Medial prefrontal cortex reacts to unfairness if this damages the self: a tDCS study.

Journal article


Civai, C, Miniussi, C and Rumiati, RI (2014). Medial prefrontal cortex reacts to unfairness if this damages the self: a tDCS study. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 10 (8), pp. 1054-1060.
AuthorsCivai, C, Miniussi, C and Rumiati, RI
Abstract

Neural correlates of unfairness perception depend on who is the target of the unfair treatment. These previous findings suggest that the activation of medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) is related to unfairness perception only when the subject of the measurement is also the person affected by the unfair treatment. We aim at demonstrating the specificity of MPFC involvement using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a technique that induces cortical excitability changes in the targeted region. We use a modified version of the Ultimatum Game, in which responders play both for themselves (myself-MS condition) and on behalf of an unknown third-party (TP condition), where they respond to unfairness without being the target of it. We find that the application of cathodal tDCS over MPFC decreases the probability of rejecting unfair offers in MS, but not in TP; conversely, the same stimulation increases the probability of rejecting fair offers in TP, but not in MS. We confirm the hypothesis that MPFC is specifically related to processing unfairness when the self is involved, and discuss possible explanations for the opposite effect of the stimulation in TP.

KeywordsPrefrontal Cortex; Humans; Electrodes; Ego; Morals; Social Perception; Psychomotor Performance; Games, Experimental; Adolescent; Adult; Female; Young Adult; Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation; MPFC; Ultimatum Game; non-invasive brain stimulation; self-other; unfairness; Adolescent; Adult; Ego; Electrodes; Female; Games, Experimental; Humans; Morals; Prefrontal Cortex; Psychomotor Performance; Social Perception; Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation; Young Adult; 1109 Neurosciences; 1701 Psychology; 1702 Cognitive Science; Experimental Psychology
Year2014
JournalSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Journal citation10 (8), pp. 1054-1060
PublisherLondon South Bank University
ISSN1749-5024
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1093/scan/nsu154
Publication dates
Print30 Dec 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Oct 2017
Accepted01 Aug 2015
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/87746

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