Listening to your heart and feeling yourself: Effects of exposure to interoceptive signals during the ultimatum game

Bigna Lenggenhager, Ruben T. Azevedo, Alessandra Mancini, Salvatore Maria Aglioti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The ultimatum game (UG) is commonly used to study the tension between financial self-interest and social equity motives. Here, we investigated whether experimental exposure to interoceptive signals influences participants' behavior in the UG. Participants were presented with various bodily sounds - i.e., their own heart, another person's heart, or the sound of footsteps - while acting both in the role of responder and proposer. We found that listening to one's own heart sound, compared to the other bodily sounds: (1) increased subjective feelings of unfairness, but not rejection behavior, in response to unfair offers and (2) increased the unfair offers while playing in the proposer role. These findings suggest that heightened feedback of one's own visceral processes may increase a self-centered perspective and drive socioeconomic exchanges accordingly. In addition, this study introduces a valuable procedure to manipulate online the access to interoceptive signals and for exploring the interplay between viscero-sensory information and cognition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-241
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume230
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

Keywords

  • Economic game
  • Fairness
  • Heartbeat
  • Interoception
  • Social cognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Listening to your heart and feeling yourself: Effects of exposure to interoceptive signals during the ultimatum game'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this