Superiority illusion arises from resting-state brain networks modulated by dopamine

Makiko Yamada, Lucina Q. Uddin, Hidehiko Takahashi, Yasuyuki Kimura, Keisuke Takahata, Ririko Kousa, Yoko Ikoma, Yoko Eguchi, Harumasa Takano, Hiroshi Ito, Makoto Higuchi, Tetsuya Suhara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The majority of individuals evaluate themselves as superior to average. This is a cognitive biasknownas the "superiority illusion." This illusion helps us to have hope for the future and is deep-rooted in the process of human evolution. In this study, we examined the default states of neural andmolecular systems that generate this illusion, using resting-state functional MRI and PET. Resting-state functional connectivity between the frontal cortex and striatum regulated by inhibitory dopaminergic neurotransmission determines individual levels of the superiority illusion. Our findings help elucidate how this key aspect of the human mind is biologically determined, and identify potential molecular and neural targets for treatment for depressive realism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4363-4367
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 12 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral control
  • Dorsal anterior cingulate cortex
  • Hopelessness
  • Positive illusion
  • Sensorimotor striatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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