Brief Communication abstract


Nature Neuroscience 10, 150 - 151 (2007)
Published online: 21 January 2007 | doi:10.1038/nn1833

Altruism is associated with an increased neural response to agency

Dharol Tankersley1,2, C Jill Stowe2,3 & Scott A Huettel1,2

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Although the neural mechanisms underlying altruism remain unknown, empathy and its component abilities, such as the perception of the actions and intentions of others, have been proposed as key contributors. Tasks requiring the perception of agency activate the posterior superior temporal cortex (pSTC), particularly in the right hemisphere. Here, we demonstrate that differential activation of the human pSTC during action perception versus action performance predicts self-reported altruism.

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  1. Brain Imaging and Analysis Center, Box 3918, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.
  2. Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, Box 3918, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.
  3. Fuqua School of Business, 1 Towerview Drive, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708, USA.

Correspondence to: Scott A Huettel1,2 e-mail: scott.huettel@duke.edu



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