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Somatic markers and explicit knowledge are both involved in decision-making

Guillaume, Sébastien
Jollant, Fabrice
Jaussent, Isabelle
Lawrence, Natalia
Courtet, Philippe
Published in Neuropsychologia. 2009, vol. 47, no. 10, p. 2120-2124
Abstract In 1994, it was proposed that decision-making requires emotion-related signals, known as somatic markers. In contrast, some authors argued that conscious knowledge of contingencies is sufficient for advantageous decision-making. We aimed to investigate the respective roles of somatic markers and explicit knowledge in decision-making. Thirty healthy volunteers performed the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT). Conscious knowledge was assessed using a sensitive questionnaire and skin conductance responses (SCRs) were recorded. Most participants acquired a preference for advantageous choices during the task and generated larger anticipatory SCRs before disadvantageous relative to advantageous choices. Performance on the IGT and the autonomic response were positively correlated (r=0.38, p=0.045). Moreover, there was a statistically significant difference in performance according to conscious awareness (p=0.009). There was no significant association between level of explicit knowledge and SCR (p=0.1). Finally, we did not find any interaction between explicit knowledge and performance although a lack of statistical power is not to be excluded. Advantageous decision-making therefore seems to be associated with two distinct, namely implicit and explicit, systems.
Keywords AdultAgedAnalysis of VarianceDecision Making/*physiologyEmotions/*physiologyFemaleGalvanic Skin ResponseGames, ExperimentalHumans*KnowledgeMaleMiddle AgedProblem Solving/*physiologyPsychophysicsQuestionnairesReaction Time/physiology
PMID: 19427005
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Research group Génétique psychiatrique (4)
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GUILLAUME, Sébastien et al. Somatic markers and explicit knowledge are both involved in decision-making. In: Neuropsychologia, 2009, vol. 47, n° 10, p. 2120-2124. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.04.003 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:19845

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Deposited on : 2012-04-23

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