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Disrupting the prefrontal cortex diminishes the human ability to build a good reputation

Knoch, D. and Schneider, F. and Schunk, D. and Hohmann, M. and Fehr, E.. (2009) Disrupting the prefrontal cortex diminishes the human ability to build a good reputation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 106, No. 49 , S. 20895–20899.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5260082

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Abstract

Reputation formation pervades human social life. In fact, many people go to great lengths to acquire a good reputation, even though building a good reputation is costly in many cases. Little isknown about the neural underpinnings of this important social mechanism, however. In the present study, we show that disruption of the right, but not the left, lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC)with low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) diminishes subjects’ ability to build a favorable reputation. This effect occurs even though subjects’ ability to behave altruistically in the absence of reputation incentives remains intact, and even though they are still able to recognize both the fairness standards necessary for acquiring and the future benefits of a good reputation. Thus, subjects with a disrupted right lateral PFC no longer seem to be able to resist the temptation to defect, even though they know that this has detrimental effects on their futurereputation. This suggests an important dissociation between theknowledge about one’s own best interests and the ability to actaccordingly in social contexts. These results link findings on theneural underpinnings of self-control and temptation with thestudy of human social behavior, and they may help explain whyreputation formation remains less prominent in most other specieswith less developed prefrontal cortices.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Ehemalige Einheiten Psychologie > Social and Affective Neuroscience (Knoch)
UniBasel Contributors:Knoch, Daria
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
ISSN:0027-8424
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:24 May 2013 09:22
Deposited On:24 May 2013 09:09

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