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  Influences of social uncertainty and serotonin on gambling decisions

Bellucci, G., Münte, T., & Park, S. (2022). Influences of social uncertainty and serotonin on gambling decisions. Scientific Reports, 12(1): 10220. doi:10.1038/s41598-022-13778-x.

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Bellucci, G1, Author              
Münte, TF, Author
Park, SQ, Author
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1Department of Computational Neuroscience, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_3017468              

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 Abstract: In many instances in life, our decisions' outcomes hinge on someone else's choices (i.e., under social uncertainty). Behavioral and pharmacological work has previously focused on different types of uncertainty, such as risk and ambiguity, but not so much on risk behaviors under social uncertainty. Here, in two different studies using a double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject design, we administrated citalopram (a selective-serotonin-reuptake inhibitor) to male participants and investigated decisions in a gambling task under social and nonsocial uncertainty. In the social condition, gamble outcomes were determined by another participant. In the nonsocial condition, gamble outcomes were determined by a coin toss. We observed increased gamble acceptance under social uncertainty, especially for gambles with lower gains and higher losses, which might be indicative of a positivity bias in social expectations in conditions of high uncertainty about others' behaviors. A similar effect was found for citalopram, which increased overall acceptance behavior for gambles irrespective of the source of uncertainty (social/nonsocial). These results provide insights into the cognitive and neurochemical processes underlying decisions under social uncertainty, with implications for research in risk-taking behaviors in healthy and clinical populations.

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 Dates: 2022-06
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-13778-x
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Title: Scientific Reports
  Abbreviation : Sci. Rep.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London, UK : Nature Publishing Group
Pages: 9 Volume / Issue: 12 (1) Sequence Number: 10220 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 2045-2322
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2045-2322