Research ArticleNEUROSCIENCE

Brain stimulation reveals crucial role of overcoming self-centeredness in self-control

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Science Advances  19 Oct 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 10, e1600992
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600992
  • Fig. 1 Tasks and stimulation effects in Study 1.

    Illustration of trial structure for (A) the intertemporal decision task and (B) the interpersonal decision task. In the intertemporal decision task, we presented first the temporal delay information (3 to 18 months), followed by the immediate reward (0 to 160 Swiss francs; the delayed reward was fixed to 160 Swiss francs). Likewise, we presented first the social distance information (0 to 100) and then the selfish reward (75 to 155 Swiss francs) in the interpersonal decision task. The prosocial reward was fixed to 75 Swiss francs for the subject and the other person. (C and D) Log-transformed parameter estimates (±SEM) for the intercepts Vdelay/social and the discount factors kdelay/social in (C) the intertemporal decision task and (D) the interpersonal decision task. *P < 0.05.

  • Fig. 2 Tasks and stimulation effects in Study 2.

    Trial structure for (A) the intertemporal decision task and (B) the interpersonal decision task. Temporal delay (1 to 180 days)/social distance (0 to 100) information was presented simultaneously with the immediate/selfish reward. (C and D) Log-transformed parameter estimates (±SEM) for the intercepts Vdelay/social and the discount factors kdelay/social in (C) the intertemporal decision task and (D) the interpersonal decision task. *P < 0.05.

  • Fig. 3 Perspective-taking task and stimulation effects.

    (A) Trial structure. Subjects indicated whether the number of red discs seen from their own perspective (self) or from the perspective of the avatar (other) matched the number indicated by a cue. The avatar could see only the discs on the wall it was facing, whereas subjects could see the discs on both walls. Therefore, the perspectives of the subject and of the avatar were either congruent (the subject and the avatar saw the same number of discs) or incongruent (the subject and the avatar saw a different number of discs). (B) Error incongruence effects (incongruent-congruent perspectives). Compared to control TMS (S1 and vertex TMS), TMS of pTPJ reduced performance when subjects had to judge the number of discs from the perspective of the avatar but not when they judged from their own perspective. Error bars reflect ±1 SEM. *P < 0.05.

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary material for this article is available at http://advances.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2/10/e1600992/DC1

    Supplementary Results

    fig. S1. Fit of two-parameter hyperbolic discount functions [SVdelay = Vdelay/(1 + kdelay × Ddelay); SVsocial = Vsocial/(1 + ksocial × Dsocial)] in Study 1.

    fig. S2. Fit of two-parameter hyperbolic discount functions [SVdelay = Vdelay/(1 + kdelay × Ddelay); SVsocial = Vsocial/(1 + ksocial × Dsocial)] in Study 2.

    fig. S3. Illustration of TMS effects (pTPJ versus S1 versus vertex) on the differences between the number estimated by the subjects and the true number at the transection line relative to the total length of the number line (in percentage; ±SEM) in the number line task.

  • Supplementary Materials

    This PDF file includes:

    • Supplementary Results
    • fig. S1. Fit of two-parameter hyperbolic discount functions SVdelay = Vdelay/(1 + kdelay × Ddelay); SVsocial = Vsocial/(1 + ksocial × Dsocial) in Study 1.
    • fig. S2. Fit of two-parameter hyperbolic discount functions SVdelay = Vdelay/(1 + kdelay × Ddelay); SVsocial = Vsocial/(1 + ksocial × Dsocial) in Study 2.
    • fig. S3. Illustration of TMS effects (pTPJ versus S1 versus vertex) on the differences between the number estimated by the subjects and the true number at the transection line relative to the total length of the number line (in percentage; ±SEM) in the number line task.

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