Date of Award
Basic Biomedical Science
Dr. Lee Baugh
social discounting, altruism, imaging, kin/non-kin, fMRI
Social Discounting is defined as the decrease in generosity between the decision maker (participant) and the recipient of a gift as social distance (perceived closeness) between the two increases. To date, there is little data that has been collected that compares both the responses of behavioral performance and the corresponding neural activity when individuals are asked to make decisions about money based upon how close they feel to someone of their kin or not of their kin as their perceived social distances or relationships change. This specific study includes both fMRI and behavioral data analysis and takes into account the difference in perceived social distance between kin and non-kin relationships in correspondence with blood flow to specific areas of the brain that are being activated when participants are asked to make decisions regarding altruistic or selfmotivated decisions. Analysis of the imaging data collected showed 4 main regions more active when participants imagined how they would feel receiving a gift versus giving the gift. These active regions were observed within the right superior temporal gyrus, right middle frontal gyrus, BA8 in the frontal cortex, and the left superior frontal gyrus.
Arend, Chesney, "Social Discounting: An Examination of the Neural and Behavioral Performance of Individuals Making Altruistic Decisions about Family Members" (2019). Honors Thesis. 37.