Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

To survive, humans must estimate their own ability and the abilities of others. We found that, although people estimated their abilities on the basis of their own performance in a rational manner, their estimates of themselves were partly merged with the performance of others. Reciprocally, their ability estimates for others also reflected their own, as well as the others', performance. Self-other mergence operated in a context-dependent manner: interacting with high or low performers, respectively, enhanced and diminished own ability estimates in cooperative contexts, but the opposite occurred in competitive contexts. Self-other mergence not only influenced subjective evaluations, it also affected how people subsequently objectively adjusted their performance. Perigenual anterior cingulate cortex tracked one's own performance. Dorsomedial frontal area 9 tracked others' performances, but also integrated contextual and self-related information. Self-other mergence increased with the strength of self and other representations in area 9, suggesting it carries interdependent representations of self and other.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





482 - 493


competition, cooperation, decision making, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, fMRI, social cognition, theory of mind, Adult, Brain Mapping, Female, Frontal Lobe, Gyrus Cinguli, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Interpersonal Relations, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Social Behavior, Young Adult