Spontaneous Blink Rate Correlates With Financial Risk Taking

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Emily Sherman, Robert C Wilson


Dopamine has long been thought to play a role in risky decision-making, with higher tonic levels of dopamine associated with more risk seeking behavior. In this work, we aimed to shed more light on this relationship using spontaneous blink rate as an indirect measure of dopamine. In particular we used video recording to measure blink rate and a decision-making survey to measure risk taking in 45 participants. Consistent with previous work linking dopamine to risky decisions, we found a strong positive correlation between blink rate and the number of risky choices a participant made. This correlation was not dependent on age or gender and was identical for both gain and loss framing. This work suggests that dopamine plays a crucial and quite general role in determining risk attitude across the population and validates this simple method of probing dopamine for decision-making research.

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Decision Making
Population Group
Video Media

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