Empathic neural responses are modulated by the perceived fairness by lfl12074


									Empathic neural
responses are
modulated by the
perceived fairness of
others Presenter: Cindy Mei
  Tania Singer, Ben Seymour,
  John P. O’Doherty, Klaas E.
  Stephan, Raymond J. Dolan
  and Chris D. Frith
  Empathy allows us to share in the emotions,
   pain and sensations of others
       But is this mental or physiological?

  If you hurt, I hurt too… Perceived pain in
   others activates the same brain regions that
   detect pain in yourself!
       anterior insula/fronto-insular cortex (AI/FI)
       anterior cingulate cortex (ACC)

  But do social relations matter? Does
   fairness = more empathy? Unfairness =
   desire for punishment?
  Pain-related empathic responses in AI/FI
   and ACC will be observed when watching
   a fair person in pain, but be
   reduced/absent when watching an unfair
   person in pain
           Also, seeing an unfair person in pain will
            activate the reward pathways in the brain
            (punishment / revenge)
 16 men and 16 women
 4 confederates (professional actors, 2
  male and 2 female)

 Prisoner’s Dilemma game
      Used to create ―fair‖ or ―unfair‖ responses by the
 fMRI scans to determine activation of:
      Empathic systems (AI/FI and ACC)
      Reward Pathway—‖revenge‖ (nucleus
       accumbens (NA))
Experimental Task
                                No Pain or Painful
                               Applied randomly to
                                all 3 participants
                               Scan to see
                                activation of
                                AI/FI/ACC and NA

•Afterwards: questionnaires on Standard Empathy Scale,
how much they liked the confederates and how much they
wanted revenge
Results - Empathy


 Men & Women – increased empathy for pain in fair players
 Men – decreased empathy for pain in unfair players
Results - Punishment

 Men only – increased desire for revenge
  = increased activation of NA
  Provides neurobiological evidence on how
   fairness affects social interactions between
       Cooperation = increased empathy
       Selfishness = decreases empathy and increases
        desire for punishment (in males)

  Like working with fair opponents
  Want to punish unfair opponents

  Could indicate that men have a larger role in
   the desire to maintain justice and punishment
   in society
Strengths and Limitations
 Strengths
   Used male and female subjects
   Tested for both empathy and no-empathy (and

 Limitations
   Tested only empathy for pain, what about for emotions
    like happiness or sadness?

 Further research?
   Investigate more in the gender specificity of the
    ―punishment‖ pathway
          Psychological or financial punishment more appealing
           to women?
   Empathy for known players who are fair or unfair?

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