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Anterior cingulate reflects susceptibility to framing during attractiveness evaluation

Deppe, Michael; Schwindt, Wolfram; Pieper, Anna; Kugel, Harald; Plassmann, Hilke; Kenning, Peter; Deppe, Katja; Ringelstein, E. Bernd

doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3282202c61

Human cognitive decisions can be strongly susceptible to the manner in which options are presented (‘framing effect’). Here we investigated the neural basis of response adjustments induced by changing frames during intuitive decisions. Evidence exists that the anterior cingulate cortex plays a general role in behavioral adjustments. We hypothesized, therefore, that the anterior cingulate cortex is also involved in the ‘framing effect’. Our hypothesis was tested by using a binary attractiveness judgment task (‘liking’ versus ‘nonliking’) during functional magnetic resonance imaging. We found that the framing-related anterior cingulate cortex activity predicted how strongly susceptible an individual was to a biased response. Our results support the hypothesis that paralimbic processes are crucial for predicting an individual's susceptibility to framing.

Departments of aNeurology

bClinical Radiology

cGeneral Management, University of Münster and University Hospital Münster (UKM)

dDepartment of Neurology, Franz Hospital Dülmen, Germany

Correspondence to Dr Michael Deppe, PhD, Department of Neurology, University of Münster, Albert-Schweitzer-Str. 33, D-48129 Münster, Germany

Tel: +49 (0) 251/83 48174; fax: +49 (0) 251/83-52064; e-mail:

Received 19 April 2007; accepted 22 April 2007

*Michael Deppe and Wolfram Schwindt contributed equally to this study.

© 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins