A Preliminary Study on Neural Basis of Collaboration as Mediated by the Level of Reasoning
In this study, we investigated the neural correlates of collaboration and the relationship between collaboration and the reasoning level (low; zerothorder or high; first-order) of other person. Fourteen volunteers played a collaborative matrix game with a computerized agent and predicted the agent’s behavior in the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan session. From the results, the collaboration game evoked neuronal activations within both the left and right insula. Also, in the collaboration game, insula activation was greater in the higher-order reasoning condition than the low-level reasoning condition of the agent. The insula area is known to be related with sense of agency, autonomic arousal, and motivation. The collaborative game may cause participants to be motivated and deeply involved in the emotional experience, such as achieving a common goal with other person. In this context, the increased activation within insula seemed to be associated with participants’ motivational and emotional states while collaborating with other person.
KeywordsFunctional magnetic resonance imaging theory of mind collaboration reasoning order insula matrix game
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