Distributed neural representation of expected value

ArticleinThe Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 25(19):4806-12 · June 2005with26 Reads
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0642-05.2005 · Source: PubMed
Anticipated reward magnitude and probability comprise dual components of expected value (EV), a cornerstone of economic and psychological theory. However, the neural mechanisms that compute EV have not been characterized. Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined neural activation as subjects anticipated monetary gains and losses that varied in magnitude and probability. Group analyses indicated that, although the subcortical nucleus accumbens (NAcc) activated proportional to anticipated gain magnitude, the cortical mesial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) additionally activated according to anticipated gain probability. Individual difference analyses indicated that, although NAcc activation correlated with self-reported positive arousal, MPFC activation correlated with probability estimates. These findings suggest that mesolimbic brain regions support the computation of EV in an ascending and distributed manner: whereas subcortical regions represent an affective component, cortical regions also represent a probabilistic component, and, furthermore, may integrate the two.
    • "Whereas consolidation of memory units occurs in hippocampus, in the medial temporal lobe, activation, and processing of memory contents proceeds in the prefrontal brain areas (Nyberg et al., 1996; MacLeod et al., 1988; Lepage et al., 2000). The value of a stimulus is evaluated primarily in ventral striatum, particularly in nucleus accumbens (Knutson et al., 2001Knutson et al., , 2005Knutson et al., , 2007), in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior insula (Sanfey et al., 2003), and medial orbitofrontal cortex (Rangel and Hare, 2010), whereas the subthalamic nucleus (STN), a part of basal ganglia, which receive input from medial prefrontal cortex seems to adjust the decision threshold by accumulation of information (Keuken et al., 2015; Herz et al., 2016). More important in the present context, however, is the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) that is strongly interconnected with prefrontal cortex, hypothalamus, amygdala, and basal ganglia like STN. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Decision making in economic context is an everyday activity but its neuronal correlates are poorly understood. The present study aimed at investigating the electrophysiological brain activity during simulated purchase decisions of technical products for a lower or higher price relative to a mean price estimated in a pilot study. Expectedly, participants mostly decided to buy a product when it was cheap and not to buy when it was expensive. However, in some trials they made counter-conformity decisions to buy a product for a higher than the average price or not to buy it despite an attractive price. These responses took more time and the variability of the response latency was enhanced relative to conformity responses. ERPs showed enhanced conflict related fronto-central N2 during both types of counter-conformity compared to conformity decisions. A reverse pattern was found for the P3a and P3b. The response-locked P3 (r-P3) was larger and the subsequent CNV smaller for counter-conformity than conformity decisions. We assume that counter-conformity decisions elevate the response threshold (larger N2), intensify response evaluation (r-P3) and attenuate the preparation for the next trial (CNV). These effects were discussed in the framework of the functional role of the fronto-parietal cortex in economic decision making.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2016
    • "Therefore, it is not surprising that the anticipation of rewards is mediated primarily by the dopaminergic mesolimbic system. Gauging the value of these expected rewards involves dopamine neurons of the ventral striatum, particularly the ventral tegmental area (VTA), and the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), such that elevated activation is related to increases in perceived value (Knutson et al., 2005; Spreckelmeyer et al., 2009 ). Within the decision-making process for intertemporal discounting, the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and parietal regions have been found to be engaged in overriding these impulses from the mesolimbic dopamine system, resulting in choosing the larger-later reward (Bickel et al., 2007; McClure, 2004). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to test the hypothesis that religious primes would influence intertemporal discounting behaviors in neurotypical older adults, but not in participants with Parkinson's disease (PD). Furthermore, we predicted that this priming effect would be related to functional connectivity within neural networks mediating religious cognition, decision-making, reward valuing, and prospection processes. Contrary to past research with young adults, we found a significant positive relationship between religiosity and discounting rates. Religious semantic primes did not reliably shift individual discounting rates. But religious controls did respond more quickly to intertemporal decisions under the religious priming condition than the neutral condition, compared to response time differences among the participants with PD. Differences in response time were significantly associated with functional connectivity between the nucleus accumbens and various regions, including the left anterior cingulate cortex and Brodmann areas 10 and 46 in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. These results suggest that religious primes influence discounting behavior via dopaminergic meso-limbic and right dorsolateral prefrontal supporting cognitive valuation and prospection processes.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2016
    • "Classic decision theories predicted and explained choice behavior as aimed toward maximizing EV or EU. Consistently, neuroimaging studies have observed neural correlates of EV and EU in cortical and subcortical brain regions, including regions innervated by mesolimbic dopamine projections, such as the ventral striatum (VStr; Rolls, McCabe, & Redoute, 2008; Knutson, Taylor, Kaufman, Peterson, & Glover, 2005) and the ventromedial PFC (vmPFC), but also in regions such as the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC; Mc Kell Carter, Meyer, & Huettel, 2010; Kable & Glimcher, 2007; Tom, Fox, Trepel, & Poldrack, 2007; Blair et al., 2006; see for a recent meta-analysis Bartra, McGuire, & Kable, 2013). Additionally, the lateral prefrontal and the parietal cortex have been implicated in value coding in macaques (Sugrue, Corrado, & Newsome, 2004; Platt & Glimcher, 1999), in value comparisons in humans (Hunt et al., 2012), and in numerical computations (Arsalidou & Taylor, 2011). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Individuals may differ systematically in their applied decision strategies, which has critical implications for decision neuroscience but is yet scarcely studied. Our study's main focus was therefore to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying compensatory versus noncompensatory strategies in risky choice. Here, we compared people using a compensatory expected value maximization with people using a simplified noncompensatory loss-minimizing choice strategy. To this end, we used a two-choice paradigm including a set of "simple" items (e.g., simple condition), in which one option was superior on all attributes, and a set of "conflict" items, in which one option was superior on one attribute but inferior on other attributes. A binomial mixture analysis of the decisions elicited by these items differentiated between decision-makers using either a compensatory or a noncompensatory strategy. Behavioral differences were particularly pronounced in the conflict condition, and these were paralleled by neural results. That is, we expected compensatory decision-makers to use an integrated value comparison during choice in the conflict condition, and accordingly specifically the compensatory group tracked the difference in expected value between choice options reflected in neural activation in the parietal cortex. Furthermore, we expected noncompensatory, compared with compensatory, decision-makers to experience increased conflict when attributes provided conflicting information. Accordingly, the noncompensatory group showed greater dorsomedial pFC activation only in the conflict condition. These pronounced behavioral and neural differences indicate the need for decision neuroscience to account for individual differences in risky choice strategies and to broaden its scope to noncompensatory risky choice strategies.
    Full-text · Article · May 2016
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