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Social preferences correlate with cortical thickness of the orbito-frontal cortex


Fariña, Andrea; Rojek-Giffin, Michael; Gross, Jörg; De Dreu, Carsten K W (2021). Social preferences correlate with cortical thickness of the orbito-frontal cortex. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 16(11):1191-1203.

Abstract

Humans differ in their preferences for personal rewards, fairness and others' welfare. Such social preferences predict trust, public goods provision and mutual gains bargaining and have been linked to neural activity in regions involved in reward computation, cognitive control and perspective-taking. Although shaped by culture, social preferences are relatively stable across time, raising the question whether differences in brain anatomy predict social preferences and their key components-concern for personal outcomes and concern for others' outcomes. Here, we examine this possibility by linking social preferences measured with incentivized economic games to 74 cortical parcels in 194 healthy humans. Neither concerns for personal outcomes nor concerns for the outcomes of others in isolation were related to anatomical differences. However, fitting earlier findings, social preferences positively scaled with cortical thickness in the left olfactory sulcus, a structure in the orbital frontal cortex previously shown to be involved in value-based decision-making. Consistent with work showing that heavier usage corresponds to larger brain volume, findings suggest that pro-social preferences relate to cortical thickness in the left olfactory sulcus because of heavier reliance on the orbital frontal cortex during social decision-making.

Keywords: brain anatomy; decision-making; social value orientation

Abstract

Humans differ in their preferences for personal rewards, fairness and others' welfare. Such social preferences predict trust, public goods provision and mutual gains bargaining and have been linked to neural activity in regions involved in reward computation, cognitive control and perspective-taking. Although shaped by culture, social preferences are relatively stable across time, raising the question whether differences in brain anatomy predict social preferences and their key components-concern for personal outcomes and concern for others' outcomes. Here, we examine this possibility by linking social preferences measured with incentivized economic games to 74 cortical parcels in 194 healthy humans. Neither concerns for personal outcomes nor concerns for the outcomes of others in isolation were related to anatomical differences. However, fitting earlier findings, social preferences positively scaled with cortical thickness in the left olfactory sulcus, a structure in the orbital frontal cortex previously shown to be involved in value-based decision-making. Consistent with work showing that heavier usage corresponds to larger brain volume, findings suggest that pro-social preferences relate to cortical thickness in the left olfactory sulcus because of heavier reliance on the orbital frontal cortex during social decision-making.

Keywords: brain anatomy; decision-making; social value orientation

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Life Sciences > Cognitive Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:2021
Deposited On:16 Nov 2022 10:52
Last Modified:27 Apr 2024 01:40
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1749-5016
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsab074
PubMed ID:34117486
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)