Stimulus-preceding negativity is modulated by action-outcome contingency

Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University, 2-579-15, Mikajima, Tokorozawa, Saitama 359, Japan.
Neuroreport (Impact Factor: 1.52). 03/2010; 21(4):277-81. DOI: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3283360bc3
Source: PubMed


We investigated the relationship between action-outcome contingency and stimulus-preceding negativity (SPN), a motivationally sensitive event-related potential. Neuroimaging studies have shown that insular cortex (a known source of the SPN) is more activated prior to rewards that are contingent on prior correct action than rewards that are given gratuitously. We compared two gambling tasks, one in which the participant attempted to guess the profitable key-press option (choice) and one in which rewards were simply given at random (no-choice). The SPN that developed in anticipation of feedback was larger in the choice condition, especially at right anterolateral sites. These findings suggest that the SPN specifically reflects the expectation of response reinforcement, rather than anticipatory attention toward emotionally salient stimuli.

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Available from: Hiroaki Masaki,
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    • "Pioneering studies have suggested that SPN mirrors the anticipation of a motivational stimulus during the prefeedback period (Bocker et al., 1994; Donkers et al., 2005; Masaki et al., 2010). In the present study, the opportunity to choose resulted in a significantly more negative SPN than did the absence of choice, which provided further evidence of the involvement of SPN in the formation of expectancy. "
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    ABSTRACT: According to Self-Determination Theory (SDT), autonomy is a basic psychological need, satisfaction of which may lead to enhanced intrinsic motivation and related beneficial outcomes. By manipulating the opportunity to choose between tasks of equal difficulty, throughout the motivational process, the effect of autonomy support was examined both behaviorally and electrophysiologically. More negative stimulus-preceding negativity (SPN) and an enlarged FRN loss-win difference wave (d-FRN) indicated an enhanced expectation toward the positive outcome (during the anticipation stage) as well as intensified intrinsic motivation toward the task (during the outcome appraisal stage) when choice was available. Taken together, results of the present study suggest d-FRN upon feedback as a real-time electrophysiological indicator of intrinsic/autonomous motivation and illustrate the important role of autonomy-supportive job design in the workplace.
    International Journal of Psychophysiology 09/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2015.08.009 · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    • "A common aspect between the SPN and FRN components is that both have been associated with reward processing (feedback expectancy vs. evaluation of feedback) and dopaminergic midbrain regulatory mechanisms. However, few experiments have studied both components simultaneously (however, see Donkers et al., 2005; Masaki et al., 2006; 2010). "
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    • "For example, time estimation and decision-making tasks produce larger SPN amplitudes for informative than for non-informative outcomes [7]. SPN is also larger for rewards contingent on the people’s choice than for those administered gratuitously or at random [8]. Complementarily, in some studies, the effect has been observed to depend more directly on the predicted motivational value of the outcome than on its informative value [9], which has led some authors to advocate that the SPN results, at least partially, from the neural representation of the emotional value of the upcoming feedback, and not only from its perceptual representation [9]–[10]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The Stimulus Preceding Negativity (SPN) is a non-motor slow cortical potential elicited by temporally predictable stimuli, customarily interpreted as a physiological index of expectancy. Its origin would be the brain activity responsible for generating the anticipatory mental representation of an expected upcoming event. The SPN manifests itself as a slow cortical potential with negative slope, growing in amplitude as the stimulus approximates. The uncertainty hypothesis we present here postulates that the SPN is linked to control-related areas in the prefrontal cortex that become more active before the occurrence of an upcoming outcome perceived as uncertain. We tested the uncertainty hypothesis by using a repeated measures design in a Human Contingency Learning task with two levels of uncertainty. In the high uncertainty condition, the outcome is unpredictable. In the mid uncertainty condition, the outcome can be learnt to be predicted in 75% of the trials. Our experiment shows that the Stimulus Preceding Negativity is larger for probabilistically unpredictable (uncertain) outcomes than for probabilistically predictable ones. sLoreta estimations of the brain activity preceding the outcome suggest that prefrontal and parietal areas can be involved in its generation. Prefrontal sites activation (Anterior Cingulate and Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex) seems to be related to the degree of uncertainty. Activation in posterior parietal areas, however, does not correlates with uncertainty. We suggest that the Stimulus Preceding Negativity reflects the attempt to predict the outcome, when posterior brain areas fail to generate a stable expectancy. Uncertainty is thus conceptualized, not just as the absence of learned expectancy, but as a state with psychological and physiological entity.
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