Journal of Psychiatry and Brain Functions

Journal of Psychiatry and Brain Functions

ISSN 2055-3447
Original Research

Investigating decision-making in Parkinson's disease in tasks characterized by probabilistic cue-outcome associations: the role of optimality

Agata Ryterska1, Adam J. L. Harris2, Anastasia Ejova3, Marjan Jahanshahi4, Magda Osman1*

*Corresponding author: Magda Osman

1. Biological and Experimental Psychology, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS, UK.

Author Affiliations

2. Department of Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain Sciences, Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London, 26 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AP, UK.

3. School of Psychology, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia.

4. Cognitive Motor Neuroscience Group, Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, UCL Institute of Neurology, 33 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3BG, UK.


Is probabilistic information one of the critical factors contributing to decision-making impairments in Parkinson's disease (PD)? The results of many studies may suggest that in fact it is, and that PD patients struggle to process probabilities accurately. However, a growing body of evidence suggests otherwise. To explore this issue further, a novel gambling scenario was developed in order to compare decision-making behaviour in the form of betting in three different set ups: deterministic, probabilistic, and unpredictable. Participants' behaviour was analysed using newly developed metrics, designed to examine optimal betting strategies. In our novel task PD patients performed as well as age-matched healthy controls (OHCs) across different set ups. Thus, in answer to the question posed, probabilistic information persedoes not seem to be the critical factor in causing impaired decision-making in PD.

Keywords: Parkinson's disease, decision-making, optimality, gambling, probabilistic environment

ISSN 2055-3447
Volume 1
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