Frequency of helping friends and helping strangers is explained by different neural signatures

Saulin, Anne; Baumgartner, Thomas; Gianotti, Lorena; Hofmann, Wilhelm; Knoch, Daria (2019). Frequency of helping friends and helping strangers is explained by different neural signatures. Cognitive, affective & behavioral neuroscience, 19(1), pp. 177-186. Springer 10.3758/s13415-018-00655-2

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Acts of helping friends and strangers are part of everyday life. However, people vary significantly with respect to how often they help others and with respect to whom they actually help on a day-to-day basis. Despite everyday helping being so pervasive, these individual differences are poorly understood. Here, we used source-localized resting electroencephalography to measure objective and stable individual differences in neural baseline activation in combination with an ecologically valid method that allows assessment of helping behavior in the field. Results revealed that neural baseline activation in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) – a brain region associated with self-control and strategic social behavior – predicts the daily frequency of helping friends, whereas the daily frequency of helping strangers was predicted by neural baseline activation in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC) – a brain region associated with social cognition processes. These findings offer evidence that distinct neural signatures and associated psychological and cognitive processes may underlie the propensity to help friends and strangers in daily life.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Social Psychology and Social Neuroscience

UniBE Contributor:

Baumgartner, Thomas; Gianotti, Lorena and Knoch, Daria

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology

ISSN:

1530-7026

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Thomas Baumgartner

Date Deposited:

17 Dec 2018 12:08

Last Modified:

25 Oct 2019 08:02

Publisher DOI:

10.3758/s13415-018-00655-2

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.122627

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/122627

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