News Releases & Research Results Brain system involved in concern over others’ gain: neuronal mechanism to process and integrate information on reward obtained by self and others

News Releases & Research Results


The results of collaborative research conducted by Assistant Professor Atsushi Noritake, Assistant Professor Taihei Ninomiya, and Professor Masaki Isoda of National Institute for Physiological Sciences, National Institutes of Natural Sciences.

The key results of research are as follows:

  • A part of the mechanism to process and integrate information on reward obtained by self and others was revealed through analysis of brain activity in the case where the reward value of self was affected by that of others.
  • Specifically, a behavioral experiment using two monkeys facing each other revealed that neuronal cells located in the animals’ lateral hypothalamus* were involved in processing information on the subjective value of own reward by taking account of the other’s reward information (the animals received some juice as a reward in the experiment).
    * The brain region located outside the hypothalamus. It is responsible for instinct activities and regulation of the body’s internal environment.
  • In the future, these research results may contribute to a further clinical study on the involvement of the lateral hypothalamus in social communication problems observed in neuronal development impairment such as autism spectrum disorder and mental illnesses like schizophrenia.

This research project was conducted with the support of Strategic Research Program for Brain Sciences by AMED.

The results of research were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, on February 25.



Last updated 02/25/20