Bechara’s Gambling Task

Bechara’s Gambling Task is more popularly known as Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) which was studied by Antoine Bechara, Antonio Damasio, Hanna Damasio, and Steven Anderson, researchers from the University of Iowa. In this psychological task, the participants’ decision-making skills were observed as they played a virtual card game. Four decks were presented and each one had cards that could give rewards or penalties through game money. Some decks were “good” in the sense that they tend to give more rewards and some were “bad” since they held more penalizing cards. The findings showed that most participants become fairly good at consistently choosing “good decks” after 40 to 50 selections. However, the participants with orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) dysfunction still continued to select the bad decks. Also, unlike their healthy counterparts, the patients with OFC did not show stress reactions in response to losing a lot of game money caused by choosing the bad decks.

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