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Self-control in decision-making involves modulation of the vmPFC valuation system

Hare, Todd A. and Camerer, Colin F. and Rangel, Antonio (2009) Self-control in decision-making involves modulation of the vmPFC valuation system. Science, 324 (5927). pp. 646-648. ISSN 0036-8075. doi:10.1126/science.1168450.

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Every day, individuals make dozens of choices between an alternative with higher overall value and a more tempting but ultimately inferior option. Optimal decision-making requires self-control. We propose two hypotheses about the neurobiology of self-control: (i) Goal-directed decisions have their basis in a common value signal encoded in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), and (ii) exercising self-control involves the modulation of this value signal by dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to monitor brain activity while dieters engaged in real decisions about food consumption. Activity in vmPFC was correlated with goal values regardless of the amount of self-control. It incorporated both taste and health in self-controllers but only taste in non–self-controllers. Activity in DLPFC increased when subjects exercised self-control and correlated with activity in vmPFC.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Camerer, Colin F.0000-0003-4049-1871
Additional Information:© 2009 American Association for the Advancement of Science. 12 November 2008; accepted 12 March 2009. This work was funded by the Moore Foundation and the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Behavioral Health Economics Research on Dietary Choice and Obesity.
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Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Department of AgricultureUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:5927
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090507-092742291
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14177
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:11 May 2009 21:38
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:43

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