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Opponent appetitive-aversive neural processes underlie predictive learning of pain relief

Seymour, Ben and O'Doherty, John P. and Koltzenburg, Martin and Wiech, Katja and Frackowiak, Richard and Friston, Karl and Dolan, Raymond J. (2005) Opponent appetitive-aversive neural processes underlie predictive learning of pain relief. Nature Neuroscience, 8 (9). pp. 1234-1240. ISSN 1097-6256. doi:10.1038/nn1527.

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Termination of a painful or unpleasant event can be rewarding. However, whether the brain treats relief in a similar way as it treats natural reward is unclear, and the neural processes that underlie its representation as a motivational goal remain poorly understood. We used fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) to investigate how humans learn to generate expectations of pain relief. Using a pavlovian conditioning procedure, we show that subjects experiencing prolonged experimentally induced pain can be conditioned to predict pain relief. This proceeds in a manner consistent with contemporary reward-learning theory (average reward/loss reinforcement learning), reflected by neural activity in the amygdala and midbrain. Furthermore, these reward-like learning signals are mirrored by opposite aversion-like signals in lateral orbitofrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex. This dual coding has parallels to 'opponent process' theories in psychology and promotes a formal account of prediction and expectation during pain.

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O'Doherty, John P.0000-0003-0016-3531
Dolan, Raymond J.0000-0001-9356-761X
Additional Information:© 2005 Nature Publishing Group. Received 15 June; accepted 2 August 2005. We wish to thank P. Dayan and N. Daw for many helpful discussions and O. Josephs, B. Johanssen and C. Rickard for technical assistance. This research was funded by The Wellcome Trust.
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Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150319-074127643
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Official Citation:Seymour, B., O'Doherty, J., Koltzenburg, M. et al. Opponent appetitive-aversive neural processes underlie predictive learning of pain relief. Nat Neurosci 8, 1234–1240 (2005).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:55909
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 Mar 2015 16:15
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 20:52

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