Parsing Reward

Department of Psychology, Biopsychology Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1109, USA.
Trends in Neurosciences (Impact Factor: 13.56). 10/2003; 26(9):507-13. DOI: 10.1016/S0166-2236(03)00233-9
Source: PubMed


Advances in neurobiology permit neuroscientists to manipulate specific brain molecules, neurons and systems. This has lead to major advances in the neuroscience of reward. Here, it is argued that further advances will require equal sophistication in parsing reward into its specific psychological components: (1) learning (including explicit and implicit knowledge produced by associative conditioning and cognitive processes); (2) affect or emotion (implicit 'liking' and conscious pleasure) and (3) motivation (implicit incentive salience 'wanting' and cognitive incentive goals). The challenge is to identify how different brain circuits mediate different psychological components of reward, and how these components interact.

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    • "One interpretation is that activation of the LH GABA -VTA pathway sends a signal to the mouse that causes the recognition of an appetitive reinforcer. An alternative interpretation is that the LH GABA -VTA pathway might drive incentive salience or an intense ''wanting,'' consistent with a signal underlying conditioned approach, but at a non-physiological level that produces this aberrant feeding-related behavior (Berridge and Robinson, 2003). Consistent with this, it is possible that activation of the LH GABA -VTA projection actually produces intense sensations of craving, or urges to feed. "
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    ABSTRACT: The lateral hypothalamic (LH) projection to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) has been linked to reward processing, but the computations within the LH-VTA loop that give rise to specific aspects of behavior have been difficult to isolate. We show that LH-VTA neurons encode the learned action of seeking a reward, independent of reward availability. In contrast, LH neurons downstream of VTA encode reward-predictive cues and unexpected reward omission. We show that inhibiting the LH-VTA pathway reduces "compulsive" sucrose seeking but not food consumption in hungry mice. We reveal that the LH sends excitatory and inhibitory input onto VTA dopamine (DA) and GABA neurons, and that the GABAergic projection drives feeding-related behavior. Our study overlays information about the type, function, and connectivity of LH neurons and identifies a neural circuit that selectively controls compulsive sugar consumption, without preventing feeding necessary for survival, providing a potential target for therapeutic interventions for compulsive-overeating disorder. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Cell 01/2015; 160(3):528-541. DOI:10.1016/j.cell.2015.01.003 · 32.24 Impact Factor
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    • "Feeding is a motivated behavior, driven by hunger (energy needs) but also by the reward salience of foods, represented by sensory (odor, visual appearance, taste, and texture) and physical (energy content) attributes of a given food (Mehiel and Bolles, 1988; Rolls, 2010; Beeler et al., 2012; Fernstrom et al., 2012; Desmarchelier et al., 2013; Li et al., 2013). While hunger provides the primary motivation to eat, food-seeking (wanting/liking) and ingestive behavior may be triggered by associations between the real or anticipated higher reward value of foods in a particular environmental context or because certain foods are imbued with hedonic properties (Berridge and Robinson, 2003; Berridge et al., 2009; Ferriday and Brunstrom, 2011; Ziauddeen et al., 2012). Conditioned (learned) stimuli can increase subliminal motivation to seek and consume foods during states of satiation and in excess of actual energetic demands, eventually leading to obesity. "
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    ABSTRACT: Eating behavior depends on associations between the sensory and energetic properties of foods. Healthful balance of these factors is a challenge for industrialized societies that have an abundance of food, food choices and food-related cues. Here, we were interested in whether appetitive conditioning changes as a function of age. Operant and pavlovian conditioning experiments (rewarding stimulus was a palatable food) in male mice (aged 3, 6, and 15 months) showed that implicit (non-declarative) memory remains intact during aging. Two other essential components of eating behavior, motivation and hedonic preference for rewarding foods, were also found not to be altered in aging mice. Specifically, hedonic responding by satiated mice to isocaloric foods of differing sensory properties (sucrose, milk) was similar in all age groups; importantly, however, this paradigm disclosed that older animals adjust their energy intake according to energetic need. Based on the assumption that the mechanisms that control feeding are conserved across species, it would appear that overeating and obesity in humans reflects a mismatch between ancient physiological mechanisms and today's cue-laden environment. The implication of the present results showing that aging does not impair the ability to learn stimulus-food associations is that the risk of overeating in response to food cues is maintained through to old age.
    Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 09/2014; 6:242. DOI:10.3389/fnagi.2014.00242 · 4.00 Impact Factor
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    • "This study is based on analyses of self-reported measures, i.e., mentally represented, explicitly accessible information. We have not considered automatic processes (i.e., eating habits) like implicit food attitudes (e.g., Papies et al., 2009; Goldstein et al., 2014) or implicit liking/wanting (e.g., Berridge and Robinson, 2003; Finlayson et al., 2008), which should be regarded in future studies. 1028 1029 1030 1031 1032 1033 1034 1035 1036 1037 1038 1039 1040 1041 1042 1043 1044 1045 1046 1047 1048 1049 1050 1051 1052 1053 1054 1055 1056 1057 1058 1059 1060 1061 1062 1063 1064 1065 1066 1067 1068 1069 1070 1071 1072 1073 1074 1075 1076 1077 1078 1079 1080 1081 1082 1083 1084 1085 1086 1087 1088 1089 1090 1091 1092 1093 1094 1095 1096 1097 1098 1099 1100 1101 1102 1103 1104 1105 1106 1107 1108 1109 1110 1111 1112 1113 1114 1115 1116 1117 1118 1119 1120 1121 1122 1123 1124 1125 1126 1127 1128 1129 1130 1131 1132 1133 1134 1135 1136 1137 1138 1139 1140 Dietrich et al. "
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    ABSTRACT: Behavioral and personality characteristics are factors that may jointly regulate body weight. This study explored the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and self- reported behavioral and personality measures. These measures included eating behavior (based on theThree-Factor Eating Questionnaire; Stunkard and Messick, 1985), sensitivity to reward and punishment [based on the Behavioral Inhibition System/BehavioralActivation System (BIS/BAS) scales; Carver and White, 1994] and self-reported impulsivity (based on the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11; Patton et al., 1995).We found an inverted U-shaped relationship between restrained eating and BMI. This relationship was moderated by the level of disinhibited eating. Independent of eating behavior, BIS and BAS responsiveness were associated with BMI in a gender-specific manner with negative relationships for men and positive relationships for women. Together, eating behavior and BIS/BAS responsiveness accounted for a substantial proportion of BMI variance (men: ∼25%, women: ∼32%). A direct relationship between self-reported impulsivity and BMI was not observed. In summary, our results demonstrate a system of linear and non-linear relationships between the investigated factors and BMI. Moreover, body weight status was not only associated with eating behavior (cognitive restraint and disinhibition), but also with personality factors not inherently related to an eating context (BIS/BAS). Importantly, these relationships differ between men and women.
    Frontiers in Psychology 09/2014; 5:1073. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01073 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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