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For goodness' sake

Humans engage in complex social interactions, including altruism. A study in this issue finds that watching a computer perform an altruistic act, earning money for charity, is sufficient to activate a brain region that has been implicated in the evaluation of others' motives and goals, suggesting that this area may be involved in detecting agency in other creatures.

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Figure 1: Subjects in the experiment watched the computer play a game after they were told that the computer's performance would earn money for a charity that they had chosen.

Kimberly Caesar


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Montague, P., Chiu, P. For goodness' sake. Nat Neurosci 10, 137–138 (2007).

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