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Science. 2016 Mar 4;351(6277):1074-8. doi: 10.1126/science.aac7992.

The brain's functional network architecture reveals human motives.

Author information

1
Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems Research, Department of Economics, University of Zurich, Switzerland. grit.hein@econ.uzh.ch ernst.fehr@econ.uzh.ch.
2
Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems Research, Department of Economics, University of Zurich, Switzerland. Division of Systems Neuroscience of Psychopathology, Translational Research Center, University Hospital of Psychiatry, University of Bern, Switzerland. Japanese Science and Technology Agency, PRESTO, Japan.
3
Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems Research, Department of Economics, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
4
Department of Psychology, Pusan National University, Pusan, South Korea.

Abstract

Goal-directed human behaviors are driven by motives. Motives are, however, purely mental constructs that are not directly observable. Here, we show that the brain's functional network architecture captures information that predicts different motives behind the same altruistic act with high accuracy. In contrast, mere activity in these regions contains no information about motives. Empathy-based altruism is primarily characterized by a positive connectivity from the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) to the anterior insula (AI), whereas reciprocity-based altruism additionally invokes strong positive connectivity from the AI to the ACC and even stronger positive connectivity from the AI to the ventral striatum. Moreover, predominantly selfish individuals show distinct functional architectures compared to altruists, and they only increase altruistic behavior in response to empathy inductions, but not reciprocity inductions.

PMID:
26941317
DOI:
10.1126/science.aac7992
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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