Intertemporal choice

The role of Pavlovian-to-Instrumental Transfer (PIT) and the relation with psychopathology

Intertemporal decisions refer to choices between sooner-smaller and later-larger rewards. When making such decisions, we often tend to forego later-larger rewards in favour of sooner-smaller rewards. This choice tendency is known as temporal discounting or delay discounting, and has been implicated in various daily-life decisions and mental health disorders. In this project, we aim to gain a better understanding of the psychological mechanisms that contribute to temporal discounting by studying the role of Pavlovian-to-Instrumental Transfer (PIT). That is, we will study whether temporal discounting can be understood as Pavlovian biases (elicited by cues signalling immediate rewards) interfering with goal-directed behaviour towards long-term rewards. In addition, we will investigate the transdiagnostic role of temporal discounting and PIT across mental health disorders.

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