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Distinct contributions of the amygdala and parahippocampal gyrus to suspicion in a repeated bargaining game

Bhatt, Meghana A. and Lohrenz, Terry and Camerer, Colin F. and Montague, P. Read (2012) Distinct contributions of the amygdala and parahippocampal gyrus to suspicion in a repeated bargaining game. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109 (22). pp. 8728-8733. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC3365181. doi:10.1073/pnas.1200738109.

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Humans assess the credibility of information gained from others on a daily basis; this ongoing assessment is especially crucial for avoiding exploitation by others. We used a repeated, two-person bargaining game and a cognitive hierarchy model to test how subjects judge the information sent asymmetrically from one player to the other. The weight that they give to this information is the result of two distinct factors: their baseline suspicion given the situation and the suspicion generated by the other person’s behavior. We hypothesized that human brains maintain an ongoing estimate of the credibility of the other player and sought to uncover neural correlates of this process. In the game, sellers were forced to infer the value of an object based on signals sent from a prospective buyer. We found that amygdala activity correlated with baseline suspicion, whereas activations in bilateral parahippocampus correlated with trial-by-trial uncertainty induced by the buyer’s sequence of suggestions. In addition, the less credible buyers that appeared, the more sensitive parahippocampal activation was to trial-by-trial uncertainty. Although both of these neural structures have previously been implicated in trustworthiness judgments, these results suggest that they have distinct and separable roles that correspond to their theorized roles in learning and memory.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Camerer, Colin F.0000-0003-4049-1871
Montague, P. Read0000-0002-8967-0339
Additional Information:© 2012 National Academy of Sciences. Freely available online through the PNAS open access option. Received for review January 13, 2012; Approved April 13, 2012; Published online May 10, 2012. This research was funded by National Institutes of Health Grants 1 RC4 AG039067, R01 DA11723-02, and 2R01 MH085496-05A2, by The Kane Foundation Fellowship, and by the Wellcome Trust. The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Author contributions: M.A.B., C.F.C., and P.R.M. designed research; M.A.B. and T.L. performed research; P.R.M. contributed new reagents/analytic tools; M.A.B. and T.L. analyzed data; and M.A.B., T.L., C.F.C., and P.R.M. wrote the paper.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NIH1 RC4 AG039067
NIHR01 DA11723-02
NIH2R01 MH085496-05A2
Kane Foundation FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:functional MRI; game theory; neuroeconomics
Issue or Number:22
PubMed Central ID:PMC3365181
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120625-121539134
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Official Citation: Meghana A. Bhatt, Terry Lohrenz, Colin F. Camerer, and P. Read Montague Distinct contributions of the amygdala and parahippocampal gyrus to suspicion in a repeated bargaining game PNAS 2012 109 (22) 8728-8733; published ahead of print May 10, 2012, doi:10.1073/pnas.1200738109
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:32063
Deposited By: Aucoeur Ngo
Deposited On:25 Jun 2012 21:55
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 20:03

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