Hierarchical organization of cortical morphology of decision-making when deconstructing Iowa Gambling Task performance in healthy adults

David A. Gansler, Matthew W. Jerram, Tracy D. Vannorsdall, David J. Schretlen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-594
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2012

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Brain mapping/methods
  • Decision making
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological task/statistics & numerical data
  • Prefrontal cortex/neuropsychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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