Somatic markers and explicit knowledge are both involved in decision-making. - Inserm - Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale Access content directly
Journal Articles Neuropsychologia Year : 2009

Somatic markers and explicit knowledge are both involved in decision-making.


In 1994, it was proposed that decision-making requires emotion-related signals, known as somatic markers. In contrast, some authors argued that conscious knowledge of contingencies is sufficient for advantageous decision-making. We aimed to investigate the respective roles of somatic markers and explicit knowledge in decision-making. Thirty healthy volunteers performed the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT). Conscious knowledge was assessed using a sensitive questionnaire and skin conductance responses (SCRs) were recorded. Most participants acquired a preference for advantageous choices during the task and generated larger anticipatory SCRs before disadvantageous relative to advantageous choices. Performance on the IGT and the autonomic response were positively correlated (r=0.38, p=0.045). Moreover, there was a statistically significant difference in performance according to conscious awareness (p=0.009). There was no significant association between level of explicit knowledge and SCR (p=0.1). Finally, we did not find any interaction between explicit knowledge and performance although a lack of statistical power is not to be excluded. Advantageous decision-making therefore seems to be associated with two distinct, namely implicit and explicit, systems.
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Dates and versions

inserm-00377238 , version 1 (14-05-2009)



Sébastien Guillaume, Fabrice Jollant, Isabelle Jaussent, Natalia Lawrence, Alain Malafosse, et al.. Somatic markers and explicit knowledge are both involved in decision-making.: Somatic markers and decision-making. Neuropsychologia, 2009, 47 (10), pp.2120-4. ⟨10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.04.003⟩. ⟨inserm-00377238⟩
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