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Social animals constantly make decisions together. What determines if individuals will subsequently adjust their behavior to align with collective choices? Here, using functional magnetic resonance imaging in humans, we characterize a novel temporal model of brain response from the time a collective decision is made to the time an individual action is required. We reveal that whether a behavioral modification will occur is determined not necessarily by the brain's response to the initial social influence, but by how that response (specifically in the orbitofrontal cortex; OFC) is mirrored at a later time when the individual selects their own action. This result suggests that the OFC may reconstitute an initial state of collective influence when individual action is subsequently needed. Importantly, these dynamics vary across individuals as a function of trait conformity and mediate the relationship between this personality characteristic and behavioral adjustment toward the group.

Original publication




Journal article


J Neurosci

Publication Date





5816 - 5823


OFC, collective behavior, decision-making, fMRI, orbitofrontal cortex, social influence, Adolescent, Adult, Brain, Brain Mapping, Choice Behavior, Cooperative Behavior, Decision Making, Female, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Middle Aged, Photic Stimulation, Social Behavior, Time Factors