Temporal discounting refers to our tendency to discount the value of future rewards. At the extreme, temporal discounting can give rise to detrimental myopic decision-making. Most studies examining the neural basis of temporal discounting in people have been performed using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). However, fMRI has relatively poor temporal resolution compared with the speed at which people make choices, so understanding choice dynamics using fMRI is difficult. We address the issue utilizing electroencephalography (EEG) to study cortical processes related to temporal discounting. The fMRI literature has found that a network of fronto-parietal brain regions plays an important role during the decision-making process. We aim to explore activity in these regions during the decision process and determine how cortical activity relates to choice parameters. Based on prior fMRI studies, we hypothesized that dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) may act as a regulator of dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and there will be an increase in dlPFC activity for more difficult decisions. We also hypothesized that neural activity may be directly related to the temporal discount rate we estimate behaviorally. We utilized regression analysis to determine the relationship. The results found supported our hypotheses. This study may open the door to a better understanding of the dynamic of brain regions while performing a temporal discounting task.
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