Reward sensitivity, cognition and metacognition in gambling behavior

Michela Balconi, Roberta Finocchiaro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaContributo a convegnopeer review


Objective: The present research explored the main factors able to influence the subjects’ choices and strategies in the case of decisions, distinguish between high- and low-risk decisions. Behavioral responses (IGT), meta-cognitive strategy, and ERP (FRN and P300) effects were used as predictive markers of gambling behaviour. Participants and Methods: BAS-Reward measure was applied to distinguish between high-BAS and low-BAS. Twenty two healthy volunteers took part in the study (ten women, age range 19-25, M = 23.78, SD = 2.60).The Iowa was used (adaptation for an online italian version). EEG recordings were performed. To localise the source of neural activity, we used the low resolution electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA) method. Results: It was found that higher-BAS opted in favor of the immediate reward (loss strategy). High-BAS subjects were less able to represent their own strategy. Finally, a consistent “reward bias” affected the high-BAS performance with a reduction of P300 and mainly FRN in response to unexpected (loss) events. The cortical localization (sLORETA) of these two deflections showed the contribution by the anterior (left DLPFC and ACC for FRN) and posterior (parietal for P300) cortical areas. Conclusions: The present findings indicate that individuals scoring very high on reward component attribute higher motivational salience to immediate reward compared to more delayed conditions. This is reflected in the reduction of behavioural gaining choices, the absence of a functional metacognitive representations, the reduction of the classical “enhanced effect” for FRN and P300 in case of unexpected (loss) choices. Deficiencies concerning feedback mechanisms were apparent in those individuals who extremely focalized on reward (reward bias) than individuals who did not base their decisions on immediate reward. Thus, we propose to consider reward salience as an important aspect in feedback processes in subjects with high-risky attitudes.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)55-55
Numero di pagine1
RivistaJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2014
EventoInternational Neuropsychological Society 2014 Mid-Year Meeting - Jerusalem
Durata: 9 lug 201411 lug 2014


  • Gambling
  • Reward system


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