Poster A7, Saturday, March 25, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
Feedback guided learning: prefeedback alpha modulates utilization of outcome information
Berry van den Berg1,2, Benjamin Geib1, Rene San Martin1,3, Monicque Lorist2, Marty Woldorff1; 1Duke University, 2University of Groningen, Univ Med Ctr Groningen, The Netherlands, 3Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile
Deciding about making changes to behavior to optimize outcomes is a crucial component of learning and for successful navigation in the world. Here, we used electrical brain recordings (EEG) to map the cascade of cortical processes underlying such learning. Participants were presented with miniblocks of 20 trials. On each trial, they had to choose between either a face or a house, which was followed by feedback consisting of either a loss or a gain. During each miniblock, either the face or the house was somewhat more likely to lead to a gain (62.5%/37.5%). Neurally, as participants learned whether house or face choices were more likely to lead to a reward in a particular miniblock, we observed increased prefeedback oscillatory alpha power (8-14Hz) marking decreased cortical activity, as well as decreased amplitude of the feedback-evoked, attention-related P3 component. Additionally, prefeedback alpha predicted the utilization of outcome information, based on whether participants would decide to switch their choice on the next trial. That is, if they received a loss, lower vs. higher pre-feedback alpha predicted a higher vs. lower probability of switching on the next trial, an effect essentially absent if the feedback was a gain. Finally, the feedback-related negativity (FRN), a rapid-latency feedback-elicited ERP component reflecting outcome-valence evaluation, did not change with learning. In sum, the present study mapped the neural processes by which prefeedback electrical brain activity (alpha power) modulates the utilization of outcome information to facilitate learning, even prior to post-feedback activity reflecting the detection of valence outcome.
Topic Area: ATTENTION: Nonspatial