Choosing and changing financial advisors: An fMRI study of associated brain activations

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4 Scopus citations


Changing financial advisors during an advisor-intermediated stock-market game was more likely during periods of relative underperformance. Immediately prior to changing advisors, brain activation was greater in areas associated with error detection (dorsal anterior cingulate cortex) and number comparisons (inferior parietal and middle frontal gyri). This combination of activations was analogous to those associated with choosing to stop chasing losses in a gambling task. Advisors may consider using heuristics from gambling research and investment practice that re-characterize loss experiences as something other than errors. During non-switching quiet periods, subjects were more likely to be focusing on the images of advisors, reflected by activation in face-specific visual regions. These results may support client-retention strategies emphasizing personal connections rather than pure numerical performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-17
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Financial Counseling and Planning
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012


  • Financial planning
  • Neuroeconomics
  • fMRI


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