Reviews in the Neurosciences
Editor-in-Chief: Huston, Joseph P.
Editorial Board: Topic, Bianca / Adeli, Hojjat / Buzsaki, Gyorgy / Crawley, Jacqueline / Crow, Tim / Gold, Paul / Holsboer, Florian / Korth, Carsten / Lubec, Gert / McEwen, Bruce / Pan, Weihong / Pletnikov, Mikhail / Robbins, Trevor / Schnitzler, Alfons / Stevens, Charles / Steward, Oswald / Trojanowski, John
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IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 2.590
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 3.078
CiteScore 2017: 2.81
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.980
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.804
The neurobiology of intertemporal choice: insight from imaging and lesion studies
People are frequently faced with intertemporal choices, i.e., choices differing in the timing of their consequences, preferring smaller rewards available immediately over larger rewards delivered after a delay. The inability to forgo sooner gratification to favor delayed reward (e.g., impulsivity) has been related to several pathological conditions characterized by poor self-control, including drug addiction and obesity. Comparative and functional human studies have implicated a network of brain areas involved in intertemporal choice, including the medial portion of the orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC). Moreover, damage to this cortical area increases preference for immediate gratification in intertemporal decisions. Here, we review recent neuroscientific studies concerning intertemporal choice, suggesting that the mOFC contributes to preference for delayed rewards, either by computing the value of future outcomes (i.e., valuation), or by enabling people to imagine and represent future rewards and their consequences (e.g., prospection).
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