Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University


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Anticipation of Monetary Gain but not Loss in Healthy Older Adults

Journal Article

Gregory R. Samanez-Larkin, Sasha E. Gibbs, Kabir Khanna, Lisbeth Nielsen, Laura L. Carstensen, Brian Knutson

Published by
Nat Neurosci, Vol. 10 no. 6, page(s) 787-791
June 2007

Although the global declines in structure have been documented in the aging human brain, little is known about the functional integrity of the striatum and prefrontal cortex in older adults during incentive processing. We used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging to determine whether younger and older adults differed in both self-reported and neural responsiveness to anticipated monetary gains and losses. The present study provides evidence for intact striatal and insular activation during gain anticipation with age, but shows a relative reduction in activation during loss anticipation. These findings suggest that there is an asymmetry in the procession of gains and losses in older adults that may have implications for decision-making.