Title
The cognitive demands on cooperation in social dilemmas : an fMRI study
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Applied Economics
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
Subject
Psychology
Economics
Human medicine
Source (journal)
Social neuroscience. - -
Volume/pages
7(2012) :5 , p. 494-509
ISSN
1747-0919
ISI
000307233300004
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
This study uses fMRI to investigate the cognitive demands of decision-making in two types of cooperation games: a prisoner's dilemma (PD) eliciting a temptation to free-ride, leading to a dominant, self-interested response, and a stag hunt (SH) that has no dominant response but offers pay-off incentives that make mutual cooperation collectively beneficial but risky. Consequently, the PD poses greater conflict between self- and collective interest, greater demands for computational reasoning to derive the optimal solution, and greater demands for mentalizing to infer the intentions of others. Consistent with these differences between the two games, the results indicate that the PD is associated with increased activity in the anterior cingulate gyrus, prefrontal cortex, parietal lobe, and temporoparietal junction. With less conflict, the demands for computation and mentalizing are reduced in the SH, and cooperation levels increase dramatically. The differences in brain activation elicited by the different incentive structures of the PD and the SH appear to be independent of individual differences in revealed social preferences.
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