Cooper, J. C., Kreps, T. A., Wiebe, T., Pirkl, T., & Knutson, B. (2010). When giving is good: Ventromedial prefrontal cortex activation for others’ intentions. Neuron, 67(67), 511-521. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2010.06030
This study examined whether brain regions associated with judging other people’s intentions would react differently in the face of altruistic versus selfish motives. Participants took part in an economic game during functional magnetic resonance imaging. When the game was described in terms of donations, ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) activation increased for inferring generous play and decreased for inferring selfish play.