To bet or not to bet? The coding of bets modulates brain potentials in outcome evaluations

Yaozhong LIU, Kai DOU, Yujie WANG, Jianbin LI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Decisions made on the basis of risk often require rapid evaluation of feedback before follow-up actions and feedback-related negativity in brain potential is sensitive to the poor outcome. The current study investigated the effects of feedback from one's own decision (Experiment 1) and feedback from observing others' decisions (Experiment 2) on electroencephalograph responses to winning and losing money with and without betting. Irrespective of whether the betting is self-generated or simply observed, the cognitive evaluation of the outcome evoked feedback-related negativity, indicating that one's own experience and vicarious experience give rise to the same neural response. These results indicate that participants were more sensitive to loss when it was personally relevant, irrespective of whether that loss was associated with betting. However, when observing others' losses, participants showed stronger negative responses when the losses were associated with betting. Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)958-965
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2015




Liu, Y., Dou, K., Wang, Y., & Li, J. (2015). To bet or not to bet? The coding of bets modulates brain potentials in outcome evaluations. NeuroReport, 26(16), 958-965. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0000000000000452


  • Appraisal of outcome
  • Feedback-related negativity
  • Gambling task
  • Reference point effect
  • Vicarious experiences