Spreading inequality: Neural computations underlying paying-it-forward reciprocity

Yang Hu, Lisheng He, Lei Zhang, Thorben Wölk, Jean-Claude Dreher, Bernd Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

People tend to pay the generosity they receive from a person forward to someone else even if they have no chance to reciprocate directly. This phenomenon, known as paying-it-forward (PIF) reciprocity, crucially contributes to the maintenance of a cooperative human society by passing kindness among strangers and has been widely studied in evolutionary biology. To further examine its neural implementation and underlying computations, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging together with computational modeling. In a modified PIF paradigm, participants first received a monetary split (i.e. greedy, equal or generous) from either a human partner or a computer. They then chose between two options involving additional amounts of money to be allocated between themselves and an uninvolved person. Behaviorally, people forward the previously received greed/generosity towards a third person. The social impact of previous treatments is integrated into computational signals in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the right temporoparietal junction during subsequent decision making. Our findings provide insights to understand the proximal origin of PIF reciprocity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)578-589
Number of pages12
JournalSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2018

Keywords

  • 501021 Social psychology
  • 501021 Sozialpsychologie
  • 501011 Cognitive psychology
  • 501011 Kognitionspsychologie
  • 301402 Neurobiology
  • 301402 Neurobiologie
  • BRAIN
  • ECONOMIC DECISION-MAKING
  • EVOLUTION
  • FAIRNESS
  • GAME
  • GRATITUDE
  • NEUROBIOLOGY
  • NORM ENFORCEMENT
  • PREFRONTAL CORTEX
  • TEMPOROPARIETAL JUNCTION
  • inequality
  • model-based fMRI
  • paying-it-forward (PIF) reciprocity
  • right temporoparietal junction (TPJ)
  • ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC)
  • Paying-it-forward (PIF) reciprocity
  • Ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC)
  • Right temporoparietal junction (TPJ)
  • Model-based fMRI
  • Inequality

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Spreading inequality: Neural computations underlying paying-it-forward reciprocity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this