In these trails, subjects overwhelmingly chose to preserve equity at the expense of efficiency, Hsu said. ‘They were all quite inequity averse.’ The findings support other studies that show that most people are fairly intolerant of inequity.
The animation, in conjunction with the fMRI, allowed the researchers to view activity in the brain at critical moments in the decision-making process. After analyzing the data, they found that different brain regions – the insula, putamen and caudate – were activated differently, and at different points in the process, Hsu said.
Activation of the insula varied from trial to trial in relation to changes in equity, while activity in the putamen corresponded to changes in efficiency, he said.
In contrast, the caudate appeared to integrate both equity and efficiency once a decision was made.
The involvement of the insula appears to support the notion that emotion plays a role in a person’s attitude towards inequity, Hsu said.
(via Tomorrow Museum)