Nucleus Accumbens Activation Mediates the Influence of Reward Cues on Financial Risk-Taking

NeuroReport, Vol. 19, No. 5, pp. 509-513, March 2008

18 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2008

See all articles by Brian Knutson

Brian Knutson

Stanford University - Psychology

G. Elliott Wimmer

Columbia University

Camelia M. Kuhnen

University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School & NBER

Piotr Winkielman

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Abstract

In functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) research, nucleus accumbens (NAcc) activation spontaneously increases prior to financial risk taking. Since anticipation of diverse rewards can increase NAcc activation, even incidental reward cues may influence financial risk-taking. Using event-related FMRI, we predicted and found that anticipation of viewing rewarding stimuli (erotic pictures for 15 heterosexual males) increased financial risk taking, and that this effect was partially mediated by increases in NAcc activation. These results are consistent with the notion that incidental reward cues influence financial risk taking by altering anticipatory affect, and so identify a neuropsychological mechanism that may underlie effective emotional appeals in financial, marketing, and political domains.

Keywords: neuroeconomics, neurofinance, brain, financial risk taking, risk preferences, decision making, nucleus accumbens, striatum, reward cues, FMRI, brain imaging

JEL Classification: C91, D81, G11

Suggested Citation

Knutson, Brian and Wimmer, G. Elliott and Kuhnen, Camelia M. and Winkielman, Piotr, Nucleus Accumbens Activation Mediates the Influence of Reward Cues on Financial Risk-Taking. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1114857

Brian Knutson (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Psychology ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States
650 723 7431 (Phone)
650 725 5699 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://psychology.stanford.edu/~knutson

G. Elliott Wimmer

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Camelia M. Kuhnen

University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School & NBER ( email )

Kenan-Flagler Business School
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3490
United States
(919) 9623284 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://public.kenan-flagler.unc.edu/faculty/kuhnenc/

Piotr Winkielman

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
191
Abstract Views
1,254
rank
159,756
PlumX Metrics