Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) research suggests that the ventral striatum (VS)/nucleus accumbens, medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and broader mesocorticolimbic dopamine system mediate aspects of reward processing from expectation of reward to pleasantness experienced upon reward attainment. In parallel, research utilizing event-related potentials (ERP) indicates that the feedback negativity (FN) is sensitive to reward vs. non-reward feedback and outcome expectation. The FN has been source localized to the mPFC and dorsal striatum, and converging evidence suggests that the FN reflects reward processing in the mesocorticolimbic system. However, the extent to which ERP and fMRI measures of reward processing are correlated has yet to be explored within the same individuals. The primary aim of the current study was to examine the convergence between fMRI (i.e., VS and mPFC) and ERP (i.e., FN) measures of reward processing in forty-two participants who completed counterbalanced fMRI and ERP sessions while performing the same monetary gambling task. For the Win > Loss comparison, fMRI activation in the mesocorticolimbic reward circuit including the VS and mPFC was positively correlated with the FN. Here, we demonstrate that monetary gains activate the VS, mPFC, caudate, amygdala, and orbital frontal cortex, enhance the FN ERP component within 300 ms post feedback, and that these measures are related. Thus, fMRI and ERP measures provide complementary information about mesocorticolimbic activity during reward processing, which may be useful in assessing pathological reward sensitivity.
Neuroimage – Elsevier
Published: Aug 15, 2011
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