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Effects of direct social experience on trust decisions and neural reward circuitry.

Fareri DS, Chang LJ, Delgado MR - Front Neurosci (2012)

Bottom Line: Participants' trust decisions were influenced by their prior experience in the ball-tossing game, investing less often with the bad partner compared to the good and neutral.Reinforcement learning models revealed that participants were more sensitive to updating their beliefs about good and bad partners when experiencing outcomes consistent with initial experience.These results suggest that initial impressions formed from direct social experience can be continually shaped by consistent information through reward learning mechanisms.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Rutgers University Newark, NJ, USA.

ABSTRACT
The human striatum is integral for reward-processing and supports learning by linking experienced outcomes with prior expectations. Recent endeavors implicate the striatum in processing outcomes of social interactions, such as social approval/rejection, as well as in learning reputations of others. Interestingly, social impressions often influence our behavior with others during interactions. Information about an interaction partner's moral character acquired from biographical information hinders updating of expectations after interactions via top down modulation of reward circuitry. An outstanding question is whether initial impressions formed through experience similarly modulate the ability to update social impressions at the behavioral and neural level. We investigated the role of experienced social information on trust behavior and reward-related BOLD activity. Participants played a computerized ball-tossing game with three fictional partners manipulated to be perceived as good, bad, or neutral. Participants then played an iterated trust game as investors with these same partners while undergoing fMRI. Unbeknownst to participants, partner behavior in the trust game was random and unrelated to their ball-tossing behavior. Participants' trust decisions were influenced by their prior experience in the ball-tossing game, investing less often with the bad partner compared to the good and neutral. Reinforcement learning models revealed that participants were more sensitive to updating their beliefs about good and bad partners when experiencing outcomes consistent with initial experience. Increased striatal and anterior cingulate BOLD activity for positive versus negative trust game outcomes emerged, which further correlated with model-derived prediction error learning signals. These results suggest that initial impressions formed from direct social experience can be continually shaped by consistent information through reward learning mechanisms.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Subjective ratings and trust game behavior. (A) A 2 (time: pre/post) × 3 (condition) repeated measures ANOVA on subjective ratings of partner trustworthiness before and after the Trust Game revealed both a main effect of condition, as well as a significant time × condition interaction. (B) A one-way repeated measures ANOVA on participants’ trust decisions indicated a significant main effect of condition. Participants chose to share significantly less with the bad partner as compared to all other partners and the amount of time they decided to play the lottery. Participant behavior is plotted per condition as a function of time (24 trials per condition, binned into eight bins of three trials each for illustrative purposes).
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Figure 2: Subjective ratings and trust game behavior. (A) A 2 (time: pre/post) × 3 (condition) repeated measures ANOVA on subjective ratings of partner trustworthiness before and after the Trust Game revealed both a main effect of condition, as well as a significant time × condition interaction. (B) A one-way repeated measures ANOVA on participants’ trust decisions indicated a significant main effect of condition. Participants chose to share significantly less with the bad partner as compared to all other partners and the amount of time they decided to play the lottery. Participant behavior is plotted per condition as a function of time (24 trials per condition, binned into eight bins of three trials each for illustrative purposes).

Mentions: Participants’ experience in the Cyberball game was an important aspect of our design, as we were interested in whether this would effectively instill social impressions and manipulate perceptions of trustworthiness. We collected subjective ratings of trustworthiness for each partner both after Cyberball (pre-trust game) and at the end of the fMRI session (post-trust game). A 2 (time: pre/post) × 3 (condition) repeated measures ANOVA revealed a significant main effect of condition [F(1.458, 24.78) = 15.72, p < 0.001; see Figure 2A]. Participants rated the bad partner as significantly less trustworthy than the good [t(17) = 4.35, p = 0.0004] and neutral [t(17) = 4.05, p = 0.0008] partners. The good partner was rated as marginally more trustworthy than the neutral partner [t(17) = 2.08, p = 0.05]. A significant time × condition interaction also emerged [F(2, 34) = 6.61, p < 0.005]; this was driven by participants rating the good partners significantly less trustworthy at the end of the trust game compared to prior to playing the game [t(17) = 2.44, p = 0.026; trend after Sequential Bonferroni Correction], and not significantly different than the neutral partner by the end of the task [t(17) = 0.44, p = 0.68]. Participants thus did adjust their perceptions of character trustworthiness by the end of the experiment, demonstrating some explicit updating of their initial impressions.


Effects of direct social experience on trust decisions and neural reward circuitry.

Fareri DS, Chang LJ, Delgado MR - Front Neurosci (2012)

Subjective ratings and trust game behavior. (A) A 2 (time: pre/post) × 3 (condition) repeated measures ANOVA on subjective ratings of partner trustworthiness before and after the Trust Game revealed both a main effect of condition, as well as a significant time × condition interaction. (B) A one-way repeated measures ANOVA on participants’ trust decisions indicated a significant main effect of condition. Participants chose to share significantly less with the bad partner as compared to all other partners and the amount of time they decided to play the lottery. Participant behavior is plotted per condition as a function of time (24 trials per condition, binned into eight bins of three trials each for illustrative purposes).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3472892&req=5

Figure 2: Subjective ratings and trust game behavior. (A) A 2 (time: pre/post) × 3 (condition) repeated measures ANOVA on subjective ratings of partner trustworthiness before and after the Trust Game revealed both a main effect of condition, as well as a significant time × condition interaction. (B) A one-way repeated measures ANOVA on participants’ trust decisions indicated a significant main effect of condition. Participants chose to share significantly less with the bad partner as compared to all other partners and the amount of time they decided to play the lottery. Participant behavior is plotted per condition as a function of time (24 trials per condition, binned into eight bins of three trials each for illustrative purposes).
Mentions: Participants’ experience in the Cyberball game was an important aspect of our design, as we were interested in whether this would effectively instill social impressions and manipulate perceptions of trustworthiness. We collected subjective ratings of trustworthiness for each partner both after Cyberball (pre-trust game) and at the end of the fMRI session (post-trust game). A 2 (time: pre/post) × 3 (condition) repeated measures ANOVA revealed a significant main effect of condition [F(1.458, 24.78) = 15.72, p < 0.001; see Figure 2A]. Participants rated the bad partner as significantly less trustworthy than the good [t(17) = 4.35, p = 0.0004] and neutral [t(17) = 4.05, p = 0.0008] partners. The good partner was rated as marginally more trustworthy than the neutral partner [t(17) = 2.08, p = 0.05]. A significant time × condition interaction also emerged [F(2, 34) = 6.61, p < 0.005]; this was driven by participants rating the good partners significantly less trustworthy at the end of the trust game compared to prior to playing the game [t(17) = 2.44, p = 0.026; trend after Sequential Bonferroni Correction], and not significantly different than the neutral partner by the end of the task [t(17) = 0.44, p = 0.68]. Participants thus did adjust their perceptions of character trustworthiness by the end of the experiment, demonstrating some explicit updating of their initial impressions.

Bottom Line: Participants' trust decisions were influenced by their prior experience in the ball-tossing game, investing less often with the bad partner compared to the good and neutral.Reinforcement learning models revealed that participants were more sensitive to updating their beliefs about good and bad partners when experiencing outcomes consistent with initial experience.These results suggest that initial impressions formed from direct social experience can be continually shaped by consistent information through reward learning mechanisms.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Rutgers University Newark, NJ, USA.

ABSTRACT
The human striatum is integral for reward-processing and supports learning by linking experienced outcomes with prior expectations. Recent endeavors implicate the striatum in processing outcomes of social interactions, such as social approval/rejection, as well as in learning reputations of others. Interestingly, social impressions often influence our behavior with others during interactions. Information about an interaction partner's moral character acquired from biographical information hinders updating of expectations after interactions via top down modulation of reward circuitry. An outstanding question is whether initial impressions formed through experience similarly modulate the ability to update social impressions at the behavioral and neural level. We investigated the role of experienced social information on trust behavior and reward-related BOLD activity. Participants played a computerized ball-tossing game with three fictional partners manipulated to be perceived as good, bad, or neutral. Participants then played an iterated trust game as investors with these same partners while undergoing fMRI. Unbeknownst to participants, partner behavior in the trust game was random and unrelated to their ball-tossing behavior. Participants' trust decisions were influenced by their prior experience in the ball-tossing game, investing less often with the bad partner compared to the good and neutral. Reinforcement learning models revealed that participants were more sensitive to updating their beliefs about good and bad partners when experiencing outcomes consistent with initial experience. Increased striatal and anterior cingulate BOLD activity for positive versus negative trust game outcomes emerged, which further correlated with model-derived prediction error learning signals. These results suggest that initial impressions formed from direct social experience can be continually shaped by consistent information through reward learning mechanisms.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus