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Gain- and Loss-Related Brain Activation Are Associated with Information Search Differences in Risky Gambles: An fMRI and Eye-Tracking Study.


ABSTRACT: People differ in the way they approach and handle choices with unsure outcomes. In this study, we demonstrate that individual differences in the neural processing of gains and losses relates to attentional differences in the way individuals search for information in gambles. Fifty subjects participated in two independent experiments. Participants first completed an fMRI experiment involving financial gains and losses. Subsequently, they performed an eye-tracking experiment on binary choices between risky gambles, each displaying monetary outcomes and their respective probabilities. We find that individual differences in gain and loss processing relate to attention distribution. Individuals with a stronger reaction to gains in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex paid more attention to monetary amounts, while a stronger reaction in the ventral striatum to losses was correlated with an increased attention to probabilities. Reaction in the posterior cingulate cortex to losses was also found to correlate with an increased attention to probabilities. Our data show that individual differences in brain activity and differences in information search processes are closely linked.

SUBMITTER: Hausler AN 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5032244 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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