Nobuhito Abe: “Social Neuroscience of Dishonesty”

November 9, 2018  Friday Lunch Seminar
12:15 〜 13:00

CiNet 1F Conference Room

“Social Neuroscience of Dishonesty”

Nobuhito Abe

Program-Specific Associate Professor
Kokoro Research Center
Kyoto University

Host PI:  Yuji Ikegaya


The neurocognitive mechanisms underlying honest and dishonest moral decisions have yet to be fully clarified. In this talk, I will present three interrelated results on neural mechanisms underlying dishonest moral decision-making. Our first neuroimaging study focused on reward sensitivity as a potential facilitating factor of dishonest behavior. We found that reward sensitivity in the nucleus accumbens, as measured using the monetary incentive delay task, predicted the frequency of dishonest behavior across individuals in the incentivized coin-flip prediction task. Our second neuropsychological study demonstrated the possible causal relationship between reward system and dishonesty. We found that patients with Parkinson’s disease, a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by loss of dopamine neurons, exhibit reduced dishonest behavior compared with healthy controls. Our third neuroimaging study focused on the association between psychopathic traits and dishonest behavior in incarcerated psychopaths. We found that the reaction times and the BOLD signals in the anterior cingulate cortex during dishonest moral decisions were negatively correlated with psychopathic traits, indicating that cognitive conflict for dishonest behavior is reduced in psychopathic individuals. These results represent an important step toward understanding how the brain shapes honest and dishonest behavior.

About CiNet’s Friday Lunch Seminars:
The Friday Lunch Seminar is CiNet’s main regular meeting series, held every week at 12:15 in the beautiful main lecture theatre on the ground floor at CiNet. The talks are typically 40mins long and orientated towards an inter-disciplinary audience. They are informal, social, and most people bring their own lunch to eat during the talk. They are open to anyone who is feeling curious and wants to come, regardless of where you work.