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Using functional near infrared spectroscopy to measure moral decision-making: effects of agency, emotional value, and monetary incentive

Using functional near infrared spectroscopy to measure moral decision-making: effects of agency,... The prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been investigated extensively with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and identified as a neural substrate central to emotion regulation and decision-making, particularly in the context of utilitarian moral dilemmas. However, there are two important limitations to prior work: (1) fMRI imposes strict constraints on the physical environment of the participant and (2) experimental manipulations have yet to consider the role of agency and personal incentive on both brain-based and behavioral correlates. To address the first limitation, we investigated functional near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), which showed it was a potential alternative to fMRI for observing the decision-making processes in a less-constrained environment [1]. To address the second, we examined the role of agency in deciding moral and non-moral dilemmas and whether the influences can be further modulated by way of monetary incentives. Our findings show that all three factors exert influences on both behavioral and neural metrics. In particular, emotional value increases, whereas incentive decreases, prefrontal hemodynamic activity. Moreover, agency interacts with both emotional value and incentive, further polarizing the behavioral and neural metrics with regard to human patients. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Brain-Computer Interfaces Taylor & Francis

Using functional near infrared spectroscopy to measure moral decision-making: effects of agency, emotional value, and monetary incentive

Brain-Computer Interfaces , Volume 1 (2): 10 – Apr 3, 2014

Using functional near infrared spectroscopy to measure moral decision-making: effects of agency, emotional value, and monetary incentive

Brain-Computer Interfaces , Volume 1 (2): 10 – Apr 3, 2014

Abstract

The prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been investigated extensively with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and identified as a neural substrate central to emotion regulation and decision-making, particularly in the context of utilitarian moral dilemmas. However, there are two important limitations to prior work: (1) fMRI imposes strict constraints on the physical environment of the participant and (2) experimental manipulations have yet to consider the role of agency and personal incentive on both brain-based and behavioral correlates. To address the first limitation, we investigated functional near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), which showed it was a potential alternative to fMRI for observing the decision-making processes in a less-constrained environment [1]. To address the second, we examined the role of agency in deciding moral and non-moral dilemmas and whether the influences can be further modulated by way of monetary incentives. Our findings show that all three factors exert influences on both behavioral and neural metrics. In particular, emotional value increases, whereas incentive decreases, prefrontal hemodynamic activity. Moreover, agency interacts with both emotional value and incentive, further polarizing the behavioral and neural metrics with regard to human patients.

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References (40)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2014 Taylor & Francis
ISSN
2326-2621
eISSN
2326-263x
DOI
10.1080/2326263X.2014.912886
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been investigated extensively with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and identified as a neural substrate central to emotion regulation and decision-making, particularly in the context of utilitarian moral dilemmas. However, there are two important limitations to prior work: (1) fMRI imposes strict constraints on the physical environment of the participant and (2) experimental manipulations have yet to consider the role of agency and personal incentive on both brain-based and behavioral correlates. To address the first limitation, we investigated functional near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), which showed it was a potential alternative to fMRI for observing the decision-making processes in a less-constrained environment [1]. To address the second, we examined the role of agency in deciding moral and non-moral dilemmas and whether the influences can be further modulated by way of monetary incentives. Our findings show that all three factors exert influences on both behavioral and neural metrics. In particular, emotional value increases, whereas incentive decreases, prefrontal hemodynamic activity. Moreover, agency interacts with both emotional value and incentive, further polarizing the behavioral and neural metrics with regard to human patients.

Journal

Brain-Computer InterfacesTaylor & Francis

Published: Apr 3, 2014

Keywords: functional near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS); decision-making; moral dilemma; agency; incentive

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