Two spatiotemporally distinct value systems shape reward-based learning in the human brain

Fouragnan, E., Retzler, C. , Mullinger, K. and Philiastides, M. G. (2015) Two spatiotemporally distinct value systems shape reward-based learning in the human brain. Nature Communications, 6, 8107. (doi:10.1038/ncomms9107) (PMID:26348160) (PMCID:PMC4569710)

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Abstract

Avoiding repeated mistakes and learning to reinforce rewarding decisions is critical for human survival and adaptive actions. Yet, the neural underpinnings of the value systems that encode different decision-outcomes remain elusive. Here coupling single-trial electroencephalography with simultaneously acquired functional magnetic resonance imaging, we uncover the spatiotemporal dynamics of two separate but interacting value systems encoding decision-outcomes. Consistent with a role in regulating alertness and switching behaviours, an early system is activated only by negative outcomes and engages arousal-related and motor-preparatory brain structures. Consistent with a role in reward-based learning, a later system differentially suppresses or activates regions of the human reward network in response to negative and positive outcomes, respectively. Following negative outcomes, the early system interacts and downregulates the late system, through a thalamic interaction with the ventral striatum. Critically, the strength of this coupling predicts participants’ switching behaviour and avoidance learning, directly implicating the thalamostriatal pathway in reward-based learning.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Retzler, Mr Christopher and Fouragnan, Dr Elsa and Philiastides, Dr Marios
Authors: Fouragnan, E., Retzler, C., Mullinger, K., and Philiastides, M. G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1934-578X
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 6:8107
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
653861Spatiotemporal characterization of value judgments and reward processing in the human brainMarios PhiliastidesBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/J015393/2INP - CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE NEUROIMAGING