Examining the Neural Correlates of Choice Behavior in a Gambling Task Using Steady State Topography

The present study investigated the behavioral and neuropsychological characteristics of decision-making behavior during a gambling task as well as how these characteristics may relate to the Somatic Marker Hypothesis and the Frequency of Gain model. The applicability to intertemporal choice was also discussed. Patterns of card selection during a computerized interpretation of the Iowa Gambling Task were assessed for 10 men and 10 women. Steady State Topography was employed to assess cortical processing throughout this task. Results supported the hypothesis that patterns of card selection were in line with both theories. As hypothesized, these 2 patterns of card selection were also associated with distinct patterns of cortical activity, suggesting that intertemporal choice may involve the recruitment of right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex for somatic labeling, left fusiform gyrus for object representations, and the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex for an analysis of the associated frequency of gain or loss. It is suggested that processes contributing to intertemporal choice may include inhibition of negatively valenced options, guiding decisions away from those options, as well as computations favoring frequently rewarded options.

Keywords: SSVEP, decision making, intertemporal choice, EEG


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