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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Behav. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00191

Time course of the neural activity related to behavioral Decision-Making as revealed by event-related potentials

  • 1Faculty of Psychology, University of Murcia, Spain
  • 2University of Granada, Spain
  • 3Research Institute on Health Sciences, University of Balearic Islands, Spain

Objective: To study the time course of the electrocortical activity evoked by gains and losses in the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), the brain sources of this electrical activity, and its association with behavioral parameters of task performance in order to achieve a better knowledge of decision-making processes.
Method: Event related potentials (ERPs) were obtained from a 64-channel EEG in 25 participants when performing the IGT. Brain source localization analyses of the ERP components were also assessed.
Results: ERP amplitudes were sensitive to gains and losses. An early fronto-central negativity was elicited when feedback was provided for both gains and losses, and correlated with the number of gains at FCz and with the number of both gains and losses at Cz. The P200 component had larger amplitudes to losses and correlated positively with the number of losses. Feedback related negativity (FRN) was higher at frontal, temporal and occipital electrodes in trials with monetary losses. In addition, trials with monetary losses elicited larger P300 magnitudes than trials with monetary gains at all electrode localizations. Conclusions: All ERP components (except P300) were related to participants' performance in the IGT. Amplitudes of P200 and P300 were associated with the conscious recognition of the error during the decision-making. Performance data and source analysis underline the importance of the medial prefrontal cortex when processing feedback about monetary losses in the IGT.

Keywords: Decision Making, Evoked Potential, feedback learning, P300 component, P200 component

Received: 10 Nov 2018; Accepted: 06 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Martinez-Selva, Muñoz, Sanchez-Navarro, Walteros and Montoya. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Miguel Á. Muñoz, University of Granada, Granada, Spain, mamuoz@ugr.es