Neurosciences: reveal secrets of successful negotiation

Agustín Ibañez and Margherita Melloni, coauthors of the work on cerebral bases of the negotiation.

Negotiation is the cornerstone of life in common. For families, entrepreneurs, politicians or neighbors to enter into harmonious relationships, they have to implement successful negotiation strategies. It is not necessary to be very wise to notice it. But now, a team of Argentine neuroscientists not only mapped the brain regions involved in these operations, but revealed the key to obtaining the best returns. Moreover, their results do not coincide with the postulates of the so-called Theory of Games, an area of mathematics that is used to formalize human behavior.

"Using various techniques, we show that successful social negotiation depends critically on the integrity of pre-frontal areas," says Agustín Ibañez, director of the Institute for Cognitive and Translational Neuroscience (INCYT, a triple dependency: Conicet-Ineco-Favaloro) We find that this capacity is accompanied by an oscillatory activity anticipated in the brain of the one who makes an offer and who predicts the decisions of the others.
To find out what the success of a negotiation such as a parent with their eight-year-old daughter might have about how much time she will spend studying and how much to play, or that of a woman and her partner about going on vacation to The beach or the mountain, or those of two countries in conflict that try to avoid a war for a disputed territory, the scientists proposed to a group of patients with injuries (frontotemporal dementia, frontal lesions and Alzheimer's disease) and to another one of control (Composed of healthy people) to play twenty times the "Ultimatum", a game that consists of which one makes an offer and the other can accept it or not. If he does not accept it, they lose both.

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