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The behavioral and neural basis of foreign language effect on risk-taking

Zheng, Liling and Mobbs, Dean and Yu, Rongjun (2020) The behavioral and neural basis of foreign language effect on risk-taking. Neuropsychologia, 136 . Art. No. 107290. ISSN 0028-3932. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.107290.

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Recent studies show that people exhibit a reduced decision bias in a foreign language relative to their native language. However, the underlying mechanism remains unknown. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) combined with an even-probability gambling task in which gambling feedback was presented in either a native language or a foreign language after each decision, we assessed the neural correlates of language modulated behavioral changes in decision making. In both foreign and native language contexts, participants showed a behavioral pattern resembles the Gambler's fallacy that losing a gamble leads to more betting than winning a gamble. While there was no language difference in gambling, bilateral caudate and amygdala gain signals were exaggerated by foreign language in relative to native language, suggesting that foreign language enhanced neural responses to rewards. Moreover, the individual difference in foreign language-induced Gambler's fallacy-like decision bias was associated with activation in the right amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, as well as functional connectivity between right amygdala and right putamen/right posterior insula. Our results confirm that outcome processing in emotion-related regions may underlie individual differences in foreign language effects in judgment and decision making.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Mobbs, Dean0000-0003-1175-3772
Yu, Rongjun0000-0003-0123-1524
Additional Information:© 2019 Elsevier Ltd. Received 6 August 2019, Revised 3 November 2019, Accepted 29 November 2019, Available online 30 November 2019. CRediT authorship contribution statement: Liling Zheng: Data curation, Writing - original draft. Dean Mobbs: Writing - review & editing. Rongjun Yu: Conceptualization, Supervision, Writing - review & editing. Declaration of competing interest: None.
Subject Keywords:Bilingualism; Foreign language; Decision making; Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); Emotion
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20191202-105745663
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Official Citation:Liling Zheng, Dean Mobbs, Rongjun Yu, The behavioral and neural basis of foreign language effect on risk-taking, Neuropsychologia, Volume 136, 2020, 107290, ISSN 0028-3932, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100137
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:02 Dec 2019 20:29
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:51

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