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Publication Detail
The angular gyrus and visuospatial attention in decision-making under risk
Abstract
Recent neuroimaging studies on decision-making under risk indicate that the angular gyrus (AG) is sensitive to the probability and variance of outcomes during choice. A separate body of research has established the AG as a key area in visual attention. The current study used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in healthy volunteers to test whether the causal contribution of the AG to decision-making is independent of or linked to the guidance of visuospatial attention. A within-subject design compared decision making on a laboratory gambling task under three conditions: following rTMS to the AG, following rTMS to the premotor cortex (PMC, as an active control condition) andwithoutTMS. The task presented twodifferent trial types, ‘visual’ and ‘auditory’ trials, which entailed a high versus minimal demand for visuospatial attention, respectively. Our results showed a systematic effect of rTMS to the AG upon decision-making behavior in visual trials. Without TMS and following rTMS to the control region, decision latencies reflected the odds of winning; this relationship was disrupted by rTMS to the AG. In contrast, no significant effects of rTMS to the AG (or to the PMC) upon choice behavior in auditory trials were found. Thus, rTMS to the AG affected decision-making only in the task condition requiring visuospatial attention. The current findings suggest that the AG contributes to decision-making by guiding attention to relevant information about reward and punishment in the visual environment
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