Neural substrates of choice selection in adults and adolescents

Development of the ventrolateral prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices

Neir Eshel, Eric E. Nelson, Robert James Blair, Daniel S. Pine, Monique Ernst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

251 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A heightened propensity for risk-taking and poor decision-making underlies the peak morbidity and mortality rates reported during adolescence. Delayed maturation of cortical structures during the adolescent years has been proposed as a possible explanation for this observation. Here, we test the hypothesis of adolescent delayed maturation by using fMRI during a monetary decision-making task that directly examines risk-taking behavior during choice selection. Orbitofrontal/ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (OFC/VLPFC) and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) were examined selectively since both have been implicated in reward-related processes, cognitive control, and resolution of conflicting decisions. Group comparisons revealed greater activation in the OFC/VLPFC (BA 47) and dorsal ACC (BA 32) in adults than adolescents when making risky selections. Furthermore, reduced activity in these areas correlated with greater risk-taking performance in adolescents and in the combined group. Consistent with predictions, these results suggest that adolescents engage prefrontal regulatory structures to a lesser extent than adults when making risky economic choices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1270-1279
Number of pages10
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume45
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 16 2007

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Adolescent Development
Gyrus Cinguli
Risk-Taking
Decision Making
Choice Behavior
Prefrontal Cortex
Reward
Economics
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Morbidity
Mortality

Keywords

  • Affective regulation
  • Cognitive control
  • Conflict monitoring
  • Decision-making
  • Reward

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Neural substrates of choice selection in adults and adolescents : Development of the ventrolateral prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. / Eshel, Neir; Nelson, Eric E.; Blair, Robert James; Pine, Daniel S.; Ernst, Monique.

In: Neuropsychologia, Vol. 45, No. 6, 16.01.2007, p. 1270-1279.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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