Neurobiological mechanisms of social influence



Recently, the development of non-invasive methods of research of activity of the human brain shed new light on the neurobiological mechanisms of social influence on decision-making. This review presents modern neurobiological studies of social influence and discusses the key theoretical models of possible neurobiological mechanisms underlying social influence. Recent studies have demonstrated changes in the work of neurophysiological system of reinforcement learning and control of activities due to the influence of the social environment. Probably, the deviation of individual opinion from the group behavior (opinions) is interpreted by the nervous system as behavioral error or “reward prediction error”, which starts the process of behavior change, based on the dopaminergic mechanism of reinforcement learning.

General Information

Keywords: social influence, conformity, neuroeconomics, neuroscience, rostral cingulate zone, dopaminergic system, reward prediction error

Journal rubric: Psychophysiology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Klucharev V.A., Zubarev I.P., Shestakova A.N. Neurobiological mechanisms of social influence. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2014. Vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 20–36. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Vasily A. Klucharev, PhD in Biology, Professor, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia; St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia; University of Basel, Switzerland, Basel, Switzerland, e-mail:

Ivan P. Zubarev, St. Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, e-mail:

Anna N. Shestakova, PhD, Director, Centre for Cognition and Decision Making, National Research University Higher School of Economics, St.Petersburg, Russia, e-mail:



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