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.

Download full-text


Available from: Hiroaki Masaki
  • Source
    • "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). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The neural basis of feedback expectation, which is crucial in learning theory, has only been minimally studied. Stimulus-preceding negativity (SPN), an ERP component that appears prior to the presentation of feedback, has been proposed as being related to feedback expectation. The present study showed, for the first time, amplitude modulations of the SPN component during learning acquisition in a trial-by-trial associative learning task. The results indicate that SPN could be a plausible electrophysiological index of the cognitive processes engaged while expecting the appearance of relevant feedback during reinforcement learning.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Psychophysiology
  • Source
    • "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]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · PLoS ONE
  • Source
    • "The limiting issue, however, is that responses are very much coupled to the neurotransmitter dopamine and activity of the basal ganglia, just as the performance monitoring/reward anticipation system that we are trying to study. Although the SPN is larger when rewards are contingent on prior action than when they are given gratuitously (Masaki et al., 2010), it would be useful to study motivational processes in isolation. Second, with only few exceptions (e.g., Masaki et al., 2006), FRN investigators only analyze their ERP data after the feedback, because that is when the FRN occurs, and thus do not report on the SPN that precedes it. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neurobiological accounts of the dopaminergic reward system and psychophysiological explanations of the error-related negativity (ERN) both emphasize the comparison of expected versus actual outcome for voluntary actions. The stimulus-preceding negativity (SPN) constitutes a valuable index of that expectation, in that it has high temporal resolution and its anatomical, cognitive and affective correlates have been reasonably well characterized. This review links established findings regarding the SPN to current research on the dorsal and ventral attention systems, somatic marker hypothesis, ERN, the reward system and relevant neurological and psychiatric findings. Special emphasis is given to the pre-feedback SPN and its origin within anterior insular cortex.
    Full-text · Article · May 2011 · Clinical neurophysiology: official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology
Show more