David Victor Smith

David Victor Smith
Temple University | TU · Department of Psychology & Neuroscience

PhD

About

86
Publications
19,237
Reads
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2,844
Citations
Introduction
How do we process and compare different types of rewards and experiences? How do we trust other people and cooperate in group settings? Why do these decisions go awry in some people but not others? My laboratory investigates the neural mechanisms that underlie responses to social and economic incentives and how those responses influence our decisions. To understand the mechanistic links between incentives and our behavior, we utilize an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating perspectives from neuroscience, psychology, and economics.
Additional affiliations
January 2017 - present
Temple University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
November 2012 - December 2016
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 2006 - October 2012
Duke University
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
August 2006 - May 2012
Duke University
Field of study
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Publications

Publications (86)
Article
Much of the work in cognitive neuroscience is shifting from a focus on single brain regions to a focus on the connectivity between multiple brain regions. These inter-regional connectivity patterns contribute to a wide range of behaviors and are studied with models of functional integration. The rapid expansion of the literature on functional integ...
Article
Full-text available
The striatum serves as a critical brain region for reward processing. Yet, understanding the link between striatum and reward presents a challenge because rewards are composed of multiple properties. Notably, affective properties modulate emotion while informative properties help obtain future rewards. We approached this problem by emphasizing affe...
Article
Full-text available
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a noninvasive tool used to probe cognitive and affective processes. Although fMRI provides indirect measures of neural activity, the advent of fMRI has allowed for a) the corroboration of significant animal findings in the human brain and b) the expansion of models to include more common human attribu...
Article
Multiple large-scale neural networks orchestrate a wide range of cognitive processes. For example, interoceptive processes related to self-referential thinking have been linked to the default-mode network (DMN); whereas exteroceptive processes related to cognitive control have been linked to the executive-control network (ECN). Although the DMN and...
Article
Full-text available
A central challenge for neuroscience lies in relating inter-individual variability to the functional properties of specific brain regions. Yet, considerable variability exists in the connectivity patterns between different brain areas, potentially producing reliable group differences. Using sex differences as a motivating example, we examined two s...
Article
The use of naturalistic stimuli, such as narrative movies, is gaining popularity in many fields, characterizing memory, affect, and decision-making. Narrative recall paradigms are often used to capture the complexity and richness of memory for naturalistic events. However, scoring narrative recalls is time-consuming and prone to human biases. Here,...
Preprint
Associations between connectivity networks and behavioral outcomes such as depression are typically examined by comparing average network models between known groups. However, potential neural heterogeneity within groups limits the ability to use this approach to make inferences about the individual as qualitatively distinct processes across indivi...
Preprint
Major depressive disorder (MDD) has been associated with changes in functional brain connectivity. Yet, typical analyses of functional connectivity, such as spatial ICA for resting-state data, often ignore sources of between-subject variability, which may be crucial for identifying functional connectivity patterns associated with MDD. Typically, me...
Article
Full-text available
The default mode network (DMN) has been theorized to participate in a range of social, cognitive, and affective functions. Yet, previous accounts do not consider how the DMN contributes to other brain regions depending on psychological context, thus rendering our understanding of DMN function incomplete. We addressed this gap by applying a novel ne...
Article
Humans actively seek information to reduce uncertainty, providing insight on how our decisions causally affect the world. While we know that episodic memories can help support future goal-oriented behaviors, little is known about how hypothesis testing during exploration influences episodic memory. To investigate this question, we designed a hypoth...
Article
Social relationships change across the lifespan as social networks narrow and motivational priorities shift to the present. Interestingly, aging is also associated with changes in executive function, including decision-making abilities, but it remains unclear how age-related changes in both domains interact to impact financial decisions involving o...
Article
Full-text available
Perturbations in dopamine system function may increase risk of substance use disorder (SUD). We recently demonstrated that neuromelanin (NM) MRI signal in the substantia nigra, a non-invasive index of dopamine system function, is elevated in long term cocaine users (Cassidy et al., 2020). However, it is unclear whether elevated NM-MRI signal is lin...
Article
Full-text available
In Parkinson’s disease (PD), neurodegeneration of dopaminergic neurons occurs in the midbrain, specifically targeting the substantia nigra (SN), while leaving the ventral tegmental area (VTA) relatively spared in early phases of the disease. Although the SN and VTA are known to be functionally dissociable in healthy adults, it remains unclear how t...
Article
In the past decade, decision neuroscience and neuroeconomics have developed many new insights in the study of decision making. This review provides an overarching update on how the field has advanced in this time period. Although our initial review a decade ago outlined several theoretical, conceptual, methodological, empirical, and practical chall...
Preprint
The use of naturalistic stimuli, such as narrative movies, is gaining popularity in many fields, characterizing memory, affect, and decision-making. Narrative recall paradigms are often used to capture the complexity and richness of memory for naturalistic events. However, scoring narrative recalls is time-consuming and prone to human biases. Here,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Social relationships change across the lifespan as social networks narrow and motivational priorities shift to the present. Interestingly, aging is also associated with changes in executive function, including decision-making abilities, but it remains unclear how age-related changes in both domains interact to impact financial decisions involving o...
Preprint
Full-text available
The default mode network (DMN) has been theorized to participate in a range of social, cognitive, and affective functions. Yet, previous accounts do not consider how the DMN contributes to other brain regions depending on psychological context, thus rendering our understanding of DMN function incomplete. We addressed this gap by applying a novel ne...
Preprint
Full-text available
In Parkinsons disease (PD), neurodegeneration of dopaminergic neurons occurs in the midbrain, specifically targeting the substantia nigra (SN), while leaving the ventral tegmental area (VTA) relatively spared in early phases of the disease. Although the SN and VTA are known to be functionally dissociable in healthy adults, it remains unclear how th...
Article
Full-text available
Background A family history of major depressive disorder (MDD) increases the likelihood of a future depressive episode, which itself poses a significant risk for disruptions in reward processing and social cognition. However, it is unclear whether a family history of MDD is associated with alterations in the neural circuitry underlying reward proce...
Preprint
Thinking one is better than peers is generally associated with positive psychological outcomes like increased self-esteem and resilience. However, this tendency may be problematic in the context of collective action problems, wherein individuals are reliant on others’ prosocial behaviors to achieve larger goals. We examined this question in the con...
Article
Full-text available
Social rewards or punishments motivate human learning and behaviour, and alterations in the brain circuits involved in the processing of these stimuli have been linked with several neuropsychiatric disorders. However, questions still remain about the exact neural substrates implicated in social reward and punishment processing. Here, we conducted f...
Preprint
In the past decade, decision neuroscience and its subfield of neuroeconomics have developed many new insights in the study of decision making. This review provides a comprehensive update on how the field has advanced in this time. Although our initial review a decade ago outlined several theoretical, conceptual, methodological, empirical, and pract...
Article
Full-text available
The default mode network (DMN) consists of several regions that selectively interact to support distinct domains of cognition. Of the various sites that partake in DMN function, the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), temporal parietal junction (TPJ), and medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) are frequently identified as key contributors. Yet, it remains u...
Article
Full-text available
Neural models of obesity vary in their focus upon prefrontal and striatal differences. Animal and human studies suggest that differential functioning of the orbitofrontal cortex is associated with obesity. However, meta-analyses of functional neuroimaging studies have not found a clear relationship between the orbitofrontal cortex and obesity. Meta...
Preprint
This report describes an ongoing R03 grant that explores the links between trait reward sensitivity, substance use, and neural responses to social and nonsocial reward. Although previous research has shown that trait reward sensitivity and neural responses to reward are linked to substance use, whether this relationship is impacted by how people pr...
Article
Full-text available
Data analysis workflows in many scientific domains have become increasingly complex and flexible. Here we assess the effect of this flexibility on the results of functional magnetic resonance imaging by asking 70 independent teams to analyse the same dataset, testing the same 9 ex-ante hypotheses1. The flexibility of analytical approaches is exempl...
Preprint
Full-text available
Social incentives (rewards or punishments) motivate human learning and behaviour, and alterations in the brain circuits involved in the processing social incentives have been linked with several neuropsychiatric disorders. However, questions still remain about the exact neural substrates implicated in social incentive processing. Here, we conducted...
Article
Full-text available
Face processing supports our ability to recognize friend from foe, form tribes and understand the emotional implications of changes in facial musculature. This skill relies on a distributed network of brain regions, but how these regions interact is poorly understood. Here we integrate anatomical and functional connectivity measurements with behavi...
Article
Reciprocated trust plays a critical role in forming and maintaining relationships, and has consistently been shown to implicate neural circuits involved in reward-related processing and social cognition. Less is known about neural network connectivity during social interactions involving trust, however, particularly as a function of closeness betwe...
Article
Full-text available
We report on the ongoing R21 project "Social Reward Learning in Schizophrenia". Impairments in social cognition are a hallmark of schizophrenia. However, little work has been done on social reward learning deficits in schizophrenia. The overall goal of the project is to assess social reward learning in schizophrenia. A probabilistic reward learning...
Article
Full-text available
This report describes an ongoing R03 grant that explores the links between trait reward sensitivity, substance use, and neural responses to social and nonsocial reward. Although previous research has shown that trait reward sensitivity and neural responses to reward are linked to substance use, whether this relationship is impacted by how people pr...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background A family history of major depressive disorder (MDD) increases the likelihood of a future depressive episode, which itself poses a significant risk for disruptions in reward processing and social cognition. However, it is unclear whether a family history of MDD is associated with alterations in the neural circuitry underlying reward proce...
Preprint
Full-text available
Data analysis workflows in many scientific domains have become increasingly complex and flexible. To assess the impact of this flexibility on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) results, the same dataset was independently analyzed by 70 teams, testing nine ex-ante hypotheses. The flexibility of analytic approaches is exemplified by the fac...
Article
Full-text available
Many neuroimaging studies have investigated reward processing dysfunction in major depressive disorder. These studies have led to the common idea that major depressive disorder is associated with blunted responses within the reward circuit, particularly in the ventral striatum. Yet, the link between major depressive disorder and reward-related resp...
Preprint
Full-text available
Reciprocated trust plays a critical role in forming and maintaining relationships, and has consistently been shown to implicate neural circuits involved in reward-related processing and social cognition. Less is known about neural network connectivity during social interactions involving trust, however, particularly as a function of closeness betwe...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is a major focus of investigation in human neuroscience, particularly in studies of emotion, social cognition, and decision making. Although the term vmPFC is widely used, the zone is not precisely defined, and for varied reasons has proven a complicated region to study. A difficulty identifying precise bo...
Preprint
Our behavior is inextricably linked to rewards in our environment. This observation has sparked considerable interest in understanding the neural mechanisms that support reward processing in humans. Early neuroimaging studies implicated regions such as the striatum and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) in reward processing, particularly how ac...
Preprint
Full-text available
Meta-analyses of neuroimaging studies have not found a clear relationship between the orbitofrontal cortex and obesity, despite animal and human studies suggesting the contrary. Our primary meta-analysis examined what regions are associated with reduced gray matter volume, given increased body mass index. We identified 23 voxel-based morphometry st...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Many neuroimaging studies have investigated reward processing dysfunction in major depressive disorder (MDD). These studies have led to the common idea that MDD is associated with blunted responses within the reward circuit, particularly in the ventral striatum (VS). Yet, the link between MDD and aberrant responses to reward in other br...
Preprint
A host of public health problems -- from drug addiction to obesity -- are associated with persistent, maladaptive behaviors. The underlying causes of such behaviors have received considerable attention from psychologists, clinicians, computational theorists, and neuroscientists. These diverse perspectives were showcased in a symposium at the Univer...
Preprint
Full-text available
The default mode network (DMN) consists of multiple interacting regions, including the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), temporal parietal junction (TPJ), and medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC). Yet it remains unclear whether regions within the DMN contribute to distinct cognitive processes and health conditions. We addressed this problem at two diffe...
Article
Full-text available
Large-scale functional networks, as identified through the coordinated activity of spatially distributed brain regions, have become central objects of study in neuroscience because of their contributions to many processing domains. Yet, it remains unclear how these domain-general networks interact with focal brain regions to coordinate thought and...
Article
Full-text available
In the classic gain/loss framing effect, describing a gamble as a potential gain or loss biases people to make risk-averse or risk-seeking decisions, respectively. The canonical explanation for this effect is that frames differentially modulate emotional processes - which in turn leads to irrational choice behavior. Here, we evaluate the source of...
Preprint
Full-text available
In the classic gain/loss framing effect, describing a gamble as a potential gain or loss biases people to make risk-averse or risk-seeking decisions, respectively. The canonical explanation for this effect is that frames differentially modulate emotional processes – which in turn leads to irrational choice behavior. Here, we evaluate the source of...
Article
Full-text available
Expressing one's preference via choice can be rewarding, particularly when decisions are voluntarily made as opposed to being forced. An open question is whether engaging in choices involving rewards recruits distinct neural systems as a function of sensitivity to reward. Reward sensitivity is a trait partly influenced by the mesolimbic dopamine sy...
Article
Within the neuroimaging community, coordinate based meta-analyses (CBMAs) are essential for aggregating findings across studies and testing whether those studies report similar anatomical locations. This approach has been predominantly applied to studies that focus on whether activation of a brain region is associated with a given psychological pro...
Article
Full-text available
Observing the choices of others adds utility to the chosen option. The additional utility conferred by others' choices is encoded by the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and explains the idiosyncratic effects of social influence.
Article
Full-text available
Individuals with autistic spectrum disorders exhibit distinct personality traits linked to attentional, social, and affective functions, and those traits are expressed with varying levels of severity in the neurotypical and subclinical population. Variation in autistic traits has been linked to reduced functional and structural connectivity (i.e.,...
Chapter
Our behavior is inextricably linked to rewards in our environment. This observation has sparked considerable interest in understanding the neural mechanisms that support reward processing in humans. Early neuroimaging studies implicated regions such as the striatum and ventromedial prefrontal cortex in reward processing, particularly how activation...
Article
Full-text available
Although we often seek social feedback (SFB) from others to help us make decisions, little is known about how SFB affects decisions under risk, particularly from a close peer. We conducted two experiments using an established framing task to probe how decision-making is modulated by SFB valence (positive, negative) and the level of closeness with f...
Article
Full-text available
Dopaminergic networks modulate neural processing across a spectrum of function from perception to learning to action. Multiple organizational schemes based on anatomy and function have been proposed for dopaminergic nuclei in the midbrain. One schema originating in rodent models delineated ventral tegmental area (VTA), implicated in complex behavio...
Article
Full-text available
According to many studies, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) encodes the subjective value of disparate rewards on a common scale. Yet, a host of other reward factors-likely represented outside of VMPFC-must be integrated to construct such signals for valuation. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we tested whether the inter...
Article
Full-text available
Efforts to understand the functional architecture of the brain have consistently identified multiple overlapping large-scale neural networks that are observable across multiple states. Despite the ubiquity of these networks, it remains unclear how regions within these large-scale neural networks interact to orchestrate behavior. Here, we collected...
Article
Full-text available
The Fall 2011 issue of this journal published a two-paper section on “Neuroeconomics.” One paper, by Ernst Fehr and Antonio Rangel, clearly and concisely summarized a small part of the fast-growing literature. The second paper, “It’s about Space, It’s about Time, Neuroeconomics, and the Brain Sublime,” by Marieke van Rooij and Guy Van Orden, is bea...
Article
Full-text available
The study of stroke patients with modern lesion-symptom analysis techniques has yielded valuable insights into the representation of spatial attention in the human brain. Here we introduce an approach-multivariate pattern analysis-that no longer assumes independent contributions of brain regions but rather quantifies the joint contribution of multi...
Article
Full-text available
How is the brain engaged when people are thinking about their hopes, dreams, and obligations? Regulatory focus theory postulates two classes of personal goals and motivational systems for pursuing them. Ideal goals, such as hopes and aspirations, are pursued via the promotion system through "making good things happen." Ought goals, such as obligati...