Poster E18, Monday, March 26, 2:30-4:30 pm, Exhibit Hall C
Integration of reward with effort anticipation during performance monitoring revealed by ERPs and EEG spectra perturbations
Davide Gheza1, Gilles Pourtois1; 1Ghent University
Effort expenditure has an aversive connotation and it can lower hedonic feelings. In this study, we explored the electrophysiological correlates of the complex interplay of reward processing with effort anticipation. To this aim, healthy adult participants performed a gambling task where the outcome (monetary reward vs. no-reward) and its expectancy were manipulated on a trial by trial basis while 64-channel EEG was recorded. Crucially, on some trials, the no-reward outcome could be transformed to a rewarding one, pending effort expenditure by means of an orthogonal dot clicking task, enabling us to compare at the electrophysiological level reward processing when effort anticipation was present vs. absent. We extracted and compared different markers of reward processing at the feedback level using both classical ERPs and EEG spectral perturbations in specific bands (theta, delta and beta-gamma). At the behavioral level, participants reported enhanced pleasure and relief when the outcome was rewarding but effort expenditure could be avoided, relative to a control condition where the outcome was rewarding but no extra effort was anticipated. In this condition, EEG results showed a larger Reward Positivity ERP component and increased power in the Delta and Beta-gamma bands. By comparison, effort anticipation did not influence the processing of the no-reward outcome at the FRN and frontal midline theta levels. Al together, these neurophysiological results suggest that effort avoidance is associated with increased reward processing.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotion-cognition interactions