Signaling which reflects access to records of

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signaling, which reflects access to records of previous individual experience—specifically, of records shaped by reward, punishment, and the emotional state that attends them. In this light, damage to ventromedial cortices acts by precluding access to a particular kind of record of previous and related individual experience. REFERENCES AND NOTES ___________________________ 1. A. Bechara, A. R. Damasio, H. Damasio, S. W. Anderson, Cognition 50 , 7 (1994). 2. A. Bechara, D. Tranel, H. Damasio, A. R. Damasio, Cereb. Cortex 6 , 215 (1996). 3. The patients who participated in the experiment were drawn from the Division of Cognitive Neuroscience’s Patient Registry and have been described previously ( 1 , 2 ). Three are female (ages 53, 63, and 64), and three are male (ages 51, 52, and 65). All have stable focal lesions. Years of education: 13 6 2 (mean 6 SEM); verbal IQ: 111 6 8 (mean 6 SEM); performance IQ: 102 6 8 (mean 6 SEM). 4. The results in this group of normal participants are similar to the results described previously in other normal participants ( 2 ). 5. A. R. Damasio, Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain (Grosset/Putnam, New York, 1994). 6. We envision these biases to act as markers or qualifiers in the manner suggested by A. Damasio [in ( 5 ), chap. 8] and by A. R. Damasio, D. Tranel, and H. Damasio [in Controls Mean number of cards selected Mean magnitude of SCRs ( μ s) Patients Anticipatory SCRs Anticipatory SCRs Behavioral responses Behavioral responses 100 1.2 1.0 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0 1.2 1.0 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0 25 20 15 10 5 0 25 20 15 10 5 0 100 100 100 100 50 70 Pre- punishment (baseline) Pre- punishment (baseline) Conceptual period Conceptual period Pre- hunch Bad decks Good decks Bad decks Good decks Pre- hunch Hunch Subjects reaching period (%) Fig. 1. Presentation of the four periods in terms of average numbers of cards selected from the bad decks (A and B) versus the good decks (C and D), and the mean magnitudes of anticipatory SCRs associated with the same cards. The pre-punish- ment period covered the start of the game when subjects sampled the decks and before they en- countered the first loss (that is, up to about the 10th card selection). The pre-hunch period con- sisted of the next series of cards when subjects continued to choose cards from various decks, but professed no notion of what was happening in the game (on average, between the 10th (range: 7 to 13) and the 50th card (range: 30 to 60) in normals, or between the 9th (3 to 10) and the 80th card (60 to 90) in patients. The hunch period (never reached in patients) corresponded to the period when subjects reported “liking” or “disliking” certain decks, and “guessed” which decks were risky or safe, but were not sure of their answers [on average, between the 50th (30 to 60) and 80th card (60 to 90) in normals]. The conceptual period corresponded to the period when subjects were able to articulate accurately the nature of the task and tell for certain which were the good and bad decks, and why they were good or bad [on average, after the 80th card (60 to 90) in both normals and patients]. ( Top panels) Bars represent means ( 6 SEM) of the mean magnitude of anticipatory SCRs generated before the selection of cards from the bad decks versus the good decks. Anticipatory
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