"Neural mechanisms of social influence"
Defined as a tendency to align one's attitudes, beliefs and behavior to match group norms, social conformity is a well-documented phenomenon in psychology. Yet, neuroscience research has only recently focused on the neurobiological mechanisms underlying conformity to group norms. A number of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies demonstrated that being exposed to a group opinion conflicting with one’s own opinion triggered activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and ventral striatum. Interestingly, the MPFC has been also implicated in the generation of a so-called “reward predication error” signal when the outcome of an action differs from the expected one. This signal presumably guides future action selection by updating predictions of action values. These findings suggest that some forms of social conformity may be based on general action-monitoring and reinforcement-learning mechanisms.
May 04, 2016 | 05:00 PM - 06:00 PM