Authors
Carsten K W De Dreu
Mariska E Kret
Ilja G Sligte
Date (dd-mm-yyyy)
2016-8
Title
Modulating prefrontal control in humans reveals distinct pathways to competitive success and collective waste
Journal
Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Volume
11
Publication Year
2016-8
Number of pages
9
ISSN
1749-5016
Issue number
8
Document type
Article*
Faculty
Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
Institute
Amsterdam School of Economics Research Institute (ASE-RI)
Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Abstract

Competitive decision making may require controlling and calculative mind-sets. We examined this possibility in repeated predator-prey contests by up- or down-regulating the individual's right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG), a brain region involved in impulse inhibition and mentalizing. Following brain stimulation, subjects invested as predator or prey against a non-treated antagonist. Relative to sham-treatment (i) prey-defense was relatively frequent, strong and unaffected by stimulation, (ii) down-regulating predator rIFG produced a high-firing strategy-predators earned more because they attacked more frequently, while (iii) up-regulating predator rIFG produced a track-and-attack strategy-predators earned more because they attacked especially when their (non-stimulated) antagonist lowered its prey-defense. Results suggest that calculative mindsets are not needed to compete effectively, especially not when the goal is to survive. Enhanced prefrontal control enables individuals to appear less aggressive without sacrificing competitive effectiveness-it provides human predators with an iron fist in a velvet glove.

URL
go to publisher's site
Note
© The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.
Permalink
https://hdl.handle.net/11245.1/22b798c6-9e2f-45a5-8a4c-c2894a41de73