Behavioral and neural reactions to emotions of others in the distribution of resources

G. Lelieveld, E. van Dijk, B. Güroğlu, I. van Beest, G.A. van Kleef, S.A.R.B. Rombouts, E.A. Crone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the neural mechanisms involved in the interpersonal effects of emotions—i.e., how people are influenced by other people's emotions. Participants were allocators in a version of the dictator game and made a choice between two offers after receiving written emotional expressions of the recipients. The results showed that participants more often made a self-serving offer when dealing with an angry recipient than when dealing with a happy or disappointed recipient. Compared to disappointment, expressions of anger increased activation in regions associated with self-referential thinking (anterior medial prefrontal cortex, aMPFC) and (emotional) conflict (anterior cingulate cortex). We found increased activation in temporoparietal junction for receiving happy reactions in comparison with receiving angry or disappointed reactions. This study thus emphasizes that distinct emotions have distinct effects on people in terms of behavior and underlying neurological mechanisms.
Keywords: Interpersonal effects of emotions, fMRI, Temporoparietal junction, Medial prefrontal cortex, Dictator game
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-62
JournalSocial Neuroscience
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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