Differential Motor Facilitation During Action Observation in Followers and Leaders on Instagram
- Additional Document Info
- View All
High power and high socioeconomic status individuals have been found to exhibit less motor system activity during observation of another individual's behavior. In the modern world, the use of online social networks for social interaction is increasing, and these social networks afford new forms of social status hierarchy. An important question is whether social status in an online setting affects social information processing in a way that resembles the known effects of real-world status on such processing. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), we examined differences in motor cortical output during action observation between Instagram "leaders" and "followers." Instagram Leaders were defined as individuals who have more followers than they are following, while Instagram Followers were defined as individuals who have fewer followers than they follow. We found that Followers exhibited increased Motor-evoked Potential (MEP) facilitation during action observation compared to Leaders. Correlational analyses also revealed a positive association between an individual's Instagram follower/following ratio and their perceived sense of online status. Overall, the findings of this study provide some evidence in favor of the idea that our online sense of status and offline sense of status might be concordant in terms of their effect on motor cortical output during action observation. Statement of Significance: This study highlights the importance of examining the effects of online status on motor cortical output during action observation, and more generally alludes to the importance of understanding online and offline status effects on social information processing.
has subject area