A1 Journal article (refereed)
Neural correlates of acceptance and rejection in online speed dating : An electroencephalography study (2022)

Zhang, X., van der Molen, M. J. W., Otieno, S. C. S. A., He, Z., Leppänen, P. H. T., & Li, H. (2022). Neural correlates of acceptance and rejection in online speed dating : An electroencephalography study. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 22(1), 145-159. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13415-021-00939-0

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsZhang, Xukai; van der Molen, M. J. W.; Otieno, Susannah C. S. A.; He, Zongling; Leppänen, Paavo H. T.; Li, Hong

Journal or seriesCognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience



Publication year2022

Publication date20/08/2021


Issue number1

Pages range145-159

PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication countryUnited States

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot open

Publication channel open access

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/82945

Additional informationCorrection: https://doi.org/10.3758/s13415-021-00949-y
This article was updated to corrected Hong Li’s affiliations.


Pursuing dating relationships is important for many people’s well-being, because it helps them fulfill the need for stable social relationships. However, the neural underpinnings of decision-making processes during the pursuit of dating interactions are unclear. In the present study, we used a novel online speed dating paradigm where participants (undergraduate students, N = 25, aged 18–25 years, 52% female) received direct information about acceptance or rejection of their various speed dates. We recorded EEG measurements during speed dating feedback anticipation and feedback processing stages to examine the stimulus preceding negativity (SPN) and feedback-related brain activity (Reward Positivity, RewP, and theta oscillatory power). The results indicated that the SPN was larger when participants anticipated interest versus disinterest from their speed dates. A larger RewP was observed when participants received interest from their speed dates. Theta power was increased when participants received rejection from their speed dates. This theta response could be source-localized to brain areas that overlap with the physical pain matrix (anterior cingulate cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and the supplementary motor area). This study demonstrates that decision-making processes—as evident in a speed date experiment—are characterized by distinct neurophysiological responses during anticipating an evaluation and processing thereof. Our results corroborate the involvement of the SPN in reward anticipation, RewP in reward processing and mid-frontal theta power in processing of negative social-evaluative feedback. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the neurocognitive mechanisms implicated in decision-making processes when pursuing dating relationships.

Keywordsdating servicesselecting a coupledecision makingstimuli (role related to effect)feedbackcognitive processesEEG

Free keywordsdating; stimulus preceding negativity; reward positivity; theta oscillation; source localization

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-14-06 at 23:47