Neural correlates of deceptive tactics in the primate prefrontal cortex.
Sunday, Oct 14, 2012, 9:00 AM - 9:15 AM
, S. W. CHANG
, E. DU
, M. L. PLATT
Ctr. for Cognitive Neurosci., Duke Univ., Durham, NC;
Dept. of Neurobio., Duke Univ. Sch. of Med., Durham, NC
Social animals possess abilities to communicate diverse information to conspecifics. The function of the social signals used by animals can be to compete or to cooperate, depending on the social context. In sociobiological terms, functional deception consists in acts that provide misleading information to other animals to the benefit of the signaller. Although functional deception has been extensively described by sociobiologists in multiple animal species, the underlying neural processes remain unknown. To investigate this question, we developed a virtual Penalty Kick game, played using joysticks by a competing pair of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). In this game, one player controls a ball and obtains juice for scoring a goal (kicker). Another player controls a paddle and obtains juice for blocking the ball (goalkeeper). When playing against each other, monkeys naturally adopted dynamic behaviors, including curvilinear trajectories that functioned as deceptive movements, triggering reactions of the goalkeeper in the wrong direction. We refer to these functionally-deceptive movements as feints. Analysis of eye movements revealed that kicker monkeys look at the goal during a preparatory period well before their first movement. On feint trials, these early saccades directed to the goal were correlated with the location where the kickers ultimately ended their trajectory. This suggests that the kickers establish part of their tactics at the very beginning of trials. During the Penalty Kick games, preliminary single-unit recordings from two kicker monkeys were obtained from the dorsomedial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DMPFC [n = 31], DLPFC [n=23], respectively), known to participate in deception in humans. We classified trials according to the following categories: straight trajectories, upward feints and downward feints. We were interested in the neural activities during the early part of the trials that could predict selected tactics before their execution. Task-related neurons in the DMPFC all showed strong activation during the performance of the final movement (n = 13) but did not show differential activation in the early part of the trial. In constrast, early activities of task-related neurons in the DLPFC were predictive of the presence of a feint in the trial (n = 12) and a subset showed directional tuning (n = 10). Our results suggest that monkeys interacting with a dynamic partner can learn to perform deceptive tactics and that these tactics are planned ahead at the beginning of the trial. We propose that DLPFC is a critical part of the primate prefrontal network generating functionally deceptive behaviors in primates.
CIHR Doctoral award 84765
NIH T32 Postdoctoral Training Grant 2T32NS051156-06
NIMH Grant MH086712
Ruth K. Broad Biomedical Foundation Postdoctoral Grant
[Authors]. [Abstract Title]. Program No. XXX.XX. 2012 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. New Orleans, LA: Society for Neuroscience, 2012. Online.
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