Competition and collaboration are strategies that can be used to optimize the outcomes of social interactions. Research into the neuronal substrates underlying these aspects of social behavior has been limited due to the difficulty in distinguishing complex activation via univariate analysis. Therefore, we employed multivoxel pattern analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging to reveal the neuronal activations underlying competitive and collaborative processes when the collaborator/opponent used myopic/predictive reasoning. Twenty-four healthy subjects participated in 2 × 2 matrix-based sequential-move games. Searchlight-based multivoxel patterns were used as input for a support vector machine using nested cross-validation to distinguish game conditions, and identified voxels were validated via the regression of the behavioral data with bootstrapping. The left anterior insula (accuracy = 78.5%) was associated with competition, and middle frontal gyrus (75.1%) was associated with predictive reasoning. The inferior/superior parietal lobules (84.8%) and middle frontal gyrus (84.7%) were associated with competition, particularly in trials with a predictive opponent. The visual/motor areas were related to response time as a proxy for visual attention and task difficulty. Our results suggest that multivoxel patterns better represent the neuronal substrates underlying the social cognition of collaboration and competition intermixed with myopic and predictive reasoning than do univariate features.
- multivoxel pattern analysis
- strategic reasoning
- visual attention
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology