The desire for retaliation is a common response across a majority of human societies. However, the neural mechanisms underlying aggression and retaliation remain unclear. Previous studies on social intentions are confounded by a low-level response-related brain activity. Using an Electroencephalogram (EEG)-based brain-computer interface combined with the Chicken Game, our study examined the neural dynamics of aggression and retaliation after controlling for nonessential response-related neural signals. Our results show that aggression is associated with reduced alpha event-related desynchronization (alpha-ERD), indicating reduced mental effort. Moreover, retaliation and tit-for-tat strategy use are also linked with smaller alpha-ERD. Our study provides a novel method to minimize motor confounds and demonstrates that choosing aggression and retaliation is less effortful in social conflicts.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Chicken Game
- alpha event-related desynchronization
- brain-computer interface