Navigation Links
How fair sanctions are orchestrated in the brain
Date:10/6/2011

This release is available in German.

Civilized human cohabitation requires us to respect elementary social norms. We guarantee compliance with these norms with our willingness to punish norm violations often even at our own expense. This behavior goes against our own economic self-interest and requires us to control our egoistic impulses.

Innovative combination of methods

In collaboration with Professor Ernst Fehr, Dr. Thomas Baumgartner and Professor Daria Knoch reveal the neuronal networks behind self-control in an article recently published in Nature Neuroscience. For the purposes of their study, they combined the transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) method with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Interaction between two frontal brain regions

The results of the study show that people only punish norm violations at their own expense if the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex an important area for control located at the front of the brain is activated. This control entity must also interact with another frontal region, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, for punishment to occur.

The communication between these two frontal regions of the brain is also interesting in light of earlier fMRI studies, which showed that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex encodes the subjective value of consumer goods and normative behavior. As neuroscientist Thomas Baumgartner explains, it seems plausible that this brain region might also encode the subjective value of a sanction. This value increases through the communication with the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Using brain stimulation, we were able to demonstrate that the communication between the two brain regions becomes more difficult if the activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is reduced. This in turn makes punishing norm violations at your own expense significantly more difficult.

Therapeutic benefits

The results could be important in the therapeutic use of the non-invasive brain-stimulation method in psychiatric and forensic patients. Patients who exhibit strong anti-social behavior also frequently display reduced activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. This region of the brain, however, is not directly accessible for non-invasive brain stimulation, as its location is too deep inside the brain. The results of the current study suggest that the activity in this region of the brain could be increased if the activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were increased with the aid of brain stimulation. This indirectly induced increase in the activity of the frontal brain regions could help improve prosocial and fair behavior in these patients, concludes Daria Knoch.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)

TMS reduces the excitability of an area of the brain temporarily and painlessly. The researchers used this short-term impairment of an area of the brain to examine subjects' behavior when they had to decide whether to punish a partner's unfair behavior in a negotiation experiment. TMS enables causal conclusions as to whether a particular area of the brain plays a decisive role in behavior, including whether sanctions will occur. Brain areas often work in a network, however, and rarely in isolation during such a complex process. While fMRI can be used to measure the activity of these networks, the method does not allow any causal conclusions to be drawn. Only a combination of the two methods thus permits the determination of the neuronal networks that play a causal role in sanctioning at one's own expense.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Thomas Baumgartner
t.baumgartner@unibas.ch
41-612-670-288
University of Zurich
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Food Safety Attorney Fred Pritzker Calls for Criminal Sanctions Against Food Poisoners
2. Dioxin-like chemical messenger makes brain tumors more aggressive
3. Monkeys Use Brain Power, Not Hands, to Move Virtual Objects
4. Zincs role in the brain
5. Hysterectomy is associated with increased levels of iron in the brain
6. Stress May Affect Preemies Brains, Study Shows
7. MRI study finds that depression uncouples brains hate circuit
8. Preterm infants exposed to stressors in NICU display reduced brain size
9. How the brain makes memories: Rhythmically!
10. Yawning May Help the Brain Chill Out
11. Brain Continues to Develop Beyond Adolescence
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which specializes in the delivery ... as part of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , Apple Rehab participated with ... Manager, as well as the Connecticut Long Term Care Mutual Aid Plan (LTC-MAP). ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh, ... and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of Revelation paints ... for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl Hawkins says ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... WILMINGTON, Del. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 ... ... technology and advisory services for healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range ... and National Association for Assisted Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will present ... the Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s Annual Symposium ... Collen, a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is presented ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts at Children’s National Health System ... Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) Oct. 12-15. Chaired by ... and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and Stephen P. Hunger, M.D., Chief of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/4/2017)... 4, 2017  South Korean-based healthcare product Development Company ... "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device will educate the user ... with better efficiency compared to the dated and pricey ... on efficacy of the compression for a more informed ... goal to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... ORLANDO, Fla. , Oct. 2, 2017  AllianceRx ... services company formed by Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager ... of its new brand, which included the unveiling of ... Fla. , as well as at a few ... introduces the new brand to patients, some of whom ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... , Sept. 27, 2017  Commended for their devotion to ... awards. Ranked as number one in the South Florida Business ... in Inc. 5000 yearly list, the national specialty pharmacy has ... Armando Bardisa will soon be honored by SFBJ as ... Set to receive his award in October, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: