Resting-state functional connectivity predicts impulsivity in economic decision-making

J Neurosci. 2013 Mar 13;33(11):4886-95. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1342-12.2013.


Increasing neuroimaging evidence suggests an association between impulsive decision-making behavior and task-related brain activity. However, the relationship between impulsivity in decision-making and resting-state brain activity remains unknown. To address this issue, we used functional MRI to record brain activity from human adults during a resting state and during a delay discounting task (DDT) that requires choosing between an immediate smaller reward and a larger delayed reward. In experiment I, we identified four DDT-related brain networks. The money network (the striatum, posterior cingulate cortex, etc.) and the time network (the medial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices, etc.) were associated with the valuation process; the frontoparietal network and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex-anterior insular cortex network were related to the choice process. Moreover, we found that the resting-state functional connectivity of the brain regions in these networks was significantly correlated with participants' discounting rate, a behavioral index of impulsivity during the DDT. In experiment II, we tested an independent group of subjects and demonstrated that this resting-state functional connectivity was able to predict individuals' discounting rates. Together, these findings suggest that resting-state functional organization of the human brain may be a biomarker of impulsivity and can predict economic decision-making behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Decision Making / physiology*
  • Economics, Behavioral*
  • Female
  • Head Movements
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Impulsive Behavior / diagnosis*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / blood supply
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Rest / physiology*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Young Adult


  • Oxygen