SSS 2008-04-28(在线收听

This is Scientific American's 60-Second Science. I'm Chirisopher Intagliata, got a minute?

"But mum, that's not fair!" sound familiar? Even as children we hate getting gypped, whether it's fewer slices of pizza or lousy presents from Santa. More surprisingly, though, a team of neuroscientists at UCLA recently concluded that getting a fair deal, feels good. Because it activates the brain's rewards circuitry ,just like lottery money and cocaine. Participants were presented with offers to split a sum of money, like 7 bucks out of 15. They almost always accepted 50/50 or 40/60 cuts. And these fair deals activated the brain's reward areas, like the ventral striatum and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. But the lower the cut, the more participants turned up their noses. Seven in fifteen ain't bad, but seven in twenty three seems like a rip-off. Confronted with insulting offers, the reward circuit remained inactive, and what turned on was a region of the brain associated with disgust, called the insula. But when participants then swallow their pride and accepted a meager share , the insula laid low. And emotion regulating areas of the brain switched on. Being cheated doesn't feel good, but it's better than nothing.


Thanks for the minute, for Scientific American's 60-Second Science, I'm Chiristopher Intagliata.