Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Neural basis of corruption in power-holders

Abstract : Corruption often involves bribery, when a briber suborns a power-holder to gain advantages usually at a cost of moral transgression. Despite its wide presence in human societies, the neurocomputational basis of bribery remains elusive. Here, using model-based fMRI, we investigated the neural substrates of how a power-holder decides to accept or reject a bribe. Power-holders considered two types of moral cost brought by taking bribes: the cost of conniving with a fraudulent briber, encoded in the anterior insula, and the harm brought to a third party, represented in the right temporoparietal junction. These moral costs were integrated into a value signal in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was selectively engaged to guide anti-corrupt behaviors when a third party would be harmed. Multivariate and connectivity analyses further explored how these neural processes depend on individual differences. These findings advance our understanding of the neurocomputational mechanisms underlying corrupt behaviors.
Keywords : Neuroeconomics
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Emlyon Business School <>
Submitted on : Friday, April 9, 2021 - 9:00:03 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, April 10, 2021 - 3:26:15 AM


Publisher files allowed on an open archive


  • HAL Id : hal-03193724, version 1



Yang Hu, Chen Hu, Edmund Derrington, Brice Corgnet, Chen Qu, et al.. Neural basis of corruption in power-holders. eLife, eLife Sciences Publication, 2021, 27 p. ⟨hal-03193724⟩



Record views


Files downloads