Analysis of hand kinematics reveals inter-individual differences in intertemporal decision dynamics

Calluso, Cinzia; Committeri, Giorgia; Pezzulo, Giovanni; Lepora, Nathan; Tosoni, Annalisa (2015). Analysis of hand kinematics reveals inter-individual differences in intertemporal decision dynamics. Experimental brain research, 233(12), pp. 3597-3611. Springer 10.1007/s00221-015-4427-1

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During intertemporal decisions, the preference for smaller, sooner reward over larger-delayed rewards (temporal discounting, TD) exhibits substantial inter-subject variability; however, it is currently unclear what are the mechanisms underlying this apparently idiosyncratic behavior. To answer this question, here we recorded and analyzed mouse movement kinematics during intertemporal choices in a large sample of participants (N = 86). Results revealed a specific pattern of decision dynamics associated with the selection of “immediate” versus “delayed” response alternatives, which well discriminated between a “discounter” versus a “farsighted” behavior—thus representing a reliable behavioral marker of TD preferences. By fitting the Drift Diffusion Model to the data, we showed that differences between discounter and farsighted subjects could be explained in terms of different model parameterizations, corresponding to the use of different choice mechanisms in the two groups. While farsighted subjects were biased toward the “delayed” option, discounter subjects were not correspondingly biased toward the “immediate” option. Rather, as shown by the dynamics of evidence accumulation over time, their behavior was characterized by high choice uncertainty.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Social Neuroscience and Social Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Calluso, Cinzia


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology








Cinzia Calluso

Date Deposited:

28 Jan 2016 13:12

Last Modified:

06 Jul 2016 20:55

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Choice behavior; Decision making; Mathematical models




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