EEG Correlation during Social Decision-making in Institutionalized Adolescents

Jorge Hevia-Orozco, Araceli Sanz-Martin, Miguel Angel Guevara and Marisela Hernández-Gonzalez - Abnormal & Behavioral Psychology


The institutionalization is related with a deprivation of social-emotional stimulation and with alterations in the physiology of the prefrontal cortex, the electroencephalogram (EEG) and the social behavior. The aim of this study was to compare the EEG correlation during a social decision making task (Ultimatum Game) in a group of institutionalized (INST) adolescents with a never institutionalized group (NINST). The EEG correlations among prefrontal (Fp1-F3, Fp2-F4), prefronto-temporal (F3-T3, F4-T4) and prefronto-parietal (F3-P3, F4-P4) areas were recorded in 20 adolescents: 10 INST and 10 NINST. There were not differences between both groups in behavioral parameters. However, the INST group showed a higher correlation in delta and alpha-1 during the acceptance and rejection of proposals respectively, between Fp1-F3 areas. This group also presented a lower gamma correlation between F3-T3 areas during the acceptance and the rejection of proposals. Finally, INST group showed, during the acceptance of proposals, a lower gamma correlation between F3-P3 and higher F4-P4 delta correlation. These results refect the neural characteristics of processing information from complex environments in institutionalized population and perhaps represent the bias for presentation of psychiatric conditions.


Although there were not signifcant behavioral diferences between groups, EEG diferences were clear. Perhaps the differences in functional coupling within prefrontal cortex and between prefrontal and temporal and parietal cortices are revealing some deficiencies in social abilities. These EEG findings could represent a predisposition for psychopathological conditions for the future.