Naturalistic stimuli

Complex, continuous stimuli (e.g., audiovisual movies) provide opportunities to examine the dynamics of information processing in naturalistic settings. Previously, I had shown that watching, remembering and listening to others talk about a movie elicited event-specific neural patterns that were common across individuals (Chen, Leong et al., Nat. Neuro., 2017; Zadbood et al., Cerebral Cortex, 2017). These shared responses are thought to reflect shared processing of narrative content. However, people with different beliefs and motivations might process the same narrative differently. In ongoing work, I scanned participants with different political orientations as they watched news clips related to immigration policy. The timecourse of hippocampal activity was more similar between participants of the same political orientation than between participants with different political orientations, suggesting that differences in ongoing processing could be related to dissimilar patterns of memory retrieval. I am currently examining how participants’ beliefs interact with content features of the news clip to drive dissimilarity in neural responses.