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Emotion regulation reduces loss aversion and decreases amygdala responses to losses

Sokol-Hessner, Peter and Camerer, Colin F. and Phelps, Elizabeth A. (2012) Emotion regulation reduces loss aversion and decreases amygdala responses to losses. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 8 (3). pp. 341-350. ISSN 1749-5016. PMCID PMC3594725. doi:10.1093/scan/nss002.

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Emotion regulation strategies can alter behavioral and physiological responses to emotional stimuli and the neural correlates of those responses in regions such as the amygdala or striatum. The current study investigates the brain systems engaged when using an emotion regulation technique during financial decisions. In decision making, regulating emotion with reappraisal-focused strategies that encourage taking a different perspective has been shown to reduce loss aversion as observed both in choices and in the relative arousal responses to actual loss and gain outcomes. In the current study, we find using fMRI that behavioral loss aversion correlates with amygdala activity in response to losses relative to gains. Success in regulating loss aversion also correlates with the reduction in amygdala responses to losses but not to gains. Furthermore, across both decisions and outcomes, we find the reappraisal strategy increases baseline activity in dorsolateral and ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the striatum. The similarity of the neural circuitry observed to that seen in emotion regulation, despite divergent tasks, serves as further evidence for a role of emotion in decision making, and for the power of reappraisal to change assessments of value and thereby choices.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Camerer, Colin F.0000-0003-4049-1871
Additional Information:© 2012 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press. Published: 15 February 2012. Received: 06 April 2011. Accepted: 09 January 2012. The authors thank M. Delgado for helpful comments. This work was supported by the James S. McDonnell Foundation to EAP; the National Institutes of Health (MH080756 and AG039283) to EAP; and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Human Frontiers Science Program to CFC.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
James S. McDonnell FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Human Frontier Science ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:emotion, reappraisal, emotion regulation, decision making, loss aversion
Issue or Number:3
PubMed Central ID:PMC3594725
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170725-133718338
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:79344
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:25 Jul 2017 22:13
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 17:47

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