File(s) under embargo
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Neural mechanisms underlying trust to friends, community members, and unknown peers in adolescence - Tasks and questions
This is a publication package for the article ‘Neural mechanisms underlying trust to friends, community members, and unknown peers in adolescence’, which can be found here: [link will be added upon acceptance of the paper].
Trust plays an important role during adolescence for developing social relations. While prior developmental studies give us insight into adolescents’ development of differentiation between close (e.g., friends) and unknown (e.g., unknown peers) targets in trust choices, less is known about the development of trust to societal targets (e.g., members of a community organization), and its underlying neural mechanisms. Using a modified version of the Trust Game, our preregistered fMRI study examined the underlying neural mechanisms of trust to close (friend), societal (community member), and unknown others (unknown peer) during adolescence in 106 participants (aged 12-23). Adolescents showed most trust to friends, less trust to community members, and the least trust to unknown peers. Neural results show that target differentiation in adolescents’ trust behavior is associated with activity in social brain regions implicated during mentalizing, reward processing, and cognitive control. Recruitment of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and orbitofrontal cortex was higher for closer targets (i.e., friend and community member). For the mPFC, this effect was most pronounced during no trust choices. Trust to friends was additionally associated with increased activity in the precuneus and bilateral temporal parietal junction. In contrast, bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex were most active for trust to unknown peers. The mPFC showed increased activity with age and consistent relations with individual differences in feeling needed/useful.
This publication package contains the tasks and questions used in the study. In this study, a modified version of the Trust Game was used, which we introduced to participants as the ‘Color game’ (in Dutch: ‘kleurenspel’) to avoid influencing participants’ trust choices.