Reduced autonomic responsiveness to gambling task losses in Huntington's disease

Meghan C. Campbell, Julie C. Stout, Peter R. Finn

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We examined the possible role of autonomic activity in Huntington's disease (HD) during a risky decision making task. Skin conductance responses (SCRs) of 15 HD participants and 16 healthy controls were measured while they performed a computerized version of the Simulated Gambling Task (SGT). The results replicated our previous finding of a performance decrement in HD, and showed that HD was associated with an altered pattern of SCRs during the risky decision task. Specifically, the healthy controls produced increased SCRs following selections from the disadvantageous decks and following losing selections. In contrast, the SCRs of the HD group did not differentiate between wins and losses. These findings indicate a reduced impact of loss on decision-making processes under risky conditions in HD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-245
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Decision-making
  • Skin conductance responses
  • Somatic markers

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