Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Nucleus accumbens activation mediates the influence of reward cues on financial risk-taking

Knutson, Brian and Wimmer, G. Elliott and Kuhnen, Camelia and Winkielman, Piotr (2008): Nucleus accumbens activation mediates the influence of reward cues on financial risk-taking. Published in: Neuroreport , Vol. 19, No. 5 (26. March 2008): pp. 509-513.

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Abstract

In functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) research, nucleus accumbens (NAcc) activation spontaneously increases prior to financial risk taking. Since anticipation of diverse rewards can increase NAcc activation, even incidental reward cues may influence financial risk-taking. Using event-related FMRI, we predicted and found that anticipation of viewing rewarding stimuli (erotic pictures for 15 heterosexual males) increased financial risk taking, and that this effect was partially mediated by increases in NAcc activation. These results are consistent with the notion that incidental reward cues influence financial risk taking by altering anticipatory affect, and so identify a neuropsychological mechanism that may underlie effective emotional appeals in financial, marketing, and political domains.

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