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Neurosci Lett. 2008 Jun 20;438(2):138-41. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2008.04.061. Epub 2008 Apr 22.

An event-related fMRI study on risk taking by healthy individuals of high or low impulsiveness.

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Laboratory of Neuropsychology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.


This event-related functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging study examined the differential neural activities associated with a Risky-Gains task in 18 healthy individuals of high (n=9) or low (n=9) impulsiveness, according to their scores on the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS). The neural activities of people belonging to the high and low impulsiveness groups were monitored by a 3T MRI scanner while they were performing the Risky-Gains task. We demonstrated that a stronger activation in the insula-orbitofrontal-parietal regions was found in the high impulsiveness group compared to the low impulsiveness group. However, the levels of activation in the lateral prefrontal and anterior cingulate regions did not differ between the two groups. The findings suggest that the neural substrates of comprehension of cognitive and affective information associated with risk-taking decision making may vary according to the impulsiveness among healthy individuals.

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