Medial prefrontal brain activation to anticipated reward and loss in obsessive-compulsive disorder.
ABSTRACT: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is associated with dysfunctional brain activity in several regions which are also involved in the processing of motivational stimuli. Processing of reward and punishment appears to be of special importance to understand clinical symptoms. There is evidence for higher sensitivity to punishment in patients with OCD which raises the question how avoidance of punishment relates to activity within the brain's reward circuitry. We employed the monetary incentive delay task paradigm optimized for modeling the anticipation phase of immediate reward and punishment, in the context of a cross-sectional event-related FMRI study comparing OCD patients and healthy control participants (n = 19 in each group). While overall behavioral performance was similar in both groups, patients showed increased activation upon anticipated losses in a medial and superior frontal cortex region extending into the cingulate cortex, and decreased activation upon anticipated rewards. No evidence was found for altered activation of dorsal or ventral striatal regions. Patients also showed more delayed responses for anticipated rewards than for anticipated losses whereas the reverse was true in healthy participants. The medial prefrontal cortex has been shown to implement a domain-general process comprising negative affect, pain and cognitive control. This process uses information about punishment to control aversively motivated actions by integrating signals arriving from subcortical regions. Our results support the notion that OCD is associated with altered sensitivity to anticipated rewards and losses in a medial prefrontal region whereas there is no significant aberrant activation in ventral or dorsal striatal brain regions during processing of reinforcement anticipation.
Project description:Chronic pain may alter both affect- and value-related behaviors, which represents a potentially treatable aspect of chronic pain experience. Current understanding of how chronic pain influences the function of brain reward systems, however, is limited. Using a monetary incentive delay task and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we measured neural correlates of reward anticipation and outcomes in female participants with the chronic pain condition of fibromyalgia (N = 17) and age-matched, pain-free, female controls (N = 15). We hypothesized that patients would demonstrate lower positive arousal, as well as altered reward anticipation and outcome activity within corticostriatal circuits implicated in reward processing. Patients demonstrated lower arousal ratings as compared with controls, but no group differences were observed for valence, positive arousal, or negative arousal ratings. Group fMRI analyses were conducted to determine predetermined region of interest, nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), responses to potential gains, potential losses, reward outcomes, and punishment outcomes. Compared with controls, patients demonstrated similar, although slightly reduced, NAcc activity during gain anticipation. Conversely, patients demonstrated dramatically reduced mPFC activity during gain anticipation-possibly related to lower estimated reward probabilities. Further, patients demonstrated normal mPFC activity to reward outcomes, but dramatically heightened mPFC activity to no-loss (nonpunishment) outcomes. In parallel to NAcc and mPFC responses, patients demonstrated slightly reduced activity during reward anticipation in other brain regions, which included the ventral tegmental area, anterior cingulate cortex, and anterior insular cortex. Together, these results implicate altered corticostriatal processing of monetary rewards in chronic pain.
Project description:Dysfunctional processing of reward and punishment may play an important role in depression. However, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have shown heterogeneous results for reward processing in fronto-striatal regions. We examined neural responsivity associated with the processing of reward and loss during anticipation and receipt of incentives and related prediction error (PE) signalling in depressed individuals. Thirty medication-free depressed persons and 28 healthy controls performed an fMRI reward paradigm. Regions of interest analyses focused on neural responses during anticipation and receipt of gains and losses and related PE-signals. Additionally, we assessed the relationship between neural responsivity during gain/loss processing and hedonic capacity. When compared with healthy controls, depressed individuals showed reduced fronto-striatal activity during anticipation of gains and losses. The groups did not significantly differ in response to reward and loss outcomes. In depressed individuals, activity increases in the orbitofrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens during reward anticipation were associated with hedonic capacity. Depressed individuals showed an absence of reward-related PEs but encoded loss-related PEs in the ventral striatum. Depression seems to be linked to blunted responsivity in fronto-striatal regions associated with limited motivational responses for rewards and losses. Alterations in PE encoding might mirror blunted reward- and enhanced loss-related associative learning in depression.
Project description:Background:Reward seeking and avoidance of punishment are key motivational processes. Brain-imaging studies often use the Monetary Incentive Delay Task (MIDT) to evaluate motivational processes involved in maladaptive behavior. Although the bulk of research has been done on the MIDT reward events, little is known about the neural basis of avoidance of punishment. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis of brain activations during anticipation and receipt of monetary losses in healthy controls. Methods:All functional neuro-imaging studies using the MIDT in healthy controls were retrieved using PubMed, Google Scholar & EMBASE databases. Functional neuro-imaging data was analyzed using the Seed-based d Mapping Software. Results:Thirty-five studies met the inclusion criteria, comprising 699 healthy adults. In both anticipation and loss outcome phases, participants showed large and robust activations in the bilateral striatum, (anterior) insula, and anterior cingulate gyrus relatively to Loss > Neutral contrast. Although relatively similar activation patterns were observed during the two event types, they differed in the pattern of prefrontal activations: ventro-lateral prefrontal activations were observed during loss anticipation, while medial prefrontal activations were observed during loss receipt. Discussion:Considering that previous meta-analyses highlighted activations in the medial prefrontal cortex/anterior cingulate cortex, the anterior insula and the ventral striatum, the current meta-analysis highlighted the potential specificity of the ventro-lateral prefrontal regions, the median cingulate cortex and the amygdala in the loss events. Future studies can rely on these latter results to examine the neural correlates of loss processing in psychiatric populations characterized by harm avoidance or insensitivity to punishment.
Project description:To better understand the reward circuitry in human brain, we conducted activation likelihood estimation (ALE) and parametric voxel-based meta-analyses (PVM) on 142 neuroimaging studies that examined brain activation in reward-related tasks in healthy adults. We observed several core brain areas that participated in reward-related decision making, including the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), caudate, putamen, thalamus, orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), bilateral anterior insula, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), as well as cognitive control regions in the inferior parietal lobule and prefrontal cortex (PFC). The NAcc was commonly activated by both positive and negative rewards across various stages of reward processing (e.g., anticipation, outcome, and evaluation). In addition, the medial OFC and PCC preferentially responded to positive rewards, whereas the ACC, bilateral anterior insula, and lateral PFC selectively responded to negative rewards. Reward anticipation activated the ACC, bilateral anterior insula, and brain stem, whereas reward outcome more significantly activated the NAcc, medial OFC, and amygdala. Neurobiological theories of reward-related decision making should therefore take distributed and interrelated representations of reward valuation and valence assessment into account.
Project description:Psychosis has been associated with aberrant brain activity concurrent with both the anticipation and integration of monetary outcomes. The extent to which abnormal reward-related neural signals can be observed in chronic, medicated patients with schizophrenia (SZ), however, is not clear. In an fMRI study involving 17 chronic outpatients with SZ and 17 matched controls, we used a monetary incentive delay (MID) task, in which different-colored shapes predicted gains, losses, or neutral outcomes. Subjects needed to respond to a target within a time window in order to receive the indicated gain or avoid the indicated loss. Group differences in blood-oxygen-level-dependent responses to cues and outcomes were assessed through voxel-wise whole-brain analyses and regions-of-interest analyses in the neostriatum and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Significant group by outcome valence interactions were observed in the medial and lateral PFC, lateral temporal cortex, and amygdalae, such that controls, but not patients, showed greater activation for gains, relative to losses. In the striatum, neural activity was modulated by outcome magnitude in both groups. Additionally, we found that ratings of negative symptoms in patients correlated with sensitivity to obtained losses in medial PFC, obtained gains in lateral PFC, and anticipated gains in left ventral striatum. Sensitivity to obtained gains in lateral PFC also correlated with positive symptom scores in patients. Our findings of systematic relationships between clinical symptoms and neural responses to stimuli associated with rewards and punishments offer promise that reward-related neural responses may provide sensitive probes of the effectiveness of treatments for negative symptoms.
Project description:The processing of rewards and losses are crucial to everyday functioning. Considerable interest has been attached to investigating the anticipation and outcome phases of reward and loss processing, but results to date have been inconsistent. It is unclear if anticipation and outcome of a reward or loss recruit similar or distinct brain regions. In particular, while the striatum has widely been found to be active when anticipating a reward, whether it activates in response to the anticipation of losses as well remains ambiguous. Furthermore, concerning the orbitofrontal/ventromedial prefrontal regions, activation is often observed during reward receipt. However, it is unclear if this area is active during reward anticipation as well. We ran an Activation Likelihood Estimation meta-analysis of 50 fMRI studies, which used the Monetary Incentive Delay Task (MIDT), to identify which brain regions are implicated in the anticipation of rewards, anticipation of losses, and the receipt of reward. Anticipating rewards and losses recruits overlapping areas including the striatum, insula, amygdala and thalamus, suggesting that a generalised neural system initiates motivational processes independent of valence. The orbitofrontal/ventromedial prefrontal regions were recruited only during the reward outcome, likely representing the value of the reward received. Our findings help to clarify the neural substrates of the different phases of reward and loss processing, and advance neurobiological models of these processes.
Project description:RATIONALE:During value-based decision-making, organisms make choices on the basis of reward expectations, which have been formed during prior action-outcome learning. Although it is known that neuronal manipulations of different subregions of the rat prefrontal cortex (PFC) have qualitatively different effects on behavioral tasks involving value-based decision-making, it is unclear how these regions contribute to the underlying component processes. OBJECTIVES:Assessing how different regions of the rodent PFC contribute to component processes of value-based decision-making behavior, including reward (or positive feedback) learning, punishment (or negative feedback) learning, response persistence, and exploration versus exploitation. METHODS:We performed behavioral modeling of data of rats in a probabilistic reversal learning task after pharmacological inactivation of five PFC subregions, to assess how inactivation of these different regions affected the structure of responding of animals in the task. RESULTS:Our results show reductions in reward and punishment learning after PFC subregion inactivation. The prelimbic, infralimbic, lateral orbital, and medial orbital PFC particularly contributed to punishment learning, and the prelimbic and lateral orbital PFC to reward learning. In addition, response persistence depended on the infralimbic and medial orbital PFC. As a result, pharmacological inactivation of the infralimbic and lateral orbitofrontal cortex reduced the number of reversals achieved, whereas inactivation of the prelimbic and medial orbitofrontal cortex decreased the number of rewards obtained. Finally, using simulated data, we explain discrepancies with a previous study and demonstrate complex, interacting relationships between conventional measures of probabilistic reversal learning performance, such as win-stay/lose-switch behavior, and component processes of value-based decision-making. CONCLUSIONS:Together, our data suggest that distinct components of value-based learning and decision-making are generated in medial and orbital PFC regions, displaying functional specialization and overlap, with a prominent role of large parts of the PFC in negative feedback processing.
Project description:An important and unresolved question is how human brain regions process information and interact with each other in intertemporal choice related to gains and losses. Using psychophysiological interaction and dynamic causal modeling analyses, we investigated the functional interactions between regions involved in the decision-making process while participants performed temporal discounting tasks in both the gains and losses domains. We found two distinct intrinsic valuation systems underlying temporal discounting in the gains and losses domains: gains were specifically evaluated in the medial regions, including the medial prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortices, and losses were evaluated in the lateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. In addition, immediate reward or punishment was found to modulate the functional interactions between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and distinct regions in both the gains and losses domains: in the gains domain, the mesolimbic regions; in the losses domain, the medial prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and insula. These findings suggest that intertemporal choice of gains and losses might involve distinct valuation systems, and more importantly, separate neural interactions may implement the intertemporal choices of gains and losses. These findings may provide a new biological perspective for understanding the neural mechanisms underlying intertemporal choice of gains and losses.
Project description:Novelty-seeking tendencies in adolescents may promote innovation as well as problematic impulsive behaviour, including drug abuse. Previous research has not clarified whether neural hyper- or hypo-responsiveness to anticipated rewards promotes vulnerability in these individuals. Here we use a longitudinal design to track 144 novelty-seeking adolescents at age 14 and 16 to determine whether neural activity in response to anticipated rewards predicts problematic drug use. We find that diminished BOLD activity in mesolimbic (ventral striatal and midbrain) and prefrontal cortical (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) regions during reward anticipation at age 14 predicts problematic drug use at age 16. Lower psychometric conscientiousness and steeper discounting of future rewards at age 14 also predicts problematic drug use at age 16, but the neural responses independently predict more variance than psychometric measures. Together, these findings suggest that diminished neural responses to anticipated rewards in novelty-seeking adolescents may increase vulnerability to future problematic drug use.
Project description:Feedback processing during decision making involves comparing anticipated and actual outcome. Although effects on ERPs of valence, magnitude, expectancy, and context during feedback processing have been extensively investigated, the electrophysiological processes underlying prediction formation in anticipation of feedback signals have received little attention. The aim of the present study was to explore these processes of prediction formation and their influence on subsequent feedback signals. Twenty healthy, right-handed volunteers performed a forced-choice task in which they had to indicate which of two presented objects was more expensive. After the volunteer's choice, an expert cue, which was accurate in 80% of trials, was presented to manipulate prediction formation about future reward and punishment. ERPs were recorded during presentation of the expert cue and during feedback. Results revealed that prediction formation of future rewards and punishments is accompanied by differences in the P2 component and a subsequent delay period. During feedback processing, the prediction-related P2 was associated with the processing of valence reflected in the feedback-related P2. Furthermore, the prediction-related difference in the delay period was associated with error processing in feedback-related medial frontal negativity. These findings suggest that prediction signals prior to feedback contain information about whether a prediction is correct or wrong (expectancy) and if the outcome will be a reward or punishment (valence).