Variability in Nucleus Accumbens Activity Mediates Age-Related Suboptimal Financial Risk Taking

Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 1426-1434, January 2010

50 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2010 Last revised: 28 Mar 2016

See all articles by Gregory R. Samanez-Larkin

Gregory R. Samanez-Larkin

Yale University - Department of Psychology

Camelia M. Kuhnen

University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School & NBER

Daniel J. Yoo

Stanford University - Psychology

Brian Knutson

Stanford University - Psychology

Date Written: January 27, 2010

Abstract

As human life expectancy continues to rise, financial decisions of aging investors may have an increasing impact on the global economy. In this study, we examined age differences in financial decisions across the adult life span by combining functional neuroimaging with a dynamic financial investment task. During the task, older adults made more suboptimal choices than younger adults when choosing risky assets. This age-related effect was mediated by a neural measure of temporal variability in nucleus accumbens activity. These findings reveal a novel neural mechanism by which aging may disrupt rational financial choice.

Keywords: neuroeconomics, neurofinance, brain, aging, financial risk taking, mistakes, nucleus accumbens, striatum, FMRI, brain imaging

JEL Classification: C91, D81, D83, D87, G11, J14

Suggested Citation

Samanez-Larkin, Gregory R. and Kuhnen, Camelia M. and Yoo, Daniel J. and Knutson, Brian, Variability in Nucleus Accumbens Activity Mediates Age-Related Suboptimal Financial Risk Taking (January 27, 2010). Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 1426-1434, January 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1620605

Gregory R. Samanez-Larkin (Contact Author)

Yale University - Department of Psychology ( email )

P.O. Box 208205
New Haven, CT 06520-8205
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/

Daniel J. Yoo

Stanford University - Psychology ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Brian Knutson

Stanford University - Psychology ( email )

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

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

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
95
Abstract Views
831
rank
278,865
PlumX Metrics