Eva Halbe (Bonn)

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Elizabeth Bowman


  • Seminar series

Bonn-Melbourne Seminar Series in Decision Making and Computational Psychiatry

The impact of somatic markers on decision-making in ADHD

Eva Halbe

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Bonn, Germany


Risky decision-making behavior has been shown to be impaired in attention-deficits-/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and often causes deficits in the patients' socio-emotional life. As risky decisions often result from quick and intuitive behavior, analyses of subconscious affective functions and feedback processes are important. These emotion-driven processes elicit physiological changes and can be detected by measuring alternations in skin conductance signals. A link between affect, physiological activity, and stimulus is represented by the somatic markers (SM). In subconscious decision-making processes, these markers are then used to intuitively guide behavior. The aim of this study is to explore whether deficits in risky decision-making behavior in ADHD can be traced back to an impaired SM generation. Therefore, skin conductance responses were continuously recorded during the performance of a modified version of the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART). Additional data, regarding conscious self-assessment of risk behavior and emotional competence were collected by questionnaires (DOSPERT; EKF). In this talk, I will first give a brief overview about the pathology of ADHD and the basis of unconscious decision-making, influenced by somatic markers. Secondly, I will present the behavioral results and related SCRs. Then, I will compare the behavioral data with the self-assessments from the questionnaires. Finally, I will discuss these results as an explanation for somatic marker dysfunction in ADHD and how an upcoming imaging study will be used to investigate the underlying mechanisms.

Thursday, 2 June 2022, 9:00 am CEST / 5:00 pm AEST

About the series:
The Bonn-Melbourne Seminar Series in Decision Making and Computational Psychiatry is part of the joint doctoral training and research collaboration at the intersection of decision neuroscience and computational psychiatry between the University of Bonn (spokesperson: Ulrich Ettinger) and the University of Melbourne (spokesperson: Carsten Murawski).

The online seminars take place on Thursdays at 9:00 am (CEST). Talks are 45 minutes long plus 15 minutes for questions and discussion. The target audience consists of students, PhD students, postdocs and researchers from both Bonn and Melbourne who have an interest in decision-making and computational psychiatry research.

More information about the seminar series is available here: https://www.psychologie.uni-bonn.de/de-en/about-us/sections/cognitive-psychology/bonn-melbourne-seminar?set_language=en

If you wish to take part, please feel free to contact us!