Poster E37, Monday, March 26, 2:30-4:30 pm, Exhibit Hall C
Reinforcement and Punishment Effects on Incentive Integration and Motivated Cognitive Control
Debbie Yee1, Carolyn Dean Wolf2, Todd Braver1; 1Washington University in St. Louis, 2Brown University
Motivational incentives play a central role in influencing goal-directed behavior. However, few studies have examined how different motivational factors interact with cognitive control to influence behavior. We developed an innovative task paradigm that quantifies dissociable and integrative effects of liquid valence (e.g., appetitive, neutral, aversive) and monetary incentives on cognitive control. Study 1 (N=44, 33 females, 18-31) tested whether the affective valence of liquid interacts with punishment effects in the context of monetary gains. Post-response feedback – in the form of oral liquid delivery –indicated failure to earn monetary reward due to slow or inaccurate performance. Results demonstrated that motivation to avoid opportunity costs (loss of a potential gain) was significantly enhanced by aversive liquid feedback that was additive with the value of monetary gain. Study 2 (N=48, 37 females, 18-32) replicated and extended these findings using a within-participant manipulation of motivational context (gain or avoid loss). Liquid delivery provided feedback of either successful performance (reinforcement; gain context) or performance failure (punishment; loss context). Results revealed a significant motivational context effect, indicating that participants were more motivated to avoid losses than win money. These effects further interacted with monetary value, such that they were eliminated at the highest reward amount. The effects of liquid valence interacted with motivational context, with performance enhanced with aversive liquid in the loss context, but with appetitive liquid in the gain context. Together, these data provide compelling evidence of context-specific integration of motivational incentives, constraining hypotheses regarding candidate neural mechanisms that support motivated cognitive control.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Other