Insula and Striatum Mediate the Default Bias

Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 30, No. 44, pp. 14702–14707, 2010

6 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2011

See all articles by Rongjun Yu

Rongjun Yu

University of Cambridge

Dean Mobbs

Columbia University

Ben Seymour

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Andrew Calder

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: November 2010

Abstract

Humans are creatures of routine and habit. When faced with situations in which a default option is available, people show a consistent tendency to stick with the default. Why this occurs is unclear. To elucidate its neural basis, we used a novel gambling task in conjunction with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Behavioral results revealed that participants were more likely to choose the default card and felt enhanced emotional responses to outcomes after making the decision to switch.Weshow that increased tendency to switch away from the default during the decision phase was associated with decreased activity in the anterior insula; activation in this same area in reaction to “switching away from the default and losing” was positively related with experienced frustration. In contrast, decisions to choose the default engaged the ventral striatum, the same reward area as seen in winning. Our findings highlight aversive processes in the insula as underlying the default bias and suggest that choosing the default may be rewarding in itself.

Suggested Citation

Yu, Rongjun and Mobbs, Dean and Seymour, Ben and Calder, Andrew, Insula and Striatum Mediate the Default Bias (November 2010). Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 30, No. 44, pp. 14702–14707, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1738296

Rongjun Yu (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge ( email )

Trinity Ln
Cambridge, CB2 1TN
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.rongjunyu.com

Dean Mobbs

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Ben Seymour

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Andrew Calder

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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