Data_Sheet_1_Goal-Conflict EEG Theta and Biased Economic Decisions: A Role for a Second Negative Motivation System.PDF (629.08 kB)

Data_Sheet_1_Goal-Conflict EEG Theta and Biased Economic Decisions: A Role for a Second Negative Motivation System.PDF

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posted on 15.04.2020, 05:13 by Phoebe S.-H. Neo, Jessica Tinker, Neil McNaughton

Economic decision biases can reflect emotion and emotion dysfunction. Economic paradigms thus provide a solid framework for analysis of brain processes related to emotion and its disorders. Importantly for economic decisions, goal-conflict activates different negative motivational processes than pure loss; generating negative decision biases linked to anxiety and fear, respectively. Previously, right frontal goal-conflict specific EEG rhythmicity (GCSR) was shown to reflect anxiety processing. Here, we assessed GCSR in a forced-choice, economic decision-making task. Ninety participants were tested in three key conditions where gain:loss ratios of left mouse clicks were set to 75:25 (GAIN), 50:50 (CONFLICT) and 25:75 (LOSS). Right clicks produced no monetary consequences and skipped the current trial. The participants were not told the different conditions but could learn about them by associating the background stimulus color with the specific payoff. Goal-conflict was defined as the mathematical contrast of activity in CONFLICT minus the average of that in GAIN and LOSS. Replicating previous findings with somewhat different conditions, right frontal GCSR was detected. Importantly, greater right frontal GCSR significantly predicted a preference for economic safety in CONFLICT but not in GAIN or LOSS; but did not predict trait anxiety or neuroticism. We conclude that goal-conflict has unique neuroeconomics effects on choice biases; and that these reflect anxiety processing that is not effectively captured by trait anxiety or neuroticism.

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