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Empathic choice involves vmPFC value signals that are modulated by social processing implemented in IPL

Janowski, Vanessa and Camerer, Colin and Rangel, Antonio (2013) Empathic choice involves vmPFC value signals that are modulated by social processing implemented in IPL. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 8 (2). pp. 201-208. ISSN 1749-5016. PMCID PMC3575723. doi:10.1093/scan/nsr086.

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Empathic decision-making involves making choices on behalf of others in order to maximize their well-being. Examples include the choices that parents make for their children, as well as the decisions of a politician trying to make good choices on behalf of his constituency. We investigated the neurobiological and computational basis of empathic choice using a human fMRI task in which subjects purchased DVDs for themselves with their own money, or DVDs for others with the other's money. We found that empathic choices engage the same regions of ventromedial prefrontal cortex that are known to compute stimulus values, and that these value signals were modulated by activity from a region of inferior parietal lobule (IPL) known to play a critical role in social processes such as empathy. We also found that the stimulus value signals used to make empathic choices were computed using a mixture of self-simulation and other-simulation processes, and that activity in IPL encoded a variable measuring the distance between the other's and self preferences, which provides a hint for how the mixture of self- and other-simulation might be implemented.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Camerer, Colin0000-0003-4049-1871
Additional Information:© 2012 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press. Received 21 October 2010; Accepted 13 November 2011; Advance Access publication 20 February 2012. The article is supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (A.R., C.C.) and NSF-IGERT (V.J.).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:neuroeconomics; empathy; valuation; decision making; vmPFC; IPL
Issue or Number:2
PubMed Central ID:PMC3575723
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130423-160700923
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:38083
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:24 Apr 2013 22:37
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:33

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