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Title: Neural computations underlying social risk sensitivity
Authors: Lauharatanahirun, Nina
King-Casas, Brooks
Christopoulos, George I.
Issue Date: 2012
Source: Lauharatanahirun, N., Christopoulos, G. I., & King-Casas, B. (2012). Neural computations underlying social risk sensitivity. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6, 1-7.
Series/Report no.: Frontiers in human neuroscience
Abstract: Under standard models of expected utility, preferences over stochastic events are assumed to be independent of the source of uncertainty. Thus, in decision-making, an agent should exhibit consistent preferences, regardless of whether the uncertainty derives from the unpredictability of a random process or the unpredictability of a social partner. However, when a social partner is the source of uncertainty, social preferences can influence decisions over and above pure risk attitudes (RA). Here, we compared risk-related hemodynamic activity and individual preferences for two sets of options that differ only in the social or non-social nature of the risk. Risk preferences in social and non-social contexts were systematically related to neural activity during decision and outcome phases of each choice. Individuals who were more risk averse in the social context exhibited decreased risk-related activity in the amygdala during non-social decisions, while individuals who were more risk averse in the non-social context exhibited the opposite pattern. Differential risk preferences were similarly associated with hemodynamic activity in ventral striatum at the outcome of these decisions. These findings suggest that social preferences, including aversion to betrayal or exploitation by social partners, may be associated with variability in the response of these subcortical regions to social risk.
DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00213
Rights: © 2012 Lauharatanahirun, Christopoulos and King-Casas. This paper was published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of Lauharatanahirun, Christopoulos and King-Casas. The paper can be found at the following official DOI: [].  One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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