The impact of executive functions and emotional intelligence on Iowa Gambling Task performance: focus on right frontal lobe damage
Decision-making under uncertainty in the Iowa Gambling Task has been intensively studied during the last twenty years regarding both “hot” and “cold” components. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is a key region involved in processing somatic marker information, though recent findings imply that dorsolateral regions are also important. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is also known as a substrate of executive functions as “cold” component of decision-making. However, there is contradictory evidence about the role of executive functions, as well as such “hot” component of decision-making as emotional intelligence. This study seeks to address this inconsistency. Previous findings suggest that patients with right frontal lobe lesions should find decision-making more problematic in the Iowa Gambling Task. This article aims to investigate an importance of emotional intelligence as “hot” and executive functions as “cold” component in decision-making in the Iowa Gambling Task. We obtained data from patients with right frontal lobe tumours and healthy controls who had undertaken the Iowa Gambling Task, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and D-KEFS Colour-Word Interference Test. The current findings imply that performance in the Iowa Gambling Task is highly correlated with several parameters of set-shifting in the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test: right answers, conceptual level responses and non-perseverative errors. However, no correlation is found with cognitive inhibition parameters in the Colour-Word Interference Test, while an interaction between emotional intelligence parameters and performance on Iowa Gambling Task is low.