Poster Session E, Monday, March 25, 2:30 – 4:30 pm, Pacific Concourse
Neural correlates of value-based decision making in a cost-benefit integration task
Rebecca Anik Mayer1, Christian Fiebach1, Ulrike Basten1; 1Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany
In this study, we set out to replicate the findings of Basten, Biele, Heekeren, and Fiebach (2010). This fMRI study employed a cost-benefit integration task to investigate the neural mechanisms of value integration in 19 participants. While our study with 55 participants confirms important parts of the original investigation, it diverges from the original with respect to the neural representation of monetary loss values. In line with the original study, increases in task difficulty engaged regions of the cognitive control network (e.g., dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex), while decreases in task difficulty were associated with activation in regions of the default mode network (e.g., medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex). Moreover, as reported in the original study, activation in the ventral striatum increased parametrically with monetary gain coded in the stimuli. Contrary to the findings of the original study, however, the loss value of the stimulus was not significantly associated with amygdala activity, but negatively correlated with striatal activation. Again, as in the original study, the integrated stimulus value was represented in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), i.e., BOLD signal in vmPFC was positively correlated with the value difference ‘gain – loss’. The striatum simultaneously being activated by gain and deactivated by loss in the current study, resulted in the integrated value of the stimulus already being represented in the striatum as well. The results are discussed with respect to previous findings on the representation of positive and negative stimulus value in the brain.
Topic Area: THINKING: Decision making