Neural traits characterize unconditional cooperators, conditional cooperators, and non-cooperators in group-based cooperation

Baumgartner, Thomas; Dahinden, Franziska M.; Gianotti, Lorena R.R.; Knoch, Daria (2019). Neural traits characterize unconditional cooperators, conditional cooperators, and non-cooperators in group-based cooperation. Human brain mapping, 40(15), pp. 4508-4517. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1002/hbm.24717

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Contributing to and maintaining public goods are important for a functioning society. In reality, however, we see large variations in contribution behavior. While some individuals are not cooperative, others are highly so. Still others cooperate only to the extent they believe others will. Although these distinct behavioral types clearly have a divergent social impact, the sources of heterogeneity are poorly understood. We used source-localized resting electroencephalography in combination with a model-free clustering approach to participants’ behavior in the Public Goods Game to explain heterogeneity. Findings revealed that compared to non-cooperators, both conditional cooperators and unconditional cooperators are characterized by higher baseline activation in the right temporo-parietal junction, an area involved in social cognition. Interestingly, conditional cooperators were further characterized by higher baseline activation in the left lateral prefrontal cortex, an area involved in behavioral control. Our findings suggest that conditional cooperators’ better capacities for behavioral control enable them to control their propensity to cooperate and thus to minimize the risk of exploitation by non-cooperators.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Social Psychology and Social Neuroscience
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Education > School and Teaching Research

UniBE Contributor:

Baumgartner, Thomas; Dahinden, Franziska Maria; Gianotti, Lorena and Knoch, Daria

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology

ISSN:

1065-9471

Publisher:

Wiley-Blackwell

Language:

English

Submitter:

Thomas Baumgartner

Date Deposited:

07 Aug 2019 15:02

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 00:23

Publisher DOI:

10.1002/hbm.24717

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.132055

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/132055

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