Neural mechanisms of social decision-making in the primate amygdala

Steve W.C. Chang, Nicholas A. Fagan, Koji Toda, Amanda V. Utevsky, John M. Pearson, Michael L. Platt, Michael S. Gazzaniga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social decisions require evaluation of costs and benefits to oneself and others. Long associated with emotion and vigilance, the amygdala has recently been implicated in both decision-making and social behavior. The amygdala signals reward and punishment, as well as facial expressions and the gaze of others. Amygdala damage impairs social interactions, and the social neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) influences human social decisions, in part, by altering amygdala function. Here we show inmonkeys playing amodified dictator game, inwhich one individual can donate or withhold rewards from another, that basolateral amygdala (BLA) neurons signaled social preferences both across trials and across days. BLA neurons mirrored the value of rewards delivered to self and others when monkeys were free to choose but not when the computer made choices for them. We also found that focal infusion of OT unilaterally into BLA weakly but significantly increased both the frequency of prosocial decisions and attention to recipients for context-specific prosocial decisions, endorsing the hypothesis that OT regulates social behavior, in part, via amygdala neuromodulation. Our findings demonstrate both neurophysiological and neuroendocrinological connections between primate amygdala and social decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16012-16017
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume112
Issue number52
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 29
Externally publishedYes

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Amygdala
Primates
Decision Making
Oxytocin
Reward
Social Behavior
Neurons
Facial Expression
Punishment
Interpersonal Relations
Neuropeptides
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Haplorhini
Emotions
Basolateral Nuclear Complex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Chang, S. W. C., Fagan, N. A., Toda, K., Utevsky, A. V., Pearson, J. M., Platt, M. L., & Gazzaniga, M. S. (2015). Neural mechanisms of social decision-making in the primate amygdala. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(52), 16012-16017. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1514761112

Neural mechanisms of social decision-making in the primate amygdala. / Chang, Steve W.C.; Fagan, Nicholas A.; Toda, Koji; Utevsky, Amanda V.; Pearson, John M.; Platt, Michael L.; Gazzaniga, Michael S.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 112, No. 52, 29.12.2015, p. 16012-16017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chang, Steve W.C. ; Fagan, Nicholas A. ; Toda, Koji ; Utevsky, Amanda V. ; Pearson, John M. ; Platt, Michael L. ; Gazzaniga, Michael S. / Neural mechanisms of social decision-making in the primate amygdala. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2015 ; Vol. 112, No. 52. pp. 16012-16017.
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