(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists have compared the brain activity of people under different types of social influence. What goes on in our heads when we decide to change our minds because of others?
We can make a decision not based on our own convictions, but also on the basis of a desire to be accepted by society. Scientists have figured out what happens in our brain in different situations.
Volunteers played a computer game. They had to memorize the location of the dot on the screen, and then answer where it was and assess the confidence in their own answer.
Participants could then change their minds by viewing the computer’s or another person’s answer (but in fact, all the answers were generated by the computer). The brain activity of the volunteers was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
It turned out that people changed their mind more often when they were not sure of their answer. The information impact on them was reflected in the activity of the dorsal part of the anterior cingulate cortex (dACC). This area of the brain is involved in reward expectation, decision making, empathy, impulse control, and emotions.
Also, people were more likely to refuse to answer when they found out that the other person was also going to change their mind. This too has been associated with dACC activity.
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