The Feedback-related Negativity Reflects the Combination of Instantaneous and Long-term Values of Decision Outcomes

Autor(en): Osinsky, Roman 
Ulrich, Natalie
Mussel, Patrick
Feser, Lena
Gunawardena, Aruni
Hewig, Johannes
Stichwörter: ANTERIOR CINGULATE CORTEX; BAD OUTCOMES; BRAIN POTENTIALS; GAMBLING TASK; MEDIAL FRONTAL-CORTEX; NEURAL MECHANISMS; Neurosciences; Neurosciences & Neurology; PERFORMANCE FEEDBACK; POSITIVITY; Psychology; Psychology, Experimental; REWARD PREDICTION ERROR; TIME-ESTIMATION TASK
Erscheinungsdatum: 2017
Herausgeber: MIT PRESS
Journal: JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE
Volumen: 29
Ausgabe: 3
Startseite: 424
Seitenende: 434
Zusammenfassung: 
Hundreds of ERP studies have reported a midfrontal negative-going amplitude shift following negative compared with positive action outcomes. This feedback-related negativity (FRN) effect is typically thought to reflect an early and binary mechanism of action evaluation in the posterior midcingulate cortex. However, in prior research on the FRN effect, the instantaneous value and the long-term value of action outcomes have been perfectly confounded. That is, instantaneously positive outcomes were generally consistent with task goals, whereas instantaneously negative outcomes were inconsistent with task goals. In this study, we disentangled these two outcome aspects in two experiments. Our results reveal an interaction of instantaneous and long-term outcome values. More precisely, our findings strongly suggest that the FRN effect is mainly driven by a reward positivity, which is evoked only by outcomes that possess an instantaneously positive value and also help the organism to reach its long-term goals. These findings add to a recent literature according to which the posterior midcingulate cortex acts as a hierarchical reinforcement learning system and suggest that this system integrates instant and long-term action-outcome values. This, in turn, might be crucial for learning optimal behavioral strategies in a given setting.
ISSN: 0898929X
DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_01055

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