Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Are you thinking what I'm thinking? A neuroscientific analysis of mentalization in social dilemmas

Class

Article

Graduation Year

2018

College

Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services

Department

Psychology Department

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Kerry Jordan

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

The ability to anticipate and predict the actions of others, and respond accordingly, has been termed “Theory of Mind” (ToM). The capacity for ToM-reasoning is essential across many aspects of social cognition; it plays a crucial role in empathy (Koster-Hale, Saxe, Dungan, & Young, 2013), as well as decision-making and inhibition (Ahmed & Miller, 2011). The Chicken Game (Rapoport & Chammah, 1966) is a social dilemma used to model the choice to cooperate or defect against another individual. Participants are told that they are quickly approaching another car on a one-lane bridge, and they must decide to either swerve to avoid the car (cooperate), or stay straight, and hope the other driver swerves (defect). The other driver must also quickly decide how to act, and each outcome has an associated point value. The goal for the game is to outscore the other player, with defection choices carrying significantly greater risk (or reward). Thus, to perform well in the game, the correct appraisal of the other player’s choice is paramount.

Mentalization abilities are studied in the form of choices made from the first-person (“self”) perspective, and ToM-based predictions of the other player’s choice. In the context of the game, participants will decide to cooperate or defect, then be asked either a ToM question (i.e., “What do you think your opponent chose to do?”), or a non-ToM control question (i.e., “What color is your car?”). Electroencephalography, EEG, is used as a measure of activity and reaction time in cortical areas relevant to ToM processing (e.g., prefrontal cortex, inferior parietal lobule, temporoparietal junction, superior temporal sulcus). Both perspectives (i.e., “self” and “other”) are analyzed using ERP, particularly “contingent negative variation” (CNV); CNV activity has been associated with the expectation or anticipation of a reward (Judah, Grant, Mills, & Lechner, 2013).

Location

Room 101

Start Date

4-13-2017 1:30 PM

End Date

4-13-2017 2:45 PM

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Apr 13th, 1:30 PM Apr 13th, 2:45 PM

Are you thinking what I'm thinking? A neuroscientific analysis of mentalization in social dilemmas

Room 101

The ability to anticipate and predict the actions of others, and respond accordingly, has been termed “Theory of Mind” (ToM). The capacity for ToM-reasoning is essential across many aspects of social cognition; it plays a crucial role in empathy (Koster-Hale, Saxe, Dungan, & Young, 2013), as well as decision-making and inhibition (Ahmed & Miller, 2011). The Chicken Game (Rapoport & Chammah, 1966) is a social dilemma used to model the choice to cooperate or defect against another individual. Participants are told that they are quickly approaching another car on a one-lane bridge, and they must decide to either swerve to avoid the car (cooperate), or stay straight, and hope the other driver swerves (defect). The other driver must also quickly decide how to act, and each outcome has an associated point value. The goal for the game is to outscore the other player, with defection choices carrying significantly greater risk (or reward). Thus, to perform well in the game, the correct appraisal of the other player’s choice is paramount.

Mentalization abilities are studied in the form of choices made from the first-person (“self”) perspective, and ToM-based predictions of the other player’s choice. In the context of the game, participants will decide to cooperate or defect, then be asked either a ToM question (i.e., “What do you think your opponent chose to do?”), or a non-ToM control question (i.e., “What color is your car?”). Electroencephalography, EEG, is used as a measure of activity and reaction time in cortical areas relevant to ToM processing (e.g., prefrontal cortex, inferior parietal lobule, temporoparietal junction, superior temporal sulcus). Both perspectives (i.e., “self” and “other”) are analyzed using ERP, particularly “contingent negative variation” (CNV); CNV activity has been associated with the expectation or anticipation of a reward (Judah, Grant, Mills, & Lechner, 2013).