Neural correlates of decision making on a gambling task

Stephanie M. Carlson, Vivian Zayas, Amy Guthormsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Individual differences in affective decision making were examined by recording event-related potentials (ERPs) while 74 typically developing 8-year-olds (38 boys, 36 girls) completed a 4-choice gambling task (Hungry Donkey Task; E. A. Crone & M. W. van der Molen, 2004). ERP results indicated: (a) a robust P300 component in response to feedback (punishment vs. reward outcomes), (b) anticipation effects (stimulus-preceding negativity) prior to outcomes presented on frequent (vs. infrequent) punishment choices, (c) anticipation effects prior to selections associated with short and long-term losses (vs. gains), and (d) individual differences in ERP components were significantly correlated with behavioral performance and verbal ability. These findings suggest that neurophysiological responses may be an index of children's trait-based and/or developmental level of decision-making skills in affective-motivational situations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1076-1096
Number of pages21
JournalChild development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2009


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