NeuralActivity: Neural Activity

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20 participants were scanned (fMRI) while performing a task designed to elicit their thoughts about 60 mental states. On each trial, participants saw the name of a mental state (e.g., "awe"), and decided which of two scenarios would better evoke that mental state in another person (e.g., "seeing the Pyramids" or "watching a meteor shower"). Based on these measures, a 60 \times 60 correlation matrix was computed for each individual, subsequently converted into a dissimilarity matrix. In total, we have 20 such dissimilarity matrices. As additional external scales, NeuralScales gives 16 dimensions extracted from the psychological literature as a starting point for developing a theory of mental state representation: valence, arousal, warmth, competence, agency, experience, emotion, reason, mind, body, social, nonsocial, shared, and unique.




A list of 20 dissimilarity matrices


Tamir D. I., Thornton M. A., Contreras J. M., & Mitchell J. P. (2015) Neural evidence that three dimensions organize mental state representation: rationality, social impact, and valence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Forthcoming.



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