News & AnalysisNeuroscience

Brain Stimulation Sparks 'Machiavellian' Choices

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Science  04 Oct 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6154, pp. 25
DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6154.25

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Summary

People have played money-sharing games countless times to help economics researchers probe issues of altruism, cooperation, and fairness. Now, a new study shows that a weak electrical current directed toward a patch of brain on the right side of the head can trump a person's normal impulses on how to distribute money fairly. Depending on the current's nature, participants in such a game shared more or less money. Thus the work confirms that the brain region, the right lateral prefrontal cortex, helps to guide such choices.