July 26, 2016 08:30 - 10:00

Why do some people engage in immoral love? : Insights from neuroimaging and implicit association test.

[Speaker] Ueda, Ryuhei:1
[Co-author] Yanagisawa, Kuniaki:2, Ashida, Hiroshi:1, Abe, Nobuhito:2
1:Kyoto University, Graduate School of Letters (Japan), 2:Kyoto University, Kokoro Research Center (Japan)

This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study tested whether implicit attitude towards immoral love including adultery or cheating in love could predict individual differences in desire for going on dates with opposite-sex others. The male participants having a romantic partner performed implicit association test (IAT) in which they were required to categorize 'adultery' or 'single-minded' love images as 'good' or 'bad' during fMRI scanning. Subsequently, they were asked to rate how much they wanted to date unfamiliar females. The results demonstrated a behavioral IAT effect; reaction times were slower in the incongruent ('adultery'-'good' or 'single-minded'-'bad') rather than the congruent conditions ('adultery'-'bad' or 'single-minded'-'good'). Neuroimaging results demonstrated increased activation in insula (incongruent vs. congruent trials), a region implicated in aversive affective processing. Importantly, participants showing smaller IAT effect demonstrated higher preference for unfamiliar females. These results help explain why some people engage in immoral love.
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