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Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, Vol. 51 Issue (9) : 1007-1017     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01007
Reports of Empirical Studies |
Neural mechanisms of fairness formation in the perspective of social interactions
ZHANG Ruqian2,LIU Jieqiong2,LI Xianchun1,2,3()
1. Key Laboratory of Child Development and Learning Science (Southeast University), Ministry of Education, Nanjing 210096, China
2. The School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
3. Shanghai Changning-ECNU Mental Health Center, Shanghai 200335, China;
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Abstract  

Interpersonal fairness plays an important role in human life. Punishment is one of the most fundamental factors in the formation of interpersonal fairness. Although many neuroscience studies have used interactive economic games to explore the neural mechanisms that underlie fair norms’ enforcement and compliance, single brain studies cannot make researchers achieve a complete understanding of the intrinsic mechanisms related to dynamic interactions. Hyperscanning techniques can allow researchers to measure the brain activity of two or more persons simultaneously while they complete cognitive tasks under natural conditions. Therefore, we used fNIRS-based hyperscanning to evaluate changes in behavior and interpersonal neural synchronization (INS) during the formation of interpersonal fairness.

The experimental paradigm referred to the adapted ultimatum game (UG). There were two conditions in our study, punishment and voluntary condition. In the punishment condition, the proposer (A) introduced a distribution scheme. When the recipient (B) accepted it, both of them received money according to the distribution scheme. If B thought that this distribution was unfair, he or she could punish A by spending all or part of their money to reduce A’s gains. One RMB invested in punishment led to a reduction in A’s gains by 5 RMB. However, in the voluntary condition, B was obligated to accept the offer no matter how much A allocated to him or her. The task included 50 trials altogether, 25 trials for each condition. The trials of two different conditions were presented in a pseudo-random way. A total of 44 university students participated in this study, including 13 male and 9 female pairs. Before the experiment, pairs of participants drew lots to decide their roles.

Behavioral results showed that compared with the voluntary condition, the average transfer amount was significantly higher in the punishment condition and much closer to the equal split. Moreover, in the face of unfair distribution, more money was transferred to recipients when they punished more the proposers. Consequently, there was no significant difference between proposers’ and recipients’ final gains in the punishment condition. However, in the voluntary condition, proposers gained more. Results from fNIRS revealed that in the punishment condition, the INS of three brain areas was higher than that of the voluntary condition, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (channel 15), inferior parietal lobule (channel 12, 13), and temporo-parietal junction (channel 9). Additionally, the transfer difference (punishment minus control) was positively associated with an increase of INS in the inferior parietal lobule.

These results suggest that punishment can promote the formation of interpersonal fairness, accompanied by enhanced interpersonal neural synchronizations in the brain areas related to strategic decision-making and theory of mind.

Keywords fairness      punishment      interpersonal neural synchronization      fNIRS      hyperscanning     
ZTFLH:  B845  
  B849:C91  
Corresponding Authors: Xianchun LI     E-mail: xcli@psy.ecnu.edu.cn
Issue Date: 24 July 2019
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Ruqian ZHANG
Jieqiong LIU
Xianchun LI
Cite this article:   
Ruqian ZHANG,Jieqiong LIU,Xianchun LI. Neural mechanisms of fairness formation in the perspective of social interactions[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2019, 51(9): 1007-1017.
URL:  
http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01007     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2019/V51/I9/1007
  
通道 MNI坐标 AAL分区 布鲁德曼分区
x y z 脑区 概率 脑区 概率
1 59.49 21.37 20.43 右侧三角部额下回 0.67 44-岛盖部, 布洛卡区部分 0.53
2 66.87 -7.18 29.10 右侧中央后回 1.00 43-中央下区 1.00
3 67.53 -33.40 34.90 右侧缘上回 1.00 40-缘上回, 威尔尼克区部分 0.72
4 59.42 -59.03 33.70 右侧角回 1.00 39-角回, 威尔尼克区部分 0.97
5 50.69 36.73 27.05 右侧额中回 0.52 45-布洛卡区三角区 1.00
6 58.80 7.96 36.56 右侧中央前回 0.97 6-前运动皮层和辅助运动皮层 0.78
7 63.88 -20.28 43.97 右侧缘上回 0.76 1-初级躯体感觉皮质 0.83
8 60.37 -45.14 46.84 右侧顶下小叶 0.60 40-缘上回, 威尔尼克区部分 1.00
9 48.36 -68.79 43.83 右侧角回 1.00 39-角回, 威尔尼克区部分 1.00
10 47.43 24.55 43.41 右侧额中回 0.99 44-岛盖部, 布洛卡区部分 0.51
11 54.49 -4.25 50.69 右侧中央前回 0.55 6-前运动皮层和辅助运动皮层 0.97
12 56.89 -31.30 54.81 右侧顶下小叶 0.72 1-初级躯体感觉皮质 0.68
13 49.68 -55.49 55.37 右侧顶下小叶 0.84 40-缘上回, 威尔尼克区部分 0.81
14 33.83 37.74 46.08 右侧额中回 0.98 9-背外侧前额叶皮层 1.00
15 42.48 13.34 56.74 右侧额中回 1.00 9-背外侧前额叶皮层 0.79
16 47.64 -17.53 62.57 右侧中央前回 0.52 4-初级运动皮层 0.65
17 43.34 -42.84 63.31 右侧顶上小叶 0.55 2-初级躯体感觉皮质 0.52
18 32.38 -63.83 61.62 右侧顶上小叶 0.99 7-躯体感觉联合皮层 1.00
19 27.55 24.62 58.16 右侧额上回 0.78 8-前额眼动区 0.99
20 34.22 -1.43 65.56 右侧额上回 0.66 6-前运动皮层和辅助运动皮层 1.00
21 35.98 -29.29 70.73 右侧中央后回 0.64 4-初级运动皮层 0.84
22 28.73 -53.67 70.81 右侧顶上小叶 1.00 7-躯体感觉联合皮层 1.00
  
  
  
  
  
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