Limits...
Activation in the VTA and nucleus accumbens increases in anticipation of both gains and losses.

Carter RM, Macinnes JJ, Huettel SA, Adcock RA - Front Behav Neurosci (2009)

Bottom Line: To represent value for learning and decision making, the brain must encode information about both the motivational relevance and affective valence of anticipated outcomes.The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) are thought to play key roles in representing these and other aspects of valuation.Here, we manipulated the valence (i.e., monetary gain or loss) and personal relevance (i.e., self-directed or charity-directed) of anticipated outcomes within a variant of the monetary incentive delay task.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Duke University Durham, NC, USA.

ABSTRACT
To represent value for learning and decision making, the brain must encode information about both the motivational relevance and affective valence of anticipated outcomes. The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) are thought to play key roles in representing these and other aspects of valuation. Here, we manipulated the valence (i.e., monetary gain or loss) and personal relevance (i.e., self-directed or charity-directed) of anticipated outcomes within a variant of the monetary incentive delay task. We scanned young-adult participants using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), utilizing imaging parameters targeted for the NAcc and VTA. For both self-directed and charity-directed trials, activation in the NAcc and VTA increased to anticipated gains, as predicted by prior work, but also increased to anticipated losses. Moreover, the magnitude of responses in both regions was positively correlated for gains and losses, across participants, while an independent reward-sensitivity covariate predicted the relative difference between and gain- and loss-related activation on self-directed trials. These results are inconsistent with the interpretation that these regions reflect anticipation of only positive-valence events. Instead, they indicate that anticipatory activation in reward-related regions largely reflects the motivational relevance of an upcoming event.

No MeSH data available.


Participants performed a monetary incentive reaction time task. An initial cue marked the start of the trial and indicated whether money was at stake and, if so, who would receive it. Each trial offered either $4 or $0, for the participant (Self), a charity (Charity), or no one. Gain and loss outcomes occurred in separate runs, to minimize cue conflict. After a variable wait (4–4.5 s) a response target appeared indicating that participants were to press a button using their right index finger as quickly as possible. The trial was scored as a hit if the participant responded in time or as a miss if they did not. Changes to the bank as a result of that trial were then displayed for 0.5 s. In gain runs on $4 trials, if the subject responded to the target in time they won $4 for themselves or a charity, if they missed the trial there was no change to that bank. During loss runs on $4 trials, if the subject responded to the target in time there was no change to that bank, if they responded too slowly, they lost $4 for either themselves or their charity. Control trials resulted in no change to the bank but participants were asked to respond as quickly as possible. Reaction time thresholds for hits and misses were set using an adaptive algorithm to allow the subject to win approximately 65% of the time. Thresholds were set independently for each trial type.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2742668&req=5

Figure 1: Participants performed a monetary incentive reaction time task. An initial cue marked the start of the trial and indicated whether money was at stake and, if so, who would receive it. Each trial offered either $4 or $0, for the participant (Self), a charity (Charity), or no one. Gain and loss outcomes occurred in separate runs, to minimize cue conflict. After a variable wait (4–4.5 s) a response target appeared indicating that participants were to press a button using their right index finger as quickly as possible. The trial was scored as a hit if the participant responded in time or as a miss if they did not. Changes to the bank as a result of that trial were then displayed for 0.5 s. In gain runs on $4 trials, if the subject responded to the target in time they won $4 for themselves or a charity, if they missed the trial there was no change to that bank. During loss runs on $4 trials, if the subject responded to the target in time there was no change to that bank, if they responded too slowly, they lost $4 for either themselves or their charity. Control trials resulted in no change to the bank but participants were asked to respond as quickly as possible. Reaction time thresholds for hits and misses were set using an adaptive algorithm to allow the subject to win approximately 65% of the time. Thresholds were set independently for each trial type.

Mentions: Each run consisted of 50 trials (Figure 1), evenly split between five conditions according to potential outcome: Self $4, Charity $4, Self $0, Charity $0, and Neutral Control $0. Every trial began with a 500-ms cue whose composition indicated the target (picture), monetary amount at stake [background color: red (Self) or blue (Charity) for $4, yellow for $0 control conditions], and valence (gain: square frame, loss: circular frame). Following a variable delay of between 4 and 4.5 s, a target appeared on the screen. The subject's task was to respond by pressing a button with the index finger of the right hand, before the target disappeared. Within gain runs, responses that were sufficiently fast added $4 to the subject's or charity's bank (visually indicated by a coin), and responses that were longer than the current threshold had no financial consequences (visually indicated by a ‘0’). Within loss runs, responses that were sufficiently fast resulted in no financial consequences (visually indicated by a ‘0’), whereas responses that were longer than the current threshold subtracted $4 from the subject's or charity's bank (visually indicated by a red circle with a diagonal line). The presentation time of the target was determined by an adaptive algorithm; using information about response times on previous similar trials, the algorithm estimated the response time threshold at which the subject would be successful on approximately 65% of trials. We emphasize that independent thresholds were used for each trial type.


Activation in the VTA and nucleus accumbens increases in anticipation of both gains and losses.

Carter RM, Macinnes JJ, Huettel SA, Adcock RA - Front Behav Neurosci (2009)

Participants performed a monetary incentive reaction time task. An initial cue marked the start of the trial and indicated whether money was at stake and, if so, who would receive it. Each trial offered either $4 or $0, for the participant (Self), a charity (Charity), or no one. Gain and loss outcomes occurred in separate runs, to minimize cue conflict. After a variable wait (4–4.5 s) a response target appeared indicating that participants were to press a button using their right index finger as quickly as possible. The trial was scored as a hit if the participant responded in time or as a miss if they did not. Changes to the bank as a result of that trial were then displayed for 0.5 s. In gain runs on $4 trials, if the subject responded to the target in time they won $4 for themselves or a charity, if they missed the trial there was no change to that bank. During loss runs on $4 trials, if the subject responded to the target in time there was no change to that bank, if they responded too slowly, they lost $4 for either themselves or their charity. Control trials resulted in no change to the bank but participants were asked to respond as quickly as possible. Reaction time thresholds for hits and misses were set using an adaptive algorithm to allow the subject to win approximately 65% of the time. Thresholds were set independently for each trial type.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2742668&req=5

Figure 1: Participants performed a monetary incentive reaction time task. An initial cue marked the start of the trial and indicated whether money was at stake and, if so, who would receive it. Each trial offered either $4 or $0, for the participant (Self), a charity (Charity), or no one. Gain and loss outcomes occurred in separate runs, to minimize cue conflict. After a variable wait (4–4.5 s) a response target appeared indicating that participants were to press a button using their right index finger as quickly as possible. The trial was scored as a hit if the participant responded in time or as a miss if they did not. Changes to the bank as a result of that trial were then displayed for 0.5 s. In gain runs on $4 trials, if the subject responded to the target in time they won $4 for themselves or a charity, if they missed the trial there was no change to that bank. During loss runs on $4 trials, if the subject responded to the target in time there was no change to that bank, if they responded too slowly, they lost $4 for either themselves or their charity. Control trials resulted in no change to the bank but participants were asked to respond as quickly as possible. Reaction time thresholds for hits and misses were set using an adaptive algorithm to allow the subject to win approximately 65% of the time. Thresholds were set independently for each trial type.
Mentions: Each run consisted of 50 trials (Figure 1), evenly split between five conditions according to potential outcome: Self $4, Charity $4, Self $0, Charity $0, and Neutral Control $0. Every trial began with a 500-ms cue whose composition indicated the target (picture), monetary amount at stake [background color: red (Self) or blue (Charity) for $4, yellow for $0 control conditions], and valence (gain: square frame, loss: circular frame). Following a variable delay of between 4 and 4.5 s, a target appeared on the screen. The subject's task was to respond by pressing a button with the index finger of the right hand, before the target disappeared. Within gain runs, responses that were sufficiently fast added $4 to the subject's or charity's bank (visually indicated by a coin), and responses that were longer than the current threshold had no financial consequences (visually indicated by a ‘0’). Within loss runs, responses that were sufficiently fast resulted in no financial consequences (visually indicated by a ‘0’), whereas responses that were longer than the current threshold subtracted $4 from the subject's or charity's bank (visually indicated by a red circle with a diagonal line). The presentation time of the target was determined by an adaptive algorithm; using information about response times on previous similar trials, the algorithm estimated the response time threshold at which the subject would be successful on approximately 65% of trials. We emphasize that independent thresholds were used for each trial type.

Bottom Line: To represent value for learning and decision making, the brain must encode information about both the motivational relevance and affective valence of anticipated outcomes.The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) are thought to play key roles in representing these and other aspects of valuation.Here, we manipulated the valence (i.e., monetary gain or loss) and personal relevance (i.e., self-directed or charity-directed) of anticipated outcomes within a variant of the monetary incentive delay task.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Duke University Durham, NC, USA.

ABSTRACT
To represent value for learning and decision making, the brain must encode information about both the motivational relevance and affective valence of anticipated outcomes. The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) are thought to play key roles in representing these and other aspects of valuation. Here, we manipulated the valence (i.e., monetary gain or loss) and personal relevance (i.e., self-directed or charity-directed) of anticipated outcomes within a variant of the monetary incentive delay task. We scanned young-adult participants using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), utilizing imaging parameters targeted for the NAcc and VTA. For both self-directed and charity-directed trials, activation in the NAcc and VTA increased to anticipated gains, as predicted by prior work, but also increased to anticipated losses. Moreover, the magnitude of responses in both regions was positively correlated for gains and losses, across participants, while an independent reward-sensitivity covariate predicted the relative difference between and gain- and loss-related activation on self-directed trials. These results are inconsistent with the interpretation that these regions reflect anticipation of only positive-valence events. Instead, they indicate that anticipatory activation in reward-related regions largely reflects the motivational relevance of an upcoming event.

No MeSH data available.