Individual Differences and Developmental Changes in Perspective-Taking in Adolescent Girls*: Evidence from Brain and Behavior
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Description: The few studies investigating neural correlates of mentalizing and social-self-evaluation among adolescents suggest that both perspective-taking and its neural foundations are developing during adolescence. Understanding both individual differences in, and changes in, perspective-taking tendencies as they relate to neural activation of mentalizing regions during social-self-evaluation among adolescents may offer a novel means of understanding pathways to, and individual differences in, health and well-being in adolescence. This project asks the following questions: Do behavioral perspective-taking tendencies correlate with age in adolescent girls*? Does activation in mentalizing regions (dmPFC, vmPFC, rTPJ, lTPJ, and precuneus) during social-self-evaluation correlate with age in adolescent girls*? Do girls* with greater perspective-taking tendencies elicit greater activity in mentalizing regions during social-self-evaluation? Do latent changes in tendencies to take others’ perspectives correlate with latent changes in neural activation of mentalizing regions during social-self-evaluation? 174 girls* aged 10.00-12.99 years (*at study enrollment, 171 identified as female and 3 as non-binary) participated in a longitudinal study on social and neural development. At each of 2 waves (18 months apart), the participants completed a self-report of perspective-taking tendencies, and a social-self-evaluation fMRI task in which they decided whether 50 traits relevant to social status and relationships describe them, as well as a high-level control condition. Analyses will be pre-registered; preprocessing will be performed with fMRIPrep, first-level models will be run with SPM12, and multi-level models and bivariate latent change score analysis (Kievet et al., 2018) will be conducted in R. Scripts will be made available at https://github.com/dsnlab/TAG_scripts. This abstract does not present preliminary results to limit the negative consequences of running interim analyses.