Limbic and prefrontal activity during conformity and violation of norms in a coordination game

Hodgson, Timothy and Guala, Francesco and Miller, Tim and Summers , Ian (2012) Limbic and prefrontal activity during conformity and violation of norms in a coordination game. Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, 5 (1). pp. 1-17. ISSN 1937-321X

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Limbic and prefrontal activity during conformity and violation of norms in a coordination game
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Abstract

Previous neuroimaging studies of scenarios such as the prisoner’s dilemma and ultimatum game show how brain systems which evolved to process rewarding and aversive
stimuli are activated differentially during adherence to and breaches of norms. One theory of how shared social norms evolve is that they arise from mutually rewarding
conventions which, through repeated execution, acquire a normative value that sustains social cohesion even when individual self-interest is not served. The authors report an fMRI study of a 2-player coordination game in which players must coordinate on an arbitrary convention (a left or right button press) to obtain monetary rewards. Once this
convention has been established, one of the participants is incentivized to deviate from the equilibrium with the offer of extra reward. During the period prior to decisions to
violate the convention, activity was observed in regions associated with reward processing, such as the midbrain, caudate, and orbitofrontal cortex. Activations in advance
of decisions to continue coordinating included the amygdala and anterior insula–inferior frontal gyrus. The data are discussed in the light of theories which propose the
existence of multiple interacting value-based decision-making systems in the human brain.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Previous neuroimaging studies of scenarios such as the prisoner’s dilemma and ultimatum game show how brain systems which evolved to process rewarding and aversive stimuli are activated differentially during adherence to and breaches of norms. One theory of how shared social norms evolve is that they arise from mutually rewarding conventions which, through repeated execution, acquire a normative value that sustains social cohesion even when individual self-interest is not served. The authors report an fMRI study of a 2-player coordination game in which players must coordinate on an arbitrary convention (a left or right button press) to obtain monetary rewards. Once this convention has been established, one of the participants is incentivized to deviate from the equilibrium with the offer of extra reward. During the period prior to decisions to violate the convention, activity was observed in regions associated with reward processing, such as the midbrain, caudate, and orbitofrontal cortex. Activations in advance of decisions to continue coordinating included the amygdala and anterior insula–inferior frontal gyrus. The data are discussed in the light of theories which propose the existence of multiple interacting value-based decision-making systems in the human brain.
Keywords:society, emotion, cooperation, rewards, social groups
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C860 Neuropsychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:4912
Deposited By: Alison Wilson
Deposited On:20 Feb 2012 10:48
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 09:04

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