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Most read articles in Cognitive Brain Research — Decision making





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Among the 25 hottest (i.e. most read) articles in the journal Cognitive Brain Research, many are about decision making. Here we bring the chart-toppers. For some of the articles we have also found full PDF links. Hot decision making articles in Cognitive Brain research Functional connectivity with anterior cingulate and orbitofrontal cortices during decision-making. by […]

Posted January 29, 2006 by thomasr

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Among the 25 hottest (i.e. most read) articles in the journal Cognitive Brain Research, many are about decision making. Here we bring the chart-toppers. For some of the articles we have also found full PDF links.

Hot decision making articles in Cognitive Brain research

Functional connectivity with anterior cingulate and orbitofrontal cortices during decision-making. by Cohen et al in Brain Res Cogn Brain Res. 2005 Apr ; 23(1): 61-70

Recent neuroscience research is beginning to discover the brain regions involved in decision-making under uncertainty, but little is known about whether or how these regions functionally interact with each other. Here, we used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine both changes in overall activity and changes in functional connectivity during risk-taking. Results showed that choosing high-risk over low-risk decisions was associated with increased activity in both anterior cingulate and orbitofrontal cortices. Connectivity analyses revealed that largely distinct, but somewhat overlapping, cortical and subcortical regions exhibited significant functional connectivity with anterior cingulate and orbitofrontal cortices. Additionally, connectivity with the anterior cingulate in some regions, including the orbitofrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens, was modulated by the decision participants chose. These findings (1) elucidate large networks of brain regions that are functionally connected with both anterior cingulate and orbitofrontal cortices during decision-making and (2) demonstrate that the roles of orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortices can be functionally differentiated by examining patterns of connectivity.


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The dark side of emotion in decision-making: when individuals with decreased emotional reactions make more advantageous decisions. by Shiv et al. in Brain Res Cogn Brain Res. 2005 Apr ; 23(1): 85-92

Can dysfunction in neural systems subserving emotion lead, under certain circumstances, to more advantageous decisions? To answer this question, we investigated how individuals with substance dependence (ISD), patients with stable focal lesions in brain regions related to emotion (lesion patients), and normal participants (normal controls) made 20 rounds of investment decisions. Like lesion patients, ISD made more advantageous decisions and ultimately earned more money from their investments than the normal controls. When normal controls either won or lost money on an investment round, they adopted a conservative strategy and became more reluctant to invest on the subsequent round, suggesting that they were more affected than lesion patients and ISD by the outcomes of decisions made in the previous rounds.


Prospect theory on the brain? Toward a cognitive neuroscience of decision under risk. by Trepel et al. in Brain Res Cogn Brain Res. 2005 Apr ; 23(1): 34-50

Most decisions must be made without advance knowledge of their consequences. Economists and psychologists have devoted much attention to modeling decisions made under conditions of risk in which options can be characterized by a known probability distribution over possible outcomes. The descriptive shortcomings of classical economic models motivated the development of prospect theory (D. Kahneman, A. Tversky, Prospect theory: An analysis of decision under risk. Econometrica, 4 (1979) 263-291; A. Tversky, D. Kahneman, Advances in prospect theory: Cumulative representation of uncertainty. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 5 (4) (1992) 297-323) the most successful behavioral model of decision under risk. In the prospect theory, subjective value is modeled by a value function that is concave for gains, convex for losses, and steeper for losses than for gains; the impact of probabilities are characterized by a weighting function that overweights low probabilities and underweights moderate to high probabilities. We outline the possible neural bases of the components of prospect theory, surveying evidence from human imaging, lesion, and neuropharmacology studies as well as animal neurophysiology studies. These results provide preliminary suggestions concerning the neural bases of prospect theory that include a broad set of brain regions and neuromodulatory systems. These data suggest that focused studies of decision making in the context of quantitative models may provide substantial leverage towards a fuller understanding of the cognitive neuroscience of decision making.


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Decision making in pathological gambling: a comparison between pathological gamblers, alcohol dependents, persons with Tourette syndrome, and normal controls. by Goudriaan et al. in Brain Res Cogn Brain Res. 2005 Apr ; 23(1): 137-51

Decision making deficits play an important role in the definition of pathological gambling (PG). However, only few empirical studies are available regarding decision making processes in PG. This study therefore compares decision making processes in PG and normal controls in detail using three decision making tasks examining general performance levels on these tasks as well as feedback processing using reaction time analyses. To investigate the specificity of decision making deficits in PG, a substance dependence group (alcohol dependence; AD) and an impulse control disordered group (Tourette syndrome; TS) were included. The PG group (n = 48), AD group (n = 46), TS group (n = 47), and a normal control (NC) group (n = 49) were administered (1) the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), an ecologically valid gambling task; (2) the Card Playing Task, a task measuring perseveration for reward; and (3) a Go/No-Go discrimination task, a task measuring reward and response cost sensitivity. The PG group showed a diminished performance on all tasks and deficient feedback processing as compared to the NC group on the IGT and the Card Playing Task. In general, performance measures were not associated with levels of comorbidity or with self-reported motivational measures. For the larger part, deficiencies in decision making processes in the PG group were also present in the AD group, but not in the TS group. Subgroup analyses revealed larger decision making deficits in pathological slot machine gamblers than in pathological casino gamblers. Deficits in decision making and feedback processing in PG should be addressed in treatment and incorporated more explicitly in theoretical models of PG.


Outcome representations, counterfactual comparisons and the human orbitofrontal cortex: implications for neuroimaging studies of decision-making. by Ursu & Carter in Brain Res Cogn Brain Res. 2005 Apr ; 23(1): 51-60

Recent research suggests that the primate orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is critical for representations of outcomes of actions and their subsequent impact on the control of behavior. In parallel, a recent theory of decision-making called decision affect theory (Mellers, Schwartz, and Ritov, Psychological Science, 1997) emphasizes the role of anticipated affective impact of outcomes in guiding choices, and the effects of comparisons with alternative outcomes (i.e., counterfactual effects). In the context of decision affect theory, we present results from two event-related functional MRI experiments consistent with two hypotheses regarding the role of the human OFC in guiding behavior through outcome representation: (1) counterfactual effects are manifested in the human OFC during expectation of outcomes, such that the anticipated affective impact of outcomes is modulated by the nature of the various possible alternative outcomes; (2) a regional specialization exists in the human prefrontal cortex, such that affective impact of potential negative outcomes of actions is represented mainly by the lateral areas of the OFC, while areas situated progressively more medial and dorsal on the ventral and medial PFC are specifically involved in representing the impact of positively valenced outcomes. We also discuss some of the implications that these hypotheses have for neuroimaging studies of reward processing and decision-making, and for studies of neuropsychiatric disorders in which these processes are thought to be disturbed.


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Neurobiology of decision-making: quo vadis? by Paulus in Brain Res Cogn Brain Res. 2005 Apr ; 23(1): 2-10

Decision-making is an important aspect of daily life. Moreover, dysfunctions of decision-making play a critical role in a number of neuropsychiatric disorders. Several important research groups have contributed a diverse set of approaches to study decision-making and its underlying neurobiology. Insights from these studies may provide important directions for future research in this area.


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