Limits...
Agency modulates the lateral and medial prefrontal cortex responses in belief-based decision making.

Xue G, He Q, Lu ZL, Levin IP, Dong Q, Bechara A - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: However, the neural mechanisms underlying the "agency" effect on belief-based decisions are not well understood.Furthermore, subjects with high external attribution of negative events were more affected by agency at the behavioral and neural levels.These results suggest that the prefrontal decision-making system can be modulated by abstract beliefs, and are thus vulnerable to factors such as false agency and attribution.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: National Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China. guixue@gmail.com

ABSTRACT
Many real-life decisions in complex and changing environments are guided by the decision maker's beliefs, such as her perceived control over decision outcomes (i.e., agency), leading to phenomena like the "illusion of control". However, the neural mechanisms underlying the "agency" effect on belief-based decisions are not well understood. Using functional imaging and a card guessing game, we revealed that the agency manipulation (i.e., either asking the subjects (SG) or the computer (CG) to guess the location of the winning card) not only affected the size of subjects' bets, but also their "world model" regarding the outcome dependency. Functional imaging results revealed that the decision-related activation in the lateral and medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) was significantly modulated by agency and previous outcome. Specifically, these PFC regions showed stronger activation when subjects made decisions after losses than after wins under the CG condition, but the pattern was reversed under the SG condition. Furthermore, subjects with high external attribution of negative events were more affected by agency at the behavioral and neural levels. These results suggest that the prefrontal decision-making system can be modulated by abstract beliefs, and are thus vulnerable to factors such as false agency and attribution.

Show MeSH

Related in: MedlinePlus

Schema of the card guessing game and experimental design.Each trial consisted of three stages: Bet, Choice and Feedback. During the Bet stage, two folded cards were shown on each side of the screen with one as the winning card, and subjects were asked to place their bet ($1, $2, $4 or $8). After a delay (jittered, mean 2s), the Choice stage started. Under the Subject guess (SG) condition, subjects were asked to guess which side their winning card was on. Under the Computer guess (CG) condition, the computer made the choice and subjects were asked to simply confirm the computer’s choice. Subjects were told explicitly in advance that the computer made the choice randomly. After another delay (jitter, mean 2s), the gamble was revealed and the outcome was displayed for 2 seconds. The next trial started after a delay (jittered, mean 2s). Not shown here, the choices of cards from the last five trials were shown at the top-middle of the screen.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection


getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3675124&req=5

pone-0065274-g001: Schema of the card guessing game and experimental design.Each trial consisted of three stages: Bet, Choice and Feedback. During the Bet stage, two folded cards were shown on each side of the screen with one as the winning card, and subjects were asked to place their bet ($1, $2, $4 or $8). After a delay (jittered, mean 2s), the Choice stage started. Under the Subject guess (SG) condition, subjects were asked to guess which side their winning card was on. Under the Computer guess (CG) condition, the computer made the choice and subjects were asked to simply confirm the computer’s choice. Subjects were told explicitly in advance that the computer made the choice randomly. After another delay (jitter, mean 2s), the gamble was revealed and the outcome was displayed for 2 seconds. The next trial started after a delay (jittered, mean 2s). Not shown here, the choices of cards from the last five trials were shown at the top-middle of the screen.

Mentions: Figure 1A depicts the Card Guessing Game and the experimental design. At the beginning of each session, subjects were asked to choose a card (red or black) as their winning card for the session. Each trial consisted of three stages: Betting, Choice and Feedback. During the Betting stage, subjects were asked to place their bet ($1, $2, $4 or $8). After a delay (mean 2s, ranging from 0 to 4 s), subjects were asked to make a choice. Under the SG condition, subjects were asked to guess which side their winning card was on by pressing one of the two buttons. Under the CG condition, the computer made the guess and subjects were asked to simply confirm the computer’s choice. Subjects were told explicitly in advance that the computer made the guess randomly. They were therefore expected to perceive greater control over outcomes in the SG condition than in the CG condition. After another delay (mean 2s, ranging from 0 to 4 seconds), the result was revealed and feedback was delivered for 2 seconds. The next trial started after a jittered delay (mean 2s). There were 63 trials in each 13-minute run. Each subject finished 4 sessions of the Card Game, two under each of the SG and CG conditions, with counterbalanced order across subjects. We did not include the two conditions in the same session because this would interfere with our winning/losing streak manipulation (see below). In order to avoid the wealth effect, they were told in advance that their final payoff would be randomly chosen (by flipping a coin) from one of the four runs.


Agency modulates the lateral and medial prefrontal cortex responses in belief-based decision making.

Xue G, He Q, Lu ZL, Levin IP, Dong Q, Bechara A - PLoS ONE (2013)

Schema of the card guessing game and experimental design.Each trial consisted of three stages: Bet, Choice and Feedback. During the Bet stage, two folded cards were shown on each side of the screen with one as the winning card, and subjects were asked to place their bet ($1, $2, $4 or $8). After a delay (jittered, mean 2s), the Choice stage started. Under the Subject guess (SG) condition, subjects were asked to guess which side their winning card was on. Under the Computer guess (CG) condition, the computer made the choice and subjects were asked to simply confirm the computer’s choice. Subjects were told explicitly in advance that the computer made the choice randomly. After another delay (jitter, mean 2s), the gamble was revealed and the outcome was displayed for 2 seconds. The next trial started after a delay (jittered, mean 2s). Not shown here, the choices of cards from the last five trials were shown at the top-middle of the screen.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3675124&req=5

pone-0065274-g001: Schema of the card guessing game and experimental design.Each trial consisted of three stages: Bet, Choice and Feedback. During the Bet stage, two folded cards were shown on each side of the screen with one as the winning card, and subjects were asked to place their bet ($1, $2, $4 or $8). After a delay (jittered, mean 2s), the Choice stage started. Under the Subject guess (SG) condition, subjects were asked to guess which side their winning card was on. Under the Computer guess (CG) condition, the computer made the choice and subjects were asked to simply confirm the computer’s choice. Subjects were told explicitly in advance that the computer made the choice randomly. After another delay (jitter, mean 2s), the gamble was revealed and the outcome was displayed for 2 seconds. The next trial started after a delay (jittered, mean 2s). Not shown here, the choices of cards from the last five trials were shown at the top-middle of the screen.
Mentions: Figure 1A depicts the Card Guessing Game and the experimental design. At the beginning of each session, subjects were asked to choose a card (red or black) as their winning card for the session. Each trial consisted of three stages: Betting, Choice and Feedback. During the Betting stage, subjects were asked to place their bet ($1, $2, $4 or $8). After a delay (mean 2s, ranging from 0 to 4 s), subjects were asked to make a choice. Under the SG condition, subjects were asked to guess which side their winning card was on by pressing one of the two buttons. Under the CG condition, the computer made the guess and subjects were asked to simply confirm the computer’s choice. Subjects were told explicitly in advance that the computer made the guess randomly. They were therefore expected to perceive greater control over outcomes in the SG condition than in the CG condition. After another delay (mean 2s, ranging from 0 to 4 seconds), the result was revealed and feedback was delivered for 2 seconds. The next trial started after a jittered delay (mean 2s). There were 63 trials in each 13-minute run. Each subject finished 4 sessions of the Card Game, two under each of the SG and CG conditions, with counterbalanced order across subjects. We did not include the two conditions in the same session because this would interfere with our winning/losing streak manipulation (see below). In order to avoid the wealth effect, they were told in advance that their final payoff would be randomly chosen (by flipping a coin) from one of the four runs.

Bottom Line: However, the neural mechanisms underlying the "agency" effect on belief-based decisions are not well understood.Furthermore, subjects with high external attribution of negative events were more affected by agency at the behavioral and neural levels.These results suggest that the prefrontal decision-making system can be modulated by abstract beliefs, and are thus vulnerable to factors such as false agency and attribution.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: National Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China. guixue@gmail.com

ABSTRACT
Many real-life decisions in complex and changing environments are guided by the decision maker's beliefs, such as her perceived control over decision outcomes (i.e., agency), leading to phenomena like the "illusion of control". However, the neural mechanisms underlying the "agency" effect on belief-based decisions are not well understood. Using functional imaging and a card guessing game, we revealed that the agency manipulation (i.e., either asking the subjects (SG) or the computer (CG) to guess the location of the winning card) not only affected the size of subjects' bets, but also their "world model" regarding the outcome dependency. Functional imaging results revealed that the decision-related activation in the lateral and medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) was significantly modulated by agency and previous outcome. Specifically, these PFC regions showed stronger activation when subjects made decisions after losses than after wins under the CG condition, but the pattern was reversed under the SG condition. Furthermore, subjects with high external attribution of negative events were more affected by agency at the behavioral and neural levels. These results suggest that the prefrontal decision-making system can be modulated by abstract beliefs, and are thus vulnerable to factors such as false agency and attribution.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus