Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Humans appear to have an inherent prosocial tendency toward one another in that we often take pleasure in seeing others succeed. This fact is almost certainly exploited by game shows, yet why watching others win elicits a pleasurable vicarious rewarding feeling in the absence of personal economic gain is unclear. One explanation is that game shows use contestants who have similarities to the viewing population, thereby kindling kin-motivated responses (for example, prosocial behavior). Using a game show-inspired paradigm, we show that the interactions between the ventral striatum and anterior cingulate cortex subserve the modulation of vicarious reward by similarity, respectively. Our results support studies showing that similarity acts as a proximate neurobiological mechanism where prosocial behavior extends to unrelated strangers.

Original publication

DOI

10.1126/science.1170539

Type

Journal article

Journal

Science (New York, N.Y.)

Publication Date

05/2009

Volume

324

Addresses

Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Medical Research Council (MRC), Cambridge CB2 7EF, UK. dean.mobbs@mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk

Keywords

Gyrus Cinguli, Basal Ganglia, Prefrontal Cortex, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Brain Mapping, Social Behavior, Social Desirability, Empathy, Self Concept, Reward, Games, Experimental, Adult, Female, Male, Young Adult