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Author Notes:

Correspondence to: Maya G. Mosner.

MM and GD conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, participated in data collection, conducted statistical analyses, and jointly drafted the manuscript.

MT conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, and jointly drafted the manuscript.

CD and HR participated in its design and coordination and jointly drafted the manuscript.

JK, SM, JS, and RG participated in data collection.

NDM and MB consulted on statistical analyses.

MTT has consulted for the Boston Consulting Group, Avanir Pharmaceuticals and NeuroCogTrials. No funding or sponsorship was provided by these companies for the current work, and all views expressed herein are solely those of authors.

The other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


Research Funding:

This research was funded by National Institutes of Health grants (grant numbers MH081285, MH073402, HD079124, R00MH102355, and R01MH108605), and UNC-Chapel Hill (the Diller-Gilligan Summer Research Fellowship).


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Effort-based decision-making
  • Social motivation
  • Vicarious reward
  • Adolescent
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Reward
  • Task Performance and Analysis

Vicarious Effort-Based Decision-Making in Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Journal Title:

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders


Volume 47, Number 10


, Pages 2992-3006

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


This study investigated vicarious effort-based decision-making in 50 adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) compared to 32 controls using the Effort Expenditure for Rewards Task. Participants made choices to win money for themselves or for another person. When choosing for themselves, the ASD group exhibited relatively similar patterns of effort-based decision-making across reward parameters. However, when choosing for another person, the ASD group demonstrated relatively decreased sensitivity to reward magnitude, particularly in the high magnitude condition. Finally, patterns of responding in the ASD group were related to individual differences in consummatory pleasure capacity. These findings indicate atypical vicarious effort-based decision-making in ASD and more broadly add to the growing body of literature addressing social reward processing deficits in ASD.

Copyright information:

© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

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