representations of self and mother

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Representations of self are thought to be dynamically influenced by one’s surroundings, including the culture one lives in. However, neuroimaging studies of self-representations have either ignored cultural influences or operationalized culture as country of origin. The present study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the neural correlates of individual differences in interdependent self-construal. Participants rated whether trait adjectives applied to themselves or their mothers, or judged their valence or font. Findings indicated that individual differences in interdependent self-construal correlated positively with increased activation in the medial prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulated cortex when making judgments about one-self vs making judgments about one’s mother. This suggests that those with greater interdependent self-construals may rely more upon episodic memory, reflected appraisals, or theory of mind to incorporate social information to make judgments about themselves.

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