Rational and emotional brain systems


The irrationality of human behavior has been repeatedly confirmed by experimental
but. Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman (Kahneman, 2003) suggested that
the existence of two evolutionary and structurally different systems, conditioned by
decision making: a) fast, automatic, or unconscious (System 1), and
b) slow, focused, arbitrary (System 2). Establishment of direct
between the three biological value determination systems
described in the previous chapter and the dualistic model of decision making
D. Kahneman is a challenge. With some approximation, the classical condition
ny reflex and addiction can be combined into a single automatic system 1,
whereas purposeful behavior (including through instrumental
these reflexes) will then be part of the arbitrary System 2.
Currently, numerous neuroeconomic studies are devoted to
study the interaction of rational and emotional systems within dualism
Kahneman. Among the most commonly used experimental models can be
Ultimatum Game, which most vividly demonstrates the
conflict of this kind: two players are instructed to divide between
fight a certain amount of money, for example, 100 rubles. One of the players (proposer) first
offers a way of sharing, and he is absolutely free in his decision. Suppose
the player will want to keep 80 rubles for himself, and give 20 rubles to his partner in the game. Partner
(responder), which made the proposal, is faced with a choice: agree or
disagree; However, if the respondent disagrees, then, according to the rules of the game, money
No one shines and the game ends.
As was shown in behavioral studies, on average, the proposed amount
hovers around half (50%) of the total amount of money; most often clearly disadvantageous
proposals (less than 20%) are inevitably rejected, even in cases where
The total amount exceeds the player's monthly income (Knoch et al., 2006). In terms of class
This behavior is irrational, because a small amount of money is still
better than their absence. Thus, it can be assumed that the respondent who is
a disadvantageous proposition is made, feels a conflict between rational and emotional
behavior: a rational approach means accepting a sentence, then
how emotions require his rejection because of the unfairness of the distribution of money.
Using the method of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI),
The rican neuroscientist Alan Sanfi (Sanfey et al., 2003) showed that the respondent
they made an unfair offer in the Ultimatum game, there is an active
islet insula, which is known from other neurobiological
research is involved in the processing of negative emotional information and especially
Particularly active with the emotions of disgust. Interestingly, in this study, the activity
The insular cortex was proportional to the degree of unfairness of the offer. Besides
In addition, activation of the upper areas of the frontal cortex (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex,
DLPFC) of the right hemisphere and cingulate (anterior cingulate cortex) - areas, ac
tivatsiya which is observed when starting cognitive processes of self-control and when
internal conflicts, respectively. Of particular note is the fact that
The ratio of activity of the insular and frontal cortex (DLPFC) can be predicted to be
the offer received by the player is accepted or rejected. If unfair offer
life was rejected, then a stronger activation of the insular cortex was observed compared to
with the DLPFC area, while in the case of an unfair proposal,
borot, greater activation was observed in DLPFC and smaller in the insular cortex. Reasonably
suggest that a negative reaction caused by a violation of existing standards
reference (injustice of the division), prevailed over the rational desire to get
benefits. In general, the given example vividly demonstrates the interaction of emotional
national and rational processes at the moment of decision making.
Meanwhile, the observed interaction of DLPFC and insular cortex can be
clarify in different ways. According to the first hypothesis, unfair money-sharing proposals
may cause a desire to immediately reject them, which is expressed in an “emotional” act
tivation of insular bark. In this case, the parallel DLPFC activity reflects the
control over impulsive emotional behavior through the mechanism of rational obdu-
flushing. Thus, in the proposed model, the DLPFC acts as a control
mechanism for controlling impulsive behavior in social situations.
(Sanfey and Chang, 2008). Then the hypothetical temporary shutdown of DLPFC should
but lead to even more pronounced aversion to injustice. Alternative hypo-
Thesis suggests that congenital instincts, for example, rational selfish
The desire to receive money requires some kind of control from the mechanisms involved
in ensuring the interaction of individual and social motives, including in
When an individual faces injustice (Henrich et al.,
2001). According to the second hypothesis, the activation of DLPFC is necessary to overcome utilities
self-interest, inclinations and desires, closely associated with
shimi emotions. Following this logic, when temporarily disabled, DLPFC should be monitored
given the strengthening of utilitarian aspirations: the likelihood that a player will agree to accept
money will increase, and the influence of the emotions of indignation on the decision will decrease.
So, both hypotheses differently predict the consequences of a violation of
You are DLPFC for the participants of the game: according to the first hypothesis, in case of violations in work
DLPFC we will often reject unfair proposals, and according to the second - we,
on the contrary, we will take them more often. Thanks to the development of non-invasive neuro-
image neuroscientists have the opportunity to test these hypotheses. One
Of the recent methodological advances in cognitive neuroscience, transcranial
magnetic stimulation (transcranial magnetic stimulation, TMS). TMS stimulator -
boron, which by means of an electromagnetic coil (configuration of the Mobius loop type
for optimal focusing of the stimulating pulse), located at the surface
head, suppresses or activates the work of the adjacent areas of the brain. When using
TMS temporarily suppressed DLPFC activity in the right hemisphere, then subjects
accepted unfair sentences in the Ultimatum game much more often than
those who have suppressed DLPFC activity in the left hemisphere (Knoch et al., 2006).
The data obtained confirm the hypothesis that the right hemisphere DLPFC plays
key role in suppressing or weakening utilitarian (rational) behavior.
Thus, the second hypothesis turned out to be correct: after inactivating DLPFC, the subjects
more actively begin to demonstrate utilitarian behavior, leading to the adoption of
profitable or unfair offers. Interestingly, the inactivation of DLPFC influences
la on the behavior of the respondent, but not on the subjective assessment of the situation, i.e. on feeling
how fair or unfair the proposal made to him during the game.
Subjects in whom the DLPFC area was inactivated in the right hemisphere were marked
they were outraged by the unfairness of the situation, but they were rejected by the unfair
after TMS-stimulation, they could not.
In the future, researchers were interested in the ability to influence the behavior of
persecuted without resorting to TMS stimulation. In one study (Sanfey and
Chang, 2008) before the start of the game "Ultimatum" in subjects were induced poor
structure, so that further behavior in response to unfair sentences was studied
This happened against the background of so-called negative emotional priming . It is known that
emotional emotional priming (experiencing sadness, anger, or disgust)
insular islet cortex, therefore, it can be assumed that negative priming
should lead to an even higher level of rejection of unfair offers.
The study confirmed that test subjects who, before conducting the experiment
watched a dramatic film, showed statistically higher scores
rejection of unfair proposals in comparison with those who watched emotionally
It is neutral movie or comedy (Sanfey and Chang, 2008). These experiments
These data not only confirm the neurobiological theory explaining the ir-
rationality of our behavior, but also demonstrate that fleeting and insignificant
changes in the emotional state that are not directly related to the current
country, affect the economic decisions of the individual.
It turned out that the model according to which when making a decision is available information
tion is estimated using different neural networks - “cognitive” (DLPFC) and “emotional
rational (islet crust), predicts experimental data quite well
results: the final decision is made by comparison
(subtraction) of cognitive and emotional assessments, and if the difference between two alternative
Since the natives are large enough, the decision is made in favor of the “best” alternative.
It is important to note that extensive behavioral and neurobiological research has
Decisions show that, as a rule, an emotional reaction to injustice
has more weight compared to a rational (utilitarian) reaction.
Probably, the ability to assess the fairness of social interaction through
It is extremely important to ensure long-term cooperation within the social group.
Immediate involuntary reinforcement of fair sentences and punishment for
fair behavior is an important evolutionary mechanism of existence and cohesion
social groups. Therefore, the automatic involuntary response of System 1 was
suppresses System 2. The “diffuse” nature of decision-making on the mechanism of comparison
or subtraction allows the regulation of the weight contribution of the emotional and rational
a cognitive component depending on the context (for example, mood),
which gives the decision system the necessary flexibility

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