Tobias Kalenscher

Tobias Kalenscher
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf | HHU · Comparative Psychology

PhD

About

105
Publications
29,103
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
2,150
Citations
Additional affiliations
March 2011 - present
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
Position
  • Principal Investigator
November 2005 - February 2011
University of Amsterdam
Position
  • PostDoc Position
May 2001 - June 2005
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (105)
Article
Disadvantageous inequity aversion (IA) is a behavioural response to an inequitable outcome distribution yielding a smaller reward to oneself than to a conspecific, given comparable efforts to obtain the reward. This behavioural response aims to minimize unfair reward distributions. It has been proposed to be essential for the emergence of cooperati...
Article
A contemporary research agenda in behavioral economics and neuroeconomics aims to identify individual differences and (neuro)psychological correlates of rationality. This research has been widely received in important interdisciplinary and field outlets. However, the psychometric reliability of such measurements of rationality has been presumed wit...
Article
Full-text available
Deficits in social interaction or social cognition are key phenotypes in a variety of chronic mental diseases, yet, their modeling and molecular dissection are only in their infancy. The Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) signaling pathway is considered to play a role in different psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, and biopo...
Article
The human tendency to share goods with others at personal costs declines across the perceived social distance to them, an observation termed social discounting. Cumulating evidence suggests that social preferences are influenced by the agent’s neurohormonal state. Here we tested whether endogenous fluctuations in steroid hormone compositions across...
Article
Full-text available
Choice-consistency is considered a hallmark of rational value-based choice. However, because the cognitive apparatus supporting decision-making is imperfect, real decision-makers often show some degree of choice inconsistency. Cognitive models are necessary to complement idealized choice axioms with attention, perception and memory processes. Speci...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) signaling pathway is considered to play a key role in schizophrenia, depression, autism and other psychiatric disorders. DISC1 is involved in regulating the dopaminergic neurotransmission in, among others, the mesolimbic reward system. A transgenic rat line tgDISC1 has been introduced as a model system to st...
Preprint
Choice-consistency is considered a hallmark of rational value-based choice. However, because the cognitive apparatus supporting decision-making is imperfect, real decision-makers often show some degree of choice inconsistency. Cognitive models are necessary to complement idealized choice axioms with attention, perception and memory processes. Speci...
Preprint
Full-text available
We live in a world of limited resources. Optimal use of resources is therefore of great importance for survival. Previous studies have shown that rodents optimize their allocation of a limited number of operant responses (akin to a finite budget) to trade for food rewards. Here, we propose a novel human cost-benefit decision paradigm translated fro...
Preprint
Neoclassic economic choice theory assumes that decision-makers make choices as if they were rational agents. This assumption has been critically challenged over the last decades, yet systematic aggregation of evidence beyond single experiments is still surprisingly sparse. Here, we asked how robust choice-consistency, as a proxy for rationality, is...
Preprint
Full-text available
Contemporarily, experimental investigations of revealed preference choice consistency utilize different tasks interchangeably. However, the reliability of choice consistency measurements among (inter-method) and within tasks (test-retest) has not been determined so far. Hence, it is unclear whether estimations of choice consistency fulfill a basic...
Article
Full-text available
Generosity toward others declines across the perceived social distance to them. Here, participants chose between selfish and costly generous options in two conditions: in the gain frame, a generous choice yielded a gain to the other; in the loss frame, it entailed preventing the loss of a previous endowment to the other. Social discounting was redu...
Article
Full-text available
Social animals tend to possess an elaborate vocal communication repertoire, and rats are no exception. Rats utilize ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) to communicate information about a wide range of socially relevant cues, as well as information regarding the valence of the behavior and/or surrounding environment. Both quantitative and qualitative ac...
Article
Full-text available
A sample of 144 participants underwent the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), a psychosocial stress manipulation involving a mock interview and a mental arithmetic task, or a matched control procedure. Physiological stress was estimated via a collection of 7 saliva samples over the course of the experiment analysed for cortisol and alpha-amylase, as...
Chapter
Full-text available
Rats are social animals. For example, rats exhibit mutual-reward preferences, preferring choice alternatives that yield a reward to themselves as well as to a conspecific, over alternatives that yield a reward only to themselves. We have recently hypothesized that such mutual-reward preferences might be the result of reinforcing properties of ultra...
Article
Full-text available
Important decisions are often made under some degree of stress. It is now well-established that acute stress affects preferences and priorities in our decisions. However, it is hard to make a general case on the net impact of stress on decision-making quality in a normative sense as evidence for or against a direct effect of stress on decision-maki...
Article
Demand theory can be applied to analyze how animal consumers change their selection of commodities in response to changes in commodity prices, given budget constraints. Previous work has shown that demand elasticities in rats differed between uncompensated budget conditions in which the budget available to be spent on the commodities (e.g., the fin...
Article
Full-text available
Functional recovery after stroke is dose-dependent on the amount of rehabilitative training. However, rehabilitative training is subject to motivational hurdles. Decision neuroscience formalizes drivers and dampers of behaviour and provides strategies for tipping motivational trade-offs and behaviour change. Here, we used one such strategy, upfront...
Book
Full-text available
This open access book presents novel theoretical, empirical and experimental work exploring the nature of mental representations that support natural language production and understanding, and other manifestations of cognition. One fundamental question raised in the text is whether requisite knowledge structures can be adequately modeled by means o...
Article
Full-text available
Rats show mutual-reward preferences, i.e., they prefer options that result in a reward for both themselves and a conspecific partner to options that result in a reward for themselves, but not for the partner. In a previous study, we have shown that lesions of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) reduced choices for mutual rewards. Here, we aimed to explo...
Article
Social interaction entails keeping an eye on good and bad things happening to others. A new study suggests that neurons in rat anterior cingulate cortex encode the attention paid to rewards and shocks to conspecifics, independently of empathically feeling their joy and pain.
Article
Full-text available
Many species, including rats, are sensitive to social signals and their valuation is important in social learning. Here we introduce a task that investigates if mutual reward delivery in male rats can drive associative learning. We found that when actor rats have fully learned a stimulus-self-reward association, adding a cue that predicted addition...
Article
Full-text available
Many species, including rats, are sensitive to social signals and their valuation is important in social learning. Here we introduce a task that investigates if mutual reward delivery in male rats can drive associative learning. We found that when actor rats have fully learned a stimulus-self-reward association, adding a cue that predicted addition...
Article
Full-text available
Many species, including rats, are sensitive to social signals and their valuation is important in social learning. Here we introduce a task that investigates if mutual reward delivery in male rats can drive associative learning. We found that when actor rats have fully learned a stimulus-self-reward association, adding a cue that predicted addition...
Article
Most individuals are willing to forego resources for the benefit of others, but their willingness to do so typically declines as a function of social distance between the donor and recipient, a phenomenon termed social discounting. We recently showed that participants were more altruistic towards strangers when a costly generous choice was framed a...
Article
Full-text available
Deterioration in working memory capacity (WMC) has been associated with normal aging, but it remains unknown how age affects the relationship between WMC and connectivity within functional brain networks. We therefore examined the predictability of WMC from fMRI-based resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) within eight meta-analytically defin...
Article
Full-text available
Regional connectivity-based parcellation (rCBP) is a widely used procedure for investigating the structural and functional differentiation within a region of interest (ROI) based on its long-range connectivity. No standardized software or guidelines currently exist for applying rCBP, making the method only accessible to those who develop their own...
Preprint
Many species, including humans, are sensitive to social signals and their valuation is important in social learning. When social cues indicate that another is experiencing reward, they could convey vicarious reward value and prompt social learning. Here, we introduce a task that investigates if vicarious reward delivery in male rats can drive reinf...
Preprint
Many rational choice theories posit that rational decision makers assign subjective values to all available choice options and choose the option with highest subjective value. Choice options are usually composed of multiple attributes, e.g. healthiness and taste in dietary choice or risk and expected returns in financial choice. These attributes ha...
Article
Full-text available
In human and nonhuman primates, sex differences typically explain much interindividual variability. Male and female behaviors may have played unique roles in the likely coevolution of increasing brain volume and more complex social dynamics. To explore possible divergence in social brain morphology between men and women living in different social e...
Article
Full-text available
Stress changes our social behavior. Traditionally, stress has been associated with “fight-or-flight” – the tendency to attack an aggressor, or escape the stressor. But stress may also promote the opposite pattern, i.e., “tend-and-befriend” – increased prosociality toward others. It is currently unclear which situational or physiological factors pro...
Article
Full-text available
People do not only feel guilty for transgressions that they are causally responsible for (i.e., personal guilt); they also feel guilty for transgressions committed by those they identify as in-group members (i.e., collective or group-based guilt). Decades of research using scenario-based imagination tasks and self-reported measures has shown that w...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sacrificing own resources for the benefit of others is a prerequisite for society to function well. The willingness to do so, however, greatly declines as the perceived social distance from the other persons increases. Here, we asked if describing a generous choice as preventing a loss to others rather than granting them a gain would promote genero...
Article
Rats emit vocalizations in the ultrasonic range (ultrasonic vocalizations; USVs), of which 50-kHz USVs could communicate positive affective states and induce approach behavior in conspecifics, whereas 22-kHz USVs might signal negative affective states and potential threats. Listening to 50-kHz USVs can be rewarding, but it is unknown which brain me...
Article
What do hard intellectual work and intense physical training have in common? New research suggests that both types of effort exhaust the brain's executive control system, leading to reduced excitability of the lateral prefrontal cortex and stronger preference for immediate rewards in economic decision-making.
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates whether sharing behavior is multidimensional and embedded in social organization and modes of economic production. It uses a modified dictator game varying social distance to the recipient and varying the resource (money vs. six in‐kind resources) being shared among the pastoral Maasai of Kenya. Results show that both social...
Preprint
Full-text available
People do not only feel guilty for transgressions of social norms/expectations that they are causally responsible for, but they also feel guilty for transgressions committed by those they identify as in-group (i.e., collective or group-based guilt). However, the neurocognitive basis of group-based guilt and its relation to personal guilt are unknow...
Article
Full-text available
Research over the last decades has shown that humans and other animals reveal behavioral and emotional responses to unequal reward distributions between themselves and other conspecifics. However, cross-species findings about the mechanisms underlying such inequity aversion are heterogeneous, and there is an ongoing discussion if inequity aversion...
Article
Full-text available
Letting effort-free gratification derail us from effort-requiring goals is one reason why we fail to realize health-relevant intentions like ‘exercise regularly’. We tested the effectiveness of the self-control strategy precommitment in such effort-related conflicts, using a novel laboratory choice paradigm, where participants could precommit to an...
Article
In our recent paper, subject-wise resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) within each brain network was determined by extracting the time series for all nodes based on 6-mm spheres around the meta-analytically derived peaks. Subsequently, edge-wise RSFC between all nodes was computed as pairwise Pearson correlations between all the time series...
Article
Full-text available
Women are known to have stronger prosocial preferences than men, but it remains an open question as to how these behavioural differences arise from differences in brain functioning. Here, we provide a neurobiological account for the hypothesized gender difference. In a pharmacological study and an independent neuroimaging study, we tested the hypot...
Article
Full-text available
Decisions between differently timed outcomes are a well-studied topic in as diverse academic disciplines as economics, psychology, and behavioral ecology. Humans and other animals have been shown to make these intertemporal choices by hyperbolically devaluing rewards as a function of their delays (“delay discounting”), thus often deemed to behave m...
Article
Neuroimaging evidence suggests that executive functions (EF) depend on brain regions that are not closely tied to specific cognitive demands but rather to a wide range of behaviors. A multiple-demand (MD) system has been proposed, consisting of regions showing conjoint activation across multiple demands. Additionally, a number of studies defining n...
Article
Previous whole-brain functional connectivity studies achieved successful classifications of patients and healthy controls but only offered limited specificity as to affected brain systems. Here, we examined whether the connectivity patterns of functional systems affected in schizophrenia (SCZ), Parkinson's disease (PD), or normal aging equally tran...
Article
Full-text available
Extraordinary altruists risk their own health and life to help anonymous strangers. A study now shows that extraordinary altruists are motivated to do good to distant others not because they feel socially closer to them, but because they genuinely care more for the welfare of strangers. http://rdcu.be/rKaS
Article
Loss aversion is a well-known behavioral regularity in financial decision-making, describing humans’ tendency to overweigh losses compared to gains of the same amount. Recent research indicates that stress and associated hormonal changes affect loss aversion, yet the underlying neuroendocrine mechanisms are still poorly understood. Here, we investi...
Article
Full-text available
Humans often give in to temptations that are in conflict with valuable long-term goals like health or saving for the future. Such willpower failures represent a prevalent problem in everyday life and in many psychiatric disorders. Strategies that increase resistance to temptations could therefore improve overall societal well-being. One important s...
Article
Callous-unemotional traits - the insensitivity to other's welfare and well-being - are characterized by a lack of empathy. They are characteristic of psychopathy and can be found in other anti-social disorders, such as conduct disorder. Because of the increasing prevalence of anti-social disorders and the rising societal costs of violence and aggre...
Article
Full-text available
We live busy, social lives, and meeting the challenges of our complex environments puts strain on our cognitive systems. However, cognitive resources are limited. It is unclear how cognitive load affects social decision making. Previous findings on the effects of cognitive load on other-regarding preferences have been ambiguous, allowing no coheren...
Article
Full-text available
Neurobiological models of self-control predominantly focus on the role of prefrontal brain mechanisms involved in emotion regulation and impulse control. We provide evidence for an entirely different neural mechanism that promotes self-control by overcoming bias for the present self, a mechanism previously thought to be mainly important for interpe...
Article
Full-text available
Although the use of neuroimaging techniques has revealed much about the neural correlates of social decision making (SDM) in humans, it remains poorly understood how social stimuli are represented, and how social decisions are implemented at the neural level in humans and in other species. To address this issue, the establishment of novel animal pa...
Article
Full-text available
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is a widely used treatment for the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). DBS or pharmacological treatment is believed to modulate the tendency to, or reverse, impulse control disorders. Several brain areas involved in impulsivity and reward valuation, such as the prefrontal cortex...
Research
Full-text available
Sham-operated animals revealed a significant preference for the Both-Reward-option in the partner condition, but not in the toy condition. Amygdala-lesioned animals exhibited significantly lower Both-Reward preferences than the sham group in the partner but not in the toy condition, suggesting that basolateral amygdala was required for the expressi...
Article
Full-text available
As the population of older adults grows, their economic choices will have increasing impact on society. Research on the effects of aging on intertemporal decisions shows inconsistent, often opposing results, indicating that yet unexplored factors might play an essential role in guiding one's choices. Recent studies suggest that episodic future thin...
Article
Stress is often associated with a tend-and-befriend response, a putative coping mechanism where people behave generously towards others in order to invest in social relationships to seek comfort and mutual protection. However, this increase in generosity is expected to be directed only towards a delimited number of socially close, but not distant i...