Distinct portions of anterior cingulate cortex and medial prefrontal cortex are activated by reward processing in separable phases of decision-making cognition.
ABSTRACT Choosing between actions associated with uncertain rewards and punishments is mediated by neural circuitry encompassing the orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and striatum; however, the precise conditions under which these different components are activated during decision-making cognition remain uncertain.
Fourteen healthy volunteers completed an event-based functional magnetic resonance imaging protocol to investigate blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) responses during independently modeled phases of choice cognition. In the "decision phase," participants decided which of two simultaneous visually presented gambles they wished to play for monetary reward. The gambles differed in their magnitude of gains, magnitude of losses, and the probabilities with which these outcomes were delivered. In the "outcome phase," the result of each choice was indicated on the visual display.
In the decision phase, choices involving large gains were associated with increased BOLD responses in the pregenual ACC, paracingulate, and right posterior orbitolateral cortex compared with choices involving small gains. In the outcome phase, good outcomes were associated with increased BOLD responses in the posterior orbitomedial cortex, subcallosal ACC, and ventral striatum compared with negative outcomes. There was only limited overlap between reward-related activity in ACC and orbitofrontal cortex during the decision and outcome phases.
Neural activity within the medial and lateral orbitofrontal cortex, pregenual ACC, and striatum mediate distinct representations of reward-related information that are deployed at different stages during a decision-making episode.
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ABSTRACT: Following damage to specific sectors of the prefrontal cortex, humans develop a defect in real-life decision making, in spite of otherwise normal intellectual performance. The patients so affected may even realize the consequences of their actions but fail to act accordingly, thus appearing oblivious to the future. The neural basis of this defect has resisted explanation. Here we identify a physiological correlate for the defect and discuss its possible significance. We measured the skin conductance responses (SCRs) of 7 patients with prefrontal damage, and 12 normal controls, during the performance of a novel task, a card game that simulates real-life decision making in the way it factors uncertainty, rewards, and penalties. Both patients and controls generated SCRs after selecting cards that were followed by penalties or by reward. However, after a number of trials, controls also began to generate SCRs prior to their selection of a card, while they pondered from which deck to choose, but no patients showed such anticipatory SCRs. The absence of anticipatory SCRs in patients with prefrontal damage is a correlate of their insensitivity to future outcomes. It is compatible with the idea that these patients fail to activate biasing signals that would serve as value markers in the distinction between choices with good or bad future outcomes; that these signals also participate in the enhancement of attention and working memory relative to representations pertinent to the decision process; and that the signals hail from the bioregulatory machinery that sustains somatic homeostasis and can be expressed in emotion and feeling.Cerebral Cortex 01/1996; 6(2):215-25. · 6.83 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Macaques were taught a reward-conditional response selection task; they learned to associate each of two different actions to each of two different rewards and to select actions that were appropriate for particular rewards. They were also taught a visual discrimination learning task. Cingulate lesions significantly impaired selection of responses associated with different rewards but did not interfere with visual discrimination learning or performance. The results suggest that 1) the cingulate cortex is concerned with action reward associations and not limited to just detecting when actions lead to errors and 2) that the cingulate cortex's function is limited to action reinforcer associations and it is not concerned with stimulus reward associations.Journal of Neurophysiology 03/2003; 89(2):1161-4. · 3.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We report a functional neuroimaging study with positron emission tomography (PET) in which six healthy adult volunteers were scanned while watching silent computer-presented animations. The characters in the animations were simple geometrical shapes whose movement patterns selectively evoked mental state attribution or simple action description. Results showed increased activation in association with mental state attribution in four main regions: medial prefrontal cortex, temporoparietal junction (superior temporal sulcus), basal temporal regions (fusiform gyrus and temporal poles adjacent to the amygdala), and extrastriate cortex (occipital gyrus). Previous imaging studies have implicated these regions in self-monitoring, in the perception of biological motion, and in the attribution of mental states using verbal stimuli or visual depictions of the human form. We suggest that these regions form a network for processing information about intentions, and speculate that the ability to make inferences about other people's mental states evolved from the ability to make inferences about other creatures' actions.NeuroImage 10/2000; · 6.25 Impact Factor