Researchers at HSE University have shown that the brain works differently depending on whether the subject is dealing with common (shared) natural resources or private natural resources. The ventral striatum (so-called pleasure center) plays an important role in this process.The study is published by Social cognition and emotional neuroscience..
In some areas of the ocean, commercial fish inventories are down 95%, but private fish farms are not depleted. Why are people worried about private property when they run out of common natural resources without rethinking? Researchers at the University of HSE and the University of Basel have been working to shed light on the brain mechanisms behind this paradoxical neglect. Public interest..
To answer this question, researchers combined neurobiological, economic, and cognitive modeling approaches.use Functional magnetic resonance imaging, They scanned the brains of 50 participants invited to play an economical game. The computer game simulated fishing in a private pond or a public lake. The number of fish in the lake depends on the size of the net used by the player. Participants were able to sell the fish they caught in exchange for actual cash rewards. Players also had to explain either natural migration of fish (in private ponds) or fish caught by other fishermen (in public lakes). Researchers wanted to know how our brain responds to a decrease in fish numbers in both public and private spaces.
Scans showed that a sudden decrease in the number of fish in the lake suppressed activity. Ventral striatumA region of the brain that is sometimes called the “pleasure center” of the brain because of its high content of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
Therefore, the depletion of natural resources is an unpleasant event for the brain, and the activities of the pleasure center are severely suppressed.However, a more detailed analysis showed that the pleasure centers of our brain responded differently to private and private declines. Public resources..When participants fish in their lake, neural activity at the pleasure center is likely to monitor the optimal number of fish in the lake, thereby Fish population.. Therefore, when participants observed a sharp decline in fish in their lake during the experiment, they fished less. Conversely, when participants were fishing in a public lake, the same area of their brain was monitoring completely different information: how many fish their rivals were catching. Participants fished more actively and quickly exhausted their entire stock when they saw fish disappear in public ponds due to overfishing by rivals.
“Brain activity shows that it is the comparison of one’s income with that of others that intensifies the depletion of public resources. In 1968, American ecologist Garrett Hardin stated in public meadows. Described the typical Scottish agricultural community where there was. All farmers benefited from grazing cattle on public land as often as possible to increase their income. Unfortunately, today. But people continue to harm such shared natural resources. brain The work depends on whether we are dealing with shared or private natural resources. It is important to understand the subtle mechanisms behind the tendency of people to overuse natural resources. This may allow us to think of measures to preserve them. ”
Mario Martinez-Saito et al., Is it mine or ours? Neural foundation for shared resource development, Social cognition and emotional neuroscience (2022). DOI: 10.1093 / scan / nsac008
Provided by Faculty of Higher Economics, National Research University
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Mine or ours: Brain choice
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