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The Measurement of Subjective Value and Its Relation to Contingent Valuation and Environmental Public Goods.

Khaw MW, Grab DA, Livermore MA, Vossler CA, Glimcher PW - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: The activations associated with the traditional classes of goods replicate previous correlations between neural activity in valuation areas and behavioral preferences.In contrast, CV-elicited values for environmental proposals did not correlate with brain activity at either the individual or population level.For a sub-population of participants, CV-elicited values were correlated with activity within the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, a region associated with cognitive control and shifting decision strategies.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Neural Science, New York University, New York City, New York, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Environmental public goods--including national parks, clean air/water, and ecosystem services--provide substantial benefits on a global scale. These goods have unique characteristics in that they are typically "nonmarket" goods, with values from both use and passive use that accrue to a large number of individuals both in current and future generations. In this study, we test the hypothesis that neural signals in areas correlated with subjective valuations for essentially all other previously studied categories of goods (ventromedial prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum) also correlate with environmental valuations. We use contingent valuation (CV) as our behavioral tool for measuring valuations of environmental public goods. CV is a standard stated preference approach that presents survey respondents with information on an issue and asks questions that help policymakers determine how much citizens are willing to pay for a public good or policy. We scanned human subjects while they viewed environmental proposals, along with three other classes of goods. The presentation of all four classes of goods yielded robust and similar patterns of temporally synchronized brain activation within attentional networks. The activations associated with the traditional classes of goods replicate previous correlations between neural activity in valuation areas and behavioral preferences. In contrast, CV-elicited values for environmental proposals did not correlate with brain activity at either the individual or population level. For a sub-population of participants, CV-elicited values were correlated with activity within the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, a region associated with cognitive control and shifting decision strategies. The results show that neural activity associated with the subjective valuation of environmental proposals differs profoundly from the neural activity associated with previously examined goods and preference measures.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

(a) Statistical parameter maps revealing regions associated with subjective value of different categories of goods (p < 0.05, uncorrected). (b) Average time course following the onset of each trial type for spherical ROIs centered on the ventral striatum (top) and vmPFC (bottom). (c) Average time course averaged according to good rank from the vmPFC (left) and ventral striatum (right). (d) Differential activity within vmPFC region of interest (inset) for highest and lowest ranked goods (error bars indicates ± s.e. of the mean). Inset: spherical vmPFC ROI used to compute average change BOLD activity between time points 5–8 after stimuli onset.
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pone.0132842.g006: (a) Statistical parameter maps revealing regions associated with subjective value of different categories of goods (p < 0.05, uncorrected). (b) Average time course following the onset of each trial type for spherical ROIs centered on the ventral striatum (top) and vmPFC (bottom). (c) Average time course averaged according to good rank from the vmPFC (left) and ventral striatum (right). (d) Differential activity within vmPFC region of interest (inset) for highest and lowest ranked goods (error bars indicates ± s.e. of the mean). Inset: spherical vmPFC ROI used to compute average change BOLD activity between time points 5–8 after stimuli onset.

Mentions: Next, in order to assess the contribution of each class of valuation procedure and object type to this overall correlation, and to allow comparison of the subjective value representations across good types, separate contrast maps (Fig 6a) were generated to relate the behaviorally derived valuations from each individual method to the neural activity elicited by their respective good types during their viewing in the scanner. Here, once again, significant correlations were observed (either vmPFC, VS, or both) for valuations of snack foods, consumer goods, and daily activities (p < 0.05, uncorrected), replicating their respective fMRI valuation studies. Surprisingly, however, we observed no statistically significant correlation between the BOLD activity associated with viewing environmental proposals and elicited environmental preferences.


The Measurement of Subjective Value and Its Relation to Contingent Valuation and Environmental Public Goods.

Khaw MW, Grab DA, Livermore MA, Vossler CA, Glimcher PW - PLoS ONE (2015)

(a) Statistical parameter maps revealing regions associated with subjective value of different categories of goods (p < 0.05, uncorrected). (b) Average time course following the onset of each trial type for spherical ROIs centered on the ventral striatum (top) and vmPFC (bottom). (c) Average time course averaged according to good rank from the vmPFC (left) and ventral striatum (right). (d) Differential activity within vmPFC region of interest (inset) for highest and lowest ranked goods (error bars indicates ± s.e. of the mean). Inset: spherical vmPFC ROI used to compute average change BOLD activity between time points 5–8 after stimuli onset.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4519262&req=5

pone.0132842.g006: (a) Statistical parameter maps revealing regions associated with subjective value of different categories of goods (p < 0.05, uncorrected). (b) Average time course following the onset of each trial type for spherical ROIs centered on the ventral striatum (top) and vmPFC (bottom). (c) Average time course averaged according to good rank from the vmPFC (left) and ventral striatum (right). (d) Differential activity within vmPFC region of interest (inset) for highest and lowest ranked goods (error bars indicates ± s.e. of the mean). Inset: spherical vmPFC ROI used to compute average change BOLD activity between time points 5–8 after stimuli onset.
Mentions: Next, in order to assess the contribution of each class of valuation procedure and object type to this overall correlation, and to allow comparison of the subjective value representations across good types, separate contrast maps (Fig 6a) were generated to relate the behaviorally derived valuations from each individual method to the neural activity elicited by their respective good types during their viewing in the scanner. Here, once again, significant correlations were observed (either vmPFC, VS, or both) for valuations of snack foods, consumer goods, and daily activities (p < 0.05, uncorrected), replicating their respective fMRI valuation studies. Surprisingly, however, we observed no statistically significant correlation between the BOLD activity associated with viewing environmental proposals and elicited environmental preferences.

Bottom Line: The activations associated with the traditional classes of goods replicate previous correlations between neural activity in valuation areas and behavioral preferences.In contrast, CV-elicited values for environmental proposals did not correlate with brain activity at either the individual or population level.For a sub-population of participants, CV-elicited values were correlated with activity within the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, a region associated with cognitive control and shifting decision strategies.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Neural Science, New York University, New York City, New York, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Environmental public goods--including national parks, clean air/water, and ecosystem services--provide substantial benefits on a global scale. These goods have unique characteristics in that they are typically "nonmarket" goods, with values from both use and passive use that accrue to a large number of individuals both in current and future generations. In this study, we test the hypothesis that neural signals in areas correlated with subjective valuations for essentially all other previously studied categories of goods (ventromedial prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum) also correlate with environmental valuations. We use contingent valuation (CV) as our behavioral tool for measuring valuations of environmental public goods. CV is a standard stated preference approach that presents survey respondents with information on an issue and asks questions that help policymakers determine how much citizens are willing to pay for a public good or policy. We scanned human subjects while they viewed environmental proposals, along with three other classes of goods. The presentation of all four classes of goods yielded robust and similar patterns of temporally synchronized brain activation within attentional networks. The activations associated with the traditional classes of goods replicate previous correlations between neural activity in valuation areas and behavioral preferences. In contrast, CV-elicited values for environmental proposals did not correlate with brain activity at either the individual or population level. For a sub-population of participants, CV-elicited values were correlated with activity within the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, a region associated with cognitive control and shifting decision strategies. The results show that neural activity associated with the subjective valuation of environmental proposals differs profoundly from the neural activity associated with previously examined goods and preference measures.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus