University of PĂ?Â©cs, Hungary
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Neurol Neurophysiol
Machiavellians are regarded as skilled manipulators who use flexible behavioral strategies for misleading others. Although previous research has revealed a number of social and cognitive components of the MachiavelliansĂ˘Â?Â? decision making processes, less attention has been given to the neural correlates of manipulative tactics in various interpersonal relationships. In the present study, we used an fMRI technique to examine individuals as they played the Trust game in fair and unfair situations. Our results revealed that the social environment involving opportunities for exploiting others may be more demanding for Machiavellians who showed elevated brain activities in the fair condition (where the partner made a cooperative initiation) but not in the unfair condition, whereas non-Machiavellians showed an opposite trend. This result coincides with the Machiavellian Intelligence hypothesis stating that manipulative cognitive equipment might be an important selectional force in the development of the human mind. Regarding the specific activated brain areas in the fair condition, the high MachsĂ˘Â?Â? anterior dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) was responding, which is likely to be involved in the inhibition of the prepotent social-emotional response to the partnerĂ˘Â?Â?s cooperative initiative. Furthermore, we found increased activity in the high Mach subjectsĂ˘Â?Â? inferior frontal gyrus (IFI), compared to low-Machs, that plays a crucial role in the evaluation of the signals associated with the othersĂ˘Â?Â? social behavior, especially when the player faces a cooperative partner. Alternatively, although Machiavellians are regarded as poor mind readers, inferior frontal gyrus may be effective in anticipating their partnerĂ˘Â?Â?s subsequent decisions in the social dilemma situation.