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  Humans use forward thinking to exploit social controllability

Na, S., Chung, D., Hula, A., Perl, O., Jung, J., Heflin, M., et al. (2021). Humans use forward thinking to exploit social controllability. eLife, 10, 1-23. doi:10.7554/eLife.64983.

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https://elifesciences.org/articles/64983 (Publisher version)
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 Creators:
Na, S, Author
Chung, D, Author
Hula, A, Author
Perl, O, Author
Jung, J, Author
Heflin, M, Author
Blackmore , S, Author
Fiore, VG, Author
Dayan, P1, 2, Author              
Gu, X, Author
Affiliations:
1Department of Computational Neuroscience, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_3017468              
2Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, Spemannstrasse 38, 72076 Tübingen, DE, ou_1497794              

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 Abstract: The controllability of our social environment has a profound impact on our behavior and mental health. Nevertheless, neurocomputational mechanisms underlying social controllability remain elusive. Here, 48 participants performed a task where their current choices either did (Controllable), or did not (Uncontrollable), influence partners' future proposals. Computational modeling revealed that people engaged a mental model of forward thinking (FT; i.e., calculating the downstream effects of current actions) to estimate social controllability in both Controllable and Uncontrollable conditions. A large-scale online replication study (n=1342) supported this finding. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (n=48), we further demonstrated that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) computed the projected total values of current actions during forward planning, supporting the neural realization of the forward-thinking model. These findings demonstrate that humans use vmPFC-dependent FT to estimate and exploit social controllability, expanding the role of this neurocomputational mechanism beyond spatial and cognitive contexts.

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 Dates: 2021-10
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.7554/eLife.64983
eDoc: e64983
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Title: eLife
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Cambridge : eLife Sciences Publications
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 10 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 1 - 23 Identifier: ISSN: 2050-084X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2050-084X