Expected value and prediction error abnormalities in depression and schizophrenia.
ABSTRACT The dopamine system has been linked to anhedonia in depression and both the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, but it remains unclear how dopamine dysfunction could mechanistically relate to observed symptoms. There is considerable evidence that phasic dopamine signals encode prediction error (differences between expected and actual outcomes), with reinforcement learning theories being based on prediction error-mediated learning of associations. It has been hypothesized that abnormal encoding of neural prediction error signals could underlie anhedonia in depression and negative symptoms in schizophrenia by disrupting learning and blunting the salience of rewarding events, and contribute to psychotic symptoms by promoting aberrant perceptions and the formation of delusions. To test this, we used model based functional magnetic resonance imaging and an instrumental reward-learning task to investigate the neural correlates of prediction errors and expected-reward values in patients with depression (n=15), patients with schizophrenia (n=14) and healthy controls (n=17). Both patient groups exhibited abnormalities in neural prediction errors, but the spatial pattern of abnormality differed, with the degree of abnormality correlating with syndrome severity. Specifically, reduced prediction errors in the striatum and midbrain were found in depression, with the extent of signal reduction in the bilateral caudate, nucleus accumbens and midbrain correlating with increased anhedonia severity. In schizophrenia, reduced prediction error signals were observed in the caudate, thalamus, insula and amygdala-hippocampal complex, with a trend for reduced prediction errors in the midbrain, and the degree of blunting in the encoding of prediction errors in the insula, amygdala-hippocampal complex and midbrain correlating with increased severity of psychotic symptoms. Schizophrenia was also associated with disruption in the encoding of expected-reward values in the bilateral amygdala-hippocampal complex and parahippocampal gyrus, with the degree of disruption correlating with psychotic symptom severity. Neural signal abnormalities did not correlate with negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. These findings support the suggestion that a disruption in the encoding of prediction error signals contributes to anhedonia symptoms in depression. In schizophrenia, the findings support the postulate of an abnormality in error-dependent updating of inferences and beliefs driving psychotic symptoms. Phasic dopamine abnormalities in depression and schizophrenia are suggested by our observation of prediction error abnormalities in dopamine-rich brain areas, given the evidence for dopamine encoding prediction errors. The findings are consistent with proposals that psychiatric syndromes reflect different disorders of neural valuation and incentive salience formation, which helps bridge the gap between biological and phenomenological levels of understanding.
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ABSTRACT: Abnormalities in the dopamine system have long been implicated in explanations of reinforcement learning and psychosis. The updated reward prediction error (RPE)-a discrepancy between the predicted and actual rewards-is thought to be encoded by dopaminergic neurons. Dysregulation of dopamine systems could alter the appraisal of stimuli and eventually lead to schizophrenia. Accordingly, the measurement of RPE provides a potential behavioral index for the evaluation of brain dopamine activity and psychotic symptoms. Here, we assess two features potentially crucial to the RPE process, namely belief formation and belief perseveration, via a probability learning task and reinforcement-learning modeling. Forty-five patients with schizophrenia [26 high-psychosis and 19 low-psychosis, based on their p1 and p3 scores in the positive-symptom subscales of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS)] and 24 controls were tested in a feedback-based dynamic reward task for their RPE-related decision making. While task scores across the three groups were similar, matching law analysis revealed that the reward sensitivities of both psychosis groups were lower than that of controls. Trial-by-trial data were further fit with a reinforcement learning model using the Bayesian estimation approach. Model fitting results indicated that both psychosis groups tend to update their reward values more rapidly than controls. Moreover, among the three groups, high-psychosis patients had the lowest degree of choice perseveration. Lumping patients' data together, we also found that patients' perseveration appears to be negatively correlated (p = 0.09, trending toward significance) with their PANSS p1 + p3 scores. Our method provides an alternative for investigating reward-related learning and decision making in basic and clinical settings.Frontiers in Psychology 11/2014; 5:1282. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01282 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In this review an RDoC approach is applied to psychopathic traits. Two core neuro-cognitive systems relevant to the emergence of psychopathic traits are considered. These are the response to other individuals' emotional displays and reinforcement-based decision-making. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.Current Opinion in Neurobiology 10/2014; 30C:79-84. DOI:10.1016/j.conb.2014.09.011 · 6.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although much attention has been directed towards life satisfaction that refers to an individual's general cognitive evaluations of his or her life as a whole, little is known about the neural basis underlying global life satisfaction. In the present study, we used voxel-based morphometry to investigate the structural neural correlates of life satisfaction in a large sample of young healthy adults (n = 299). We showed that individuals' life satisfaction was positively correlated with the regional gray matter volume (rGMV) in the right parahippocampal gyrus (PHG), and negatively correlated with the rGMV in the left precuneus and left ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC). This pattern of results remained significant even after controlling for the effect of general positive and negative affect, suggesting a unique structural correlates of life satisfaction. Furthermore, we found that self-esteem partially mediated the association between the PHG volume and life satisfaction as well as that between the precSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 11/2014; DOI:10.1093/scan/nsu144 · 5.88 Impact Factor