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Ruud Van den Bos Stress, anxiety and decision-making: human and animal studies using the Iowa Gambling Task.

Abstract :


In many domains of society, such as in the military, the police force, financial business and health care, decisions have to be made in which only a thin line exists between success and failure.


In the latter case this may lead to personal dismay and public or political upheaval. Although this thin line is clearly recognized in these professional areas with training and assessment programmes directed at selecting employees, it is only recently that research is disentangling the gender-specific effects of stress and anxiety on brain areas crucial to optimal decision-making, such as fronto-striatal areas.

Such research may contribute to our understanding of the origin and nature of individual differences in stress- and anxiety-related deficits in decision-making and thus improve assessment and prevention techniques. In this presentation I will present recent data of our human and animal research on the interaction between anxiety, stress and decision-making using the Iowa Gambling Task. 

Selected publications

Trait anxiety affects decision-making differently in healthy men and women: Towards gender-specific endophenotypes of anxiety L. de Visser, L.J. van der Knaap, A.J.A.E. van de Loo C.M.M. van der Weerd.F. Ohl, R. van den Bos. Neuropsychologia 48 (2010) 1598–1606

Stress and decision-making in humans: Performance is related to cortisol reactivity, albeit differently in men and women.Ruud van den Bos *, Marlies Harteveld, Hein Stoop . Psychoneuroendocrinology (2009) 34, 1449—1458

Serotonin transporter dosage modulates long-term decision-making in rat and human. Judith R. Homberg, Ruud van den Bos, Esther den Heijer, Remco Suer, Edwin Cuppen. Neuropharmacology 55 (2008) 80–84

Françoise Dellu-Hagedorn