ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2012, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (10): 1585-1592.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2012.01585

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The Characteristic of Temporal Discounting on Age in Neural and Behavioral Views

HE Jia-Mei   

  1. (Liaoning Normal University, Dalian 116029, China) (Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China)
  • Received:2012-01-12 Online:2012-10-15 Published:2012-10-23
  • Contact: HE Jia-Mei

Abstract: There are two sessions in the development of temporal discounting on age, the one is the time period between childhood and adulthood and the other one is between adulthood and the old age. The curve of temporal discounting gets flatter as the individuals grow up during the time period from childhood to adulthood, the steepness of the function of temporal discounting decreases and the discounting rate slows down as the age. The development and maturation of human’s brain is the neurobiological fundamental of the development of temporal discounting on this period of age. The enhanced communication between the subcortical and cortical areas and the heightened connection within the differential areas in cortical and subcortical regions are the key factors to the maturation of cognitive capacity when the age of individuals is between childhood and adulthood. The temporal discounting changes during this period as a result of the development and maturation of the prefrontal cortex, limbic system and the remodeling of the brain’s dopaminergic system. The steepness of the function of temporal discounting has slightly difference between adulthood and the old age, the changing of the temporal discounting rate is getting slowly. However, some competing results have been found, the researches of temporal discounting on this period haven’t converged yet. A number of efforts have been made on studying the psychological phenomenon which has strong connection to temporal discounting, such as probability discounting, future orientation and delay of gratification, in order to figure out the psychological mechanism of temporal discounting on age. In future, the difference between trajectory of brain areas and the psychological stage of delayed duration might be the perspectives to figure out the characteristic of temporal discounting on age.

Key words: temporal discounting, developmental characteristic on age, brain’s development and maturation, probability discounting, future orientation, delay of gratification