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Economic issues provokes hazardous landing decision-making by enhancing the activity of "emotional" neural pathways

Causse, Mickael and Dehais, Frédéric and Pastor, Josette and Péran, Patrice and Sabatini, Umberto Economic issues provokes hazardous landing decision-making by enhancing the activity of "emotional" neural pathways. (2010) In: 4th International Conference on Research in Air Transportation - ICRAT 2010, 01-04 June 2010, Budapest, Hungary .

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Abstract

The analysis of aeronautical accidents highlights the fact that some airline pilots demonstrate a trend to land whereas the approach is not well stabilized. This behavior seems to be the consequence of various factors, including financial issues. Our hypothesis is that financial constraints modulate the brain circuitry of emotion and reward, in particular via the interactions between two prefrontal structures: the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex(DLPFC), main center of the executive functions (EFs), high level cognitive abilities, and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC), structure linked with the limbic system, major substratum of emotional processes. In our experiment, participants performed a simplified task of landing in which the level of uncertainty and the financial incentive were manipulated. A preliminary behavioral experiment (n = 12) was conducted. A similar second experiment using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is in progress and a case study only is reported here. The behavioral data showed that the participants made more risky decision to land in the financial incentive condition in comparison to the neutral condition, where no financial incentive was delivered. This was particularly true when the uncertainty was high. The functional neuroimaging results showed that the reasoning performed in neutral condition resulted in enhanced activity in DLPFC. On the contrary, under the influence of the financial incentive, VMPFC activity was increased. These results showed the effectiveness of the financial incentive to bias decision-making toward a more risky and less rational behavior from a safety point of view. Functional neuroimaging data showed a shift from cold to hot reasoning in presence of the financial incentive, suggesting that pilot erroneous trend to land could be explained by a temporary perturbation of the decision-making process due to the negative emotional consequences associated with the go-around.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Audience (conference):International conference proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale - INSERM
Other partners > Fondazione Santa Lucia - IRCCS (ITALY)
Université de Toulouse > Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace - ISAE
Université de Toulouse > Université Paul Sabatier-Toulouse III - UPS
Laboratory name:
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Deposited By:Frédéric Dehais

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