From facial cue to dinner for two: the neural substrates of personal choice

David John Turk, J. F. Banfield, B. R. Walling, T. F. Heatherton, S. T. Grafton, T. C. Handy, M. S. Gazzaniga, Neil Macrae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


The current experiment examined the neural substrates of response selection, comparing conditions that required participants to make criterion-free selections from sets of same-sex faces (i.e., inconsequential decision) to choosing a dinner date from opposite-sex faces (i.e., consequential decision). In each of these tasks, either a single face (i.e., no choice) or two or three faces (i.e., free choice) appeared for selection. The results revealed that regions of dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) and parietal cortex bilaterally, as well as an area along the medial surface of the superior frontal gyrus, were activated by both consequential and inconsequential decisions, thereby providing evidence for a common selection network. Consequential decisions were further indexed by activation of the insula/ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (BA 47) and the paracingulate gyrus (BA 32). The implications of these findings for current accounts of response selection and social-cognitive functioning are considered. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1281-1290
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Early online date18 May 2004
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004


  • event-related
  • fMRI
  • choice
  • response selection
  • social cognition
  • event-related FMRI
  • positron-emission-tomography
  • anterior cingulate cortex
  • prefrontal cortex
  • willed action
  • frontal lobe
  • response inhibition
  • premotor cortex
  • decision making
  • human brain


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