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Shared Responsibility Decreases the Sense of Agency in the Human Brain

El Zein, Marwa; Dolan, Ray J; Bahrami, Bahador; (2022) Shared Responsibility Decreases the Sense of Agency in the Human Brain. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience , 34 (11) pp. 2065-2081. 10.1162/jocn_a_01896. Green open access

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Abstract

Sharing responsibility in social decision-making helps individuals use the flexibility of the collective context to benefit themselves by claiming credit for good outcomes or avoiding the blame for bad outcomes. Using magnetoencephalography, we examined the neuronal basis of the impact that social context has on this flexible sense of responsibility. Participants performed a gambling task in various social contexts and reported feeling less responsibility when playing as a member of a team. A reduced magnetoencephalography outcome processing effect was observed as a function of decreasing responsibility at 200 msec post outcome onset and was centered over parietal, central, and frontal brain regions. Before outcome revelation in socially made decisions, an attenuated motor preparation signature at 500 msec after stimulus onset was found. A boost in reported responsibility for positive outcomes in social contexts was associated with increased activity in regions related to social and reward processing. Together, these results show that sharing responsibility with others reduces agency, influencing pre-outcome motor preparation and post-outcome processing, and provides opportunities to flexibly claim credit for positive outcomes.

Type: Article
Title: Shared Responsibility Decreases the Sense of Agency in the Human Brain
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_01896
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_01896
Language: English
Additional information: This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (PI: BB grant agreement No. 819040 - acronym: rid-O) and from the Wellcome Trust (PI: RJD grant number 098362/Z/12/Z). MEZ was funded by the Wellcome Trust, grant number 204702, and is currently supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Marie Curie Individual fellowship, grant number 882936 acronym SIND. BB was supported by the Humboldt Foundation and by the NOMIS foundation. RJD is in receipt of a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award. For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10153622
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