Age Differences in Striatal Delay Sensitivity During Intertemporal Choice in Healthy Adults

Frontiers in Neuroscience, November 16, 2011, 5:126, doi: 10.3389/fnins.2011.00126

12 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2012 Last revised: 28 Oct 2015

See all articles by Gregory R. Samanez-Larkin

Gregory R. Samanez-Larkin

Duke University - Department of Psychology and Neuroscience; Duke University - Center for Cognitive Neuroscience

Rui Mata

University of Basel

Peter Radu

Stanford University

Ian Ballard

Stanford University

Laura L. Carstensen

Stanford University - Stanford Center on Longevity

Samuel M. McClure

Stanford University - Psychology

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

Intertemporal choices are a ubiquitous class of decisions that involve selecting between outcomes available at different times in the future. We investigated the neural systems supporting intertemporal decisions in healthy younger and older adults. Using functional neuroimaging, we find that aging is associated with a shift in the brain areas that respond to delayed rewards. Although we replicate findings that brain regions associated with the mesolimbic dopamine system respond preferentially to immediate rewards, we find a separate region in the ventral striatum with very modest time dependence in older adults. Activation in this striatal region was relatively insensitive to delay in older but not younger adults. Since the dopamine system is believed to support associative learning about future rewards over time, our observed transfer of function may be due to greater experience with delayed rewards as people age. Identifying differences in the neural systems underlying these decisions may contribute to a more comprehensive model of age-related change in intertemporal choice.

Keywords: aging, reward, decision making, discounting, intertemporal choice, experience, neuroimaging

JEL Classification: C91, D87, D90, D91, J14, G11

Suggested Citation

Samanez-Larkin, Gregory R. and Mata, Rui and Radu, Peter and Ballard, Ian and Carstensen, Laura L. and McClure, Samuel M., Age Differences in Striatal Delay Sensitivity During Intertemporal Choice in Healthy Adults (2011). Frontiers in Neuroscience, November 16, 2011, 5:126, doi: 10.3389/fnins.2011.00126, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2140011

Gregory R. Samanez-Larkin (Contact Author)

Duke University - Department of Psychology and Neuroscience ( email )

Durham, NC 27708
United States

Duke University - Center for Cognitive Neuroscience ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

Rui Mata

University of Basel ( email )

Petersplatz 1
Basel, CH-4003
Switzerland

Peter Radu

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Ian Ballard

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Laura L. Carstensen

Stanford University - Stanford Center on Longevity

Stanford University
579 Serra Mall (Serra at Galvez) - Landau Building
Stanford, CA 94305-6053
United States

Samuel M. McClure

Stanford University - Psychology ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
56
Abstract Views
925
rank
425,256
PlumX Metrics