Program

Poster
PS26A-09-86

Differences in neural responses to the self under mortality threat between Christians and atheists

[Speaker] Fan, Xiaoyue:1
[Co-author] Han, Shihui:1
1:Peking university (China (People's Republic of China))

Christians and atheists hold different attitudes toward what happens to the self after death. However, it remains unknown how brain responses to the self in the context of mortality threat differ between Christians and atheists. We recorded event-related brain potentials (ERPs) from Chinese Christian and atheist participants while they viewed one's own name and a stranger's name flashing around a cue word (i.e., death, pain or life) located at the center of a screen. We found that, for atheists, one's own name decreased the amplitude of a parieto-occipital negativity at 244-312 ms (N2) but increased the amplitude of a parieto-occipital positivity at 340-500 ms (P3) when flashing around "death" compared to other two cues. In contrast, Christians only showed increased N2 amplitude in response to one's own name flashing around "pain" compared to other two cues. Our findings revealed distinct self-related brain responses under mortality threat between Christians and atheists.
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