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Shinsuke Suzuki: “Contagious nature of human risk preference”


June 9, 2016  14:00 〜 15:30

Cinet 1F Conference Room A
Shinsuke Suzuki

Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences
Tohoku University

Host : Masahiko Haruno (PI)


Why do we on some occasions engage in risky behavior but not on other occasions? Here, we explore the neural mechanisms of one possible account: a contagion effect. Using neuroimaging combined with computational modeling, we show that if we observe others behaving in a risk-seeking/risk-averse fashion, we become in turn more/less prone to risky behavior, and the behavioral shift is specifically implemented via neural processing of risk in a brain region, caudate nucleus. We further show that functional connectivity between the caudate and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a region implicated in learning about others' risk-attitude, is associated with susceptibility to the contagion effect, providing an account for how our own behavior can be influenced through observing other agents.