Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Erin Tone

Second Advisor

Jessica Turner


In interpersonal interactions, socially anxious individuals continuously monitor for social threats and fear negative evaluation from their peers. We know little about whether these cognitive biases correlate with patterns of brain function in relevant regions that have been associated with evaluation of self and others. Recent evidence implicates neural structures critical to perspective-taking and the processing of uncertainty may function atypically in those who are anxious. In the present study, we examined neural activity in two such regions of the brain—the temporoparietal junction and the anterior midcingulate cortex — during Prisoner’s Dilemma game play. There were no significant group differences in activation in both regions during the processing of partner choice and anticipation of outcome during gameplay. However, there were significant differences in the processing of social feedback. These findings provide evidence that Prisoner’s Dilemma researchers should begin to consider how social and monetary context affects decision-making in diverse populations.