Description: From the "Dopaminergic modulation of subjective valuation across adulthood" project. Here we examined the overlap and dissociation of behavioral preferences and neural representations of subjective value in the context of three different decision features (physical effort, probability, time delays) in a healthy adult life-span sample. While undergoing functional neuroimaging, participants (N=75) made incentive-compatible choices between a smaller monetary reward with lower physical effort, higher probability, or a shorter time delay, versus a larger monetary reward with higher physical effort, lower probability, or a longer time delay. Behavioral preferences were estimated from observed choices and subjective values were computed using individual hyperbolic discount functions. We found that discount rates were uncorrelated across tasks. In spite of this apparent behavioral dissociation between preferences, we found overlapping subjective value-related activity in the medial prefrontal cortex across all three tasks. We found no consistent evidence for age differences in either preferences or the neural representations of subjective value across adulthood. These results suggest that while the tolerance of decision features is behaviorally dissociable, subjective value signals share a common representation across adulthood.
Related article: http://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsy021
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