Abstract

Recent research has suggested that the posterior cerebellum encodes predictions and sequences of social actions, and also supports detecting inconsistent trait-implying actions of individuals as discussed by Pu et al. (2020, 2021). However, little is known about the role of the posterior cerebellum in detecting sequencing and inconsistencies by a group of individuals during social interaction. Therefore, the present study investigates these cerebellar functions during inconsistent trait-implying actions in a cooperative context. We presented scenarios in which two fictitious protagonists work together to accomplish a common (positive or negative) goal, followed by six sentences describing actions that implied a personality trait of the protagonists. Participants had to memorize the sequence of these actions. Crucially, the implied trait of the actions of the first protagonist contributed to achieving the goal, whereas the implied trait of the second protagonist was either consistent or inconsistent with that goal. As comparison, we added control conditions where participants had to memorize sequences of nonsocial events (implying the same characteristic of two objects), or simply read the social actions without memorizing their order. We found that the posterior cerebellum was activated while memorizing the sequence of social actions compared to simply reading these actions. More importantly, the cerebellar Crus was more strongly activated when detecting inconsistent (as opposed to consistent) actions, especially when inconsistent negative actions impeded a positive goal, relative to consistent negative actions that supported a negative goal. In conclusion, these findings confirm the crucial role of the posterior cerebellum in memorizing social action sequences and extend the cerebellar function in identifying inconsistencies in an individual's actions in a social collaborative context.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Cerebellum
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • Action sequences
  • Inconsistent trait
  • Posterior cerebellum
  • Prediction error
  • Social cooperation

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