The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), consisting of the perigenual ACC (pgACC) and mid-ACC (i.e., affective and cognitive areas, respectively), plays a significant role in the performance of gambling tasks, which are used to measure decision-making behavior under conditions of risk. Although recent neuroimaging studies have suggested that the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) concentration in the pgACC is associated with decision-making behavior, knowledge regarding the relationship of GABA concentrations in subdivisions of the ACC with gambling task performance is still limited. The aim of our magnetic resonance spectroscopy study is to investigate in 20 healthy males the relationship of concentrations of GABA and glutamate+glutamine (Glx) in the pgACC, mid-ACC, and occipital cortex (OC) with multiple indexes of decision-making behavior under conditions of risk, using the Cambridge Gambling Task (CGT). The GABA/creatine (Cr) ratio in the pgACC negatively correlated with delay aversion score, which corresponds to the impulsivity index. The Glx/Cr ratio in the pgACC negatively correlated with risk adjustment score, which is reported to reflect the ability to change the amount of the bet depending on the probability of winning or losing. The scores of CGT did not significantly correlate with the GABA/Cr or Glx/Cr ratio in the mid-ACC or OC. Results of this study suggest that in the pgACC, but not in the mid-ACC or OC, GABA and Glx concentrations play a distinct role in regulating impulsiveness and risk probability during decision-making behavior under conditions of risk, respectively.
Keywords: Anterior cingulate cortex; Cambridge gambling task; Decision making; Glutamate+glutamine; Magnetic resonance spectroscopy; γ-Aminobutyric acid.
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