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Contingency awareness in human aversive conditioning involves the middle frontal gyrus

Carter, Ronald McKell and O'Doherty, John P. and Seymour, Ben and Koch, Christof and Dolan, Raymond J. (2006) Contingency awareness in human aversive conditioning involves the middle frontal gyrus. NeuroImage, 29 (3). pp. 1007-1012. ISSN 1053-8119. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2005.09.011.

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In contrast to the wealth of data describing the neural mechanisms underlying classical conditioning, we know remarkably little about the mechanisms involved in acquisition of explicit contingency awareness. Subjects variably acquire contingency awareness in classical conditioning paradigms, in which they are able to describe the temporal relationship between a conditioned cue and its outcome. Previous studies have implicated the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in the acquisition of explicit knowledge, although their specific roles remain unclear. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to track the trial-by-trial acquisition of explicit knowledge in a concurrent trace and delay conditioning paradigm. We show that activity in bilateral middle frontal gyrus and parahippocampal gyrus correlates with the accuracy of explicit contingency awareness on each trial. In contrast, amygdala activation correlates with conditioned responses indexed by skin conductance responses (SCRs). These results demonstrate that brain regions known to be involved in other aspects of learning and memory also play a specific role, reflecting on each trial the acquisition and representation of contingency awareness.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription material
Carter, Ronald McKell0000-0003-2235-6529
O'Doherty, John P.0000-0003-0016-3531
Koch, Christof0000-0001-6482-8067
Dolan, Raymond J.0000-0001-9356-761X
Additional Information:c2005 Elsevier Inc. Received 26 April 2005; revised 19 July 2005; accepted 1 September 2005. Available online 24 October 2005. This work was supported by grants from the Gordon Moore Foundation, the National Science Foundation, Sandia National Laboratory, and the Wellcome Trust Programme Grant to RJD. RMC would like to thank N. Tsuchiya, C. Hofstötter, and K. Watson for discussions and comments on the manuscript.
Group:Koch Laboratory (KLAB)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Sandia National LaboratoriesUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130816-103302103
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Official Citation:Ronald McKell Carter, John P. O'Doherty, Ben Seymour, Christof Koch, Raymond J. Dolan, Contingency awareness in human aversive conditioning involves the middle frontal gyrus, NeuroImage, Volume 29, Issue 3, 1 February 2006, Pages 1007-1012, ISSN 1053-8119, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:40610
Deposited By: KLAB Import
Deposited On:16 Jan 2008 02:57
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:49

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