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Author Notes:

Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to P.S. (email: p.sacre@jhu.edu) or S.V.S. (email: ssarma2@jhu.edu)

P.S. and S.S. constructed models, performed neural data analyses for this study, and wrote and edited the manuscript.

J.A.G.-M. implanted electrodes in subjects. M.S.D.K., K.K., J.B., and M.A.J. performed experiments, collected, de-identified and transferred data, and provided anatomical labels.

S.V.S. and J.T.G supervised the entire study and contributed to data collection, data analyses, writing and editing of manuscript.

Pierre Sacré and Sandya Subramanian contributed equally to this work.

Sridevi V. Sarma and John T. Gale jointly supervised this work.

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


Research Funding:

This work was supported by a National Science Foundation grant (EFRI-MC3: #1137237) awarded to S.V.S., J.A.G.-M., J.B., and J.T.G., and by the Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute at JHU to P.S.


  • Science & Technology
  • Multidisciplinary Sciences
  • Science & Technology - Other Topics
  • FMRI

The influences and neural correlates of past and present during gambling in humans


Journal Title:

Scientific Reports


Volume 7, Number 1


, Pages 17111-17111

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


During financial decision-making tasks, humans often make "rational" decisions, where they maximize expected reward. However, this rationality may compete with a bias that reflects past outcomes. That is, if one just lost money or won money, this may impact future decisions. It is unclear how past outcomes influence future decisions in humans, and how neural circuits encode present and past information. In this study, six human subjects performed a financial decision-making task while we recorded local field potentials from multiple brain structures. We constructed a model for each subject characterizing bets on each trial as a function of present and past information. The models suggest that some patients are more influenced by previous trial outcomes (i.e., previous return and risk) than others who stick to more fixed decision strategies. In addition, past return and present risk modulated with the activity in the cuneus; while present return and past risk modulated with the activity in the superior temporal gyrus and the angular gyrus, respectively. Our findings suggest that these structures play a role in decision-making beyond their classical functions by incorporating predictions and risks in humans' decision strategy, and provide new insight into how humans link their internal biases to decisions.

Copyright information:

© The Author(s) 2017

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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