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Hierarchical Organization of Cortical Morphology of Decision-Making when Deconstructing Iowa Gambling Task Performance in Healthy Adults

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 March 2012

David A. Gansler*
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts
Matthew W. Jerram
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts
Tracy D. Vannorsdall
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
David J. Schretlen
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
*
Correspondence and reprint requests to: David A. Gansler, Suffolk University, Department of Psychology, 41 Temple Street, Boston, MA 02114. E-mail: dgansler@suffolk.edu

Abstract

The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) is a measure of decision-making, in which alternative metrics have greater construct validity than conventional metrics. No large scale study has examined the neural correlates in healthy adults. We administered the IGT and structural MRI to 124 healthy participants. We analyzed the conventional IGT metric of advantageous minus disadvantageous choices (i.e., decks C + D minus decks A + B), and three alternative metrics based on choices from decks D and A alone, and all selections from each deck. Using regression and voxel-based morphometry, we examined regional gray matter volumes as predictors of IGT performance. No neural correlates of the conventional metric emerged, and the neural correlates of individual deck selections were disparate from one another. Alternative metrics showed expected neural correlates of decision-making in prefrontal cortex, insula, thalamus, and other regions. IGT alternative metrics have neural correlates consistent with decision-making theory as those difference scores reduce heterogeneity in cognitive processes. The CD-AB metric construct failure may reflect an artificial amalgamation of processes. The D-A metric appears to more successfully combine multiple levels of representation (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, sub-cortical, cerebellar). (JINS, 2012, 18, 585–594)

Type
Research Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The International Neuropsychological Society 2012

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