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Self-referential thinking and equilibrium as states of mind in games: fMRI evidence

Bhatt, Meghana and Camerer, Colin F. (2005) Self-referential thinking and equilibrium as states of mind in games: fMRI evidence. Games and Economic Behavior, 52 (2). pp. 424-459. ISSN 0899-8256. doi:10.1016/j.geb.2005.03.007.

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Sixteen subjects' brain activity were scanned using previous termfMRInext term as they made choices, expressed beliefs, and expressed iterated 2nd-order beliefs (what they think others believe they will do) in eight games. Cingulate cortex and prefrontal areas (active in “theory of mind” and social reasoning) are differentially activated in making choices versus expressing beliefs. Forming self-referential 2nd-order beliefs about what others think you will do seems to be a mixture of processes used to make choices and form beliefs. In equilibrium, there is little difference in neural activity across choice and belief tasks; there is a purely neural definition of equilibrium as a “state of mind.” “Strategic IQ,” actual earnings from choices and accurate beliefs, is negatively correlated with activity in the insula, suggesting poor strategic thinkers are too self-focused, and is positively correlated with ventral striatal activity (suggesting that high IQ subjects are spending more mental energy predicting rewards).

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Camerer, Colin F.0000-0003-4049-1871
Additional Information:Author preprint Received 3 February 2005. Available online 17 May 2005. This research was supported by a Packard Foundation grant to Steven Quartz, and an internal Caltech grant. Special Issue on Neuroeconomics
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:BHAgeb05
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2758
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:25 Apr 2006
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 19:50

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