Navigation Links
Brain reacts to fairness as it does to money and chocolate
Date:4/21/2008

The human brain responds to being treated fairly the same way it responds to winning money and eating chocolate, UCLA scientists report. Being treated fairly turns on the brain's reward circuitry.

"We may be hard-wired to treat fairness as a reward," said study co-author Matthew D. Lieberman, UCLA associate professor of psychology and a founder of social cognitive neuroscience.

"Receiving a fair offer activates the same brain circuitry as when we eat craved food, win money or see a beautiful face," said Golnaz Tabibnia, a postdoctoral scholar at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA and lead author of the study, which appears in the April issue of the journal Psychological Science.

The activated brain regions include the ventral striatum and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Humans share the ventral striatum with rats, mice and monkeys, Tabibnia said.

"Fairness is activating the same part of the brain that responds to food in rats," she said. This is consistent with the notion that being treated fairly satisfies a basic need, she added.

In the study, subjects were asked whether they would accept or decline another person's offer to divide money in a particular way. If they declined, neither they nor the person making the offer would receive anything. Some of the offers were fair, such as receiving $5 out of $10 or $12, while others were unfair, such as receiving $5 out of $23.

"In both cases, they were being offered the same amount of money, but in one case it's fair and in the other case it's not," Tabibnia said.

Almost half the time, people agreed to accept offers of just 20 to 30 percent of the total money, but when they accepted these unfair offers, most of the brain's reward circuitry was not activated; those brain regions were activated only for the fair offers. Less than 2 percent accepted offers of 10 percent of the total money.

The study group consisted of 12 UCLA students, nine of them female, with an average age of 21. They had their brains scanned at UCLA's AhmansonLovelace Brain Mapping Center. The subjects saw photographs of various people who were said to be making the offers.

"The brain's reward regions were more active when people were given a $5 offer out of $10 than when they received a $5 offer out of $23," Lieberman said. "We call this finding the 'sunny side of fairness' because it shows the rewarding experience of being treated fairly."

A region of the brain called the insula, associated with disgust, is more active when people are given insulting offers, Lieberman said.

When people accepted the insulting offers, they tended to turn on a region of the prefrontal cortex that is associated with emotion regulation, while the insula was less active.

"We're showing what happens in the brain when people swallow their pride," Tabibnia said. "The region of the brain most associated with self-control gets activated and the disgust-related region shows less of a response."

"If we can regulate our sense of insult, we can say yes to the insulting offer and accept the cash," Lieberman said. UCLA is California's largest university, with an enrollment of nearly 37,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The UCLA College of Letters and Science and the university's 11 professional schools feature renowned faculty and offer more than 300 degree programs and majors. UCLA is a national and international leader in the breadth and quality of its academic, research, health care, cultural, continuing education and athletic programs. Four alumni and five faculty have been awarded the Nobel Prize.


'/>"/>

Contact: Stuart Wolpert
swolpert@support.ucla.edu
310-206-0511
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Draining away brains toxic protein to stop Alzheimers
2. Vision restoration therapy shown to improve brain activity in brain injured patients
3. Clinical depression linked to abnormal emotional brain circuits
4. Brain imaging reveals breakdown of normal emotional processing
5. Brain cells work differently than previously thought
6. Vaccine Stops Alzheimers Brain Tangles
7. Research may unlock mystery of autisms origin in the brain
8. Scientists Spot Brains Free Will Center
9. Free will takes flight: how our brains respond to an approaching menace
10. Alcoholics With Cirrhosis Have More Brain Damage
11. Brain Lesions Predict MS Progression
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/8/2016)... Cincinnati, OH (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 ... ... offering insurance and financial planning services from offices headquartered in Hamilton County, is ... animal rescue LuvFurMutts. , LuvFurMutts specializes in finding new homes for orphaned or ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Peter Zipp Insurance, ... and around the greater Phoenix metropolitan region, is announcing a charity event to ... of the Homeless Youth Connection is to promote community awareness of the ongoing ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Louis, MS (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... that serve commercial and residential clients in and around the Hancock County area, is ... for the Hancock County Food Pantry. , The Hancock County Food Pantry has worked ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Bill Mull ... business owners in and around central Kansas, is joining the Youth Horizons organization ... the region. , Headquartered in Wichita, Youth Horizons works to empower area children ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... Students ... have the unique opportunity to get hands-on experience in an emergency medical simulation, ... immersive experience to gain invaluable, real-life medical skills that are critical success in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... Texas , Dec. 8, 2016 ... program that brings leading-edge laboratory services and management ... United States , allowing more doctors and ... health care management solutions. Logo - ... Hospital systems, under pressure to contain ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Mederi Therapeutics Inc . hat die behördliche Zulassung durch die CFDA sowie ... – in China angekündigt. ... ... Live Stretta procedure performed and broadcast during the Chinese Congress ... Union Hospital ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016 Dignitana, a world leader in ... Boa® Technology, creator of the award-winning, patented Boa® system, ... with the DigniCap® scalp cooling system. DigniCap® was cleared ... 2015, and is the first medical scalp cooling device ... cooling system features a patented tight-fitting silicone cooling cap ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: