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Influence of Peer Recommendation on the Neural Dynamics of Preference-Based Decision Making

Reinboth, Tim (2016) Influence of Peer Recommendation on the Neural Dynamics of Preference-Based Decision Making. University of Glasgow. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

While social information has been shown to alter neural activity during decision making, the temporal dynamics of this effect remain elusive. Here, we applied event-related analysis of electroencephalography (EEG) to investigate the effect of peer recommendation on the decision making process underlying a simple consumer decision. Our preference-based binary choice paradigm revealed an effect of peer recommendation during evidence integration. We observed reduced EEG-signal strength when a recommendation was present, consistent with previous evidence of attenuated frontal lobe activity in the presence of social information. Absent an effect of the recommendation on choice outcome, the neural effect could not be unequivocally interpreted. We suggest a possible modulation of frontal activity via an engagement of the reward mechanism, ostensibly developed in order to bias individuals towards prosocial decisions.

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