Reward bias and lateralization in gambling behavior: behavioral activation system and alpha band analysis

Michela Balconi, Roberta Finocchiaro, Ylenia Canavesio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present research explored the main factors that can influence subjects' choices in the case of decisions. In order to elucidate the individual differences that influence the decisional processes, making their strategies more or less advantageous, we tested the effect of a reward sensitivity in the behavioral activation system (BAS-Reward) constructed on the ability to distinguish between high- and low-risk decisions. Secondly, the lateralization effect, related to increased activation of the left (BAS-related) hemisphere, was explored. Thirty-one subjects were tested using the Iowa Gambling Task, and the BAS-Reward measure was applied to distinguish between high-BAS and low-BAS groups. Behavioral responses (gain/loss options) and alpha-band modulation were considered. It was found that high-BAS group increased their tendency to opt in favor of the immediate reward (loss strategy) rather than the long-term option (win strategy). Secondly, high-BAS subjects showed an increased left-hemisphere activation in response to losing (with immediate reward) choices in comparison with low-BAS subjects. A "reward bias" effect was supposed to explain both the bad strategy and the unbalanced hemispheric activation for high-BAS and more risk-taking subjects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-576
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume219
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • BIS/BAS
  • Brain oscillations
  • Gambling
  • Reward

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