Different strategies underlying uncertain decision making: Higher executive performance is associated with enhanced feedback-related negativity

Andrea Kóbor, Ádám Takács, Karolina Janacsek, Dezso Németh, Ferenc Honbolygó, Valéria Csépe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of executive functions (EFs) in different strategies underlying risky decision making. Adult participants from a nonclinical sample were assigned to low or high EF groups based on their performance on EF tasks measuring shifting, updating, and inhibition. ERPs were recorded while participants performed the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART). In this task, each balloon pump was associated with either a reward or a balloon pop with unknown probability. The BART behavioral measures did not show between-group differences. However, the feedback-related negativity (FRN) associated with undesirable outcomes was larger in the high EF group than in the low EF group. Since the FRN represents salience prediction error, our results suggest that the high EF group formed internal models that were violated by the outcomes. Thus, we provided ERP evidence for EFs influencing risky decision-making processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-377
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2015



  • Balloon analogue risk task
  • Decision making
  • Event-related brain potentials (ERPs)
  • Executive functions
  • Feedback-related negativity
  • Model-based learning
  • Risk-taking behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry

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