Ability to Follow Norms Affected by Brain Stimulation
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Scientists from the University of Zurich have identified the area of the brain associated with the compliance of social norms.
The researchers sent a series of weak, painless electrical signals to the lateral prefrontal cortex in a process known as transcranial direct current stimulation. They used this technique on 63 participants who were put through trials which tested their ability to follow important social norms, with or without the threat of punishment. When the activity to the prefrontal cortex was increased, the participants followed the norm more closely when the threat of punishment was present. When activity was decreased, they followed more closely without the threat of punishment.
"We found that the brain mechanism responsible for compliance with social norms is separate from the processes that represent one's knowledge and beliefs about the social norm," researcher Ernst Fehr, Chairman of the Department of Economics at the University of Zurich, was quoted as saying.
For more information, go to: http://www.mediadesk.uzh.ch/articles/2013/hirnstimulation-beeinflusst-einhaltung-von-normen_en.html
SOURCE: Science, October 2013
Click Here for a free weekly email with Ivanhoe's latest Medical Breakthroughs.