Neurobiological Correlates of Decision-Making in Framing Conditions


  • Louisa Giuseppina Zielke Maastricht University
  • Tina Dubberstein
  • Jan H. Grashoff
  • Lydia H. Hofmann
  • Max M. Kaiser
  • Sau-Yon Kan
  • Kiana J. Kothe
  • Insa M. Stangier
  • Henk J. Jansma


Human decision-making is a complex process, of which the neurobiological correlates are not well understood. Several theories have been proposed, among others Prospect theory which assumes a different evaluation of gains and losses of the same value. De Martino et al. tested the influence of the “framing effect” on decision-making and we aimed to replicate their study as some of the findings remained unclear. A general tendency to act in accordance with the frame was shown in a behavioural study. In order to uncover the underlying neural correlates, participants performed the same task in an fMRI scanner. Even though the amygdala could not be linked to framing, increased activity in the ACC when making frame-incongruent decisions was established. This can be related to acting in a more rational manner. Furthermore, activity in the cerebellum was increased when making a choice, indicating the involvement of this brain area in decision-making under uncertainty.