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The value of what’s to come: neural mechanisms coupling prediction error and reward anticipation

Iigaya, Kiyohito and Hauser, Tobias U. and Kurth-Nelson, Zeb and O’Doherty, John P. and Dayan, Peter and Dolan, Raymond J. (2019) The value of what’s to come: neural mechanisms coupling prediction error and reward anticipation. . (Unpublished)

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Having something to look forward to is a keystone of well-being. Anticipation of a future reward, like an upcoming vacation, can often be more gratifying than the very experience itself. Theories of anticipation have described how it induces behaviors ranging from beneficial information-seeking through to harmful addiction. However, it remains unclear how neural systems compute an attractive value from anticipation, instead of from the reward itself. To address this gap, we administered a decision-making task to human participants that allowed us to analyze brain activity during receipt of information predictive of future pleasant outcomes. Using a computational model of anticipatory value that captures participants’ decisions, we show that an anticipatory value signal is orchestrated by influences from three brain regions. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) tracks the value of anticipation; dopaminergic midbrain responds to information that enhances anticipation, while sustained hippocampal activity provides a functional coupling between these regions. This coordinating function of the hippocampus is consistent with its known role in episodic future thinking. Our findings shed new light on the neural underpinnings of anticipation’s influence over decision-making, while also unifying a range of phenomena associated with risk and time-delay preference.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Iigaya, Kiyohito0000-0002-4748-8432
Dayan, Peter0000-0003-3476-1839
Additional Information:The copyright holder for this preprint is the author/funder, who has granted bioRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. It is made available under a CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license. bioRxiv preprint first posted online Mar. 26, 2019. We thank Tim Behrens for his insightful suggestion for the Fourier phase randomization test. We thank Colin Camerer, Okihide Hikosaka, George Loewenstein, Sandro Romani, Ethan Bromberg- Martin, Jackie Gotlieb, Elliot Ludvig, Yunzhe Liu, Bastian Blain, Giles Story, Laurence Hunt, Jeff Cockburn, Vincent Man, Tomas Aquino, Caroline Charpentier, Bowen Fung, Wolfgang Pauli, Erin Burkett for the most valuable discussions and helpful suggestions for the manuscript. We also thank radiographers at the UCL for their assistance in running fMRI experiments. This work was supported by the Max Planck Society, the Gatsby Foundation, Wellcome Trust Investigator Award, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, the Swartz Foundation, Wellcome Sir Henry Dale Fellowship (211155/Z/18/Z), the Jacobs Foundation (2017-1261-04), the Medical Research Foundation, and 2018 NARSAD Young Investigator grant (27023) from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Max Planck SocietyUNSPECIFIED
Gatsby FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)UNSPECIFIED
Swartz FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Wellcome Sir Henry Dale Fellowship211155/Z/18/Z
Jacobs Foundation2017-1261-04
Medical Research FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Brain and Behavior Research Foundation27023
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190709-075726647
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Official Citation:The value of what’s to come: neural mechanisms coupling prediction error and reward anticipation. Kiyohito Iigaya, Tobias U. Hauser, Zeb Kurth-Nelson, John P. O’Doherty, Peter Dayan, Raymond J. Dolan. bioRxiv 588699; doi:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:96939
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Jul 2019 20:04
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 21:26

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