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

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01979

Neural Dynamics Underlying the Evaluation Process of Ambiguous Options During Reward-related Decision-Making

  • 1Nankai University, China
  • 2Fuzhou University, China
  • 3Shandong University, China
  • 4Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, China

Ambiguous decision making involves different processes. However, few studies have been focused on the evaluation process. In this study, event-related potentials (ERPs) and event-related spectrum perturbation (ERSP) techniques were used to explore the neural dynamics underlying the evaluation process of ambiguous options through an ambiguous choice task. Some important results emerged. We found a preference for lotteries with low ambiguity regardless of reward amount, suggesting that subjects were averse to ambiguity in our paradigm. Our electroencephalography (EEG) results clarified the neural dynamics underlying the evaluation process. In the time domain, lotteries with both a larger reward and lower ambiguity elicited a larger P3. In the time-frequency domain, larger amplitudes of delta activity at 200–400 ms and 500–600 ms post-stimulus were elicited by lotteries with low ambiguity. Moreover, lotteries with a larger reward elicited larger amplitudes of delta activity at 400–600 ms post stimulus. Our ERPs and ERSP results suggested that individuals in our paradigm evaluated ambiguity and reward separately, and then integrated their evaluation to form subjective values of different lotteries.

Keywords: Evaluation, neural dynamics, P3, delta activity, Ambiguous options

Received: 03 May 2019; Accepted: 13 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Zhu, Jingjing, Wang, Li and Wang. 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:
Mx. Jianbia Li, Shandong University, Jinan, 250100, Shandong Province, China, biaojl@126.com
Mx. Pengcheng Wang, Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, Tianjin, 300222, Tianjin Municipality, China, chengpw@126.com