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Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience
Volume 2015, Article ID 108417, 7 pages
Research Article

P300 and Decision Making under Risk and Ambiguity

1Department of Management Science and Engineering, School of Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
2Neuromanagement Lab, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China

Received 10 February 2015; Revised 16 April 2015; Accepted 16 April 2015

Academic Editor: Justin Dauwels

Copyright © 2015 Lei Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Our study aims to contrast the neural temporal features of early stage of decision making in the context of risk and ambiguity. In monetary gambles under ambiguous or risky conditions, 12 participants were asked to make a decision to bet or not, with the event-related potentials (ERPs) recorded meantime. The proportion of choosing to bet in ambiguous condition was significantly lower than that in risky condition. An ERP component identified as P300 was found. The P300 amplitude elicited in risky condition was significantly larger than that in ambiguous condition. The lower bet rate in ambiguous condition and the smaller P300 amplitude elicited by ambiguous stimuli revealed that people showed much more aversion in the ambiguous condition than in the risky condition. The ERP results may suggest that decision making under ambiguity occupies higher working memory and recalls more past experience while decision making under risk mainly mobilizes attentional resources to calculate current information. These findings extended the current understanding of underlying mechanism for early assessment stage of decision making and explored the difference between the decision making under risk and ambiguity.