Hypoactivation in the precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex during ambiguous decision making in individuals with HIV.
People with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) often have neurocognitive impairment. People with HIV make riskier decisions when the outcome probabilities are known, and have abnormal neural architecture underlying risky decision making. However, ambiguous decision making, when the outcome probabilities are unknown, is more common in daily life, but the neural architecture underlying ambiguous decision making in people with HIV is unknown. Eighteen people with HIV and 20 controls completed a decision making task while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning. Participants chose between a certain reward and uncertain reward with a known (risky) or unknown (ambiguous) probability of winning. There were three levels of risk: high, medium, and low. Ambiguous > risky brain activity was compared between groups. Ambiguous > risky brain activity was correlated with emotional/psychiatric functioning in people with HIV. Both groups were similarly ambiguity-averse. People with HIV were more risk-averse than controls and chose the high-risk uncertain option less often. People with HIV had hypoactivity in the precuneus, posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and fusiform gyrus during ambiguous > medium risk decision making. Ambiguous > medium risk brain activity was negatively correlated with emotional/psychiatric functioning in individuals with HIV. To make ambiguous decisions, people with HIV underrecruit key regions of the default mode network, which are thought to integrate internally and externally derived information to come to a decision. These regions and related cognitive processes may be candidates for interventions to improve decision-making outcomes in people with HIV.
Hall, SA; Towe, SL; Nadeem, MT; Hobkirk, AL; Hartley, BW; Li, R; Huettel, SA; Meade, CS
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