Lateral orbitofrontal cortex activity is modulated by group membership in situations of justified and unjustified violence

Domínguez D, JF, van Nunspeet, F, Gupta, A, Eres, R, Louis, WR, Decety, J and Molenberghs, P 2018, Lateral orbitofrontal cortex activity is modulated by group membership in situations of justified and unjustified violence, Social neuroscience, vol. 13, no. 6, pp. 739-755, doi: 10.1080/17470919.2017.1392342.

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Title Lateral orbitofrontal cortex activity is modulated by group membership in situations of justified and unjustified violence
Author(s) Domínguez D, JF
van Nunspeet, F
Gupta, A
Eres, R
Louis, WR
Decety, J
Molenberghs, P
Journal name Social neuroscience
Volume number 13
Issue number 6
Start page 739
End page 755
Total pages 17
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication Abingdon, Eng.
Publication date 2018
ISSN 1747-0919
1747-0927
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Social Sciences
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Neurosciences
Psychology
Neurosciences & Neurology
Social decision-making
group dynamic
orbitofrontal cortex
morality
violence
intentional harm
functional MRI
AGGRESSIVE RESPONSES
ANTISOCIAL-BEHAVIOR
NEURAL RESPONSES
DECISION-MAKING
MORAL JUDGMENTS
AVERSIVE RACISM
FRONTAL-CORTEX
FMRI
NEUROSCIENCE
PREJUDICE
Summary The role of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in moral decision-making is well established. However, OFC activity is highly context dependent. It is affected by the extent to which choices are morally justified and whom they concern. In the current study, we specifically focus on contextual factors and investigate the differential role of the OFC during justified and unjustified violence towards ingroup versus outgroup members. Muslims were chosen as the outgroup, as they are currently stereotypically seen as an outgroup and a potential threat by some Non-Muslims. Importantly, we also introduce a context where participants are the actual agents responsible for doing harm. During fMRI scanning, Non-Muslim participants had to decide to either shoot a Non-Muslim (i.e., ingroup member) or Muslim (outgroup member) depending on whether they believed the target was holding a gun or an object. Neuroimaging results showed increased activation in the lateral OFC (lOFC) in the three contrasts that were distressing: 1) during unjustifiable killing; 2) when being killed; and 3) when confronted by an outgroup member with a gun. Together, these results provide important insights into the neurocognitive mechanisms involved in intergroup violence and highlight the critical role of the lOFC in context dependent social decision-making.
Language eng.
DOI 10.1080/17470919.2017.1392342
Field of Research 1109 Neurosciences
1702 Cognitive Sciences
1701 Psychology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30134036

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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