Decision making is essential in everyday life. Though the importance of the mesial temporal lobe in emotional processing and feedback learning is generally recognized, decision making in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) is almost unexplored so far. Twenty-eight consecutive epilepsy patients with drug resistant mTLE and fifty healthy controls performed decision tasks under initial ambiguity (participants have to learn by feedback to make advantageous decisions) and under risk (advantageous choices may be made by estimating risks and by rational strategies). A subgroup analysis compared the performance of patients affected by MRI-verified abnormalities of the hippocampus or amygdala. The effect of lesion side was also assessed. In decision under ambiguity, mTLE patients showed marked deficits and did not improve over the task. Patients with hippocampus abnormality and patients with amygdala abnormality showed comparable deficits. No difference was found between right and left TLE groups. In decision under risk, mTLE patients performed at the same level as controls. Results suggest that mTLE patients have difficulties in learning from feedback and in making decisions in uncertain, ambiguous situations. By contrast, they are able to make advantageous decisions when full information is given and risks, possible gains and losses are exactly defined.
Useful keywords (using NLM MeSH Indexing)
Analysis of Variance
Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe/physiopathology*
Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe/psychology*
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