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The good lies: Altruistic goals modulate processing of deception in the anterior insula.

The good lies: Altruistic goals modulate processing of deception in the anterior insula.
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Yin L, Hu Y, Dynowski D, Li J, Weber B,


Yin L, Hu Y, Dynowski D, Li J, Weber B, (click to view)

Yin L, Hu Y, Dynowski D, Li J, Weber B,

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Human brain mapping 2017 04 22() doi 10.1002/hbm.23623
Abstract

When it comes to lies, the beneficiaries of one’s dishonesty play an important role in the decision-making process. Altruistic lies that are made with the intention of benefiting others are a specific type of lies and very common in real life. While it has been shown that altruistic goals influence (dis)honest behaviors, the neural substrates of this effect is still unknown. To reveal how the brain integrates altruistic goals into (dis)honest decisions, this study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the neural activity of participants in a real incentivized context while they were making (dis)honest decisions. We manipulated the beneficiaries of individuals’ decisions (self vs. a charity) and whether the choices of higher payoffs involved deception or not. While finding that participants lied more often to benefit charities than for themselves, we observed that the altruistic goal of benefiting a charity, compared with the self-serving goal, reduced the activity in the anterior insula (AI) when lying to achieve higher payoffs. Furthermore, the degree of altruistic goal-induced reduction of AI activity was positively correlated with the degree of altruistic goal-induced reduction of honesty concerns. These results suggest that the AI serves as a neural hub in modulating the effect of altruistic goals on deception, which shed light on the underlying neural mechanism of altruistic lies. Hum Brain Mapp, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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