Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia patients do not succumb to the Allais parad

Maxime Bertoux, Florian Cova, Mathias Pessiglione, Ming Hsu, Bruno Dubois, Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Allais Paradox represents one of the earliest empirical challenges to normative models of decision-making, and suggests that choices in one part of a gamble may depend on the possible outcome in another, independent, part of the gamble-a violation of the so-called "independence axiom." To account for Allaisian behavior, one well-known class of models propose that individuals' choices are influenced not only by possible outcomes resulting from one's choices, but also the anticipation of regret for foregone options. Here we test the regret hypothesis using a population of patients with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), a clinical population known to present ventromedial prefrontal cortex dysfunctions and associated with impaired regret processing in previous studies of decision-making. Compared to matched controls and Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients, we found a striking diminution of Allaisian behavior among bvFTD patients. These results are consistent with the regret hypothesis and furthermore suggest a crucial role for prefrontal regions in choices that typically stands in contradiction with a basic axiom of rational decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Article number287
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Issue numberSEP
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Bertoux, Cova, Pessiglione, Hsu, Dubois and Bourgeois-Gironde.


  • Allais paradox
  • Anticipated regret
  • Emotions
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Rationality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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