Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Cognitive control in altruism and self-control: A social cognitive neuroscience perspective

Jeremy R. Gray a1 and Todd S. Braver a1
a1 Department of Psychology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130 [email protected] [email protected]


The primrose path and prisoner's dilemma paradigms may require cognitive (executive) control: The active maintenance of context representations in lateral prefrontal cortex to provide top-down support for specific behaviors in the face of short delays or stronger response tendencies. This perspective suggests further tests of whether altruism is a type of self-control, including brain imaging, induced affect, and dual-task studies.