Deficits in decision-making characterized by failures to respond adaptively to consequences that follow responding are common following brain injury. To examine decision-making about consequences, individuals with and without acquired brain injury responded under different response-reinforcer contingencies. In two control conditions, reinforcement was contingent on responding and response repetition. Results showed responding (pressing four computer keys) by both groups produced similar amounts of reinforcement (money) and highlight equal sensitivity to money as a reinforcer. In subsequent experimental conditions, reinforcement was contingent upon varying responses. Results showed both groups produced variable response patterns, but injured subjects earned less reinforcement than controls. With instructions to vary responding across trials, injured subjects earned similar amounts of reinforcement as controls. Collectively, the results suggest reductions in sensitivity to contingencies may be present following injury and function as one behavioural mechanism of maladaptive decision-making.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Neurology