Journal article

Feelings of shame and guilt are associated with distinct neural activation in youth

Coralie Bastin, Divyangana Rakesh, Ben J Harrison, Christopher G Davey, Nicholas B Allen, Sandrine Muller, Sarah Whittle

BIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY | ELSEVIER | Published : 2021

Abstract

Shame and guilt are moral emotions that play an important role in social functioning. There is limited knowledge about the neural underpinnings of these emotions, particularly in young people. In the current study, 36 healthy females (mean age 18.8 ± 1.9 years) underwent functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, during which they reflected on their decisions about social moral dilemmas, and subsequently received negative or positive peer feedback. Ratings of shame and guilt were used as parametric modulators of brain activity. Shame was associated with decreased activity in the superior temporal sulcus and precentral gyrus during reflection. Guilt was associated with decreased activity in the p..

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Grants

Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)


Funding Acknowledgements

This study was funded by a NARSAD (Brain and Behavior Research Foundation) Young Investigator Award (to SW) and The University of Melbourne. CB and DR were funded by Melbourne Research Scholarships (MRS). BJH was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Career Development Fellowship (1124472). CGD was supported by an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (1061757). SW was supported by an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (1125504).