Thomas Baumgartner, Markus Heinrichs, Aline Vonlanthen, Urs Fischbacher, Ernst Fehr. Oxytocin Shapes the Neural Circuitry of Trust and Trust Adaptation in Humans

Trust and betrayal of trust are ubiquitous in human societies. Recent behavioral evidence shows that the neuropeptide oxytocin increases trust among humans, thus offering a unique chance of gaining a deeper understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying trust and the adaptation to breach of trust. We examined the neural circuitry of trusting behavior by combining the intranasal, double-blind, administration of oxytocin with fMRI. We find that subjects in the oxytocin group show no change in t...

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Manfred Spitzer, Urs Fischbacher, Baerbel Herrnberger, Georg Groen, Ernst Fehr. The Neural Signature of Social Norm Compliance

All known human societies establish social order by punishing violators of social norms. However, little is known about how the brain processes the punishment threat associated with norm violations. We use fMRI to study the neural circuitry behind social norm compliance by comparing a treatment in which norm violations can be punished with a control treatment in which punishment is impossible. Individuals' increase in norm compliance when punishment is possible exhibits a strong positive correla...

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Ernst Fehr, Antonio Rangel. Neuroeconomic Foundations of Economic Choice — Recent Advances

The brain controls human behavior. Economic choice is no exception. e brain controls human behavior. Economic choice is no exception. Recent studies have shown that experimentally induced variation in neural ecent studies have shown that experimentally induced variation in neural aactivity in specifi ctivity in specifi c regions of the brain changes people’s willingness to pay c regions of the brain changes people’s willingness to pay for goods, renders them more impatient, more selfi or goods, ...

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Dennis A.V. Dittrich, Werner Güth, Martin G. Kocher, Paul Pezanis-Christou. Loss aversion and learning to bid

Bidding challenges learning theories. Even with the same bid, experiences vary stochastically: the same choice can result in either a gain or a loss. In such an environment, the question arises of how the nearly universally documented phenomenon of loss aversion affects the adaptive dynamics. We analyse the impact of loss aversion in a simple auction using the experienced-weighted attraction model of learning. Our experimental results suggest that individual learning dynamics are highly hetero...

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Daniel T. Willingham, Elizabeth W. Dunn. What Neuroimaging and Brain Localization Can Do, Cannot Do, and Should Not Do for Social Psychology

The purpose of this article is to examine why social psychologists should be interested in localizing psychological processes in the brain. The intersection of neuroscience and social psychology has been vibrant for many years, and substantial progress has been made in understanding the relationship of the social mind and the body’s physiology (for a number of examples, see Cacioppo, Tassinary, & Berntson, 2000). There is, however, a new enthusiasm for the integration of neuroscience and socia...

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Olivier Ledoit, Michael Wolf. Optimal Estimation of a Large-Dimensional Covariance Matrix under Stein’s Loss.

This paper revisits the methodology of Stein (1975, 1986) for estimating a covariance matrix in the setting where the number of variables can be of the same magnitude as the sample size. Stein proposed to keep the eigenvectors of the sample covariance matrix but to shrink the eigenvalues. By minimizing an unbiased estimator of risk, Stein derived an ‘optimal’ shrinkage transformation. Unfortunately, the resulting estimator has two pitfalls: the shrinkage transformation can change the ordering of...

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