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      Neural loss aversion differences between depression patients and healthy individuals: A functional MRI investigation.

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          Abstract

          Neuroeconomics employs neuroscience techniques to explain decision-making behaviours. Prospect theory, a prominent model of decision-making, features a value function with parameters for risk and loss aversion. Recent work with normal participants identified activation related to loss aversion in brain regions including the amygdala, ventral striatum, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. However, the brain network for loss aversion in pathologies such as depression has yet to be identified. The aim of the current study is to employ the value function from prospect theory to examine behavioural and neural manifestations of loss aversion in depressed and healthy individuals to identify the neurobiological markers of loss aversion in economic behaviour. We acquired behavioural data and fMRI scans while healthy controls and patients with depression performed an economic decision-making task. Behavioural loss aversion was higher in patients with depression than in healthy controls. fMRI results revealed that the two groups shared a brain network for value function including right ventral striatum, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and right amygdala. However, the neural loss aversion results revealed greater activations in the right dorsal striatum and the right anterior insula for controls compared with patients with depression, and higher activations in the midbrain region ventral tegmental area for patients with depression compared with controls. These results suggest that while the brain network for loss aversion is shared between depressed and healthy individuals, some differences exist with respect to differential activation of additional areas. Our findings are relevant to identifying neurobiological markers for altered decision-making in the depressed.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Neuroradiol J
          The neuroradiology journal
          SAGE Publications
          1971-4009
          1971-4009
          Apr 2015
          : 28
          : 2
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Centre of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences, University of Allahabad, Allahabad, India cpammi@cbcs.ac.in.
          [2 ] Imaging Sciences and Intervention Radiology Department, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology, Trivandrum, India.
          [3 ] Department of Neurology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology, Trivandrum, India.
          [4 ] Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida, USA.
          Article
          1971400915576670
          10.1177/1971400915576670
          4757155
          25923684
          5a083a06-e624-47f4-bbbf-77839af0d0f9

          depression,dopaminergic system,loss aversion,neural loss aversion,prospect theory

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