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Neural Differentiation of Expected Reward and Risk in Human Subcortical Structures

Preuschoff, Kerstin and Bossaerts, Peter and Quartz, Steven R. (2006) Neural Differentiation of Expected Reward and Risk in Human Subcortical Structures. Neuron, 51 (3). pp. 381-390. ISSN 0896-6273.

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In decision-making under uncertainty, economic studies emphasize the importance of risk in addition to expected reward. Studies in neuroscience focus on expected reward and learning rather than risk. We combined functional imaging with a simple gambling task to vary expected reward and risk simultaneously and in an uncorrelated manner. Drawing on financial decision theory, we modeled expected reward as mathematical expectation of reward, and risk as reward variance. Activations in dopaminoceptive structures correlated with both mathematical parameters. These activations differentiated spatially and temporally. Temporally, the activation related to expected reward was immediate, while the activation related to risk was delayed. Analyses confirmed that our paradigm minimized confounds from learning, motivation, and salience. These results suggest that the primary task of the dopaminergic system is to convey signals of upcoming stochastic rewards, such as expected reward and risk, beyond its role in learning, motivation, and salience.

Item Type:Article
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Bossaerts, Peter0000-0003-2308-2603
Additional Information:Copyright © 2006 Elsevier Inc. Received December 15, 2005; Revised May 3, 2006; Accepted June 26, 2006; Published August 2, 2006. This work was supported by NSF Grant 0093757, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. We thank John O'Doherty and members of the Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory for helpful comments. We thank Steven Flaherty for technical assistance and three anonymous reviewers whose comments resulted in considerable improvement of the paper.
Group:Koch Laboratory (KLAB)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Adolescent Adult Brain/*physiology Brain Mapping/*methods Discrimination Learning/*physiology Female Humans Male Psychomotor Performance/*physiology *Reward *Risk-Taking
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130816-103132896
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Official Citation:Neural Differentiation of Expected Reward and Risk in Human Subcortical Structures. Kerstin Preuschoff, Peter Bossaerts, Steven R. Quartz. Neuron - 3 August 2006 (Vol. 51, Issue 3, pp. 381-390).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:40333
Deposited By: KLAB Import
Deposited On:05 Feb 2008 23:38
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 05:12

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