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Neuroanatomical substrates accounting for the effect of present hedonistic time perspective on risk preference: the mediating role of right posterior parietal cortex


The preference for taking risk troubles people across multiple domains including health, economics, and social well-being. Prior research has demonstrated that risk preference can be influenced by time perspective (TP). However, little is known about the neural substrates underlying the effect of TP on risk preference. Here, we used a voxel-based morphometry (VBM) method across two samples to address this question. In Sample 1, the behavioral results showed a positive correlation between present hedonistic TP (PHTP) and gambling rate (the index of risk preference), indicating the higher PHTP, the greater the preference for risk. Subsequently, the whole-brain VBM results found that gambling rate was negatively correlated with the gray matter (GM) volume of a cluster in the right posterior parietal cortex (rPPC). The PHTP score was also negatively related to the GM volume of another cluster in the rPPC. We then examined an overlapping region in the rPPC using a conjunction analysis method. The GM volume of this overlapping brain region was related to both PHTP score and gambling rate. Finally, the mediation analysis found that the GM volume of overlapping region in rPPC played a role in explaining the effect of PHTP on risk preference. This result was also reproduced and validated in another independent sample. Taken together, our findings manifest that the structural variation of rPPC can account for the influence that PHTP has upon the risk preference.

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This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31971026).

Author information

Ting Xu and Zhiyi Chen conducted and analyzed the pilot studies. Ting Xu, Rong Zhang and Yaqi Yang collected and analyzed the data. Ting Xu, Zhiyi Chen, Fuschia Sirois and Tingyong Feng prepared and revised the manuscript.

Correspondence to Tingyong Feng.

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All authors (including Ms. Ting Xu, Mr. Zhiyi Chen, Dr. Fuschia Sirois, Ms. Rong Zhang, Ms. Yaqi Yang and Dr. Tingyong Feng) declare they have no conflict of interest.

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All procedures followed were in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, and the applicable revisions at the time of the investigation. Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.

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Xu, T., Chen, Z., Sirois, F.M. et al. Neuroanatomical substrates accounting for the effect of present hedonistic time perspective on risk preference: the mediating role of right posterior parietal cortex. Brain Imaging and Behavior (2020).

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  • Time perspective
  • Risk preference
  • Right posterior parietal cortex
  • Voxel-based morphometry