Rosenberger, L.A., Pfabigan, D., Lehner, B., Keckeis, K., Seidel, E.-M., Eisenegger, C., & Lamm, C. (2019). Fairness norm violations in anti-social psychopathic offenders in a repeated trust game. Translational Psychiatry, in press.
The full text (Open Access) will be available soon!
Dear friends and colleagues,
We are proud to announce a symposium in honour of Christoph Eisenegger, titled
"THE NEUROBIOLOGICAL BASIS OF HUMAN SOCIAL BEHAVIOR".
The symposium will take place on MARCH 25TH 2020 at the University of Vienna from 9 am and will finish with an evening reception.
The aim of the symposium is to celebrate the work and achievements of the late Christoph Eisenegger, and the Neuropsychopharmacology & Biopsychology Unit. The symposium will showcase the fruition of his work with the junior scientists of his lab, and in a variety of projects with his national and international collaborators.
We will be very happy to welcome you to Vienna, and to commemorate this great scientist and person!
Jean-Claude Dreher (Cognitive Neuroscience Center, FR): Influence of testosterone on reward processing and retaliation-related brain activity
Shawn Geniole (Nipissing University, CA; University of Vienna, AT): Testosterone reduces the threat premium in competitive resource divisions
Jack van Honk (Utrecht University, NL, University of Cape Town, SA):The role of the human basolateral amygdala in social decision-making
Michael Naef (University of London, GB): TBA
Boris Quednow (University of Zurich, CH): Acute and chronic drug effects on social decision-making
Giorgia Silani (University of Vienna, AT): Wanting and linking of social and non-social rewards: The role of dopamine and opioids
Bettina Studer (St Mauritius Therapieklinik Meerbusch; Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, DE): TBA
Yin Wu (Nanjing University, CN): Single dose testosterone administration increases social discounting in healthy males
More information, including the preliminary program and how to register (participation will be free of charge), will be announced on https://nbu2020.univie.ac.at (webpage online soon).
A new NBU publicaton in Scientific Reports: "Slow touch targeting CT-fibres does not increase prosocial behaviour in economic laboratory tasks."
Field studies have demonstrated that humans become more generous, helpful and compliant after having been touched by another person. Here, we explored whether these effects are larger for touch activating the C-tactile (CT) fibres, as it is ascribed a particular role in establishing and maintaining bonds and affiliative interactions. The role of CT-targeted and non-targeted touch on prosocial behaviour was investigated in three different experiments using a trust game and a task measuring individual differences in social value orientations (the SVO task). Whereas participants in general acted prosocially, there was no influence of CT-targeted touch on prosocial behaviour, both in comparison to non-CT-targeted control touch and visual (non-tactile) stimulation. The null findings were further corroborated by Bayesian statistics. Thus, under the controlled laboratory conditions employed, CT-targeted touch did not play a particular role in prosocial behaviour. This indicates that touch does not increase prosocial behaviour in the absence of meaningful social and psychological connotations. Any touch related effects on prosocial behaviour likely depends on the ecological validity of the situation.
Rosenberger, L. A., Ree, A., Eisenegger, C., & Sailer, U. (2018). Slow touch targeting CT-fibres does not increase prosocial behaviour in economic laboratory tasks. Scientific reports, 8(1), 7700.
The Neuropsychopharmacology & Biopsychology is actively seeking people to participate in our studies.
Please click on the following link and fill out the short questionnaire on our webpage in order for us to determine your eligibility to participate in our currently running or future studies.
We are also actively seeking students who would like to do an internship in our research group. For more information, please follow this link.
Motivation in performance is often measured via competitions. Winning a competition has been found to increase the motivation to perform in subsequent competitions. One potential neurobiological mechanism that regulates the motivation to compete involves sex hormones, such as the steroids testosterone and estradiol. A wealth of studies in both nonhuman animals and humans have shown that a rise in testosterone levels before and after winning a competition enhances the motivation to compete. There is strong evidence for acute behavioral effects in response to steroid hormones. Intriguingly, a substantial testosterone surge following a win also appears to improve an individual’s performance in later contests resulting in a higher probability of winning again. These effects may occur via androgen and estrogen pathways modulating dopaminergic regions, thereby behavior on longer timescales. Hormones thus not only regulate and control social behavior but are also key to adult neurobehavioral plasticity. Here, we present literature showing hormone-driven behavioral effects that persist for extended periods of time beyond acute effects of the hormone, highlighting a fundamental role of sex steroid hormones in adult neuroplasticity. We provide an overview of the relationship between testosterone, motivation measured from objective effort, and their influence in enhancing subsequent effort in competitions. Implications for an important role of testosterone in enabling neuroplasticity to improve performance will be discussed.
Losecaat Vermeer A.B, Riecansky I, Eisenegger C. Competition, sex hormones and adult neurobehavioral plasticity, Progress in Brain Research, 2016, 229, 213-238. PDF
"Effects of testosterone administration on strategic gambling in poker play" published in "Scientific Reports"
Testosterone has been associated with economically egoistic and materialistic behaviors, but defensibly driven by reputable status seeking- also with economically fair, generous and cooperative behaviors. Problematically, social status and economic resources are inextricably intertwined in humans, thus testosterone’s primal motives are concealed. We critically addressed this issue by performing a placebo-controlled single-dose testosterone administration in young women, who played a game of bluff poker wherein concerns for status and resources collide. The profit-maximizing strategy in this game is to mislead the other players by bluffing randomly (independent of strength of the hand), thus also when holding very poor cards (cold bluffing). The profit-maximizing strategy also dictates the players in this poker game to never call the other players’ bluffs. For reputable-status seeking these materialistic strategies are disadvantageous; firstly, being caught cold bluffing damages one’s reputation by revealing deceptive intent, and secondly, not calling the other players’ bluffs signals submission in blindly tolerating deception. Here we show that testosterone administration in this game of bluff poker significantly reduces random bluffing, as well as cold bluffing, while significantly increasing calling. Our data suggest that testosterone in humans primarily motivates for reputable status seeking, even when this elicits behaviors that are economically disadvantageous.
Van Honk J, Will G-J, Terburg D, Raub W, Eisenegger C, Buskens V. Effects of testosterone administration on strategic gambling in poker play. Scientific Reports. 2016; 6: 18096. PDF