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Direct gaze is a salient nonverbal signal for social interest and the intention to communicate. In particular, the duration of another's direct gaze can modulate our perception of the social meaning of gaze cues. However, both poor eye contact and deficits in social cognitive processing of gaze are specific diagnostic features of autism. Therefore,(More)
People are motivated to adopt the most favorable beliefs about their future because positive beliefs are experienced as rewarding. However, it is so far inconclusive whether brain regions known to represent reward values are involved in the generation of optimistically biased belief updates. To address this question, we investigated neural correlates of(More)
Despite the fact that nonverbal dyadic social interactions are abundant in the environment, the neural mechanisms underlying their processing are not yet fully understood. Research in the field of social neuroscience has suggested that two neural networks appear to be involved in social understanding: (1) the action observation network (AON) and (2) the(More)
The interpretation of interpersonal gaze behavior requires the use of complex cognitive processes and guides social interactions. Among a variety of different gaze characteristics, gaze direction and gaze duration modulate crucially the meaning of the "social gaze". Nevertheless, prior neuroimaging studies disregarded the relevance of gaze duration by(More)
Perceiving someone else's gaze shift toward an object can influence how this object will be manipulated by the observer, suggesting a modulatory effect of a gaze-based social context on action control. High-functioning autism (HFA) is characterized by impairments of social interaction, which may be associated with an inability to automatically integrate(More)
Previous research used animated geometric figures to investigate social cognitive processes involved in ascribing mental states to others (e.g. mentalizing). The relationship between animacy perception and brain areas commonly involved in social cognition, as well as the influence of particular motion patterns on animacy experience, however, remains to be(More)
There is ample evidence that human primates strive for social contact and experience interactions with conspecifics as intrinsically rewarding. Focusing on gaze behavior as a crucial means of human interaction, this study employed a unique combination of neuroimaging, eye-tracking, and computer-animated virtual agents to assess the neural mechanisms(More)
High-functioning autism (HFA) is a neurodevelopmental disorder, which is characterized by life-long socio-communicative impairments on the one hand and preserved verbal and general learning and memory abilities on the other. One of the areas where particular difficulties are observable is the understanding of non-verbal communication cues. Thus,(More)
First impressions profoundly influence our attitudes and behavior toward others. However, little is known about whether and to what degree the cognitive processes that underlie impression formation depend on the domain of the available information about the target person. To investigate the neural bases of the influence of verbal as compared to nonverbal(More)
Cognitive impairment is a common and largely undiagnosed finding in a significant number of dialysis patients. These alterations may result from concomitant cerebrovascular disease, hemodynamic instability, the uremic milieu, or changes induced by the dialysis process. In order to gain further insight into this, we recruited 12 stable chronic hemodialysis(More)