Anatomical dissociation of intracerebral signals for reward and punishment prediction errors in humans

Maëlle C. M. Gueguen, Alizée Lopez-Persem, Pablo Billeke, Jean-Philippe Lachaux, Sylvain Rheims, Philippe Kahane, Lorella Minotti, Olivier David, Mathias Pessiglione, Julien Bastin
2021 Nature Communications  
AbstractWhether maximizing rewards and minimizing punishments rely on distinct brain systems remains debated, given inconsistent results coming from human neuroimaging and animal electrophysiology studies. Bridging the gap across techniques, we recorded intracerebral activity from twenty participants while they performed an instrumental learning task. We found that both reward and punishment prediction errors (PE), estimated from computational modeling of choice behavior, correlate positively
more » ... th broadband gamma activity (BGA) in several brain regions. In all cases, BGA scaled positively with the outcome (reward or punishment versus nothing) and negatively with the expectation (predictability of reward or punishment). However, reward PE were better signaled in some regions (such as the ventromedial prefrontal and lateral orbitofrontal cortex), and punishment PE in other regions (such as the anterior insula and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex). These regions might therefore belong to brain systems that differentially contribute to the repetition of rewarded choices and the avoidance of punished choices.
doi:10.1038/s41467-021-23704-w pmid:34099678 fatcat:zy22s6fmkrgwhbgojqrvvdwh7e