Psychological studies of deductive reasoning have shown that subjects' performance is affected significantly by the content of the presented stimuli. Specifically, subjects find it easier to reason about contexts and situations with a social content. In the present study, the effect of content on brain activation was investigated with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while subjects were solving two versions of the Wason selection task, which previous behavioral studies have shown to elicit a significant content effect. One version described an arbitrary relation between two actions (Descriptive: "If someone does..., then he does...") whereas the other described an exchange of goods between two persons (Social-Exchange: "If you give me..., then I give you...") Random-effect statistical analyses showed that compared to baseline, both tasks activated frontal medial cortex and left dorsolateral frontal and parietal regions, confirming the major role of the left hemisphere in deductive reasoning. In addition, although the two reasoning conditions were identical in logical form, the social-exchange task was also associated with right frontal and parietal activations, mirroring the left-sided activations common to both reasoning tasks. These results suggest that the recruitment of the right hemisphere is dependent on the content of the stimuli presented.

The effect of social content on deductive reasoning : An fMRI study / N. Canessa, A. Gorini, S. Cappa, M. Piattelli-Palmarini, M. Danna, F. Fazio, D. Perani. - In: HUMAN BRAIN MAPPING. - ISSN 1065-9471. - 26:1(2005), pp. 30-43.

The effect of social content on deductive reasoning : An fMRI study

A. Gorini
Secondo
;
2005

Abstract

Psychological studies of deductive reasoning have shown that subjects' performance is affected significantly by the content of the presented stimuli. Specifically, subjects find it easier to reason about contexts and situations with a social content. In the present study, the effect of content on brain activation was investigated with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while subjects were solving two versions of the Wason selection task, which previous behavioral studies have shown to elicit a significant content effect. One version described an arbitrary relation between two actions (Descriptive: "If someone does..., then he does...") whereas the other described an exchange of goods between two persons (Social-Exchange: "If you give me..., then I give you...") Random-effect statistical analyses showed that compared to baseline, both tasks activated frontal medial cortex and left dorsolateral frontal and parietal regions, confirming the major role of the left hemisphere in deductive reasoning. In addition, although the two reasoning conditions were identical in logical form, the social-exchange task was also associated with right frontal and parietal activations, mirroring the left-sided activations common to both reasoning tasks. These results suggest that the recruitment of the right hemisphere is dependent on the content of the stimuli presented.
Conditional rules; Content effect; Deductive reasoning; fMRI; Social exchange; Wason selection task
Settore M-PSI/01 - Psicologia Generale
Article (author)
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/179651
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 12
  • Scopus 46
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 43
social impact