Individual Differences in Intergenerational Sustainability Are Explained by Cortical Thickness of DMPFC and DLPFC

Guizar Rosales, Emmanuel; Baumgartner, Thomas; Knoch, Daria (9 September 2022). Individual Differences in Intergenerational Sustainability Are Explained by Cortical Thickness of DMPFC and DLPFC (Unpublished). In: 17th Clinical Neuroscience Bern Annual Meeting 2022. Bern. 9 Sept 2022.

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Intergenerational sustainability requires people of the present generation to make sacrifices today to benefit others of future generations (e.g. mitigating climate change, reducing public debt). Individuals vary greatly in their intergenerational sustainability, and the cognitive and neural sources of these interindividual differences are not yet well understood. We here combined neuroscientific and behavioral methods by assessing interindividual differences in cortical thickness and by using a common-pool resource paradigm with intergenerational contingencies. This enabled us to look for objective, stable, and trait-like neural markers of interindividual differences in consequential intergenerational behavior. We found that individuals behaving sustainably (vs. unsustainably) were marked by greater cortical thickness of the dorsomedial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Given that these brain areas are involved in perspective-taking and self-control and supported by mediation analyses, we speculate that greater cortical thickness of these brain areas better enable individuals to take the perspective of future generations and to resist temptations to maximize personal benefits that incur costs for future generations. By meeting recent calls for the contribution of neuroscience to sustainability research, it is our hope that the present study advances the transdisciplinary understanding of interindividual differences in intergenerational sustainability.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Guizar Rosales, Emmanuel Teófilo, Baumgartner, Thomas, Knoch, Daria


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Emmanuel Teófilo Guizar Rosales

Date Deposited:

22 Mar 2023 19:23

Last Modified:

22 Mar 2023 23:28




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