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Mindfulness meditation modulates reward prediction errors in a passive conditioning task.

Kirk U, Montague PR - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: Self-control strategies such as those practiced in mindfulness-based approaches is claimed to reduce negative and positive reactions to stimuli suggesting the hypothesis that such training may influence basic reward processing.We found diminished positive and negative PE-related blood-oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) responses in the putamen in meditators compared with controls.In the meditator group this decrease in striatal BOLD responses to reward PE was paralleled by increased activity in posterior insula, a primary interoceptive region.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Southern Denmark Odense, Denmark.

ABSTRACT
Reinforcement learning models have demonstrated that phasic activity of dopamine neurons during reward expectation encodes information about the predictability of reward and cues that predict reward. Self-control strategies such as those practiced in mindfulness-based approaches is claimed to reduce negative and positive reactions to stimuli suggesting the hypothesis that such training may influence basic reward processing. Using a passive conditioning task and fMRI in a group of experienced mindfulness meditators and age-matched controls, we tested the hypothesis that mindfulness meditation influence reward and reward prediction error (PE) signals. We found diminished positive and negative PE-related blood-oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) responses in the putamen in meditators compared with controls. In the meditator group this decrease in striatal BOLD responses to reward PE was paralleled by increased activity in posterior insula, a primary interoceptive region. Critically, responses in the putamen during early trials of the conditioning procedure (run 1) were elevated in both meditators and controls. Overall, these results provide evidence that experienced mindfulness meditators are able to attenuate reward prediction signals to valenced stimuli, which may be related to interoceptive processes encoded in the posterior insula.

No MeSH data available.


ROI visual cortex: no group-specific differences during cue onset (run 3 and 4). Significant activity in visual cortical areas related to light cue onset in run 3 and 4 in both controls (left panel) and meditators (right panel) displayed at p < 0.001, uncorrected. Direct contrast between groups (Controls > Meditators) at cue onset display no significant differences in activity at p < 0.001, uncorrected. The opposite contrast (Meditators > Controls) did not results in significant activity at p < 0.001, uncorrected.
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Figure 5: ROI visual cortex: no group-specific differences during cue onset (run 3 and 4). Significant activity in visual cortical areas related to light cue onset in run 3 and 4 in both controls (left panel) and meditators (right panel) displayed at p < 0.001, uncorrected. Direct contrast between groups (Controls > Meditators) at cue onset display no significant differences in activity at p < 0.001, uncorrected. The opposite contrast (Meditators > Controls) did not results in significant activity at p < 0.001, uncorrected.

Mentions: Furthermore, we tested if differences in visual cortical areas in run 3 and 4 would account for differences in PE signaling between groups. We observed activity in primary visual cortex to the light cue in both groups (Figure 5), and no significant differences were found in a direct comparison (Figure not shown). These findings demonstrate that the participants in both groups were processing the visual components of the task non-differentially, and argues against the possibility that the meditator group were simply disengaged from the task.


Mindfulness meditation modulates reward prediction errors in a passive conditioning task.

Kirk U, Montague PR - Front Psychol (2015)

ROI visual cortex: no group-specific differences during cue onset (run 3 and 4). Significant activity in visual cortical areas related to light cue onset in run 3 and 4 in both controls (left panel) and meditators (right panel) displayed at p < 0.001, uncorrected. Direct contrast between groups (Controls > Meditators) at cue onset display no significant differences in activity at p < 0.001, uncorrected. The opposite contrast (Meditators > Controls) did not results in significant activity at p < 0.001, uncorrected.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4325661&req=5

Figure 5: ROI visual cortex: no group-specific differences during cue onset (run 3 and 4). Significant activity in visual cortical areas related to light cue onset in run 3 and 4 in both controls (left panel) and meditators (right panel) displayed at p < 0.001, uncorrected. Direct contrast between groups (Controls > Meditators) at cue onset display no significant differences in activity at p < 0.001, uncorrected. The opposite contrast (Meditators > Controls) did not results in significant activity at p < 0.001, uncorrected.
Mentions: Furthermore, we tested if differences in visual cortical areas in run 3 and 4 would account for differences in PE signaling between groups. We observed activity in primary visual cortex to the light cue in both groups (Figure 5), and no significant differences were found in a direct comparison (Figure not shown). These findings demonstrate that the participants in both groups were processing the visual components of the task non-differentially, and argues against the possibility that the meditator group were simply disengaged from the task.

Bottom Line: Self-control strategies such as those practiced in mindfulness-based approaches is claimed to reduce negative and positive reactions to stimuli suggesting the hypothesis that such training may influence basic reward processing.We found diminished positive and negative PE-related blood-oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) responses in the putamen in meditators compared with controls.In the meditator group this decrease in striatal BOLD responses to reward PE was paralleled by increased activity in posterior insula, a primary interoceptive region.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Southern Denmark Odense, Denmark.

ABSTRACT
Reinforcement learning models have demonstrated that phasic activity of dopamine neurons during reward expectation encodes information about the predictability of reward and cues that predict reward. Self-control strategies such as those practiced in mindfulness-based approaches is claimed to reduce negative and positive reactions to stimuli suggesting the hypothesis that such training may influence basic reward processing. Using a passive conditioning task and fMRI in a group of experienced mindfulness meditators and age-matched controls, we tested the hypothesis that mindfulness meditation influence reward and reward prediction error (PE) signals. We found diminished positive and negative PE-related blood-oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) responses in the putamen in meditators compared with controls. In the meditator group this decrease in striatal BOLD responses to reward PE was paralleled by increased activity in posterior insula, a primary interoceptive region. Critically, responses in the putamen during early trials of the conditioning procedure (run 1) were elevated in both meditators and controls. Overall, these results provide evidence that experienced mindfulness meditators are able to attenuate reward prediction signals to valenced stimuli, which may be related to interoceptive processes encoded in the posterior insula.

No MeSH data available.