Soto-Icaza, Patricia

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Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • Publication
    Towards a comprehensive approach to mentalization-based treatment for children with autism: integrating attachment, neurosciences, and mentalizing
    (2023) Costa-Cordella, Stefanella; Soto-Icaza, Patricia; Borgeaud, Karin; Grasso-Cladera, Aitana; Malberg, Norka T.
    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is diagnosed based on socio-communicative difficulties, which are believed to result from deficits in mentalizing, mainly evidenced by alterations in recognizing and responding to the mental states of others. In recent years, efforts have been made to develop mentalization-based treatment (MBT) models for this population. These models focus on enhancing individuals’ ability to understand and reflect on their own mental states, as well as those of others. However, MBT approaches for people with ASD are limited by their existing theoretical background, which lacks a strong foundation grounded in neuroscience-based evidence properly integrated with attachment, and mentalizing. These are crucial aspects for understanding psychological processes in autism, and as such, they play a pivotal role in shaping the development of tailored and effective therapeutic strategies for this specific population. In this paper we review evidence related to the neurobiological, interpersonal, and psychological dimensions of autism and their implications for mentalizing processes. We also review previous mentalization-based frameworks on the psychosis continuum to provide a comprehensive understanding of attachment, neurobiology, and mentalization domains in therapeutic approaches for autism. After presenting a synthesis of the literature, we offer a set of clinical strategies for the work with children with autism. Finally, we provide recommendations to advance the field towards more robust models that can serve as a basis for evidence-based therapeutic strategies.
  • Publication
    Another in need enhances prosociality and modulates frontal theta oscillations in young adults
    (2023) Lavín, Claudio; Soto-Icaza, Patricia; López, Vladimir; Billeke, Pablo
    Introduction: Decision-making is a process that can be strongly affected by social factors. Evidence has shown how people deviate from traditional rationalchoice predictions under different levels of social interactions. The emergence of prosocial decision-making, defined as any action that is addressed to benefit another individual even at the expense of personal benefits, has been reported as an example of such social influence. Furthermore, brain evidence has shown the involvement of structures such as the prefrontal cortex, anterior insula, and midcingulate cortex during decision settings in which a decision maker interacts with others under physical pain or distress or while being observed by others. Methods: Using a slightly modified version of the dictator game and EEG recordings, we tested the hypothesis that the inclusion of another person into the decision setting increases prosocial decisions in young adults and that this increase is higher when the other person is associated with others in need. At the brain level, we hypothesized that the increase in prosocial decisions correlates with frontal theta activity. Results and Discussion: The results showed that including another person in the decision, setting increased prosocial behavior only when this presence was associated with someone in need. This effect was associated with an increase in frontocentral theta-oscillatory activity. These results suggest that the presence of someone in need enhances empathy concerns and norm compliance, raising the participants’ prosocial decision-making.
  • Publication
    Us versus them mentality in football fans: Significant social defeat engages the mentalization network and disengages cognitive control areas [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]
    (2023) Zamorano, Francisco; Patricio Carvajal-Paredes; Soto-Icaza, Patricia; Stecher, Ximena; Salinas, César; Muñoz Reyes, José Antonio; López, Vladimir; Méndez, Waldemar; Barrera, Joel; Aragón-Caqueo, Gonzalo; Billeke, Pablo; Carvajal Paredes, Francisco
    Background: Social affiliation is one of the building blocks that shapes cultures and communities. This motivation contributes to the development of social bonding among individuals within a group, enjoying rights, assuming obligations, and strengthening its identity. Evidence has shown that social affiliation has inspired different social phenomena, such as wars, political movements, social struggles, among others, based on two human motivations: the ingroup love and the outgroup hate. One contemporary group to study as a proxy of social affiliation, and ingroup and outgroup motivations is the sports competition. However, this affiliation model has been poorly considered in social neuroscience research. This research aimed to shed light on the neurobiological networks that are related to social affiliation in football fans of two of the most popular Chilean football teams. Methods: To this end, 43 male fans of two football rival teams watched videos of winning and losing goals of their favorite team while their brain activity was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Results: The results showed that while the activation of the reward system was observed in fans when their team scores goals against the rival, both the activation of the mentalization network and the inhibition of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex were associated with the emotional correlates of defeat in football fans. Conclusions: Taking these findings together could contribute to a deeper understanding of social affiliation, and more importantly, of extreme affiliation phenomena, and fanaticism.
  • Publication
    The parietal cortex has a causal role in ambiguity computations in humans
    (2024) Valdebenito-Oyarzo, Gabriela; Martínez-Molina, María Paz; Soto-Icaza, Patricia; Zamorano, Francisco; Figueroa-Vargas, Alejandra; Larraín-Valenzuela, Josefina; Stecher, Ximena; Salinas, César; Bastin, Julien; Valero-Cabré, Antoni; Polania, Rafael
    Humans often face the challenge of making decisions between ambiguous options. The level of ambiguity in decision-making has been linked to activity in the parietal cortex, but its exact computational role remains elusive. To test the hypothesis that the parietal cortex plays a causal role in computing ambiguous probabilities, we conducted consecutive fMRI and TMS-EEG studies. We found that participants assigned unknown probabilities to objective probabilities, elevating the uncertainty of their decisions. Parietal cortex activity correlated with the objective degree of ambiguity and with a process that underestimates the uncertainty during decision-making. Conversely, the midcingulate cortex (MCC) encodes prediction errors and increases its connectivity with the parietal cortex during outcome processing. Disruption of the parietal activity increased the uncertainty evaluation of the options, decreasing cingulate cortex oscillations during outcome evaluation and lateral frontal oscillations related to value ambiguous probability. These results provide evidence for a causal role of the parietal cortex in computing uncertainty during ambiguous decisions made by humans.
  • Publication
    A multimodal interface for speech perception: the role of the left superior temporal sulcus in social cognition and autism
    (2024) Kausel, Leonie; Michon, Maëva; Soto-Icaza, Patricia; Aboitiz, Francisco
    Multimodal integration is crucial for human interaction, in particular for social communication, which relies on integrating information from various sensory modalities. Recently a third visual pathway specialized in social perception was proposed, which includes the right superior temporal sulcus (STS) playing a key role in processing socially relevant cues and high-level social perception. Importantly, it has also recently been proposed that the left STS contributes to audiovisual integration of speech processing. In this article, we propose that brain areas along the right STS that support multimodal integration for social perception and cognition can be considered homologs to those in the left, language-dominant hemisphere, sustaining multimodal integration of speech and semantic concepts fundamental for social communication. Emphasizing the significance of the left STS in multimodal integration and associated processes such as multimodal attention to socially relevant stimuli, we underscore its potential relevance in comprehending neurodevelopmental conditions characterized by challenges in social communication such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Further research into this left lateral processing stream holds the promise of enhancing our understanding of social communication in both typical development and ASD, which may lead to more effective interventions that could improve the quality of life for individuals with atypical neurodevelopment.
  • Publication
    Oscillatory activity underlying cognitive performance in children and adolescents with autism: a systematic review
    (2024) Soto-Icaza, Patricia; Soto-Fernández, Patricio; Kausel, Leonie; Víctor Márquez-Rodríguez, Víctor; Carvajal-Paredes, Patricio; Martínez-Molina, María Paz; Figueroa-Vargas, Alejandra; Billeke, Pablo
    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that exhibits a widely heterogeneous range of social and cognitive symptoms. This feature has challenged a broad comprehension of this neurodevelopmental disorder and therapeutic efforts to address its difficulties. Current therapeutic strategies have focused primarily on treating behavioral symptoms rather than on brain psychophysiology. During the past years, the emergence of non-invasive brain stimulation techniques (NIBS) has opened alternatives to the design of potential combined treatments focused on the NEurophysiopathology of neuropsychiatric disorders like ASD. Such interventions require identifying the key brain mechanisms underlying the symptomatology and cognitive features. Evidence has shown alterations in oscillatory features of the neural ensembles associated with cognitive functions in ASD. In this line, we elaborated a systematic revision of the evidence of alterations in brain oscillations that underlie key cognitive processes that have been shown to be affected in ASD during childhood and adolescence, namely, social cognition, attention, working memory, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility. This knowledge could contribute to developing therapies based on NIBS to improve these processes in populations with ASD
  • Publication
    Theta and alpha oscillations may underlie improved attention and working memory in musically trained children
    (2024) Kausel, Leonie; Zamorano, Francisco; Billeke, Pablo; Sutherland, M.E.; Alliende, M. I.; Larrain-Valenzuela, J.; Soto-Icaza, Patricia; Aboitiz, F.
    Introduction: Attention and working memory are key cognitive functions that allow us to select and maintain information in our mind for a short time, being essential for our daily life and, in particular, for learning and academic performance. It has been shown that musical training can improve working memory performance, but it is still unclear if and how the neural mechanisms of working memory and particularly attention are implicated in this process. In this work, we aimed to identify the oscillatory signature of bimodal attention and working memory that contributes to improved working memory in musically trained children. Materials and methods: We recruited children with and without musical training and asked them to complete a bimodal (auditory/visual) attention and working memory task, whereas their brain activity was measured using electroencephalography. Behavioral, time–frequency, and source reconstruction analyses were made. Results: Results showed that, overall, musically trained children performed better on the task than children without musical training. When comparing musically trained children with children without musical training, we found modulations in the alpha band pre-stimuli onset and the beginning of stimuli onset in the frontal and parietal regions. These correlated with correct responses to the attended modality. Moreover, during the end phase of stimuli presentation, we found modulations correlating with correct responses independent of attention condition in the theta and alpha bands, in the left frontal and right parietal regions. Conclusions: These results suggest that musically trained children have improved neu ronal mechanisms for both attention allocation and memory encoding. Our results can be important for developing interventions for people with attention and working memory difficulties.