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Self-Compassion and Responses to Negative Social Feedback: The Role of Fronto-Amygdala Circuit Connectivity

Citation

Parrish, Michael H.; Inagaki, Tristen K.; Muscatell, Keely A.; Haltom, Kate E. B.; Leary, Mark R.; & Eisenberger, Naomi I. (2018). Self-Compassion and Responses to Negative Social Feedback: The Role of Fronto-Amygdala Circuit Connectivity. Self and Identity, 17(6), 723-38.

Abstract

Self-compassion has been shown to have significant relationships with psychological health and well-being. Despite the increasing growth of research on the topic, no studies to date have investigated how self-compassion relates to neural responses to threats to the self. To investigate whether self-compassion relates to threat-regulatory mechanisms at the neural level of analysis, we conducted a functional MRI study in a sample of college-aged students. We hypothesized that self-compassion would relate to greater negative connectivity between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) and amygdala during a social feedback task. Interestingly, we found a negative correlation between self-compassion and VMPFC-amygdala functional connectivity as predicted; however, this seemed to be due to low levels of self-compassion relating to greater positive connectivity in this circuit (rather than high levels of self-compassion relating to more negative connectivity). We also found significant relationships with multiple subcomponents of self-compassion (Common Humanity, Self-Judgment). These results shed light on how self-compassion might affect neural responses to threat and informs our understanding of the basic psychological regulatory mechanisms linking a lack of self-compassion with poor mental health.

URL

https://doi.org/10.1080/15298868.2018.1490344

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Self and Identity

Author(s)

Parrish, Michael H.
Inagaki, Tristen K.
Muscatell, Keely A.
Haltom, Kate E. B.
Leary, Mark R.
Eisenberger, Naomi I.

Year Published

2018

Volume Number

17

Issue Number

6

Pages

723-38

Reference ID

12941