Seeing is believing: Early perceptual brain processes are modified by social feedback

Julie Zanesco, Eda Tipura, Andres Posada, Fabrice Clément & Alan J. Pegna

Résumé Over 6 decades ago, experimental evidence from social psychology revealed that individuals could alter their responses in perceptual judgement tasks if they differed from the prevailing view emitted by a group of peers. Responses were thus modulated to agree with the opinion of the social group. An open question remains whether such changes actually reflect modified perception, or whether they are simply the result of a feigned agreement, indicating submissive acceptance. In this study, we addressed this topic by performing a perceptual task involving the assessment of ambiguous and distinct stimuli. Participants were asked to judge the colours of squares, before, and after receiving feedback for their response. In order to pinpoint the moment in time that social feedback affected neural processing, ERP components to ambiguous stimuli were compared before and after participants received supposed social feedback that agreed with, or disputed their response. The comparison revealed the presence of differences beginning already 100ms after stimulus presentation (on the P1 and N1 components) despite otherwise identical stimuli. The modulation of these early components, normally thought to be dependent on low-level visual features, demonstrate that social pressure tangibly modifies early perceptual brain processes.
Mots-clés Conformism; perception; belief; influence; in-group
Citation Zanesco, J., Tipura, E., Posada, A., Clément, F., & Pegna, A. J. (2018). Seeing is believing: Early perceptual brain processes are modified by social feedback. Social Neuroscience, in press, 1-11.
Type Article de périodique (Anglais)
Date de publication 23-8-2018
Nom du périodique Social Neuroscience
Volume in press
Pages 1-11
URL https://doi.org/10.1080/17470919.2018.1511470