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Brain maps of Iowa gambling task

C. M. Cheng, Yao-Chu Chiu, Jen-Chuen Hsieh, C. H. Lin

Background: Somatic Marker Hypothesis (SMH), based on clinical observations, delineates neuronal networks for interpreting consciousness generation and decision-making. The Iowa gambling task (IGT) was designed to verify the SMH. However, more and more behavioral and brain imaging studies had reported incongruent results that pinpointed a need to re-evaluate the central representations of SMH. The current study used event-related fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to examine neural correlates of anticipation vs. outcome, wins vs. losses, and differential decks' contingencies of IGT. Results: Behavioral results showed a prominent effect of frequency in driving choices. The insula and basal ganglia were activated during the anticipation phase while the inferior parietal lobule was activated during the outcome phase. The activation of medial prefrontal cortex was especially targeted during the high punishment contingencies. The data suggest that under uncertainty the normal decision makers can become myopic. Conclusion: The insula and basal ganglia might play a vital role in long-term guidance of decision-making. Inferior parietal lobule might participate in evaluating the consequence and medial prefrontal cortex may service the function of error monitoring.

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: article in journal •
published in
: 2008 •
: BMC Neuroscience •
: adult, basal ganglia, brain, cerebral cortex, computer-assisted, decision-making, emotions, experimental, female, gambling, games, humans, image processing, magnetic resonance imaging, male, neuropsychological tests, parietal lobe, prefrontal cortex, psychological theories, punishment, risk-taking