Changes in subjective preference do not require dopamine signaling or the orbital frontal cortex [article]

Merridee J. Lefner, Alexa P. Magnon, James M. Gutierrez, Matthew R. Lopez, Matthew J. Wanat
2019 bioRxiv   pre-print
Abstract'Sunk' or unrecoverable costs impact proximal reward-based decisions across species. However, it is not known if these incurred costs elicit a long-lasting change in reward value. To address this, we identified the relative preference between different flavored food pellets in rats. Animals were then trained to experience the initially preferred reward after short delays and the initially less preferred reward after long delays. This training regimen enhanced the preference for the
more » ... erence for the initially less desirable food reward. We probed whether this change in subjective preference involved dopamine signaling or the orbital frontal cortex (OFC) given that these neural systems contribute to reward valuation. Systemic dopamine receptor antagonism attenuated anticipatory responding during training sessions but did not prevent the change in reward preference elicited by incurred temporal costs. OFC lesions had no effect on anticipatory responding during training or on the change in reward preference. These findings collectively illustrate that the neural systems involved with economic assessments of reward value are not contributing to changes in subjective preference.
doi:10.1101/865436 fatcat:c24ioz4lbrhc3orn7zpbsyuywi