The nleural basis of economic decision making in the ultimatum game

Alan G. Sanfey, James K. Rilling, Jessica A. Aronson, Leigh E. Nystrom, Jonathan D. Cohen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The nascent field of neuroeconomics seeks to ground economic decision-making in the biological substrate of the brain. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging of Ultimatum Game players to investigate neural substrates of cognitive and emotional processes involved in economic decision-making. In this game, two players split a sum of money; one player proposes a division and the other can accept or reject this. We scanned players as they responded to fair and unfair proposals. Unfair offers elicited activity in brain areas related to both emotion (anterior insula) and cognition (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex). Further, significantly heightened activity in anterior insula for rejected unfair offers suggests an important role for emotions in decision-making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSocial Neuroscience
Subtitle of host publicationKey Readings
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages215-222
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780203496190
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)

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