Stories Collectively Engage Listeners’ Brains: Enhanced Intersubject Correlations during Reception of Personal Narratives

该论文进行了一项神经影像学研究,导入了三个刺激物:个人叙事,非个人对照文本和反向语言对照刺激,用以确定个人叙事是否比非叙事信息更能吸引受众的大脑,并研究促进这一效果的大脑区域,在信息暴露过程中大脑活动的主体间相关性显示,与非个人对照文本和反向语言对照刺激相比,听个人叙事引起了强烈的听众参与,其证据是部分听众的额叶和顶叶之间的相关性很强。因此,个人叙事在特定的大脑区域被更一致和可靠地接收和处理。这些发现有助于从生物学角度解释个人叙事是如何吸引听众来传达信息的。

故事吸引听众的大脑:在接受个人叙事时增强主体间相关性

Part1前期知识导入

1.叙事和认知神经科学文献中的参与概念

2.参与处理个人叙述的大脑系统

3.衡量听众大脑的集体参与度

Part2假设—实验—程序—分析

1.假设:

H1a:与非个人或非叙事信息相比,个人叙事会在听众的大脑中诱发总体上更相似的神经过程,或更强的ISC。
H1b:与非叙事信息相比个人叙事将促进更强的ISCs,特别是在与动机、语义和社会认知处理有关的大脑区域。

2.实验

参与者:大学的33名学生(13男20女,平均年龄20.5岁),最终收集到的完整数据为23份。
刺激物:1.4份个人叙事 2.非叙事对照(VCR录音机手册的描述)3.音频对照(一篇文章的反转语音)

3.程序:

前期准备:实验人员:进行了个人准备会议。
参与者:签署同意书——接受解剖学扫描——减少影响试听故事——实验人员对调查和成像程序进行测试和改进
实验过程:六次功能运行中的每一次,参与者先听闭眼3分钟信息——叙述结束后对其对自己的重要程度打分——回忆并叙述自我感受——填写调查后结束
核磁共振成像的采集和预处理:进行正常功能采集——避错:为了确保分析质量,ISC分析是在每个实验的最后2分钟和20秒的数据上进行的,这些数据不受瞬时形态影响。

4.分析

根据H1a和H1b的需求,分别进行分析。

Part3结果—讨论—优势与局限—总结

1.结果

总体:扫描仪内的评分表明,所有的个人叙述都被评价为具有较高的重要性,参与者都认为个人叙述告诉他们的信息更重要。
无论信息类型如何,听觉皮层都显示出以初级听觉皮层为中心的广泛的ISC值。
H1a:四个个人叙述相对应的脑图显示了整个顶叶和额叶皮层的广泛的重要相关性,而反转语音和VCR文本相对应的脑图并不是这个情况。
H1b:

  • 在个人叙述和反转语音的对比中,个人叙述的更强的ISC出现在初级听觉皮层之外的颞叶,以及后内侧皮层、前扣带和背外侧前额叶皮层周围。
  • 在个人叙述和VCR文本的对比中,这些区域包括楔前区、前扣带、后扣带和TPJ。
  • 个人叙述与VCR文本或反向语音相比,高阶处理和整合信息有关的区域的ISC明显更强。

2.讨论

本论文研究使用fMRI数据的主体间相关性作为衡量中间人产生的集体参与的标准,调查个人叙述在脑中的接收情况。将ISC作为一种基于过程和神经的方法来研究叙事如何吸引听众,并确定介于叙事内容和媒体效果之间的特定大脑过程。


H1a: 听任何信息,无论是什么信息类型,都能促进听觉皮层中强大的ISC效应。反转语音只能引起听觉区域的共同活动,非叙事性的口语主要在语言区域,但叙事促使集体参与广泛的听觉、语言和高阶大脑过程。


H1b:

  • 与VCR文本相比,个人叙事显示的ISC分析表明,观众大脑对dmPFC、背外侧前额叶皮层(dlPFC)、aCC、pCC和TPJ的参与程度明显更高。这些区域参与了更高层次的功能,包括自我反思、思考、显著性处理、社会和动力过程以及记忆再三性。叙事接收需要语言处理、社会认知形成处理、情感信息处理,以及随着时间的推移不断整合信息。
  • 叙述强烈的ISCs是由故事层面出现的因素所驱动的,既叙述的社会和道德内容是决定其对大众受众影响的关键因素,以此为基础研究匹配根据媒体内容和个人接受者或具有类似特征的亚群的个人需求。未来研究可能会尝试操纵信息内容的变量,测试区域反应是否与叙述与个人相关的程度有关,若是成功,该方法可以用来研究成功的信息定位机制和与问题参与有关的社会影响。

3.优势与局限

优势:

  • 该论文的研究通过ISC作为参与指数提供了新的结果拓展了现有的传播理论范围;
  • 提供了以生物学为导向的视角,来说明一条信息如何对不同的受众产生共同影响;
  • 相对于传统的神经影像学范式,这项研究提供了高度的外部有效性,更贴近日常生活中遇到的叙述;
  • 关于内容的多样性:调查了受众对正面价值的信息内容的大脑参与情况,结果表明,在自然条件下,积极评价的内容能像消极评价的内容一样有效的激发注意力,用以研究由不同价值的内容诱发的基于大脑的参与差异。

局限:

  • 对于叙述机制的研究不够深入。叙述可以在许多方面有所不同。尽管我们认为个人叙事由于包含了主人公的个人动机而促进了大脑功能的集体调整,但未来的工作可以通过改变信息中代词的数量、改变视角(第一或第三人称)或改变重点人物的数量来增加这一概念的具体性。
  • 不能模拟现实源源不断的,在形式和内容上差别很大的信息源,叙述比较单一。而且这种意识体验的反馈不是自我报告自省实现,而是通过fMRI数据来进行测量,提供了一种补充类型的数据。

4.总结

总而言之,这项研究调查了吸引人的个人叙述的神经基础。

分析证实,与描述性信息和反转语音相比,个人叙述在整个大脑中引起了更高和更有力的ISCs。具体来说,在吸引人的、积极的、个人叙述的条件下,额叶和顶叶的几个区域的ISC更强,正如预测的那样,包括TPJ、pCC、aCC、dmPFC和dlPFC。
总的来说,这项研究有助于解释观众参与个人叙述的神经过程。

Stories Collectively Engage Listeners’Brains: Enhanced Intersubject Correlations during Reception of Personal Narratives

Audiences’ engagement with mediated messages lies at the center of media effects research. However, the neurocognitive components underlying audience engagement remain unclear. A neuroimaging study was conducted to determine whether personal narratives engage the brains of audience members more than non-narrative messages and to investigate the brain regions that facilitate this effect. Intersubject correlations of brain activity during message exposure showed that listening to personal narratives elicited strong audience engagement as evidenced by robust correlations across participants’ frontal and parietal lobes compared to a nonpersonal control text and a reversed language control stimulus. Thus, personal narratives were received and processed more consistently and reliably within specific brain regions. The findings contribute toward a biologically informed explanation for how personal narratives
engage audiences to convey information.

Part1 Pre-knowledge introduction

1.The concept of engagement in the literature on narratives and cognitive
neuroscience

2.Brain systems involved in processing personal narratives

3.Measuring collective engagement across the brains of listeners

Part2 Hypothesis – Experiment – Procedure – Analysis

1. Hypothesis

H1a: Personal narratives induce overall more similar neural processes, or stronger ISCs, in listeners’ brains compared to impersonal or non-narrative messages.
H1b: Personal narratives will promote stronger ISCs compared to non-narrative messages, particularly in brain regions associated with motivational, semantic and social cognitive processing.

2. Experiment

Participants: 33 students (13 males and 20 females, mean age 20.5 years) from the University, with 23 final complete data collected.


Stimuli: 1.4 personal narratives 2. non-narrative controls (descriptions from the VCR recorder manual) 3. audio controls (reverse voice of an article)

3.Procedure

Pre-preparation: Experimenters: individual preparation meetings were conducted.


Participants: signed consent forms – underwent anatomical scans – reduced impact audition stories – experimentalists tested and refined survey and imaging procedures


Experimental procedure: for each of the six functional runs, participants first listened to the information for 3 minutes with their eyes closed – rated its importance to them at the end of the narrative – recalled and narrated their feelings about themselves – completed the survey and finished


MRI acquisition and pre-processing: normal functional acquisition is performed – Error avoidance: to ensure quality of analysis, ISCAnalysis was performed on the last 2 minutes and 20 seconds of data from each format, which were not affected by transient morphology

4.Analysis

The analysis is based on the needs of H1a and H1b, respectively.

Part3 Results – Discussion – Strengths and Limitations – Conclusion

1.Results

Overall: Scoring within the scanner indicated that all personal narratives were rated as having high importance, with participants agreeing that the personal narratives told them more important information.
Regardless of the type of information, the auditory cortex showed a wide range of ISC values centred on the primary auditory cortex.

H1a: The brain maps corresponding to the four personal narratives showed broad importance correlations across parietal and frontal cortex, which was not the case for the brain maps corresponding to the reversed speech and VCR texts.


H1b:

  • In the contrast between personal narratives and reversed speech, the stronger ISC for personal narratives appeared outside of primary auditory cortex in the temporal lobe, and around posterior medial cortex, anterior cingulate, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.
  • In the contrast between personal narratives and VCR texts, these areas included the precuneus, anterior cingulate, posterior cingulate, and TPJ.
  • Personal narratives had significantly stronger ISC in areas related to higher-order processing and integration of information compared to VCR text or reverse speech.

2.Discussion

This thesis study investigates the reception of individual narratives in the brain using inter-subject correlations from fMRI data as a measure of collective engagement generated by intermediaries. ISC is used as a process-based and neural approach to investigate how narratives engage listeners and to identify specific brain processes that mediate between narrative content and media effects.


H1a: Listening to any message, regardless of message type, promotes a powerful ISC effect in the auditory cortex. Inverted speech can only elicit joint activity in auditory areas, with non-narrative spoken language predominantly in linguistic areas, but narrative prompts collective engagement in a wide range of auditory, linguistic and higher order brain processes.


H1b:ISC analysis of personal narrative displays showed significantly higher involvement of the audience brain in the dmPFC, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), aCC, pCC and TPJ compared to VCR text. These areas are involved in higher-level functions including self-reflection, reflection, salience processing, social and motivational processes, and memory re-transitivity. Narrative reception requires language processing, social-cognitive formation processing, emotional information processing, and ongoing integration of information over time.


Narrative strong ISCs are driven by factors that emerge at the story level, both the social and moral content of the narrative being key determinants of its impact on mass audiences, as a basis for research matching individual needs according to media content and individual recipients or subgroups with similar characteristics. Future research may attempt to manipulate the variables of message content to test whether regional responses are related to the extent to which the narrative is personally relevant, and if successful, the method could be used to investigate the mechanisms of successful message targeting and social influence in relation to issue engagement.

3.Strengths and Limitations

Strengths:

  • The paper’s research extends the scope of existing communication theory by providing new results through ISC as an index of engagement.
  • Provides a biologically oriented perspective on how a message can have a common impact on different audiences.
  • The study provides a high degree of external validity relative to the traditional neuroimaging paradigm, more closely aligned with narratives encountered in everyday life.
  • On content diversity: the brain engagement of audiences with positively valued message content was investigated and the results showed that positively valued content can be as effective as negatively valued content in stimulating attention under natural conditions, used to investigate differences in brain-based engagement induced by content of different values.

Limitations:

  • The mechanisms of narrative have not been studied in sufficient depth. Narratives can vary in many ways. Although we believe that personal narratives facilitate a collective adaptation of brain function due to the inclusion of the protagonist’s personal motivations, future work could increase the specificity of this concept by changing the number of pronouns in the message, changing the point of view (first or third person) or changing the number of focal characters.
  • It is not possible to simulate a constant source of reality, which varies greatly in form and content, and the narrative is rather homogeneous. Also this feedback of conscious experience is not achieved by self-reported introspection, but is measured by fMRI data, providing a complementary type of data.

4.Conclusion

To conclude, this study investigated the neural underpinnings of engaging personal narratives. Analyses confirmed that personal narratives elicit higher and robust ISCs across the brain compared to a descriptive message and reversed speech. Specifically, ISCs under conditions of engaging, positive, personal narratives were stronger in several regions of the frontal and parietal lobes as predicted including the TPJ, pCC, aCC, dmPFC, and dlPFC. Altogether, this study contributes to explicate the neural processes underlying audience engagement with personal narratives.

信息可视化图

课程感想

很偶然选择了这个课程,来之前没想到是真正的国际文献研读,非常正式的感觉。老师很特别,一般这种课程的老师应该是文科类啊,沉闷的,文绉绉的,FREEZhao老师不一样,很有趣,很活泼,别具一格的教学风格反而让人对文献研读更有兴趣。

关于文献研读方面,还是第一次这么深入的接触,以前没想过还能有这样的机会,很特别的一次体验,了解了完全没接触过的另一面的知识,感受到了论文的理性结构感,清晰明了的感觉让人可以跟随作者的步伐感受属于他的研究成果,是实在的知识的积累。关于老师,老师有很多自己独特的见解,在课程的过程中也感受到了老师的青春活力和对于设计对于理论的热爱与探索,非常令人感动,希望以后也能活得像老师一样对知识热情、对生活开朗。

原文

Grall, C., Tamborini, R., Weber, R., & Schmälzle, R. (2021). Stories Collectively Engage Listeners’ Brains: Enhanced Intersubject Correlations during Reception of Personal Narratives. Journal of Communication71(2), 332-355.

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