Adaptive coding of reward value by dopamine neurons.

Department of Anatomy, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DY, UK, and Institute of Physiology, University of Fribourg, CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland.
Science (Impact Factor: 31.48). 04/2005; 307(5715):1642-5. DOI: 10.1126/science.1105370
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT It is important for animals to estimate the value of rewards as accurately as possible. Because the number of potential reward values is very large, it is necessary that the brain's limited resources be allocated so as to discriminate better among more likely reward outcomes at the expense of less likely outcomes. We found that midbrain dopamine neurons rapidly adapted to the information provided by reward-predicting stimuli. Responses shifted relative to the expected reward value, and the gain adjusted to the variance of reward value. In this way, dopamine neurons maintained their reward sensitivity over a large range of reward values.

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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Patients with schizophrenia display metacognitive impairments, such as hasty decision-making during probabilistic reasoning - the "jumping to conclusion" bias (JTC). Our recent fMRI study revealed reduced activations in the right ventral striatum (VS) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to be associated with decision-making in patients with schizophrenia. It is unclear whether these functional alterations occur in the at-risk mental state (ARMS). METHODS: We administered the classical beads task and fMRI among ARMS patients and healthy controls matched for age, sex, education and premorbid verbal intelligence. None of the ARMS patients was treated with antipsychotics. Both tasks request probabilistic decisions after a variable amount of stimuli. We evaluated activation during decision-making under certainty versus uncertainty and the process of final decision-making. RESULTS: We included 24 AMRS patients and 24 controls in our study. Compared with controls, ARMS patients tended to draw fewer beads and showed significantly more JTC bias in the classical beads task, mirroring findings in patients with schizophrenia. During fMRI, ARMS patients did not demonstrate JTC bias on the behavioural level, but showed a significant hypoactivation in the right VS during the decision stage. LIMITATIONS: Owing to the cross-sectional design of the study, results are constrained to a better insight into the neurobiology of risk constellations, but not prepsychotic stages. Nine of the ARMS patients were treated with antidepressants and/or lorazepam. CONCLUSION: As in patients with schizophrenia, a striatal hypoactivation was found in ARMS patients. Confounding effects of antipsychotic medication can be excluded. Our findings indicate that error prediction signalling and reward anticipation may be linked to striatal dysfunction during prodromal stages and should be examined for their utility in predicting transition risk.
    Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience: JPN 01/2015; 40(1):140. · 7.49 Impact Factor
  • Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12/2014; 13(4):557-578.


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