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Neural Netw. 2006 Oct;19(8):1266-76. Epub 2006 Aug 30.

Neuropsychological correlates of decision-making in ambiguous and risky situations.

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Department of Physiological Psychology, University of Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany.


Decision-making situations in real life differ regarding their explicitness of positive and negative consequences as well as regarding the directness of probabilities for reward and punishment. In neuropsychological research, decisions under ambiguity and decisions under risk are differentiated. To assess decisions under ambiguity the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) is one of the most frequently used tasks. Decisions under risk can be measured by a task that offers explicit rules for gains and losses and stable winning probabilities, as the Game of Dice Task (GDT) does. In this contribution we firstly summarize studies that investigated decision-making in various groups of patients using the IGT or the GDT. We also propose a new model of decision-making in risky situations and describe differences between decisions under ambiguity and decisions under risk from a theoretical and clinical perspective.

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