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Sample records for mesolimbic reward brain

  1. Brain reward circuitry beyond the mesolimbic dopamine system: a neurobiological theory.

    Ikemoto, Satoshi

    2010-11-01

    Reductionist attempts to dissect complex mechanisms into simpler elements are necessary, but not sufficient for understanding how biological properties like reward emerge out of neuronal activity. Recent studies on intracranial self-administration of neurochemicals (drugs) found that rats learn to self-administer various drugs into the mesolimbic dopamine structures-the posterior ventral tegmental area, medial shell nucleus accumbens and medial olfactory tubercle. In addition, studies found roles of non-dopaminergic mechanisms of the supramammillary, rostromedial tegmental and midbrain raphe nuclei in reward. To explain intracranial self-administration and related effects of various drug manipulations, I outlined a neurobiological theory claiming that there is an intrinsic central process that coordinates various selective functions (including perceptual, visceral, and reinforcement processes) into a global function of approach. Further, this coordinating process for approach arises from interactions between brain structures including those structures mentioned above and their closely linked regions: the medial prefrontal cortex, septal area, ventral pallidum, bed nucleus of stria terminalis, preoptic area, lateral hypothalamic areas, lateral habenula, periaqueductal gray, laterodorsal tegmental nucleus and parabrachical area. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Cholinergic modulation of mesolimbic dopamine function and reward.

    Mark, Gregory P; Shabani, Shkelzen; Dobbs, Lauren K; Hansen, Stephen T

    2011-07-25

    The substantial health risk posed by obesity and compulsive drug use has compelled a serious research effort to identify the neurobiological substrates that underlie the development these pathological conditions. Despite substantial progress, an understanding of the neurochemical systems that mediate the motivational aspects of drug-seeking and craving remains incomplete. Important work from the laboratory of Bart Hoebel has provided key information on neurochemical systems that interact with dopamine (DA) as potentially important components in both the development of addiction and the expression of compulsive behaviors such as binge eating. One such modulatory system appears to be cholinergic pathways that interact with DA systems at all levels of the reward circuit. Cholinergic cells in the pons project to DA-rich cell body regions in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantial nigra (SN) where they modulate the activity of dopaminergic neurons and reward processing. The DA terminal region of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) contains a small but particularly important group of cholinergic interneurons, which have extensive dendritic arbors that make synapses with a vast majority of NAc neurons and afferents. Together with acetylcholine (ACh) input onto DA cell bodies, cholinergic systems could serve a vital role in gating information flow concerning the motivational value of stimuli through the mesolimbic system. In this report we highlight evidence that CNS cholinergic systems play a pivotal role in behaviors that are motivated by both natural and drug rewards. We argue that the search for underlying neurochemical substrates of compulsive behaviors, as well as attempts to identify potential pharmacotherapeutic targets to combat them, must include a consideration of central cholinergic systems. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Hyperresponsivity and impaired prefrontal control of the mesolimbic reward system in schizophrenia.

    Richter, Anja; Petrovic, Aleksandra; Diekhof, Esther K; Trost, Sarah; Wolter, Sarah; Gruber, Oliver

    2015-12-01

    Schizophrenia is characterized by substantial dysfunctions of reward processing, leading to detrimental consequences for decision-making. The neurotransmitter dopamine is responsible for the transmission of reward signals and also known to be involved in the mechanism of psychosis. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), sixteen medicated patients with schizophrenia and sixteen healthy controls performed the 'desire-reason dilemma' (DRD) paradigm. This paradigm allowed us to directly investigate reward-related brain activations depending on the interaction of bottom-up and top-down mechanisms, when a previously conditioned reward stimulus had to be rejected to achieve a superordinate long-term goal. Both patients and controls showed significant activations in the mesolimbic reward system. In patients with schizophrenia, however, we found a significant hyperactivation of the left ventral striatum (vStr) when they were allowed to accept the conditioned reward stimuli, and a reduced top-down regulation of activation in the ventral striatum (vStr) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) while having to reject the immediate reward to pursue the superordinate task-goal. Moreover, while healthy subjects exhibited a negative functional coupling of the vStr with both the anteroventral prefrontal cortex (avPFC) and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) in the dilemma situation, this functional coupling was significantly impaired in the patient group. These findings provide evidence for an increased ventral striatal activation to reward stimuli and an impaired top-down control of reward signals by prefrontal brain regions in schizophrenia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Ghrelin signalling on food reward: a salient link between the gut and the mesolimbic system.

    Perello, M; Dickson, S L

    2015-06-01

    'Hunger is the best spice' is an old and wise saying that acknowledges the fact that almost any food tastes better when we are hungry. The neurobiological underpinnings of this lore include activation of the brain's reward system and the stimulation of this system by the hunger-promoting hormone ghrelin. Ghrelin is produced largely from the stomach and levels are higher preprandially. The ghrelin receptor is expressed in many brain areas important for feeding control, including not only the hypothalamic nuclei involved in energy balance regulation, but also reward-linked areas such as the ventral tegmental area. By targeting the mesoaccumbal dopamine neurones of the ventral tegmental area, ghrelin recruits pathways important for food reward-related behaviours that show overlap with but are also distinct from those important for food intake. We review a variety of studies that support the notion that ghrelin signalling at the level of the mesolimbic system is one of the key molecular substrates that provides a physiological signal connecting gut and reward pathways. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Neuroendocrinology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Society for Neuroendocrinology.

  5. Impaired cross-talk between mesolimbic food reward processing and metabolic signaling predicts body mass index

    Joe J Simon

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The anticipation of the pleasure derived from food intake drives the motivation to eat, and hence facilitate overconsumption of food which ultimately results in obesity. Brain imaging studies provide evidence that mesolimbic brain regions underlie both general as well as food related anticipatory reward processing. In light of this knowledge, the present study examined the neural responsiveness of the ventral striatum in participants with a broad BMI spectrum. The study differentiated between general (i.e. monetary and food related anticipatory reward processing. We recruited a sample of volunteers with greatly varying body weights, ranging from a low BMI (below 20 kg/m² over a normal (20 to 25 kg/m² and overweight (25 to 30 kg/m² BMI, to class I (30 to 35 kg/m² and class II (35 to 40 kg/m² obesity. A total of 24 participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging whilst performing both a food and monetary incentive delay task, which allows to measure neural activation during the anticipation of rewards. After the presentation of a cue indicating the amount of food or money to be won, participants had to react correctly in order to earn snack points or money coins which could then be exchanged for real food or money, respectively, at the end of the experiment. During the anticipation of both types of rewards, participants displayed activity in the ventral striatum, a region that plays a pivotal role in the anticipation of rewards. Additionally, we observed that specifically anticipatory food reward processing predicted the individual BMI (current and maximum lifetime. This relation was found to be mediated by impaired hormonal satiety signaling, i.e. increased leptin levels and insulin resistance. These findings suggest that heightened food reward motivation contributes to obesity through impaired metabolic signaling.

  6. Do dopaminergic gene polymorphisms affect mesolimbic reward activation of music listening response? Therapeutic impact on Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS).

    Blum, Kenneth; Chen, Thomas J H; Chen, Amanda L H; Madigan, Margaret; Downs, B William; Waite, Roger L; Braverman, Eric R; Kerner, Mallory; Bowirrat, Abdalla; Giordano, John; Henshaw, Harry; Gold, Mark S

    2010-03-01

    Using fMRI, Menon and Levitin [9] clearly found for the first time that listening to music strongly modulates activity in a network of mesolimbic structures involved in reward processing including the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA), as well as the hypothalamus, and insula, which are thought to be involved in regulating autonomic and physiological responses to rewarding and emotional stimuli. Importantly, responses in the NAc and VTA were strongly correlated pointing to an association between dopamine release and NAc response to music. Listing to pleasant music induced a strong response and significant activation of the VTA-mediated interaction of the NAc with the hypothalamus, insula, and orbitofrontal cortex. Blum et al. [10] provided the first evidence that the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2) Taq 1 A1 allele significantly associated with severe alcoholism whereby the author's suggested that they found the first "reward gene" located in the mesolimbic system. The enhanced functional and effective connectivity between brain regions mediating reward, autonomic, and cognitive processing provides insight into understanding why listening to music is one of the most rewarding and pleasurable human experiences. However, little is known about why some people have a more or less powerful mesolimbic experience when they are listening to music. It is well-known that music may induce an endorphinergic response that is blocked by naloxone, a known opioid antagonist (Goldstein [19]). Opioid transmission in the NAc is associated with dopamine release in the VTA. Moreover, dopamine release in the VTA is linked to polymorphisms of the DRD2 gene and even attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), whereby carriers of the DRD2 A1 allele show a reduced NAc release of dopamine (DA). Thus it is conjectured that similar mechanisms in terms of adequate dopamine release and subsequent activation of reward circuitry by listening to music might also be

  7. The endocannabinoid system in brain reward processes.

    Solinas, M; Goldberg, S R; Piomelli, D

    2008-05-01

    Food, drugs and brain stimulation can serve as strong rewarding stimuli and are all believed to activate common brain circuits that evolved in mammals to favour fitness and survival. For decades, endogenous dopaminergic and opioid systems have been considered the most important systems in mediating brain reward processes. Recent evidence suggests that the endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid) system also has an important role in signalling of rewarding events. First, CB(1) receptors are found in brain areas involved in reward processes, such as the dopaminergic mesolimbic system. Second, activation of CB(1) receptors by plant-derived, synthetic or endogenous CB(1) receptor agonists stimulates dopaminergic neurotransmission, produces rewarding effects and increases rewarding effects of abused drugs and food. Third, pharmacological or genetic blockade of CB(1) receptors prevents activation of dopaminergic neurotransmission by several addictive drugs and reduces rewarding effects of food and these drugs. Fourth, brain levels of the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol are altered by activation of reward processes. However, the intrinsic activity of the endocannabinoid system does not appear to play a facilitatory role in brain stimulation reward and some evidence suggests it may even oppose it. The influence of the endocannabinoid system on brain reward processes may depend on the degree of activation of the different brain areas involved and might represent a mechanism for fine-tuning dopaminergic activity. Although involvement of the various components of the endocannabinoid system may differ depending on the type of rewarding event investigated, this system appears to play a major role in modulating reward processes.

  8. Activation of the GLP-1 receptors in the nucleus of the solitary tract reduces food reward behavior and targets the mesolimbic system.

    Jennifer E Richard

    Full Text Available The gut/brain peptide, glucagon like peptide 1 (GLP-1, suppresses food intake by acting on receptors located in key energy balance regulating CNS areas, the hypothalamus or the hindbrain. Moreover, GLP-1 can reduce reward derived from food and motivation to obtain food by acting on its mesolimbic receptors. Together these data suggest a neuroanatomical segregation between homeostatic and reward effects of GLP-1. Here we aim to challenge this view and hypothesize that GLP-1 can regulate food reward behavior by acting directly on the hindbrain, the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS, GLP-1 receptors (GLP-1R. Using two models of food reward, sucrose progressive ratio operant conditioning and conditioned place preference for food in rats, we show that intra-NTS microinjections of GLP-1 or Exendin-4, a stable analogue of GLP-1, inhibit food reward behavior. When the rats were given a choice between palatable food and chow, intra-NTS Exendin-4 treatment preferentially reduced intake of palatable food but not chow. However, chow intake and body weight were reduced by the NTS GLP-1R activation if chow was offered alone. The NTS GLP-1 activation did not alter general locomotor activity and did not induce nausea, measured by PICA. We further show that GLP-1 fibers are in close apposition to the NTS noradrenergic neurons, which were previously shown to provide a monosynaptic connection between the NTS and the mesolimbic system. Central GLP-1R activation also increased NTS expression of dopamine-β-hydroxylase, a key enzyme in noradrenaline synthesis, indicating a biological link between these two systems. Moreover, NTS GLP-1R activation altered the expression of dopamine-related genes in the ventral tegmental area. These data reveal a food reward-suppressing role of the NTS GLP-1R and indicate that the neurobiological targets underlying food reward control are not limited to the mesolimbic system, instead they are distributed throughout the CNS.

  9. Activation of the GLP-1 receptors in the nucleus of the solitary tract reduces food reward behavior and targets the mesolimbic system.

    Richard, Jennifer E; Anderberg, Rozita H; Göteson, Andreas; Gribble, Fiona M; Reimann, Frank; Skibicka, Karolina P

    2015-01-01

    The gut/brain peptide, glucagon like peptide 1 (GLP-1), suppresses food intake by acting on receptors located in key energy balance regulating CNS areas, the hypothalamus or the hindbrain. Moreover, GLP-1 can reduce reward derived from food and motivation to obtain food by acting on its mesolimbic receptors. Together these data suggest a neuroanatomical segregation between homeostatic and reward effects of GLP-1. Here we aim to challenge this view and hypothesize that GLP-1 can regulate food reward behavior by acting directly on the hindbrain, the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS), GLP-1 receptors (GLP-1R). Using two models of food reward, sucrose progressive ratio operant conditioning and conditioned place preference for food in rats, we show that intra-NTS microinjections of GLP-1 or Exendin-4, a stable analogue of GLP-1, inhibit food reward behavior. When the rats were given a choice between palatable food and chow, intra-NTS Exendin-4 treatment preferentially reduced intake of palatable food but not chow. However, chow intake and body weight were reduced by the NTS GLP-1R activation if chow was offered alone. The NTS GLP-1 activation did not alter general locomotor activity and did not induce nausea, measured by PICA. We further show that GLP-1 fibers are in close apposition to the NTS noradrenergic neurons, which were previously shown to provide a monosynaptic connection between the NTS and the mesolimbic system. Central GLP-1R activation also increased NTS expression of dopamine-β-hydroxylase, a key enzyme in noradrenaline synthesis, indicating a biological link between these two systems. Moreover, NTS GLP-1R activation altered the expression of dopamine-related genes in the ventral tegmental area. These data reveal a food reward-suppressing role of the NTS GLP-1R and indicate that the neurobiological targets underlying food reward control are not limited to the mesolimbic system, instead they are distributed throughout the CNS.

  10. Lower neighborhood quality in adolescence predicts higher mesolimbic sensitivity to reward anticipation in adulthood

    Gonzalez, Marlen Z.; Allen, Joseph P.; Coan, James A.

    2016-01-01

    Life history theory suggests that adult reward sensitivity should be best explained by childhood, but not current, socioeconomic conditions. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, 83 participants from a larger longitudinal sample completed the monetary incentive delay (MID) task in adulthood (~25 years old). Parent-reports of neighborhood quality and parental SES were collected when participants were 13 years of age. Current income level was collected concurrently with scanning. Lower adolescent neighborhood quality, but neither lower current income nor parental SES, was associated with heightened sensitivity to the anticipation of monetary gain in putative mesolimbic reward areas. Lower adolescent neighborhood quality was also associated with heightened sensitivity to the anticipation of monetary loss activation in visuo-motor areas. Lower current income was associated with heightened sensitivity to anticipated loss in occipital areas and the operculum. We tested whether externalizing behaviors in childhood or adulthood could better account for neighborhood quality findings, but they did not. Findings suggest that neighborhood ecology in adolescence is associated with greater neural reward sensitivity in adulthood above the influence of parental SES or current income and not mediated through impulsivity and externalizing behaviors. PMID:27838595

  11. Lower neighborhood quality in adolescence predicts higher mesolimbic sensitivity to reward anticipation in adulthood

    Marlen Z. Gonzalez

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Life history theory suggests that adult reward sensitivity should be best explained by childhood, but not current, socioeconomic conditions. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI study, 83 participants from a larger longitudinal sample completed the monetary incentive delay (MID task in adulthood (∼25 years old. Parent-reports of neighborhood quality and parental SES were collected when participants were 13 years of age. Current income level was collected concurrently with scanning. Lower adolescent neighborhood quality, but neither lower current income nor parental SES, was associated with heightened sensitivity to the anticipation of monetary gain in putative mesolimbic reward areas. Lower adolescent neighborhood quality was also associated with heightened sensitivity to the anticipation of monetary loss activation in visuo-motor areas. Lower current income was associated with heightened sensitivity to anticipated loss in occipital areas and the operculum. We tested whether externalizing behaviors in childhood or adulthood could better account for neighborhood quality findings, but they did not. Findings suggest that neighborhood ecology in adolescence is associated with greater neural reward sensitivity in adulthood above the influence of parental SES or current income and not mediated through impulsivity and externalizing behaviors.

  12. Ghrelin Signalling on Food Reward: A Salient Link Between the Gut and the Mesolimbic System

    Perello, M.; Dickson, S. L.

    2015-01-01

    ?Hunger is the best spice? is an old and wise saying that acknowledges the fact that almost any food tastes better when we are hungry. The neurobiological underpinnings of this lore include activation of the brain's reward system and the stimulation of this system by the hunger?promoting hormone ghrelin. Ghrelin is produced largely from the stomach and levels are higher preprandially. The ghrelin receptor is expressed in many brain areas important for feeding control, including not only the h...

  13. "Liking" and "wanting" linked to Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS): hypothesizing differential responsivity in brain reward circuitry.

    Blum, Kenneth; Gardner, Eliot; Oscar-Berman, Marlene; Gold, Mark

    2012-01-01

    In an attempt to resolve controversy regarding the causal contributions of mesolimbic dopamine (DA) systems to reward, we evaluate the three main competing explanatory categories: "liking,"learning," and "wanting" [1]. That is, DA may mediate (a) the hedonic impact of reward (liking), (b) learned predictions about rewarding effects (learning), or (c) the pursuit of rewards by attributing incentive salience to reward-related stimuli (wanting). We evaluate these hypotheses, especially as they relate to the Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS), and we find that the incentive salience or "wanting" hypothesis of DA function is supported by a majority of the evidence. Neuroimaging studies have shown that drugs of abuse, palatable foods, and anticipated behaviors such as sex and gaming affect brain regions involving reward circuitry, and may not be unidirectional. Drugs of abuse enhance DA signaling and sensitize mesolimbic mechanisms that evolved to attribute incentive salience to rewards. Addictive drugs have in common that they are voluntarily selfadministered, they enhance (directly or indirectly) dopaminergic synaptic function in the nucleus accumbens (NAC), and they stimulate the functioning of brain reward circuitry (producing the "high" that drug users seek). Although originally believed simply to encode the set point of hedonic tone, these circuits now are believed to be functionally more complex, also encoding attention, reward expectancy, disconfirmation of reward expectancy, and incentive motivation. Elevated stress levels, together with polymorphisms of dopaminergic genes and other neurotransmitter genetic variants, may have a cumulative effect on vulnerability to addiction. The RDS model of etiology holds very well for a variety of chemical and behavioral addictions.

  14. Functional magnetic resonance imaging in awake transgenic fragile X rats: evidence of dysregulation in reward processing in the mesolimbic/habenular neural circuit.

    Kenkel, W M; Yee, J R; Moore, K; Madularu, D; Kulkarni, P; Gamber, K; Nedelman, M; Ferris, C F

    2016-03-22

    Anxiety and social deficits, often involving communication impairment, are fundamental clinical features of fragile X syndrome. There is growing evidence that dysregulation in reward processing is a contributing factor to the social deficits observed in many psychiatric disorders. Hence, we hypothesized that transgenic fragile X mental retardation 1 gene (fmr1) KO (FX) rats would display alterations in reward processing. To this end, awake control and FX rats were imaged for changes in blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal intensity in response to the odor of almond, a stimulus to elicit the innate reward response. Subjects were 'odor naive' to this evolutionarily conserved stimulus. The resulting changes in brain activity were registered to a three-dimensional segmented, annotated rat atlas delineating 171 brain regions. Both wild-type (WT) and FX rats showed robust brain activation to a rewarding almond odor, though FX rats showed an altered temporal pattern and tended to have a higher number of voxels with negative BOLD signal change from baseline. This pattern of greater negative BOLD was especially apparent in the Papez circuit, critical to emotional processing and the mesolimbic/habenular reward circuit. WT rats showed greater positive BOLD response in the supramammillary area, whereas FX rats showed greater positive BOLD response in the dorsal lateral striatum, and greater negative BOLD response in the retrosplenial cortices, the core of the accumbens and the lateral preoptic area. When tested in a freely behaving odor-investigation paradigm, FX rats failed to show the preference for almond odor which typifies WT rats. However, FX rats showed investigation profiles similar to WT when presented with social odors. These data speak to an altered processing of this highly salient novel odor in the FX phenotype and lend further support to the notion that altered reward systems in the brain may contribute to fragile X syndrome symptomology.

  15. NMDA receptor blockade in the prelimbic cortex activates the mesolimbic system and dopamine-dependent opiate reward signaling.

    Tan, Huibing; Rosen, Laura G; Ng, Garye A; Rushlow, Walter J; Laviolette, Steven R

    2014-12-01

    N-Methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are involved in opiate reward processing and modulate sub-cortical dopamine (DA) activity. NMDA receptor blockade in the prelimbic (PLC) division of the mPFC strongly potentiates the rewarding behavioural properties of normally sub-reward threshold doses of opiates. However, the possible functional interactions between cortical NMDA and sub-cortical DAergic motivational neural pathways underlying these effects are not understood. This study examines how NMDA receptor modulation in the PLC influences opiate reward processing via interactions with sub-cortical DAergic transmission. We further examined whether direct intra-PLC NMDA receptor modulation may activate DA-dependent opiate reward signaling via interactions with the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Using an unbiased place conditioning procedure (CPP) in rats, we performed bilateral intra-PLC microinfusions of the competitive NMDA receptor antagonist, (2R)-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (AP-5), prior to behavioural morphine place conditioning and challenged the rewarding effects of morphine with DA receptor blockade. We next examined the effects of intra-PLC NMDA receptor blockade on the spontaneous activity patterns of presumptive VTA DA or GABAergic neurons, using single-unit, extracellular in vivo neuronal recordings. We show that intra-PLC NMDA receptor blockade strongly activates sub-cortical DA neurons within the VTA while inhibiting presumptive non-DA GABAergic neurons. Behaviourally, NMDA receptor blockade activates a DA-dependent opiate reward system, as pharmacological blockade of DA transmission blocked morphine reward only in the presence of intra-PLC NMDA receptor antagonism. These findings demonstrate a cortical NMDA-mediated mechanism controlling mesolimbic DAergic modulation of opiate reward processing.

  16. The Role of Mesolimbic Reward Neurocircuitry in Prevention and Rescue of the Activity-Based Anorexia (ABA) Phenotype in Rats.

    Foldi, Claire J; Milton, Laura K; Oldfield, Brian J

    2017-11-01

    Patients suffering from anorexia nervosa (AN) become anhedonic; unable or unwilling to derive normal pleasures and avoid rewarding outcomes, most profoundly in food intake. The activity-based anorexia (ABA) model recapitulates many of the characteristics of the human condition, including anhedonia, and allows investigation of the underlying neurobiology of AN. The potential for increased neuronal activity in reward/hedonic circuits to prevent and rescue weight loss is investigated in this model. The mesolimbic pathway extending from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) was activated using a dual viral strategy, involving retrograde transport of Cre (CAV-2-Cre) to the VTA and coincident injection of DREADD receptors (AAV-hSyn-DIO-hM3D(Gq)-mCherry). Systemic clozapine-n-oxide (CNO; 0.3 mg/kg) successfully recruited a large proportion of the VTA-NAc dopaminergic projections, with activity evidenced by colocalization with elevated levels of Fos protein. The effects of reward circuit activation on energy balance and predicted survival was investigated in female Sprague-Dawley rats, where free access to running wheels was paired with time-limited (90 min) access to food, a paradigm (ABA) which will cause anorexia and death if unchecked. Excitation of the reward pathway substantially increased food intake and food anticipatory activity (FAA) to prevent ABA-associated weight loss, while overall locomotor activity was unchanged. Similar activation of reward circuitry, delayed until establishment of the ABA phenotype, rescued rats from their precipitous weight loss. Although these data are consistent with shifts primarily in food intake, the contribution of mechanisms including energy expenditure to survival remains to be determined. These results will inform the neurobiological underpinnings of AN, and provide insight into the mechanisms of reward circuitry relevant to feeding and weight loss.

  17. From prediction error to incentive salience: mesolimbic computation of reward motivation

    Berridge, Kent C.

    2011-01-01

    Reward contains separable psychological components of learning, incentive motivation and pleasure. Most computational models have focused only on the learning component of reward, but the motivational component is equally important in reward circuitry, and even more directly controls behavior. Modeling the motivational component requires recognition of additional control factors besides learning. Here I will discuss how mesocorticolimbic mechanisms generate the motivation component of incentive salience. Incentive salience takes Pavlovian learning and memory as one input and as an equally important input takes neurobiological state factors (e.g., drug states, appetite states, satiety states) that can vary independently of learning. Neurobiological state changes can produce unlearned fluctuations or even reversals in the ability of a previously-learned reward cue to trigger motivation. Such fluctuations in cue-triggered motivation can dramatically depart from all previously learned values about the associated reward outcome. Thus a consequence of the difference between incentive salience and learning can be to decouple cue-triggered motivation of the moment from previously learned values of how good the associated reward has been in the past. Another consequence can be to produce irrationally strong motivation urges that are not justified by any memories of previous reward values (and without distorting associative predictions of future reward value). Such irrationally strong motivation may be especially problematic in addiction. To comprehend these phenomena, future models of mesocorticolimbic reward function should address the neurobiological state factors that participate to control generation of incentive salience. PMID:22487042

  18. From prediction error to incentive salience: mesolimbic computation of reward motivation.

    Berridge, Kent C

    2012-04-01

    Reward contains separable psychological components of learning, incentive motivation and pleasure. Most computational models have focused only on the learning component of reward, but the motivational component is equally important in reward circuitry, and even more directly controls behavior. Modeling the motivational component requires recognition of additional control factors besides learning. Here I discuss how mesocorticolimbic mechanisms generate the motivation component of incentive salience. Incentive salience takes Pavlovian learning and memory as one input and as an equally important input takes neurobiological state factors (e.g. drug states, appetite states, satiety states) that can vary independently of learning. Neurobiological state changes can produce unlearned fluctuations or even reversals in the ability of a previously learned reward cue to trigger motivation. Such fluctuations in cue-triggered motivation can dramatically depart from all previously learned values about the associated reward outcome. Thus, one consequence of the difference between incentive salience and learning can be to decouple cue-triggered motivation of the moment from previously learned values of how good the associated reward has been in the past. Another consequence can be to produce irrationally strong motivation urges that are not justified by any memories of previous reward values (and without distorting associative predictions of future reward value). Such irrationally strong motivation may be especially problematic in addiction. To understand these phenomena, future models of mesocorticolimbic reward function should address the neurobiological state factors that participate to control generation of incentive salience. © 2012 The Author. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2012 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  19. Addictive drugs and brain stimulation reward.

    Wise, R A

    1996-01-01

    Direct electrical or chemical stimulation of specific brain regions can establish response habits similar to those established by natural rewards such as food or sexual contact. Cocaine, mu and delta opiates, nicotine, phencyclidine, and cannabis each have actions that summate with rewarding electrical stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle (MFB). The reward-potentiating effects of amphetamine and opiates are associated with central sites of action where these drugs also have their direct rewarding effects, suggesting common mechanisms for drug reward per se and for drug potentiation of brain stimulation reward. The central sites at which these and perhaps other drugs of abuse potentiate brain stimulation reward and are rewarding in their own right are consistent with the hypothesis that the laboratory reward of brain stimulation and the pharmacological rewards of addictive drugs are habit forming because they act in the brain circuits that subserve more natural and biologically significant rewards.

  20. Simultaneous Detection of c-Fos Activation from Mesolimbic and Mesocortical Dopamine Reward Sites Following Naive Sugar and Fat Ingestion in Rats.

    Dela Cruz, Julie A D; Coke, Tricia; Bodnar, Richard J

    2016-08-24

    This study uses cellular c-fos activation to assess effects of novel ingestion of fat and sugar on brain dopamine (DA) pathways in rats. Intakes of sugars and fats are mediated by their innate attractions as well as learned preferences. Brain dopamine, especially meso-limbic and meso-cortical projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA), has been implicated in both of these unlearned and learned responses. The concept of distributed brain networks, wherein several sites and transmitter/peptide systems interact, has been proposed to mediate palatable food intake, but there is limited evidence empirically demonstrating such actions. Thus, sugar intake elicits DA release and increases c-fos-like immunoreactivity (FLI) from individual VTA DA projection zones including the nucleus accumbens (NAC), amygdala (AMY) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) as well as the dorsal striatum. Further, central administration of selective DA receptor antagonists into these sites differentially reduce acquisition and expression of conditioned flavor preferences elicited by sugars or fats. One approach by which to determine whether these sites interacted as a distributed brain network in response to sugar or fat intake would be to simultaneous evaluate whether the VTA and its major mesotelencephalic DA projection zones (prelimbic and infralimbic mPFC, core and shell of the NAc, basolateral and central-cortico-medial AMY) as well as the dorsal striatum would display coordinated and simultaneous FLI activation after oral, unconditioned intake of corn oil (3.5%), glucose (8%), fructose (8%) and saccharin (0.2%) solutions. This approach is a successful first step in identifying the feasibility of using cellular c-fos activation simultaneously across relevant brain sites to study reward-related learning in ingestion of palatable food in rodents.

  1. Nigrostriatal and Mesolimbic D2/3 Receptor Expression in Parkinson's Disease Patients with Compulsive Reward-Driven Behaviors.

    Stark, Adam J; Smith, Christopher T; Lin, Ya-Chen; Petersen, Kalen J; Trujillo, Paula; van Wouwe, Nelleke C; Kang, Hakmook; Donahue, Manus J; Kessler, Robert M; Zald, David H; Claassen, Daniel O

    2018-03-28

    The nigrostriatal and mesocorticolimbic dopamine networks regulate reward-driven behavior. Regional alterations to mesolimbic dopamine D 2/3 receptor expression are described in drug-seeking and addiction disorders. Parkinson's disease (PD) patients are frequently prescribed D 2 -like dopamine agonist (DAgonist) therapy for motor symptoms, yet a proportion develop clinically significant behavioral addictions characterized by impulsive and compulsive behaviors (ICBs). Until now, changes in D 2/3 receptor binding in both striatal and extrastriatal regions have not been concurrently quantified in this population. We identified 35 human PD patients (both male and female) receiving DAgonist therapy, with ( n = 17) and without ( n = 18) ICBs, matched for age, disease duration, disease severity, and dose of dopamine therapy. In the off-dopamine state, all completed PET imaging with [ 18 F]fallypride, a high affinity D 2 -like receptor ligand that can measure striatal and extrastriatal D 2/3 nondisplaceable binding potential (BP ND ). Striatal differences between ICB+/ICB- patients localized to the ventral striatum and putamen, where ICB+ subjects had reduced BP ND In this group, self-reported severity of ICB symptoms positively correlated with midbrain D 2/3 receptor BP ND Group differences in regional D 2/3 BP ND relationships were also notable: ICB+ (but not ICB-) patients expressed positive correlations between midbrain and caudate, putamen, globus pallidus, and amygdala BP ND s. These findings support the hypothesis that compulsive behaviors in PD are associated with reduced ventral and dorsal striatal D 2/3 expression, similar to changes in comparable behavioral disorders. The data also suggest that relatively preserved ventral midbrain dopaminergic projections throughout nigrostriatal and mesolimbic networks are characteristic of ICB+ patients, and may account for differential DAgonist therapeutic response. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The biologic determinants of

  2. Differential mesolimbic and prefrontal alterations during reward anticipation and consummation in positive and negative schizotypy.

    Yan, Chao; Wang, Yi; Su, Li; Xu, Ting; Yin, Da-Zhi; Fan, Ming-Xia; Deng, Ci-Ping; Wang, Zhao-Xin; Lui, Simon S Y; Cheung, Eric F C; Chan, Raymond C K

    2016-08-30

    Schizotypy is associated with anhedonia. However, previous findings on the neural substrates of anhedonia in schizotypy are mixed. In the present study, we measured the neural substrates associated with reward anticipation and consummation in positive and negative schizotypy using functional MRI. The Monetary Incentive Delay task was administered to 33 individuals with schizotypy (18 positive schizotypy (PS),15 negative schizotypy (NS)) and 22 healthy controls. Comparison between schizotypy individuals and controls were performed using two-sample T tests for contrast images involving gain versus non-gain anticipation condition and gain versus non-gain consummation condition. Multiple comparisons were corrected using Monte Carlo Simulation correction of panticipation or consummation. However, during the consummatory phase, NS individuals rather than PS individuals showed diminished left amygdala and left putamen activity compared with controls. We observed significantly weaker activation at the left ventral striatum during gain anticipation in NS individuals compared with controls. PS individuals, however, exhibited enhanced right ventral lateral prefrontal activity. These findings suggest that different dimensions of schizotypy may be underlied by different neural dysfunctions in reward anticipation and consummation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Activation instead of blocking mesolimbic dopaminergic reward circuitry is a preferred modality in the long term treatment of reward deficiency syndrome (RDS: a commentary

    Waite Roger L

    2008-11-01

    proliferation of D2 receptors. Proposal and conclusion The authors propose that D2 receptor stimulation can be accomplished via the use of Synapatmine™, a natural but therapeutic nutraceutical formulation that potentially induces DA release, causing the same induction of D2-directed mRNA and thus proliferation of D2 receptors in the human. This proliferation of D2 receptors in turn will induce the attenuation of craving behavior. In fact as mentioned earlier, this model has been proven in research showing DNA-directed compensatory overexpression (a form of gene therapy of the DRD2 receptors, resulting in a significant reduction in alcohol craving behavior in alcohol preferring rodents. Utilizing natural dopaminergic repletion therapy to promote long term dopaminergic activation will ultimately lead to a common, safe and effective modality to treat Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS behaviors including Substance Use Disorders (SUD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, Obesity and other reward deficient aberrant behaviors. This concept is further supported by the more comprehensive understanding of the role of dopamine in the NAc as a "wanting" messenger in the meso-limbic DA system.

  4. Maternal “junk-food” feeding of rat dams alters food choices and development of the mesolimbic reward pathway in the offspring

    Ong, Z. Y.; Muhlhausler, B. S.

    2011-01-01

    Individuals exposed to high-fat, high-sugar diets before birth have an increased risk of obesity in later life. Recent studies have shown that these offspring exhibit increased preference for fat, leading to suggestions that perinatal exposure to high-fat, high-sugar foods results in permanent changes within the central reward system that increase the subsequent drive to overconsume palatable foods. The present study has determined the effect of a maternal “junk-food” diet on the expression of key components of the mesolimbic reward pathway in the offspring of rat dams at 6 wk and 3 mo of age. We show that offspring of junk-food-fed (JF) dams exhibit higher fat intake from weaning until at least 3 mo of age (males: 16±0.6 vs. 11±0.8 g/kg/d; females: 19±1.3 vs. 13±0.4 g/kg/d; Pjunk-food intake in postnatal life.—Ong, Z. Y., Muhlhausler, B. S. Maternal “junk-food” feeding of rat dams alters food choices and development of the mesolimbic reward pathway in the offspring. PMID:21427213

  5. “Liking” and “Wanting” Linked to Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS): Hypothesizing Differential Responsivity in Brain Reward Circuitry

    Blum, Kenneth; Gardner, Eliot; Oscar-Berman, Marlene; Gold, Mark

    2012-01-01

    In an attempt to resolve controversy regarding the causal contributions of mesolimbic dopamine (DA) systems to reward, we evaluate the three main competing explanatory categories: “liking,” “learning,” and “wanting” [1]. That is, DA may mediate (a) the hedonic impact of reward (liking), (b) learned predictions about rewarding effects (learning), or (c) the pursuit of rewards by attributing incentive salience to reward-related stimuli (wanting). We evaluate these hypotheses, especially as they...

  6. Neurogenetic Impairments of Brain Reward Circuitry Links to Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS): Potential Nutrigenomic Induced Dopaminergic Activation

    Blum, K; Oscar-Berman, M; Giordano, J; Downs, BW; Simpatico, T; Han, D; Femino, John

    2012-01-01

    Work from our laboratory in both in-patient and outpatient facilities utilizing the Comprehensive Analysis of Reported Drugs (CARD)™ found a significant lack of compliance to prescribed treatment medications and a lack of abstinence from drugs of abuse during active recovery. This unpublished, ongoing research provides an impetus to develop accurate genetic diagnosis and holistic approaches that will safely activate brain reward circuitry in the mesolimbic dopamine system. This editorial focuses on the neurogenetics of brain reward systems with particular reference to genes related to dopaminergic function. The terminology “Reward Deficiency Syndrome” (RDS), used to describe behaviors found to have an association with gene-based hypodopaminergic function, is a useful concept to help expand our understanding of Substance Use Disorder (SUD), process addictions, and other obsessive, compulsive and impulsive behaviors. This editorial covers the neurological basis of pleasure and the role of natural and unnatural reward in motivating and reinforcing behaviors. Additionally, it briefly describes the concept of natural dopamine D2 receptor agonist therapy coupled with genetic testing of a panel of reward genes, the Genetic Addiction Risk Score (GARS). It serves as a spring-board for this combination of novel approaches to the prevention and treatment of RDS that was developed from fundamental genomic research. We encourage further required studies. PMID:23264886

  7. Exposure to elevated levels of dietary fat attenuates psychostimulant reward and mesolimbic dopamine turnover in the rat

    Davis, Jon F.; Tracy, Andrea L.; Schurdak, Jennifer D.; Tschöp, Matthias H.; Lipton, Jack W.; Clegg, Deborah J.; Benoit, Stephen C.

    2008-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that decreased central dopamine is associated with diet-induced obesity in humans and in animal models. In the current study, we assessed the hypothesis that diet-induced obesity reduces mesolimbic dopamine function. Specifically, we compared dopamine turnover in this region between rats fed a high-fat diet and those consuming a standard low-fat diet. We also assessed behavioral consequences of diet-induced obesity by testing the response of these animals in a conditio...

  8. Brain Circuits Encoding Reward from Pain Relief.

    Navratilova, Edita; Atcherley, Christopher W; Porreca, Frank

    2015-11-01

    Relief from pain in humans is rewarding and pleasurable. Primary rewards, or reward-predictive cues, are encoded in brain reward/motivational circuits. While considerable advances have been made in our understanding of reward circuits underlying positive reinforcement, less is known about the circuits underlying the hedonic and reinforcing actions of pain relief. We review findings from electrophysiological, neuroimaging, and behavioral studies supporting the concept that the rewarding effect of pain relief requires opioid signaling in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), activation of midbrain dopamine neurons, and the release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Understanding of circuits that govern the reward of pain relief may allow the discovery of more effective and satisfying therapies for patients with acute or chronic pain.

  9. Introduction: Addiction and Brain Reward and Anti-Reward Pathways

    Gardner, Eliot L.

    2013-01-01

    Addictive drugs have in common that they are voluntarily self-administered by laboratory animals (usually avidly) and that they enhance the functioning of the reward circuitry of the brain (producing the “high” that the drug-user seeks). The core reward circuitry consists of an “in series” circuit linking the ventral tegmental area, nucleus accumbens, and ventral pallidum - via the medial forebrain bundle. Although originally believed to encode simply the set-point of hedonic tone, these circuits are now believed to be functionally far more complex - also encoding attention, expectancy of reward, disconfirmation of reward expectancy, and incentive motivation. “Hedonic dysregulation” within these circuits may lead to addiction. The “second-stage” dopaminergic component in this reward circuitry is the crucial addictive-drug-sensitive component. All addictive drugs have in common that they enhance (directly or indirectly or even transsynaptically) dopaminergic reward synaptic function in the nucleus accumbens. Drug self-administration is regulated by nucleus accumbens dopamine levels, and is done to keep nucleus accumbens dopamine within a specific elevated range (to maintain a desired hedonic level). For some classes of addictive drugs (e.g., opiates), tolerance to the euphoric effects develops with chronic use. Post-use dysphoria then comes to dominate reward circuit hedonic tone, and addicts no longer use drugs to get “high,” but simply to get back to normal (“get straight”). The brain circuits mediating the pleasurable effects of addictive drugs are anatomically, neurophysiologically, and neurochemically different from those mediating physical dependence, and from those mediating craving and relapse. There are important genetic variations in vulnerability to drug addiction, yet environmental factors such as stress and social defeat also alter brain-reward mechanisms in such a manner as to impart vulnerability to addiction. In short, the

  10. GABAergic Control of Nigrostriatal and Mesolimbic Dopamine in the Rat Brain

    Susanne Nikolaus

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The present study assessed the effects of the GABAA receptor (R agonist muscimol (MUS, and the GABAAR antagonist bicuculline (BIC on neocortical and subcortical radioligand binding to dopamine D2/3Rs in relation to motor and exploratory behaviors in the rat.Methods: D2/3R binding was measured with small animal SPECT in baseline and after challenge with either 1 mg/kg MUS or 1 mg/kg BIC, using [123I]IBZM as radioligand. Motor/exploratory behaviors were assessed for 30 min in an open field prior to radioligand administration. Anatomical information was gained with a dedicated small animal MRI tomograph. Based on the Paxinos rat brain atlas, regions of interest were defined on SPECT-MRI overlays. Estimations of the binding potentials in baseline and after challenges were obtained by computing ratios of the specifically bound compartments to the cerebellar reference region.Results: After MUS, D2/3R binding was significantly reduced in caudateputamen, nucleus accumbens, thalamus, substania nigra/ventral tegmental area, and posterior hippocampus relative to baseline (0.005 ≤ p ≤ 0.012. In all these areas, except for the thalamus, D2/3R binding was negatively correlated with grooming in the first half and positively correlated with various motor/exploratory behaviors in the second half of the testing session. After BIC, D2/3R binding was significantly elevated in caudateputamen (p = 0.022 and thalamus (p = 0.047 relative to baseline. D2/3R binding in caudateputamen and thalamus was correlated negatively with sitting duration and sitting frequency and positively with motor/exploratory behaviors in the first half of the testing time.Conclusions: Findings indicate direct GABAergic control over nigrostriatal and mesolimbic dopamine levels in relation to behavioral action. This may be of relevance for neuropsychiatric conditions such as anxiety disorder and schizophrenia, which are characterized by both dopaminergic and GABAergic dysfunction.

  11. Lighting up the brain's reward circuitry.

    Lobo, Mary Kay

    2012-07-01

    The brain's reward circuit is critical for mediating natural reward behaviors including food, sex, and social interaction. Drugs of abuse take over this circuit and produce persistent molecular and cellular alterations in the brain regions and their neural circuitry that make up the reward pathway. Recent use of optogenetic technologies has provided novel insights into the functional and molecular role of the circuitry and cell subtypes within these circuits that constitute this pathway. This perspective will address the current and future use of light-activated proteins, including those involved in modulating neuronal activity, cellular signaling, and molecular properties in the neural circuitry mediating rewarding stimuli and maladaptive responses to drugs of abuse. © 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.

  12. Maternal "junk-food" feeding of rat dams alters food choices and development of the mesolimbic reward pathway in the offspring.

    Ong, Z Y; Muhlhausler, B S

    2011-07-01

    Individuals exposed to high-fat, high-sugar diets before birth have an increased risk of obesity in later life. Recent studies have shown that these offspring exhibit increased preference for fat, leading to suggestions that perinatal exposure to high-fat, high-sugar foods results in permanent changes within the central reward system that increase the subsequent drive to overconsume palatable foods. The present study has determined the effect of a maternal "junk-food" diet on the expression of key components of the mesolimbic reward pathway in the offspring of rat dams at 6 wk and 3 mo of age. We show that offspring of junk-food-fed (JF) dams exhibit higher fat intake from weaning until at least 3 mo of age (males: 16 ± 0.6 vs. 11 ± 0.8 g/kg/d; females: 19 ± 1.3 vs. 13 ± 0.4 g/kg/d; Pjunk-food intake in postnatal life.

  13. Chronic social stress induces peripheral and central immune activation, blunted mesolimbic dopamine function, and reduced reward-directed behaviour in mice

    Giorgio Bergamini

    2018-02-01

    model can now be applied to investigate causality and, if demonstrated, underlying mechanisms in specific steps of this immune-neural-behavioural pathway, and thereby to identify potential therapeutic targets. Keywords: Social stress, Immune activation, Mesolimbic dopamine system, Reward, Depression, Mouse model

  14. Dopamine in the Brain: Hypothesizing Surfeit or Deficit Links to Reward and Addiction.

    Blum, Kenneth; Thanos, Peter K; Oscar-Berman, Marlene; Febo, Marcelo; Baron, David; Badgaiyan, Rajendra D; Gardner, Eliot; Demetrovics, Zsolt; Fahlke, Claudia; Haberstick, Brett C; Dushaj, Kristina; Gold, Mark S

    Recently there has been debate concerning the role of brain dopamine in reward and addiction. David Nutt and associates eloquently proposed that dopamine (DA) may be central to psycho stimulant dependence and some what important for alcohol, but not important for opiates, nicotine or even cannabis. Others have also argued that surfeit theories can explain for example cocaine seeking behavior as well as non-substance-related addictive behaviors. It seems prudent to distinguish between what constitutes "surfeit" compared to" deficit" in terms of short-term (acute) and long-term (chronic) brain reward circuitry responsivity. In an attempt to resolve controversy regarding the contributions of mesolimbic DA systems to reward, we review the three main competing explanatory categories: "liking", "learning", and "wanting". They are (a) the hedonic impact -liking reward, (b) the ability to predict rewarding effects-learning and (c) the incentive salience of reward-related stimuli -wanting. In terms of acute effects, most of the evidence seems to favor the "surfeit theory". Due to preferential dopamine release at mesolimbic-VTA-caudate-accumbens loci most drugs of abuse and Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS) behaviors have been linked to heightened feelings of well-being and hyperdopaminergic states.The "dopamine hypotheses" originally thought to be simple, is now believed to be quite complex and involves encoding the set point of hedonic tone, encoding attention, reward expectancy, and incentive motivation. Importantly, Willuhn et al. shows that in a self-administration paradigm, (chronic) excessive use of cocaine is caused by decreased phasic dopamine signaling in the striatum. In terms of chronic addictions, others have shown a blunted responsivity at brain reward sites with food, nicotine, and even gambling behavior. Finally, we are cognizant of the differences in dopaminergic function as addiction progresses and argue that relapse may be tied to dopamine deficiency

  15. Reward Systems in the Brain and Nutrition.

    Rolls, Edmund T

    2016-07-17

    The taste cortex in the anterior insula provides separate and combined representations of the taste, temperature, and texture of food in the mouth independently of hunger and thus of reward value and pleasantness. One synapse on, in the orbitofrontal cortex, these sensory inputs are combined by associative learning with olfactory and visual inputs for some neurons, and these neurons encode food reward value in that they respond to food only when hunger is present and in that activations correlate linearly with subjective pleasantness. Cognitive factors, including word-level descriptions and selective attention to affective value, modulate the representation of the reward value of taste, olfactory, and flavor stimuli in the orbitofrontal cortex and a region to which it projects, the anterior cingulate cortex. These food reward representations are important in the control of appetite and food intake. Individual differences in reward representations may contribute to obesity, and there are age-related differences in these reward representations. Implications of how reward systems in the brain operate for understanding, preventing, and treating obesity are described.

  16. Neural Processing of Calories in Brain Reward Areas Can be Modulated by Reward Sensitivity

    van Rijn, Inge; Griffioen-Roose, Sanne; de Graaf, Cees; Smeets, Paul A M

    A food's reward value is dependent on its caloric content. Furthermore, a food's acute reward value also depends on hunger state. The drive to obtain rewards (reward sensitivity), however, differs between individuals. Here, we assessed the association between brain responses to calories in the mouth

  17. Addiction and brain reward and antireward pathways.

    Gardner, Eliot L

    2011-01-01

    Addictive drugs have in common that they are voluntarily self-administered by laboratory animals (usually avidly), and that they enhance the functioning of the reward circuitry of the brain (producing the 'high' that the drug user seeks). The core reward circuitry consists of an 'in-series' circuit linking the ventral tegmental area, nucleus accumbens and ventral pallidum via the medial forebrain bundle. Although originally believed to simply encode the set point of hedonic tone, these circuits are now believed to be functionally far more complex, also encoding attention, expectancy of reward, disconfirmation of reward expectancy, and incentive motivation. 'Hedonic dysregulation' within these circuits may lead to addiction. The 'second-stage' dopaminergic component in this reward circuitry is the crucial addictive-drug-sensitive component. All addictive drugs have in common that they enhance (directly or indirectly or even transsynaptically) dop-aminergic reward synaptic function in the nucleus accumbens. Drug self-administration is regulated by nucleus accumbens dopamine levels, and is done to keep nucleus accumbens dopamine within a specific elevated range (to maintain a desired hedonic level). For some classes of addictive drugs (e.g. opiates), tolerance to the euphoric effects develops with chronic use. Postuse dysphoria then comes to dominate reward circuit hedonic tone, and addicts no longer use drugs to get high, but simply to get back to normal ('get straight'). The brain circuits mediating the pleasurable effects of addictive drugs are anatomically, neurophysiologically and neurochemically different from those mediating physical dependence, and from those mediating craving and relapse. There are important genetic variations in vulnerability to drug addiction, yet environmental factors such as stress and social defeat also alter brain-reward mechanisms in such a manner as to impart vulnerability to addiction. In short, the 'bio-psycho-social' model of

  18. Changes in reward-induced brain activation in opiate addicts

    Martin-Soelch, C; Chevalley, AF; Kunig, G; Missimer, J; Magyar, S; Mino, A; Schultz, W; Leenders, KL

    2001-01-01

    Many studies indicate a role of the cerebral dopaminergic reward system in addiction. Motivated by these findings, we examined in opiate addicts whether brain regions involved in the reward circuitry also react to human prototypical rewards. We measured regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) with

  19. Flavor vs Energy Sensing in Brain Reward Circuits

    Ivan E De Araujo

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Sweetness functions as a potent natural reinforcer in several species, from flies to rodents to primates including humans. The appreciation of flavored stimuli is greatly enhanced when sweetness is added, the obvious example being sugar-sweetened flavored beverages (the major source of excess added calories in US diets. Different sweet substances are nevertheless attributed greater incentive value than others, with glucose-containing sugars appearing as the uppermost sweet reward. Food choices are indeed prominently determined by nutritional value, with caloric content being highly predictive of both preference and intake. Specifically, for most species studied, glucose-containing sugars are known to exert exquisitely strong effects on food choice via post-ingestive signals. Despite the relevance of the issue to public health, the identity of the physiological signals underlying glucose’s rewarding effects remains incompletely understood. Recently, however, some progress has been achieved in this front: the concept is emerging that the metabolic utilization of glucose moieties contained in sugars drives activity in brain reward circuitries (thereby presumably driving robust intake. Specifically, disruption of glucose utilization in mice was shown to produce an enduring inhibitory effect on artificial (non-nutritive sweetener intake, an effect that did not depend on sweetness perception or aversion [1]. Indeed, such an effect was not observed in mice presented with a less palatable, yet caloric, glucose solution. It is also remarkable that hungry mice shift their preferences away from artificial sweeteners in favor of glucose solutions, especially when the sugar is experienced in a food-depleted state. However, the most striking effect associated with sweet appetite appears to be the strong selectivity of certain brain circuitries to the energy content of the solutions, irrespective of sweetness per se. Indeed, it has been shown that glucose

  20. Changes in brain activation associated with reward processing in smokers and nonsmokers

    Martin-Solch, C; Magyar, S; Kunig, G; Missimer, J; Schultz, W; Leenders, KL

    Tobacco smoking is the most frequent form of substance abuse. Several studies have shown that the addictive action of nicotine is mediated by the mesolimbic. dopamine system. This system is implicated in reward processing. In order to better understand the relationship between nicotine addiction and

  1. Marijuana and cannabinoid regulation of brain reward circuits

    Lupica, Carl R; Riegel, Arthur C; Hoffman, Alexander F

    2004-01-01

    The reward circuitry of the brain consists of neurons that synaptically connect a wide variety of nuclei. Of these brain regions, the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the nucleus accumbens (NAc) play central roles in the processing of rewarding environmental stimuli and in drug addiction. The psychoactive properties of marijuana are mediated by the active constituent, Δ9-THC, interacting primarily with CB1 cannabinoid receptors in a large number of brain areas. However, it is the activation o...

  2. Marijuana and cannabinoid regulation of brain reward circuits.

    Lupica, Carl R; Riegel, Arthur C; Hoffman, Alexander F

    2004-09-01

    The reward circuitry of the brain consists of neurons that synaptically connect a wide variety of nuclei. Of these brain regions, the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the nucleus accumbens (NAc) play central roles in the processing of rewarding environmental stimuli and in drug addiction. The psychoactive properties of marijuana are mediated by the active constituent, Delta(9)-THC, interacting primarily with CB1 cannabinoid receptors in a large number of brain areas. However, it is the activation of these receptors located within the central brain reward circuits that is thought to play an important role in sustaining the self-administration of marijuana in humans, and in mediating the anxiolytic and pleasurable effects of the drug. Here we describe the cellular circuitry of the VTA and the NAc, define the sites within these areas at which cannabinoids alter synaptic processes, and discuss the relevance of these actions to the regulation of reinforcement and reward. In addition, we compare the effects of Delta(9)-THC with those of other commonly abused drugs on these reward circuits, and we discuss the roles that endogenous cannabinoids may play within these brain pathways, and their possible involvement in regulating ongoing brain function, independently of marijuana consumption. We conclude that, whereas Delta(9)-THC alters the activity of these central reward pathways in a manner that is consistent with other abused drugs, the cellular mechanism through which this occurs is likely different, relying upon the combined regulation of several afferent pathways to the VTA.

  3. High temporal discounters overvalue immediate rewards rather than undervalue future rewards: an event-related brain potential study.

    Cherniawsky, Avital S; Holroyd, Clay B

    2013-03-01

    Impulsivity is characterized in part by heightened sensitivity to immediate relative to future rewards. Although previous research has suggested that "high discounters" in intertemporal choice tasks tend to prefer immediate over future rewards because they devalue the latter, it remains possible that they instead overvalue immediate rewards. To investigate this question, we recorded the reward positivity, a component of the event-related brain potential (ERP) associated with reward processing, with participants engaged in a task in which they received both immediate and future rewards and nonrewards. The participants also completed a temporal discounting task without ERP recording. We found that immediate but not future rewards elicited the reward positivity. High discounters also produced larger reward positivities to immediate rewards than did low discounters, indicating that high discounters relatively overvalued immediate rewards. These findings suggest that high discounters may be more motivated than low discounters to work for monetary rewards, irrespective of the time of arrival of the incentives.

  4. Gender dimorphism of brain reward system volumes in alcoholism.

    Sawyer, Kayle S; Oscar-Berman, Marlene; Barthelemy, Olivier J; Papadimitriou, George M; Harris, Gordon J; Makris, Nikos

    2017-05-30

    The brain's reward network has been reported to be smaller in alcoholic men compared to nonalcoholic men, but little is known about the volumes of reward regions in alcoholic women. Morphometric analyses were performed on magnetic resonance brain scans of 60 long-term chronic alcoholics (ALC; 30 men) and 60 nonalcoholic controls (NC; 29 men). We derived volumes of total brain, and cortical and subcortical reward-related structures including the dorsolateral prefrontal (DLPFC), orbitofrontal, and cingulate cortices, and the temporal pole, insula, amygdala, hippocampus, nucleus accumbens septi (NAc), and ventral diencephalon (VDC). We examined the relationships of the volumetric findings to drinking history. Analyses revealed a significant gender interaction for the association between alcoholism and total reward network volumes, with ALC men having smaller reward volumes than NC men and ALC women having larger reward volumes than NC women. Analyses of a priori subregions revealed a similar pattern of reward volume differences with significant gender interactions for DLPFC and VDC. Overall, the volume of the cerebral ventricles in ALC participants was negatively associated with duration of abstinence, suggesting decline in atrophy with greater length of sobriety. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Pervasive competition between threat and reward in the brain.

    Choi, Jong Moon; Padmala, Srikanth; Spechler, Philip; Pessoa, Luiz

    2014-06-01

    In the current functional MRI study, we investigated interactions between reward and threat processing. Visual cues at the start of each trial informed participants about the chance of winning monetary reward and/or receiving a mild aversive shock. We tested two competing hypothesis: according to the 'salience hypothesis', in the condition involving both reward and threat, enhanced activation would be observed because of increased salience; according to the 'competition hypothesis', the processing of reward and threat would trade-off against each other, leading to reduced activation. Analysis of skin conductance data during a delay phase revealed an interaction between reward and threat processing, such that the effect of reward was reduced during threat and the effect of threat was reduced during reward. Analysis of imaging data during the same task phase revealed interactions between reward and threat processing in several regions, including the midbrain/ventral tegmental area, caudate, putamen, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, anterior insula, middle frontal gyrus and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. Taken together, our findings reveal conditions during which reward and threat trade-off against each other across multiple sites. Such interactions are suggestive of competitive processes and may reflect the organization of opponent systems in the brain. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Improvement of Brain Reward Abnormalities by Antipsychotic Monotherapy in Schizophrenia

    Nielsen, Mette Ødegaard; Rostrup, Egill; Wulff, Sanne

    2012-01-01

    CONTEXT Schizophrenic symptoms are linked to a dysfunction of dopamine neurotransmission and the brain reward system. However, it remains unclear whether antipsychotic treatment, which blocks dopamine transmission, improves, alters, or even worsens the reward-related abnormalities. OBJECTIVE....... Antipsychotic treatment tends to normalize the response of the reward system; this was especially seen in the patients with the most pronounced treatment effect on the positive symptoms. TRIAL REGISTRATION clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01154829....... To investigate changes in reward-related brain activations in schizophrenia before and after antipsychotic monotherapy with a dopamine D2/D3 antagonist. DESIGN Longitudinal cohort study. SETTING Psychiatric inpatients and outpatients in the Capital Region of Denmark. PARTICIPANTS Twenty-three antipsychotic...

  7. Adaptive increase in D3 dopamine receptors in the brain reward circuits of human cocaine fatalities.

    Staley, J K; Mash, D C

    1996-10-01

    The mesolimbic dopaminergic system plays a primary role in mediating the euphoric and rewarding effects of most abused drugs. Chronic cocaine use is associated with an increase in dopamine neurotransmission resulting from the blockade of dopamine uptake and is mediated by the activation of dopamine receptors. Recent studies have suggested that the D3 receptor subtype plays a pivotal role in the reinforcing effects of cocaine. The D3 receptor-preferring agonist 7-hydroxy-N,N-di-n-propyl-2-aminotetralin (7-OH-DPAT) is a reinforcer in rhesus monkeys trained to self-administer cocaine, but not in cocainenaive monkeys. In vitro autoradiographic localization of [3H]-(+)-7-OH-DPAT binding in the human brain demonstrated that D3 receptors were prevalent and highly localized over the ventromedial sectors of the striatum. Pharmacological characterization of [3H]-(+)-7-OH-DPAT binding to the human nucleus accumbens demonstrated a rank order of potency similar to that observed for binding to the cloned D3 receptor expressed in transfected cell lines. Region-of-interest analysis of [3H]-(+)-7-OH-DPAT binding to the D3 receptor demonstrated a one- to threefold elevation in the number of binding sites over particular sectors of the striatum and substantia nigra in cocaine overdose victims as compared with age-matched and drug-free control subjects. The elevated number of [3H]-(+)-7-OH-DPAT binding sites demonstrates that adaptive changes in the D3 receptor in the reward circuitry of the brain are associated with chronic cocaine abuse. These results suggest that the D3 receptor may be a useful target for drug development of anticocaine medications.

  8. Neural Processing of Calories in Brain Reward Areas Can be Modulated by Reward Sensitivity.

    van Rijn, Inge; Griffioen-Roose, Sanne; de Graaf, Cees; Smeets, Paul A M

    2015-01-01

    A food's reward value is dependent on its caloric content. Furthermore, a food's acute reward value also depends on hunger state. The drive to obtain rewards (reward sensitivity), however, differs between individuals. Here, we assessed the association between brain responses to calories in the mouth and trait reward sensitivity in different hunger states. Firstly, we assessed this in data from a functional neuroimaging study (van Rijn et al., 2015), in which participants (n = 30) tasted simple solutions of a non-caloric sweetener with or without a non-sweet carbohydrate (maltodextrin) during hunger and satiety. Secondly, we expanded these analyses to regular drinks by assessing the same relationship in data from a study in which soft drinks sweetened with either sucrose or a non-caloric sweetener were administered during hunger (n = 18) (Griffioen-Roose et al., 2013). First, taste activation by the non-caloric solution/soft drink was subtracted from that by the caloric solution/soft drink to eliminate sweetness effects and retain activation induced by calories. Subsequently, this difference in taste activation was correlated with reward sensitivity as measured with the BAS drive subscale of the Behavioral Activation System (BAS) questionnaire. When participants were hungry and tasted calories from the simple solution, brain activation in the right ventral striatum (caudate), right amygdala and anterior cingulate cortex (bilaterally) correlated negatively with BAS drive scores. In contrast, when participants were satiated, taste responses correlated positively with BAS drive scores in the left caudate. These results were not replicated for soft drinks. Thus, neural responses to oral calories from maltodextrin were modulated by reward sensitivity in reward-related brain areas. This was not the case for sucrose. This may be due to the direct detection of maltodextrin, but not sucrose in the oral cavity. Also, in a familiar beverage, detection of calories per se may be

  9. Neural processing of calories in brain reward areas can be modulated by reward sensitivity

    Inge eVan Rijn

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available A food’s reward value is dependent on its caloric content. Furthermore, a food’s acute reward value also depends on hunger state. The drive to obtain rewards (reward sensitivity, however, differs between individuals. Here, we assessed the association between brain responses to calories in the mouth and trait reward sensitivity in different hunger states. Firstly, we assessed this in data from a functional neuroimaging study (van Rijn et al., 2015, in which participants (n=30 tasted simple solutions of a non-caloric sweetener with or without a non-sweet carbohydrate (maltodextrin during hunger and satiety. Secondly, we expanded these analyses to regular drinks by assessing the same relationship in data from a study in which soft drinks sweetened with either sucrose or a non-caloric sweetener were administered during hunger (n=18 (Griffioen-Roose et al., 2013. First, taste activation by the non-caloric solution/soft drink was subtracted from that by the caloric solution/soft drink to eliminate sweetness effects and retain activation induced by calories. Subsequently, this difference in taste activation was correlated with reward sensitivity as measured with the BAS drive subscale of the Behavioral Activation System (BAS questionnaire.When participants were hungry and tasted calories from the simple solution, brain activation in the right ventral striatum (caudate, right amygdala and anterior cingulate cortex (bilaterally correlated negatively with BAS drive scores. In contrast, when participants were satiated, taste responses correlated positively with BAS drive scores in the left caudate. These results were not replicated for soft drinks. Thus, neural responses to oral calories from maltodextrin were modulated by reward sensitivity in reward-related brain areas. This was not the case for sucrose. This may be due to the direct detection of maltodextrin, but not sucrose in the oral cavity. Also, in a familiar beverage, detection of calories per

  10. Naloxone treatment alters gene expression in the mesolimbic reward system in 'junk food' exposed offspring in a sex-specific manner but does not affect food preferences in adulthood.

    Gugusheff, J R; Ong, Z Y; Muhlhausler, B S

    2014-06-22

    We have previously reported that the opioid receptor blocker, naloxone, is less effective in reducing palatable food intake in offspring exposed to a maternal cafeteria diet during the perinatal period, implicating a desensitization of the central opioid pathway in the programming of food preferences. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of a maternal cafeteria diet and naloxone treatment on the development of the mesolimbic reward pathway and food choices in adulthood. We measured mRNA expression of key components of the reward pathway (mu-opioid receptor, proenkephalin, tyrosine hydroxylase, D1 and D2 receptors and the dopamine active transporter (DAT)) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the offspring of control and cafeteria fed (JF) dams at weaning and after a 10-day naloxone treatment post-weaning and determined food preferences in adulthood in the remaining offspring. Naloxone treatment decreased the expression of DAT by 8.2 fold in female control offspring but increased it by 4.3 fold in female offspring of JF dams relative to the saline-injected reference groups. Proenkephalin mRNA expression was higher in the NAc of female JF offspring compared to controls, independent of naloxone treatment (Pfood preferences in adulthood in either control or JF offspring. These data indicate that prenatal exposure to a cafeteria diet alters the impact of opioid signaling blockade in the early post-weaning period on gene expression in the central reward pathway in a sex specific manner, but that these changes in gene expression do not appear to have any persistent impact on food preferences in adulthood. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Changes in reward-induced brain activation in opiate addicts.

    Martin-Soelch, C; Chevalley, A F; Künig, G; Missimer, J; Magyar, S; Mino, A; Schultz, W; Leenders, K L

    2001-10-01

    Many studies indicate a role of the cerebral dopaminergic reward system in addiction. Motivated by these findings, we examined in opiate addicts whether brain regions involved in the reward circuitry also react to human prototypical rewards. We measured regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) with H(2)(15)O positron emission tomography (PET) during a visuo-spatial recognition task with delayed response in control subjects and in opiate addicts participating in a methadone program. Three conditions were defined by the types of feedback: nonsense feedback; nonmonetary reinforcement; or monetary reward, received by the subjects for a correct response. We found in the control subjects rCBF increases in regions associated with the meso-striatal and meso-corticolimbic circuits in response to both monetary reward and nonmonetary reinforcement. In opiate addicts, these regions were activated only in response to monetary reward. Furthermore, nonmonetary reinforcement elicited rCBF increases in limbic regions of the opiate addicts that were not activated in the control subjects. Because psychoactive drugs serve as rewards and directly affect regions of the dopaminergic system like the striatum, we conclude that the differences in rCBF increases between controls and addicts can be attributed to an adaptive consequence of the addiction process.

  12. Brain Stimulation Reward Supports More Consistent and Accurate Rodent Decision-Making than Food Reward.

    McMurray, Matthew S; Conway, Sineadh M; Roitman, Jamie D

    2017-01-01

    Animal models of decision-making rely on an animal's motivation to decide and its ability to detect differences among various alternatives. Food reinforcement, although commonly used, is associated with problematic confounds, especially satiety. Here, we examined the use of brain stimulation reward (BSR) as an alternative reinforcer in rodent models of decision-making and compared it with the effectiveness of sugar pellets. The discriminability of various BSR frequencies was compared to differing numbers of sugar pellets in separate free-choice tasks. We found that BSR was more discriminable and motivated greater task engagement and more consistent preference for the larger reward. We then investigated whether rats prefer BSR of varying frequencies over sugar pellets. We found that animals showed either a clear preference for sugar reward or no preference between reward modalities, depending on the frequency of the BSR alternative and the size of the sugar reward. Overall, these results suggest that BSR is an effective reinforcer in rodent decision-making tasks, removing food-related confounds and resulting in more accurate, consistent, and reliable metrics of choice.

  13. Reward mechanisms in the brain and their role in dependence : evidence from neurophysiological and neuroimaging studies

    Martin-Soelch, C; Leenders, KL; Chevalley, AF; Missimer, J; Kunig, G; Magyar, S; Mino, A; Schultz, W

    2001-01-01

    This article reviews neuronal activity related to reward processing in primate and human brains. In the primate brain, neurophysiological methods provide a differentiated view of reward processing in a limited number of brain structures. Dopamine neurons respond to unpredictable rewards and produce

  14. Social Rewards and Social Networks in the Human Brain.

    Fareri, Dominic S; Delgado, Mauricio R

    2014-08-01

    The rapid development of social media and social networking sites in human society within the past decade has brought about an increased focus on the value of social relationships and being connected with others. Research suggests that we pursue socially valued or rewarding outcomes-approval, acceptance, reciprocity-as a means toward learning about others and fulfilling social needs of forming meaningful relationships. Focusing largely on recent advances in the human neuroimaging literature, we review findings highlighting the neural circuitry and processes that underlie pursuit of valued rewarding outcomes across non-social and social domains. We additionally discuss emerging human neuroimaging evidence supporting the idea that social rewards provide a gateway to establishing relationships and forming social networks. Characterizing the link between social network, brain, and behavior can potentially identify contributing factors to maladaptive influences on decision making within social situations. © The Author(s) 2014.

  15. Placebo neural systems: nitric oxide, morphine and the dopamine brain reward and motivation circuitries.

    Fricchione, Gregory; Stefano, George B

    2005-05-01

    Evidence suggests that the placebo response is related to the tonic effects of constitutive nitric oxide in neural, vascular and immune tissues. Constitutive nitric oxide levels play a role in the modulation of dopamine outflow in the nigrostriatal movement and the mesolimbic and mesocortical reward and motivation circuitries. Endogenous morphine, which stimulates constitutive nitric oxide, may be an important signal molecule working at mu receptors on gamma aminobutyric acid B interneurons to disinhibit nigral and tegmental dopamine output. We surmise that placebo induced belief will activate the prefrontal cortex with downstream stimulatory effects on these dopamine systems as well as on periaqueductal grey opioid output neurons. Placebo responses in Parkinson's disease, depression and pain disorder may result. In addition, mesolimbic/mesocortical control of the stress response systems may provide a way for the placebo response to benefit other medical conditions.

  16. The effects of HIV-1 regulatory TAT protein expression on brain reward function, response to psychostimulants and delay-dependent memory in mice.

    Kesby, James P; Markou, Athina; Semenova, Svetlana

    2016-10-01

    Depression and psychostimulant abuse are common comorbidities among humans with immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease. The HIV regulatory protein TAT is one of multiple HIV-related proteins associated with HIV-induced neurotoxicity. TAT-induced dysfunction of dopamine and serotonin systems in corticolimbic brain areas may result in impaired reward function, thus, contributing to depressive symptoms and psychostimulant abuse. Transgenic mice with doxycycline-induced TAT protein expression in the brain (TAT+, TAT- control) show neuropathology resembling brain abnormalities in HIV+ humans. We evaluated brain reward function in response to TAT expression, nicotine and methamphetamine administration in TAT+ and TAT- mice using the intracranial self-stimulation procedure. We evaluated the brain dopamine and serotonin systems with high-performance liquid chromatography. The effects of TAT expression on delay-dependent working memory in TAT+ and TAT- mice using the operant delayed nonmatch-to-position task were also assessed. During doxycycline administration, reward thresholds were elevated by 20% in TAT+ mice compared with TAT- mice. After the termination of doxycycline treatment, thresholds of TAT+ mice remained significantly higher than those of TAT- mice and this was associated with changes in mesolimbic serotonin and dopamine levels. TAT+ mice showed a greater methamphetamine-induced threshold lowering compared with TAT- mice. TAT expression did not alter delay-dependent working memory. These results indicate that TAT expression in mice leads to reward deficits, a core symptom of depression, and a greater sensitivity to methamphetamine-induced reward enhancement. Our findings suggest that the TAT protein may contribute to increased depressive-like symptoms and continued methamphetamine use in HIV-positive individuals. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Modulation of the mesolimbic dopamine system by leptin.

    Opland, Darren M; Leinninger, Gina M; Myers, Martin G

    2010-09-02

    Nutritional status modulates many forms of reward-seeking behavior, with caloric restriction increasing the drive for drugs of abuse as well as for food. Understanding the interactions between the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system (which mediates the incentive salience of natural and artificial rewards) and the neural and hormonal systems that sense and regulate energy balance is thus of significant importance. Leptin, which is produced by adipocytes in proportion to fat content as a hormonal signal of long-term energy stores, acts via its receptor (LepRb) on multiple populations of central nervous system neurons to modulate neural circuits in response to body energy stores. Leptin suppresses feeding and plays a central role in the control of energy balance. In addition to demonstrating that leptin modulates hypothalamic and brainstem circuits to promote satiety, recent work has begun to explore the mechanisms by which leptin influences the mesolimbic DA system and related behaviors. Indeed, leptin diminishes several measures of drug and food reward, and promotes a complex set of changes in the mesolimbic DA system. While many of the details remain to be worked out, several lines of evidence suggest that leptin regulates the mesolimbic DA system via multiple neural pathways and processes, and that distinct sets of LepRb neurons each modulate unique aspects of the mesolimbic DA system and behavior in response to leptin. 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Fuel not fun: Reinterpreting attenuated brain responses to reward in obesity.

    Kroemer, Nils B; Small, Dana M

    2016-08-01

    There is a well-established literature linking obesity to altered dopamine signaling and brain response to food-related stimuli. Neuroimaging studies frequently report enhanced responses in dopaminergic regions during food anticipation and decreased responses during reward receipt. This has been interpreted as reflecting anticipatory "reward surfeit", and consummatory "reward deficiency". In particular, attenuated response in the dorsal striatum to primary food rewards is proposed to reflect anhedonia, which leads to overeating in an attempt to compensate for the reward deficit. In this paper, we propose an alternative view. We consider brain response to food-related stimuli in a reinforcement-learning framework, which can be employed to separate the contributions of reward sensitivity and reward-related learning that are typically entangled in the brain response to reward. Consequently, we posit that decreased striatal responses to milkshake receipt reflect reduced reward-related learning rather than reward deficiency or anhedonia because reduced reward sensitivity would translate uniformly into reduced anticipatory and consummatory responses to reward. By re-conceptualizing reward deficiency as a shift in learning about subjective value of rewards, we attempt to reconcile neuroimaging findings with the putative role of dopamine in effort, energy expenditure and exploration and suggest that attenuated brain responses to energy dense foods reflect the "fuel", not the fun entailed by the reward. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Dysregulation of Brain Reward Systems in Eating Disorders: Neurochemical Information from Animal Models of Binge Eating, Bulimia Nervosa, and Anorexia Nervosa

    Avena, Nicole M.; Bocarsly, Miriam E.

    2012-01-01

    Food intake is mediated, in part, through brain pathways for motivation and reinforcement. Dysregulation of these pathways may underlay some of the behaviors exhibited by patients with eating disorders. Research using animal models of eating disorders has greatly contributed to the detailed study of potential brain mechanisms that many underlie the causes or consequences of aberrant eating behaviors. This review focuses on neurochemical evidence of reward-related brain dysfunctions obtained through animal models of binge eating, bulimia nervosa, or anorexia nervosa. The findings suggest that alterations in dopamine (DA), acetylcholine (ACh) and opioid systems in reward-related brain areas occur in response to binge eating of palatable foods. Moreover, animal models of bulimia nervosa suggest that while bingeing on palatable food releases DA, purging attenuates the release of ACh that might otherwise signal satiety. Animal models of anorexia nervosa suggest that restricted access to food enhances the reinforcing effects of DA when the animal does eat. The activity-based anorexia model suggests alterations in mesolimbic DA and serotonin occur as a result of starvation coupled with excessive wheel running. These findings with animal models complement data obtained through neuroimaging and pharmacotherapy studies of clinical populations. Finally, information on the neurochemical consequences of the behaviors associated with these eating disorders will be useful in understanding these complex disorders and may inform future therapeutic approaches, as discussed here. PMID:22138162

  20. Dysregulation of brain reward systems in eating disorders: neurochemical information from animal models of binge eating, bulimia nervosa, and anorexia nervosa.

    Avena, Nicole M; Bocarsly, Miriam E

    2012-07-01

    Food intake is mediated, in part, through brain pathways for motivation and reinforcement. Dysregulation of these pathways may underlay some of the behaviors exhibited by patients with eating disorders. Research using animal models of eating disorders has greatly contributed to the detailed study of potential brain mechanisms that many underlie the causes or consequences of aberrant eating behaviors. This review focuses on neurochemical evidence of reward-related brain dysfunctions obtained through animal models of binge eating, bulimia nervosa, or anorexia nervosa. The findings suggest that alterations in dopamine (DA), acetylcholine (ACh) and opioid systems in reward-related brain areas occur in response to binge eating of palatable foods. Moreover, animal models of bulimia nervosa suggest that while bingeing on palatable food releases DA, purging attenuates the release of ACh that might otherwise signal satiety. Animal models of anorexia nervosa suggest that restricted access to food enhances the reinforcing effects of DA when the animal does eat. The activity-based anorexia model suggests alterations in mesolimbic DA and serotonin occur as a result of restricted eating coupled with excessive wheel running. These findings with animal models complement data obtained through neuroimaging and pharmacotherapy studies of clinical populations. Information on the neurochemical consequences of the behaviors associated with these eating disorders will be useful in understanding these complex disorders and may inform future therapeutic approaches, as discussed here. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Central Control of Food Intake'. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Sex-Steroid Hormone Manipulation Reduces Brain Response to Reward

    Macoveanu, Julian; Henningsson, Susanne; Pinborg, Anja

    2016-01-01

    's vulnerability for mood disorders is linked to sex-steroid dynamics by investigating the effects of a pharmacologically induced fluctuation in ovarian sex steroids on the brain response to monetary rewards. In a double-blinded placebo controlled study, healthy women were randomized to receive either placebo...... or the gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa) goserelin, which causes a net decrease in sex-steroid levels. Fifty-eight women performed a gambling task while undergoing functional MRI at baseline, during the mid-follicular phase, and again following the intervention. The gambling task enabled us to map...

  2. Role of the Brain's Reward Circuitry in Depression: Transcriptional Mechanisms.

    Nestler, Eric J

    2015-01-01

    Increasing evidence supports an important role for the brain's reward circuitry in controlling mood under normal conditions and contributing importantly to the pathophysiology and symptomatology of a range of mood disorders, such as depression. Here we focus on the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a critical component of the brain's reward circuitry, in depression and other stress-related disorders. The prominence of anhedonia, reduced motivation, and decreased energy level in most individuals with depression supports the involvement of the NAc in these conditions. We concentrate on several transcription factors (CREB, ΔFosB, SRF, NFκB, and β-catenin), which are altered in the NAc in rodent depression models--and in some cases in the NAc of depressed humans, and which produce robust depression- or antidepressant-like effects when manipulated in the NAc in animal models. These studies of the NAc have established novel approaches toward modeling key symptoms of depression in animals and could enable the development of antidepressant medications with fundamentally new mechanisms of action. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Missing motoric manipulations: rethinking the imaging of the ventral striatum and dopamine in human reward.

    Kareken, David A

    2018-01-26

    Human neuroimaging studies of natural rewards and drugs of abuse frequently assay the brain's response to stimuli that, through Pavlovian learning, have come to be associated with a drug's rewarding properties. This might be characterized as a 'sensorial' view of the brain's reward system, insofar as the paradigms are designed to elicit responses to a reward's (drug's) sight, aroma, or flavor. A different field of research nevertheless suggests that the mesolimbic dopamine system may also be critically involved in the motor behaviors provoked by such stimuli. This brief review and commentary surveys some of the preclinical data supporting this more "efferent" (motoric) view of the brain's reward system, and discusses what such findings might mean for how human brain imaging studies of natural rewards and drugs of abuse are designed.

  4. Activation in mesolimbic and visuospatial neural circuits elicited by smoking cues: evidence from functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    Due, Deborah L; Huettel, Scott A; Hall, Warren G; Rubin, David C

    2002-06-01

    The authors sought to increase understanding of the brain mechanisms involved in cigarette addiction by identifying neural substrates modulated by visual smoking cues in nicotine-deprived smokers. Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to detect brain activation after exposure to smoking-related images in a group of nicotine-deprived smokers and a nonsmoking comparison group. Subjects viewed a pseudo-random sequence of smoking images, neutral nonsmoking images, and rare targets (photographs of animals). Subjects pressed a button whenever a rare target appeared. In smokers, the fMRI signal was greater after exposure to smoking-related images than after exposure to neutral images in mesolimbic dopamine reward circuits known to be activated by addictive drugs (right posterior amygdala, posterior hippocampus, ventral tegmental area, and medial thalamus) as well as in areas related to visuospatial attention (bilateral prefrontal and parietal cortex and right fusiform gyrus). In nonsmokers, no significant differences in fMRI signal following exposure to smoking-related and neutral images were detected. In most regions studied, both subject groups showed greater activation following presentation of rare target images than after exposure to neutral images. In nicotine-deprived smokers, both reward and attention circuits were activated by exposure to smoking-related images. Smoking cues are processed like rare targets in that they activate attentional regions. These cues are also processed like addictive drugs in that they activate mesolimbic reward regions.

  5. Dopamine Signaling in reward-related behaviors

    Baik, Ja-Hyun

    2013-01-01

    Dopamine (DA) regulates emotional and motivational behavior through the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway. Changes in DA mesolimbic neurotransmission have been found to modify behavioral responses to various environmental stimuli associated with reward behaviors. Psychostimulants, drugs of abuse, and natural reward such as food can cause substantial synaptic modifications to the mesolimbic DA system. Recent studies using optogenetics and DREADDs, together with neuron-specific or circuit-specifi...

  6. Rewards.

    Gunderman, Richard B; Kamer, Aaron P

    2011-05-01

    For much of the 20th century, psychologists and economists operated on the assumption that work is devoid of intrinsic rewards, and the only way to get people to work harder is through the use of rewards and punishments. This so-called carrot-and-stick model of workplace motivation, when applied to medical practice, emphasizes the use of financial incentives and disincentives to manipulate behavior. More recently, however, it has become apparent that, particularly when applied to certain kinds of work, such approaches can be ineffective or even frankly counterproductive. Instead of focusing on extrinsic rewards such as compensation, organizations and their leaders need to devote more attention to the intrinsic rewards of work itself. This article reviews this new understanding of rewards and traces out its practical implications for radiology today. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. Brain reward responses to food stimuli among female monozygotic twins discordant for BMI

    Doornweerd, Stieneke; De Geus, Eco J; Barkhof, Frederik; van Bloemendaal, Liselotte; Boomsma, Dorret I; van Dongen, J.; Drent, Madeleine L; Willemsen, Gonneke; Veltman, Dick J; IJzerman, Richard G

    2017-01-01

    Obese individuals are characterized by altered brain reward responses to food. Despite the latest discovery of obesity-associated genes, the contribution of environmental and genetic factors to brain reward responsiveness to food remains largely unclear. Sixteen female monozygotic twin pairs with a

  8. Brain reward responses to food stimuli among female monozygotic twins discordant for BMI

    Doornweerd, Stieneke; De Geus, Eco J; Barkhof, Frederik; van Bloemendaal, Liselotte; Boomsma, Dorret I; van Dongen, J.; Drent, Madeleine L; Willemsen, Gonneke; Veltman, Dick J; IJzerman, Richard G

    2018-01-01

    Obese individuals are characterized by altered brain reward responses to food. Despite the latest discovery of obesity-associated genes, the contribution of environmental and genetic factors to brain reward responsiveness to food remains largely unclear. Sixteen female monozygotic twin pairs with a

  9. Own-gender imitation activates the brain's reward circuitry

    Iacoboni, Macro; Martin, Alia; Dapretto, Mirella

    2012-01-01

    Imitation is an important component of human social learning throughout life. Theoretical models and empirical data from anthropology and psychology suggest that people tend to imitate self-similar individuals, and that such imitation biases increase the adaptive value (e.g., self-relevance) of learned information. It is unclear, however, what neural mechanisms underlie people's tendency to imitate those similar to themselves. We focused on the own-gender imitation bias, a pervasive bias thought to be important for gender identity development. While undergoing fMRI, participants imitated own- and other-gender actors performing novel, meaningless hand signs; as control conditions, they also simply observed such actions and viewed still portraits of the same actors. Only the ventral and dorsal striatum, orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala were more active when imitating own- compared to other-gender individuals. A Bayesian analysis of the BrainMap neuroimaging database demonstrated that the striatal region preferentially activated by own-gender imitation is selectively activated by classical reward tasks in the literature. Taken together, these findings reveal a neurobiological mechanism associated with the own-gender imitation bias and demonstrate a novel role of reward-processing neural structures in social behavior. PMID:22383803

  10. Reward-based spatial learning in unmedicated adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    Marsh, Rachel; Tau, Gregory Z; Wang, Zhishun; Huo, Yuankai; Liu, Ge; Hao, Xuejun; Packard, Mark G; Peterson, Bradley S; Simpson, H Blair

    2015-04-01

    The authors assessed the functioning of mesolimbic and striatal areas involved in reward-based spatial learning in unmedicated adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Functional MRI blood-oxygen-level-dependent response was compared in 33 unmedicated adults with OCD and 33 healthy, age-matched comparison subjects during a reward-based learning task that required learning to use extramaze cues to navigate a virtual eight-arm radial maze to find hidden rewards. The groups were compared in their patterns of brain activation associated with reward-based spatial learning versus a control condition in which rewards were unexpected because they were allotted pseudorandomly to experimentally prevent learning. Both groups learned to navigate the maze to find hidden rewards, but group differences in neural activity during navigation and reward processing were detected in mesolimbic and striatal areas. During navigation, the OCD group, unlike the healthy comparison group, exhibited activation in the left posterior hippocampus. Unlike healthy subjects, participants in the OCD group did not show activation in the left ventral putamen and amygdala when anticipating rewards or in the left hippocampus, amygdala, and ventral putamen when receiving unexpected rewards (control condition). Signal in these regions decreased relative to baseline during unexpected reward receipt among those in the OCD group, and the degree of activation was inversely associated with doubt/checking symptoms. Participants in the OCD group displayed abnormal recruitment of mesolimbic and ventral striatal circuitry during reward-based spatial learning. Whereas healthy comparison subjects exhibited activation in this circuitry in response to the violation of reward expectations, unmedicated OCD participants did not and instead over-relied on the posterior hippocampus during learning. Thus, dopaminergic innervation of reward circuitry may be altered, and future study of anterior/posterior hippocampal

  11. Hypocretin/orexin regulation of dopamine signaling: implications for reward and reinforcement mechanisms

    Rodrigo eEspaña

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The hypocretins/orexins are comprised of two neuroexcitatory peptides that are synthesized exclusively within a circumscribed region of the lateral hypothalamus. These peptides project widely throughout the brain and interact with a variety of regions involved in the regulation of arousal-related processes including those associated with motivated behavior. The current review focuses on emerging evidence indicating that the hypocretins influence reward and reinforcement processing via actions on the mesolimbic dopamine system. We discuss contemporary perspectives of hypocretin regulation of mesolimbic dopamine signaling in both drug free and drug states, as well as hypocretin regulation of behavioral responses to drugs of abuse, particularly as it relates to cocaine.

  12. Hypocretin/orexin regulation of dopamine signaling: implications for reward and reinforcement mechanisms

    Calipari, Erin S.; España, Rodrigo A.

    2012-01-01

    The hypocretins/orexins are comprised of two neuroexcitatory peptides that are synthesized exclusively within a circumscribed region of the lateral hypothalamus. These peptides project widely throughout the brain and interact with a variety of regions involved in the regulation of arousal-related processes including those associated with motivated behavior. The current review focuses on emerging evidence indicating that the hypocretins influence reward and reinforcement processing via actions on the mesolimbic dopamine system. We discuss contemporary perspectives of hypocretin regulation of mesolimbic dopamine signaling in both drug free and drug states, as well as hypocretin regulation of behavioral responses to drugs of abuse, particularly as it relates to cocaine. PMID:22933994

  13. Unitizing worker expertise and maximizing the brain reward centers

    Martinez, Anthony Bert [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2010-01-01

    People are experts when it comes to the work they do; unfortunately their expertise is not utilized as frequently as it could be. More opportunities need to be provided that allow people to participate in the design of their work including: accident investigations, job planning, and process improvements. Many employers use some form of job hazard analysis process to identify and document hazards and controls, but the front line worker is rarely involved. This presentation will show the core principles supporting employee involvement, provide examples where workers had brilliant ideas but no one listened, and provide examples where workers were given the opportunity to use their expertise to improve occupational safety. According to Abraham Maslow's Hierarch of Needs model, one essential human need is to be innovative and solve problems. Advances in brain science have proven, through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies, the brain reward pathway is activated when people are recognized for their intellectual contributions. As people contribute their expertise to improve occupational safety more frequently they will feel a sense of gratification. In addition, safety professionals will have more time to spend on strategic planning of emerging occupational safety issues. One effect of the current global recession is that SH&E professionals are asked to do more with less. Therefore, to be successful it is essential that SH&E professionals incorporate worker expertise in job planning. This will be illustrated in the presentation through an example where a worker had the answer to a difficult decision on appropriate personal protective equipment for a job but no one asked the worker for his idea during the job planning phase. Fortunately the worker was eventually consulted and his recommendation for the appropriate personal protective equipment for the job was implemented before work began. The goal of this presentation is to expand the awareness and

  14. Monetary reward magnitude effects on behavior and brain function during goal-directed behavior.

    Rosell-Negre, P; Bustamante, J C; Fuentes-Claramonte, P; Costumero, V; Benabarre, S; Barrós-Loscertales, A

    2017-08-01

    Reward may modulate the cognitive processes required for goal achievement, while individual differences in personality may affect reward modulation. Our aim was to test how different monetary reward magnitudes modulate brain activation and performance during goal-directed behavior, and whether individual differences in reward sensitivity affect this modulation. For this purpose, we scanned 37 subjects with a parametric design in which we varied the magnitude of monetary rewards (€0, €0.01, €0.5, €1 or €1.5) in a blocked fashion while participants performed an interference counting-Stroop condition. The results showed that the brain activity of left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the striatum were modulated by increasing and decreasing reward magnitudes, respectively. Behavioral performance improved as the magnitude of monetary reward increased while comparing the non reward (€0) condition to any other reward condition, or the lower €0.01 to any other reward condition, and this improvement was related with individual differences in reward sensitivity. In conclusion, the locus of influence of monetary incentives overlaps the activity of the regions commonly involved in cognitive control.

  15. Effects of reward and punishment on brain activations associated with inhibitory control in cigarette smokers.

    Luijten, Maartje; O'Connor, David A; Rossiter, Sarah; Franken, Ingmar H A; Hester, Robert

    2013-11-01

    Susceptibility to use of addictive substances may result, in part, from a greater preference for an immediate small reward relative to a larger delayed reward or relative insensitivity to punishment. This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study examined the neural basis of inhibiting an immediately rewarding stimulus to obtain a larger delayed reward in smokers. We also investigated whether punishment could modulate inhibitory control. The Monetary Incentive Go/NoGo (MI-Go/NoGo) task was administered that provided three types of reward outcomes contingent upon inhibitory control performance over rewarding stimuli: inhibition failure was either followed by no monetary reward (neutral condition), a small monetary reward with immediate feedback (reward condition) or immediate monetary punishment (punishment condition). In the reward and punishment conditions, successful inhibitory control resulted in larger delayed rewards. Community sample of smokers in the Melbourne (Australia) area. Nineteen smokers were compared with 17 demographically matched non-smoking controls. Accuracy, reaction times and brain activation associated with the MI-Go/NoGo task. Smokers showed hyperactivation in the right insula (P rewarding stimulus to obtain a larger delayed reward, and during inhibition of neutral stimuli. Group differences in brain activity were not significant in the punishment condition in the right insula and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, most probably as a result of increased activation in non-smoking controls. Compared with non-smokers, smokers showed increased neural activation when resisting immediately rewarding stimuli and may be less sensitive to punishment as a strategy to increase control over rewarding stimuli. © 2013 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  16. A balance of activity in brain control and reward systems predicts self-regulatory outcomes

    Lopez, Richard B.; Chen, Pin-Hao A.; Huckins, Jeremy F.; Hofmann, Wilhelm; Kelley, William M.; Heatherton, Todd F.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Previous neuroimaging work has shown that increased reward-related activity following exposure to food cues is predictive of self-control failure. The balance model suggests that self-regulation failures result from an imbalance in reward and executive control mechanisms. However, an open question is whether the relative balance of activity in brain systems associated with executive control (vs reward) supports self-regulatory outcomes when people encounter tempting cues in daily lif...

  17. Repeated social defeat and the rewarding effects of cocaine in adult and adolescent mice: dopamine transcription factors, proBDNF signaling pathways, and the TrkB receptor in the mesolimbic system.

    Montagud-Romero, Sandra; Nuñez, Cristina; Blanco-Gandia, M Carmen; Martínez-Laorden, Elena; Aguilar, María A; Navarro-Zaragoza, Javier; Almela, Pilar; Milanés, Maria-Victoria; Laorden, María-Luisa; Miñarro, José; Rodríguez-Arias, Marta

    2017-07-01

    Repeated social defeat (RSD) increases the rewarding effects of cocaine in adolescent and adult rodents. The aim of the present study was to compare the long-term effects of RSD on the conditioned rewarding effects of cocaine and levels of the transcription factors Pitx3 and Nurr1 in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), the dopamine transporter (DAT), the D2 dopamine receptor (D2DR) and precursor of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (proBDNF) signaling pathways, and the tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) receptor in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in adult and adolescent mice. Male adolescent and young adult OF1 mice were exposed to four episodes of social defeat and were conditioned 3 weeks later with 1 mg/kg of cocaine. In a second set of mice, the expressions of the abovementioned dopaminergic and proBDNF and TrkB receptor were measured in VTA and NAc, respectively. Adolescent mice experienced social defeats less intensely than their adult counterparts and produced lower levels of corticosterone. However, both adult and adolescent defeated mice developed conditioned place preference for the compartment associated with this low dose of cocaine. Furthermore, only adolescent defeated mice displayed diminished levels of the transcription factors Pitx3 in the VTA, without changes in the expression of DAT and D2DR in the NAc. In addition, stressed adult mice showed a decreased expression of proBDNF and the TrkB receptor, while stressed adolescent mice exhibited increased expression of latter without changes in the former. Our findings suggest that dopaminergic pathways and proBDNF signaling and TrkB receptors play different roles in social defeat-stressed mice exposed to cocaine.

  18. Reward networks in the brain as captured by connectivity measures

    Estela Camara

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available An assortment of human behaviors is thought to be driven by rewards including reinforcement learning, novelty processing, learning, decision making, economic choice, incentive motivation, and addiction. In each case the ventral tegmental area / ventral striatum (Nucleus accumbens system (VTA-VS has been implicated as a key structure by functional imaging studies, mostly on the basis of standard, univariate analyses. Here we propose that standard fMRI analysis needs to be complemented by methods that take into account the differential connectivity of the VTA-VS system in the different behavioral contexts in order to describe reward based processes more appropriately. We first consider the wider network for reward processing as it emerged from animal experimentation. Subsequently, an example for a method to assess functional connectivity is given. Finally, we illustrate the usefulness of such analyses by examples regarding reward valuation, reward expectation and the role of reward in addiction.

  19. The computational psychiatry of reward: Broken brains or misguided minds?

    Michael eMoutoussis

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Research into the biological basis of emotional and motivational disorders is in danger of riding roughshod over a patient-centred psychiatry and falling into the dualist errors of the past, i.e. by treating mind and brain as conceptually distinct. We argue that a psychiatry informed by computational neuroscience, computational psychiatry, can obviate this danger. Through a focus on the reasoning processes by which humans attempt to maximise reward (and minimise punishment, and how such reasoning is expressed neurally, computational psychiatry can render obsolete the polarity between biological and psychosocial conceptions of illness. Here, the term 'psychological' comes to refer to information processing performed by biological agents, seen in light of underlying goals. We reflect on the implications of this perspective for a definition of mental disorder, including what is entailed in asserting that a particular disorder is ‘biological’ or ‘psychological’ in origin. We propose that a computational approach assists in understanding the topography of mental disorder, while cautioning that the point at which eccentric reasoning constitutes disorder often remains a matter of cultural judgement.

  20. Brain reward system's alterations in response to food and monetary stimuli in overweight and obese individuals.

    Verdejo-Román, Juan; Vilar-López, Raquel; Navas, Juan F; Soriano-Mas, Carles; Verdejo-García, Antonio

    2017-02-01

    The brain's reward system is crucial to understand obesity in modern society, as increased neural responsivity to reward can fuel the unhealthy food choices that are driving the growing obesity epidemic. Brain's reward system responsivity to food and monetary rewards in individuals with excessive weight (overweight and obese) versus normal weight controls, along with the relationship between this responsivity and body mass index (BMI) were tested. The sample comprised 21 adults with obesity (BMI > 30), 21 with overweight (BMI between 25 and 30), and 39 with normal weight (BMI food (Willing to Pay) and monetary rewards (Monetary Incentive Delay). Neural activations within the brain reward system were compared across the three groups. Curve fit analyses were conducted to establish the association between BMI and brain reward system's response. Individuals with obesity had greater food-evoked responsivity in the dorsal and ventral striatum compared with overweight and normal weight groups. There was an inverted U-shape association between BMI and monetary-evoked responsivity in the ventral striatum, medial frontal cortex, and amygdala; that is, individuals with BMIs between 27 and 32 had greater responsivity to monetary stimuli. Obesity is associated with greater food-evoked responsivity in the ventral and dorsal striatum, and overweight is associated with greater monetary-evoked responsivity in the ventral striatum, the amygdala, and the medial frontal cortex. Findings suggest differential reactivity of the brain's reward system to food versus monetary rewards in obesity and overweight. Hum Brain Mapp 38:666-677, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Mutual Influence of Reward Anticipation and Emotion on Brain Activity during Memory Retrieval.

    Yan, Chunping; Liu, Fang; Li, Yunyun; Zhang, Qin; Cui, Lixia

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies on the joint effect of reward motivation and emotion on memory retrieval have obtained inconsistent results. Furthermore, whether and how any such joint effect might vary over time remains unclear too. Accordingly, using the event-related potential (ERP) measurement of high temporal resolution, our study investigates the cognitive and brain mechanisms of monetary reward and emotion affecting the retrieval processes of episodic memory. Twenty undergraduate and graduate students participated in the research, and our study's behavioral results indicated that reward (relative to no reward) and negative emotion (relative to positive and neutral emotion) significantly improved recognition performance. The ERP results showed that there were significant interactions between monetary reward and emotion on memory retrieval, and the reward effects of positive, neutral, and negative memory occurred at varied intervals in mean amplitude. The reward effect of positive memory appeared relatively early, at 260-330 ms after the stimulus onset in the frontal-frontocentral area, at 260-500 ms in the centroparietal-parietal area and at 500-700 ms in the frontocentral area. However, the reward effects of neutral and negative memory occurred relatively later, and that of negative memory appeared at 500-700 ms in the frontocentral and centroparietal area and that of neutral memory was at 500-700 ms in the frontocentral and centroparietal-parietal area. Meanwhile, significant FN400 old/new effects were observed in the negative and rewarded positive items, and the old/new effects of negative items appeared earlier at FN400 than positive items. Also, significant late positive component (LPC) old/new effects were found in the positive, negative, and rewarded neutral items. These results suggest that, monetary reward and negative emotion significantly improved recognition performance, and there was a mutual influence between reward and emotion on brain activity during memory

  2. Mutual Influence of Reward Anticipation and Emotion on Brain Activity during Memory Retrieval

    Chunping Yan

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies on the joint effect of reward motivation and emotion on memory retrieval have obtained inconsistent results. Furthermore, whether and how any such joint effect might vary over time remains unclear too. Accordingly, using the event-related potential (ERP measurement of high temporal resolution, our study investigates the cognitive and brain mechanisms of monetary reward and emotion affecting the retrieval processes of episodic memory. Twenty undergraduate and graduate students participated in the research, and our study’s behavioral results indicated that reward (relative to no reward and negative emotion (relative to positive and neutral emotion significantly improved recognition performance. The ERP results showed that there were significant interactions between monetary reward and emotion on memory retrieval, and the reward effects of positive, neutral, and negative memory occurred at varied intervals in mean amplitude. The reward effect of positive memory appeared relatively early, at 260–330 ms after the stimulus onset in the frontal-frontocentral area, at 260–500 ms in the centroparietal-parietal area and at 500–700 ms in the frontocentral area. However, the reward effects of neutral and negative memory occurred relatively later, and that of negative memory appeared at 500–700 ms in the frontocentral and centroparietal area and that of neutral memory was at 500–700 ms in the frontocentral and centroparietal-parietal area. Meanwhile, significant FN400 old/new effects were observed in the negative and rewarded positive items, and the old/new effects of negative items appeared earlier at FN400 than positive items. Also, significant late positive component (LPC old/new effects were found in the positive, negative, and rewarded neutral items. These results suggest that, monetary reward and negative emotion significantly improved recognition performance, and there was a mutual influence between reward and emotion on

  3. Reconsidering Food Reward, Brain Stimulation, and Dopamine: Incentives Act Forward.

    Newquist, Gunnar; Gardner, R Allen

    2015-01-01

    In operant conditioning, rats pressing levers and pigeons pecking keys depend on contingent food reinforcement. Food reward agrees with Skinner's behaviorism, undergraduate textbooks, and folk psychology. However, nearly a century of experimental evidence shows, instead, that food in an operant conditioning chamber acts forward to evoke species-specific feeding behavior rather than backward to reinforce experimenter-defined responses. Furthermore, recent findings in neuroscience show consistently that intracranial stimulation to reward centers and dopamine release, the proposed reward molecule, also act forward to evoke inborn species-specific behavior. These results challenge longstanding views of hedonic learning and must be incorporated into contemporary learning theory.

  4. Ghrelin and food reward: the story of potential underlying substrates.

    Skibicka, Karolina P; Dickson, Suzanne L

    2011-11-01

    The incidence of obesity is increasing at an alarming rate and this worldwide epidemic represents a significant decrease in life span and quality of life of a large part of the affected population. Therefore an understanding of mechanisms underlying food overconsumption and obesity development is urgent and essential to find potential treatments. Research investigating mechanisms underlying obesity and the control of food intake has recently experienced a major shift in focus, from the brain's hypothalamus to additional important neural circuits controlling emotion, cognition and motivated behavior. Among them, the mesolimbic system, and the changes in reward and motivated behavior for food, emerge as new promising treatment targets. Furthermore, there is also growing appreciation of the impact of peripheral hormones that signal nutrition status to the mesolimbic areas, and especially the only known circulating orexigenic hormone, ghrelin. This review article provides a synthesis of recent evidence concerning the impact of manipulation of ghrelin and its receptor on models of food reward/food motivation behavior and the mesolimbic circuitry. Particular attention is given to the potential neurocircuitry and neurotransmitter systems downstream of ghrelin's effects on food reward. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  5. Toward an autonomous brain machine interface: integrating sensorimotor reward modulation and reinforcement learning.

    Marsh, Brandi T; Tarigoppula, Venkata S Aditya; Chen, Chen; Francis, Joseph T

    2015-05-13

    For decades, neurophysiologists have worked on elucidating the function of the cortical sensorimotor control system from the standpoint of kinematics or dynamics. Recently, computational neuroscientists have developed models that can emulate changes seen in the primary motor cortex during learning. However, these simulations rely on the existence of a reward-like signal in the primary sensorimotor cortex. Reward modulation of the primary sensorimotor cortex has yet to be characterized at the level of neural units. Here we demonstrate that single units/multiunits and local field potentials in the primary motor (M1) cortex of nonhuman primates (Macaca radiata) are modulated by reward expectation during reaching movements and that this modulation is present even while subjects passively view cursor motions that are predictive of either reward or nonreward. After establishing this reward modulation, we set out to determine whether we could correctly classify rewarding versus nonrewarding trials, on a moment-to-moment basis. This reward information could then be used in collaboration with reinforcement learning principles toward an autonomous brain-machine interface. The autonomous brain-machine interface would use M1 for both decoding movement intention and extraction of reward expectation information as evaluative feedback, which would then update the decoding algorithm as necessary. In the work presented here, we show that this, in theory, is possible. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/357374-14$15.00/0.

  6. Mesolimbic lipid sensing and the regulation of feeding behaviour

    Cansell Celine

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available In both developed and emerging countries, sedentary life style and over exposition to high energy dense foods has led to a thermodynamic imbalance and consequently obesity. Despite genetic predisposition, obesity often involves a behavioral component in which, similar to drugs of abuse, compulsive consumption of palatable food rich in lipids and sugar drives energy intake far beyond metabolic demands. Food intake is modulated by sensory inputs, such as tastes and odours, as well as by affective or emotional states. The mesolimbic pathway is well established as a main actor of the rewarding aspect of feeding. Particularly, the hedonic and motivational aspects of food are closely tied to the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine (DA in striatal structure such as the Nucleus Accumbens (Nacc. In both rodent and humans several studies shows an attenuated activity of dopaminergic signal associated with obesity and there is evidence that consumption of palatable food per se leads to DA signalling alterations. Furthermore impaired cognition in obese mice is improved by selectively lowering triglycerides (TG and intracerebroventricular administration of TG induces by itself acquisition impairment in several cognitive paradigms in normal body weight mice. Together, these observations raise the possibility that nutritional lipids, particularly TG, directly affect cognitive and reward processes by modulating the mesolimbic pathway and might contribute to the downward spiral of compulsive consumption of palatable and obesity. This review is an attempt to capture recent evolution in the field that might point toward a direct action of nutritional lipid in the mesolimbic pathway.

  7. Reward sensitivity is associated with brain activity during erotic stimulus processing.

    Costumero, Victor; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso; Bustamante, Juan Carlos; Ventura-Campos, Noelia; Fuentes, Paola; Rosell-Negre, Patricia; Ávila, César

    2013-01-01

    The behavioral approach system (BAS) from Gray's reinforcement sensitivity theory is a neurobehavioral system involved in the processing of rewarding stimuli that has been related to dopaminergic brain areas. Gray's theory hypothesizes that the functioning of reward brain areas is modulated by BAS-related traits. To test this hypothesis, we performed an fMRI study where participants viewed erotic and neutral pictures, and cues that predicted their appearance. Forty-five heterosexual men completed the Sensitivity to Reward scale (from the Sensitivity to Punishment and Sensitivity to Reward Questionnaire) to measure BAS-related traits. Results showed that Sensitivity to Reward scores correlated positively with brain activity during reactivity to erotic pictures in the left orbitofrontal cortex, left insula, and right ventral striatum. These results demonstrated a relationship between the BAS and reward sensitivity during the processing of erotic stimuli, filling the gap of previous reports that identified the dopaminergic system as a neural substrate for the BAS during the processing of other rewarding stimuli such as money and food.

  8. Reward sensitivity is associated with brain activity during erotic stimulus processing.

    Victor Costumero

    Full Text Available The behavioral approach system (BAS from Gray's reinforcement sensitivity theory is a neurobehavioral system involved in the processing of rewarding stimuli that has been related to dopaminergic brain areas. Gray's theory hypothesizes that the functioning of reward brain areas is modulated by BAS-related traits. To test this hypothesis, we performed an fMRI study where participants viewed erotic and neutral pictures, and cues that predicted their appearance. Forty-five heterosexual men completed the Sensitivity to Reward scale (from the Sensitivity to Punishment and Sensitivity to Reward Questionnaire to measure BAS-related traits. Results showed that Sensitivity to Reward scores correlated positively with brain activity during reactivity to erotic pictures in the left orbitofrontal cortex, left insula, and right ventral striatum. These results demonstrated a relationship between the BAS and reward sensitivity during the processing of erotic stimuli, filling the gap of previous reports that identified the dopaminergic system as a neural substrate for the BAS during the processing of other rewarding stimuli such as money and food.

  9. Regulation of brain reward by the endocannabinoid system: a critical review of behavioral studies in animals.

    Vlachou, S; Panagis, G

    2014-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system has been implicated in the regulation of a variety of physiological processes, including a crucial involvement in brain reward systems and the regulation of motivational processes. Behavioral studies have shown that cannabinoid reward may involve the same brain circuits and similar brain mechanisms with other drugs of abuse, such as nicotine, cocaine, alcohol and heroin, as well as natural rewards, such as food, water and sucrose, although the conditions under which cannabinoids exert their rewarding effects may be more limited. The purpose of the present review is to briefly describe and evaluate the behavioral and pharmacological research concerning the major components of the endocannabinoid system and reward processes. Special emphasis is placed on data received from four procedures used to test the effects of the endocannabinoid system on brain reward in animals; namely, the intracranial self-stimulation paradigm, the self-administration procedure, the conditioned place preference procedure and the drug-discrimination procedure. The effects of cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptor agonists, antagonists and endocannabinoid modulators in these procedures are examined. Further, the involvement of CB1 and CB2 receptors, as well the fatty acid amid hydrolase (FAAH) enzyme in reward processes is investigated through presentation of respective genetic ablation studies in mice. We suggest that the endocannabinoid system plays a major role in modulating motivation and reward processes. Further research will provide us with a better understanding of these processes and, thus, could lead to the development of potential therapeutic compounds for the treatment of reward-related disorders.

  10. THE BRAIN CORRELATES OF THE EFFECTS OF MONETARY AND VERBAL REWARDS ON INTRINSIC MOTIVATION

    Konstanze eAlbrecht

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Apart from everyday duties, such as doing the laundry or cleaning the house, there are tasks we do for pleasure and enjoyment. We do such tasks, like solving crossword puzzles or reading novels, without any external pressure or force; instead, we are intrinsically motivated: We do the tasks because we enjoy doing them. Previous studies suggest that external rewards, i.e., rewards from the outside, affect the intrinsic motivation to engage in a task: While performance-based monetary rewards are perceived as controlling and induce a business-contract framing, verbal rewards praising one’s competence can enhance the perceived self-determination. Accordingly, the former have been shown to decrease intrinsic motivation, whereas the latter have been shown to increase intrinsic motivation. The present study investigated the neural processes underlying the effects of monetary and verbal rewards on intrinsic motivation in a group of 64 subjects applying functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. We found that, when participants received positive performance feedback, activation in the anterior striatum and midbrain was affected by the nature of the reward; compared to a non-rewarded control group, activation was higher while monetary rewards were administered. However, we did not find a decrease in activation after reward withdrawal. In contrast, we found an increase in activation for verbal rewards: After verbal rewards had been withdrawn, participants showed a higher activation in the aforementioned brain areas when they received success compared to failure feedback. We further found that, while participants worked on the task, activation in the lateral prefrontal cortex was enhanced after the verbal rewards were administered and withdrawn.

  11. The brain correlates of the effects of monetary and verbal rewards on intrinsic motivation.

    Albrecht, Konstanze; Abeler, Johannes; Weber, Bernd; Falk, Armin

    2014-01-01

    Apart from everyday duties, such as doing the laundry or cleaning the house, there are tasks we do for pleasure and enjoyment. We do such tasks, like solving crossword puzzles or reading novels, without any external pressure or force; instead, we are intrinsically motivated: we do the tasks because we enjoy doing them. Previous studies suggest that external rewards, i.e., rewards from the outside, affect the intrinsic motivation to engage in a task: while performance-based monetary rewards are perceived as controlling and induce a business-contract framing, verbal rewards praising one's competence can enhance the perceived self-determination. Accordingly, the former have been shown to decrease intrinsic motivation, whereas the latter have been shown to increase intrinsic motivation. The present study investigated the neural processes underlying the effects of monetary and verbal rewards on intrinsic motivation in a group of 64 subjects applying functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We found that, when participants received positive performance feedback, activation in the anterior striatum and midbrain was affected by the nature of the reward; compared to a non-rewarded control group, activation was higher while monetary rewards were administered. However, we did not find a decrease in activation after reward withdrawal. In contrast, we found an increase in activation for verbal rewards: after verbal rewards had been withdrawn, participants showed a higher activation in the aforementioned brain areas when they received success compared to failure feedback. We further found that, while participants worked on the task, activation in the lateral prefrontal cortex was enhanced after the verbal rewards were administered and withdrawn.

  12. Alterations of the Brain Reward System in Antipsychotic Naïve Schizophrenia Patients

    Nielsen, Mette Ødegaard; Rostrup, Egill; Wulff, Sanne

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Various schizophrenic symptoms are suggested to be linked to a dysfunction of the brain reward system. Several studies have found alterations in the reward processing in patients with schizophrenia; however, most previous findings might be confounded by medication effects. METHODS...... as arousing events) into behavioral salience (events where a predicted reward requires performance) and valence anticipation (the anticipation of a monetarily significant outcome). Furthermore, the evaluation of monetary gain and loss was assessed. RESULTS: During reward anticipation, patients had...... and nonsignificant for value anticipation. Furthermore, patients showed a changed activation pattern during outcome evaluation in right prefrontal cortex. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that changes during reward anticipation in schizophrenia are present from the beginning of the disease. This supports a possible...

  13. Temporal dynamics of reward anticipation in the human brain.

    Zhang, Yuanyuan; Li, Qi; Wang, Zhao; Liu, Xun; Zheng, Ya

    2017-09-01

    Reward anticipation is a complex process including cue evaluation, motor preparation, and feedback anticipation. The present study investigated whether these psychological processes were dissociable on neural dynamics in terms of incentive valence and approach motivation. We recorded EEG when participants were performing a monetary incentive delay task, and found a cue-P3 during the cue-evaluation stage, a contingent negative variation (CNV) during the motor-preparation stage, and a stimulus-preceding negativity (SPN) during the feedback-anticipation stage. Critically, both the cue-P3 and SPN exhibited an enhanced sensitivity to gain versus loss anticipation, which was not observed for the CNV. Moreover, both the cue-P3 and SPN, instead of the CNV, for gain anticipation selectively predicted the participants' approach motivation as measured in a following effort expenditure for rewards task, particularly when reward uncertainty was maximal. Together, these results indicate that reward anticipation consists of several sub-stages, each with distinct functional significance, thus providing implications for neuropsychiatric diseases characterized by dysfunction in anticipatory reward processing. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Effects of intravenous glucose on Dopaminergic function in the human brain in vivo

    Haltia, Lauri T.; Rinne, Juha O.; Merisaari, Harri; Maguire, Ralph P.; Savontaus, Eriika; Helin, Semi; Nagren, Kjell; Kaasinen, Valtteri

    Dopamine is known to regulate food intake by modulating food reward via the mesolimbic circuitry of the brain. The objective of this study was to compare the effects of high energy input (i.v. glucose) on striatal and thalamic dopamine release in overweight and lean individuals. We hypothesized that

  15. Brain reward region responsivity of adolescents with and without parental substance use disorders.

    Stice, Eric; Yokum, Sonja

    2014-09-01

    The present study tested the competing hypotheses that adolescents at risk for future substance abuse and dependence by virtue of parental substance use disorders show either weaker or stronger responsivity of brain regions implicated in reward relative to youth without parental history of substance use disorders. Adolescents (n = 52) matched on demographics with and without parental substance use disorders, as determined by diagnostic interviews, who denied substance use in the past year were compared on functional MRI (fMRI) paradigms assessing neural response to receipt and anticipated receipt of monetary and food reward. Parental-history-positive versus -negative adolescents showed greater activation in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and bilateral putamen, and less activation in the fusiform gyrus and inferior temporal gyrus in response to anticipating winning money, as well as greater activation in the left midbrain and right paracentral lobule, and less activation in the right middle frontal gyrus in response to milkshake receipt. Results indicate that adolescents at risk for future onset of substance use disorders show elevated responsivity of brain regions implicated in reward, extending results from 2 smaller prior studies that found that individuals with versus without parental alcohol use disorders showed greater reward region response to anticipated monetary reward and pictures of alcohol. Collectively, results provide support for the reward surfeit model of substance use disorders, rather than the reward deficit model.

  16. Hemispheric dissociation of reward processing in humans: insights from deep brain stimulation.

    Palminteri, Stefano; Serra, Giulia; Buot, Anne; Schmidt, Liane; Welter, Marie-Laure; Pessiglione, Mathias

    2013-01-01

    Rewards have various effects on human behavior and multiple representations in the human brain. Behaviorally, rewards notably enhance response vigor in incentive motivation paradigms and bias subsequent choices in instrumental learning paradigms. Neurally, rewards affect activity in different fronto-striatal regions attached to different motor effectors, for instance in left and right hemispheres for the two hands. Here we address the question of whether manipulating reward-related brain activity has local or general effects, with respect to behavioral paradigms and motor effectors. Neuronal activity was manipulated in a single hemisphere using unilateral deep brain stimulation (DBS) in patients with Parkinson's disease. Results suggest that DBS amplifies the representation of reward magnitude within the targeted hemisphere, so as to affect the behavior of the contralateral hand specifically. These unilateral DBS effects on behavior include both boosting incentive motivation and biasing instrumental choices. Furthermore, using computational modeling we show that DBS effects on incentive motivation can predict DBS effects on instrumental learning (or vice versa). Thus, we demonstrate the feasibility of causally manipulating reward-related neuronal activity in humans, in a manner that is specific to a class of motor effectors but that generalizes to different computational processes. As these findings proved independent from therapeutic effects on parkinsonian motor symptoms, they might provide insight into DBS impact on non-motor disorders, such as apathy or hypomania. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Memory and reward systems coproduce 'nostalgic' experiences in the brain.

    Oba, Kentaro; Noriuchi, Madoka; Atomi, Tomoaki; Moriguchi, Yoshiya; Kikuchi, Yoshiaki

    2016-07-01

    People sometimes experience an emotional state known as 'nostalgia', which involves experiencing predominantly positive emotions while remembering autobiographical events. Nostalgia is thought to play an important role in psychological resilience. Previous neuroimaging studies have shown involvement of memory and reward systems in such experiences. However, it remains unclear how these two systems are collaboratively involved with nostalgia experiences. Here, we conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging study of healthy females to investigate the relationship between memory-reward co-activation and nostalgia, using childhood-related visual stimuli. Moreover, we examined the factors constituting nostalgia and their neural correlates. We confirmed the presence of nostalgia-related activity in both memory and reward systems, including the hippocampus (HPC), substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area (SN/VTA), and ventral striatum (VS). We also found significant HPC-VS co-activation, with its strength correlating with individual 'nostalgia tendencies'. Factor analyses showed that two dimensions underlie nostalgia: emotional and personal significance and chronological remoteness, with the former correlating with caudal SN/VTA and left anterior HPC activity, and the latter correlating with rostral SN/VTA activity. These findings demonstrate the cooperative activity of memory and reward systems, where each system has a specific role in the construction of the factors that underlie the experience of nostalgia. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Craving love? Enduring grief activates brain's reward center.

    O'Connor, Mary-Frances; Wellisch, David K; Stanton, Annette L; Eisenberger, Naomi I; Irwin, Michael R; Lieberman, Matthew D

    2008-08-15

    Complicated Grief (CG) occurs when an individual experiences prolonged, unabated grief. The neural mechanisms distinguishing CG from Noncomplicated Grief (NCG) are unclear, but hypothesized mechanisms include both pain-related activity (related to the social pain of loss) and reward-related activity (related to attachment behavior). Bereaved women (11 CG, 12 NCG) participated in an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging scan, during grief elicitation with idiographic stimuli. Analyses revealed that whereas both CG and NCG participants showed pain-related neural activity in response to reminders of the deceased, only those with CG showed reward-related activity in the nucleus accumbens (NA). This NA cluster was positively correlated with self-reported yearning, but not with time since death, participant age, or positive/negative affect. This study supports the hypothesis that attachment activates reward pathways. For those with CG, reminders of the deceased still activate neural reward activity, which may interfere with adapting to the loss in the present.

  19. Effects of anabolic-androgens on brain reward function

    Emanuela eMhillaj

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Androgens are mainly prescribed to treat several diseases caused by testosterone deficiency. However, athletes try to promote muscle growth by manipulating testosterone levels or assuming the so called androgen anabolic steroids (AAS. These substances were originally synthesized to obtain anabolic effects greater than testosterone. Although AAS are rarely prescribed compared to testosterone, the off-label utilization is very wide. Furthermore, combination of different steroids, and doses largely higher than those used in therapy are common. Symptoms of the chronic use of supra-therapeutic doses of AAS include anxiety, depression, aggression, paranoia, distractibility, confusion, amnesia. Interestingly, some studies have shown that AAS elicited electroencephalographic changes similar to those observed with amphetamine abuse. Among the AAS abusers, the frequency of side effects is higher, with psychiatric complications such as labile mood, lack of impulse control and high violence. On the other hand, AAS addiction studies are complex because the collection of data is very difficult due to reticent subjects and can be biased by many variables, including physical exercise, that alter the reward system. Moreover, it has been reported that AAS may imbalance neurotransmitter systems involved in reward process, leading to an increased sensitivity toward opioid narcotics and central stimulants. The aim of this review is to discuss what is present in literature in regard to steroid abuse and alteration of reward system in preclinical and clinical studies.

  20. A balance of activity in brain control and reward systems predicts self-regulatory outcomes.

    Lopez, Richard B; Chen, Pin-Hao A; Huckins, Jeremy F; Hofmann, Wilhelm; Kelley, William M; Heatherton, Todd F

    2017-05-01

    Previous neuroimaging work has shown that increased reward-related activity following exposure to food cues is predictive of self-control failure. The balance model suggests that self-regulation failures result from an imbalance in reward and executive control mechanisms. However, an open question is whether the relative balance of activity in brain systems associated with executive control (vs reward) supports self-regulatory outcomes when people encounter tempting cues in daily life. Sixty-nine chronic dieters, a population known for frequent lapses in self-control, completed a food cue-reactivity task during an fMRI scanning session, followed by a weeklong sampling of daily eating behaviors via ecological momentary assessment. We related participants' food cue activity in brain systems associated with executive control and reward to real-world eating patterns. Specifically, a balance score representing the amount of activity in brain regions associated with self-regulatory control, relative to automatic reward-related activity, predicted dieters' control over their eating behavior during the following week. This balance measure may reflect individual self-control capacity and be useful for examining self-regulation success in other domains and populations. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press.

  1. Opposite modulation of brain stimulation reward by NMDA and AMPA receptors in the ventral tegmental area.

    Ducrot, Charles; Fortier, Emmanuel; Bouchard, Claude; Rompré, Pierre-Paul

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that blockade of ventral tegmental area (VTA) glutamate N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptors induces reward, stimulates forward locomotion and enhances brain stimulation reward. Glutamate induces two types of excitatory response on VTA neurons, a fast and short lasting depolarization mediated by α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate (AMPA) receptors and a longer lasting depolarization mediated by NMDA receptors. A role for the two glutamate receptors in modulation of VTA neuronal activity is evidenced by the functional change in AMPA and NMDA synaptic responses that result from repeated exposure to reward. Since both receptors contribute to the action of glutamate on VTA neuronal activity, we studied the effects of VTA AMPA and NMDA receptor blockade on reward induced by electrical brain stimulation. Experiments were performed on rats trained to self-administer electrical pulses in the medial posterior mesencephalon. Reward thresholds were measured with the curve-shift paradigm before and for 2 h after bilateral VTA microinjections of the AMPA antagonist, NBQX (2,3,-Dioxo-6-nitro-1,2,3,4-tetrahydrobenzo(f)quinoxaline-7-sulfonamide, 0, 80, and 800 pmol/0.5 μl/side) and of a single dose (0.825 nmol/0.5 μl/side) of the NMDA antagonist, PPPA (2R,4S)-4-(3-Phosphonopropyl)-2-piperidinecarboxylic acid). NBQX produced a dose-dependent increase in reward threshold with no significant change in maximum rate of responding. Whereas PPPA injected at the same VTA sites produced a significant time dependent decrease in reward threshold and increase in maximum rate of responding. We found a negative correlation between the magnitude of the attenuation effect of NBQX and the enhancement effect of PPPA; moreover, NBQX and PPPA were most effective when injected, respectively, into the anterior and posterior VTA. These results suggest that glutamate acts on different receptor sub-types, most likely located on different VTA neurons, to

  2. Opposite modulation of brain stimulation reward by NMDA and AMPA receptors in the ventral tegmental area.

    Charles eDucrot

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that blockade of ventral midbrain (VM glutamate N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA receptors induces reward, stimulates forward locomotion and enhances brain stimulation reward. Glutamate induces two types of excitatory response on VM neurons, a fast and short lasting depolarisation mediated by a-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate (AMPA receptors and a longer lasting depolarization mediated by NMDA receptors. A role for the two glutamate receptors in modulation of VM neuronal activity is evidenced by the functional change in AMPA and NMDA synaptic responses that result from repeated exposure to reward. Since both receptors contribute to the action of glutamate on VM neuronal activity, we studied the effects of VM AMPA and NMDA receptor blockade on reward induced by electrical brain stimulation. Experiments were performed on rats trained to self-administer electrical pulses in the medial posterior mesencephalon. Reward thresholds were measured with the curve-shift paradigm before and for two hours after bilateral VM microinjections of the AMPA antagonist, NBQX (2,3,-Dioxo-6-nitro-1,2,3,4-tetrahydrobenzo(fquinoxaline-7-sulfonamide, 0, 80, and 800 pmol/0.5ul/side and of a single dose (0.825 nmol/0.5ul/side of the NMDA antagonist, PPPA (2R,4S-4-(3-Phosphonopropyl-2-piperidinecarboxylic acid. NBQX produced a dose-dependent increase in reward threshold with no significant change in maximum rate of responding. Whereas PPPA injected at the same VM sites produced a significant time dependent decrease in reward threshold and increase in maximum rate of responding. We found a negative correlation between the magnitude of the attenuation effect of NBQX and the enhancement effect of PPPA; moreover, NBQX and PPPA were most effective when injected respectively into the anterior and posterior VM. These results suggest that glutamate acts on different receptor sub-types, most likely located on different VM neurons, to modulate

  3. Brain structural correlates of reward sensitivity and impulsivity in adolescents with normal and excess weight.

    Laura Moreno-López

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Neuroscience evidence suggests that adolescent obesity is linked to brain dysfunctions associated with enhanced reward and somatosensory processing and reduced impulse control during food processing. Comparatively less is known about the role of more stable brain structural measures and their link to personality traits and neuropsychological factors on the presentation of adolescent obesity. Here we aimed to investigate regional brain anatomy in adolescents with excess weight vs. lean controls. We also aimed to contrast the associations between brain structure and personality and cognitive measures in both groups. METHODS: Fifty-two adolescents (16 with normal weight and 36 with excess weight were scanned using magnetic resonance imaging and completed the Sensitivity to Punishment and Sensitivity to Reward Questionnaire (SPSRQ, the UPPS-P scale, and the Stroop task. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM was used to assess possible between-group differences in regional gray matter (GM and to measure the putative differences in the way reward and punishment sensitivity, impulsivity and inhibitory control relate to regional GM volumes, which were analyzed using both region of interest (ROI and whole brain analyses. The ROIs included areas involved in reward/somatosensory processing (striatum, somatosensory cortices and motivation/impulse control (hippocampus, prefrontal cortex. RESULTS: Excess weight adolescents showed increased GM volume in the right hippocampus. Voxel-wise volumes of the second somatosensory cortex (SII were correlated with reward sensitivity and positive urgency in lean controls, but this association was missed in excess weight adolescents. Moreover, Stroop performance correlated with dorsolateral prefrontal cortex volumes in controls but not in excess weight adolescents. CONCLUSION: Adolescents with excess weight have structural abnormalities in brain regions associated with somatosensory processing and motivation.

  4. Short- and long-term modulation of synaptic inputs to brain reward areas by nicotine

    Fagen, Z.M.; Mansvelder, H.D.; Keath, R.; McGehee, D.S.

    2003-01-01

    Dopamine signaling in brain reward areas is a key element in the development of drug abuse and dependence. Recent anatomical and electrophysiological research has begun to elucidate both complexity and specificity In synaptic connections between ventral tegmental neurons and their inputs.

  5. Addiction: Decreased reward sensitivity and increased expectation sensitivity conspire to overwhelm the brain's control circuit

    Volkow, Nora D.; Wang, Gene-Jack; Fowler, Joanna S.; Tomasi, Dardo; Telang, Frank; Baler, Ruben

    2010-01-01

    Based on brain imaging findings, we present a model according to which addiction emerges as an imbalance in the information processing and integration among various brain circuits and functions. The dysfunctions reflect (a) decreased sensitivity of reward circuits, (b) enhanced sensitivity of memory circuits to conditioned expectations to drugs and drug cues, stress reactivity, and (c) negative mood, and a weakened control circuit. Although initial experimentation with a drug of abuse is larg...

  6. Endogenous fatty acid ethanolamides suppress nicotine-induced activation of mesolimbic dopamine neurons through nuclear receptors.

    Melis, Miriam; Pillolla, Giuliano; Luchicchi, Antonio; Muntoni, Anna Lisa; Yasar, Sevil; Goldberg, Steven R; Pistis, Marco

    2008-12-17

    Nicotine stimulates the activity of mesolimbic dopamine neurons, which is believed to mediate the rewarding and addictive properties of tobacco use. Accumulating evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system might play a major role in neuronal mechanisms underlying the rewarding properties of drugs of abuse, including nicotine. Here, we investigated the modulation of nicotine effects by the endocannabinoid system on dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area with electrophysiological techniques in vivo and in vitro. We discovered that pharmacological inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the enzyme that catabolizes fatty acid ethanolamides, among which the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) is the best known, suppressed nicotine-induced excitation of dopamine cells. Importantly, this effect was mimicked by the administration of the FAAH substrates oleoylethanolamide (OEA) and palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), but not methanandamide, the hydrolysis resistant analog of AEA. OEA and PEA are naturally occurring lipid signaling molecules structurally related to AEA, but devoid of affinity for cannabinoid receptors. They blocked the effects of nicotine by activation of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha (PPAR-alpha), a nuclear receptor transcription factor involved in several aspects of lipid metabolism and energy balance. Activation of PPAR-alpha triggered a nongenomic stimulation of tyrosine kinases, which might lead to phosphorylation and negative regulation of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. These data indicate for the first time that the anorexic lipids OEA and PEA possess neuromodulatory properties as endogenous ligands of PPAR-alpha in the brain and provide a potential new target for the treatment of nicotine addiction.

  7. Comparing the effects of food restriction and overeating on brain reward systems.

    Avena, Nicole M; Murray, Susan; Gold, Mark S

    2013-10-01

    Both caloric restriction and overeating have been shown to affect neural processes associated with reinforcement. Both preclinical and some clinical studies have provided evidence that food restriction may increase reward sensitivity, and while there are mixed findings regarding the effects of overeating on reward sensitivity, there is strong evidence linking this behavior with changes in reward-related brain regions. Evidence of these changes comes in part from findings that show that such eating patterns are associated with increased drug use. The data discussed here regarding the differential effects of various eating patterns on reward systems may be particularly relevant to the aging population, as this population has been shown to exhibit altered reward sensitivity and decreased caloric consumption. Moreover, members of this population appear to be increasingly affected by the current obesity epidemic. Food, like alcohol or drugs, can stimulate its own consumption and produce similar neurochemical changes in the brain. Age-related loss of appetite, decreased eating, and caloric restriction are hypothesized to be associated with changes in the prevalence of substance misuse, abuse, and dependence seen in this cohort. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Medial prefrontal brain activation to anticipated reward and loss in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    Kaufmann, C; Beucke, J C; Preuße, F; Endrass, T; Schlagenhauf, F; Heinz, A; Juckel, G; Kathmann, N

    2013-01-01

    Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is associated with dysfunctional brain activity in several regions which are also involved in the processing of motivational stimuli. Processing of reward and punishment appears to be of special importance to understand clinical symptoms. There is evidence for higher sensitivity to punishment in patients with OCD which raises the question how avoidance of punishment relates to activity within the brain's reward circuitry. We employed the monetary incentive delay task paradigm optimized for modeling the anticipation phase of immediate reward and punishment, in the context of a cross-sectional event-related FMRI study comparing OCD patients and healthy control participants (n = 19 in each group). While overall behavioral performance was similar in both groups, patients showed increased activation upon anticipated losses in a medial and superior frontal cortex region extending into the cingulate cortex, and decreased activation upon anticipated rewards. No evidence was found for altered activation of dorsal or ventral striatal regions. Patients also showed more delayed responses for anticipated rewards than for anticipated losses whereas the reverse was true in healthy participants. The medial prefrontal cortex has been shown to implement a domain-general process comprising negative affect, pain and cognitive control. This process uses information about punishment to control aversively motivated actions by integrating signals arriving from subcortical regions. Our results support the notion that OCD is associated with altered sensitivity to anticipated rewards and losses in a medial prefrontal region whereas there is no significant aberrant activation in ventral or dorsal striatal brain regions during processing of reinforcement anticipation.

  9. Reduced cerebellar brain activity during reward processing in adolescent binge drinkers

    Anita Cservenka

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Due to ongoing development, adolescence may be a period of heightened vulnerability to the neurotoxic effects of alcohol. Binge drinking may alter reward-driven behavior and neurocircuitry, thereby increasing risk for escalating alcohol use. Therefore, we compared reward processing in adolescents with and without a history of recent binge drinking. At their baseline study visit, all participants (age = 14.86 ± 0.88 were free of heavy alcohol use and completed a modified version of the Wheel of Fortune (WOF functional magnetic resonance imaging task. Following this visit, 17 youth reported binge drinking on ≥3 occasions within a 90 day period and were matched to 17 youth who remained alcohol and substance-naïve. All participants repeated the WOF task during a second visit (age = 16.83 ± 1.22. No significant effects were found in a region of interest analysis of the ventral striatum, but whole-brain analyses showed significant group differences in reward response at the second study visit in the left cerebellum, controlling for baseline visit brain activity (p/α < 0.05, which was negatively correlated with mean number of drinks consumed/drinking day in the last 90 days. These findings suggest that binge drinking during adolescence may alter brain activity during reward processing in a dose-dependent manner.

  10. Reward-based hypertension control by a synthetic brain-dopamine interface.

    Rössger, Katrin; Charpin-El Hamri, Ghislaine; Fussenegger, Martin

    2013-11-05

    Synthetic biology has significantly advanced the design of synthetic trigger-controlled devices that can reprogram mammalian cells to interface with complex metabolic activities. In the brain, the neurotransmitter dopamine coordinates communication with target neurons via a set of dopamine receptors that control behavior associated with reward-driven learning. This dopamine transmission has recently been suggested to increase central sympathetic outflow, resulting in plasma dopamine levels that correlate with corresponding brain activities. By functionally rewiring the human dopamine receptor D1 (DRD1) via the second messenger cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) to synthetic promoters containing cAMP response element-binding protein 1(CREB1)-specific cAMP-responsive operator modules, we have designed a synthetic dopamine-sensitive transcription controller that reversibly fine-tunes specific target gene expression at physiologically relevant brain-derived plasma dopamine levels. Following implantation of circuit-transgenic human cell lines insulated by semipermeable immunoprotective microcontainers into mice, the designer device interfaced with dopamine-specific brain activities and produced a systemic expression response when the animal's reward system was stimulated by food, sexual arousal, or addictive drugs. Reward-triggered brain activities were able to remotely program peripheral therapeutic implants to produce sufficient amounts of the atrial natriuretic peptide, which reduced the blood pressure of hypertensive mice to the normal physiologic range. Seamless control of therapeutic transgenes by subconscious behavior may provide opportunities for treatment strategies of the future.

  11. Taste Reward Circuitry Related Brain Structures Characterize Ill and Recovered Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa

    Frank, Guido K.; Shott, Megan E.; Hagman, Jennifer O.; Mittal, Vijay A.

    2013-01-01

    Objective The pathophysiology of the eating disorder anorexia nervosa remains obscure, but structural brain alterations could be functionally important biomarkers. Here we assessed taste pleasantness and reward sensitivity in relation to brain structure, which might be related to food avoidance commonly seen in eating disorders. Method We used structural magnetic resonance brain imaging to study gray and white matter volumes in individuals with restricting type currently ill (n = 19) or recovered-anorexia nervosa (n = 24), bulimia nervosa (n= 19) and healthy control women (n=24). Results All eating disorder groups showed increased gray matter volume of the medial orbitofrontal cortex (gyrus rectus). Manually tracing confirmed larger gyrus rectus volume, and predicted taste pleasantness across all groups. The analyses also indicated other morphological differences between diagnostic categories: Ill and recovered-anorexia nervosa had increased right, while bulimia nervosa had increased left antero-ventral insula gray matter volumes compared to controls. Furthermore, dorsal striatum volumes were reduced in recovered-anorexia and bulimia nervosa, and predicted sensitivity to reward in the eating disorder groups. The eating disorder groups also showed reduced white matter in right temporal and parietal areas when compared to healthy controls. Notably, the results held when controlling for a range of covariates (e.g., age, depression, anxiety, medications). Conclusion Brain structure in medial orbitofrontal cortex, insula and striatum is altered in eating disorders and suggests altered brain circuitry that has been associated with taste pleasantness and reward value. PMID:23680873

  12. Pain and suicidality: insights from reward and addiction neuroscience.

    Elman, Igor; Borsook, David; Volkow, Nora D

    2013-10-01

    Suicidality is exceedingly prevalent in pain patients. Although the pathophysiology of this link remains unclear, it may be potentially related to the partial congruence of physical and emotional pain systems. The latter system's role in suicide is also conspicuous during setbacks and losses sustained in the context of social attachments. Here we propose a model based on the neural pathways mediating reward and anti-reward (i.e., allostatic adjustment to recurrent activation of the reward circuitry); both are relevant etiologic factors in pain, suicide and social attachments. A comprehensive literature search on neurobiology of pain and suicidality was performed. The collected articles were critically reviewed and relevant data were extracted and summarized within four key areas: (1) physical and emotional pain, (2) emotional pain and social attachments, (3) pain- and suicide-related alterations of the reward and anti-reward circuits as compared to addiction, which is the premier probe for dysfunction of these circuits and (4) mechanistically informed treatments of co-occurring pain and suicidality. Pain-, stress- and analgesic drugs-induced opponent and proponent states of the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathways may render reward and anti-reward systems vulnerable to sensitization, cross-sensitization and aberrant learning of contents and contexts associated with suicidal acts and behaviors. These findings suggest that pain patients exhibit alterations in the brain circuits mediating reward (depressed function) and anti-reward (sensitized function) that may affect their proclivity for suicide and support pain and suicidality classification among other "reward deficiency syndromes" and a new proposal for "enhanced anti-reward syndromes". We suggest that interventions aimed at restoring the balance between the reward and anti-reward networks in patients with chronic pain may help decreasing their suicide risk. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  13. Hedging Your Bets by Learning Reward Correlations in the Human Brain

    Wunderlich, Klaus; Symmonds, Mkael; Bossaerts, Peter; Dolan, Raymond J.

    2011-01-01

    Summary Human subjects are proficient at tracking the mean and variance of rewards and updating these via prediction errors. Here, we addressed whether humans can also learn about higher-order relationships between distinct environmental outcomes, a defining ecological feature of contexts where multiple sources of rewards are available. By manipulating the degree to which distinct outcomes are correlated, we show that subjects implemented an explicit model-based strategy to learn the associated outcome correlations and were adept in using that information to dynamically adjust their choices in a task that required a minimization of outcome variance. Importantly, the experimentally generated outcome correlations were explicitly represented neuronally in right midinsula with a learning prediction error signal expressed in rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Thus, our data show that the human brain represents higher-order correlation structures between rewards, a core adaptive ability whose immediate benefit is optimized sampling. PMID:21943609

  14. Obesity is associated with high serotonin 4 receptor availability in the brain reward circuitry

    Haahr, M. E.; Rasmussen, Peter Mondrup; Madsen, K.

    2012-01-01

    in food intake, and that pharmacological or genetic manipulation of the receptor in reward-related brain areas alters food intake.Here, we used positron emission tomography in humans to examine the association between cerebral 5-HT4Rs and common obesity.We found in humans a strong positive association......The neurobiology underlying obesity is not fully understood. The neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) is established as a satiety-generating signal, but its rewarding role in feeding is less well elucidated. From animal experiments there is now evidence that the 5-HT4 receptor (5-HT4R) is involved......'s food intake. They also suggest that pharmacological stimulation of the cerebral 5-HT4R may reduce reward-related overeating in humans....

  15. Neuro-chemical activation of brain reward meso-limbic circuitry is associated with relapse prevention and drug hunger: a hypothesis.

    Blum, Kenneth; Gold, Mark S

    2011-04-01

    It is no surprise that it has taken over four decades to confirm and extend the crucial role of dopamine and related genes and gene deficits in the etiology of risk for drug dependence. Hundreds of studies, enabled by neuroscience neuroimaging and genetic advances, have been reported. While dopamine theories have been reported, confirmed, replicated and replicated again, changes have been slow to move from the bench to the bedside. Unlike penicillin used to target certain infections, addiction requires the consent, motivation and enthusiastic participation of the patient. Clearly, current treatment has not caught up with advances in the science. In-patient and out-patient treatment still relies on detoxification, abstinence and 12 step programs. Addiction is a chronic and relapsing disease. Addiction treatment can be reported as cures at 3 or 6 weeks, only to be clearly failures at 1 or 5 years. The logical standard of care should focus on detoxifying, stabilizing and returning the patient to the pre-loss of control or pre-addiction neurochemical state. Pre-clinical and clinical data on neurochemistry and neurogenetics of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) as it relates to both relapse and drug hunger has been reviewed. We are proposing herein that efforts to physiologically integrate known neural mechanisms with other psychotherapeutic treatment options to combat relapse should be encouraged. It is well known that after prolonged abstinence, recovered addicts are particularly vulnerable to relapse. Individuals who use their drug of choice after abstinence experience a powerful euphoria that can quickly precipitate a full-blown relapse. While a biological explanation for this conundrum has remained elusive, we hypothesize that this clinically observed "supersensitivity" might be the result of pre-morbid or state genetic hypodopaminergic polymorphisms. We are proposing that recent studies have indicated that genetic, personality and environmental factors are predictors of drug use in adolescents. Exploration of various treatment approaches for the most part reveal poor outcomes in terms of relapse prevention and continued drug hunger. The authors are proposing a new paradigm shift in residential, non-residential and aftercare involving the incorporation of genetic testing to identify risk alleles coupled with D2 receptor stimulation using neuroadatogen amino acid precursor enkephlinase--catecholamine-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibition therapy. A natural but therapeutic nutraceutical formulation potentially induces DA release could cause the induction of D2-directed mRNA and proliferation of D2 receptors in the human. We further hypothesize that this proliferation of D2 receptors in turn will induce the attenuation of drug-like craving behavior. Finally, pharmacological therapies have had limited success because these powerful agents have focused on maintenance or interference with drug euphoria rather than correcting or compensating for pre-morbid dopamine system deficits These concepts await further confirmation via required neuro-imaging studies. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  16. Intranasal insulin modulates intrinsic reward and prefrontal circuitry of the human brain in lean women.

    Kullmann, Stephanie; Frank, Sabine; Heni, Martin; Ketterer, Caroline; Veit, Ralf; Häring, Hans-Ulrich; Fritsche, Andreas; Preissl, Hubert

    2013-01-01

    There is accumulating evidence that food consumption is controlled by a wide range of brain circuits outside of the homeostatic system. Activation in these brain circuits may override the homeostatic system and also contribute to the enormous increase of obesity. However, little is known about the influence of hormonal signals on the brain's non-homeostatic system. Thus, selective insulin action in the brain was investigated by using intranasal application. We performed 'resting-state' functional magnetic resonance imaging in 17 healthy lean female subjects to assess intrinsic brain activity by fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) before, 30 and 90 min after application of intranasal insulin. Here, we showed that insulin modulates intrinsic brain activity in the hypothalamus and orbitofrontal cortex. Furthermore, we could show that the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortex response to insulin is associated with body mass index. This demonstrates that hormonal signals as insulin may reduce food intake by modifying the reward and prefrontal circuitry of the human brain, thereby potentially decreasing the rewarding properties of food. Due to the alarming increase in obesity worldwide, it is of great importance to identify neural mechanisms of interaction between the homeostatic and non-homeostatic system to generate new targets for obesity therapy. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  17. Uncertainty, reward, and attention in the Bayesian brain

    Whiteley, Louise Emma

    2008-01-01

    results suggest that value a¿ects a fronto-striatal action selection network rather than directly impacting on sensory processing. Finally, we consider a major theoretical problem – the demonstrations of optimality that dominate the ¿eld have been obtained in tasks with a small number of objects...... in the focus of attention. When faced instead with a complex scene, the brain can’t be Bayes-optimal everywhere. We suggest that a general limitation on the representation of complex posteriors causes the brain to make approximations, which are then locally re¿ned by attention. This framework extends ideas...... of attention as Bayesian prior, and uni¿es apparently disparate attentional ‘bottlenecks’. We present simulations of three key paradigms, and discuss how such modelling could be extended to more detailed, neurally inspired settings. Broadening the Bayesian picture of perception and strengthening its connection...

  18. Brain activity and infant attachment history in young men during loss and reward processing.

    Quevedo, Karina; Waters, Theodore E A; Scott, Hannah; Roisman, Glenn I; Shaw, Daniel S; Forbes, Erika E

    2017-05-01

    There is now ample evidence that the quality of early attachment experiences shapes expectations for supportive and responsive care and ultimately serves to scaffold adaptation to the salient tasks of development. Nonetheless, few studies have identified neural mechanisms that might give rise to these associations. Using a moderately large sample of low-income male participants recruited during infancy (N = 171), we studied the predictive significance of attachment insecurity and disorganization at age 18 months (as measured in the Strange Situation Procedure) for patterns of neural activation to reward and loss at age 20 years (assessed during a reward-based task as part of a functional magnetic resonance imaging scan). Results indicated that individuals with a history of insecure attachment showed hyperactivity in (a) reward- and emotion-related (e.g., basal ganglia and amygdala) structures and (b) emotion regulation and self-referential processing (cortical midline structures) in response to positive and negative outcomes (and anticipation of those outcomes). Further, the neural activation of individuals with a history of disorganized attachment suggested that they had greater emotional reactivity in anticipation of reward and employed greater cognitive control when negative outcomes were encountered. Overall, results suggest that the quality of early attachments has lasting impacts on brain function and reward processing.

  19. The impact of Parkinson's disease and subthalamic deep brain stimulation on reward processing.

    Evens, Ricarda; Stankevich, Yuliya; Dshemuchadse, Maja; Storch, Alexander; Wolz, Martin; Reichmann, Heinz; Schlaepfer, Thomas E; Goschke, Thomas; Lueken, Ulrike

    2015-08-01

    Due to its position in cortico-subthalamic and cortico-striatal pathways, the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is considered to play a crucial role not only in motor, but also in cognitive and motivational functions. In the present study we aimed to characterize how different aspects of reward processing are affected by disease and deep brain stimulation of the STN (DBS-STN) in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD). We compared 33 PD patients treated with DBS-STN under best medical treatment (DBS-on, medication-on) to 33 PD patients without DBS, but optimized pharmacological treatment and 34 age-matched healthy controls. We then investigated DBS-STN effects using a postoperative stimulation-on/ -off design. The task set included a delay discounting task, a task to assess changes in incentive salience attribution, and the Iowa Gambling Task. The presence of PD was associated with increased incentive salience attribution and devaluation of delayed rewards. Acute DBS-STN increased risky choices in the Iowa Gambling Task under DBS-on condition, but did not further affect incentive salience attribution or the evaluation of delayed rewards. Findings indicate that acute DBS-STN affects specific aspects of reward processing, including the weighting of gains and losses, while larger-scale effects of disease or medication are predominant in others reward-related functions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus modulates reward processing and action selection in Parkinson patients.

    Wagenbreth, Caroline; Zaehle, Tino; Galazky, Imke; Voges, Jürgen; Guitart-Masip, Marc; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Düzel, Emrah

    2015-06-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is an effective treatment for motor impairments in Parkinson's disease (PD) but its effect on the motivational regulation of action control is still not fully understood. We investigated whether DBS of the STN influences the ability of PD patients to act for anticipated reward or loss, or whether DBS improves action execution independent of motivational valence. 16 PD patients (12 male, mean age = 58.5 ± 10.17 years) treated with bilateral STN-DBS and an age- and gender-matched group of healthy controls (HC) performed a go/no-go task whose contingencies explicitly decouple valence and action. Patients were tested with (ON) and without (OFF) active STN stimulation. For HC, there was a benefit in performing rewarded actions when compared to actions that avoided punishment. PD patients showed such a benefit reliably only when STN stimulation was ON. In fact, the relative behavioral benefit for go for reward over go to avoid losing was stronger in the PD patients under DBS ON than in HC. In PD patients, rather than generally improving motor functions independent of motivational valence, modulation of the STN by DBS improves action execution specifically when rewards are anticipated. Thus, STN-DBS establishes a reliable congruency between action and reward ("Pavlovian congruency") and remarkably enhances it over the level observed in HC.

  1. Reduced cerebellar brain activity during reward processing in adolescent binge drinkers.

    Cservenka, Anita; Jones, Scott A; Nagel, Bonnie J

    2015-12-01

    Due to ongoing development, adolescence may be a period of heightened vulnerability to the neurotoxic effects of alcohol. Binge drinking may alter reward-driven behavior and neurocircuitry, thereby increasing risk for escalating alcohol use. Therefore, we compared reward processing in adolescents with and without a history of recent binge drinking. At their baseline study visit, all participants (age=14.86 ± 0.88) were free of heavy alcohol use and completed a modified version of the Wheel of Fortune (WOF) functional magnetic resonance imaging task. Following this visit, 17 youth reported binge drinking on ≥3 occasions within a 90 day period and were matched to 17 youth who remained alcohol and substance-naïve. All participants repeated the WOF task during a second visit (age=16.83 ± 1.22). No significant effects were found in a region of interest analysis of the ventral striatum, but whole-brain analyses showed significant group differences in reward response at the second study visit in the left cerebellum, controlling for baseline visit brain activity (p/αreward processing in a dose-dependent manner. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  2. Diminished social reward anticipation in the broad autism phenotype as revealed by event-related brain potentials.

    Cox, Anthony; Kohls, Gregor; Naples, Adam J; Mukerji, Cora E; Coffman, Marika C; Rutherford, Helena J V; Mayes, Linda C; McPartland, James C

    2015-10-01

    Diminished responsivity to reward incentives is a key contributor to the social-communication problems seen in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Social motivation theories suggest that individuals with ASD do not experience social interactions as rewarding, leading to negative consequences for the development of brain circuitry subserving social information. In this study, we examined neural responses to social and non-social reward anticipation in 35 typically developing young adults, examining modulation of reward sensitivity by level of autistic traits. Using an Event-related potential incentive-delay task incorporating novel, more ecologically valid forms of reward, higher expression of autistic traits was associated with an attenuated P3 response to the anticipation of social (simulated real-time video feedback from an observer), but not non-social (candy), rewards. Exploratory analyses revealed that this was unrelated to mentalizing ability. The P3 component reflects motivated attention to reward signals, suggesting attenuated motivation allocation specific to social incentives. The study extends prior findings of atypical reward anticipation in ASD, demonstrating that attenuated social reward responsiveness extends to autistic traits in the range of typical functioning. Results support the development of innovative paradigms for investigating social and non-social reward responsiveness. Insight into vulnerabilities in reward processing is critical for understanding social function in ASD. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Earlier adolescent substance use onset predicts stronger connectivity between reward and cognitive control brain networks

    David G. Weissman

    2015-12-01

    Discussion: The regions that demonstrated significant positive linear relationships between the number of adolescent years using substances and connectivity with NAcc are nodes in the right frontoparietal network, which is central to cognitive control. The coupling of reward and cognitive control networks may be a mechanism through which earlier onset of substance use is related to brain function over time, a trajectory that may be implicated in subsequent substance use disorders.

  4. Brain's reward circuits mediate itch relief. a functional MRI study of active scratching.

    Alexandru D P Papoiu

    Full Text Available Previous brain imaging studies investigating the brain processing of scratching used an exogenous intervention mimicking scratching, performed not by the subjects themselves, but delivered by an investigator. In real life, scratching is a conscious, voluntary, controlled motor response to itching, which is directed to the perceived site of distress. In this study we aimed to visualize in real-time by brain imaging the core mechanisms of the itch-scratch cycle when scratching was performed by subjects themselves. Secondly, we aimed to assess the correlations between brain patterns of activation and psychophysical ratings of itch relief or pleasurability of scratching. We also compared the patterns of brain activity evoked by self-scratching vs. passive scratching. We used a robust tridimensional Arterial Spin Labeling fMRI technique that is less sensitive to motion artifacts: 3D gradient echo and spin echo (GRASE--Propeller. Active scratching was accompanied by a higher pleasurability and induced a more pronounced deactivation of the anterior cingulate cortex and insula, in comparison with passive scratching. A significant involvement of the reward system including the ventral tegmentum of the midbrain, coupled with a mechanism deactivating the periaqueductal gray matter (PAG, suggests that itch modulation operates in reverse to the mechanism known to suppress pain. Our findings not only confirm a role for the central networks processing reward in the pleasurable aspects of scratching, but also suggest they play a role in mediating itch relief.

  5. Dopamine signaling in reward-related behaviors.

    Baik, Ja-Hyun

    2013-01-01

    Dopamine (DA) regulates emotional and motivational behavior through the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway. Changes in DA mesolimbic neurotransmission have been found to modify behavioral responses to various environmental stimuli associated with reward behaviors. Psychostimulants, drugs of abuse, and natural reward such as food can cause substantial synaptic modifications to the mesolimbic DA system. Recent studies using optogenetics and DREADDs, together with neuron-specific or circuit-specific genetic manipulations have improved our understanding of DA signaling in the reward circuit, and provided a means to identify the neural substrates of complex behaviors such as drug addiction and eating disorders. This review focuses on the role of the DA system in drug addiction and food motivation, with an overview of the role of D1 and D2 receptors in the control of reward-associated behaviors.

  6. Two spatiotemporally distinct value systems shape reward-based learning in the human brain.

    Fouragnan, Elsa; Retzler, Chris; Mullinger, Karen; Philiastides, Marios G

    2015-09-08

    Avoiding repeated mistakes and learning to reinforce rewarding decisions is critical for human survival and adaptive actions. Yet, the neural underpinnings of the value systems that encode different decision-outcomes remain elusive. Here coupling single-trial electroencephalography with simultaneously acquired functional magnetic resonance imaging, we uncover the spatiotemporal dynamics of two separate but interacting value systems encoding decision-outcomes. Consistent with a role in regulating alertness and switching behaviours, an early system is activated only by negative outcomes and engages arousal-related and motor-preparatory brain structures. Consistent with a role in reward-based learning, a later system differentially suppresses or activates regions of the human reward network in response to negative and positive outcomes, respectively. Following negative outcomes, the early system interacts and downregulates the late system, through a thalamic interaction with the ventral striatum. Critically, the strength of this coupling predicts participants' switching behaviour and avoidance learning, directly implicating the thalamostriatal pathway in reward-based learning.

  7. Two-week administration of the combined serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor duloxetine augments functioning of mesolimbic incentive processing circuits

    Ossewaarde, Lindsey; Verkes, Robbert J.; Hermans, Erno J.; Kooijman, Sabine C.; Urner, Maren; Tendolkar, Indira; van Wingen, Guido A.; Fernández, Guillén

    2011-01-01

    Anhedonia and lack of motivation are core symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD). Neuroimaging studies in MDD patients have shown reductions in reward-related activity in terminal regions of the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system, such as the ventral striatum. Monoamines have been implicated in

  8. Two-week administration of the combined serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor duloxetine augments functioning of mesolimbic incentive processing circuits

    Ossewaarde, L.; Verkes, R.J.; Hermans, E.J.; Kooijman, S.C.; Urner, M.; Tendolkar, I.; Wingen, G.A. van; Fernandez, G.S.E.

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Anhedonia and lack of motivation are core symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD). Neuroimaging studies in MDD patients have shown reductions in reward-related activity in terminal regions of the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system, such as the ventral striatum. Monoamines have been

  9. Cingulate neglect in humans: disruption of contralesional reward learning in right brain damage.

    Lecce, Francesca; Rotondaro, Francesca; Bonnì, Sonia; Carlesimo, Augusto; Thiebaut de Schotten, Michel; Tomaiuolo, Francesco; Doricchi, Fabrizio

    2015-01-01

    Motivational valence plays a key role in orienting spatial attention. Nonetheless, clinical documentation and understanding of motivationally based deficits of spatial orienting in the human is limited. Here in a series of one group-study and two single-case studies, we have examined right brain damaged patients (RBD) with and without left spatial neglect in a spatial reward-learning task, in which the motivational valence of the left contralesional and the right ipsilesional space was contrasted. In each trial two visual boxes were presented, one to the left and one to the right of central fixation. In one session monetary rewards were released more frequently in the box on the left side (75% of trials) whereas in another session they were released more frequently on the right side. In each trial patients were required to: 1) point to each one of the two boxes; 2) choose one of the boxes for obtaining monetary reward; 3) report explicitly the position of reward and whether this position matched or not the original choice. Despite defective spontaneous allocation of attention toward the contralesional space, RBD patients with left spatial neglect showed preserved contralesional reward learning, i.e., comparable to ipsilesional learning and to reward learning displayed by patients without neglect. A notable exception in the group of neglect patients was L.R., who showed no sign of contralesional reward learning in a series of 120 consecutive trials despite being able of reaching learning criterion in only 20 trials in the ipsilesional space. L.R. suffered a cortical-subcortical brain damage affecting the anterior components of the parietal-frontal attentional network and, compared with all other neglect and non-neglect patients, had additional lesion involvement of the medial anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and of the adjacent sectors of the corpus callosum. In contrast to his lateralized motivational learning deficit, L.R. had no lateral bias in the early phases of

  10. Leptin is associated with exaggerated brain reward and emotion responses to food images in adolescent obesity.

    Jastreboff, Ania M; Lacadie, Cheryl; Seo, Dongju; Kubat, Jessica; Van Name, Michelle A; Giannini, Cosimo; Savoye, Mary; Constable, R Todd; Sherwin, Robert S; Caprio, Sonia; Sinha, Rajita

    2014-11-01

    In the U.S., an astonishing 12.5 million children and adolescents are now obese, predisposing 17% of our nation's youth to metabolic complications of obesity, such as type 2 diabetes (T2D). Adolescent obesity has tripled over the last three decades in the setting of food advertising directed at children. Obese adults exhibit increased brain responses to food images in motivation-reward pathways. These neural alterations may be attributed to obesity-related metabolic changes, which promote food craving and high-calorie food (HCF) consumption. It is not known whether these metabolic changes affect neural responses in the adolescent brain during a crucial period for establishing healthy eating behaviors. Twenty-five obese (BMI 34.4 kg/m2, age 15.7 years) and fifteen lean (BMI 20.96 kg/m2, age 15.5 years) adolescents underwent functional MRI during exposure to HCF, low-calorie food (LCF), and nonfood (NF) visual stimuli 2 h after isocaloric meal consumption. Brain responses to HCF relative to NF cues increased in obese versus lean adolescents in striatal-limbic regions (i.e., putamen/caudate, insula, amygdala) (P < 0.05, family-wise error [FWE]), involved in motivation-reward and emotion processing. Higher endogenous leptin levels correlated with increased neural activation to HCF images in all subjects (P < 0.05, FWE). This significant association between higher circulating leptin and hyperresponsiveness of brain motivation-reward regions to HCF images suggests that dysfunctional leptin signaling may contribute to the risk of overconsumption of these foods, thus further predisposing adolescents to the development of obesity and T2D. © 2014 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.

  11. Health interest modulates brain reward responses to a perceived low-caloric beverage in females.

    van Rijn, Inge; Wegman, Joost; Aarts, Esther; de Graaf, Cees; Smeets, Paul A M

    2017-01-01

    Health labels are omnipresent in the supermarket. Such labels give rise to expectations about the product experience and may change flavor perception and perceived reward value. Consumers vary in their degree of health interest and may be differentially affected by such labels. However, how health interest influences neural reward responses to anticipation and receipt of heath-labeled foods is not known. This study assessed to what extent brain responses induced by anticipation and receipt of a beverage with different levels of perceived caloric content are associated with health interest. Twenty-five females completed an fMRI motivational taste-task in which they were presented with a low-caloric cue or a high-caloric cue and subsequently worked for sips of lemonade by moving a joystick. If they responded correctly and in time, they received the lemonade as a reward. Because of the 2 cue types, participants believed they were receiving 2 different lemonades, a high-caloric (HC-receipt) and a low-caloric (LC-receipt) one. Health interest was assessed with the General health interest subscale of the Health and Taste Attitude Scales. Health interest scores correlated significantly (r = .65) with LC-versus HC-receipt activation in the dorsal striatum (putamen), a region involved in encoding food reward. These findings suggest that the reward value of a healthy product compared to its unhealthy counterpart increases with health interest. This provides more insight into the working mechanism of government campaigns that focus on increasing health interest to encourage the formation of healthy eating habits. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  12. Culture shapes a mesolimbic response to signals of dominance and subordination that associates with behavior.

    Freeman, Jonathan B; Rule, Nicholas O; Adams, Reginald B; Ambady, Nalini

    2009-08-01

    It has long been understood that culture shapes individuals' behavior, but how this is accomplished in the human brain has remained largely unknown. To examine this, we made use of a well-established cross-cultural difference in behavior: American culture tends to reinforce dominant behavior whereas, conversely, Japanese culture tends to reinforce subordinate behavior. In 17 Americans and 17 Japanese individuals, we assessed behavioral tendencies towards dominance versus subordination and measured neural responses using fMRI during the passive viewing of stimuli related to dominance and subordination. In Americans, dominant stimuli selectively engaged the caudate nucleus, bilaterally, and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), whereas these were selectively engaged by subordinate stimuli in Japanese. Correspondingly, Americans self-reported a tendency towards more dominant behavior whereas Japanese self-reported a tendency towards more subordinate behavior. Moreover, activity in the right caudate and mPFC correlated with behavioral tendencies towards dominance versus subordination, such that stronger responses in the caudate and mPFC to dominant stimuli were associated with more dominant behavior and stronger responses in the caudate and mPFC to subordinate stimuli were associated with more subordinate behavior. The findings provide a first demonstration that culture can flexibly shape functional activity in the mesolimbic reward system, which in turn may guide behavior.

  13. Brain mechanisms of social comparison and their influence on the reward system.

    Kedia, Gayannée; Mussweiler, Thomas; Linden, David E J

    2014-11-12

    Whenever we interact with others, we judge them and whenever we make such judgments, we compare them with ourselves, other people, or internalized standards. Countless social psychological experiments have shown that comparative thinking plays a ubiquitous role in person perception and social cognition as a whole. The topic of social comparison has recently aroused the interest of social neuroscientists, who have begun to investigate its neural underpinnings. The present article provides an overview of these neuroimaging and electrophysiological studies. We discuss recent findings on the consequences of social comparison on the brain processing of outcomes and highlight the role of the brain's reward system. Moreover, we analyze the relationship between the brain networks involved in social comparisons and those active during other forms of cognitive and perceptual comparison. Finally, we discuss potential future questions that research on the neural correlates of social comparison could address.

  14. Goal or gold: overlapping reward processes in soccer players upon scoring and winning money.

    Alexander Niklas Häusler

    Full Text Available Social rewards are important incentives for human behavior. This is especially true in team sports such as the most popular one worldwide: soccer. We investigated reward processing upon scoring a soccer goal in a standard two-versus-one situation and in comparison to winning in a monetary incentive task. The results show a strong overlap in brain activity between the two conditions in established reward regions of the mesolimbic dopaminergic system, including the ventral striatum and ventromedial pre-frontal cortex. The three main components of reward-associated learning, i.e., reward probability (RP, reward reception (RR and reward prediction errors (RPE showed highly similar activation in both con-texts, with only the RR and RPE components displaying overlapping reward activity. Passing and shooting behavior did not correlate with individual egoism scores, but we observe a positive correlation be-tween egoism and activity in the left middle frontal gyrus upon scoring after a pass versus a direct shot. Our findings suggest that rewards in the context of soccer and monetary incentives are based on similar neural processes.

  15. Goal or Gold: Overlapping Reward Processes in Soccer Players upon Scoring and Winning Money

    Häusler, Alexander Niklas; Becker, Benjamin; Bartling, Marcel; Weber, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    Social rewards are important incentives for human behavior. This is especially true in team sports such as the most popular one worldwide: soccer. We investigated reward processing upon scoring a soccer goal in a standard two-versus-one situation and in comparison to winning in a monetary incentive task. The results show a strong overlap in brain activity between the two conditions in established reward regions of the mesolimbic dopaminergic system, including the ventral striatum and ventromedial pre-frontal cortex. The three main components of reward-associated learning i.e. reward probability (RP), reward reception (RR) and reward prediction errors (RPE) showed highly similar activation in both con-texts, with only the RR and RPE components displaying overlapping reward activity. Passing and shooting behavior did not correlate with individual egoism scores, but we observe a positive correlation be-tween egoism and activity in the left middle frontal gyrus upon scoring after a pass versus a direct shot. Our findings suggest that rewards in the context of soccer and monetary incentives are based on similar neural processes. PMID:25875594

  16. HIT and brain reward function: A case of mistaken identity (theory).

    Wright, Cory; Colombo, Matteo; Beard, Alexander

    2017-08-01

    This paper employs a case study from the history of neuroscience-brain reward function-to scrutinize the inductive argument for the so-called 'Heuristic Identity Theory' (HIT). The case fails to support HIT, illustrating why other case studies previously thought to provide empirical support for HIT also fold under scrutiny. After distinguishing two different ways of understanding the types of identity claims presupposed by HIT and considering other conceptual problems, we conclude that HIT is not an alternative to the traditional identity theory so much as a relabeling of previously discussed strategies for mechanistic discovery. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  17. Sensitivity to reward: implications for overeating and overweight.

    Davis, Caroline; Strachan, Shaelyn; Berkson, Marni

    2004-04-01

    Sensitivity to reward (STR)-a personality trait firmly rooted in the neurobiology of the mesolimbic dopamine system-has been strongly implicated in the risk for addiction. This construct describes the ability to derive pleasure or reward from natural reinforcers like food, and from pharmacologic rewards like addictive drugs. Recently experts in the field of addiction research have acknowledged that psychomotor stimulant drugs are no longer at the heart of all addictions, and that brain circuits can also be deranged with natural rewards like food. The present study tested a model in which STR was expected to relate positively to overeating, which in turn would be associated with higher body weight in woman aged 25-45 years. As predicted, STR was correlated positively with measures of emotional overeating. Also, overweight woman were significantly more sensitive to reward than those of normal weight. Interestingly, however, the obese woman (Body Mass Index>30) were more anhedonic than the overweight woman (Body Mass Index>25reward circuits. Results also indicate that STR may serve as a risk factor for overeating and overweight, especially in cultures such as ours where palatable, calorically-dense food is plentiful.

  18. Visual sexual stimuli – cue or reward? A key for interpreting brain imaging studies on human sexual behaviors

    Mateusz Gola

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available There is an increasing number of neuroimaging studies using visual sexual stimuli (VSS for human sexuality studies, including emerging field of research on compulsive sexual behaviors. A central question in this field is whether behaviors such as extensive pornography consumption share common brain mechanisms with widely studied substance and behavioral addictions. Depending on how VSS are conceptualized, different predictions can be formulated within the frameworks of Reinforcement Learning or Incentive Salience Theory, where a crucial distinction is made between conditioned (cue and unconditioned (reward stimuli (related to reward anticipation vs reward consumption, respectively. Surveying 40 recent human neuroimaging studies we show existing ambiguity about the conceptualization of VSS. Therefore, we feel that it is important to address the question of whether VSS should be considered as cues (conditioned stimuli or rewards (unconditioned stimuli. Here we present our own perspective, which is that in most laboratory settings VSS play a role of reward (unconditioned stimuli, as evidenced by: 1. experience of pleasure while watching VSS, possibly accompanied by genital reaction 2. reward-related brain activity correlated with these pleasurable feelings in response to VSS, 3. a willingness to exert effort to view VSS similarly as for other rewarding stimuli such as money, and/or 4. conditioning for cues (CS predictive for. We hope that this perspective paper will initiate a scientific discussion on this important and overlooked topic and increase attention for appropriate interpretations of results of human neuroimaging studies using VSS.

  19. Obesity is marked by distinct functional connectivity in brain networks involved in food reward and salience.

    Wijngaarden, M A; Veer, I M; Rombouts, S A R B; van Buchem, M A; Willems van Dijk, K; Pijl, H; van der Grond, J

    2015-01-01

    We hypothesized that brain circuits involved in reward and salience respond differently to fasting in obese versus lean individuals. We compared functional connectivity networks related to food reward and saliency after an overnight fast (baseline) and after a prolonged fast of 48 h in lean versus obese subjects. We included 13 obese (2 males, 11 females, BMI 35.4 ± 1.2 kg/m(2), age 31 ± 3 years) and 11 lean subjects (2 males, 9 females, BMI 23.2 ± 0.5 kg/m(2), age 28 ± 3 years). Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans were made after an overnight fast (baseline) and after a prolonged 48 h fast. Functional connectivity of the amygdala, hypothalamus and posterior cingulate cortex (default-mode) networks was assessed using seed-based correlations. At baseline, we found a stronger connectivity between hypothalamus and left insula in the obese subjects. This effect diminished upon the prolonged fast. After prolonged fasting, connectivity of the hypothalamus with the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) increased in lean subjects and decreased in obese subjects. Amygdala connectivity with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex was stronger in lean subjects at baseline, which did not change upon the prolonged fast. No differences in posterior cingulate cortex connectivity were observed. In conclusion, obesity is marked by alterations in functional connectivity networks involved in food reward and salience. Prolonged fasting differentially affected hypothalamic connections with the dACC and the insula between obese and lean subjects. Our data support the idea that food reward and nutrient deprivation are differently perceived and/or processed in obesity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Valuation of opportunity costs by rats working for rewarding electrical brain stimulation.

    Rebecca Brana Solomon

    Full Text Available Pursuit of one goal typically precludes simultaneous pursuit of another. Thus, each exclusive activity entails an "opportunity cost:" the forgone benefits from the next-best activity eschewed. The present experiment estimates, in laboratory rats, the function that maps objective opportunity costs into subjective ones. In an operant chamber, rewarding electrical brain stimulation was delivered when the cumulative time a lever had been depressed reached a criterion duration. The value of the activities forgone during this duration is the opportunity cost of the electrical reward. We determined which of four functions best describes how objective opportunity costs, expressed as the required duration of lever depression, are translated into their subjective equivalents. The simplest account is the identity function, which equates subjective and objective opportunity costs. A variant of this function called the "sigmoidal-slope function," converges on the identity function at longer durations but deviates from it at shorter durations. The sigmoidal-slope function has the form of a hockey stick. The flat "blade" denotes a range over which opportunity costs are subjectively equivalent; these durations are too short to allow substitution of more beneficial activities. The blade extends into an upward-curving portion over which costs become discriminable and finally into the straight "handle," over which objective and subjective costs match. The two remaining functions are based on hyperbolic and exponential temporal discounting, respectively. The results are best described by the sigmoidal-slope function. That this is so suggests that different principles of intertemporal choice are involved in the evaluation of time spent working for a reward or waiting for its delivery. The subjective opportunity-cost function plays a key role in the evaluation and selection of goals. An accurate description of its form and parameters is essential to successful

  1. Abstinent adult daily smokers show reduced anticipatory but elevated saccade-related brain responses during a rewarded antisaccade task.

    Geier, Charles F; Sweitzer, Maggie M; Denlinger, Rachel; Sparacino, Gina; Donny, Eric C

    2014-08-30

    Chronic smoking may result in reduced sensitivity to non-drug rewards (e.g., money), a phenomenon particularly salient during abstinence. During a quit attempt, this effect may contribute to biased decision-making (smoking>alternative reinforcers) and relapse. Although relevant for quitting, characterization of reduced reward function in abstinent smokers remains limited. Moreover, how attenuated reward function affects other brain systems supporting decision-making has not been established. Here, we use a rewarded antisaccade (rAS) task to characterize non-drug reward processing and its influence on inhibitory control, key elements underlying decision-making, in abstinent smokers vs. non-smokers. Abstinent (12-hours) adult daily smokers (N=23) and non-smokers (N=11) underwent fMRI while performing the rAS. Behavioral performances improved on reward vs. neutral trials. Smokers showed attenuated activation in ventral striatum during the reward cue and in superior precentral sulcus and posterior parietal cortex during response preparation, but greater responses during the saccade response in posterior cingulate and parietal cortices. Smokers' attenuated anticipatory responses suggest reduced motivation from monetary reward, while heightened activation during the saccade response suggests that additional circuitry may be engaged later to enhance inhibitory task performance. Overall, this preliminary study highlights group differences in decision-making components and the utility of the rAS to characterize these effects. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Methylphenidate and brain activity in a reward/conflict paradigm: role of the insula in task performance.

    Ivanov, Iliyan; Liu, Xun; Clerkin, Suzanne; Schulz, Kurt; Fan, Jin; Friston, Karl; London, Edythe D; Schwartz, Jeffrey; Newcorn, Jeffrey H

    2014-06-01

    Psychostimulants, such as methylphenidate, are thought to improve information processing in motivation-reward and attention-activation networks by enhancing the effects of more relevant signals and suppressing those of less relevant ones; however the nature of such reciprocal influences remains poorly understood. To explore this question, we tested the effect of methylphenidate on performance and associated brain activity in the Anticipation, Conflict, Reward (ACR) task. Sixteen healthy adult volunteers, ages 21-45, were scanned twice using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as they performed the ACR task under placebo and methylphenidate conditions. A three-way repeated measures analysis of variance, with cue (reward vs. non-reward), target (congruent vs. incongruent) and medication condition (methylphenidate vs. placebo) as the factors, was used to analyze behaviors on the task. Blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signals, reflecting task-related neural activity, were evaluated using linear contrasts. Participants exhibited significantly greater accuracy in the methylphenidate condition than the placebo condition. Compared with placebo, the methylphenidate condition also was associated with lesser task-related activity in components of attention-activation systems irrespective of the reward cue, and less task-related activity in components of the reward-motivation system, particularly the insula, during reward trials irrespective of target difficulty. These results suggest that methylphenidate enhances task performance by improving efficiency of information processing in both reward-motivation and in attention-activation systems. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. Two-week administration of the combined serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor duloxetine augments functioning of mesolimbic incentive processing circuits.

    Ossewaarde, Lindsey; Verkes, Robbert J; Hermans, Erno J; Kooijman, Sabine C; Urner, Maren; Tendolkar, Indira; van Wingen, Guido A; Fernández, Guillén

    2011-09-15

    Anhedonia and lack of motivation are core symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD). Neuroimaging studies in MDD patients have shown reductions in reward-related activity in terminal regions of the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system, such as the ventral striatum. Monoamines have been implicated in both mesolimbic incentive processing and the mechanism of action of antidepressant drugs. However, not much is known about antidepressant effects on mesolimbic incentive processing in humans, which might be related to the effects on anhedonia. To investigate the short-term effects of antidepressants on reward-related activity in the ventral striatum, we investigated the effect of the combined serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor duloxetine. Healthy volunteers underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. After taking duloxetine (60 mg once a day) or placebo for 14 days, participants completed a monetary incentive delay task that activates the ventral striatum during reward anticipation. Our results (n = 19) show enhanced ventral striatal responses after duloxetine administration compared with placebo. Moreover, this increase in ventral striatal activity was positively correlated with duloxetine plasma levels. This is the first study to demonstrate that antidepressants augment neural activity in mesolimbic DA incentive processing circuits in healthy volunteers. These effects are likely caused by the increase in monoamine neurotransmission in the ventral striatum. Our findings suggest that antidepressants may alleviate anhedonia by stimulating incentive processing. Copyright © 2011 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Increased 3H-spiperone binding sites in mesolimbic area related to methamphetamine-induced behavioral hypersensitivity

    Akiyama, K.; Sato, M.; Otsuki, S.

    1982-01-01

    The specific 3 H-spiperone binding to membrane homogenates of the striatum, mesolimbic area, and frontal cortex was examined in two groups of rats pretreated once daily with saline or 4 mg/kg of methamphetamine (MAP) for 14 days. At 7 days following cessation of chronic pretreatment, all rats received an injection of 4 mg/kg of MAP and were decapitated 1 hr after the injection. In the chronic saline-pretreatment group, the single administration of MAP induced significant changes in the number (Bmax) of specific 3 H-spiperone binding sites (a decrease in the striatum and an increase in the mesolimbic area and frontal cortex), but no significant changes in the affinity (KD) in any brain area. The chronic MAP pretreatment markedly augmented the changes in Bmax in the striatum and mesolimbic area. The increase in specific 3 H-spiperone binding sites in the mesolimbic area is discussed in relation to MAP-induced behavioral hypersensitivity

  5. Deep brain stimulation of nucleus accumbens region in alcoholism affects reward processing.

    Heldmann, Marcus; Berding, Georg; Voges, Jürgen; Bogerts, Bernhard; Galazky, Imke; Müller, Ulf; Baillot, Gunther; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Münte, Thomas F

    2012-01-01

    The influence of bilateral deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the nucleus nucleus (NAcc) on the processing of reward in a gambling paradigm was investigated using H(2)[(15)O]-PET (positron emission tomography) in a 38-year-old man treated for severe alcohol addiction. Behavioral data analysis revealed a less risky, more careful choice behavior under active DBS compared to DBS switched off. PET showed win- and loss-related activations in the paracingulate cortex, temporal poles, precuneus and hippocampus under active DBS, brain areas that have been implicated in action monitoring and behavioral control. Except for the temporal pole these activations were not seen when DBS was deactivated. These findings suggest that DBS of the NAcc may act partially by improving behavioral control.

  6. Earlier adolescent substance use onset predicts stronger connectivity between reward and cognitive control brain networks.

    Weissman, David G; Schriber, Roberta A; Fassbender, Catherine; Atherton, Olivia; Krafft, Cynthia; Robins, Richard W; Hastings, Paul D; Guyer, Amanda E

    2015-12-01

    Early adolescent onset of substance use is a robust predictor of future substance use disorders. We examined the relation between age of substance use initiation and resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) of the core reward processing (nucleus accumbens; NAcc) to cognitive control (prefrontal cortex; PFC) brain networks. Adolescents in a longitudinal study of Mexican-origin youth reported their substance use annually from ages 10 to 16 years. At age 16, 69 adolescents participated in a resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging scan. Seed-based correlational analyses were conducted using regions of interest in bilateral NAcc. The earlier that adolescents initiated substance use, the stronger the connectivity between bilateral NAcc and right dorsolateral PFC, right dorsomedial PFC, right pre-supplementary motor area, right inferior parietal lobule, and left medial temporal gyrus. The regions that demonstrated significant positive linear relationships between the number of adolescent years using substances and connectivity with NAcc are nodes in the right frontoparietal network, which is central to cognitive control. The coupling of reward and cognitive control networks may be a mechanism through which earlier onset of substance use is related to brain function over time, a trajectory that may be implicated in subsequent substance use disorders. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  7. Dysfunctional involvement of emotion and reward brain regions on social decision making in excess weight adolescents.

    Verdejo-García, Antonio; Verdejo-Román, Juan; Rio-Valle, Jacqueline S; Lacomba, Juan A; Lagos, Francisco M; Soriano-Mas, Carles

    2015-01-01

    Obese adolescents suffer negative social experiences, but no studies have examined whether obesity is associated with dysfunction of the social brain or whether social brain abnormalities relate to disadvantageous traits and social decisions. We aimed at mapping functional activation differences in the brain circuitry of social decision making in adolescents with excess versus normal weight, and at examining whether these separate patterns correlate with reward/punishment sensitivity, disordered eating features, and behavioral decisions. In this fMRI study, 80 adolescents aged 12 to 18 years old were classified in two groups based on age adjusted body mass index (BMI) percentiles: normal weight (n = 44, BMI percentiles 5th-84th) and excess weight (n = 36, BMI percentile ≥ 85th). Participants were scanned while performing a social decision-making task (ultimatum game) in which they chose to "accept" or "reject" offers to split monetary stakes made by another peer. Offers varied in fairness (Fair vs. Unfair) but in all cases "accepting" meant both players win the money, whereas "rejecting" meant both lose it. We showed that adolescents with excess weight compared to controls display significantly decreased activation of anterior insula, anterior cingulate, and midbrain during decisions about Unfair versus Fair offers. Moreover, excess weight subjects show lower sensitivity to reward and more maturity fears, which correlate with insula activation. Indeed, blunted insula activation accounted for the relationship between maturity fears and acceptance of unfair offers. Excess weight adolescents have diminished activation of brain regions essential for affective tracking of social decision making, which accounts for the association between maturity fears and social decisions. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Gender-specific roles for the melanocortin-3 receptor in the regulation of the mesolimbic dopamine system in mice.

    Lippert, Rachel N; Ellacott, Kate L J; Cone, Roger D

    2014-05-01

    The melanocortin-3 receptor (MC3R) and MC4R are known to play critical roles in energy homeostasis. However, the physiological functions of the MC3R remain poorly understood. Earlier reports indicated that the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is one of the highest sites of MC3R expression, and we sought to determine the function of the receptor in this brain region. A MC3R-green-fluorescent protein transgenic mouse and a MC3R knockout mouse strain were used to characterize the neurochemical identity of the MC3R neurons in the VTA and to determine the effects of global MC3R deletion on VTA dopamine (DA) homeostasis. We demonstrate that the MC3R, but not MC4R, is expressed in up to a third of dopaminergic neurons of the VTA. Global deletion of the MC3R increases total dopamine by 42% in the VTA and decreases sucrose intake and preference in female but not male mice. Ovariectomy restores dopamine levels to normal, but aberrant decreased VTA dopamine levels are also observed in prepubertal female mice. Because arcuate Agouti-related peptide/neuropeptide Y neurons are known to innervate and regulate VTA signaling, the MC3R in dopaminergic neurons provides a specific input for communication of nutritional state within the mesolimbic dopamine system. Data provided here suggest that this input may be highly sexually dimorphic, functioning as a specific circuit regulating effects of estrogen on VTA dopamine levels and on sucrose preference. Overall, this data support a sexually dimorphic function of MC3R in regulation of the mesolimbic dopaminergic system and reward.

  9. Cigarette smoking modulates medication-associated deficits in a monetary reward task in patients with schizophrenia.

    Lernbass, Birgit; Grön, Georg; Wolf, Nadine D; Abler, Birgit

    2013-09-01

    Imaging studies of reward processing have demonstrated a mesolimbic-mesocortical dopaminergic dysfunction in schizophrenia. Such studies on reward processing in patients and also in healthy controls showed that differential activations of dopaminergic brain areas are associated with adaptive changes in response speed related to different reward values. Given this relationship, we investigated reward processing on the behavioural level in a larger sample of 49 medicated patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia (ICD-10 F20) and 49 healthy controls. Subjects were instructed to react by button press upon two different stimuli in order to retain a 60 % chance winning a previously announced high (1$) or low (20¢) amount of money paid to participants after the experiment. Concordant with previous reports on deficits in reward processing, acceleration of reaction times in patients upon low rewards differed significantly (p non-smoking subgroup of patients (n = 24). In this subgroup, we also observed a significant (p monetary reward task might constitute a feasible behavioural proxy for dopaminergic dysfunction and its different dimensions regarding psychopathology but also medication in patients with schizophrenia. In line with clinical observations, our findings support the notion that smoking modulates medication-associated side effects on reward processing in patients with schizophrenia.

  10. Fifty Years in the Development of a Glutaminergic-Dopaminergic Optimization Complex (KB220) to Balance Brain Reward Circuitry in Reward Deficiency Syndrome: A Pictorial

    Blum, K; Febo, M; Badgaiyan, RD

    2016-01-01

    Dopamine along with other chemical messengers like serotonin, cannabinoids, endorphins and glutamine, play significant roles in brain reward processing. There is a devastating opiate/opioid epidemicin the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 127 people, young and old, are dying every day due to narcotic overdose and alarmingly heroin overdose is on the rise. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved some Medication-Assisted Treatments (MATs) for alcoholism, opiate and nicotine dependence, but nothing for psychostimulant and cannabis abuse. While these pharmaceuticals are essential for the short-term induction of “psychological extinction,” in the long-term caution is necessary because their use favors blocking dopaminergic function indispensable for achieving normal satisfaction in life. The two institutions devoted to alcoholism and drug dependence (NIAAA & NIDA) realize that MATs are not optimal and continue to seek better treatment options. We review, herein, the history of the development of a glutaminergic-dopaminergic optimization complex called KB220 to provide for the possible eventual balancing of the brain reward system and the induction of “dopamine homeostasis.” This complex may provide substantial clinical benefit to the victims of Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS) and assist in recovery from iatrogenically induced addiction to unwanted opiates/opioids and other addictive behaviors. PMID:27840857

  11. Visual Sexual Stimuli-Cue or Reward? A Perspective for Interpreting Brain Imaging Findings on Human Sexual Behaviors.

    Gola, Mateusz; Wordecha, Małgorzata; Marchewka, Artur; Sescousse, Guillaume

    2016-01-01

    There is an increasing number of neuroimaging studies using visual sexual stimuli (VSS), especially within the emerging field of research on compulsive sexual behaviors (CSB). A central question in this field is whether behaviors such as excessive pornography consumption share common brain mechanisms with widely studied substance and behavioral addictions. Depending on how VSS are conceptualized, different predictions can be formulated within the frameworks of Reinforcement Learning or Incentive Salience Theory, where a crucial distinction is made between conditioned and unconditioned stimuli (related to reward anticipation vs. reward consumption, respectively). Surveying 40 recent human neuroimaging studies we show existing ambiguity about the conceptualization of VSS. Therefore, we feel that it is important to address the question of whether VSS should be considered as conditioned stimuli (cue) or unconditioned stimuli (reward). Here we present our own perspective, which is that in most laboratory settings VSS play a role of reward, as evidenced by: (1) experience of pleasure while watching VSS, possibly accompanied by genital reaction; (2) reward-related brain activity correlated with these pleasurable feelings in response to VSS; (3) a willingness to exert effort to view VSS similarly as for other rewarding stimuli such as money; and (4) conditioning for cues predictive of VSS. We hope that this perspective article will initiate a scientific discussion on this important and overlooked topic and increase attention for appropriate interpretations of results of human neuroimaging studies using VSS.

  12. Visual Sexual Stimuli—Cue or Reward? A Perspective for Interpreting Brain Imaging Findings on Human Sexual Behaviors

    Gola, Mateusz; Wordecha, Małgorzata; Marchewka, Artur; Sescousse, Guillaume

    2016-01-01

    There is an increasing number of neuroimaging studies using visual sexual stimuli (VSS), especially within the emerging field of research on compulsive sexual behaviors (CSB). A central question in this field is whether behaviors such as excessive pornography consumption share common brain mechanisms with widely studied substance and behavioral addictions. Depending on how VSS are conceptualized, different predictions can be formulated within the frameworks of Reinforcement Learning or Incentive Salience Theory, where a crucial distinction is made between conditioned and unconditioned stimuli (related to reward anticipation vs. reward consumption, respectively). Surveying 40 recent human neuroimaging studies we show existing ambiguity about the conceptualization of VSS. Therefore, we feel that it is important to address the question of whether VSS should be considered as conditioned stimuli (cue) or unconditioned stimuli (reward). Here we present our own perspective, which is that in most laboratory settings VSS play a role of reward, as evidenced by: (1) experience of pleasure while watching VSS, possibly accompanied by genital reaction; (2) reward-related brain activity correlated with these pleasurable feelings in response to VSS; (3) a willingness to exert effort to view VSS similarly as for other rewarding stimuli such as money; and (4) conditioning for cues predictive of VSS. We hope that this perspective article will initiate a scientific discussion on this important and overlooked topic and increase attention for appropriate interpretations of results of human neuroimaging studies using VSS. PMID:27574507

  13. ADHD Related Behaviors Are Associated with Brain Activation in the Reward System

    Stark, R.; Bauer, E.; Merz, C. J.; Zimmermann, M.; Reuter, M.; Plichta, M. M.; Kirsch, P.; Lesch, K. P.; Fallgatter, A. J.; Vaitl, D.; Herrmann, M. J.

    2011-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) suggest dysfunctional reward processing, with hypo-responsiveness during reward anticipation in the reward system including the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). In this study, we investigated the association between ADHD related behaviors and the reward system using functional…

  14. Placebo analgesia and reward processing: integrating genetics, personality, and intrinsic brain activity.

    Yu, Rongjun; Gollub, Randy L; Vangel, Mark; Kaptchuk, Ted; Smoller, Jordan W; Kong, Jian

    2014-09-01

    Our expectations about an event can strongly shape our subjective evaluation and actual experience of events. This ability, applied to the modulation of pain, has the potential to affect therapeutic analgesia substantially and constitutes a foundation for non-pharmacological pain relief. A typical example of such modulation is the placebo effect. Studies indicate that placebo may be regarded as a reward, and brain activity in the reward system is involved in this modulation process. In the present study, we combined resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) measures, genotype at a functional COMT polymorphism (Val158Met), and personality measures in a model to predict the magnitude of placebo conditioning effect indicated by subjective pain rating reduction to calibrated noxious stimuli. We found that the regional homogeneity (ReHo), an index of local neural coherence, in the ventral striatum, was significantly associated with conditioning effects on pain rating changes. We also found that the number of Met alleles at the COMT polymorphism was linearly correlated to the suppression of pain. In a fitted regression model, we found the ReHo in the ventral striatum, COMT genotype, and Openness scores accounted for 59% of the variance in the change in pain ratings. The model was further tested using a separate data set from the same study. Our findings demonstrate the potential of combining resting-state connectivity, genetic information, and personality to predict placebo effect. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Addiction: decreased reward sensitivity and increased expectation sensitivity conspire to overwhelm the brain's control circuit.

    Volkow, Nora D; Wang, Gene-Jack; Fowler, Joanna S; Tomasi, Dardo; Telang, Frank; Baler, Ruben

    2010-09-01

    Based on brain imaging findings, we present a model according to which addiction emerges as an imbalance in the information processing and integration among various brain circuits and functions. The dysfunctions reflect (a) decreased sensitivity of reward circuits, (b) enhanced sensitivity of memory circuits to conditioned expectations to drugs and drug cues, stress reactivity, and (c) negative mood, and a weakened control circuit. Although initial experimentation with a drug of abuse is largely a voluntary behavior, continued drug use can eventually impair neuronal circuits in the brain that are involved in free will, turning drug use into an automatic compulsive behavior. The ability of addictive drugs to co-opt neurotransmitter signals between neurons (including dopamine, glutamate, and GABA) modifies the function of different neuronal circuits, which begin to falter at different stages of an addiction trajectory. Upon exposure to the drug, drug cues or stress this results in unrestrained hyperactivation of the motivation/drive circuit that results in the compulsive drug intake that characterizes addiction.

  16. Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus improves reward-based decision-learning in Parkinson's disease

    van Wouwe, N.C.; Ridderinkhof, K.R.; van den Wildenberg, W.P.M.; Band, G.P.H.; Abisogun, A.; Elias, W.J.; Frysinger, R.; Wylie, S.A.

    2011-01-01

    Recently, the subthalamic nucleus (STN) has been shown to be critically involved in decision-making, action selection, and motor control. Here we investigate the effect of deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the STN on reward-based decision-learning in patients diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD).

  17. Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus improves reward-based decision-learning in Parkinson’s disease

    Wouwe, N.C. van; Ridderinkhof, K.R.; Wildenberg, W.P.M. van den; Band, G.P.H.; Abisogun, A.; Elias, W.J.; Frysinger, R.; Wylie, S.A.

    2011-01-01

    Recently, the subthalamic nucleus (STN) has been shown to be critically involved in decision-making, action selection, and motor control. Here we investigate the effect of deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the STN on reward-based decision-learning in patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

  18. Reward, motivation and emotion of pain and its relief

    Porreca, Frank; Navratilova, Edita

    2016-01-01

    The experience of pain depends on interpretation of context and past experience that guide the choice of an immediate behavioral response and influence future decisions of actions to avoid harm. The aversive qualities of pain underlie its physiological role in learning and motivation. In this review, we highlight findings from human and animal investigations that suggest that both pain, and the relief of pain, are complex emotions that are comprised of feelings and their motivational consequences. Relief of aversive states, including pain, is rewarding. How relief of pain aversiveness occurs is not well understood. Termination of aversive states can directly provide relief as well as reinforce behaviors that result in avoidance of pain. Emerging preclinical data also suggests that relief may elicit a positive hedonic value that results from activation of neural cortical and mesolimbic brain circuits that may also motivate behavior. Brain circuits mediating the reward of pain relief, as well as relief-induced motivation are significantly impacted as pain becomes chronic. In chronic pain states, the negative motivational value of nociception may be increased while the value of the reward of pain relief may decrease. As a consequence, the impact of pain on these ancient, and conserved brain limbic circuits suggest a path forward for discovery of new pain therapies. PMID:28106670

  19. Investigating the Impact of a Genome-Wide Supported Bipolar Risk Variant of MAD1L1 on the Human Reward System.

    Trost, Sarah; Diekhof, Esther K; Mohr, Holger; Vieker, Henning; Krämer, Bernd; Wolf, Claudia; Keil, Maria; Dechent, Peter; Binder, Elisabeth B; Gruber, Oliver

    2016-10-01

    Recent genome-wide association studies have identified MAD1L1 (mitotic arrest deficient-like 1) as a susceptibility gene for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The minor allele of the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs11764590 in MAD1L1 was associated with bipolar disorder. Both diseases, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, are linked to functional alterations in the reward system. We aimed at investigating possible effects of the MAD1L1 rs11764590 risk allele on reward systems functioning in healthy adults. A large homogenous sample of 224 young (aged 18-31 years) participants was genotyped and underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). All participants performed the 'Desire-Reason Dilemma' paradigm investigating the neural correlates that underlie reward processing and active reward dismissal in favor of a long-term goal. We found significant hypoactivations of the ventral tegmental area (VTA), the bilateral striatum and bilateral frontal and parietal cortices in response to conditioned reward stimuli in the risk allele carriers compared with major allele carriers. In the dilemma situation, functional connectivity between prefrontal brain regions and the ventral striatum was significantly diminished in the risk allele carriers. Healthy risk allele carriers showed a significant deficit of their bottom-up response to conditioned reward stimuli in the bilateral VTA and striatum. Furthermore, functional connectivity between the ventral striatum and prefrontal areas exerting top-down control on the mesolimbic reward system was reduced in this group. Similar alterations in reward processing and disturbances of prefrontal control mechanisms on mesolimbic brain circuits have also been reported in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Together, these findings suggest the existence of an intermediate phenotype associated with MAD1L1.

  20. Dissociable Brain Signatures of Choice Conflict and Immediate Reward Preferences in Alcohol Use Disorders

    Amlung, Michael; Sweet, Lawrence H.; Acker, John; Brown, Courtney L.; MacKillop, James

    2013-01-01

    Impulsive delayed reward discounting (DRD) is an important behavioral process in alcohol use disorders (AUDs), reflecting incapacity to delay gratification. Recent work in neuroeconomics has begun to unravel the neural mechanisms supporting DRD, but applications of neuroeconomics in relation to AUDs have been limited. This study examined the neural mechanisms of DRD preferences in AUDs, with emphasis on dissociating activation patterns based on DRD choice type and level of cognitive conflict. Heavy drinking adult males with (n = 13) and without (n = 12) a diagnosis of an AUD completed a monetary DRD task during a functional magnetic resonance imaging scan. Participant responses were coded based on choice type (impulsive vs. restrained) and level of cognitive conflict (easy vs. hard). AUD+ participants exhibited significantly more impulsive DRD decision-making. Significant activation during DRD was found in several decision-making regions, including dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), insula, posterior parietal cortex (PPC), and posterior cingulate. An axis of cognitive conflict was also observed, with hard choices associated with anterior cingulate cortex and easy choices associated with activation in supplementary motor area. AUD+ individuals exhibited significant hyperactivity in regions associated with cognitive control (DLPFC) and prospective thought (PPC) and exhibited less task-related deactivation of areas associated with the brain's default network during DRD decisions. This study provides further clarification of the brain systems supporting DRD in general and in relation to AUDs. PMID:23231650

  1. Dissociable brain signatures of choice conflict and immediate reward preferences in alcohol use disorders.

    Amlung, Michael; Sweet, Lawrence H; Acker, John; Brown, Courtney L; MacKillop, James

    2014-07-01

    Impulsive delayed reward discounting (DRD) is an important behavioral process in alcohol use disorders (AUDs), reflecting incapacity to delay gratification. Recent work in neuroeconomics has begun to unravel the neural mechanisms supporting DRD, but applications of neuroeconomics in relation to AUDs have been limited. This study examined the neural mechanisms of DRD preferences in AUDs, with emphasis on dissociating activation patterns based on DRD choice type and level of cognitive conflict. Heavy drinking adult men with (n = 13) and without (n = 12) a diagnosis of an AUD completed a monetary DRD task during a functional magnetic resonance imaging scan. Participant responses were coded based on choice type (impulsive versus restrained) and level of cognitive conflict (easy versus hard). AUD+ participants exhibited significantly more impulsive DRD decision-making. Significant activation during DRD was found in several decision-making regions, including dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), insula, posterior parietal cortex (PPC), and posterior cingulate. An axis of cognitive conflict was also observed, with hard choices associated with anterior cingulate cortex and easy choices associated with activation in supplementary motor area. AUD+ individuals exhibited significant hyperactivity in regions associated with cognitive control (DLPFC) and prospective thought (PPC) and exhibited less task-related deactivation of areas associated with the brain's default network during DRD decisions. This study provides further clarification of the brain systems supporting DRD in general and in relation to AUDs. © 2012 The Authors, Addiction Biology © 2012 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  2. Dopamine Signaling in reward-related behaviors

    Ja-Hyun eBaik

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Dopamine (DA regulates emotional and motivational behavior through the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway. Changes in DAmesolimbic neurotransmission have been found to modify behavioral responses to various environmental stimuli associated with reward behaviors. Psychostimulants, drugs of abuse, and natural rewards such as food can cause substantial synaptic modifications to the mesolimbic DA system. Recent studies using optogenetics and DREADDs, together with neuron-specific or circuit-specific genetic manipulations have improved our understanding of DA signaling in the reward circuit, and provided a means to identify the neural substrates of complex behaviors such as drug addiction and eating disorders. This review focuses on the role of the DA system in drug addiction and food motivation, with an overview of the role of D1 and D2 receptors in the control of reward-associated behaviors.

  3. Social reward improves the voluntary control over localized brain activity in fMRI-based neurofeedback training

    Krystyna Anna Mathiak

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Neurofeedback (NF based on real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (rt-fMRI allows voluntary regulation of the activity in a selected brain region. For the training of this regulation, a well-designed feedback system is required. Social reward may serve as an effective incentive in NF paradigms, but its efficiency has not yet been tested. Therefore, we developed a social reward NF paradigm and assessed it in comparison with a typical visual NF paradigm (moving bar.We trained 24 healthy participants, on three consecutive days, to control activation in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (ACC with fMRI-based NF. In the social feedback group, an avatar gradually smiled when ACC activity increased, whereas in the standard feedback group, a moving bar indicated the activation level. To assess a transfer of the NF training both groups were asked to up-regulate their brain activity without receiving feedback immediately before and after the NF training (pre- and post-test. Finally, the effect of the acquired NF training on ACC function was evaluated in a cognitive interference task (Simon task during the pre- and post-test.Social reward led to stronger activity in the ACC and reward-related areas during the NF training when compared to standard feedback. After the training, both groups were able to regulate ACC without receiving feedback, with a trend for stronger responses in the social feedback group. Moreover, despite a lack of behavioral differences, significant higher ACC activations emerged in the cognitive interference task, reflecting a stronger generalization of the NF training on cognitive interference processing after social feedback.Social reward can increase self-regulation in fMRI-based NF and strengthen its effects on neural processing in related tasks, such as cognitive interference. An advantage of social feedback is that a direct external reward is provided as in natural social interactions, opening perspectives for implicit

  4. Differential effects of fructose versus glucose on brain and appetitive responses to food cues and decisions for food rewards.

    Luo, Shan; Monterosso, John R; Sarpelleh, Kayan; Page, Kathleen A

    2015-05-19

    Prior studies suggest that fructose compared with glucose may be a weaker suppressor of appetite, and neuroimaging research shows that food cues trigger greater brain reward responses in a fasted relative to a fed state. We sought to determine the effects of ingesting fructose versus glucose on brain, hormone, and appetitive responses to food cues and food-approach behavior. Twenty-four healthy volunteers underwent two functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) sessions with ingestion of either fructose or glucose in a double-blinded, random-order cross-over design. fMRI was performed while participants viewed images of high-calorie foods and nonfood items using a block design. After each block, participants rated hunger and desire for food. Participants also performed a decision task in which they chose between immediate food rewards and delayed monetary bonuses. Hormones were measured at baseline and 30 and 60 min after drink ingestion. Ingestion of fructose relative to glucose resulted in smaller increases in plasma insulin levels and greater brain reactivity to food cues in the visual cortex (in whole-brain analysis) and left orbital frontal cortex (in region-of-interest analysis). Parallel to the neuroimaging findings, fructose versus glucose led to greater hunger and desire for food and a greater willingness to give up long-term monetary rewards to obtain immediate high-calorie foods. These findings suggest that ingestion of fructose relative to glucose results in greater activation of brain regions involved in attention and reward processing and may promote feeding behavior.

  5. Exenatide Regulates Cerebral Glucose Metabolism in Brain Areas Associated With Glucose Homeostasis and Reward System.

    Daniele, Giuseppe; Iozzo, Patricia; Molina-Carrion, Marjorie; Lancaster, Jack; Ciociaro, Demetrio; Cersosimo, Eugenio; Tripathy, Devjit; Triplitt, Curtis; Fox, Peter; Musi, Nicolas; DeFronzo, Ralph; Gastaldelli, Amalia

    2015-10-01

    Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptors (GLP-1Rs) have been found in the brain, but whether GLP-1R agonists (GLP-1RAs) influence brain glucose metabolism is currently unknown. The study aim was to evaluate the effects of a single injection of the GLP-1RA exenatide on cerebral and peripheral glucose metabolism in response to a glucose load. In 15 male subjects with HbA1c of 5.7 ± 0.1%, fasting glucose of 114 ± 3 mg/dL, and 2-h glucose of 177 ± 11 mg/dL, exenatide (5 μg) or placebo was injected in double-blind, randomized fashion subcutaneously 30 min before an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). The cerebral glucose metabolic rate (CMRglu) was measured by positron emission tomography after an injection of [(18)F]2-fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose before the OGTT, and the rate of glucose absorption (RaO) and disposal was assessed using stable isotope tracers. Exenatide reduced RaO0-60 min (4.6 ± 1.4 vs. 13.1 ± 1.7 μmol/min ⋅ kg) and decreased the rise in mean glucose0-60 min (107 ± 6 vs. 138 ± 8 mg/dL) and insulin0-60 min (17.3 ± 3.1 vs. 24.7 ± 3.8 mU/L). Exenatide increased CMRglu in areas of the brain related to glucose homeostasis, appetite, and food reward, despite lower plasma insulin concentrations, but reduced glucose uptake in the hypothalamus. Decreased RaO0-60 min after exenatide was inversely correlated to CMRglu. In conclusion, these results demonstrate, for the first time in man, a major effect of a GLP-1RA on regulation of brain glucose metabolism in the absorptive state. © 2015 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.

  6. The brain correlates of the effects of monetary and verbal rewards on intrinsic motivation

    Albrecht, Konstanze; Abeler, Johannes; Weber, Bernd; Falk, Armin

    2014-01-01

    Apart from everyday duties, such as doing the laundry or cleaning the house, there are tasks we do for pleasure and enjoyment. We do such tasks, like solving crossword puzzles or reading novels, without any external pressure or force; instead, we are intrinsically motivated: we do the tasks because we enjoy doing them. Previous studies suggest that external rewards, i.e., rewards from the outside, affect the intrinsic motivation to engage in a task: while performance-based monetary rewards ar...

  7. THE BRAIN CORRELATES OF THE EFFECTS OF MONETARY AND VERBAL REWARDS ON INTRINSIC MOTIVATION

    Konstanze eAlbrecht; Johannes eAbeler; Bernd eWeber; Bernd eWeber; Armin eFalk; Armin eFalk

    2014-01-01

    Apart from everyday duties, such as doing the laundry or cleaning the house, there are tasks we do for pleasure and enjoyment. We do such tasks, like solving crossword puzzles or reading novels, without any external pressure or force; instead, we are intrinsically motivated: We do the tasks because we enjoy doing them. Previous studies suggest that external rewards, i.e., rewards from the outside, affect the intrinsic motivation to engage in a task: While performance-based monetary rewards ar...

  8. Longitudinal Changes in Behavioral Approach System Sensitivity and Brain Structures Involved in Reward Processing during Adolescence

    Urošević, Snežana; Collins, Paul; Muetzel, Ryan; Lim, Kelvin; Luciana, Monica

    2012-01-01

    Adolescence is a period of radical normative changes and increased risk for substance use, mood disorders, and physical injury. Researchers have proposed that increases in reward sensitivity, i.e., sensitivity of the behavioral approach system (BAS), and/or increases in reactivity to all emotional stimuli (i.e., reward and threat sensitivities) lead to these phenomena. The present study is the first longitudinal investigation of changes in reward (i.e., BAS) sensitivity in 9 to 23-year-olds a...

  9. Brain mechanisms for perceptual and reward-related decision-making.

    Deco, Gustavo; Rolls, Edmund T; Albantakis, Larissa; Romo, Ranulfo

    2013-04-01

    Phenomenological models of decision-making, including the drift-diffusion and race models, are compared with mechanistic, biologically plausible models, such as integrate-and-fire attractor neuronal network models. The attractor network models show how decision confidence is an emergent property; and make testable predictions about the neural processes (including neuronal activity and fMRI signals) involved in decision-making which indicate that the medial prefrontal cortex is involved in reward value-based decision-making. Synaptic facilitation in these models can help to account for sequential vibrotactile decision-making, and for how postponed decision-related responses are made. The randomness in the neuronal spiking-related noise that makes the decision-making probabilistic is shown to be increased by the graded firing rate representations found in the brain, to be decreased by the diluted connectivity, and still to be significant in biologically large networks with thousands of synapses onto each neuron. The stability of these systems is shown to be influenced in different ways by glutamatergic and GABAergic efficacy, leading to a new field of dynamical neuropsychiatry with applications to understanding schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The noise in these systems is shown to be advantageous, and to apply to similar attractor networks involved in short-term memory, long-term memory, attention, and associative thought processes. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Operant behavior to obtain palatable food modifies neuronal plasticity in the brain reward circuit.

    Guegan, Thomas; Cutando, Laura; Ayuso, Eduard; Santini, Emanuela; Fisone, Gilberto; Bosch, Fatima; Martinez, Albert; Valjent, Emmanuel; Maldonado, Rafael; Martin, Miquel

    2013-02-01

    Palatability enhances food intake by hedonic mechanisms that prevail over caloric necessities. Different studies have demonstrated the role of endogenous cannabinoids in the mesocorticolimbic system in controlling food hedonic value and consumption. We hypothesize that the endogenous cannabinoid system could also be involved in the development of food-induced behavioral alterations, such as food-seeking and binge-eating, by a mechanism that requires neuroplastic changes in the brain reward pathway. For this purpose, we evaluated the role of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1-R) in the behavioral and neuroplastic changes induced by operant training for standard, highly caloric or highly palatable isocaloric food using different genetics, viral and pharmacological approaches. Neuroplasticity was evaluated by measuring changes in dendritic spine density in neurons previously labeled with the dye DiI. Only operant training to obtain highly palatable isocaloric food induced neuroplastic changes in neurons of the nucleus accumbens shell and prefrontal cortex that were associated to changes in food-seeking behavior. These behavioral and neuroplastic modifications induced by highly palatable isocaloric food were dependent on the activity of the CB1-R. Neuroplastic changes induced by highly palatable isocaloric food are similar to those produced by some drugs of abuse and may be crucial in the alteration of food-seeking behavior leading to overweight and obesity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  11. Reward optimization in the primate brain: a probabilistic model of decision making under uncertainty.

    Yanping Huang

    Full Text Available A key problem in neuroscience is understanding how the brain makes decisions under uncertainty. Important insights have been gained using tasks such as the random dots motion discrimination task in which the subject makes decisions based on noisy stimuli. A descriptive model known as the drift diffusion model has previously been used to explain psychometric and reaction time data from such tasks but to fully explain the data, one is forced to make ad-hoc assumptions such as a time-dependent collapsing decision boundary. We show that such assumptions are unnecessary when decision making is viewed within the framework of partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs. We propose an alternative model for decision making based on POMDPs. We show that the motion discrimination task reduces to the problems of (1 computing beliefs (posterior distributions over the unknown direction and motion strength from noisy observations in a bayesian manner, and (2 selecting actions based on these beliefs to maximize the expected sum of future rewards. The resulting optimal policy (belief-to-action mapping is shown to be equivalent to a collapsing decision threshold that governs the switch from evidence accumulation to a discrimination decision. We show that the model accounts for both accuracy and reaction time as a function of stimulus strength as well as different speed-accuracy conditions in the random dots task.

  12. Convergence of EEG and fMRI measures of reward anticipation.

    Gorka, Stephanie M; Phan, K Luan; Shankman, Stewart A

    2015-12-01

    Deficits in reward anticipation are putative mechanisms for multiple psychopathologies. Research indicates that these deficits are characterized by reduced left (relative to right) frontal electroencephalogram (EEG) activity and blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal abnormalities in mesolimbic and prefrontal neural regions during reward anticipation. Although it is often assumed that these two measures capture similar mechanisms, no study to our knowledge has directly examined the convergence between frontal EEG alpha asymmetry and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during reward anticipation in the same sample. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to investigate if and where in the brain frontal EEG alpha asymmetry and fMRI measures were correlated in a sample of 40 adults. All participants completed two analogous reward anticipation tasks--once during EEG data collection and the other during fMRI data collection. Results indicated that the two measures do converge and that during reward anticipation, increased relative left frontal activity is associated with increased left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC)/medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and left orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) activation. This suggests that the two measures may similarly capture PFC functioning, which is noteworthy given the role of these regions in reward processing and the pathophysiology of disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. High on food: the interaction between the neural circuits for feeding and for reward.

    Liu, Jing-Jing; Mukherjee, Diptendu; Haritan, Doron; Ignatowska-Jankowska, Bogna; Liu, Ji; Citri, Ami; Pang, Zhiping P

    2015-04-01

    Hunger, mostly initiated by a deficiency in energy, induces food seeking and intake. However, the drive toward food is not only regulated by physiological needs, but is motivated by the pleasure derived from ingestion of food, in particular palatable foods. Therefore, feeding is viewed as an adaptive motivated behavior that involves integrated communication between homeostatic feeding circuits and reward circuits. The initiation and termination of a feeding episode are instructed by a variety of neuronal signals, and maladaptive plasticity in almost any component of the network may lead to the development of pathological eating disorders. In this review we will summarize the latest understanding of how the feeding circuits and reward circuits in the brain interact. We will emphasize communication between the hypothalamus and the mesolimbic dopamine system and highlight complexities, discrepancies, open questions and future directions for the field.

  14. Integration of homeostatic signaling and food reward processing in the human brain.

    Simon, Joe J; Wetzel, Anne; Sinno, Maria Hamze; Skunde, Mandy; Bendszus, Martin; Preissl, Hubert; Enck, Paul; Herzog, Wolfgang; Friederich, Hans-Christoph

    2017-08-03

    Food intake is guided by homeostatic needs and by the reward value of food, yet the exact relation between the two remains unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of different metabolic states and hormonal satiety signaling on responses in neural reward networks. Twenty-three healthy participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing a task distinguishing between the anticipation and the receipt of either food- or monetary-related reward. Every participant was scanned twice in a counterbalanced fashion, both during a fasted state (after 24 hours fasting) and satiety. A functional connectivity analysis was performed to investigate the influence of satiety signaling on activation in neural reward networks. Blood samples were collected to assess hormonal satiety signaling. Fasting was associated with sensitization of the striatal reward system to the anticipation of food reward irrespective of reward magnitude. Furthermore, during satiety, individual ghrelin levels were associated with increased neural processing during the expectation of food-related reward. Our findings show that physiological hunger stimulates food consumption by specifically increasing neural processing during the expectation (i.e., incentive salience) but not the receipt of food-related reward. In addition, these findings suggest that ghrelin signaling influences hedonic-driven food intake by increasing neural reactivity during the expectation of food-related reward. These results provide insights into the neurobiological underpinnings of motivational processing and hedonic evaluation of food reward. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03081585. This work was supported by the German Competence Network on Obesity, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (FKZ 01GI1122E).

  15. Reward Contingencies Improve Goal-Directed Behavior by Enhancing Posterior Brain Attentional Regions and Increasing Corticostriatal Connectivity in Cocaine Addicts.

    Rosell-Negre, Patricia; Bustamante, Juan-Carlos; Fuentes-Claramonte, Paola; Costumero, Víctor; Llopis-Llacer, Juan-José; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso

    2016-01-01

    The dopaminergic system provides the basis for the interaction between motivation and cognition. It is triggered by the possibility of obtaining rewards to initiate the neurobehavioral adaptations necessary to achieve them by directing the information from motivational circuits to cognitive and action circuits. In drug addiction, the altered dopamine (DA) modulation of the meso-cortico-limbic reward circuitry, such as the prefrontal cortex (PFC), underlies the disproportionate motivational value of drug use at the expense of other non-drug reinforcers and the user's loss of control over his/her drug intake. We examine how the magnitude of the reward affects goal-directed processes in healthy control (HC) subjects and abstinent cocaine dependent (ACD) patients by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a counting Stroop task with blocked levels of monetary incentives of different magnitudes (€0, €0.01, €0.5, €1 or €1.5). Our results showed that increasing reward magnitude enhances (1) performance facilitation in both groups; (2) left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) activity in HC and left superior occipital cortex activity in ACD; and (3) left DLPFC and left putamen connectivity in ACD compared to HC. Moreover, we observed that (4) dorsal striatal and pallidum activity was associated with craving and addiction severity during the parametric increases in the monetary reward. In conclusion, the brain response to gradients in monetary value was different in HC and ACD, but both groups showed improved task performance due to the possibility of obtaining greater monetary rewards.

  16. Reward Contingencies Improve Goal-Directed Behavior by Enhancing Posterior Brain Attentional Regions and Increasing Corticostriatal Connectivity in Cocaine Addicts

    Rosell-Negre, Patricia; Bustamante, Juan-Carlos; Fuentes-Claramonte, Paola; Costumero, Víctor; Llopis-Llacer, Juan-José; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso

    2016-01-01

    The dopaminergic system provides the basis for the interaction between motivation and cognition. It is triggered by the possibility of obtaining rewards to initiate the neurobehavioral adaptations necessary to achieve them by directing the information from motivational circuits to cognitive and action circuits. In drug addiction, the altered dopamine (DA) modulation of the meso-cortico-limbic reward circuitry, such as the prefrontal cortex (PFC), underlies the disproportionate motivational value of drug use at the expense of other non-drug reinforcers and the user’s loss of control over his/her drug intake. We examine how the magnitude of the reward affects goal-directed processes in healthy control (HC) subjects and abstinent cocaine dependent (ACD) patients by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a counting Stroop task with blocked levels of monetary incentives of different magnitudes (€0, €0.01, €0.5, €1 or €1.5). Our results showed that increasing reward magnitude enhances (1) performance facilitation in both groups; (2) left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) activity in HC and left superior occipital cortex activity in ACD; and (3) left DLPFC and left putamen connectivity in ACD compared to HC. Moreover, we observed that (4) dorsal striatal and pallidum activity was associated with craving and addiction severity during the parametric increases in the monetary reward. In conclusion, the brain response to gradients in monetary value was different in HC and ACD, but both groups showed improved task performance due to the possibility of obtaining greater monetary rewards. PMID:27907134

  17. Reward Contingencies Improve Goal-Directed Behavior by Enhancing Posterior Brain Attentional Regions and Increasing Corticostriatal Connectivity in Cocaine Addicts.

    Patricia Rosell-Negre

    Full Text Available The dopaminergic system provides the basis for the interaction between motivation and cognition. It is triggered by the possibility of obtaining rewards to initiate the neurobehavioral adaptations necessary to achieve them by directing the information from motivational circuits to cognitive and action circuits. In drug addiction, the altered dopamine (DA modulation of the meso-cortico-limbic reward circuitry, such as the prefrontal cortex (PFC, underlies the disproportionate motivational value of drug use at the expense of other non-drug reinforcers and the user's loss of control over his/her drug intake. We examine how the magnitude of the reward affects goal-directed processes in healthy control (HC subjects and abstinent cocaine dependent (ACD patients by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI during a counting Stroop task with blocked levels of monetary incentives of different magnitudes (€0, €0.01, €0.5, €1 or €1.5. Our results showed that increasing reward magnitude enhances (1 performance facilitation in both groups; (2 left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC activity in HC and left superior occipital cortex activity in ACD; and (3 left DLPFC and left putamen connectivity in ACD compared to HC. Moreover, we observed that (4 dorsal striatal and pallidum activity was associated with craving and addiction severity during the parametric increases in the monetary reward. In conclusion, the brain response to gradients in monetary value was different in HC and ACD, but both groups showed improved task performance due to the possibility of obtaining greater monetary rewards.

  18. The central GLP-1: implications for food and drug reward

    Karolina Patrycja Skibicka

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1 and its long acting analogues comprise a novel class of type 2 diabetes (T2D treatment. What makes them unique among other T2D drugs is their concurrent ability to reduce food intake, a great benefit considering the frequent comorbidity of T2D and obesity. The precise neural site of action underlying this beneficial effect is vigorously researched. In accordance with the classical model of food intake control GLP-1 action on feeding has been primarily ascribed to receptor populations in the hypothalamus and the hindbrain. In contrast to this common view, relevant GLP-1 receptor populations are distributed more widely, with a prominent mesolimbic complement emerging. The physiological relevance of the mesolimbic GLP-1 is suggested by the demonstration that similar anorexic effects can be obtained by independent stimulation of the mesolimbic and hypothalamic GLP-1 receptors. Results reviewed here support the idea that mesolimbic GLP-1 receptors are sufficient to reduce hunger-driven feeding, the hedonic value of food and food-motivation. In parallel, emerging evidence suggests that the range of action of GLP-1 on reward behavior is not limited to food-derived reward but extends to cocaine, amphetamine and alcohol reward. The new discoveries concerning GLP-1 action on the mesolimbic reward system significantly extend the potential therapeutic range of this drug target.

  19. Effects of reward and punishment on brain activations associated with inhibitory control in cigarette smokers

    Luijten, M.; O'Connor, D.A.; Rossiter, S.; Franken, I.H.A.; Hester, R.

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Susceptibility to use of addictive substances may result, in part, from a greater preference for an immediate small reward relative to a larger delayed reward or relative insensitivity to punishment. This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study examined the neural

  20. Longitudinal Changes in Behavioral Approach System Sensitivity and Brain Structures Involved in Reward Processing during Adolescence

    Urosevic, Snezana; Collins, Paul; Muetzel, Ryan; Lim, Kelvin; Luciana, Monica

    2012-01-01

    Adolescence is a period of radical normative changes and increased risk for substance use, mood disorders, and physical injury. Researchers have proposed that increases in reward sensitivity (i.e., sensitivity of the behavioral approach system [BAS]) and/or increases in reactivity to all emotional stimuli (i.e., reward and threat sensitivities)…

  1. Role of ghrelin in drug abuse and reward-relevant behaviors: a burgeoning field and gaps in the literature.

    Revitsky, A R; Klein, L C

    2013-09-01

    Ghrelin is a gut-brain hormone that regulates energy balance through food consumption. While ghrelin is well known for its role in hypothalamic activation and homeostatic feeding, more recent evidence suggests that ghrelin also is involved in hedonic feeding through the dopaminergic reward pathway. This paper investigated how ghrelin administration (intraperitoneal, intracerebroventricular, or directly into dopaminergic reward-relevant brain regions) activates the dopaminergic reward pathway and associated reward-relevant behavioral responses in rodents. A total of 19 empirical publications that examined one or more of these variables were included in this review. Overall, ghrelin administration increases dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens, as well as reward-relevant behaviors such as food (both standard chow and palatable foods) and alcohol consumption. Ghrelin administration also increases operant responding for sucrose, and conditioned place preference. Following a review of the small body of literature examining the effects of ghrelin administration on the dopamine reward pathway, we present a model of the relationship between ghrelin and dopaminergic reward activation. Specifically, ghrelin acts on ghrelin receptors (GHS-R1A) in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and lateral dorsal tegmental nucleus (LDTg) to stimulate the mesolimbic dopamine reward pathway, which results in increased rewarding behaviors in rodents. Results from this review suggest that selective antagonism of the ghrelin system may serve as potential treatment for addictive drug use. This review highlights gaps in the literature, including a lack of examination of sex- or age-related differences in the effects of ghrelin on dopamine reward processes. In light of vulnerability to drug abuse among female and adolescent populations, future studies should target these individual difference factors.

  2. Distinct representations for shifts of spatial attention and changes of reward contingencies in the human brain.

    Tosoni, Annalisa; Shulman, Gordon L; Pope, Anna L W; McAvoy, Mark P; Corbetta, Maurizio

    2013-06-01

    Success in a dynamically changing world requires both rapid shifts of attention to the location of important objects and the detection of changes in motivational contingencies that may alter future behavior. Here we addressed the relationship between these two processes by measuring the blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) signal during a visual search task in which the location and the color of a salient cue respectively indicated where a rewarded target would appear and the monetary gain (large or small) associated with its detection. While cues that either shifted or maintained attention were presented every 4 to 8 sec, the reward magnitude indicated by the cue changed roughly every 30 sec, allowing us to distinguish a change in expected reward magnitude from a maintained state of expected reward magnitude. Posterior cingulate cortex was modulated by cues signaling an increase in expected reward magnitude, but not by cues for shifting versus maintaining spatial attention. Dorsal fronto-parietal regions in precuneus and frontal eye field (FEF) also showed increased BOLD activity for changes in expected reward magnitude from low to high, but in addition showed large independent modulations for shifting versus maintaining attention. In particular, the differential activation for shifting versus maintaining attention was not affected by expected reward magnitude. These results indicate that BOLD activations for shifts of attention and increases in expected reward magnitude are largely separate. Finally, visual cortex showed sustained spatially selective signals that were significantly enhanced when greater reward magnitude was expected, but this reward-related modulation was not observed in spatially selective regions of dorsal fronto-parietal cortex. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Effects of insulin and leptin in the ventral tegmental area and arcuate hypothalamic nucleus on food intake and brain reward function in female rats.

    Bruijnzeel, Adrie W; Corrie, Lu W; Rogers, Jessica A; Yamada, Hidetaka

    2011-06-01

    There is evidence for a role of insulin and leptin in food intake, but the effects of these adiposity signals on the brain reward system are not well understood. Furthermore, the effects of insulin and leptin on food intake in females are underinvestigated. These studies investigated the role of insulin and leptin in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the arcuate hypothalamic nucleus (Arc) on food intake and brain reward function in female rats. The intracranial self-stimulation procedure was used to assess the effects of insulin and leptin on the reward system. Elevations in brain reward thresholds are indicative of a decrease in brain reward function. The bilateral administration of leptin into the VTA (15-500 ng/side) or Arc (15-150 ng/side) decreased food intake for 72 h. The infusion of leptin into the VTA or Arc resulted in weight loss during the first 48 (VTA) or 24 h (Arc) after the infusions. The administration of insulin (0.005-5 mU/side) into the VTA or Arc decreased food intake for 24 h but did not affect body weights. The bilateral administration of low, but not high, doses of leptin (15 ng/side) or insulin (0.005 mU/side) into the VTA elevated brain reward thresholds. Neither insulin nor leptin in the Arc affected brain reward thresholds. These studies suggest that a small increase in leptin or insulin levels in the VTA leads to a decrease in brain reward function. A relatively large increase in insulin or leptin levels in the VTA or Arc decreases food intake. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  4. Hypocretin / orexin involvement in reward and reinforcement

    España, Rodrigo A.

    2015-01-01

    Since the discovery of the hypocretins/orexins, a series of observations have indicated that these peptides influence a variety of physiological processes including feeding, sleep/wake function, memory, and stress. More recently, the hypocretins have been implicated in reinforcement and reward-related processes via actions on the mesolimbic dopamine system. Although investigation into the relationship between the hypocretins and reinforcement/reward remains in relatively early stages, accumulating evidence suggests that continued research into this area may offer new insights into the addiction process and provide the foundation to generate novel pharmacotherapies for drug abuse. The current chapter will focus on contemporary perspectives of hypocretin regulation of cocaine reward and reinforcement via actions on the mesolimbic dopamine system. PMID:22640614

  5. Psychological stress, cocaine and natural reward each induce endoplasmic reticulum stress genes in rat brain.

    Pavlovsky, A A; Boehning, D; Li, D; Zhang, Y; Fan, X; Green, T A

    2013-08-29

    Our prior research has shown that the transcription of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress transcription factors activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) and ATF4 are induced by amphetamine and restraint stress in rat striatum. However, presently the full extent of ER stress responses to psychological stress or cocaine, and which of the three ER stress pathways is activated is unknown. The current study examines transcriptional responses of key ER stress target genes subsequent to psychological stress or cocaine. Rats were subjected to acute or repeated restraint stress or cocaine treatment and mRNA was isolated from dorsal striatum, medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens brain tissue. ER stress gene mRNA expression was measured using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and RNA sequencing. Restraint stress and cocaine-induced transcription of the classic ER stress-induced genes (BIP, CHOP, ATF3 and GADD34) and of two other ER stress components x-box binding protein 1 (XBP1) and ATF6. In addition, rats living in an enriched environment (large group cage with novel toys changed daily) exhibited rapid induction of GADD34 and ATF3 after 30 min of exploring novel toys, suggesting these genes are also involved in normal non-pathological signaling. However, environmental enrichment, a paradigm that produces protective addiction and depression phenotypes in rats, attenuated the rapid induction of ATF3 and GADD34 after restraint stress. These experiments provide a sensitive measure of ER stress and, more importantly, these results offer good evidence of the activation of ER stress mechanisms from psychological stress, cocaine and natural reward. Thus, ER stress genes may be targets for novel therapeutic targets for depression and addiction. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Endogenous reward mechanisms and their importance in stress reduction, exercise and the brain.

    Esch, Tobias; Stefano, George B

    2010-06-30

    Stress can facilitate disease processes and causes strain on the health care budgets. It is responsible or involved in many human ailments of our time, such as cardiovascular illnesses, particularly related to the psychosocial stressors of daily life, including work. Besides pharmacological or clinical medical treatment options, behavioral stress reduction is much-needed. These latter approaches rely on an endogenous healing potential via life-style modification. Hence, research has suggested different ways and approaches to self-treat stress or buffer against stressors and their impacts. These self-care-centred approaches are sometimes referred to as mind-body medicine or multi-factorial stress management strategies. They consist of various cognitive behavioral techniques, as well as relaxation exercises and nutritional counselling. However, a critical and consistent element of modern effective stress reduction strategies are exercise practices. With regard to underlying neurobiological mechanisms of stress relief, reward and motivation circuitries that are imbedded in the limbic regions of the brain are responsible for the autoregulatory and endogenous processing of stress. Exercise techniques clearly have an impact upon these systems. Thereby, physical activities have a potential to increase mood, i.e., decrease psychological distress by pleasure induction. For doing so, neurobiological signalling molecules such as endogenous morphine and coupled nitric oxide pathways get activated and finely tuned. Evolutionarily, the various activities and autoregulatory pathways are linked together, which can also be demonstrated by the fact that dopamine is endogenously converted into morphine which itself leads to enhanced nitric oxide release by activation of constitutive nitric oxide synthase enzymes. These molecules and mechanisms are clearly stress-reducing.

  7. Neuroendocrinology and brain imaging of reward in eating disorders: A possible key to the treatment of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

    Monteleone, Alessio Maria; Castellini, Giovanni; Volpe, Umberto; Ricca, Valdo; Lelli, Lorenzo; Monteleone, Palmiero; Maj, Mario

    2018-01-03

    Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are severe eating disorders whose etiopathogenesis is still unknown. Clinical features suggest that eating disorders may develop as reward-dependent syndromes, since eating less food is perceived as rewarding in anorexia nervosa while consumption of large amounts of food during binge episodes in bulimia nervosa aims at reducing the patient's negative emotional states. Therefore, brain reward mechanisms have been a major focus of research in the attempt to contribute to the comprehension of the pathophysiology of these disorders. Structural brain imaging data provided the evidence that brain reward circuits may be altered in patients with anorexia or bulimia nervosa. Similarly, functional brain imaging studies exploring the activation of brain reward circuits by food stimuli as well as by stimuli recognized to be potentially rewarding for eating disordered patients, such as body image cues or stimuli related to food deprivation and physical hyperactivity, showed several dysfunctions in ED patients. Moreover, very recently, it has been demonstrated that some of the biochemical homeostatic modulators of eating behavior are also implicated in the regulation of food-related and non-food-related reward, representing a possible link between the aberrant behaviors of ED subjects and their hypothesized deranged reward processes. In particular, changes in leptin and ghrelin occur in patients with anorexia or bulimia nervosa and have been suggested to represent not only homeostatic adaptations to an altered energy balance but to contribute also to the acquisition and/or maintenance of persistent starvation, binge eating and physical hyperactivity, which are potentially rewarding for ED patients. On the basis of such findings new pathogenetic models of EDs have been proposed, and these models may provide new theoretical basis for the development of innovative treatment strategies, either psychological and pharmacological, with the aim to

  8. Alterations in brain structures related to taste reward circuitry in ill and recovered anorexia nervosa and in bulimia nervosa.

    Frank, Guido K; Shott, Megan E; Hagman, Jennifer O; Mittal, Vijay A

    2013-10-01

    The pathophysiology of anorexia nervosa remains obscure, but structural brain alterations could be functionally important biomarkers. The authors assessed taste pleasantness and reward sensitivity in relation to brain structure, which may be related to food avoidance commonly seen in eating disorders. The authors used structural MR imaging to study gray and white matter volumes in women with current restricting-type anorexia nervosa (N=19), women recovered from restricting-type anorexia nervosa (N=24), women with bulimia nervosa (N=19), and healthy comparison women (N=24). All eating disorder groups exhibited increased gray matter volume of the medial orbitofrontal cortex (gyrus rectus). Manual tracing confirmed larger gyrus rectus volume, and volume predicted taste pleasantness ratings across all groups. Analyses also indicated other morphological differences between diagnostic categories. Antero-ventral insula gray matter volumes were increased on the right side in the anorexia nervosa and recovered anorexia nervosa groups and on the left side in the bulimia nervosa group relative to the healthy comparison group. Dorsal striatum volumes were reduced in the recovered anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa groups and predicted sensitivity to reward in all three eating disorder groups. The eating disorder groups also showed reduced white matter in right temporal and parietal areas relative to the healthy comparison group. The results held when a range of covariates, such as age, depression, anxiety, and medications, were controlled for. Brain structure in the medial orbitofrontal cortex, insula, and striatum is altered in eating disorders and suggests altered brain circuitry that has been associated with taste pleasantness and reward value.

  9. Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Drives Mesolimbic Dopaminergic Regions to Initiate Motivated Behavior

    Ballard, Ian C.; Murty, Vishnu P.; Carter, R. McKell; MacInnes, Jeffrey J.; Huettel, Scott A.; Adcock, R. Alison

    2011-01-01

    How does the brain translate information signaling potential rewards into motivation to get them? Motivation to obtain reward is thought to depend on the midbrain, (particularly the ventral tegmental area, VTA), the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), but it is not clear how the interactions amongst these regions relate to reward-motivated behavior. To study the influence of motivation on these reward-responsive regions and on their interactions, we used ...

  10. Regional brain activation supporting cognitive control in the context of reward is associated with treated adolescents’ marijuana problem severity at follow-up: A preliminary study

    Tammy Chung

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This preliminary study examined the extent to which regional brain activation during a reward cue antisaccade (AS task was associated with 6-month treatment outcome in adolescent substance users. Antisaccade performance provides a sensitive measure of executive function and cognitive control, and generally improves with reward cues. We hypothesized that when preparing to execute an AS, greater activation in regions associated with cognitive and oculomotor control supporting AS, particularly during reward cue trials, would be associated with lower substance use severity at 6-month follow-up. Adolescents (n = 14, ages 14–18 recruited from community-based outpatient treatment completed an fMRI reward cue AS task (reward and neutral conditions, and provided follow-up data. Results indicated that AS errors decreased in reward, compared to neutral, trials. AS behavioral performance, however, was not associated with treatment outcome. As hypothesized, activation in regions of interest (ROIs associated with cognitive (e.g., ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and oculomotor control (e.g., supplementary eye field during reward trials were inversely correlated with marijuana problem severity at 6-months. ROI activation during neutral trials was not associated with outcomes. Results support the role of motivational (reward cue factors to enhance cognitive control processes, and suggest a potential brain-based correlate of youth treatment outcome.

  11. Dopamine and glucose, obesity and Reward Deficiency Syndrome

    Kenneth eBlum

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Obesity and many well described eating disorders are accurately considered a global epidemic. The consequences of Reward Deficiency Syndrome, a genetic and epigenetic phenomena that involves the interactions of powerful neurotransmitters, are impairments of brain reward circuitry, hypodopaminergic function and abnormal craving behavior. Numerous sound neurochemical and genetic studies provide strong evidence that food addiction is similar to psychoactive drug addiction. Important facts which could translate to potential therapeutic targets espoused in this review include: 1 brain dopamine (DA production and use is stimulated by consumption of alcohol in large quantities or carbohydrates bingeing; 2 in the mesolimbic system the enkephalinergic neurons are in close proximity, to glucose receptors; 3 highly concentrated glucose activates the calcium channel to stimulate dopamine release from P12 cells; 4 blood glucose and cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of homovanillic acid, the dopamine metabolite, are significantly correlated and 5 2-deoxyglucose the glucose analogue, in pharmacological doses associates with enhanced dopamine turnover and causes acute glucoprivation. Evidence from animal studies and human fMRI support the hypothesis that multiple, but similar brain circuits are disrupted in obesity and drug dependence and DA-modulated reward circuits are involved in pathologic eating behaviors. Treatment for addiction to glucose and drugs alike, based on a consensus of neuroscience research, should incorporate dopamine agonist therapy, in contrast to current theories and practices that use dopamine antagonists. Until now, powerful dopamine-D2 agonists have failed clinically, due to chronic down regulation of D2 receptors instead, consideration of novel less powerful D2 agonists that up-regulate D2 receptors seems prudent. We encourage new strategies targeted at improving DA function in the treatment and prevention of obesity a subtype of

  12. Brain reward-system activation in response to anticipation and consumption of palatable food is altered by glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor activation in humans

    van Bloemendaal, L.; Veltman, D. J.; ten Kulve, J. S.; Groot, P. F. C.; Ruhe, H. G.; Barkhof, F.; Sloan, J. H.; Diamant, M.; Ijzerman, R. G.

    AimTo test the hypothesis that food intake reduction after glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor activation is mediated through brain areas regulating anticipatory and consummatory food reward. MethodsAs part of a larger study, we determined the effects of GLP-1 receptor activation on brain

  13. Brain reward-system activation in response to anticipation and consumption of palatable food is altered by glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor activation in humans

    van Bloemendaal, L.; Veltman, D. J.; ten Kulve, J. S.; Groot, P. F. C.; Ruhé, H. G.; Barkhof, F.; Sloan, J. H.; Diamant, M.; Ijzerman, R. G.

    2015-01-01

    To test the hypothesis that food intake reduction after glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor activation is mediated through brain areas regulating anticipatory and consummatory food reward. As part of a larger study, we determined the effects of GLP-1 receptor activation on brain responses to

  14. Brain reward-system activation in response to anticipation and consumption of palatable food is altered by glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor activation in humans

    van Bloemendaal, L.; Veltman, D.J.; ten Kulve, J.S.; Groot, P.F.C.; Ruhe, H.G.; Barkhof, F.; Sloan, J.H.; Diamant, M.; IJzerman, R.G.

    2015-01-01

    Aim: To test the hypothesis that food intake reduction after glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor activation is mediated through brain areas regulating anticipatory and consummatory food reward. Methods: As part of a larger study, we determined the effects of GLP-1 receptor activation on brain

  15. Reward and motivation systems: a brain mapping study of early-stage intense romantic love in Chinese participants.

    Xu, Xiaomeng; Aron, Arthur; Brown, Lucy; Cao, Guikang; Feng, Tingyong; Weng, Xuchu

    2011-02-01

    Early-stage romantic love has been studied previously in the United States and United Kingdom (Aron et al. [2005]: J Neurophysiol 94:327–337; Bartels and Zeki [2000]: Neuroreport 11:3829–3834; Ortigue et al. [2007]: J Cogn Neurosci 19:1218–1230), revealing activation in the reward and motivation systems of the brain. In this study, we asked what systems are activated for early-stage romantic love in Easterners, specifically Chinese participants? Are these activations affected by individual differences within a cultural context of Traditionality and Modernity? Also, are these brain activations correlated with later satisfaction in the relationship? In Beijing, we used the same procedure used by Aron et al. (Aron et al. [2005]: J Neurophysiol 94:327–337). The stimuli for 18 Chinese participants were a picture of the face of their beloved, the face of a familiar acquaintance, and a countback task. We found significant activations specific to the beloved in the reward and motivation systems, particularly, the ventral tegmental area and the caudate. The mid-orbitofrontal cortex and cerebellum were also activated, whereas amygdala, medial orbitofrontal, and medial accumbens activity were decreased relative to the familiar acquaintance. Self-reported Traditionality and Modernity scores were each positively correlated with activity in the nucleus accumbens, although in different regions and sides of the brain. Activity in the subgenual area and the superior frontal gyrus was associated with higher relationship happiness at 18-month follow-up. Our results show that midbrain dopamine-rich reward/motivation systems were activated by early-stage romantic love in Chinese participants, as found by other studies. Neural activity was associated with Traditionality and Modernity attitudes as well as with later relationship happiness for Chinese participants.

  16. Cannabinoid modulation of drug reward and the implications of marijuana legalization.

    Covey, Dan P; Wenzel, Jennifer M; Cheer, Joseph F

    2015-12-02

    Marijuana is the most popular illegal drug worldwide. Recent trends indicate that this may soon change; not due to decreased marijuana use, but to an amendment in marijuana's illegal status. The cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor mediates marijuana's psychoactive and reinforcing properties. CB1 receptors are also part of the brain endocannabinoid (eCB) system and support numerous forms of learning and memory, including the conditioned reinforcing properties of cues predicting reward or punishment. This is accomplished via eCB-dependent alterations in mesolimbic dopamine function, which plays an obligatory role in reward learning and motivation. Presynaptic CB1 receptors control midbrain dopamine neuron activity and thereby shape phasic dopamine release in target regions, particularly the nucleus accumbens (NAc). By also regulating synaptic input to the NAc, CB1 receptors modulate NAc output onto downstream neurons of the basal ganglia motor circuit, and thereby support goal-directed behaviors. Abused drugs promote short- and long-term adaptations in eCB-regulation of mesolimbic dopamine function, and thereby hijack neural systems related to the pursuit of rewards to promote drug abuse. By pharmacologically targeting the CB1 receptors, marijuana has preferential access to this neuronal system and can potently alter eCB-dependent processing of reward-related stimuli. As marijuana legalization progresses, greater access to this drug should increase the utility of marijuana as a research tool to better understand the eCB system, which has the potential to advance cannabinoid-based treatments for drug addiction. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Mechanisms and significance of brain glucose signaling in energy balance, glucose homeostasis, and food-induced reward.

    Devarakonda, Kavya; Mobbs, Charles V

    2016-12-15

    The concept that hypothalamic glucose signaling plays an important role in regulating energy balance, e.g., as instantiated in the so-called "glucostat" hypothesis, is one of the oldest in the field of metabolism. However the mechanisms by which neurons in the hypothalamus sense glucose, and the function of glucose signaling in the brain, has been difficult to establish. Nevertheless recent studies probing mechanisms of glucose signaling have also strongly supported a role for glucose signaling in regulating energy balance, glucose homeostasis, and food-induced reward. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Dopamine agonist increases risk taking but blunts reward-related brain activity.

    Jordi Riba

    Full Text Available The use of D2/D3 dopaminergic agonists in Parkinson's disease (PD may lead to pathological gambling. In a placebo-controlled double-blind study in healthy volunteers, we observed riskier choices in a lottery task after administration of the D3 receptor-preferring agonist pramipexole thus mimicking risk-taking behavior in PD. Moreover, we demonstrate decreased activation in the rostral basal ganglia and midbrain, key structures of the reward system, following unexpected high gains and therefore propose that pathological gambling in PD results from the need to seek higher rewards to overcome the blunted response in this system.

  19. Omission of expected reward sensitizes the brain dopaminergic system of classically conditioned Atlantic salmon

    Vindas, M.A.; Höglund, Erik; Folkedal, O.

    in fishes. Here we show that the omission of expected reward (OER) leads to increased aggression towards conspecifics in classically conditioned Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Furthermore, in response to an acute stressor, OER fish displayed increased dopaminergic (DA) neurotransmission compared to controls....... There was also a general downregulation of dopamine receptor D1 gene expression in the telencephalon of OER groups, which suggests a coping mechanism in response to unbalanced DA metabolism. These results indicate that animals subjected to unpredictable reward conditions develop a senzitation of the DA...

  20. Dynamic mesolimbic dopamine signaling during action sequence learning and expectation violation

    Collins, Anne L.; Greenfield, Venuz Y.; Bye, Jeffrey K.; Linker, Kay E.; Wang, Alice S.; Wassum, Kate M.

    2016-01-01

    Prolonged mesolimbic dopamine concentration changes have been detected during spatial navigation, but little is known about the conditions that engender this signaling profile or how it develops with learning. To address this, we monitored dopamine concentration changes in the nucleus accumbens core of rats throughout acquisition and performance of an instrumental action sequence task. Prolonged dopamine concentration changes were detected that ramped up as rats executed each action sequence and declined after earned reward collection. With learning, dopamine concentration began to rise increasingly earlier in the execution of the sequence and ultimately backpropagated away from stereotyped sequence actions, becoming only transiently elevated by the most distal and unexpected reward predictor. Action sequence-related dopamine signaling was reactivated in well-trained rats if they became disengaged in the task and in response to an unexpected change in the value, but not identity of the earned reward. Throughout training and test, dopamine signaling correlated with sequence performance. These results suggest that action sequences can engender a prolonged mode of dopamine signaling in the nucleus accumbens core and that such signaling relates to elements of the motivation underlying sequence execution and is dynamic with learning, overtraining and violations in reward expectation. PMID:26869075

  1. Memory and reward systems coproduce ‘nostalgic’ experiences in the brain

    Oba, Kentaro; Noriuchi, Madoka; Atomi, Tomoaki; Moriguchi, Yoshiya

    2016-01-01

    People sometimes experience an emotional state known as ‘nostalgia’, which involves experiencing predominantly positive emotions while remembering autobiographical events. Nostalgia is thought to play an important role in psychological resilience. Previous neuroimaging studies have shown involvement of memory and reward systems in such experiences. However, it remains unclear how these two systems are collaboratively involved with nostalgia experiences. Here, we conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging study of healthy females to investigate the relationship between memory-reward co-activation and nostalgia, using childhood-related visual stimuli. Moreover, we examined the factors constituting nostalgia and their neural correlates. We confirmed the presence of nostalgia-related activity in both memory and reward systems, including the hippocampus (HPC), substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area (SN/VTA), and ventral striatum (VS). We also found significant HPC-VS co-activation, with its strength correlating with individual ‘nostalgia tendencies’. Factor analyses showed that two dimensions underlie nostalgia: emotional and personal significance and chronological remoteness, with the former correlating with caudal SN/VTA and left anterior HPC activity, and the latter correlating with rostral SN/VTA activity. These findings demonstrate the cooperative activity of memory and reward systems, where each system has a specific role in the construction of the factors that underlie the experience of nostalgia. PMID:26060325

  2. Comorbidity of Alcohol Use Disorder and Chronic Pain: Genetic Influences on Brain Reward and Stress Systems.

    Yeung, Ellen W; Craggs, Jason G; Gizer, Ian R

    2017-11-01

    Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is highly comorbid with chronic pain (CP). Evidence has suggested that neuroadaptive processes characterized by reward deficit and stress surfeit are involved in the development of AUD and pain chronification. Neurological data suggest that shared genetic architecture associated with the reward and stress systems may contribute to the comorbidity of AUD and CP. This monograph first delineates the prevailing theories of the development of AUD and pain chronification focusing on the reward and stress systems. It then provides a brief summary of relevant neurological findings followed by an evaluation of evidence documented by molecular genetic studies. Candidate gene association studies have provided some initial support for the genetic overlap between AUD and CP; however, these results must be interpreted with caution until studies with sufficient statistical power are conducted and replications obtained. Genomewide association studies have suggested a number of genes (e.g., TBX19, HTR7, and ADRA1A) that are either directly or indirectly related to the reward and stress systems in the AUD and CP literature. Evidence reviewed in this monograph suggests that shared genetic liability underlying the comorbidity between AUD and CP, if present, is likely to be complex. As the advancement in molecular genetic methods continues, future studies may show broader central nervous system involvement in AUD-CP comorbidity. Copyright © 2017 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

  3. Possible contributions of a novel form of synaptic plasticity in Aplysia to reward, memory, and their dysfunctions in mammalian brain.

    Hawkins, Robert D

    2013-09-18

    Recent studies in Aplysia have identified a new variation of synaptic plasticity in which modulatory transmitters enhance spontaneous release of glutamate, which then acts on postsynaptic receptors to recruit mechanisms of intermediate- and long-term plasticity. In this review I suggest the hypothesis that similar plasticity occurs in mammals, where it may contribute to reward, memory, and their dysfunctions in several psychiatric disorders. In Aplysia, spontaneous release is enhanced by activation of presynaptic serotonin receptors, but presynaptic D1 dopamine receptors or nicotinic acetylcholine receptors could play a similar role in mammals. Those receptors enhance spontaneous release of glutamate in hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, prefrontal cortex, ventral tegmental area, and nucleus accumbens. In all of those brain areas, glutamate can activate postsynaptic receptors to elevate Ca(2+) and engage mechanisms of early-phase long-term potentiation (LTP), including AMPA receptor insertion, and of late-phase LTP, including protein synthesis and growth. Thus, presynaptic receptors and spontaneous release may contribute to postsynaptic mechanisms of plasticity in brain regions involved in reward and memory, and could play roles in disorders that affect plasticity in those regions, including addiction, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

  4. Altered brain activity during reward anticipation in pathological gambling and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    Jung-Seok Choi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Pathological gambling (PG and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD are conceptualized as a behavioral addiction, with a dependency on repetitive gambling behavior and rewarding effects following compulsive behavior, respectively. However, no neuroimaging studies to date have examined reward circuitry during the anticipation phase of reward in PG compared with in OCD while considering repetitive gambling and compulsion as addictive behaviors. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To elucidate the neural activities specific to the anticipation phase of reward, we performed event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI in young adults with PG and compared them with those in patients with OCD and healthy controls. Fifteen male patients with PG, 13 patients with OCD, and 15 healthy controls, group-matched for age, gender, and IQ, participated in a monetary incentive delay task during fMRI scanning. Neural activation in the ventromedial caudate nucleus during anticipation of both gain and loss decreased in patients with PG compared with that in patients with OCD and healthy controls. Additionally, reduced activation in the anterior insula during anticipation of loss was observed in patients with PG compared with that in patients with OCD which was intermediate between that in OCD and healthy controls (healthy controls < PG < OCD, and a significant positive correlation between activity in the anterior insula and South Oaks Gambling Screen score was found in patients with PG. CONCLUSIONS: Decreased neural activity in the ventromedial caudate nucleus during anticipation may be a specific neurobiological feature for the pathophysiology of PG, distinguishing it from OCD and healthy controls. Correlation of anterior insular activity during loss anticipation with PG symptoms suggests that patients with PG fit the features of OCD associated with harm avoidance as PG symptoms deteriorate. Our findings have identified functional disparities and

  5. Monetary Reward and Punishment to Response Inhibition Modulate Activation and Synchronization Within the Inhibitory Brain Network

    Rupesh K. Chikara

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available A reward or punishment can modulate motivation and emotions, which in turn affect cognitive processing. The present simultaneous functional magnetic resonance imaging-electroencephalography study examines neural mechanisms of response inhibition under the influence of a monetary reward or punishment by implementing a modified stop-signal task in a virtual battlefield scenario. The participants were instructed to play as snipers who open fire at a terrorist target but withhold shooting in the presence of a hostage. The participants performed the task under three different feedback conditions in counterbalanced order: a reward condition where each successfully withheld response added a bonus (i.e., positive feedback to the startup credit, a punishment condition where each failure in stopping deduced a penalty (i.e., negative feedback, and a no-feedback condition where response outcome had no consequences and served as a control setting. Behaviorally both reward and punishment conditions led to significantly down-regulated inhibitory function in terms of the critical stop-signal delay. As for the neuroimaging results, increased activities were found for the no-feedback condition in regions previously reported to be associated with response inhibition, including the right inferior frontal gyrus and the pre-supplementary motor area. Moreover, higher activation of the lingual gyrus, posterior cingulate gyrus (PCG and inferior parietal lobule were found in the reward condition, while stronger activation of the precuneus gyrus was found in the punishment condition. The positive feedback was also associated with stronger changes of delta, theta, and alpha synchronization in the PCG than were the negative or no-feedback conditions. These findings depicted the intertwining relationship between response inhibition and motivation networks.

  6. Reward, Context, and Human Behaviour

    Clare L. Blaukopf

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Animal models of reward processing have revealed an extensive network of brain areas that process different aspects of reward, from expectation and prediction to calculation of relative value. These results have been confirmed and extended in human neuroimaging to encompass secondary rewards more unique to humans, such as money. The majority of the extant literature covers the brain areas associated with rewards whilst neglecting analysis of the actual behaviours that these rewards generate. This review strives to redress this imbalance by illustrating the importance of looking at the behavioural outcome of rewards and the context in which they are produced. Following a brief review of the literature of reward-related activity in the brain, we examine the effect of reward context on actions. These studies reveal how the presence of reward vs. reward and punishment, or being conscious vs. unconscious of reward-related actions, differentially influence behaviour. The latter finding is of particular importance given the extent to which animal models are used in understanding the reward systems of the human mind. It is clear that further studies are needed to learn about the human reaction to reward in its entirety, including any distinctions between conscious and unconscious behaviours. We propose that studies of reward entail a measure of the animal's (human or nonhuman knowledge of the reward and knowledge of its own behavioural outcome to achieve that reward.

  7. Impact of early life adversity on reward processing in young adults: EEG-fMRI results from a prospective study over 25 years.

    Regina Boecker

    Full Text Available Several lines of evidence have implicated the mesolimbic dopamine reward pathway in altered brain function resulting from exposure to early adversity. The present study examined the impact of early life adversity on different stages of neuronal reward processing later in life and their association with a related behavioral phenotype, i.e. attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. 162 healthy young adults (mean age = 24.4 years; 58% female from an epidemiological cohort study followed since birth participated in a simultaneous EEG-fMRI study using a monetary incentive delay task. Early life adversity according to an early family adversity index (EFA and lifetime ADHD symptoms were assessed using standardized parent interviews conducted at the offspring's age of 3 months and between 2 and 15 years, respectively. fMRI region-of-interest analysis revealed a significant effect of EFA during reward anticipation in reward-related areas (i.e. ventral striatum, putamen, thalamus, indicating decreased activation when EFA increased. EEG analysis demonstrated a similar effect for the contingent negative variation (CNV, with the CNV decreasing with the level of EFA. In contrast, during reward delivery, activation of the bilateral insula, right pallidum and bilateral putamen increased with EFA. There was a significant association of lifetime ADHD symptoms with lower activation in the left ventral striatum during reward anticipation and higher activation in the right insula during reward delivery. The present findings indicate a differential long-term impact of early life adversity on reward processing, implicating hyporesponsiveness during reward anticipation and hyperresponsiveness when receiving a reward. Moreover, a similar activation pattern related to lifetime ADHD suggests that the impact of early life stress on ADHD may possibly be mediated by a dysfunctional reward pathway.

  8. A translational systems biology approach in both animals and humans identifies a functionally related module of accumbal genes involved in the regulation of reward processing and binge drinking in males.

    Stacey, David; Lourdusamy, Anbarasu; Ruggeri, Barbara; Maroteaux, Matthieu; Jia, Tianye; Cattrell, Anna; Nymberg, Charlotte; Banaschewski, Tobias; Bhattacharyya, Sohinee; Band, Hamid; Barker, Gareth; Bokde, Arun; Buchel, Christian; Carvalho, Fabiana; Conrod, Patricia; Desrivieres, Sylvane; Easton, Alanna; Fauth-Buehler, Mira; Fernandez-Medarde, Alberto; Flor, Herta; Frouin, Vincent; Gallinat, Jurgen; Garavanh, Hugh; Heinz, Andreas; Ittermann, Bernd; Lathrop, Mark; Lawrence, Claire; Loth, Eva; Mann, Karl; Martinot, Jean-Luc; Nees, Frauke; Paus, Tomas; Pausova, Zdenka; Rietschel, Marcella; Rotter, Andrea; Santos, Eugenio; Smolka, Michael; Sommer, Wolfgang; Mameli, Manuel; Spanagel, Rainer; Girault, Jean-Antoine; Mueller, Christian; Schumann, Gunter

    2016-04-01

    The mesolimbic dopamine system, composed primarily of dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area that project to striatal structures, is considered to be the key mediator of reinforcement-related mechanisms in the brain. Prompted by a genome-wide association meta-analysis implicating the Ras-specific guanine nucleotide-releasing factor 2 (RASGRF2) gene in the regulation of alcohol intake in men, we have recently shown that male Rasgrf2(-/-) mice exhibit reduced ethanol intake and preference accompanied by a perturbed mesolimbic dopamine system. We therefore propose that these mice represent a valid model to further elucidate the precise genes and mechanisms regulating mesolimbic dopamine functioning. Transcriptomic data from the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) of male Rasgrf2(-/-) mice and wild-type controls were analyzed by weighted gene coexpression network analysis (WGCNA). We performed follow-up genetic association tests in humans using a sample of male adolescents from the IMAGEN study characterized for binge drinking (n = 905) and ventral striatal activation during an fMRI reward task (n = 608). The WGCNA analyses using accumbal transcriptomic data revealed 37 distinct "modules," or functionally related groups of genes. Two of these modules were significantly associated with Rasgrf2 knockout status: M5 (p reward task (pempirical < 0.001). It was not possible to determine the extent to which the M5 module was dysregulated in Rasgrf2(-/-) mice by perturbed mesolimbic dopamine signalling or by the loss of Rasgrf2 function in the NAcc. Taken together, our findings indicate that the accumbal M5 module, initially identified as being dysregulated in male Rasgrf2(-/-) mice, is also relevant for human alcohol-related phenotypes potentially through the modulation of reinforcement mechanisms in the NAcc. We therefore propose that the genes comprising this module represent important candidates for further elucidation within the context of alcohol-related phenotypes.

  9. Mapping brain circuits of reward and motivation: in the footsteps of Ann Kelley.

    Richard, Jocelyn M; Castro, Daniel C; Difeliceantonio, Alexandra G; Robinson, Mike J F; Berridge, Kent C

    2013-11-01

    Ann Kelley was a scientific pioneer in reward neuroscience. Her many notable discoveries included demonstrations of accumbens/striatal circuitry roles in eating behavior and in food reward, explorations of limbic interactions with hypothalamic regulatory circuits, and additional interactions of motivation circuits with learning functions. Ann Kelley's accomplishments inspired other researchers to follow in her footsteps, including our own laboratory group. Here we describe results from several lines of our research that sprang in part from earlier findings by Kelley and colleagues. We describe hedonic hotspots for generating intense pleasure 'liking', separate identities of 'wanting' versus 'liking' systems, a novel role for dorsal neostriatum in generating motivation to eat, a limbic keyboard mechanism in nucleus accumbens for generating intense desire versus intense dread, and dynamic limbic transformations of learned memories into motivation. We describe how origins for each of these themes can be traced to fundamental contributions by Ann Kelley. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Brain nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are involved in stress-induced potentiation of nicotine reward in rats.

    Javadi, Parastoo; Rezayof, Ameneh; Sardari, Maryam; Ghasemzadeh, Zahra

    2017-07-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine the possible role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors of the dorsal hippocampus (CA1 regions), the medial prefrontal cortex or the basolateral amygdala in the effect of acute or sub-chronic stress on nicotine-induced conditioned place preference. Our results indicated that subcutaneous administration of nicotine (0.2 mg/kg) induced significant conditioned place preference. Exposure to acute or sub-chronic elevated platform stress potentiated the response of an ineffective dose of nicotine. Pre-conditioning intra-CA1 (0.5-4 µg/rat) or intra-medial prefrontal cortex (0.2-0.3 µg/rat) microinjection of mecamylamine (a non-selective nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist) reversed acute stress-induced potentiation of nicotine reward as measured in the conditioned place preference paradigm. By contrast, pre-conditioning intra-basolateral amygdala microinjection of mecamylamine (4 µg/rat) potentiated the effects of acute stress on nicotine reward. Our findings also showed that intra-CA1 or intra-medial prefrontal cortex, but not intra-basolateral amygdala, microinjection of mecamylamine (4 µg/rat) prevented the effect of sub-chronic stress on nicotine reward. These findings suggest that exposure to elevated platform stress potentiates the rewarding effect of nicotine which may be associated with the involvement of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. It seems that there is a different contribution of the basolateral amygdala, the medial prefrontal cortex or the CA1 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in stress-induced potentiation of nicotine-induced conditioned place preference.

  11. Effects of NPY and the specific Y1 receptor agonist [D-His(26)]-NPY on the deficit in brain reward function and somatic signs associated with nicotine withdrawal in rats.

    Rylkova, Daria; Boissoneault, Jeffrey; Isaac, Shani; Prado, Melissa; Shah, Hina P; Bruijnzeel, Adrie W

    2008-06-01

    Tobacco addiction is a chronic disorder that is characterized by dysphoria upon smoking cessation and relapse after periods of abstinence. Previous research suggests that Neuropeptide Y (NPY) and Y1 receptor agonists attenuate negative affective states and somatic withdrawal signs. The aim of the present experiments was to investigate the effects of NPY and the specific Y1 receptor agonist [D-His(26)]-NPY on the deficit in brain reward function and somatic signs associated with nicotine withdrawal in rats. The intracranial self-stimulation procedure was used to assess the effects of nicotine withdrawal on brain reward function as this procedure can provide a quantitative measure of emotional states in rodents. Elevations in brain reward thresholds are indicative of a deficit in brain reward function. In the first experiment, NPY did not prevent the elevations in brain reward thresholds associated with precipitated nicotine withdrawal and elevated the brain reward thresholds of the saline-treated control rats. Similar to NPY, [D-His(26)]-NPY did not prevent the elevations in brain reward thresholds associated with precipitated nicotine withdrawal and elevated the brain reward thresholds of the saline-treated control rats. Neither NPY nor [D-His(26)]-NPY affected the response latencies. In a separate experiment, it was demonstrated that the specific Y1 receptor antagonist BIBP-3226 prevented the NPY-induced elevations in brain reward thresholds. NPY attenuated the overall somatic signs associated with precipitated nicotine withdrawal. [D-His(26)]-NPY did not affect the overall somatic signs associated with precipitated nicotine withdrawal, but decreased the number of abdominal constrictions. Both NPY and [D-His(26)]-NPY attenuated the overall somatic signs associated with spontaneous nicotine withdrawal. These findings indicate that NPY and [D-His(26)]-NPY attenuate somatic nicotine withdrawal signs, but do not prevent the deficit in brain reward function associated

  12. The alcoholic brain: neural bases of impaired reward-based decision-making in alcohol use disorders.

    Galandra, Caterina; Basso, Gianpaolo; Cappa, Stefano; Canessa, Nicola

    2018-03-01

    Neuroeconomics is providing insights into the neural bases of decision-making in normal and pathological conditions. In the neuropsychiatric domain, this discipline investigates how abnormal functioning of neural systems associated with reward processing and cognitive control promotes different disorders, and whether such evidence may inform treatments. This endeavor is crucial when studying different types of addiction, which share a core promoting mechanism in the imbalance between impulsive subcortical neural signals associated with immediate pleasurable outcomes and inhibitory signals mediated by a prefrontal reflective system. The resulting impairment in behavioral control represents a hallmark of alcohol use disorders (AUDs), a chronic relapsing disorder characterized by excessive alcohol consumption despite devastating consequences. This review aims to summarize available magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evidence on reward-related decision-making alterations in AUDs, and to envision possible future research directions. We review functional MRI (fMRI) studies using tasks involving monetary rewards, as well as MRI studies relating decision-making parameters to neurostructural gray- or white-matter metrics. The available data suggest that excessive alcohol exposure affects neural signaling within brain networks underlying adaptive behavioral learning via the implementation of prediction errors. Namely, weaker ventromedial prefrontal cortex activity and altered connectivity between ventral striatum and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex likely underpin a shift from goal-directed to habitual actions which, in turn, might underpin compulsive alcohol consumption and relapsing episodes despite adverse consequences. Overall, these data highlight abnormal fronto-striatal connectivity as a candidate neurobiological marker of impaired choice in AUDs. Further studies are needed, however, to unveil its implications in the multiple facets of decision-making.

  13. Adolescents, adults and rewards: comparing motivational neurocircuitry recruitment using fMRI.

    James M Bjork

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Adolescent risk-taking, including behaviors resulting in injury or death, has been attributed in part to maturational differences in mesolimbic incentive-motivational neurocircuitry, including ostensible oversensitivity of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc to rewards. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To test whether adolescents showed increased NAcc activation by cues for rewards, or by delivery of rewards, we scanned 24 adolescents (age 12-17 and 24 adults age (22-42 with functional magnetic resonance imaging while they performed a monetary incentive delay (MID task. The MID task was configured to temporally disentangle potential reward or potential loss anticipation-related brain signal from reward or loss notification-related signal. Subjects saw cues signaling opportunities to win or avoid losing $0, $.50, or $5 for responding quickly to a subsequent target. Subjects then viewed feedback of their trial success after a variable interval from cue presentation of between 6 to 17 s. Adolescents showed reduced NAcc recruitment by reward-predictive cues compared to adult controls in a linear contrast with non-incentive cues, and in a volume-of-interest analysis of signal change in the NAcc. In contrast, adolescents showed little difference in striatal and frontocortical responsiveness to reward deliveries compared to adults. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In light of divergent developmental difference findings between neuroimaging incentive paradigms (as well as at different stages within the same task, these data suggest that maturational differences in incentive-motivational neurocircuitry: 1 may be sensitive to nuances of incentive tasks or stimuli, such as behavioral or learning contingencies, and 2 may be specific to the component of the instrumental behavior (such as anticipation versus notification.

  14. Amphetamine sensitization alters reward processing in the human striatum and amygdala.

    Owen G O'Daly

    Full Text Available Dysregulation of mesolimbic dopamine transmission is implicated in a number of psychiatric illnesses characterised by disruption of reward processing and goal-directed behaviour, including schizophrenia, drug addiction and impulse control disorders associated with chronic use of dopamine agonists. Amphetamine sensitization (AS has been proposed to model the development of this aberrant dopamine signalling and the subsequent dysregulation of incentive motivational processes. However, in humans the effects of AS on the dopamine-sensitive neural circuitry associated with reward processing remains unclear. Here we describe the effects of acute amphetamine administration, following a sensitising dosage regime, on blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD signal in dopaminoceptive brain regions during a rewarded gambling task performed by healthy volunteers. Using a randomised, double-blind, parallel-groups design, we found clear evidence for sensitization to the subjective effects of the drug, while rewarded reaction times were unchanged. Repeated amphetamine exposure was associated with reduced dorsal striatal BOLD signal during decision making, but enhanced ventromedial caudate activity during reward anticipation. The amygdala BOLD response to reward outcomes was blunted following repeated amphetamine exposure. Positive correlations between subjective sensitization and changes in anticipation- and outcome-related BOLD signal were seen for the caudate nucleus and amygdala, respectively. These data show for the first time in humans that AS changes the functional impact of acute stimulant exposure on the processing of reward-related information within dopaminoceptive regions. Our findings accord with pathophysiological models which implicate aberrant dopaminergic modulation of striatal and amygdala activity in psychosis and drug-related compulsive disorders.

  15. Cannabinoid Regulation of Brain Reward Processing with an Emphasis on the Role of CB1 Receptors: A Step Back into the Future.

    Panagis, George; Mackey, Brian; Vlachou, Styliani

    2014-01-01

    Over the last decades, the endocannabinoid system has been implicated in a large variety of functions, including a crucial modulation of brain-reward circuits and the regulation of motivational processes. Importantly, behavioral studies have shown that cannabinoid compounds activate brain reward mechanisms and circuits in a similar manner to other drugs of abuse, such as nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, and heroin, although the conditions under which cannabinoids exert their rewarding effects may be more limited. Furthermore, there is evidence on the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of cue- and drug-induced relapsing phenomena in animal models. The aim of this review is to briefly present the available data obtained using diverse behavioral experimental approaches in experimental animals, namely, the intracranial self-stimulation paradigm, the self-administration procedure, the conditioned place preference procedure, and the reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior procedure, to provide a comprehensive picture of the current status of what is known about the endocannabinoid system mechanisms that underlie modification of brain-reward processes. Emphasis is placed on the effects of cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor agonists, antagonists, and endocannabinoid modulators. Further, the role of CB1 receptors in reward processes is investigated through presentation of respective genetic ablation studies in mice. The vast majority of studies in the existing literature suggest that the endocannabinoid system plays a major role in modulating motivation and reward processes. However, much remains to be done before we fully understand these interactions. Further research in the future will shed more light on these processes and, thus, could lead to the development of potential pharmacotherapies designed to treat reward-dysfunction-related disorders.

  16. Cannabinoid regulation of brain reward processing with an emphasis on the role of CB1 receptors: a step back into the future

    George ePanagis

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Over the last decades the endocannabinoid system has been implicated in a large variety of functions, including a crucial modulation of brain reward circuits and the regulation of motivational processes. Importantly, behavioural studies have shown that cannabinoid compounds activate brain reward mechanisms and circuits in a similar manner to other drugs of abuse, such as nicotine, alcohol, cocaine and heroin, although the conditions under which cannabinoids exert their rewarding effects may be more limited. Furthermore, there is evidence on the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of cue- and drug-induced relapsing phenomena in animal models. The aim of this review is to briefly present the available data obtained using diverse behavioural experimental approaches in experimental animals, namely, the intracranial self-stimulation paradigm, the self-administration procedure, the conditioned place preference procedure and the reinstatement of drug-seeking behaviour procedure, to provide a comprehensive picture of the current status of what is known about the endocannabinoid system mechanisms that underlie modification of brain reward processes. Emphasis is placed on the effects of cannabinoid 1 (CB1 receptor agonists, antagonists and endocannabinoid modulators. Further, the role of CB1 receptors in reward processes is investigated through presentation of respective genetic ablation studies in mice. The vast majority of studies in the existing literature suggests that the endocannabinoid system plays a major role in modulating motivation and reward processes. However, much remains to be done before we fully understand these interactions. Further research in the future will shed more light on these processes and, thus, could lead to the development of potential pharmacotherapies designed to treat reward-dysfunction related disorders.

  17. Nalmefene Reduces Reward Anticipation in Alcohol Dependence: An Experimental Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study.

    Quelch, Darren R; Mick, Inge; McGonigle, John; Ramos, Anna C; Flechais, Remy S A; Bolstridge, Mark; Rabiner, Eugenii; Wall, Matthew B; Newbould, Rexford D; Steiniger-Brach, Björn; van den Berg, Franz; Boyce, Malcolm; Østergaard Nilausen, Dorrit; Breuning Sluth, Lasse; Meulien, Didier; von der Goltz, Christoph; Nutt, David; Lingford-Hughes, Anne

    2017-06-01

    Nalmefene is a µ and δ opioid receptor antagonist, κ opioid receptor partial agonist that has recently been approved in Europe for treating alcohol dependence. It offers a treatment approach for alcohol-dependent individuals with "high-risk drinking levels" to reduce their alcohol consumption. However, the neurobiological mechanism underpinning its effects on alcohol consumption remains to be determined. Using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject crossover design we aimed to determine the effect of a single dose of nalmefene on striatal blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal change during anticipation of monetary reward using the monetary incentive delay task following alcohol challenge. Twenty-two currently heavy-drinking, non-treatment-seeking alcohol-dependent males were recruited. The effect of single dose nalmefene (18 mg) on changes in a priori defined striatal region of interest BOLD signal change during reward anticipation compared with placebo was investigated using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Both conditions were performed under intravenous alcohol administration (6% vol/vol infusion to achieve a target level of 80 mg/dL). Datasets from 18 participants were available and showed that in the presence of the alcohol infusion, nalmefene significantly reduced the BOLD response in the striatal region of interest compared with placebo. Nalmefene did not alter brain perfusion. Nalmefene blunts BOLD response in the mesolimbic system during anticipation of monetary reward and an alcohol infusion. This is consistent with nalmefene's actions on opioid receptors, which modulate the mesolimbic dopaminergic system, and provides a neurobiological basis for its efficacy. Copyright © 2017 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Cocaine enhances resistance to extinction of responding for brain-stimulation reward in adult prenatally stressed rats.

    Gao, Shuibo; Suenaga, Toshiko; Oki, Yutaka; Yukie, Masao; Nakahara, Daiichiro

    2011-10-01

    The present experiment assessed whether prenatal stress (PS) can alter the ability of acute and chronic cocaine administration to increase and decrease the rewarding effectiveness of the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) using intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS), and also whether PS can affect the extinction of the MFB stimulation response. Adult male offspring of female rats that received PS or no PS (nPS) were implanted with MFB stimulating electrodes, and were then tested in ICSS paradigms. In both nPS and PS offspring, acute cocaine injection decreased ICSS thresholds dose-dependently. However, the threshold-lowering effects at any dose were not significantly different between groups. There was also no group-difference in the threshold-elevating effects of chronic cocaine administration. Nevertheless, chronically drug-administered PS rats exhibited a resistance to the extinguishing of the response for brain-stimulation reward when acutely treated with cocaine, as compared to extinction without cocaine treatment. The results suggest that PS may weaken the ability for response inhibition under cocaine loading in male adult offspring. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Familiarity to a Feed Additive Modulates Its Effects on Brain Responses in Reward and Memory Regions in the Pig Model.

    David Val-Laillet

    Full Text Available Brain responses to feed flavors with or without a feed additive (FA were investigated in piglets familiarized or not with this FA. Sixteen piglets were allocated to 2 dietary treatments from weaning until d 37: the naive group (NAI received a standard control feed and the familiarized group (FAM received the same feed added with a FA mainly made of orange extracts. Animals were subjected to a feed transition at d 16 post-weaning, and to 2-choice feeding tests at d 16 and d 23. Production traits of the piglets were assessed up to d 28 post-weaning. From d 26 onwards, animals underwent 2 brain imaging sessions (positron emission tomography of 18FDG under anesthesia to investigate the brain activity triggered by the exposure to the flavors of the feed with (FA or without (C the FA. Images were analyzed with SPM8 and a region of interest (ROI-based small volume correction (p < 0.05, k ≥ 25 voxels per cluster. The brain ROI were selected upon their role in sensory evaluation, cognition and reward, and included the prefrontal cortex, insular cortex, fusiform gyrus, limbic system and corpus striatum. The FAM animals showed a moderate preference for the novel post-transition FA feed compared to the C feed on d 16, i.e., day of the feed transition (67% of total feed intake. The presence or absence of the FA in the diet from weaning had no impact on body weight, average daily gain, and feed efficiency of the animals over the whole experimental period (p ≥ 0.10. Familiar feed flavors activated the prefrontal cortex. The amygdala, insular cortex, and prepyriform area were only activated in familiarized animals exposed to the FA feed flavor. The perception of FA feed flavor in the familiarized animals activated the dorsal striatum differently than the perception of the C feed flavor in naive animals. Our data demonstrated that the perception of FA in familiarized individuals induced different brain responses in regions involved in reward anticipation and

  20. Heterogeneity of reward mechanisms.

    Lajtha, A; Sershen, H

    2010-06-01

    The finding that many drugs that have abuse potential and other natural stimuli such as food or sexual activity cause similar chemical changes in the brain, an increase in extracellular dopamine (DA) in the shell of the nucleus accumbens (NAccS), indicated some time ago that the reward mechanism is at least very similar for all stimuli and that the mechanism is relatively simple. The presently available information shows that the mechanisms involved are more complex and have multiple elements. Multiple brain regions, multiple receptors, multiple distinct neurons, multiple transmitters, multiple transporters, circuits, peptides, proteins, metabolism of transmitters, and phosphorylation, all participate in reward mechanisms. The system is variable, is changed during development, is sex-dependent, and is influenced by genetic differences. Not all of the elements participate in the reward of all stimuli. Different set of mechanisms are involved in the reward of different drugs of abuse, yet different mechanisms in the reward of natural stimuli such as food or sexual activity; thus there are different systems that distinguish different stimuli. Separate functions of the reward system such as anticipation, evaluation, consummation and identification; all contain function-specific elements. The level of the stimulus also influences the participation of the elements of the reward system, there are possible reactions to even below threshold stimuli, and excessive stimuli can change reward to aversion involving parts of the system. Learning and memory of past reward is an important integral element of reward and addictive behavior. Many of the reward elements are altered by repeated or chronic stimuli, and chronic exposure to one drug is likely to alter the response to another stimulus. To evaluate and identify the reward stimulus thus requires heterogeneity of the reward components in the brain.

  1. Gambling behavior in Parkinson's Disease: Impulsivity, reward mechanism and cortical brain oscillations.

    Balconi, Michela; Angioletti, Laura; Siri, Chiara; Meucci, Nicoletta; Pezzoli, Gianni

    2018-03-20

    Psychopathological components, such as reward sensitivity and impulsivity, and dopaminergic treatment are crucial characteristics related to the development of Pathological Gambling (PG) in Parkinson's Disease (PD). The aim of the present study is to investigate the differences in decision-making in PD patients with or without PG considering both neurophysiological and behavioral aspects. The IOWA Gambling Task (IGT) and electroencephalographic (EEG) activity were considered to elucidate the decision and post-feedback processes in PG. The sample included fifty-two PD patients, divided in three groups: 17 PD patients with active gambling behavior (PD Gamblers, PDG); 15 PD patients who remitted from PG (PD Non-Gamblers, PDNG); and a Control Group (CG) composed by 20 patients with PD only. EEG and IGT performance were recorded during decision and post-feedback phase. Results showed worse performance and an increase of the low frequency bands in the frontal area for the PDG group compared to the other two groups. In addition, higher BAS (Behavioral Activation System) and BIS-11 (Barratt Impulsiveness Scale) personality components were correlated to groups' behavioral response. These results show an anomalous behavioral (IGT) and cortical response of PDG patients related to their inability to use adequate control mechanisms during a decision-making task where reward mechanisms (BAS) and impulsivity (BIS-11) are relevant. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Individual Differences in Reward and Somatosensory-Motor Brain Regions Correlate with Adiposity in Adolescents.

    Rapuano, Kristina M; Huckins, Jeremy F; Sargent, James D; Heatherton, Todd F; Kelley, William M

    2016-06-01

    The prevalence of adolescent obesity has increased dramatically over the past three decades, and research has documented that the number of television shows viewed during childhood is associated with greater risk for obesity. In particular, considerable evidence suggests that exposure to food marketing promotes eating habits that contribute to obesity. The present study examines neural responses to dynamic food commercials in overweight and healthy-weight adolescents using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Compared with non-food commercials, food commercials more strongly engaged regions involved in attention and saliency detection (occipital lobe, precuneus, superior temporal gyri, and right insula) and in processing rewards [left and right nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and left orbitofrontal cortex (OFC)]. Activity in the left OFC and right insula further correlated with subjects' percent body fat at the time of the scan. Interestingly, this reward-related activity to food commercials was accompanied by the additional recruitment of mouth-specific somatosensory-motor cortices-a finding that suggests the intriguing possibility that higher-adiposity adolescents mentally simulate eating behaviors and offers a potential neural mechanism for the formation and reinforcement of unhealthy eating habits that may hamper an individual's ability lose weight later in life. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Neural activation to monetary reward is associated with amphetamine reward sensitivity.

    Crane, Natania A; Gorka, Stephanie M; Weafer, Jessica; Langenecker, Scott A; de Wit, Harriet; Phan, K Luan

    2018-03-14

    One known risk factor for drug use and abuse is sensitivity to rewarding effects of drugs. It is not known whether this risk factor extends to sensitivity to non-drug rewards. In this study with healthy young adults, we examined the association between sensitivity to the subjective rewarding effects of amphetamine and a neural indicator of anticipation of monetary reward. We hypothesized that greater euphorigenic response to amphetamine would be associated with greater neural activation to anticipation of monetary reward (Win > Loss). Healthy participants (N = 61) completed four laboratory sessions in which they received d-amphetamine (20 mg) and placebo in alternating order, providing self-report measures of euphoria and stimulation at regular intervals. At a separate visit 1-3 weeks later, participants completed the guessing reward task (GRT) during fMRI in a drug-free state. Participants reporting greater euphoria after amphetamine also exhibited greater neural activation during monetary reward anticipation in mesolimbic reward regions, including the bilateral caudate and putamen. This is the first study to show a relationship between neural correlates of monetary reward and sensitivity to the subjective rewarding effects of amphetamine in humans. These findings support growing evidence that sensitivity to reward in general is a risk factor for drug use and abuse, and suggest that sensitivity of drug-induced euphoria may reflect a general sensitivity to rewards. This may be an index of vulnerability for drug use or abuse.

  4. Familiarity to a Feed Additive Modulates Its Effects on Brain Responses in Reward and Memory Regions in the Pig Model.

    Val-Laillet, David; Meurice, Paul; Clouard, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    Brain responses to feed flavors with or without a feed additive (FA) were investigated in piglets familiarized or not with this FA. Sixteen piglets were allocated to 2 dietary treatments from weaning until d 37: the naive group (NAI) received a standard control feed and the familiarized group (FAM) received the same feed added with a FA mainly made of orange extracts. Animals were subjected to a feed transition at d 16 post-weaning, and to 2-choice feeding tests at d 16 and d 23. Production traits of the piglets were assessed up to d 28 post-weaning. From d 26 onwards, animals underwent 2 brain imaging sessions (positron emission tomography of 18FDG) under anesthesia to investigate the brain activity triggered by the exposure to the flavors of the feed with (FA) or without (C) the FA. Images were analyzed with SPM8 and a region of interest (ROI)-based small volume correction (p reward, and included the prefrontal cortex, insular cortex, fusiform gyrus, limbic system and corpus striatum. The FAM animals showed a moderate preference for the novel post-transition FA feed compared to the C feed on d 16, i.e., day of the feed transition (67% of total feed intake). The presence or absence of the FA in the diet from weaning had no impact on body weight, average daily gain, and feed efficiency of the animals over the whole experimental period (p ≥ 0.10). Familiar feed flavors activated the prefrontal cortex. The amygdala, insular cortex, and prepyriform area were only activated in familiarized animals exposed to the FA feed flavor. The perception of FA feed flavor in the familiarized animals activated the dorsal striatum differently than the perception of the C feed flavor in naive animals. Our data demonstrated that the perception of FA in familiarized individuals induced different brain responses in regions involved in reward anticipation and/or perception processes than the familiar control feed flavor in naive animals. Chronic exposure to the FA might be necessary

  5. Reward and decision processes in the brains of humans and nonhuman primates.

    Sirigu, Angela; Duhamel, Jean-René

    2016-03-01

    Choice behavior requires weighing multiple decision variables, such as utility, uncertainty, delay, or effort, that combine to define a subjective value for each considered option or course of action. This capacity is based on prior learning about potential rewards (and punishments) that result from prior actions. When made in a social context, decisions can involve strategic thinking about the intentions of others and about the impact of others' behavior on one's own outcome. Valuation is also influenced by different emotions that serve to adaptively regulate our choices in order to, for example, stay away from excessively risky gambles, prevent future regrets, or avoid personal rejection or conflicts. Drawing on economic theory and on advances in the study of neuronal mechanisms, we review relevant recent experiments in nonhuman primates and clinical observations made in neurologically impaired patients suffering from impaired decision-making capacities.

  6. Spatiotemporal dissociation of brain activity underlying threat and reward in social anxiety disorder.

    A Richey, John; Ghane, Merage; Valdespino, Andrew; Coffman, Marika C; Strege, Marlene V; White, Susan W; Ollendick, Thomas H

    2017-01-01

    Social anxiety disorder (SAD) involves abnormalities in social motivation, which may be independent of well-documented differences in fear and arousal systems. Yet, the neurobiology underlying motivational difficulties in SAD is not well understood. The aim of the current study was to spatiotemporally dissociate reward circuitry dysfunction from alterations in fear and arousal-related neural activity during anticipation and notification of social and non-social reward and punishment. During fMRI acquisition, non-depressed adults with social anxiety disorder (SAD; N = 21) and age-, sex- and IQ-matched control subjects (N = 22) completed eight runs of an incentive delay task, alternating between social and monetary outcomes and interleaved in alternating order between gain and loss outcomes. Adults with SAD demonstrated significantly reduced neural activity in ventral striatum during the anticipation of positive but not negative social outcomes. No differences between the SAD and control groups were observed during anticipation of monetary gain or loss outcomes or during anticipation of negative social images. However, consistent with previous work, the SAD group demonstrated amygdala hyper-activity upon notification of negative social outcomes. Degraded anticipatory processing in bilateral ventral striatum in SAD was constrained exclusively to anticipation of positive social information and dissociable from the effects of negative social outcomes previously observed in the amygdala. Alterations in anticipation-related neural signals may represent a promising target for treatment that is not addressed by available evidence-based interventions, which focus primarily on fear extinction and habituation processes. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Endogenous Opioid-Induced Neuroplasticity of Dopaminergic Neurons in the Ventral Tegmental Area Influences Natural and Opiate Reward

    Pitchers, Kyle K.; Coppens, Caroline M.; Beloate, Lauren N.; Fuller, Jonathan; Van, Sandy; Frohmader, Karla S.; Laviolette, Steven R.; Lehman, Michael N.; Coolen, Lique M.

    2014-01-01

    Natural reward and drugs of abuse converge on the mesolimbic pathway and activate common mechanism of neural plasticity in the nucleus accumbens. Chronic exposure to opiates induces plasticity in dopaminergic neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA), which regulates morphine reward tolerance.

  8. Functional connectivity in cortico-subcortical brain networks underlying reward processing in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    Oldehinkel, Marianne; Beckmann, Christian F.; Franke, Barbara; Hartman, Catharina A.; Hoekstra, Pieter J.; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Heslenfeld, Dirk; Buitelaar, Jan K.; Mennes, Maarten

    2016-01-01

    Background: Many patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) display aberrant reward-related behavior. Task-based fMRI studies have related atypical reward processing in ADHD to altered BOLD activity in regions underlying reward processing such as ventral striatum and orbitofrontal

  9. Cognitive control of drug craving inhibits brain reward regions in cocaine abusers

    Volkow, N.D.; Fowler, J.; Wang, G.J.; Telang, F.; Logan, J.; Jayne, M.; Ma, Y.; Pradhan, K.; Wong, C.T.; Swanson, J.M.

    2010-01-01

    Loss of control over drug taking is considered a hallmark of addiction and is critical in relapse. Dysfunction of frontal brain regions involved with inhibitory control may underlie this behavior. We evaluated whether addicted subjects when instructed to purposefully control their craving responses to drug-conditioned stimuli can inhibit limbic brain regions implicated in drug craving. We used PET and 2-deoxy-2[18F]fluoro-D-glucose to measure brain glucose metabolism (marker of brain function) in 24 cocaine abusers who watched a cocaine-cue video and compared brain activation with and without instructions to cognitively inhibit craving. A third scan was obtained at baseline (without video). Statistical parametric mapping was used for analysis and corroborated with regions of interest. The cocaine-cue video increased craving during the no-inhibition condition (pre 3 {+-} 3, post 6 {+-} 3; p < 0.001) but not when subjects were instructed to inhibit craving (pre 3 {+-} 2, post 3 {+-} 3). Comparisons with baseline showed visual activation for both cocaine-cue conditions and limbic inhibition (accumbens, orbitofrontal, insula, cingulate) when subjects purposefully inhibited craving (p < 0.001). Comparison between cocaine-cue conditions showed lower metabolism with cognitive inhibition in right orbitofrontal cortex and right accumbens (p < 0.005), which was associated with right inferior frontal activation (r = -0.62, p < 0.005). Decreases in metabolism in brain regions that process the predictive (nucleus accumbens) and motivational value (orbitofrontal cortex) of drug-conditioned stimuli were elicited by instruction to inhibit cue-induced craving. This suggests that cocaine abusers may retain some ability to inhibit craving and that strengthening fronto-accumbal regulation may be therapeutically beneficial in addiction.

  10. Cognitive control of drug craving inhibits brain reward regions in cocaine abusers

    Volkow, N.D.; Fowler, J.; Wang, G.J.; Telang, F.; Logan, J.; Jayne, M.; Ma, Y.; Pradhan, K.; Wong, C.T.; Swanson, J.M.

    2010-01-01

    Loss of control over drug taking is considered a hallmark of addiction and is critical in relapse. Dysfunction of frontal brain regions involved with inhibitory control may underlie this behavior. We evaluated whether addicted subjects when instructed to purposefully control their craving responses to drug-conditioned stimuli can inhibit limbic brain regions implicated in drug craving. We used PET and 2-deoxy-2[18F]fluoro-D-glucose to measure brain glucose metabolism (marker of brain function) in 24 cocaine abusers who watched a cocaine-cue video and compared brain activation with and without instructions to cognitively inhibit craving. A third scan was obtained at baseline (without video). Statistical parametric mapping was used for analysis and corroborated with regions of interest. The cocaine-cue video increased craving during the no-inhibition condition (pre 3 ± 3, post 6 ± 3; p < 0.001) but not when subjects were instructed to inhibit craving (pre 3 ± 2, post 3 ± 3). Comparisons with baseline showed visual activation for both cocaine-cue conditions and limbic inhibition (accumbens, orbitofrontal, insula, cingulate) when subjects purposefully inhibited craving (p < 0.001). Comparison between cocaine-cue conditions showed lower metabolism with cognitive inhibition in right orbitofrontal cortex and right accumbens (p < 0.005), which was associated with right inferior frontal activation (r = -0.62, p < 0.005). Decreases in metabolism in brain regions that process the predictive (nucleus accumbens) and motivational value (orbitofrontal cortex) of drug-conditioned stimuli were elicited by instruction to inhibit cue-induced craving. This suggests that cocaine abusers may retain some ability to inhibit craving and that strengthening fronto-accumbal regulation may be therapeutically beneficial in addiction.

  11. Sarcosine attenuates toluene-induced motor incoordination, memory impairment, and hypothermia but not brain stimulation reward enhancement in mice

    Chan, Ming-Huan [Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan (China); Institute of Neuroscience, National Changchi University, Taipei, Taiwan (China); Chung, Shiang-Sheng [Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan (China); Department of Pharmacy, Yuli Veterans Hospital, Hualien, Taiwan (China); Stoker, Astrid K.; Markou, Athina [Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA (United States); Chen, Hwei-Hsien, E-mail: hwei@nhri.org.tw [Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan (China); Division of Mental Health and Addiction Medicine, Institute of Population Health Sciences, National Health Research Institutes, Zhunan, Miaoli County, Taiwan (China)

    2012-12-01

    Toluene, a widely used and commonly abused organic solvent, produces various behavioral disturbances, including motor incoordination and cognitive impairment. Toluene alters the function of a large number of receptors and ion channels. Blockade of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors has been suggested to play a critical role in toluene-induced behavioral manifestations. The present study determined the effects of various toluene doses on motor coordination, recognition memory, body temperature, and intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) thresholds in mice. Additionally, the effects of sarcosine on the behavioral and physiological effects induced by toluene were evaluated. Sarcosine may reverse toluene-induced behavioral manifestations by acting as an NMDA receptor co-agonist and by inhibiting the effects of the type I glycine transporter (GlyT1). Mice were treated with toluene alone or combined with sarcosine pretreatment and assessed for rotarod performance, object recognition memory, rectal temperature, and ICSS thresholds. Toluene dose-dependently induced motor incoordination, recognition memory impairment, and hypothermia and lowered ICSS thresholds. Sarcosine pretreatment reversed toluene-induced changes in rotarod performance, novel object recognition, and rectal temperature but not ICSS thresholds. These findings suggest that the sarcosine-induced potentiation of NMDA receptors may reverse motor incoordination, memory impairment, and hypothermia but not the enhancement of brain stimulation reward function associated with toluene exposure. Sarcosine may be a promising compound to prevent acute toluene intoxications by occupational or intentional exposure. -- Highlights: ► Toluene induces impairments in Rotarod test and novel object recognition test. ► Toluene lowers rectal temperature and ICSS thresholds in mice. ► Sarcosine reverses toluene-induced changes in motor, memory and body temperature. ► Sarcosine pretreatment does not affect toluene

  12. Sarcosine attenuates toluene-induced motor incoordination, memory impairment, and hypothermia but not brain stimulation reward enhancement in mice

    Chan, Ming-Huan; Chung, Shiang-Sheng; Stoker, Astrid K.; Markou, Athina; Chen, Hwei-Hsien

    2012-01-01

    Toluene, a widely used and commonly abused organic solvent, produces various behavioral disturbances, including motor incoordination and cognitive impairment. Toluene alters the function of a large number of receptors and ion channels. Blockade of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors has been suggested to play a critical role in toluene-induced behavioral manifestations. The present study determined the effects of various toluene doses on motor coordination, recognition memory, body temperature, and intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) thresholds in mice. Additionally, the effects of sarcosine on the behavioral and physiological effects induced by toluene were evaluated. Sarcosine may reverse toluene-induced behavioral manifestations by acting as an NMDA receptor co-agonist and by inhibiting the effects of the type I glycine transporter (GlyT1). Mice were treated with toluene alone or combined with sarcosine pretreatment and assessed for rotarod performance, object recognition memory, rectal temperature, and ICSS thresholds. Toluene dose-dependently induced motor incoordination, recognition memory impairment, and hypothermia and lowered ICSS thresholds. Sarcosine pretreatment reversed toluene-induced changes in rotarod performance, novel object recognition, and rectal temperature but not ICSS thresholds. These findings suggest that the sarcosine-induced potentiation of NMDA receptors may reverse motor incoordination, memory impairment, and hypothermia but not the enhancement of brain stimulation reward function associated with toluene exposure. Sarcosine may be a promising compound to prevent acute toluene intoxications by occupational or intentional exposure. -- Highlights: ► Toluene induces impairments in Rotarod test and novel object recognition test. ► Toluene lowers rectal temperature and ICSS thresholds in mice. ► Sarcosine reverses toluene-induced changes in motor, memory and body temperature. ► Sarcosine pretreatment does not affect toluene

  13. Reward deficiency and anti-reward in pain chronification

    Borsook, D.; Linnman, C.; Faria, Vanda; Strassman, A. M.; Becerra, L.; Elman, I.

    2016-01-01

    Converging lines of evidence suggest that the pathophysiology of pain is mediated to a substantial degree via allostatic neuroadaptations in reward- and stress-related brain circuits. Thus, reward deficiency (RD) represents a within-system neuroadaptation to pain-induced protracted activation of the reward circuits that leads to depletion-like hypodopaminergia, clinically manifested anhedonia, and diminished motivation for natural reinforcers. Anti-reward (AR) conversely pertains to a between...

  14. Gastric stimulation in obese subjects activates the hippocampus and other regions involved in brain reward circuitry.

    Wang, Gene-Jack; Yang, Julia; Volkow, Nora D; Telang, Frank; Ma, Yeming; Zhu, Wei; Wong, Christopher T; Tomasi, Dardo; Thanos, Panayotis K; Fowler, Joanna S

    2006-10-17

    The neurobiological mechanisms underlying overeating in obesity are not understood. Here, we assessed the neurobiological responses to an Implantable Gastric Stimulator (IGS), which induces stomach expansion via electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve to identify the brain circuits responsible for its effects in decreasing food intake. Brain metabolism was measured with positron emission tomography and 2-deoxy-2[18F]fluoro-D-glucose in seven obese subjects who had the IGS implanted for 1-2 years. Brain metabolism was evaluated twice during activation (on) and during deactivation (off) of the IGS. The Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire was obtained to measure the behavioral components of eating (cognitive restraint, uncontrolled eating, and emotional eating). The largest difference was in the right hippocampus, where metabolism was 18% higher (P drug craving in addicted subjects (orbitofrontal cortex, hippocampus, cerebellum, and striatum) suggests that similar brain circuits underlie the enhanced motivational drive for food and drugs seen in obese and drug-addicted subjects, respectively.

  15. GLP-1 Receptor Activation Modulates Appetite- and Reward-Related Brain Areas in Humans

    van Bloemendaal, L.; IJzerman, R.G.; ten Kulve, J.S.; Barkhof, F.; Konrad, R.J.; Drent, M.L.; Veltman, D.J.; Diamant, M.

    2014-01-01

    Gut-derived hormones, such as GLP-1, have been proposed to relay information to the brain to regulate appetite. GLP-1 receptor agonists, currently used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2DM), improve glycemic control and stimulate satiety, leading to decreases in food intake and body weight. We

  16. Brain activity in advantageous and disadvantageous situations: implications for reward/punishment sensitivity in different situations.

    Guangheng Dong

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: This study modeled win and lose trials in a simple gambling task to examine the effect of entire win-lose situations (WIN, LOSS, or TIE on single win/lose trials and related neural underpinnings. METHODS: The behavior responses and brain activities of 17 participants were recorded by an MRI scanner while they performed a gambling task. Different conditions were compared to determine the effect of the task on the behavior and brain activity of the participants. Correlations between brain activity and behavior were calculated to support the imaging results. RESULTS: In win trials, LOSS caused less intense posterior cingulate activity than TIE. In lose trials, LOSS caused more intense activity in the right superior temporal gyrus, bilateral superior frontal gyrus, bilateral anterior cingulate, bilateral insula cortex, and left orbitofrontal cortex than WIN and TIE. CONCLUSIONS: The experiences of the participants in win trials showed great similarity among different win-lose situations. However, the brain activity and behavior responses of the participants in lose trials indicated that they experienced stronger negative emotion in LOSS. The participants also showed an increased desire to win in LOSS than in WIN or TIE conditions.

  17. Acute stress and food-related reward activation in the brain during food choice during eating in the absence of hunger.

    Born, J M; Lemmens, S G T; Rutters, F; Nieuwenhuizen, A G; Formisano, E; Goebel, R; Westerterp-Plantenga, M S

    2010-01-01

    Stress results in eating in the absence of hunger, possibly related to food reward perception. Stress decreases food reward perception. Determine the effect of acute stress on food choice and food choice reward-related brain activity. Nine females (BMI = 21.5 + or - 2.2 kg/m(2), age = 24.3 + or - 3.5 years). Fasted subjects came twice to randomly complete either a rest or stress condition. Per session, two functional MRI scans were made, wherein the subjects chose the subsequent meal (food images). The rewarding value of the food was measured as liking and wanting. Food characteristics (for example, crispiness, fullness of taste and so on), energy intake, amount of each macronutrient chosen, plasma cortisol and Visual Analog Scale (VAS) hunger and satiety were measured. Fasted state was confirmed by high hunger (80 + or - 5 mm VAS). Breakfast energy intake (3 + or - 1 MJ) and liking were similar in all conditions. Wanting was lower postprandially (Delta = -0.3 items/category, Phunger (-42 mm VAS, Pchoice for crispiness and fullness of taste (Pfood choice for more crispiness and fullness of taste. The changes in putamen activation may reflect specifically decreased reward prediction sensitivity.

  18. Volatile solvents as drugs of abuse: focus on the cortico-mesolimbic circuitry.

    Beckley, Jacob T; Woodward, John J

    2013-12-01

    Volatile solvents such as those found in fuels, paints, and thinners are found throughout the world and are used in a variety of industrial applications. However, these compounds are also often intentionally inhaled at high concentrations to produce intoxication. While solvent use has been recognized as a potential drug problem for many years, research on the sites and mechanisms of action of these compounds lags behind that of other drugs of abuse. In this review, we first discuss the epidemiology of voluntary solvent use throughout the world and then consider what is known about their basic pharmacology and how this may explain their use as drugs of abuse. We next present data from preclinical and clinical studies indicating that these substances induce common addiction sequelae such as dependence, withdrawal, and cognitive impairments. We describe how toluene, the most commonly studied psychoactive volatile solvent, alters synaptic transmission in key brain circuits such as the mesolimbic dopamine system and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) that are thought to underlie addiction pathology. Finally, we make the case that activity in mPFC circuits is a critical regulator of the mesolimbic dopamine system's ability to respond to volatile solvents like toluene. Overall, this review provides evidence that volatile solvents have high abuse liability because of their selective effects on critical nodes of the addiction neurocircuitry, and underscores the need for more research into how these compounds induce adaptations in neural circuits that underlie addiction pathology.

  19. NMDA receptors regulate nicotine-enhanced brain reward function and intravenous nicotine self-administration: role of the ventral tegmental area and central nucleus of the amygdala.

    Kenny, Paul J; Chartoff, Elena; Roberto, Marisa; Carlezon, William A; Markou, Athina

    2009-01-01

    Nicotine is considered an important component of tobacco responsible for the smoking habit in humans. Nicotine increases glutamate-mediated transmission throughout brain reward circuitries. This action of nicotine could potentially contribute to its intrinsic rewarding and reward-enhancing properties, which motivate consumption of the drug. Here we show that the competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist LY235959 (0.5-2.5 mg per kg) abolished nicotine-enhanced brain reward function, reflected in blockade of the lowering of intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) thresholds usually observed after experimenter-administered (0.25 mg per kg) or intravenously self-administered (0.03 mg per kg per infusion) nicotine injections. The highest LY235959 dose (5 mg per kg) tested reversed the hedonic valence of nicotine from positive to negative, reflected in nicotine-induced elevations of ICSS thresholds. LY235959 doses that reversed nicotine-induced lowering of ICSS thresholds also markedly decreased nicotine self-administration without altering responding for food reinforcement, whereas the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptor antagonist NBQX had no effects on nicotine intake. In addition, nicotine self-administration upregulated NMDA receptor subunit expression in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) and ventral tegmental area (VTA), suggesting important interactions between nicotine and the NMDA receptor. Furthermore, nicotine (1 microM) increased NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents in rat CeA slices, similar to its previously described effects in the VTA. Finally, infusion of LY235959 (0.1-10 ng per side) into the CeA or VTA decreased nicotine self-administration. Taken together, these data suggest that NMDA receptors, including those in the CeA and VTA, gate the magnitude and valence of the effects of nicotine on brain reward systems, thereby regulating motivation to consume the drug.

  20. Who, what, where, when (and maybe even why)? How the experience of sexual reward connects sexual desire, preference, and performance.

    Pfaus, James G; Kippin, Tod E; Coria-Avila, Genaro A; Gelez, Hélène; Afonso, Veronica M; Ismail, Nafissa; Parada, Mayte

    2012-02-01

    Although sexual behavior is controlled by hormonal and neurochemical actions in the brain, sexual experience induces a degree of plasticity that allows animals to form instrumental and Pavlovian associations that predict sexual outcomes, thereby directing the strength of sexual responding. This review describes how experience with sexual reward strengthens the development of sexual behavior and induces sexually-conditioned place and partner preferences in rats. In both male and female rats, early sexual experience with partners scented with a neutral or even noxious odor induces a preference for scented partners in subsequent choice tests. Those preferences can also be induced by injections of morphine or oxytocin paired with a male rat's first exposure to scented females, indicating that pharmacological activation of opioid or oxytocin receptors can "stand in" for the sexual reward-related neurochemical processes normally activated by sexual stimulation. Conversely, conditioned place or partner preferences can be blocked by the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone. A somatosensory cue (a rodent jacket) paired with sexual reward comes to elicit sexual arousal in male rats, such that paired rats with the jacket off show dramatic copulatory deficits. We propose that endogenous opioid activation forms the basis of sexual reward, which also sensitizes hypothalamic and mesolimbic dopamine systems in the presence of cues that predict sexual reward. Those systems act to focus attention on, and activate goal-directed behavior toward, reward-related stimuli. Thus, a critical period exists during an individual's early sexual experience that creates a "love map" or Gestalt of features, movements, feelings, and interpersonal interactions associated with sexual reward.

  1. It's in the eye of the beholder: selective attention to drink properties during tasting influences brain activation in gustatory and reward regions.

    van Rijn, Inge; de Graaf, Cees; Smeets, Paul A M

    2018-04-01

    Statements regarding pleasantness, taste intensity or caloric content on a food label may influence the attention consumers pay to such characteristics during consumption. There is little research on the effects of selective attention on taste perception and associated brain activation in regular drinks. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of selective attention on hedonics, intensity and caloric content on brain responses during tasting drinks. Using functional MRI brain responses of 27 women were measured while they paid attention to the intensity, pleasantness or caloric content of fruit juice, tomato juice and water. Brain activation during tasting largely overlapped between the three selective attention conditions and was found in the rolandic operculum, insula and overlying frontal operculum, striatum, amygdala, thalamus, anterior cingulate cortex and middle orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Brain activation was higher during selective attention to taste intensity compared to calories in the right middle OFC and during selective attention to pleasantness compared to intensity in the right putamen, right ACC and bilateral middle insula. Intensity ratings correlated with brain activation during selective attention to taste intensity in the anterior insula and lateral OFC. Our data suggest that not only the anterior insula but also the middle and lateral OFC are involved in evaluating taste intensity. Furthermore, selective attention to pleasantness engaged regions associated with food reward. Overall, our results indicate that selective attention to food properties can alter the activation of gustatory and reward regions. This may underlie effects of food labels on the consumption experience of consumers.

  2. Reward guides vision when it's your thing: trait reward-seeking in reward-mediated visual priming.

    Clayton Hickey

    Full Text Available Reward-related mesolimbic dopamine is thought to play an important role in guiding animal behaviour, biasing approach towards potentially beneficial environmental stimuli and away from objects unlikely to garner positive outcome. This is considered to result in part from an impact on perceptual and attentional processes: dopamine initiates a series of cognitive events that result in the priming of reward-associated perceptual features. We have provided behavioural and electrophysiological evidence that this mechanism guides human vision in search, an effect we refer to as reward priming. We have also demonstrated that there is substantial individual variability in this effect. Here we show that behavioural differences in reward priming are predicted remarkably well by a personality index that captures the degree to which a person's behaviour is driven by reward outcome. Participants with reward-seeking personalities are found to be those who allocate visual resources to objects characterized by reward-associated visual features. These results add to a rapidly developing literature demonstrating the crucial role reward plays in attentional control. They additionally illustrate the striking impact personality traits can have on low-level cognitive processes like perception and selective attention.

  3. Impaired functional connectivity of brain reward circuitry in patients with schizophrenia and cannabis use disorder: Effects of cannabis and THC.

    Fischer, Adina S; Whitfield-Gabrieli, Susan; Roth, Robert M; Brunette, Mary F; Green, Alan I

    2014-09-01

    Cannabis use disorder (CUD) occurs in up to 42% of patients with schizophrenia and substantially worsens disease progression. The basis of CUD in schizophrenia is unclear and available treatments are rarely successful at limiting cannabis use. We have proposed that a dysregulated brain reward circuit (BRC) may underpin cannabis use in these patients. In the present pilot study, we used whole-brain seed-to-voxel resting state functional connectivity (rs-fc) to examine the BRC of patients with schizophrenia and CUD, and to explore the effects of smoked cannabis and orally administered delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on the BRC. 12 patients with schizophrenia and CUD and 12 control subjects each completed two fMRI resting scans, with patients administered either a 3.6% THC cannabis cigarette (n=6) or a 15 mg THC capsule (n=6) prior to their second scan. Results revealed significantly reduced connectivity at baseline in patients relative to controls, with most pronounced hypoconnectivity found between the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortical BRC regions (i.e., anterior prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, and anterior cingulate cortex). Both cannabis and THC administration increased connectivity between these regions, in direct correlation with increases in plasma THC levels. This study is the first to investigate interregional connectivity of the BRC and the effects of cannabis and THC on this circuit in patients with schizophrenia and CUD. The findings from this pilot study support the use of rs-fc as a means of measuring the integrity of the BRC and the effects of pharmacologic agents acting on this circuit in patients with schizophrenia and CUD. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  4. Activation in brain energy regulation and reward centers by food cues varies with choice of visual stimulus.

    Schur, E A; Kleinhans, N M; Goldberg, J; Buchwald, D; Schwartz, M W; Maravilla, K

    2009-06-01

    To develop a non-invasive method of studying brain mechanisms involved in energy homeostasis and appetite regulation in humans by using visual food cues that are relevant to individuals attempting weight loss. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to compare brain activation in regions of interest between groups of food photographs. Ten healthy, non-obese women who were not dieting for weight loss. Independent raters viewed food photographs and evaluated whether the foods depicted should be eaten by individuals attempting a calorically-restricted diet. Based on their responses, we categorized photographs into 'non-fattening' and 'fattening' food groups, the latter characterized by high-caloric content and usually also high-fat or high-sugar content. Blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response was measured by fMRI while participants viewed photographs of 'fattening' food, 'non-fattening' food, and non-food objects. Viewing photographs of fattening food compared with non-food objects resulted in significantly greater activation in the brainstem; hypothalamus; left amygdala; left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; left orbitofrontal cortex; right insular cortex; bilateral striatum, including the nucleus accumbens, caudate nucleus, and putamen; bilateral thalamus; and occipital lobe. By comparison, only the occipital region had greater activation by non-fattening food than by object photographs. Combining responses to all food types resulted in attenuation of activation in the brainstem, hypothalamus, and striatum. These findings suggest that, in non-obese women, neural circuits engaged in energy homeostasis and reward processing are selectively attuned to representations of high-calorie foods that are perceived as fattening. Studies to investigate hormonal action or manipulation of energy balance may benefit from fMRI protocols that contrast energy-rich food stimuli with non-food or low-calorie food stimuli.

  5. Selectivity in Postencoding Connectivity with High-Level Visual Cortex Is Associated with Reward-Motivated Memory.

    Murty, Vishnu P; Tompary, Alexa; Adcock, R Alison; Davachi, Lila

    2017-01-18

    Reward motivation has been demonstrated to enhance declarative memory by facilitating systems-level consolidation. Although high-reward information is often intermixed with lower reward information during an experience, memory for high value information is prioritized. How is this selectivity achieved? One possibility is that postencoding consolidation processes bias memory strengthening to those representations associated with higher reward. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the influence of differential reward motivation on the selectivity of postencoding markers of systems-level memory consolidation. Human participants encoded intermixed, trial-unique memoranda that were associated with either high or low-value during fMRI acquisition. Encoding was interleaved with periods of rest, allowing us to investigate experience-dependent changes in connectivity as they related to later memory. Behaviorally, we found that reward motivation enhanced 24 h associative memory. Analysis of patterns of postencoding connectivity showed that, even though learning trials were intermixed, there was significantly greater connectivity with regions of high-level, category-selective visual cortex associated with high-reward trials. Specifically, increased connectivity of category-selective visual cortex with both the VTA and the anterior hippocampus predicted associative memory for high- but not low-reward memories. Critically, these results were independent of encoding-related connectivity and univariate activity measures. Thus, these findings support a model by which the selective stabilization of memories for salient events is supported by postencoding interactions with sensory cortex associated with reward. Reward motivation is thought to promote memory by supporting memory consolidation. Yet, little is known as to how brain selects relevant information for subsequent consolidation based on reward. We show that experience-dependent changes in connectivity of both the

  6. Regulation of the mesolimbic dopamine circuit by feeding peptides.

    Liu, S; Borgland, S L

    2015-03-19

    Polypeptides produced in the gastrointestinal tract, stomach, adipocytes, pancreas and brain that influence food intake are referred to as 'feeding-related' peptides. Most peptides that influence feeding exert an inhibitory effect (anorexigenic peptides). In contrast, only a few exert a stimulating effect (orexigenic peptides), such as ghrelin. Homeostatic feeding refers to when food consumed matches energy deficits. However, in western society where access to palatable energy-dense food is nearly unlimited, food is mostly consumed for non-homeostatic reasons. Emerging evidence implicates the mesocorticolimbic circuitry, including dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA), as a key substrate for non-homeostatic feeding. VTA dopamine neurons encode cues that predict rewards and phasic release of dopamine in the ventral striatum motivates animals to forage for food. To elucidate how feeding-related peptides regulate reward pathways is of importance to reveal the mechanisms underlying non-homeostatic or hedonic feeding. Here, we review the current knowledge of how anorexigenic peptides and orexigenic peptides act within the VTA. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Cortical thickness, surface area, and volume of the brain reward system in alcohol dependence: relationships to relapse and extended abstinence.

    Durazzo, Timothy C; Tosun, Duygu; Buckley, Shannon; Gazdzinski, Stefan; Mon, Anderson; Fryer, Susanna L; Meyerhoff, Dieter J

    2011-06-01

    At least 60% of those treated for an alcohol use disorder will relapse. Empirical study of the integrity of the brain reward system (BRS) is critical to understanding the mechanisms of relapse as this collection of circuits is implicated in the development and maintenance of all forms of addictive disorders. This study compared thickness, surface area, and volume in neocortical components of the BRS among nonsmoking light-drinking controls (controls), individuals who remained abstinent and those who relapsed after treatment. Seventy-five treatment-seeking alcohol-dependent individuals (abstinent for 7±3 days) and 43 controls completed 1.5T proton magnetic resonance imaging studies. Parcellated morphological data were obtained for following bilateral components of the BRS: rostral and caudal anterior cingulate cortex, insula, medial and lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), rostral and caudal middle and superior frontal gyri, amygdala and hippocampus as well as for 26 other bilateral neocortical regions. Alcohol-dependent participants were followed over 12-months after baseline study and were classified as abstainers (no alcohol consumption; n=24) and relapsers (any alcohol consumption; n=51) at follow-up. Relapsers and abstainers demonstrated lower cortical thickness in the vast majority of BRS regions as well as lower global thickness compared to controls. Relapsers had lower total BRS surface area than both controls and abstainers, but abstainers were not significantly different from controls on any surface area measure. Relapsers demonstrated lower volumes than controls in the majority of regions, while abstainers showed lower volumes than controls in the superior frontal gyrus, insula, amygdala, and hippocampus, bilaterally. Relapsers exhibited smaller volumes than abstainers in the right rostral middle and caudal middle frontal gyri and the lateral OFC, bilaterally. In relapsers, lower baseline volumes and surface areas in multiple regions were associated with

  8. Neuropharmacological mechanisms of drug reward: beyond dopamine in the nucleus accumbens.

    Bardo, M T

    1998-01-01

    Multiple lines of research have implicated the mesolimbic dopamine system in drug reward measured by either the drug self-administration or conditioned place preference paradigm. The present review summarizes recent work that examines the neuropharmacological mechanisms by which drugs impinge on this dopaminergic neural circuitry, as well as other systems that provide input and output circuits to the mesolimbic dopamine system. Studies examining the effect of selective agonist and antagonist drugs administered systemically have indicated that multiple neurotransmitters are involved, including dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, glutamate, GABA, and various peptides. Direct microinjection studies have also provided crucial evidence indicating that, in addition to the mesolimbic dopamine system, other structures play a role in drug reward, including the ventral pallidum, amygdala, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus. GABAergic circuitry descending from the nucleus accumbens to the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus via the ventral pallidum appears to be especially important in directing the behavioral sequelae associated with reward produced by various drugs of abuse. However, activation of the reward circuitry is achieved differently for various drugs of abuse. With amphetamine and cocaine, initiation of reward is controlled within the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex, respectively. With opiates, initiation of reward involves the ventral tegmental area, nucleus accumbens, hippocampus, and hypothalamus. It is not clear presently if these multiple anatomical structures mediate opiate reward by converging on a single output system or multiple output systems.

  9. Reward deficiency syndrome: a biogenetic model for the diagnosis and treatment of impulsive, addictive, and compulsive behaviors.

    Blum, K; Braverman, E R; Holder, J M; Lubar, J F; Monastra, V J; Miller, D; Lubar, J O; Chen, T J; Comings, D E

    2000-11-01

    The dopaminergic system, and in particular the dopamine D2 receptor, has been implicated in reward mechanisms. The net effect of neurotransmitter interaction at the mesolimbic brain region induces "reward" when dopamine (DA) is released from the neuron at the nucleus accumbens and interacts with a dopamine D2 receptor. "The reward cascade" involves the release of serotonin, which in turn at the hypothalmus stimulates enkephalin, which in turn inhibits GABA at the substania nigra, which in turn fine tunes the amount of DA released at the nucleus accumbens or "reward site." It is well known that under normal conditions in the reward site DA works to maintain our normal drives. In fact, DA has become to be known as the "pleasure molecule" and/or the "antistress molecule." When DA is released into the synapse, it stimulates a number a DA receptors (D1-D5) which results in increased feelings of well-being and stress reduction. A consensus of the literature suggests that when there is a dysfunction in the brain reward cascade, which could be caused by certain genetic variants (polygenic), especially in the DA system causing a hypodopaminergic trait, the brain of that person requires a DA fix to feel good. This trait leads to multiple drug-seeking behavior. This is so because alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, nicotine, and glucose all cause activation and neuronal release of brain DA, which could heal the abnormal cravings. Certainly after ten years of study we could say with confidence that carriers of the DAD2 receptor A1 allele have compromised D2 receptors. Therefore lack of D2 receptors causes individuals to have a high risk for multiple addictive, impulsive and compulsive behavioral propensities, such as severe alcoholism, cocaine, heroin, marijuana and nicotine use, glucose bingeing, pathological gambling, sex addiction, ADHD, Tourette's Syndrome, autism, chronic violence, posttraumatic stress disorder, schizoid/avoidant cluster, conduct disorder and antisocial

  10. A Trigger for Opioid Misuse: Chronic Pain and Stress Dysregulate the Mesolimbic Pathway and Kappa Opioid System.

    Massaly, Nicolas; Morón, Jose A; Al-Hasani, Ream

    2016-01-01

    Pain and stress are protective mechanisms essential in avoiding harmful or threatening stimuli and ensuring survival. Despite these beneficial roles, chronic exposure to either pain or stress can lead to maladaptive hormonal and neuronal modulations that can result in chronic pain and a wide spectrum of stress-related disorders including anxiety and depression. By inducing allostatic changes in the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway, both chronic pain and stress disorders affect the rewarding values of both natural reinforcers, such as food or social interaction, and drugs of abuse. Despite opioids representing the best therapeutic strategy in pain conditions, they are often misused as a result of these allostatic changes induced by chronic pain and stress. The kappa opioid receptor (KOR) system is critically involved in these neuronal adaptations in part through its control of dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens. Therefore, it is likely that changes in the kappa opioid system following chronic exposure to pain and stress play a key role in increasing the misuse liability observed in pain patients treated with opioids. In this review, we will discuss how chronic pain and stress-induced pathologies can affect mesolimbic dopaminergic transmission, leading to increased abuse liability. We will also assess how the kappa opioid system may underlie these pathological changes.

  11. A trigger for opioid misuse: Chronic pain and stress dysregulate the mesolimbic pathway and kappa opioid system

    Nicolas Massaly

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Pain and stress are protective mechanisms essential in avoiding harmful or threatening stimuli and ensuring survival. Despite these beneficial roles, chronic exposure to either pain or stress can lead to maladaptive hormonal and neuronal modulations that can result in chronic pain and a wide spectrum of stress-related disorders including anxiety and depression. By inducing allostatic changes in the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway, both chronic pain and stress disorders affect the rewarding values of both natural reinforcers, such as food or social interaction, and drugs of abuse. Despite opioids representing the best therapeutic strategy in acute pain conditions, they are often misused as a result of these allostatic changes induced by chronic pain and stress. The kappa opioid receptor system is critically involved in these neuronal adaptations in part through its control of dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens. Therefore, it is likely that changes in the kappa opioid system following chronic exposure to pain and stress play a key role in increasing the misuse liability observed in pain patients treated with opioids. In this review, we will discuss how chronic pain and stress-induced pathologies can affect mesolimbic dopaminergic transmission, leading to increased abuse liability. We will also assess how the kappa opioid system may underlie these pathological changes.

  12. Reward Circuitry in Addiction.

    Cooper, Sarah; Robison, A J; Mazei-Robison, Michelle S

    2017-07-01

    Understanding the brain circuitry that underlies reward is critical to improve treatment for many common health issues, including obesity, depression, and addiction. Here we focus on insights into the organization and function of reward circuitry and its synaptic and structural adaptations in response to cocaine exposure. While the importance of certain circuits, such as the mesocorticolimbic dopamine pathway, are well established in drug reward, recent studies using genetics-based tools have revealed functional changes throughout the reward circuitry that contribute to different facets of addiction, such as relapse and craving. The ability to observe and manipulate neuronal activity within specific cell types and circuits has led to new insight into not only the basic connections between brain regions, but also the molecular changes within these specific microcircuits, such as neurotrophic factor and GTPase signaling or α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor function, that underlie synaptic and structural plasticity evoked by drugs of abuse. Excitingly, these insights from preclinical rodent work are now being translated into the clinic, where transcranial magnetic simulation and deep brain stimulation therapies are being piloted in human cocaine dependence. Thus, this review seeks to summarize current understanding of the major brain regions implicated in drug-related behaviors and the molecular mechanisms that contribute to altered connectivity between these regions, with the postulation that increased knowledge of the plasticity within the drug reward circuit will lead to new and improved treatments for addiction.

  13. Beyond Rewards

    Hall, Philip S.

    2009-01-01

    Using rewards to impact students' behavior has long been common practice. However, using reward systems to enhance student learning conveniently masks the larger and admittedly more difficult task of finding and implementing the structure and techniques that children with special needs require to learn. More important, rewarding the child for good…

  14. Reward-related genes and personality traits in alcohol-dependent individuals: a pilot case control study.

    Landgren, Sara; Berglund, Kristina; Jerlhag, Elisabet; Fahlke, Claudia; Balldin, Jan; Berggren, Ulf; Zetterberg, Henrik; Blennow, Kaj; Engel, Jörgen A

    2011-01-01

    Components of the brain reward system, i.e. the mesolimbic dopamine, laterodorsal cholinergic and ghrelin signaling systems, have been implicated in alcohol reward in preclinical studies. Genetic variants of these systems have previously been linked to alcohol dependence. Here, we genotyped 31 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs): 1 SNP in the dopamine D₂ receptor (DRD2) gene, 20 SNPs in 5 different nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit (CHRN*) genes, and 10 SNPs in the genes encoding pro-ghrelin (GHRL) and its receptor (GHSR), in a pilot study of type 1 alcoholics (n = 84) and healthy controls (n = 32). These individuals were characterized using the Temperament and Character Inventory. None of the SNPs were associated with risk of alcohol dependence in this population. The GG genotype of SNP rs13261190 in the CHRNB3 was associated with increased novelty seeking, while SNPs of the ghrelin signaling system were associated with decreased self-directedness (AA of rs495225, GHSR) and alterations in self-transcendence (AA of both rs42451 and rs35680, GHRL). In conclusion, this pilot study suggests that reward-related genes are associated with altered personality scores in type 1 alcohol dependence, which warrants future studies of these associations in larger study samples. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  15. Reward signals, attempted suicide, and impulsivity in late-life depression.

    Dombrovski, Alexandre Y; Szanto, Katalin; Clark, Luke; Reynolds, Charles F; Siegle, Greg J

    2013-10-01

    IMPORTANCE—Suicide can be viewed as an escape from unendurable punishment at the cost of any future rewards. Could faulty estimation of these outcomes predispose to suicidal behavior? In behavioral studies, many of those who have attempted suicide misestimate expected rewards on gambling and probabilistic learning tasks.OBJECTIVES—To describe the neural circuit abnormalities that underlie disadvantageous choices in people at risk for suicide and to relate these abnormalities to impulsivity, which is one of the components of vulnerability to suicide.DESIGN—Case-control functional magnetic resonance imaging study of reward learning using are inforcement learning model.SETTING—University hospital and outpatient clinic.PATIENTS—Fifty-three participants 60 years or older, including 15 depressed patients who had attempted suicide, 18 depressed patients who had never attempted suicide (depressed control subjects), and 20 psychiatrically healthy controls.MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES—Components of the cortical blood oxygenation level–dependent response tracking expected and unpredicted rewards.RESULTS—Depressed elderly participants displayed 2 distinct disruptions of control over reward-guided behavior. First, impulsivity and a history of suicide attempts (particularly poorly planned ones) were associated with a weakened expected reward signal in the paralimbic cortex,which in turn predicted the behavioral insensitivity to contingency change. Second, depression was associated with disrupted corticostriatothalamic encoding of unpredicted rewards, which in turn predicted the behavioral over sensitivity to punishment. These results were robust to the effects of possible brain damage from suicide attempts, depressive severity, co-occurring substance use and anxiety disorders, antidepressant and anticholinergic exposure, lifetime exposure to electroconvulsive therapy, vascular illness, and incipient dementia.CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE—Altered paralimbic reward

  16. Neurocircuitry of drug reward

    Ikemoto, Satoshi; Bonci, Antonello

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, neuroscientists have produced profound conceptual and mechanistic advances on the neurocircuitry of reward and substance use disorders. Here, we will provide a brief review of intracranial drug self-administration and optogenetic self-stimulation studies that identified brain regions and neurotransmitter systems involved in drug- and reward-related behaviors. Also discussed is a theoretical framework that helps to understand the functional properties of the circuitry involved in these behaviors. The circuitry appears to be homeostatically regulated and mediate anticipatory processes that regulate behavioral interaction with the environment in response to salient stimuli. That is, abused drugs or, at least, some may act on basic motivation and mood processes, regulating behavior-environment interaction. Optogenetics and related technologies have begun to uncover detailed circuit mechanisms linking key brain regions in which abused drugs act for rewarding effects. PMID:23664810

  17. Possible evidence for re-regulation of HPA axis and brain reward systems over time in treatment in prescription opioid-dependent patients.

    Bunce, Scott C; Harris, Jonathan D; Bixler, Edward O; Taylor, Megan; Muelly, Emilie; Deneke, Erin; Thompson, Kenneth W; Meyer, Roger E

    2015-01-01

    There is growing evidence for a neuroadaptive model underlying vulnerability to relapse in opioid dependence. The purpose of this study was to evaluate clinical measures hypothesized to mirror elements of allostatic dysregulation in patients dependent on prescription opioids at 2 time points after withdrawal, compared with healthy control participants. Recently withdrawn (n = 7) prescription opioid-dependent patients were compared with the patients in supervised residential care for 2 to 3 months (extended care; n = 7) and healthy controls (n = 7) using drug cue reactivity, affect-modulated startle response tasks, salivary cortisol, and 8 days of sleep actigraphy. Prefrontal cortex was monitored with functional near-infrared spectroscopy during the cue reactivity task. Startle response results indicated reduced hedonic response to natural rewards among patients recently withdrawn from opioids relative to extended care patients. The recently withdrawn patients showed increased activation to pill stimuli in right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex relative to extended care patients. Cortisol levels were elevated among recently withdrawn patients and intermediate for extended care relative to healthy controls. Actigraphy indicated disturbed sleep between recently withdrawn patients and extended care patients; extended care patients were similar to controls. Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activation to drug and natural reward cues, startle responses to natural reward cues, day-time cortisol levels, time in bed, and total time spent sleeping were all correlated with the number of days since last drug use (ie, time in supervised residential treatment). These results suggest possible re-regulation of dysregulated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and brain reward systems in prescription opioid-dependent patients over the drug-free period in residential treatment.

  18. Rewards and Performance Incentives.

    Zigon, Jack

    1994-01-01

    Discusses rewards and performance incentives for employees, including types of rewards; how rewards help in managing; dysfunctional awards; selecting the right reward; how to find rewards that fit; and delivering rewards effectively. Examples are included. (three references) (LRW)

  19. Neuroimaging meta-analysis of cannabis use studies reveals convergent functional alterations in brain regions supporting cognitive control and reward processing.

    Yanes, Julio A; Riedel, Michael C; Ray, Kimberly L; Kirkland, Anna E; Bird, Ryan T; Boeving, Emily R; Reid, Meredith A; Gonzalez, Raul; Robinson, Jennifer L; Laird, Angela R; Sutherland, Matthew T

    2018-03-01

    Lagging behind rapid changes to state laws, societal views, and medical practice is the scientific investigation of cannabis's impact on the human brain. While several brain imaging studies have contributed important insight into neurobiological alterations linked with cannabis use, our understanding remains limited. Here, we sought to delineate those brain regions that consistently demonstrate functional alterations among cannabis users versus non-users across neuroimaging studies using the activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis framework. In ancillary analyses, we characterized task-related brain networks that co-activate with cannabis-affected regions using data archived in a large neuroimaging repository, and then determined which psychological processes may be disrupted via functional decoding techniques. When considering convergent alterations among users, decreased activation was observed in the anterior cingulate cortex, which co-activated with frontal, parietal, and limbic areas and was linked with cognitive control processes. Similarly, decreased activation was observed in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which co-activated with frontal and occipital areas and linked with attention-related processes. Conversely, increased activation among users was observed in the striatum, which co-activated with frontal, parietal, and other limbic areas and linked with reward processing. These meta-analytic outcomes indicate that cannabis use is linked with differential, region-specific effects across the brain.

  20. A Free-Choice High-Fat High-Sugar Diet Alters Day-Night Per2 Gene Expression in Reward-Related Brain Areas in Rats.

    Blancas-Velazquez, Aurea Susana; Unmehopa, Unga A; Eggels, Leslie; Koekkoek, Laura; Kalsbeek, Andries; Mendoza, Jorge; la Fleur, Susanne E

    2018-01-01

    Under normal light-dark conditions, nocturnal rodents consume most of their food during the dark period. Diets high in fat and sugar, however, may affect the day-night feeding rhythm resulting in a higher light phase intake. In vitro and in vivo studies showed that nutrients affect clock-gene expression. We therefore hypothesized that overconsuming fat and sugar alters clock-gene expression in brain structures important for feeding behavior. We determined the effects of a free-choice high-fat high-sugar (fcHFHS) diet on clock-gene expression in rat brain areas related to feeding and reward and compared them with chow-fed rats. Consuming a fcHFHS diet for 6 weeks disrupted day-night differences in Per2 mRNA expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and lateral hypothalamus but not in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, habenula, and ventral tegmental area. Furthermore, short-term sugar drinking, but not fat feeding, upregulates Per2 mRNA expression in the NAc. The disruptions in day-night differences in NAc Per2 gene expression were not accompanied by altered day-night differences in the mRNA expression of peptides related to food intake. We conclude that the fcHFHS diet and acute sugar drinking affect Per2 gene expression in areas involved in food reward; however, this is not sufficient to alter the day-night pattern of food intake.

  1. Changes in mu-opioid receptor expression and function in the mesolimbic system after long-term access to a palatable diet.

    Pitman, Kimberley A; Borgland, Stephanie L

    2015-10-01

    The incidence of obesity in both adults and children is rising. In order to develop effective treatments for obesity, it is important to understand how diet can induce changes in the brain that could promote excessive intake of high-calorie foods and alter the efficacy of therapeutic targets. The mu-opioid receptor is involved in regulating the motivation for and hedonic reaction to food. Here, we review the literature examining changes in the expression and function of mu-opioid receptors in the mesolimbic system of rodents after extended access to a high-fat diet. We also review how maternal diet can induce long-term changes in the expression or function of mu-opioid receptors in the mesolimbic system of offspring. Understanding the behavioural and therapeutic implications of these changes requires further study. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Incentive-Elicited Mesolimbic Activation and Externalizing Symptomatology in Adolescents

    Bjork, James M.; Chen, Gang; Smith, Ashley R.; Hommer, Daniel W.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Opponent-process theories of externalizing disorders (ExD) attribute them to some combination of overactive reward processing systems and/or underactive behavior inhibition systems. Reward processing has been indexed by recruitment of incentive-motivational neurocircuitry of the ventral striatum (VS), including nucleus accumbens…

  3. Reward Inference by Primate Prefrontal and Striatal Neurons

    Pan, Xiaochuan; Fan, Hongwei; Sawa, Kosuke; Tsuda, Ichiro; Tsukada, Minoru; Sakagami, Masamichi

    2014-01-01

    The brain contains multiple yet distinct systems involved in reward prediction. To understand the nature of these processes, we recorded single-unit activity from the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) and the striatum in monkeys performing a reward inference task using an asymmetric reward schedule. We found that neurons both in the LPFC and in the striatum predicted reward values for stimuli that had been previously well experienced with set reward quantities in the asymmetric reward task. Im...

  4. Distinct Reward Properties are Encoded via Corticostriatal Interactions

    David V. Smith; Anastasia E. Rigney; Mauricio R. Delgado

    2016-01-01

    The striatum serves as a critical brain region for reward processing. Yet, understanding the link between striatum and reward presents a challenge because rewards are composed of multiple properties. Notably, affective properties modulate emotion while informative properties help obtain future rewards. We approached this problem by emphasizing affective and informative reward properties within two independent guessing games. We found that both reward properties evoked activation within the nu...

  5. Music-related reward responses predict episodic memory performance.

    Ferreri, Laura; Rodriguez-Fornells, Antoni

    2017-12-01

    Music represents a special type of reward involving the recruitment of the mesolimbic dopaminergic system. According to recent theories on episodic memory formation, as dopamine strengthens the synaptic potentiation produced by learning, stimuli triggering dopamine release could result in long-term memory improvements. Here, we behaviourally test whether music-related reward responses could modulate episodic memory performance. Thirty participants rated (in terms of arousal, familiarity, emotional valence, and reward) and encoded unfamiliar classical music excerpts. Twenty-four hours later, their episodic memory was tested (old/new recognition and remember/know paradigm). Results revealed an influence of music-related reward responses on memory: excerpts rated as more rewarding were significantly better recognized and remembered. Furthermore, inter-individual differences in the ability to experience musical reward, measured through the Barcelona Music Reward Questionnaire, positively predicted memory performance. Taken together, these findings shed new light on the relationship between music, reward and memory, showing for the first time that music-driven reward responses are directly implicated in higher cognitive functions and can account for individual differences in memory performance.

  6. Endogenous Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Suppresses High-Fat Food Intake by Reducing Synaptic Drive onto Mesolimbic Dopamine Neurons

    Xue-Feng Wang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1 and its analogs act as appetite suppressants and have been proven to be clinically efficacious in reducing body weight in obese individuals. Central GLP-1 is expressed in a small population of brainstem cells located in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS, which project to a wide range of brain areas. However, it remains unclear how endogenous GLP-1 released in the brain contributes to appetite regulation. Using chemogenetic tools, we discovered that central GLP-1 acts on the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA and suppresses high-fat food intake. We used integrated pathway tracing and synaptic physiology to further demonstrate that activation of GLP-1 receptors specifically reduces the excitatory synaptic strength of dopamine (DA neurons within the VTA that project to the nucleus accumbens (NAc medial shell. These data suggest that GLP-1 released from NTS neurons can reduce highly palatable food intake by suppressing mesolimbic DA signaling.

  7. Reward-related brain response and craving correlates of marijuana cue exposure: a preliminary study in treatment-seeking marijuana-dependent subjects.

    Goldman, Marina; Szucs-Reed, Regina P; Jagannathan, Kanchana; Ehrman, Ronald N; Wang, Ze; Li, Yin; Suh, Jesse J; Kampman, Kyle; O'Brien, Charles P; Childress, Anna Rose; Franklin, Teresa R

    2013-01-01

    : Determining the brain substrates underlying the motivation to abuse addictive drugs is critical for understanding and treating addictive disorders. Laboratory neuroimaging studies have demonstrated differential activation of limbic and motivational circuitry (eg, amygdala, hippocampus, ventral striatum, insula, and orbitofrontal cortex) triggered by cocaine, heroin, nicotine, and alcohol cues. The literature on neural responses to marijuana cues is sparse. Thus, the goals of this study were to characterize the brain's response to marijuana cues, a major motivator underlying drug use and relapse, and determine whether these responses are linked to self-reported craving in a clinically relevant population of treatment-seeking marijuana-dependent subjects. : Marijuana craving was assessed in 12 marijuana-dependent subjects using the Marijuana Craving Questionnaire-Short Form. Subsequently, blood oxygen level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired during exposure to alternating 20-second blocks of marijuana-related versus matched nondrug visual cues. : Brain activation during marijuana cue exposure was significantly greater in the bilateral amygdala and the hippocampus. Significant positive correlations between craving scores and brain activation were found in the ventral striatum and the medial and lateral orbitofrontal cortex (P cues and craving and extends the current literature on marijuana cue reactivity. Furthermore, the correlative relationship between craving and brain activity in reward-related regions was observed in a clinically relevant sample (treatment-seeking marijuana-dependent subjects). Results are consistent with prior findings in cocaine, heroin, nicotine, and alcohol cue studies, indicating that the brain substrates of cue-triggered drug motivation are shared across abused substances.

  8. Reward deficiency and anti-reward in pain chronification.

    Borsook, D; Linnman, C; Faria, V; Strassman, A M; Becerra, L; Elman, I

    2016-09-01

    Converging lines of evidence suggest that the pathophysiology of pain is mediated to a substantial degree via allostatic neuroadaptations in reward- and stress-related brain circuits. Thus, reward deficiency (RD) represents a within-system neuroadaptation to pain-induced protracted activation of the reward circuits that leads to depletion-like hypodopaminergia, clinically manifested anhedonia, and diminished motivation for natural reinforcers. Anti-reward (AR) conversely pertains to a between-systems neuroadaptation involving over-recruitment of key limbic structures (e.g., the central and basolateral amygdala nuclei, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, the lateral tegmental noradrenergic nuclei of the brain stem, the hippocampus and the habenula) responsible for massive outpouring of stressogenic neurochemicals (e.g., norepinephrine, corticotropin releasing factor, vasopressin, hypocretin, and substance P) giving rise to such negative affective states as anxiety, fear and depression. We propose here the Combined Reward deficiency and Anti-reward Model (CReAM), in which biopsychosocial variables modulating brain reward, motivation and stress functions can interact in a 'downward spiral' fashion to exacerbate the intensity, chronicity and comorbidities of chronic pain syndromes (i.e., pain chronification). Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Hypothesizing Music Intervention Enhances Brain Functional Connectivity Involving Dopaminergic Recruitment: Common Neuro-correlates to Abusable Drugs.

    Blum, Kenneth; Simpatico, Thomas; Febo, Marcelo; Rodriquez, Chris; Dushaj, Kristina; Li, Mona; Braverman, Eric R; Demetrovics, Zsolt; Oscar-Berman, Marlene; Badgaiyan, Rajendra D

    2017-07-01

    The goal of this review is to explore the clinical significance of music listening on neuroplasticity and dopaminergic activation by understanding the role of music therapy in addictive behavior treatment. fMRI data has shown that music listening intensely modifies mesolimbic structural changes responsible for reward processing (e.g., nucleus accumbens [NAc]) and may control the emotional stimuli's effect on autonomic and physiological responses (e.g., hypothalamus). Music listening has been proven to induce the endorphinergic response blocked by naloxone, a common opioid antagonist. NAc opioid transmission is linked to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine release. There are remarkable commonalities between listening to music and the effect of drugs on mesolimbic dopaminergic activation. It has been found that musical training before the age of 7 results in changes in white-matter connectivity, protecting carriers with low dopaminergic function (DRD2A1 allele, etc.) from poor decision-making, reward dependence, and impulsivity. In this article, we briefly review a few studies on the neurochemical effects of music and propose that these findings are relevant to the positive clinical findings observed in the literature. We hypothesize that music intervention enhances brain white matter plasticity through dopaminergic recruitment and that more research is needed to explore the efficacy of these therapies.

  10. Active reward processing during human sleep: insights from sleep-related eating disorder

    Lampros ePerogamvros

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we present two carefully documented cases of patients with sleep-related eating disorder (SRED, a parasomnia which is characterized by involuntary compulsive eating during the night and whose pathophysiology is not known. Using video-polysomnography and psychometric examination, we found that both patients present elevated novelty seeking and increased reward sensitivity on reward-related questionnaires. In light of new evidence on the mesolimbic dopaminergic implication in compulsive eating disorders, our findings suggest a role of an active reward system during sleep in the manifestation of SRED.

  11. Resting-State Brain and the FTO Obesity Risk Allele: Default Mode, Sensorimotor, and Salience Network Connectivity Underlying Different Somatosensory Integration and Reward Processing between Genotypes.

    Olivo, Gaia; Wiemerslage, Lyle; Nilsson, Emil K; Solstrand Dahlberg, Linda; Larsen, Anna L; Olaya Búcaro, Marcela; Gustafsson, Veronica P; Titova, Olga E; Bandstein, Marcus; Larsson, Elna-Marie; Benedict, Christian; Brooks, Samantha J; Schiöth, Helgi B

    2016-01-01

    Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the fat mass and obesity associated (FTO) gene are linked to obesity, but how these SNPs influence resting-state neural activation is unknown. Few brain-imaging studies have investigated the influence of obesity-related SNPs on neural activity, and no study has investigated resting-state connectivity patterns. We tested connectivity within three, main resting-state networks: default mode (DMN), sensorimotor (SMN), and salience network (SN) in 30 male participants, grouped based on genotype for the rs9939609 FTO SNP, as well as punishment and reward sensitivity measured by the Behavioral Inhibition (BIS) and Behavioral Activation System (BAS) questionnaires. Because obesity is associated with anomalies in both systems, we calculated a BIS/BAS ratio (BBr) accounting for features of both scores. A prominence of BIS over BAS (higher BBr) resulted in increased connectivity in frontal and paralimbic regions. These alterations were more evident in the obesity-associated AA genotype, where a high BBr was also associated with increased SN connectivity in dopaminergic circuitries, and in a subnetwork involved in somatosensory integration regarding food. Participants with AA genotype and high BBr, compared to corresponding participants in the TT genotype, also showed greater DMN connectivity in regions involved in the processing of food cues, and in the SMN for regions involved in visceral perception and reward-based learning. These findings suggest that neural connectivity patterns influence the sensitivity toward punishment and reward more closely in the AA carriers, predisposing them to developing obesity. Our work explains a complex interaction between genetics, neural patterns, and behavioral measures in determining the risk for obesity and may help develop individually-tailored strategies for obesity prevention.

  12. Neural activity in the reward-related brain regions predicts implicit self-esteem: A novel validity test of psychological measures using neuroimaging.

    Izuma, Keise; Kennedy, Kate; Fitzjohn, Alexander; Sedikides, Constantine; Shibata, Kazuhisa

    2018-03-01

    Self-esteem, arguably the most important attitudes an individual possesses, has been a premier research topic in psychology for more than a century. Following a surge of interest in implicit attitude measures in the 90s, researchers have tried to assess self-esteem implicitly to circumvent the influence of biases inherent in explicit measures. However, the validity of implicit self-esteem measures remains elusive. Critical tests are often inconclusive, as the validity of such measures is examined in the backdrop of imperfect behavioral measures. To overcome this serious limitation, we tested the neural validity of the most widely used implicit self-esteem measure, the implicit association test (IAT). Given the conceptualization of self-esteem as attitude toward the self, and neuroscience findings that the reward-related brain regions represent an individual's attitude or preference for an object when viewing its image, individual differences in implicit self-esteem should be associated with neural signals in the reward-related regions during passive-viewing of self-face (the most obvious representation of the self). Using multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) on functional MRI (fMRI) data, we demonstrate that the neural signals in the reward-related regions were robustly associated with implicit (but not explicit) self-esteem, thus providing unique evidence for the neural validity of the self-esteem IAT. In addition, both implicit and explicit self-esteem were related, although differently, to neural signals in regions involved in self-processing. Our finding highlights the utility of neuroscience methods in addressing fundamental psychological questions and providing unique insights into important psychological constructs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  13. Cortical Brain Activity Reflecting Attentional Biasing Toward Reward-Predicting Cues Covaries with Economic Decision-Making Performance.

    San Martín, René; Appelbaum, Lawrence G; Huettel, Scott A; Woldorff, Marty G

    2016-01-01

    Adaptive choice behavior depends critically on identifying and learning from outcome-predicting cues. We hypothesized that attention may be preferentially directed toward certain outcome-predicting cues. We studied this possibility by analyzing event-related potential (ERP) responses in humans during a probabilistic decision-making task. Participants viewed pairs of outcome-predicting visual cues and then chose to wager either a small (i.e., loss-minimizing) or large (i.e., gain-maximizing) amount of money. The cues were bilaterally presented, which allowed us to extract the relative neural responses to each cue by using a contralateral-versus-ipsilateral ERP contrast. We found an early lateralized ERP response, whose features matched the attention-shift-related N2pc component and whose amplitude scaled with the learned reward-predicting value of the cues as predicted by an attention-for-reward model. Consistently, we found a double dissociation involving the N2pc. Across participants, gain-maximization positively correlated with the N2pc amplitude to the most reliable gain-predicting cue, suggesting an attentional bias toward such cues. Conversely, loss-minimization was negatively correlated with the N2pc amplitude to the most reliable loss-predicting cue, suggesting an attentional avoidance toward such stimuli. These results indicate that learned stimulus-reward associations can influence rapid attention allocation, and that differences in this process are associated with individual differences in economic decision-making performance. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Cocaine-associated odor cue re-exposure increases blood oxygenation level dependent signal in memory and reward regions of the maternal rat brain.

    Caffrey, Martha K; Febo, Marcelo

    2014-01-01

    Cue triggered relapse during the postpartum period can negatively impact maternal care. Given the high reward value of pups in maternal rats, we designed an fMRI experiment to test whether offspring presence reduces the neural response to a cocaine associated olfactory cue. Cocaine conditioned place preference was carried out before pregnancy in the presence of two distinct odors that were paired with cocaine or saline (+Cue and -Cue). The BOLD response to +Cue and -Cue was measured in dams on postpartum days 2-4. Odor cues were delivered to dams in the absence and then the presence of pups. Our data indicate that several limbic and cognitive regions of the maternal rat brain show a greater BOLD signal response to a +Cue versus -Cue. These include dorsal striatum, prelimbic cortex, parietal cortex, habenula, bed nucleus of stria terminalis, lateral septum and the mediodorsal and the anterior thalamic nucleus. Of the aforementioned brain regions, only the parietal cortex of cocaine treated dams showed a significant modulatory effect of pup presence. In this area of the cortex, cocaine exposed maternal rats showed a greater BOLD activation in response to the +Cue in the presence than in the absence of pups. Specific regions of the cocaine exposed maternal rat brain are strongly reactive to drug associated cues. The regions implicated in cue reactivity have been previously reported in clinical imaging work, and previous work supports their role in various motivational and cognitive functions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. COCAINE-ASSOCIATED ODOR CUE RE-EXPOSURE INCREASES BLOOD OXYGENATION LEVEL DEPENDENT SIGNAL IN MEMORY AND REWARD REGIONS OF THE MATERNAL RAT BRAIN*

    Caffrey, Martha K.; Febo, Marcelo

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND Cue triggered relapse during the postpartum period can negatively impact maternal care. Given the high reward value of pups in maternal rats, we designed an fMRI experiment to test whether offspring presence reduces the neural response to a cocaine associated olfactory cue. METHODS Cocaine conditioned place preference was carried out before pregnancy in the presence of two distinct odors that were paired with cocaine or saline (+Cue and −Cue). The BOLD response to +Cue and −Cue was measured in dams on postpartum days 2–4. Odor cues were delivered to dams in the absence and then the presence of pups. RESULTS Our data indicate that several limbic and cognitive regions of the maternal rat brain show a greater BOLD signal response to a +Cue versus −Cue. These include dorsal striatum, prelimbic cortex, parietal cortex, habenula, bed nucleus of stria terminalis, lateral septum and the mediodorsal and the anterior thalamic nucleus. Of the aforementioned brain regions, only the parietal cortex of cocaine treated dams showed a significant modulatory effect of pup presence. In this area of the cortex, cocaine exposed maternal rats showed a greater BOLD activation in response to the +Cue in the presence than in the absence of pups. CONCLUSIONS Specific regions of the cocaine exposed maternal rat brain are strongly reactive to drug associated cues. The regions implicated in cue reactivity have been previously reported in clinical imaging work, and previous work supports their role in various motivational and cognitive functions. PMID:24183499

  16. Sense of Accomplishment Is Modulated by a Proper Level of Instruction and Represented in the Brain Reward System.

    Nakai, Tomoya; Nakatani, Hironori; Hosoda, Chihiro; Nonaka, Yulri; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2017-01-01

    Problem-solving can be facilitated with instructions or hints, which provide information about given problems. The proper amount of instruction that should be provided for learners is controversial. Research shows that tasks with intermediate difficulty induce the largest sense of accomplishment (SA), leading to an intrinsic motivation for learning. To investigate the effect of instructions, we prepared three instruction levels (No hint, Indirect hint, and Direct hint) for the same insight-problem types. We hypothesized that indirect instructions impose intermediate difficulty for each individual, thereby inducing the greatest SA per person. Based on previous neuroimaging studies that showed involvement of the bilateral caudate in learning and motivation, we expected SA to be processed in this reward system. We recruited twenty-one participants, and investigated neural activations during problem solving by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We confirmed that the Indirect hint, which imposed intermediate difficulty, induced the largest SA among the three instruction types. Using fMRI, we showed that activations in the bilateral caudate and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) were significantly modulated by SA. In the bilateral caudate, the indirect hint induced the largest activation, while the ACC seemed to reflect the difference between correct and incorrect trials. Importantly, such activation pattern was independent of notations (number or letter). Our results indicate that SA is represented in the reward system, and that the Indirect instruction effectively induces such sensation.

  17. Phasic Mesolimbic Dopamine Signaling Encodes the Facilitation of Incentive Motivation Produced by Repeated Cocaine Exposure

    Ostlund, SB; LeBlanc, KH; Kosheleff, AR; Wassum, KM; Maidment, NT

    2014-01-01

    Drug addiction is marked by pathological drug seeking and intense drug craving, particularly in response to drug-related stimuli. Repeated psychostimulant administration is known to induce long-term alterations in mesolimbic dopamine (DA) signaling that are hypothesized to mediate this heightened sensitivity to environmental stimuli. However, there is little direct evidence that drug-induced alteration in mesolimbic DA function underlies this hypersensitivity to motivational cues. In the curr...

  18. Electroacupuncture decreases excessive alcohol consumption involving reduction of FosB/ΔFosB levels in reward-related brain regions.

    Jing Li

    Full Text Available New therapies are needed for alcohol abuse, a major public health problem in the U.S. and worldwide. There are only three FDA-approved drugs for treatment of alcohol abuse (naltrexone, acamprosate and disulfuram. On average these drugs yield only moderate success in reducing long-term alcohol consumption. Electroacupuncture has been shown to alleviate various drugs of abuse, including alcohol. Although previous studies have shown that electroacupuncture reduced alcohol consumption, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. ΔFosB and FosB are members of the Fos family of transcription factors implicated in neural plasticity in drug addiction; a connection between electroacupuncture's treatment of alcohol abuse and the Fos family has not been established. In this study, we trained rats to drink large quantities of ethanol in a modified intermittent access two-bottle choice drinking procedure. When rats achieved a stable baseline of ethanol consumption, electroacupuncture (100 Hz or 2 Hz, 30 min each day was administered at Zusanli (ST36 for 6 consecutive days. The level of FosB/ΔFosB in reward-related brain regions was assessed by immunohistochemistry. We found that the intake of and preference for ethanol in rats under 100 Hz, but not 2 Hz electroacupuncture regiment were sharply reduced. The reduction was maintained for at least 72 hours after the termination of electroacupuncture treatment. Conversely, 100 Hz electroacupuncture did not alter the intake of and preference for the natural rewarding agent sucrose. Additionally, FosB/ΔFosB levels in the prefrontal cortex, striatal region and the posterior region of ventral tegmental area were increased following excessive ethanol consumption, but were reduced after six-day 100 Hz electroacupuncture. Thus, this study demonstrates that six-day 100 Hz electroacupuncture treatment effectively reduces ethanol consumption and preference in rats that chronically drink excessive amount of

  19. Memory Consolidation and Neural Substrate of Reward

    Redolar-Ripoll, Diego

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this report is to analyze the relationships between reward and learning and memory processes. Different studies have described how information about rewards influences behavior and how the brain uses this reward information to control learning and memory processes. Reward nature seems to be processed in different ways by neurons in different brain structures, ranging from the detection and perception of rewards to the use of information about predicted rewards for the control of goal-directed behavior. The neural substrate underling this processing of reward information is a reliable way of improving learning and memory processes. Evidence from several studies indicates that this neural system can facilitate memory consolidation in a wide variety of learning tasks. From a molecular perspective, certain cardinal features of reward have been described as forms of memory. Studies of human addicts and studies in animal models of addiction show that chronic drug exposure produces stable changes in the brain at the cellular and molecular levels that underlie the long-lasting behavioral plasticity associated with addiction. These molecular and cellular adaptations involved in addiction are also implicated in learning and memory processes. Dopamine seems to be a critical common signal to activate different genetic mechanisms that ultimately remodel synapses and circuits. Despite memory is an active and complex process mediated by different brain areas, the neural substrate of reward is able to improve memory consolidation in a several paradigms. We believe that there are many equivalent traits between reward and learning and memory processes.

  20. Attenuation of insulin-evoked responses in brain networks controlling appetite and reward in insulin resistance: the cerebral basis for impaired control of food intake in metabolic syndrome?

    Anthony, Karen; Reed, Laurence J; Dunn, Joel T; Bingham, Emma; Hopkins, David; Marsden, Paul K; Amiel, Stephanie A

    2006-11-01

    The rising prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes is a global challenge. A possible mechanism linking insulin resistance and weight gain would be attenuation of insulin-evoked responses in brain areas relevant to eating in systemic insulin resistance. We measured brain glucose metabolism, using [(18)F]fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography, in seven insulin-sensitive (homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance [HOMA-IR] = 1.3) and seven insulin-resistant (HOMA-IR = 6.3) men, during suppression of endogenous insulin by somatostatin, with and without an insulin infusion that elevated insulin to 24.6 +/- 5.2 and 23.2 +/- 5.8 mU/l (P = 0.76), concentrations similar to fasting levels of the resistant subjects and approximately threefold above those of the insulin-sensitive subjects. Insulin-evoked change in global cerebral metabolic rate for glucose was reduced in insulin resistance (+7 vs. +17.4%, P = 0.033). Insulin was associated with increased metabolism in ventral striatum and prefrontal cortex and with decreased metabolism in right amygdala/hippocampus and cerebellar vermis (P reward. Diminishing the link be-tween control of food intake and energy balance may contribute to development of obesity in insulin resistance.

  1. Effects of haloperidol and aripiprazole on the human mesolimbic motivational system: A pharmacological fMRI study.

    Bolstad, Ingeborg; Andreassen, Ole A; Groote, Inge; Server, Andres; Sjaastad, Ivar; Kapur, Shitij; Jensen, Jimmy

    2015-12-01

    The atypical antipsychotic drug aripiprazole is a partial dopamine (DA) D2 receptor agonist, which differentiates it from most other antipsychotics. This study compares the brain activation characteristic produced by aripiprazole with that of haloperidol, a typical D2 receptor antagonist. Healthy participants received an acute oral dose of haloperidol, aripiprazole or placebo, and then performed an active aversive conditioning task with aversive and neutral events presented as sounds, while blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was carried out. The fMRI task, targeting the mesolimbic motivational system that is thought to be disturbed in psychosis, was based on the conditioned avoidance response (CAR) animal model - a widely used test of therapeutic potential of antipsychotic drugs. In line with the CAR animal model, the present results show that subjects given haloperidol were not able to avoid more aversive than neutral task trials, even though the response times were shorter during aversive events. In the aripiprazole and placebo groups more aversive than neutral events were avoided. Accordingly, the task-related BOLD-fMRI response in the mesolimbic motivational system was diminished in the haloperidol group compared to the placebo group, particularly in the ventral striatum, whereas the aripiprazole group showed task-related activations intermediate of the placebo and haloperidol groups. The current results show differential effects on brain function by aripiprazole and haloperidol, probably related to altered DA transmission. This supports the use of pharmacological fMRI to study antipsychotic properties in humans. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  2. Putative dopamine agonist (KB220Z) attenuates lucid nightmares in PTSD patients: role of enhanced brain reward functional connectivity and homeostasis redeeming joy.

    McLaughlin, Thomas; Blum, Kenneth; Oscar-Berman, Marlene; Febo, Marcelo; Agan, Gozde; Fratantonio, James L; Simpatico, Thomas; Gold, Mark S

    2015-06-01

    Lucid dreams are frequently pleasant and training techniques have been developed to teach dreamers to induce them. In addition, the induction of lucid dreams has also been used as a way to ameliorate nightmares. On the other hand, lucid dreams may be associated with psychiatric conditions, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Reward Deficiency Syndrome-associated diagnoses. In the latter conditions, lucid dreams can assume an unpleasant and frequently terrifying character. We present two cases of dramatic alleviation of terrifying lucid dreams in patients with PTSD. In the first case study, a 51-year-old, obese woman, diagnosed with PTSD and depression, had attempted suicide and experienced terrifying lucid nightmares linked to sexual/physical abuse from early childhood by family members including her alcoholic father. Her vivid "bad dreams" remained refractory in spite of 6 months of treatment with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and standard pharmaceutical agents which included prazosin, clonidie and Adderall. The second 39-year-old PTSD woman patient had also suffered from lucid nightmares. The medication visit notes reveal changes in the frequency, intensity and nature of these dreams after the complex putative dopamine agonist KB220Z was added to the first patient's regimen. The patient reported her first experience of an extended period of happy dreams. The second PTSD patient, who had suffered from lucid nightmares, was administered KB220Z to attenuate methadone withdrawal symptoms and incidentally reported dreams full of happiness and laughter. These cases are discussed with reference to the known effects of KB220Z including enhanced dopamine homeostasis and functional connectivity of brain reward circuitry in rodents and humans. Their understanding awaits intensive investigation involving large-population, double-blinded studies.

  3. Nasal insulin changes peripheral insulin sensitivity simultaneously with altered activity in homeostatic and reward-related human brain regions.

    Heni, M; Kullmann, S; Ketterer, C; Guthoff, M; Linder, K; Wagner, R; Stingl, K T; Veit, R; Staiger, H; Häring, H-U; Preissl, H; Fritsche, A

    2012-06-01

    Impaired insulin sensitivity is a major factor leading to type 2 diabetes. Animal studies suggest that the brain is involved in the regulation of insulin sensitivity. We investigated whether insulin action in the human brain regulates peripheral insulin sensitivity and examined which brain areas are involved. Insulin and placebo were given intranasally. Plasma glucose, insulin and C-peptide were measured in 103 participants at 0, 30 and 60 min. A subgroup (n = 12) was also studied with functional MRI, and blood sampling at 0, 30 and 120 min. For each time-point, the HOMA of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was calculated as an inverse estimate of peripheral insulin sensitivity. Plasma insulin increased and subsequently decreased. This excursion was accompanied by slightly decreased plasma glucose, resulting in an initially increased HOMA-IR. At 1 h after insulin spray, the HOMA-IR subsequently decreased and remained lower up to 120 min. An increase in hypothalamic activity was observed, which correlated with the increased HOMA-IR at 30 min post-spray. Activity in the putamen, right insula and orbitofrontal cortex correlated with the decreased HOMA-IR at 120 min post-spray. Central insulin action in specific brain areas, including the hypothalamus, may time-dependently regulate peripheral insulin sensitivity. This introduces a potential novel mechanism for the regulation of peripheral insulin sensitivity and underlines the importance of cerebral insulin action for the whole organism.

  4. Visual Sexual Stimuli-Cue or Reward? A Perspective for Interpreting Brain Imaging Findings on Human Sexual Behaviors

    Gola, M.; Wordecha, M.; Marchewka, A.; Sescousse, G.T.

    2016-01-01

    There is an increasing number of neuroimaging studies using visual sexual stimuli (VSS), especially within the emerging field of research on compulsive sexual behaviors (CSB). A central question in this field is whether behaviors such as excessive pornography consumption share common brain

  5. Amygdaloid projections to the ventral striatum in mice: direct and indirect chemosensory inputs to the brain reward system.

    Novejarque, Amparo; Gutiérrez-Castellanos, Nicolás; Lanuza, Enrique; Martínez-García, Fernando

    2011-01-01

    Rodents constitute good models for studying the neural basis of sociosexual behavior. Recent findings in mice have revealed the molecular identity of the some pheromonal molecules triggering intersexual attraction. However, the neural pathways mediating this basic sociosexual behavior remain elusive. Since previous work indicates that the dopaminergic tegmento-striatal pathway is not involved in pheromone reward, the present report explores alternative pathways linking the vomeronasal system with the tegmento-striatal system (the limbic basal ganglia) by means of tract-tracing experiments studying direct and indirect projections from the chemosensory amygdala to the ventral striato-pallidum. Amygdaloid projections to the nucleus accumbens, olfactory tubercle, and adjoining structures are studied by analyzing the retrograde transport in the amygdala from dextran amine and fluorogold injections in the ventral striatum, as well as the anterograde labeling found in the ventral striato-pallidum after dextran amine injections in the amygdala. This combination of anterograde and retrograde tracing experiments reveals direct projections from the vomeronasal cortex to the ventral striato-pallidum, as well as indirect projections through different nuclei of the basolateral amygdala. Direct projections innervate mainly the olfactory tubercle and the islands of Calleja, whereas indirect projections are more widespread and reach the same structures and the shell and core of nucleus accumbens. These pathways are likely to mediate innate responses to pheromones (direct projections) and conditioned responses to associated chemosensory and non-chemosensory stimuli (indirect projections). Comparative studies indicate that similar connections are present in all the studied amniote vertebrates and might constitute the basic circuitry for emotional responses to conspecifics in most vertebrates, including humans.

  6. Ventral pallidum roles in reward and motivation.

    Smith, Kyle S; Tindell, Amy J; Aldridge, J Wayne; Berridge, Kent C

    2009-01-23

    In recent years the ventral pallidum has become a focus of great research interest as a mechanism of reward and incentive motivation. As a major output for limbic signals, the ventral pallidum was once associated primarily with motor functions rather than regarded as a reward structure in its own right. However, ample evidence now suggests that ventral pallidum function is a major mechanism of reward in the brain. We review data indicating that (1) an intact ventral pallidum is necessary for normal reward and motivation, (2) stimulated activation of ventral pallidum is sufficient to cause reward and motivation enhancements, and (3) activation patterns in ventral pallidum neurons specifically encode reward and motivation signals via phasic bursts of excitation to incentive and hedonic stimuli. We conclude that the ventral pallidum may serve as an important 'limbic final common pathway' for mesocorticolimbic processing of many rewards.

  7. Ghrelin interacts with neuropeptide Y Y1 and opioid receptors to increase food reward.

    Skibicka, Karolina P; Shirazi, Rozita H; Hansson, Caroline; Dickson, Suzanne L

    2012-03-01

    Ghrelin, a stomach-derived hormone, is an orexigenic peptide that was recently shown to potently increase food reward behavior. The neurochemical circuitry that links ghrelin to the mesolimbic system and food reward behavior remains unclear. Here we examined the contribution of neuropeptide Y (NPY) and opioids to ghrelin's effects on food motivation and intake. Both systems have well-established links to the mesolimbic ventral tegmental area (VTA) and reward/motivation control. NPY mediates the effect of ghrelin on food intake via activation of NPY-Y1 receptor (NPY-Y1R); their connection with respect to motivated behavior is unexplored. The role of opioids in any aspect of ghrelin's action on food-oriented behaviors is unknown. Rats were trained in a progressive ratio sucrose-induced operant schedule to measure food reward/motivation behavior. Chow intake was measured immediately after the operant test. In separate experiments, we explored the suppressive effects of a selective NPY-Y1R antagonist or opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone, injected either intracerebroventricularly or intra-VTA, on ghrelin-induced food reward behavior. The ventricular ghrelin-induced increase in sucrose-motivated behavior and chow intake were completely blocked by intracerebroventricular pretreatment with either an NPY-Y1R antagonist or naltrexone. The intra-VTA ghrelin-induced sucrose-motivated behavior was blocked only by intra-VTA naltrexone. In contrast, the intra-VTA ghrelin-stimulated chow intake was attenuated only by intra-VTA NPY-Y1 blockade. Finally, ghrelin infusion was associated with an elevated VTA μ-opioid receptor expression. Thus, we identify central NPY and opioid signaling as the necessary mediators of food intake and reward effects of ghrelin and localize these interactions to the mesolimbic VTA.

  8. Driving the need to feed: Insight into the collaborative interaction between ghrelin and endocannabinoid systems in modulating brain reward systems.

    Edwards, Alexander; Abizaid, Alfonso

    2016-07-01

    Independent stimulation of either the ghrelin or endocannabinoid system promotes food intake and increases adiposity. Given the similar distribution of their receptors in feeding associated brain regions and organs involved in metabolism, it is not surprising that evidence of their interaction and its importance in modulating energy balance has emerged. This review documents the relationship between ghrelin and endocannabinoid systems within the periphery and hypothalamus (HYP) before presenting evidence suggesting that these two systems likewise work collaboratively within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to modulate non-homeostatic feeding. Mechanisms, consistent with current evidence and local infrastructure within the VTA, will be proposed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Molecular role of dopamine in anhedonia linked to reward deficiency syndrome (RDS) and anti- reward systems.

    Gold, Mark S; Blum, Kenneth; Febo, Marcelo; Baron, David; Modestino, Edward Justin; Elman, Igor; Badgaiyan, Rajendra D

    2018-03-01

    Anhedonia is a condition that leads to the loss of feelings pleasure in response to natural reinforcers like food, sex, exercise, and social activities. This disorder occurs in addiction, and an array of related neuropsychiatric syndromes, including schizophrenia, depression, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Anhedonia may by due to derangements in mesolimbic dopaminergic pathways and their terminal fields (e.g., striatum, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex) that persist long after the traces of the causative drugs are eliminated (pharmacokinetically). Here we postulate that anhedonia is not a distinct entity but is rather an epiphenomenon of hypodopaminergic states and traits arising from the interaction of genetic traits and epigenetic neurobiological alterations in response to environmental influences. Moreover, dopaminergic activity is rather complex, and so it may give rise to differential pathophysiological processes such as incentive sensitization, aberrant learning and stress-like "anti-reward" phenomena. These processes may have additive, synergistic or antagonistic interactions with the concurrent reward deficiency states leading in some instances to more severe and long-lasting symptoms. Operant understanding of the neurogenetic antecedents to reward deficiency syndrome (RDS) and the elucidation of reward gene polymorphisms may provide a map for accessing an individual's genetic risk for developing Anhedonia. Prevention techniques that can restore homeostatic balance via physiological activation of dopaminergic receptors (D2/D3) may be instrumental for targeting not only anhedonia per se but also drug craving and relapse.

  10. Neural processing of reward in adolescent rodents

    Nicholas W. Simon

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Immaturities in adolescent reward processing are thought to contribute to poor decision making and increased susceptibility to develop addictive and psychiatric disorders. Very little is known; however, about how the adolescent brain processes reward. The current mechanistic theories of reward processing are derived from adult models. Here we review recent research focused on understanding of how the adolescent brain responds to rewards and reward-associated events. A critical aspect of this work is that age-related differences are evident in neuronal processing of reward-related events across multiple brain regions even when adolescent rats demonstrate behavior similar to adults. These include differences in reward processing between adolescent and adult rats in orbitofrontal cortex and dorsal striatum. Surprisingly, minimal age related differences are observed in ventral striatum, which has been a focal point of developmental studies. We go on to discuss the implications of these differences for behavioral traits affected in adolescence, such as impulsivity, risk-taking, and behavioral flexibility. Collectively, this work suggests that reward-evoked neural activity differs as a function of age and that regions such as the dorsal striatum that are not traditionally associated with affective processing in adults may be critical for reward processing and psychiatric vulnerability in adolescents.

  11. Food additives, food and the concept of 'food addiction': Is stimulation of the brain reward circuit by food sufficient to trigger addiction?

    Onaolapo, A Y; Onaolapo, O J

    2018-04-12

    In the last few years, the concept of 'food addiction' has continued to gain popularity, with human and animal studies demonstrating the differential effects of foods that are high in fat, sugar or protein on appetite, satiety, eating behaviour and the development of food addiction. However, a number of studies have disputed the occurrence of food addiction in humans. Questions have also arisen regarding the possible impacts that food additives may have on the development of food addiction or eating disorders. Also, it is known that alterations in food composition and the presence of food additives (flavour enhancers, sugars, sugar substitutes, and non-nutritive sweeteners) are factors that generally influence the sensory perception of food. Our understanding of the potential roles of central neurotransmitters (such as dopamine) and certain neuropeptides in the evolution of food addiction is also evolving; but presently, there isn't sufficient scientific evidence to consider any food ingredient, micronutrient or standard food-additive as addictive. In this review, the relevant literatures dealing with the concept of 'food addiction' are examined, and the factors which may predispose to food addiction are discussed. The possible influences that flavour-enhancers, sugars, sugar substitutes and non-nutritive sweeteners may exert on central neurotransmission, neurotransmitter/receptor interactions, appetite, satiety, conditioned- preferences and the brain reward system are also highlighted. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Dopamine or opioid stimulation of nucleus accumbens similarly amplify cue-triggered 'wanting' for reward: entire core and medial shell mapped as substrates for PIT enhancement.

    Peciña, Susana; Berridge, Kent C

    2013-05-01

    Pavlovian cues [conditioned stimulus (CS+)] often trigger intense motivation to pursue and consume related reward [unconditioned stimulus (UCS)]. But cues do not always trigger the same intensity of motivation. Encountering a reward cue can be more tempting on some occasions than on others. What makes the same cue trigger more intense motivation to pursue reward on a particular encounter? The answer may be the level of incentive salience ('wanting') that is dynamically generated by mesocorticolimbic brain systems, influenced especially by dopamine and opioid neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) at that moment. We tested the ability of dopamine stimulation (by amphetamine microinjection) vs. mu opioid stimulation [by d-Ala, nMe-Phe, Glyol-enkephalin (DAMGO) microinjection] of either the core or shell of the NAc to amplify cue-triggered levels of motivation to pursue sucrose reward, measured with a Pavlovian-Instrumental Transfer (PIT) procedure, a relatively pure assay of incentive salience. Cue-triggered 'wanting' in PIT was enhanced by amphetamine or DAMGO microinjections equally, and also equally at nearly all sites throughout the entire core and medial shell (except for a small far-rostral strip of shell). NAc dopamine/opioid stimulations specifically enhanced CS+ ability to trigger phasic peaks of 'wanting' to obtain UCS, without altering baseline efforts when CS+ was absent. We conclude that dopamine/opioid stimulation throughout nearly the entire NAc can causally amplify the reactivity of mesocorticolimbic circuits, and so magnify incentive salience or phasic UCS 'wanting' peaks triggered by a CS+. Mesolimbic amplification of incentive salience may explain why a particular cue encounter can become irresistibly tempting, even when previous encounters were successfully resisted before. © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. The "Creative Right Brain" Revisited: Individual Creativity and Associative Priming in the Right Hemisphere Relate to Hemispheric Asymmetries in Reward Brain Function.

    Aberg, Kristoffer Carl; Doell, Kimberly C; Schwartz, Sophie

    2017-10-01

    The idea that creativity resides in the right cerebral hemisphere is persistent in popular science, but has been widely frowned upon by the scientific community due to little empirical support. Yet, creativity is believed to rely on the ability to combine remote concepts into novel and useful ideas, an ability which would depend on associative processing in the right hemisphere. Moreover, associative processing is modulated by dopamine, and asymmetries in dopamine functionality between hemispheres may imbalance the expression of their implemented cognitive functions. Here, by uniting these largely disconnected concepts, we hypothesize that relatively less dopamine function in the right hemisphere boosts creativity by releasing constraining effects of dopamine on remote associations. Indeed, participants with reduced neural responses in the dopaminergic system of the right hemisphere (estimated by functional MRI in a reward task with positive and negative feedback), displayed higher creativity (estimated by convergent and divergent tasks), and increased associative processing in the right hemisphere (estimated by a lateralized lexical decision task). Our findings offer unprecedented empirical support for a crucial and specific contribution of the right hemisphere to creativity. More importantly our study provides a comprehensive view on potential determinants of human creativity, namely dopamine-related activity and associative processing. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Influences of social reward experience on behavioral responses to drugs of abuse: Review of shared and divergent neural plasticity mechanisms for sexual reward and drugs of abuse.

    Beloate, Lauren N; Coolen, Lique M

    2017-12-01

    Different factors influence the development of drug addiction in humans, including social reward experiences. In animals, experience with social rewards, such as sexual behavior, pair bonding, social and environmental enrichment, can be protective. However, loss or lack of social rewards can lead to a vulnerability to drug-seeking behavior. The effects of social reward experience on drug-seeking behavior are associated with changes in the neural pathways that control drug-related behavior. This review will provide an introduction and overview of the mesolimbic pathway and the influence of social reward experience on drug-seeking behavior in rodents. Moreover, the research from our laboratory on effects of sexual experience and loss of sex reward on psychostimulant and opiate reward will be reviewed. Finally, we will review current knowledge of the neural mechanisms that underlie these interactions. Investigations of the neural underpinnings by which social and drug rewards interact contribute to improved understanding of the neural basis of vulnerability for drug addiction and reward-related behaviors in general. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Deep Brain Stimulation of the Subthalamic Nucleus Does Not Affect the Decrease of Decision Threshold during the Choice Process When There Is No Conflict, Time Pressure, or Reward.

    Leimbach, Friederike; Georgiev, Dejan; Litvak, Vladimir; Antoniades, Chrystalina; Limousin, Patricia; Jahanshahi, Marjan; Bogacz, Rafal

    2018-06-01

    During a decision process, the evidence supporting alternative options is integrated over time, and the choice is made when the accumulated evidence for one of the options reaches a decision threshold. Humans and animals have an ability to control the decision threshold, that is, the amount of evidence that needs to be gathered to commit to a choice, and it has been proposed that the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is important for this control. Recent behavioral and neurophysiological data suggest that, in some circumstances, the decision threshold decreases with time during choice trials, allowing overcoming of indecision during difficult choices. Here we asked whether this within-trial decrease of the decision threshold is mediated by the STN and if it is affected by disrupting information processing in the STN through deep brain stimulation (DBS). We assessed 13 patients with Parkinson disease receiving bilateral STN DBS six or more months after the surgery, 11 age-matched controls, and 12 young healthy controls. All participants completed a series of decision trials, in which the evidence was presented in discrete time points, which allowed more direct estimation of the decision threshold. The participants differed widely in the slope of their decision threshold, ranging from constant threshold within a trial to steeply decreasing. However, the slope of the decision threshold did not depend on whether STN DBS was switched on or off and did not differ between the patients and controls. Furthermore, there was no difference in accuracy and RT between the patients in the on and off stimulation conditions and healthy controls. Previous studies that have reported modulation of the decision threshold by STN DBS or unilateral subthalamotomy in Parkinson disease have involved either fast decision-making under conflict or time pressure or in anticipation of high reward. Our findings suggest that, in the absence of reward, decision conflict, or time pressure for decision

  16. Self-affirmation activates brain systems associated with self-related processing and reward and is reinforced by future orientation.

    Cascio, Christopher N; O'Donnell, Matthew Brook; Tinney, Francis J; Lieberman, Matthew D; Taylor, Shelley E; Strecher, Victor J; Falk, Emily B

    2016-04-01

    Self-affirmation theory posits that people are motivated to maintain a positive self-view and that threats to perceived self-competence are met with resistance. When threatened, self-affirmations can restore self-competence by allowing individuals to reflect on sources of self-worth, such as core values. Many questions exist, however, about the underlying mechanisms associated with self-affirmation. We examined the neural mechanisms of self-affirmation with a task developed for use in a functional magnetic resonance imaging environment. Results of a region of interest analysis demonstrated that participants who were affirmed (compared with unaffirmed participants) showed increased activity in key regions of the brain's self-processing (medial prefrontal cortex + posterior cingulate cortex) and valuation (ventral striatum + ventral medial prefrontal cortex) systems when reflecting on future-oriented core values (compared with everyday activities). Furthermore, this neural activity went on to predict changes in sedentary behavior consistent with successful affirmation in response to a separate physical activity intervention. These results highlight neural processes associated with successful self-affirmation, and further suggest that key pathways may be amplified in conjunction with prospection. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Changes in functioning of mesolimbic incentive processing circuits during the premenstrual phase

    Ossewaarde, Lindsey; van Wingen, Guido A.; Kooijman, Sabine C.; Bäckström, Torbjörn; Fernández, Guillén; Hermans, Erno J.

    2011-01-01

    The premenstrual phase of the menstrual cycle is associated with marked changes in normal and abnormal motivated behaviors. Animal studies suggest that such effects may result from actions of gonadal hormones on the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system. We therefore investigated premenstrual changes in

  18. Motivation and reward systems

    van Eerde, W.; Vodosek, M.; den Hartog, D.N.; McNett, J.M.

    2014-01-01

    Reward systems are identified as one of the human resource management (HRM) practices that may impact motivation. Reward systems may consist of several components, including financial and nonfinancial rewards, in fixed and variable amounts. Reinforcement, expectancy, and equity principles are

  19. Reward system dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders

    Schulte-Rüther, Martin; Nehrkorn, Barbara; Müller, Kristin; Fink, Gereon R.; Kamp-Becker, Inge; Herpertz-Dahlmann, Beate; Schultz, Robert T.; Konrad, Kerstin

    2013-01-01

    Although it has been suggested that social deficits of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are related to reward circuitry dysfunction, very little is known about the neural reward mechanisms in ASD. In the current functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we investigated brain activations in response to both social and monetary reward in a group of children with ASD, relative to matched controls. Participants with ASD showed the expected hypoactivation in the mesocorticolimbic circuitry in response to both reward types. In particular, diminished activation in the nucleus accumbens was observed when money, but not when social reward, was at stake, whereas the amygdala and anterior cingulate cortex were hypoactivated within the ASD group in response to both rewards. These data indicate that the reward circuitry is compromised in ASD in social as well as in non-social, i.e. monetary conditions, which likely contributes to atypical motivated behaviour. Taken together, with incentives used in this study sample, there is evidence for a general reward dysfunction in ASD. However, more ecologically valid social reward paradigms are needed to fully understand, whether there is any domain specificity to the reward deficit that appears evident in ASD, which would be most consistent with the ASD social phenotype. PMID:22419119

  20. The Roles of Dopamine and Hypocretin in Reward: A Electroencephalographic Study.

    Mensen, Armand; Poryazova, Rositsa; Huegli, Gordana; Baumann, Christian R; Schwartz, Sophie; Khatami, Ramin

    2015-01-01

    The proper functioning of the mesolimbic reward system is largely dependent on the neurotransmitter dopamine. Recent evidence suggests that the hypocretin system has significant projections to this reward system. We examined the distinct effects of reduced dopamine or reduced hypocretin levels on reward activity in patients with Parkinson's disease, dopamine deficient, as well as patients with narcolepsy-cataplexy, hypocretin depleted, and healthy controls. Participants performed a simple game-like task while high-density electroencephalography was recorded. Topography and timing of event-related potentials for both reward cue, and reward feedback was examined across the entire dataset. While response to reward cue was similar in all groups, two distinct time points were found to distinguish patients and controls for reward feedback. Around 160 ms both patient groups had reduced ERP amplitude compared to controls. Later at 250 ms, both patient groups also showed a clear event-related potential (ERP), which was absent in controls. The initial differences show that both patient groups show a similar, blunted response to reward delivery. The second potential corresponds to the classic feedback-related negativity (FRN) potential which relies on dopamine activity and reflects reward prediction-error signaling. In particular the mismatch between predicted reward and reward subsequently received was significantly higher in PD compared to NC, independent of reward magnitude and valence. The intermediate FRN response in NC highlights the contribution of hypocretin in reward processing, yet also shows that this is not as detrimental to the reward system as in Parkinson's. Furthermore, the inability to generate accurate predictions in NC may explain why hypocretin deficiency mediates cataplexy triggered by both positive and negative emotions.

  1. The Roles of Dopamine and Hypocretin in Reward: A Electroencephalographic Study.

    Armand Mensen

    Full Text Available The proper functioning of the mesolimbic reward system is largely dependent on the neurotransmitter dopamine. Recent evidence suggests that the hypocretin system has significant projections to this reward system. We examined the distinct effects of reduced dopamine or reduced hypocretin levels on reward activity in patients with Parkinson's disease, dopamine deficient, as well as patients with narcolepsy-cataplexy, hypocretin depleted, and healthy controls. Participants performed a simple game-like task while high-density electroencephalography was recorded. Topography and timing of event-related potentials for both reward cue, and reward feedback was examined across the entire dataset. While response to reward cue was similar in all groups, two distinct time points were found to distinguish patients and controls for reward feedback. Around 160 ms both patient groups had reduced ERP amplitude compared to controls. Later at 250 ms, both patient groups also showed a clear event-related potential (ERP, which was absent in controls. The initial differences show that both patient groups show a similar, blunted response to reward delivery. The second potential corresponds to the classic feedback-related negativity (FRN potential which relies on dopamine activity and reflects reward prediction-error signaling. In particular the mismatch between predicted reward and reward subsequently received was significantly higher in PD compared to NC, independent of reward magnitude and valence. The intermediate FRN response in NC highlights the contribution of hypocretin in reward processing, yet also shows that this is not as detrimental to the reward system as in Parkinson's. Furthermore, the inability to generate accurate predictions in NC may explain why hypocretin deficiency mediates cataplexy triggered by both positive and negative emotions.

  2. Altered neurocircuitry in the dopamine transporter knockout mouse brain.

    Xiaowei Zhang

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available The plasma membrane transporters for the monoamine neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine modulate the dynamics of these monoamine neurotransmitters. Thus, activity of these transporters has significant consequences for monoamine activity throughout the brain and for a number of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Gene knockout (KO mice that reduce or eliminate expression of each of these monoamine transporters have provided a wealth of new information about the function of these proteins at molecular, physiological and behavioral levels. In the present work we use the unique properties of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI to probe the effects of altered dopaminergic dynamics on meso-scale neuronal circuitry and overall brain morphology, since changes at these levels of organization might help to account for some of the extensive pharmacological and behavioral differences observed in dopamine transporter (DAT KO mice. Despite the smaller size of these animals, voxel-wise statistical comparison of high resolution structural MR images indicated little morphological change as a consequence of DAT KO. Likewise, proton magnetic resonance spectra recorded in the striatum indicated no significant changes in detectable metabolite concentrations between DAT KO and wild-type (WT mice. In contrast, alterations in the circuitry from the prefrontal cortex to the mesocortical limbic system, an important brain component intimately tied to function of mesolimbic/mesocortical dopamine reward pathways, were revealed by manganese-enhanced MRI (MEMRI. Analysis of co-registered MEMRI images taken over the 26 hours after introduction of Mn(2+ into the prefrontal cortex indicated that DAT KO mice have a truncated Mn(2+ distribution within this circuitry with little accumulation beyond the thalamus or contralateral to the injection site. By contrast, WT littermates exhibit Mn(2+ transport into more posterior midbrain nuclei and contralateral

  3. Dopamine and Reward: The Anhedonia Hypothesis 30 years on

    Wise, Roy A.

    2008-01-01

    The anhedonia hypothesis – that brain dopamine plays a critical role in the subjective pleasure associated with positive rewards – was intended to draw the attention of psychiatrists to the growing evidence that dopamine plays a critical role in the objective reinforcement and incentive motivation associated with food and water, brain stimulation reward, and psychomotor stimulant and opiate reward. The hypothesis called to attention the apparent paradox that neuroleptics, drugs used to treat ...

  4. Distinct Reward Properties are Encoded via Corticostriatal Interactions.

    Smith, David V; Rigney, Anastasia E; Delgado, Mauricio R

    2016-02-02

    The striatum serves as a critical brain region for reward processing. Yet, understanding the link between striatum and reward presents a challenge because rewards are composed of multiple properties. Notably, affective properties modulate emotion while informative properties help obtain future rewards. We approached this problem by emphasizing affective and informative reward properties within two independent guessing games. We found that both reward properties evoked activation within the nucleus accumbens, a subregion of the striatum. Striatal responses to informative, but not affective, reward properties predicted subsequent utilization of information for obtaining monetary reward. We hypothesized that activation of the striatum may be necessary but not sufficient to encode distinct reward properties. To investigate this possibility, we examined whether affective and informative reward properties were differentially encoded in corticostriatal interactions. Strikingly, we found that the striatum exhibited dissociable connectivity patterns with the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, with increasing connectivity for affective reward properties and decreasing connectivity for informative reward properties. Our results demonstrate that affective and informative reward properties are encoded via corticostriatal interactions. These findings highlight how corticostriatal systems contribute to reward processing, potentially advancing models linking striatal activation to behavior.

  5. Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and the mesoaccumbens reward circuit: evidence for GABA(B) receptor-mediated effects.

    Pistis, M; Muntoni, A L; Pillolla, G; Perra, S; Cignarella, G; Melis, M; Gessa, G L

    2005-01-01

    Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) is a short-chain fatty acid naturally occurring in the mammalian brain, which recently emerged as a major recreational drug of abuse. GHB has multiple neuronal mechanisms including activation of both the GABA(B) receptor, and a distinct GHB-specific receptor. This complex GHB-GABA(B) receptor interaction is probably responsible for the multifaceted pharmacological, behavioral and toxicological profile of GHB. Drugs of abuse exert remarkably similar effects upon reward-related circuits, in particular the mesolimbic dopaminergic system and the nucleus accumbens (NAc). We used single unit recordings in vivo from urethane-anesthetized rats to characterize the effects of GHB on evoked firing in NAc "shell" neurons and on spontaneous activity of antidromically identified dopamine (DA) cells located in the ventral tegmental area. GHB was studied in comparison with the GABA(B) receptor agonist baclofen and antagonist (2S)(+)-5,5-dimethyl-2-morpholineacetic acid (SCH50911). Additionally, we utilized a GHB analog, gamma-(p-methoxybenzil)-gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (NCS-435), devoid of GABA(B) binding properties, but with high affinity for specific GHB binding sites. In common with other drugs of abuse, GHB depressed firing in NAc neurons evoked by the stimulation of the basolateral amygdala. On DA neurons, GHB exerted heterogeneous effects, which were correlated to the baseline firing rate of the cells but led to a moderate stimulation of the DA system. All GHB actions were mediated by GABA(B) receptors, since they were blocked by SCH50911 and were not mimicked by NCS-435. Our study indicates that the electrophysiological profile of GHB is close to typical drugs of abuse: both inhibition of NAc neurons and moderate to strong stimulation of DA transmission are distinctive features of diverse classes of abused drugs. Moreover, it is concluded that addictive and rewarding properties of GHB do not necessarily involve a putative high affinity GHB

  6. Neural response to reward anticipation in those with depression with and without panic disorder.

    Gorka, Stephanie M; Huggins, Ashley A; Fitzgerald, Daniel A; Nelson, Brady D; Phan, K Luan; Shankman, Stewart A

    2014-08-01

    One of the hallmark features of major depressive disorder (MDD) is reduced reward anticipation. There have been mixed findings in the literature as to whether reward anticipation deficits in MDD are related to diminished mesolimbic activation and/or enhanced dorsal anterior cingulate activation (dACC). One of the reasons for these mixed findings is that these studies have typically not addressed the role of comorbid anxiety, a class of disorders which frequently co-occur with depression and have a common neurobiology. The aim of the current study was to examine group differences in neural responses to reward anticipation in 40 adults with either: (1) current MDD with no lifetime diagnosis of an anxiety disorder (MDD-only), (2) current MDD with comorbid panic disorder (MDD-PD), or (3) no lifetime diagnosis of psychopathology. All participants completed a passive slot machine task during a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan. Analyses indicated that there were no group differences in activation of mesolimbic reward regions; however, the MDD-only group exhibited greater dACC activation during the anticipation of rewards compared with the healthy controls and the comorbid MDD-PD group (who did not differ from each other). The sample size was small which limits generalizability. These findings provide preliminary support for the role of hyperactive dACC functioning in reduced reward anticipation in MDD. They also indicate that comorbid anxiety may alter the association between MDD and neural responding to reward anticipation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Addiction: beyond dopamine reward circuitry.

    Volkow, Nora D; Wang, Gene-Jack; Fowler, Joanna S; Tomasi, Dardo; Telang, Frank

    2011-09-13

    Dopamine (DA) is considered crucial for the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse, but its role in addiction is much less clear. This review focuses on studies that used PET to characterize the brain DA system in addicted subjects. These studies have corroborated in humans the relevance of drug-induced fast DA increases in striatum [including nucleus accumbens (NAc)] in their rewarding effects but have unexpectedly shown that in addicted subjects, drug-induced DA increases (as well as their subjective reinforcing effects) are markedly blunted compared with controls. In contrast, addicted subjects show significant DA increases in striatum in response to drug-conditioned cues that are associated with self-reports of drug craving and appear to be of a greater magnitude than the DA responses to the drug. We postulate that the discrepancy between the expectation for the drug effects (conditioned responses) and the blunted pharmacological effects maintains drug taking in an attempt to achieve the expected reward. Also, whether tested during early or protracted withdrawal, addicted subjects show lower levels of D2 receptors in striatum (including NAc), which are associated with decreases in baseline activity in frontal brain regions implicated in salience attribution (orbitofrontal cortex) and inhibitory control (anterior cingulate gyrus), whose disruption results in compulsivity and impulsivity. These results point to an imbalance between dopaminergic circuits that underlie reward and conditioning and those that underlie executive function (emotional control and decision making), which we postulate contributes to the compulsive drug use and loss of control in addiction.

  8. Addiction: Beyond dopamine reward circuitry

    Volkow, N.D.; Wang, G.-J.; Fowler, J.S.; Tomasi, D.; Telang, F.

    2011-01-01

    Dopamine (DA) is considered crucial for the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse, but its role in addiction is much less clear. This review focuses on studies that used PET to characterize the brain DA system in addicted subjects. These studies have corroborated in humans the relevance of drug-induced fast DA increases in striatum [including nucleus accumbens (NAc)] in their rewarding effects but have unexpectedly shown that in addicted subjects, drug-induced DA increases (as well as their subjective reinforcing effects) are markedly blunted compared with controls. In contrast, addicted subjects show significant DA increases in striatum in response to drug-conditioned cues that are associated with self-reports of drug craving and appear to be of a greater magnitude than the DA responses to the drug. We postulate that the discrepancy between the expectation for the drug effects (conditioned responses) and the blunted pharmacological effects maintains drug taking in an attempt to achieve the expected reward. Also, whether tested during early or protracted withdrawal, addicted subjects show lower levels of D2 receptors in striatum (including NAc), which are associated with decreases in baseline activity in frontal brain regions implicated in salience attribution (orbitofrontal cortex) and inhibitory control (anterior cingulate gyrus), whose disruption results in compulsivity and impulsivity. These results point to an imbalance between dopaminergic circuits that underlie reward and conditioning and those that underlie executive function (emotional control and decision making), which we postulate contributes to the compulsive drug use and loss of control in addiction.

  9. Addiction: Beyond dopamine reward circuitry

    Volkow, N.D.; Wang, G.; Volkow, N.D.; Wang, G.-J.; Fowler, J.S.; Tomasi, D.; Telang, F.

    2011-09-13

    Dopamine (DA) is considered crucial for the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse, but its role in addiction is much less clear. This review focuses on studies that used PET to characterize the brain DA system in addicted subjects. These studies have corroborated in humans the relevance of drug-induced fast DA increases in striatum [including nucleus accumbens (NAc)] in their rewarding effects but have unexpectedly shown that in addicted subjects, drug-induced DA increases (as well as their subjective reinforcing effects) are markedly blunted compared with controls. In contrast, addicted subjects show significant DA increases in striatum in response to drug-conditioned cues that are associated with self-reports of drug craving and appear to be of a greater magnitude than the DA responses to the drug. We postulate that the discrepancy between the expectation for the drug effects (conditioned responses) and the blunted pharmacological effects maintains drug taking in an attempt to achieve the expected reward. Also, whether tested during early or protracted withdrawal, addicted subjects show lower levels of D2 receptors in striatum (including NAc), which are associated with decreases in baseline activity in frontal brain regions implicated in salience attribution (orbitofrontal cortex) and inhibitory control (anterior cingulate gyrus), whose disruption results in compulsivity and impulsivity. These results point to an imbalance between dopaminergic circuits that underlie reward and conditioning and those that underlie executive function (emotional control and decision making), which we postulate contributes to the compulsive drug use and loss of control in addiction.

  10. Obese individuals with more components of the metabolic syndrome and/or prediabetes demonstrate decreased activation of reward-related brain centers in response to food cues in both the fed and fasting states: a preliminary fMRI study.

    Farr, O M; Mantzoros, C S

    2017-03-01

    It remains unknown whether obese individuals with more components of the metabolic syndrome and/or prediabetes demonstrate altered activation of brain centers in response to food cues. We examined obese individuals with prediabetes (n=26) vs obese individuals without prediabetes (n=11) using fMRI. We also performed regression analyses on the basis of the number of MetS components per subject. Obese individuals with prediabetes have decreased activation of the reward-related putamen in the fasting state and decreased activation of the salience- and reward-related insula after eating. Obese individuals with more components of MetS demonstrate decreased activation of the putamen while fasting. All these activations remain significant when corrected for BMI, waist circumference (WC), HbA1c and gender. Decreased activation in the reward-related central nervous system areas among the obese is more pronounced in subjects with prediabetes and MetS. Prospective studies are needed to quantify their contributions to the development of prediabetes/MetS and to study whether they may predispose to the exacerbation of obesity and the development of comorbidities over time.

  11. Mesolimbic effects of the antidepressant fluoxetine in Holtzman rats, a genetic strain with increased vulnerability to stress

    Padilla, Eimeira; Shumake, Jason; Barrett, Douglas W.; Sheridan, Eva C.; Gonzalez-Lima, F.

    2011-01-01

    This is the first metabolic mapping study of the effects of fluoxetine after learned helplessness training. Antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed medications, but the regions underlying treatment effects in affectively disordered brains are poorly understood. We hypothesized the antidepressant action of fluoxetine would produce adaptations in mesolimbic regions after two weeks of treatment. We used Holtzman rats, a genetic strain showing susceptibility to novelty-evoked hyperactivity and stress-evoked helplessness, to map regional brain metabolic effects caused by fluoxetine treatment. Animals underwent learned helplessness, and subsequently immobility time was scored in the forced swim test (FST). On the next day, animals began receiving two weeks of fluoxetine (5 mg/kg/day) or vehicle and were retested in the FST at the end of drug treatment. Antidepressant behavioral effects of fluoxetine were analyzed using a ratio of immobility during pre- and post-treatment FST sessions. Brains were analyzed for regional metabolic activity using quantitative cytochrome oxidase histochemistry as in our previous study using congenitally helpless rats. Fluoxetine exerted a protective effect against FST-induced immobility behavior in Holtzman rats. Fluoxetine also caused a significant reduction in the mean regional metabolism of the nucleus accumbens shell and the ventral hippocampus as compared to vehicle-treated subjects. Additional networks affected by fluoxetine treatment included the prefrontal-cingulate cortex and brainstem nuclei linked to depression (e.g. habenula, dorsal raphe and interpeduncular nucleus). We concluded that corticolimbic regions such as the prefrontal-cingulate cortex, nucleus accumbens, ventral hippocampus and key brainstem nuclei represent important contributors to the neural network mediating fluoxetine antidepressant action. PMID:21376019

  12. Brain and Addiction

    ... reward” circuit, which is part of the limbic system. Normally, the reward circuit responds to feelings of pleasure by releasing ... infographic, discover how drug use affects the brain's reward system. This publication is available for your use and ...

  13. Sexual behavior and sex-associated environmental cues activate the mesolimbic system in male rats.

    Balfour, Margaret E; Yu, Lei; Coolen, Lique M

    2004-04-01

    The mesolimbic system plays an important role in the regulation of both pathological behaviors such as drug addiction and normal motivated behaviors such as sexual behavior. The present study investigated the mechanism by which this system is endogenously activated during sexual behavior. Specifically, the effects of sexual experience and sex-related environmental cues on the activation of several components of the mesolimbic system were studied. The mesolimbic system consists of a dopaminergic projection from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Previous studies suggest that these neurons are under tonic inhibition by local GABA interneurons, which are in turn modulated by mu opioid receptor (MOR) ligands. To test the hypothesis that opioids are acting in the VTA during sexual behavior, visualization of MOR internalization in VTA was used as a marker for ligand-induced activation of the receptor. Significant increases in MOR internalization were observed following copulation or exposure to sex-related environmental cues. The next goal was to determine if sexual behavior activates dopamine neurons in the VTA, using tyrosine hydroxylase as a marker for dopaminergic neurons and Fos-immunoreactivity as a marker for neuronal activation. Significant increases in the percentage of activated dopaminergic neurons were observed following copulation or exposure to sex-related environmental cues. In addition, mating and sex-related cues activated a large population of nondopaminergic neurons in VTA as well as neurons in both the NAc Core and Shell. Taken together, our results provide functional neuroanatomical evidence that the mesolimbic system is activated by both sexual behavior and exposure to sex-related environmental cues.

  14. Adaptive neural reward processing during anticipation and receipt of monetary rewards in mindfulness meditators.

    Kirk, Ulrich; Brown, Kirk Warren; Downar, Jonathan

    2015-05-01

    Reward seeking is ubiquitous and adaptive in humans. But excessive reward seeking behavior, such as chasing monetary rewards, may lead to diminished subjective well-being. This study examined whether individuals trained in mindfulness meditation show neural evidence of lower susceptibility to monetary rewards. Seventy-eight participants (34 meditators, 44 matched controls) completed the monetary incentive delay task while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. The groups performed equally on the task, but meditators showed lower neural activations in the caudate nucleus during reward anticipation, and elevated bilateral posterior insula activation during reward anticipation. Meditators also evidenced reduced activations in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex during reward receipt compared with controls. Connectivity parameters between the right caudate and bilateral anterior insula were attenuated in meditators during incentive anticipation. In summary, brain regions involved in reward processing-both during reward anticipation and receipt of reward-responded differently in mindfulness meditators than in nonmeditators, indicating that the former are less susceptible to monetary incentives. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Hatching the behavioral addiction egg: Reward Deficiency Solution System (RDSS)™ as a function of dopaminergic neurogenetics and brain functional connectivity linking all addictions under a common rubric.

    Blum, Kenneth; Febo, Marcelo; McLaughlin, Thomas; Cronjé, Frans J; Han, David; Gold, S Mark

    2014-09-01

    Following the first association between the dopamine D2 receptor gene polymorphism and severe alcoholism, there has been an explosion of research reports in the psychiatric and behavioral addiction literature and neurogenetics. With this increased knowledge, the field has been rife with controversy. Moreover, with the advent of Whole Genome-Wide Studies (GWAS) and Whole Exome Sequencing (WES), along with Functional Genome Convergence, the multiple-candidate gene approach still has merit and is considered by many as the most prudent approach. However, it is the combination of these two approaches that will ultimately define real, genetic allelic relationships, in terms of both risk and etiology. Since 1996, our laboratory has coined the umbrella term Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS) to explain the common neurochemical and genetic mechanisms involved with both substance and non-substance, addictive behaviors. This is a selective review of peer-reviewed papers primary listed in Pubmed and Medline. A review of the available evidence indicates the importance of dopaminergic pathways and resting-state, functional connectivity of brain reward circuits. Importantly, the proposal is that the real phenotype is RDS and impairments in the brain's reward cascade, either genetically or environmentally (epigenetically) induced, influence both substance and non-substance, addictive behaviors. Understanding shared common mechanisms will ultimately lead to better diagnosis, treatment and prevention of relapse. While, at this juncture, we cannot as yet state that we have "hatched the behavioral addiction egg", we are beginning to ask the correct questions and through an intense global effort will hopefully find a way of "redeeming joy" and permitting homo sapiens live a life, free of addiction and pain.

  16. Endocannabinoid signaling in reward and addiction

    Parsons, Loren H.; Hurd, Yasmin L.

    2015-01-01

    Brain endocannabinoid signaling influences the motivation for natural rewards (such as palatable food, sexual activity and social interaction) and modulates the rewarding effects of addictive drugs. Pathological forms of natural and drug-induced reward are associated with dysregulated endocannabinoid signaling that may derive from pre-existing genetic factors or from prolonged drug exposure. Impaired endocannabinoid signaling contributes to dysregulated synaptic plasticity, increased stress responsivity, negative emotional states, and craving that propel addiction. Understanding the contributions of endocannabinoid disruptions to behavioral and physiological traits provides insight into the endocannabinoid influence on addiction vulnerability. PMID:26373473

  17. Reward Prediction Errors in Drug Addiction and Parkinson's Disease: from Neurophysiology to Neuroimaging.

    García-García, Isabel; Zeighami, Yashar; Dagher, Alain

    2017-06-01

    Surprises are important sources of learning. Cognitive scientists often refer to surprises as "reward prediction errors," a parameter that captures discrepancies between expectations and actual outcomes. Here, we integrate neurophysiological and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) results addressing the processing of reward prediction errors and how they might be altered in drug addiction and Parkinson's disease. By increasing phasic dopamine responses, drugs might accentuate prediction error signals, causing increases in fMRI activity in mesolimbic areas in response to drugs. Chronic substance dependence, by contrast, has been linked with compromised dopaminergic function, which might be associated with blunted fMRI responses to pleasant non-drug stimuli in mesocorticolimbic areas. In Parkinson's disease, dopamine replacement therapies seem to induce impairments in learning from negative outcomes. The present review provides a holistic overview of reward prediction errors across different pathologies and might inform future clinical strategies targeting impulsive/compulsive disorders.

  18. Reward inference by primate prefrontal and striatal neurons.

    Pan, Xiaochuan; Fan, Hongwei; Sawa, Kosuke; Tsuda, Ichiro; Tsukada, Minoru; Sakagami, Masamichi

    2014-01-22

    The brain contains multiple yet distinct systems involved in reward prediction. To understand the nature of these processes, we recorded single-unit activity from the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) and the striatum in monkeys performing a reward inference task using an asymmetric reward schedule. We found that neurons both in the LPFC and in the striatum predicted reward values for stimuli that had been previously well experienced with set reward quantities in the asymmetric reward task. Importantly, these LPFC neurons could predict the reward value of a stimulus using transitive inference even when the monkeys had not yet learned the stimulus-reward association directly; whereas these striatal neurons did not show such an ability. Nevertheless, because there were two set amounts of reward (large and small), the selected striatal neurons were able to exclusively infer the reward value (e.g., large) of one novel stimulus from a pair after directly experiencing the alternative stimulus with the other reward value (e.g., small). Our results suggest that although neurons that predict reward value for old stimuli in the LPFC could also do so for new stimuli via transitive inference, those in the striatum could only predict reward for new stimuli via exclusive inference. Moreover, the striatum showed more complex functions than was surmised previously for model-free learning.

  19. Neural coding of basic reward terms of animal learning theory, game theory, microeconomics and behavioural ecology.

    Schultz, Wolfram

    2004-04-01

    Neurons in a small number of brain structures detect rewards and reward-predicting stimuli and are active during the expectation of predictable food and liquid rewards. These neurons code the reward information according to basic terms of various behavioural theories that seek to explain reward-directed learning, approach behaviour and decision-making. The involved brain structures include groups of dopamine neurons, the striatum including the nucleus accumbens, the orbitofrontal cortex and the amygdala. The reward information is fed to brain structures involved in decision-making and organisation of behaviour, such as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and possibly the parietal cortex. The neural coding of basic reward terms derived from formal theories puts the neurophysiological investigation of reward mechanisms on firm conceptual grounds and provides neural correlates for the function of rewards in learning, approach behaviour and decision-making.

  20. Video game training and the reward system

    Lorenz, Robert C.; Gleich, Tobias; Gallinat, Jürgen; Kühn, Simone

    2015-01-01

    Video games contain elaborate reinforcement and reward schedules that have the potential to maximize motivation. Neuroimaging studies suggest that video games might have an influence on the reward system. However, it is not clear whether reward-related properties represent a precondition, which biases an individual toward playing video games, or if these changes are the result of playing video games. Therefore, we conducted a longitudinal study to explore reward-related functional predictors in relation to video gaming experience as well as functional changes in the brain in response to video game training. Fifty healthy participants were randomly assigned to a video game training (TG) or control group (CG). Before and after training/control period, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was conducted using a non-video game related reward task. At pretest, both groups showed strongest activation in ventral striatum (VS) during reward anticipation. At posttest, the TG showed very similar VS activity compared to pretest. In the CG, the VS activity was significantly attenuated. This longitudinal study revealed that video game training may preserve reward responsiveness in the VS in a retest situation over time. We suggest that video games are able to keep striatal responses to reward flexible, a mechanism which might be of critical value for applications such as therapeutic cognitive training. PMID:25698962

  1. Video game training and the reward system.

    Lorenz, Robert C; Gleich, Tobias; Gallinat, Jürgen; Kühn, Simone

    2015-01-01

    Video games contain elaborate reinforcement and reward schedules that have the potential to maximize motivation. Neuroimaging studies suggest that video games might have an influence on the reward system. However, it is not clear whether reward-related properties represent a precondition, which biases an individual toward playing video games, or if these changes are the result of playing video games. Therefore, we conducted a longitudinal study to explore reward-related functional predictors in relation to video gaming experience as well as functional changes in the brain in response to video game training. Fifty healthy participants were randomly assigned to a video game training (TG) or control group (CG). Before and after training/control period, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was conducted using a non-video game related reward task. At pretest, both groups showed strongest activation in ventral striatum (VS) during reward anticipation. At posttest, the TG showed very similar VS activity compared to pretest. In the CG, the VS activity was significantly attenuated. This longitudinal study revealed that video game training may preserve reward responsiveness in the VS in a retest situation over time. We suggest that video games are able to keep striatal responses to reward flexible, a mechanism which might be of critical value for applications such as therapeutic cognitive training.

  2. Video Game Training and the Reward System

    Robert C. Lorenz

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Video games contain elaborate reinforcement and reward schedules that have the potential to maximize motivation. Neuroimaging studies suggest that video games might have an influence on the reward system. However, it is not clear whether reward-related properties represent a precondition, which biases an individual towards playing video games, or if these changes are the result of playing video games. Therefore, we conducted a longitudinal study to explore reward-related functional predictors in relation to video gaming experience as well as functional changes in the brain in response to video game training.Fifty healthy participants were randomly assigned to a video game training (TG or control group (CG. Before and after training/control period, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI was conducted using a non-video game related reward task.At pretest, both groups showed strongest activation in ventral striatum (VS during reward anticipation. At posttest, the TG showed very similar VS activity compared to pretest. In the CG, the VS activity was significantly attenuated.This longitudinal study revealed that video game training may preserve reward responsiveness in the ventral striatum in a retest situation over time. We suggest that video games are able to keep striatal responses to reward flexible, a mechanism which might be of critical value for applications such as therapeutic cognitive training.

  3. The endocannabinoid system and nondrug rewarding behaviours.

    Fattore, Liana; Melis, Miriam; Fadda, Paola; Pistis, Marco; Fratta, Walter

    2010-07-01

    Rewarding behaviours such as sexual activity, eating, nursing, parenting, social interactions, and play activity are conserved strongly in evolution, and they are essential for development and survival. All of these behaviours are enjoyable and represent pleasant experiences with a high reward value. Remarkably, rewarding behaviours activate the same brain circuits that mediate the positive reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse and of other forms of addiction, such as gambling and food addiction. Given the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in a variety of physiological functions of the nervous system, it is not surprising that it takes part in the complex machinery that regulates gratification and perception of pleasure. In this review, we focus first on the role of the endocannabinoid system in the modulation of neural activity and synaptic functions in brain regions that are involved in natural and nonnatural rewards (namely, the ventral tegmental area, striatum, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex). Then, we examine the role of the endocannabinoid system in modulating behaviours that directly or indirectly activate these brain reward pathways. More specifically, current knowledge of the effects of the pharmacological manipulation of the endocannabinoid system on natural (eating, sexual behaviour, parenting, and social play) and pathological (gambling) rewarding behaviours is summarised and discussed. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Divergent circuitry underlying food reward and intake effects of ghrelin: dopaminergic VTA-accumbens projection mediates ghrelin's effect on food reward but not food intake.

    Skibicka, Karolina P; Shirazi, Rozita H; Rabasa-Papio, Cristina; Alvarez-Crespo, Mayte; Neuber, Corinna; Vogel, Heike; Dickson, Suzanne L

    2013-10-01

    Obesity has reached global epidemic proportions and creating an urgent need to understand mechanisms underlying excessive and uncontrolled food intake. Ghrelin, the only known circulating orexigenic hormone, potently increases food reward behavior. The neurochemical circuitry that links ghrelin to the mesolimbic reward system and to the increased food reward behavior remains unclear. Here we examine whether VTA-NAc dopaminergic signaling is required for the effects of ghrelin on food reward and intake. In addition, we examine the possibility of endogenous ghrelin acting on the VTA-NAc dopamine neurons. A D1-like or a D2 receptor antagonist was injected into the NAc in combination with ghrelin microinjection into the VTA to investigate whether this blockade attenuates ghrelin-induced food reward behavior. VTA injections of ghrelin produced a significant increase in food motivation/reward behavior, as measured by sucrose-induced progressive ratio operant conditioning, and chow intake. Pretreatment with either a D1-like or D2 receptor antagonist into the NAc, completely blocked the reward effect of ghrelin, leaving chow intake intact. We also found that this circuit is potentially relevant for the effects of endogenously released ghrelin as both antagonists reduced fasting (a state of high circulating levels of ghrelin) elevated sucrose-motivated behavior but not chow hyperphagia. Taken together our data identify the VTA to NAc dopaminergic projections, along with D1-like and D2 receptors in the NAc, as essential elements of the ghrelin responsive circuits controlling food reward behavior. Interestingly results also suggest that food reward behavior and simple intake of chow are controlled by divergent circuitry, where NAc dopamine plays an important role in food reward but not in food intake. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  5. Abnormalities of functional brain networks in pathological gambling: a graph-theoretical approach

    Tschernegg, Melanie; Crone, Julia S.; Eigenberger, Tina; Schwartenbeck, Philipp; Fauth-Bühler, Mira; Lemènager, Tagrid; Mann, Karl; Thon, Natasha; Wurst, Friedrich M.; Kronbichler, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Functional neuroimaging studies of pathological gambling (PG) demonstrate alterations in frontal and subcortical regions of the mesolimbic reward system. However, most investigations were performed using tasks involving reward processing or executive functions. Little is known about brain network abnormalities during task-free resting state in PG. In the present study, graph-theoretical methods were used to investigate network properties of resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging data in PG. We compared 19 patients with PG to 19 healthy controls (HCs) using the Graph Analysis Toolbox (GAT). None of the examined global metrics differed between groups. At the nodal level, pathological gambler showed a reduced clustering coefficient in the left paracingulate cortex and the left juxtapositional lobe (supplementary motor area, SMA), reduced local efficiency in the left SMA, as well as an increased node betweenness for the left and right paracingulate cortex and the left SMA. At an uncorrected threshold level, the node betweenness in the left inferior frontal gyrus was decreased and increased in the caudate. Additionally, increased functional connectivity between fronto-striatal regions and within frontal regions has also been found for the gambling patients. These findings suggest that regions associated with the reward system demonstrate reduced segregation but enhanced integration while regions associated with executive functions demonstrate reduced integration. The present study makes evident that PG is also associated with abnormalities in the topological network structure of the brain during rest. Since alterations in PG cannot be explained by direct effects of abused substances on the brain, these findings will be of relevance for understanding functional connectivity in other addictive disorders. PMID:24098282

  6. Abnormalities of Functional Brain Networks in Pathological Gambling: A Graph-Theoretical Approach

    Melanie eTschernegg

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Functional neuroimaging studies of pathological gambling demonstrate alterations in frontal and subcortical regions of the mesolimbic reward system. However, most investigations were performed using tasks involving reward processing or executive functions. Little is known about brain network abnormalities during task-free resting state in pathological gambling. In the present study, graph-theoretical methods were used to investigate network properties of resting state functional MRI data in pathological gambling. We compared 19 patients with pathological gambling to 19 healthy controls using the Graph Analysis Toolbox (GAT. None of the examined global metrics differed between groups. At the nodal level, pathological gambler showed a reduced clustering coefficient in the left paracingulate cortex and the left juxtapositional lobe (SMA, reduced local efficiency in the left SMA, as well as an increased node betweenness for the left and right paracingulate cortex and the left SMA. At an uncorrected threshold level, the node betweenness in the left inferior frontal gyrus was decreased and increased in the caudate. Additionally, increased functional connectivity between fronto-striatal regions and within frontal regions has also been found for the gambling patients.These findings suggest that regions associated with the reward system demonstrate reduced segregation but enhanced integration while regions associated with executive functions demonstrate reduced integration. The present study makes evident that pathological gambling is also associated with abnormalities in the topological network structure of the brain during rest. Since alterations in pathological gambling cannot be explained by direct effects of abused substances on the brain, these findings will be of relevance for understanding functional connectivity in other addictive disorders.

  7. Increased functional connectivity between prefrontal cortex and reward system in pathological gambling.

    Saskia Koehler

    Full Text Available Pathological gambling (PG shares clinical characteristics with substance-use disorders and is thus discussed as a behavioral addiction. Recent neuroimaging studies on PG report functional changes in prefrontal structures and the mesolimbic reward system. While an imbalance between these structures has been related to addictive behavior, whether their dysfunction in PG is reflected in the interaction between them remains unclear. We addressed this question using functional connectivity resting-state fMRI in male subjects with PG and controls. Seed-based functional connectivity was computed using two regions-of-interest, based on the results of a previous voxel-based morphometry study, located in the prefrontal cortex and the mesolimbic reward system (right middle frontal gyrus and right ventral striatum. PG patients demonstrated increased connectivity from the right middle frontal gyrus to the right striatum as compared to controls, which was also positively correlated with nonplanning aspect of impulsiveness, smoking and craving scores in the PG group. Moreover, PG patients demonstrated decreased connectivity from the right middle frontal gyrus to other prefrontal areas as compared to controls. The right ventral striatum demonstrated increased connectivity to the right superior and middle frontal gyrus and left cerebellum in PG patients as compared to controls. The increased connectivity to the cerebellum was positively correlated with smoking in the PG group. Our results provide further evidence for alterations in functional connectivity in PG with increased connectivity between prefrontal regions and the reward system, similar to connectivity changes reported in substance use disorder.

  8. Individual differences in pavlovian autoshaping of lever pressing in rats predict stress-induced corticosterone release and mesolimbic levels of monoamines.

    Tomie, A; Aguado, A S; Pohorecky, L A; Benjamin, D

    2000-03-01

    Pavlovian autoshaping CRs are directed and reflexive consummatory responses targeted at objects repeatedly paired with rewarding substances. To evaluate the hypothesis that autoshaping may provide an animal learning model of vulnerability to drug abuse, this study relates individual differences in lever-press autoshaping CR performance in rats to stress-induced corticosterone release and tissue monoamine levels in the mesolimbic dopamine tract. Long-Evans rats (n = 14) were given 20 sessions of Pavlovian autoshaping training wherein the insertion of a retractable lever CS was followed by the response-independent presentation of food US. Large between-subjects differences in lever-press autoshaping CR performance were observed, with group high CR frequency (n = 5) performing many more lever press CRs than group low CR frequency (n = 9). Tail-blood samples were obtained before and after the 20th autoshaping session, then 24 h later the rats were sacrificed and dissection yielded tissue samples of nucleus accumbens (NAC), prefrontal cortex (PFC), caudate putamen (CP), and ventral tegmental area (VTA). Serum levels of postsession corticosterone were elevated in group high CR frequency. HPLC revealed that group high CR frequency had higher tissue levels of dopamine and DOPAC in NAC, lower levels of DOPAC/DA turnover in CP, and lower levels of 5-HIAA and lower 5-HIAA/5-HT turnover in VTA. The neurochemical profile of rats that perform more autoshaping CRs share some features of vulnerability to drug abuse.

  9. Pharmacological Modulation of 5-HT2C Receptor Activity Produces Bidirectional Changes in Locomotor Activity, Responding for a Conditioned Reinforcer, and Mesolimbic DA Release in C57BL/6 Mice.

    Browne, Caleb J; Ji, Xiaodong; Higgins, Guy A; Fletcher, Paul J; Harvey-Lewis, Colin

    2017-10-01

    Converging lines of behavioral, electrophysiological, and biochemical evidence suggest that 5-HT 2C receptor signaling may bidirectionally influence reward-related behavior through an interaction with the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system. Here we directly test this hypothesis by examining how modulating 5-HT 2C receptor activity affects DA-dependent behaviors and relate these effects to changes in nucleus accumbens (NAc) DA release. In C57BL/6 mice, locomotor activity and responding for a conditioned reinforcer (CRf), a measure of incentive motivation, were examined following treatment with three 5-HT 2C receptor ligands: the agonist CP809101 (0.25-3 mg/kg), the antagonist SB242084 (0.25-1 mg/kg), or the antagonist/inverse agonist SB206553 (1-5 mg/kg). We further tested whether doses of these compounds that changed locomotor activity and responding for a CRf (1 mg/kg CP809101, 0.5 mg/kg SB242084, or 2.5 mg/kg SB206553) also altered NAc DA release using in vivo microdialysis in anesthetized mice. CP809101 reduced locomotor activity, responding for a CRf, and NAc DA release. In contrast, both SB242084 and SB206553 enhanced locomotor activity, responding for a CRf, and NAc DA release, although higher doses of SB206553 produced opposite behavioral effects. Pretreatment with the non-selective DA receptor antagonist α-flupenthixol prevented SB242084 from enhancing responding for a CRf. Thus blocking tonic 5-HT 2C receptor signaling can release serotonergic inhibition of mesolimbic DA activity and enhance reward-related behavior. The observed bidirectional effects of 5-HT 2C receptor ligands may have important implications when considering the 5-HT 2C receptor as a therapeutic target for psychiatric disorders, particularly those presenting with motivational dysfunctions.

  10. Glutamate Receptors within the Mesolimbic Dopamine System Mediate Alcohol Relapse Behavior.

    Eisenhardt, Manuela; Leixner, Sarah; Luján, Rafael; Spanagel, Rainer; Bilbao, Ainhoa

    2015-11-25

    Glutamatergic input within the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) pathway plays a critical role in the development of addictive behavior. Although this is well established for some drugs of abuse, it is not known whether glutamate receptors within the mesolimbic system are involved in mediating the addictive properties of chronic alcohol use. Here we evaluated the contribution of mesolimbic NMDARs and AMPARs in mediating alcohol-seeking responses induced by environmental stimuli and relapse behavior using four inducible mutant mouse lines lacking the glutamate receptor genes Grin1 or Gria1 in either DA transporter (DAT) or D1R-expressing neurons. We first demonstrate the lack of GluN1 or GluA1 in either DAT- or D1R-expressing neurons in our mutant mouse lines by colocalization studies. We then show that GluN1 and GluA1 receptor subunits within these neuronal subpopulations mediate the alcohol deprivation effect, while having no impact on context- plus cue-induced reinstatement of alcohol-seeking behavior. We further validated these results pharmacologically by demonstrating similar reductions in the alcohol deprivation effect after infusion of the NMDAR antagonist memantine into the nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental area of control mice, and a rescue of the mutant phenotype via pharmacological potentiation of AMPAR activity using aniracetam. In conclusion, dopamine neurons as well as D1R-expressing medium spiny neurons and their glutamatergic inputs via NMDARs and AMPARs act in concert to influence relapse responses. These results provide a neuroanatomical and molecular substrate for relapse behavior and emphasize the importance of glutamatergic drugs in modulating relapse behavior. Here we provide genetic and pharmacological evidence that glutamate receptors within the mesolimbic dopamine system play an essential role in alcohol relapse. Using various inducible and site-specific transgenic mouse models and pharmacological validation experiments, we show that critical

  11. Oxytocin receptors are expressed on dopamine and glutamate neurons in the mouse ventral tegmental area that project to nucleus accumbens and other mesolimbic targets.

    Peris, Joanna; MacFadyen, Kaley; Smith, Justin A; de Kloet, Annette D; Wang, Lei; Krause, Eric G

    2017-04-01

    The mesolimbic dopamine (DA) circuitry determines which behaviors are positively reinforcing and therefore should be encoded in the memory to become a part of the behavioral repertoire. Natural reinforcers, like food and sex, activate this pathway, thereby increasing the likelihood of further consummatory, social, and sexual behaviors. Oxytocin (OT) has been implicated in mediating natural reward and OT-synthesizing neurons project to the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc); however, direct neuroanatomical evidence of OT regulation of DA neurons within the VTA is sparse. To phenotype OT-receptor (OTR) expressing neurons originating within the VTA, we delivered Cre-inducible adeno-associated virus that drives the expression of fluorescent marker into the VTA of male mice that had Cre-recombinase driven by OTR gene expression. OTR-expressing VTA neurons project to NAc, prefrontal cortex, the extended amygdala, and other forebrain regions but less than 10% of these OTR-expressing neurons were identified as DA neurons (defined by tyrosine hydroxylase colocalization). Instead, almost 50% of OTR-expressing cells in the VTA were glutamate (GLU) neurons, as indicated by expression of mRNA for the vesicular GLU transporter (vGluT). About one-third of OTR-expressing VTA neurons did not colocalize with either DA or GLU phenotypic markers. Thus, OTR expression by VTA neurons implicates that OT regulation of reward circuitry is more complex than a direct action on DA neurotransmission. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:1094-1108, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Dopamine and reward: comment on Hernandez et al. (2006).

    Gallistel, C R

    2006-08-01

    Many lines of evidence suggest that the dopaminergic projection from the midbrain tegmentum to the forebrain must play a critical role in mediating the behavioral effects of natural and artificial rewards, with brain stimulation reward and addictive drugs included in the latter category. However, a closer look reveals many incongruities. The work of G. Hernandez et al. (2006) resolves several puzzles. It implies that the dopaminergic projection does not carry the signal that encodes the magnitude of a brain stimulation reward. It suggests that the elevation in the tonic levels of dopamine consequent on brain stimulation reward modulates the registration of the magnitude of the reward. This reconciles the psychophysical evidence with the pharmacological, electrophysiological, and anatomical evidence. However, some serious puzzles do remain.

  13. Natural Rewards, Neuroplasticity, and Non-Drug Addictions

    Olsen, Christopher M.

    2011-01-01

    There is a high degree of overlap between brain regions involved in processing natural rewards and drugs of abuse. “Non-drug” or “behavioral” addictions have become increasingly documented in the clinic, and pathologies include compulsive activities such as shopping, eating, exercising, sexual behavior, and gambling. Like drug addiction, non-drug addictions manifest in symptoms including craving, impaired control over the behavior, tolerance, withdrawal, and high rates of relapse. These alterations in behavior suggest that plasticity may be occurring in brain regions associated with drug addiction. In this review, I summarize data demonstrating that exposure to non-drug rewards can alter neural plasticity in regions of the brain that are affected by drugs of abuse. Research suggests that there are several similarities between neuroplasticity induced by natural and drug rewards and that, depending on the reward, repeated exposure to natural rewards might induce neuroplasticity that either promotes or counteracts addictive behavior. PMID:21459101

  14. Short- and long-lasting consequences of novelty, deviance and surprise on brain and cognition.

    Schomaker, J; Meeter, M

    2015-08-01

    When one encounters a novel stimulus this sets off a cascade of brain responses, activating several neuromodulatory systems. As a consequence novelty has a wide range of effects on cognition; improving perception and action, increasing motivation, eliciting exploratory behavior, and promoting learning. Here, we review these benefits and how they may arise in the brain. We propose a framework that organizes novelty's effects on brain and cognition into three groups. First, novelty can transiently enhance perception. This effect is proposed to be mediated by novel stimuli activating the amygdala and enhancing early sensory processing. Second, novel stimuli can increase arousal, leading to short-lived effects on action in the first hundreds of milliseconds after presentation. We argue that these effects are related to deviance, rather than to novelty per se, and link them to activation of the locus-coeruleus norepinephrine system. Third, spatial novelty may trigger the dopaminergic mesolimbic system, promoting dopamine release in the hippocampus, having longer-lasting effects, up to tens of minutes, on motivation, reward processing, and learning and memory. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Processing of primary and secondary rewards: a quantitative meta-analysis and review of human functional neuroimaging studies

    Sescousse, G.T.; Caldu, X.; Segura, B.; Dreher, J.C.

    2013-01-01

    One fundamental question concerning brain reward mechanisms is to determine how reward-related activity is influenced by the nature of rewards. Here, we review the neuroimaging literature and explicitly assess to what extent the representations of primary and secondary rewards overlap in the human

  16. Effects of D-cycloserine on extinction of mesolimbic cue reactivity in alcoholism: a randomized placebo-controlled trial.

    Kiefer, Falk; Kirsch, Martina; Bach, Patrick; Hoffmann, Sabine; Reinhard, Iris; Jorde, Anne; von der Goltz, Christoph; Spanagel, Rainer; Mann, Karl; Loeber, Sabine; Vollstädt-Klein, Sabine

    2015-07-01

    Mesocorticolimbic reactivity to alcohol-associated cues has been shown to be associated with relapse to renewed drinking and to be decreased by cue-exposure-based extinction training (CET). Evidence from preclinical studies suggests that the extinction of conditioned alcohol-seeking behavior might be facilitated by drugs increasing N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-associated memory consolidation. In this study, we assessed the efficacy of CET treatment supplemented with the partial NMDA-receptor agonist D-cycloserine (DCS) at reducing mesolimbic cue reactivity (CR), craving, and relapse risk in alcoholism. In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, we recruited 76 recently detoxified abstinent alcohol-dependent patients. Thirty-two (16 DCS, 16 placebo) patients showed cue-induced ventral-striatal activation measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) prior to treatment and were thus included in the efficacy analyses. After inpatient detoxification, patients underwent nine sessions of CET spaced over 3 weeks, receiving either 50 mg DCS or placebo 1 h prior to each CET session. FMRI was conducted before treatment and 3 weeks after treatment onset. Following treatment with CET plus DCS, cue-induced brain activation in the ventral and dorsal striatum was decreased compared to treatment with CET plus placebo. Elevated posttreatment ventral striatal CR and increased craving (assessed using the Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale) were associated with increased relapse risk. DCS was shown to augment the effect of CET for alcohol-dependent subjects. The interaction between craving and ventral-striatal CR on treatment outcome suggests that CET might be especially effective in patients exhibiting both high craving and elevated CR.

  17. The unconscious and conscious foundations of human reward pursuit

    Bijleveld, E.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/313905223

    2012-01-01

    Human reward pursuit is often found to be governed by conscious assessments of expected value and required effort. Yet, research also indicates that rewards are initially valuated and processed outside awareness, using rudimentary brain structures. Building on both findings, a new framework is

  18. Reward processing in the value-driven attention network: reward signals tracking cue identity and location.

    Anderson, Brian A

    2017-03-01

    Through associative reward learning, arbitrary cues acquire the ability to automatically capture visual attention. Previous studies have examined the neural correlates of value-driven attentional orienting, revealing elevated activity within a network of brain regions encompassing the visual corticostriatal loop [caudate tail, lateral occipital complex (LOC) and early visual cortex] and intraparietal sulcus (IPS). Such attentional priority signals raise a broader question concerning how visual signals are combined with reward signals during learning to create a representation that is sensitive to the confluence of the two. This study examines reward signals during the cued reward training phase commonly used to generate value-driven attentional biases. High, compared with low, reward feedback preferentially activated the value-driven attention network, in addition to regions typically implicated in reward processing. Further examination of these reward signals within the visual system revealed information about the identity of the preceding cue in the caudate tail and LOC, and information about the location of the preceding cue in IPS, while early visual cortex represented both location and identity. The results reveal teaching signals within the value-driven attention network during associative reward learning, and further suggest functional specialization within different regions of this network during the acquisition of an integrated representation of stimulus value. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Adaptive scaling of reward in episodic memory: a replication study.

    Mason, Alice; Ludwig, Casimir; Farrell, Simon

    2017-11-01

    Reward is thought to enhance episodic memory formation via dopaminergic consolidation. Bunzeck, Dayan, Dolan, and Duzel [(2010). A common mechanism for adaptive scaling of reward and novelty. Human Brain Mapping, 31, 1380-1394] provided functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and behavioural evidence that reward and episodic memory systems are sensitive to the contextual value of a reward-whether it is relatively higher or lower-as opposed to absolute value or prediction error. We carried out a direct replication of their behavioural study and did not replicate their finding that memory performance associated with reward follows this pattern of adaptive scaling. An effect of reward outcome was in the opposite direction to that in the original study, with lower reward outcomes leading to better memory than higher outcomes. There was a marginal effect of reward context, suggesting that expected value affected memory performance. We discuss the robustness of the reward memory relationship to variations in reward context, and whether other reward-related factors have a more reliable influence on episodic memory.

  20. Dopamine reward prediction error coding

    Schultz, Wolfram

    2016-01-01

    Reward prediction errors consist of the differences between received and predicted rewards. They are crucial for basic forms of learning about rewards and make us strive for more rewards?an evolutionary beneficial trait. Most dopamine neurons in the midbrain of humans, monkeys, and rodents signal a reward prediction error; they are activated by more reward than predicted (positive prediction error), remain at baseline activity for fully predicted rewards, and show depressed activity with less...

  1. Higher resting-state activity in reward-related brain circuits in obese versus normal-weight females independent of food intake

    Hogenkamp, P S; Zhou, W; Dahlberg, L S; Stark, J; Larsen, A L; Olivo, G; Wiemerslage, L; Larsson, E-M; Sundbom, M; Benedict, C; Schi?th, H B

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: In response to food cues, obese vs normal-weight individuals show greater activation in brain regions involved in the regulation of food intake under both fasted and sated conditions. Putative effects of obesity on task-independent low-frequency blood-oxygenation-level-dependent signals-that is, resting-state brain activity-in the context of food intake are, however, less well studied. OBJECTIVE: To compare eyes closed, whole-brain low-frequency BOLD signals between severely obese...

  2. Gut peptide GLP-1 and its analogue, Exendin-4, decrease alcohol intake and reward.

    Rozita H Shirazi

    Full Text Available Glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1 is a gut- and neuro-peptide with an important role in the regulation of food intake and glucose metabolism. Interestingly, GLP-1 receptors (GLP-1R are expressed in key mesolimbic reward areas (including the ventral tegmental area, VTA, innervated by hindbrain GLP-1 neurons. Recently GLP-1 has emerged as a potential regulator of food reward behavior, an effect driven by the mesolimbic GLP-1Rs. Its role in other reward behaviors remains largely unexplored. Since a considerable overlap has been suggested for circuitry controlling reward behavior derived from food and alcohol we hypothesized that GLP-1 and GLP-1Rs could regulate alcohol intake and alcohol reward. We sought to determine whether GLP-1 or its clinically safe stable analogue, Exendin-4, reduce alcohol intake and reward. To determine the potential role of the endogenous GLP-1 in alcohol intake we evaluated whether GLP-1R antagonist, Exendin 9-39, can increase alcohol intake. Furthermore, we set out to evaluate whether VTA GLP-1R activation is sufficient to reduce alcohol intake. Male Wistar rats injected peripherally with GLP-1 or Exendin-4 reduced their alcohol intake in an intermittent access two bottle free choice drinking model. Importantly, a contribution of endogenously released GLP-1 is highlighted by our observation that blockade of GLP-1 receptors alone resulted in an increased alcohol intake. Furthermore, GLP-1 injection reduced alcohol reward in the alcohol conditioned place preference test in mice. To evaluate the neuroanatomical substrate linking GLP-1 with alcohol intake/reward, we selectively microinjected GLP-1 or Exendin 4 into the VTA. This direct stimulation of the VTA GLP-1 receptors potently reduced alcohol intake. Our findings implicate GLP-1R signaling as a novel modulator of alcohol intake and reward. We show for the first time that VTA GLP-1R stimulation leads to reduced alcohol intake. Considering that GLP-1 analogues are already

  3. Computational framework explains how animals select actions with rewarding outcomes.

    Janelle Weaver

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available A new model of how the brain learns beneficial behavior from rewarding outcomes emphasizes the importance of the striatum, replicates experimental data, and raises new questions about neurological disorders. Read the Research Article.

  4. Effects of exogenous testosterone on the ventral striatal BOLD response during reward anticipation in healthy women.

    Hermans, Erno J; Bos, Peter A; Ossewaarde, Lindsey; Ramsey, Nick F; Fernández, Guillén; van Honk, Jack

    2010-08-01

    Correlational evidence in humans shows that levels of the androgen hormone testosterone are positively related to reinforcement sensitivity and competitive drive. Structurally similar anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are moreover widely abused, and animal studies show that rodents self-administer testosterone. These observations suggest that testosterone exerts activational effects on mesolimbic dopaminergic pathways involved in incentive processing and reinforcement regulation. However, there are no data on humans supporting this hypothesis. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the effects of testosterone administration on neural activity in terminal regions of the mesolimbic pathway. In a placebo-controlled double-blind crossover design, 12 healthy women received a single sublingual administration of .5 mg of testosterone. During MRI scanning, participants performed a monetary incentive delay task, which is known to elicit robust activation of the ventral striatum during reward anticipation. Results show a positive main effect of testosterone on the differential response in the ventral striatum to cues signaling potential reward versus nonreward. Notably, this effect interacted with levels self-reported intrinsic appetitive motivation: individuals with low intrinsic appetitive motivation exhibited larger testosterone-induced increases but had smaller differential responses after placebo. Thus, the present study lends support to the hypothesis that testosterone affects activity in terminal regions of the mesolimbic dopamine system but suggests that such effects may be specific to individuals with low intrinsic appetitive motivation. By showing a potential mechanism underlying central reinforcement of androgen use, the present findings may moreover have implications for our understanding of the pathophysiology of AAS dependency. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Recent studies of the effects of sugars on brain systems involved in energy balance and reward: Relevance to low calorie sweeteners.

    Murray, Susan; Tulloch, Alastair; Criscitelli, Kristen; Avena, Nicole M

    2016-10-01

    The alarmingly high rates of overweight and obesity pose a serious global health threat. Numerous factors can result in weight gain, one of which is excess consumption of caloric sweeteners. In an effort to aid weight loss efforts, many people have switched from caloric sweeteners to low calorie sweeteners, which provide sweet taste without the accompanying calories. In this review, we present an overview of the animal literature produced in the last 5years highlighting the effects of sugar consumption on neural pathways involved in energy balance regulation and reward processing. We also examine the latest evidence that is beginning to elucidate the effects of low calorie sweeteners on these neural pathways, as well as how homeostatic and hedonic systems interact in response to, or to influence, sugar consumption. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Improved memory for reward cues following acute buprenorphine administration in humans

    Syal, Supriya; Ipser, Jonathan; Terburg, David|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/32304087X; Solms, Mark; Panksepp, Jaak; Malcolm-Smith, Susan; Bos, Peter A.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/337018995; Montoya, Estrella R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/34141347X; Stein, Dan J.; van Honk, Jack|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/188602801

    2015-01-01

    In rodents, there is abundant evidence for the involvement of the opioid system in the processing of reward cues, but this system has remained understudied in humans. In humans, the happy facial expression is a pivotal reward cue. Happy facial expressions activate the brain's reward system and are

  7. Rewarding and aversive effects of nicotine are segregated within the nucleus accumbens.

    Sellings, Laurie H L; Baharnouri, Golriz; McQuade, Lindsey E; Clarke, Paul B S

    2008-07-01

    Forebrain dopamine plays a critical role in motivated behavior. According to the classic view, mesolimbic dopamine selectively guides behavior motivated by positive reinforcers. However, this has been challenged in favor of a wider role encompassing aversively motivated behavior. This controversy is particularly striking in the case of nicotine, with opposing claims that either the rewarding or the aversive effect of nicotine is critically dependent on mesolimbic dopamine transmission. In the present study, the effects of 6-hydroxydopamine lesions of nucleus accumbens core vs. medial shell on intravenous nicotine conditioned place preference and conditioned taste aversion were examined in male adult rats. Dopaminergic denervation in accumbens medial shell was associated with decreased nicotine conditioned place preference. Conversely, denervation in accumbens core was associated with an increase in conditioned place preference. In addition, dopaminergic denervation of accumbens core but not medial shell abolished conditioned taste aversion for nicotine. We conclude that nucleus accumbens core and medial shell dopaminergic innervation exert segregated effects on rewarding and aversive effects of nicotine. More generally, our findings indicate that dopaminergic transmission may mediate or enable opposing motivational processes within functionally distinct domains of the accumbens.

  8. Validation and extension of the reward-mountain model.

    Breton, Yannick-André; Mullett, Ada; Conover, Kent; Shizgal, Peter

    2013-01-01

    The reward-mountain model relates the vigor of reward seeking to the strength and cost of reward. Application of this model provides information about the stage of processing at which manipulations such as drug administration, lesions, deprivation states, and optogenetic interventions act to alter reward seeking. The model has been updated by incorporation of new information about frequency following in the directly stimulated neurons responsible for brain stimulation reward and about the function that maps objective opportunity costs into subjective ones. The behavioral methods for applying the model have been updated and improved as well. To assess the impact of these changes, two related predictions of the model that were supported by earlier work have been retested: (1) altering the duration of rewarding brain stimulation should change the pulse frequency required to produce a reward of half-maximal intensity, and (2) this manipulation should not change the opportunity cost at which half-maximal performance is directed at earning a maximally intense reward. Prediction 1 was supported in all six subjects, but prediction 2 was supported in only three. The latter finding is interpreted to reflect recruitment, at some stimulation sites, of a heterogeneous reward substrate comprising dual, parallel circuits that integrate the stimulation-induced neural signals.

  9. The role of reward and reward uncertainty in episodic memory

    Mason, Alice; Farrell, Simon; Howard-Jones, Paul; Ludwig, Casimir

    2017-01-01

    Declarative memory has been found to be sensitive to reward-related changes in the environment. The reward signal can be broken down into information regarding the expected value of the reward, reward uncertainty and the prediction error. Research has established that high as opposed to low reward values enhance declarative memory. Research in neuroscience suggests that high uncertainty activates the reward system, which could lead to enhanced learning and memory. Here we present the results ...

  10. Reward and motivation in pain and pain relief

    Navratilova, Edita; Porreca, Frank

    2015-01-01

    Pain is fundamentally unpleasant, a feature that protects the organism by promoting motivation and learning. Relief of aversive states, including pain, is rewarding. The aversiveness of pain, as well as the reward from relief of pain, is encoded by brain reward/motivational mesocorticolimbic circuitry. In this Review, we describe current knowledge of the impact of acute and chronic pain on reward/motivation circuits gained from preclinical models and from human neuroimaging. We highlight emerging clinical evidence suggesting that anatomical and functional changes in these circuits contribute to the transition from acute to chronic pain. We propose that assessing activity in these conserved circuits can offer new outcome measures for preclinical evaluation of analgesic efficacy to improve translation and speed drug discovery. We further suggest that targeting reward/motivation circuits may provide a path for normalizing the consequences of chronic pain to the brain, surpassing symptomatic management to promote recovery from chronic pain. PMID:25254980

  11. Ventral striatal activity links adversity and reward processing in children.

    Kamkar, Niki H; Lewis, Daniel J; van den Bos, Wouter; Morton, J Bruce

    2017-08-01

    Adversity impacts many aspects of psychological and physical development including reward-based learning and decision-making. Mechanisms relating adversity and reward processing in children, however, remain unclear. Here, we show that adversity is associated with potentiated learning from positive outcomes and impulsive decision-making, but unrelated to learning from negative outcomes. We then show via functional magnetic resonance imaging that the link between adversity and reward processing is partially mediated by differences in ventral striatal response to rewards. The findings suggest that early-life adversity is associated with alterations in the brain's sensitivity to rewards accounting, in part, for the link between adversity and altered reward processing in children. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  12. Mesolimbic dopamine function is not altered during continuous chronic treatment of rats with typical or atypical neuroleptic drugs

    Rupniak, N M.J.; Hall, M D; Kelly, E; Fleminger, S; Kilpatrick, G; Jenner, P; Marsden, C D

    1985-01-01

    Rats were treated continuously for up to 20 months with either haloperidol (1.4-1.6 mg/kg/day), sulpiride (102-109 mg/kg/day) or clozapine (24-27 mg/kg/day). Bsub(max) for specific mesolimbic binding of TH-spiperone, TH-N, n-propylnorapomorphine or TH-piflutixol did not differ in tissue taken from animals treated for up to 12 months with haloperidol, sulpiride or clozapine by comparison to age-matched control rats. Mesolimbic dopamine (50 M)-stimulated adenylate cyclase activity was not altered in any drug treatment group. Spontaneous locomotor activity was transiently decreased during treatment with haloperidol for 1 or 3 months, but not by chronic sulpiride or clozapine treatment. Locomotor activity was not consistently increased in any drug treatment group. After 20 months of continuous drug treatment, focal bilateral application of dopamine (12.5 or 25 g) into the nucleus accumbens caused equivalent increases in locomotor activity in control rats and in animals receiving haloperidol, sulpiride of clozapine. These findings suggest that dopamine receptor blockade is not maintained in the mesolimbic area following chronic treatment with haloperidol, sulpiride or clozapine, and indicate that, under these conditions, clozapine and sulpiride may not act selectively on mesolimbic dopamine receptors. (Author).

  13. Mesolimbic dopamine function is not altered during continuous chronic treatment of rats with typical or atypical neuroleptic drugs

    Rupniak, N.M.J.; Hall, M.D.; Kelly, E.; Fleminger, S.; Kilpatrick, G.; Jenner, P.; Marsden, C.D.

    1985-01-01

    Rats were treated continuously for up to 20 months with either haloperidol (1.4-1.6 mg/kg/day), sulpiride (102-109 mg/kg/day) or clozapine (24-27 mg/kg/day). Bsub(max) for specific mesolimbic binding of 3 H-spiperone, 3 H-N, n-propylnorapomorphine or 3 H-piflutixol did not differ in tissue taken from animals treated for up to 12 months with haloperidol, sulpiride or clozapine by comparison to age-matched control rats. Mesolimbic dopamine (50 μM)-stimulated adenylate cyclase activity was not altered in any drug treatment group. Spontaneous locomotor activity was transiently decreased during treatment with haloperidol for 1 or 3 months, but not by chronic sulpiride or clozapine treatment. Locomotor activity was not consistently increased in any drug treatment group. After 20 months of continuous drug treatment, focal bilateral application of dopamine (12.5 or 25 μg) into the nucleus accumbens caused equivalent increases in locomotor activity in control rats and in animals receiving haloperidol, sulpiride of clozapine. These findings suggest that dopamine receptor blockade is not maintained in the mesolimbic area following chronic treatment with haloperidol, sulpiride or clozapine, and indicate that, under these conditions, clozapine and sulpiride may not act selectively on mesolimbic dopamine receptors. (Author)

  14. RM-SORN: a reward-modulated self-organizing recurrent neural network.

    Aswolinskiy, Witali; Pipa, Gordon

    2015-01-01

    Neural plasticity plays an important role in learning and memory. Reward-modulation of plasticity offers an explanation for the ability of the brain to adapt its neural activity to achieve a rewarded goal. Here, we define a neural network model that learns through the interaction of Intrinsic Plasticity (IP) and reward-modulated Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity (STDP). IP enables the network to explore possible output sequences and STDP, modulated by reward, reinforces the creation of the rewarded output sequences. The model is tested on tasks for prediction, recall, non-linear computation, pattern recognition, and sequence generation. It achieves performance comparable to networks trained with supervised learning, while using simple, biologically motivated plasticity rules, and rewarding strategies. The results confirm the importance of investigating the interaction of several plasticity rules in the context of reward-modulated learning and whether reward-modulated self-organization can explain the amazing capabilities of the brain.

  15. Reward Merit with Praise.

    Andrews, Hans A.

    1987-01-01

    Describes the efforts of two educational institutions to reward teaching excellence using positive feedback rather than merit pay incentives. An Arizona district, drawing on Herzberg's motivation theories, offers highly individualized rewards ranging from computers to conference money, while an Illinois community college bestows engraved plaques…

  16. Imaging human reward processing with positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    Urban, Nina B L; Slifstein, Mark; Meda, Shashwath; Xu, Xiaoyan; Ayoub, Rawad; Medina, Olga; Pearlson, Godfrey D; Krystal, John H; Abi-Dargham, Anissa

    2012-05-01

    Functional neuroimaging (fMRI) studies show activation in mesolimbic circuitry in tasks involving reward processing, like the Monetary Incentive Delay Task (MIDT). In voltammetry studies in animals, mesolimbic dopamine release is associated with reward salience. This study examined the relationship between fMRI activation and magnitude of dopamine release measured with Positron emission tomography study (PET) in the same subjects using MIDT in both modalities to test if fMRI activation is related to dopamine release. Eighteen healthy subjects were scanned with [¹¹C]raclopride PET at baseline and after MIDT. Binding potential (BP(ND)) was derived by equilibrium analysis in striatal subregions and percent change across conditions (∆BP(ND)) was measured. Blood oxygen level dependence (BOLD) signal changes with MIDT were measured during fMRI using voxelwise analysis and ROI analysis and correlated with ∆BP(ND). ∆BP(ND) was not significant in the ventral striatum (VST) but reached significance in the posterior caudate. The fMRI BOLD activation was highest in VST. No significant associations between ∆BP(ND) and change in fMRI BOLD were observed with VST using ROI analysis. Voxelwise analysis showed positive correlation between BOLD activation in anticipation of the highest reward and ∆BP(ND) in VST and precommissural putamen. Our study indicates that endogenous dopamine release in VST is of small magnitude and is related to BOLD signal change during performance of the MIDT in only a few voxels when rewarding and nonrewarding conditions are interspersed. The lack of correlation at the ROI level may be due to the small magnitude of release or to the particular dependence of BOLD on glutamatergic signaling.

  17. Dopamine reward prediction error coding.

    Schultz, Wolfram

    2016-03-01

    Reward prediction errors consist of the differences between received and predicted rewards. They are crucial for basic forms of learning about rewards and make us strive for more rewards-an evolutionary beneficial trait. Most dopamine neurons in the midbrain of humans, monkeys, and rodents signal a reward prediction error; they are activated by more reward than predicted (positive prediction error), remain at baseline activity for fully predicted rewards, and show depressed activity with less reward than predicted (negative prediction error). The dopamine signal increases nonlinearly with reward value and codes formal economic utility. Drugs of addiction generate, hijack, and amplify the dopamine reward signal and induce exaggerated, uncontrolled dopamine effects on neuronal plasticity. The striatum, amygdala, and frontal cortex also show reward prediction error coding, but only in subpopulations of neurons. Thus, the important concept of reward prediction errors is implemented in neuronal hardware.

  18. Differentiating neural reward responsiveness in autism versus ADHD

    Gregor Kohls

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Although attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD and autism spectrum disorders (ASD share certain neurocognitive characteristics, it has been hypothesized to differentiate the two disorders based on their brain's reward responsiveness to either social or monetary reward. Thus, the present fMRI study investigated neural activation in response to both reward types in age and IQ-matched boys with ADHD versus ASD relative to typically controls (TDC. A significant group by reward type interaction effect emerged in the ventral striatum with greater activation to monetary versus social reward only in TDC, whereas subjects with ADHD responded equally strong to both reward types, and subjects with ASD showed low striatal reactivity across both reward conditions. Moreover, disorder-specific neural abnormalities were revealed, including medial prefrontal hyperactivation in response to social reward in ADHD versus ventral striatal hypoactivation in response to monetary reward in ASD. Shared dysfunction was characterized by fronto-striato-parietal hypoactivation in both clinical groups when money was at stake. Interestingly, lower neural activation within parietal circuitry was associated with higher autistic traits across the entire study sample. In sum, the present findings concur with the assumption that both ASD and ADHD display distinct and shared neural dysfunction in response to reward.

  19. Serotonergic modulation of reward and punishment

    Macoveanu, Julian

    2014-01-01

    Until recently, the bulk of research on the human reward system was focused on studying the dopaminergic and opioid neurotransmitter systems. However, extending the initial data from animal studies on reward, recent pharmacological brain imaging studies on human participants bring a new line......-related processing and may also provide a neural correlated for the emotional blunting observed in the clinical treatment of psychiatric disorders with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Given the unique profile of action of each serotonergic receptor subtype, future pharmacological studies may favor receptor...

  20. From Belly to Brain: Targeting the Ghrelin Receptor in Appetite and Food Intake Regulation

    Ken Howick

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Ghrelin is the only known peripherally-derived orexigenic hormone, increasing appetite and subsequent food intake. The ghrelinergic system has therefore received considerable attention as a therapeutic target to reduce appetite in obesity as well as to stimulate food intake in conditions of anorexia, malnutrition and cachexia. As the therapeutic potential of targeting this hormone becomes clearer, it is apparent that its pleiotropic actions span both the central nervous system and peripheral organs. Despite a wealth of research, a therapeutic compound specifically targeting the ghrelin system for appetite modulation remains elusive although some promising effects on metabolic function are emerging. This is due to many factors, ranging from the complexity of the ghrelin receptor (Growth Hormone Secretagogue Receptor, GHSR-1a internalisation and heterodimerization, to biased ligand interactions and compensatory neuroendocrine outputs. Not least is the ubiquitous expression of the GHSR-1a, which makes it impossible to modulate centrallymediated appetite regulation without encroaching on the various peripheral functions attributable to ghrelin. It is becoming clear that ghrelin’s central signalling is critical for its effects on appetite, body weight regulation and incentive salience of food. Improving the ability of ghrelin ligands to penetrate the blood brain barrier would enhance central delivery to GHSR-1a expressing brain regions, particularly within the mesolimbic reward circuitry.

  1. Pavlovian reward prediction and receipt in schizophrenia: relationship to anhedonia.

    Erin C Dowd

    response requirements, brain responses to reward receipt are largely intact in medicated individuals with chronic schizophrenia, while reward anticipation responses in left ventral striatum are reduced in those patients with greater anhedonia severity.

  2. Higher resting-state activity in reward-related brain circuits in obese versus normal-weight females independent of food intake.

    Hogenkamp, P S; Zhou, W; Dahlberg, L S; Stark, J; Larsen, A L; Olivo, G; Wiemerslage, L; Larsson, E-M; Sundbom, M; Benedict, C; Schiöth, H B

    2016-11-01

    In response to food cues, obese vs normal-weight individuals show greater activation in brain regions involved in the regulation of food intake under both fasted and sated conditions. Putative effects of obesity on task-independent low-frequency blood-oxygenation-level-dependent signals-that is, resting-state brain activity-in the context of food intake are, however, less well studied. To compare eyes closed, whole-brain low-frequency BOLD signals between severely obese and normal-weight females, as assessed by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations were measured in the morning following an overnight fast in 17 obese (age: 39±11 years, body mass index (BMI): 42.3±4.8 kg m - 2 ) and 12 normal-weight females (age: 36±12 years, BMI: 22.7±1.8 kg m - 2 ), both before and 30 min after consumption of a standardized meal (~260 kcal). Compared with normal-weight controls, obese females had increased low-frequency activity in clusters located in the putamen, claustrum and insula (Pfood intake. Self-reported hunger dropped and plasma glucose concentrations increased after food intake (Pfood intake under the experimental settings applied in the current study. Future studies involving males and females, as well as utilizing repeated post-prandial resting-state fMRI scans and various types of meals are needed to further investigate how food intake alters resting-state brain activity in obese humans.

  3. Enhancing Brain Pregnenolone May Protect Cannabis Intoxication but Should Not Be Considered as an Anti-addiction Therapeutic: Hypothesizing Dopaminergic Blockade and Promoting Anti-Reward

    Blum, Kenneth; Oscar-Berman, Marlene; Braverman, Eric R.; Febo, Marcelo; Li, Mona; Gold, Mark S.

    2015-01-01

    Many US states now embrace the medical and recreational use of Cannabis. Changes in the laws have heightened interest and encouraged research into both cannabinoid products and the potential harms of Cannabis use, addiction, and intoxication. Some research into those harms will be reviewed here and misgivings about the use of Pregnenolone, to treat cannabis addiction and intoxication explained. Pregnenolone considered the inactive precursor of all steroid hormones, has recently been shown to protect the brain from Cannabis intoxication. The major active ingredient of Cannabis sativa (marijuana), Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) enhances Pregnenolone synthesis in the brain via stimulation of the type-1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptor. This steroid has been shown to inhibit the activity of the CB1 receptor thereby reducing many of the effects of THC. While this mechanism seems correct, in our opinion, Vallee et al., incorrectly suggest that blocking CB1 receptors could open unforeseen approaches to the treatment of cannabis intoxication and addiction. In this hypothesis, we caution the scientific community that, other CB1 receptor blockers, such as, Rimonabant (SR141718) have been pulled off the market in Europe. In addition, CB1 receptor blockers were rejected by the FDA due to mood changes including suicide ideation. Blocking CB1 receptors would result in reduced neuronal release of Dopamine by disinhibition of GABA signaling. Long-term blockade of cannabinoid receptors could occur with raising Pregnenolone brain levels, may induce a hypodopaminergic state, and lead to aberrant substance and non-substance (behavioral) addictions. PMID:26306328

  4. Medial forebrain bundle lesions fail to structurally and functionally disconnect the ventral tegmental area from many ipsilateral forebrain nuclei: implications for the neural substrate of brain stimulation reward.

    Simmons, J M; Ackermann, R F; Gallistel, C R

    1998-10-15

    Lesions in the medial forebrain bundle rostral to a stimulating electrode have variable effects on the rewarding efficacy of self-stimulation. We attempted to account for this variability by measuring the anatomical and functional effects of electrolytic lesions at the level of the lateral hypothalamus (LH) and by correlating these effects to postlesion changes in threshold pulse frequency (pps) for self-stimulation in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). We implanted True Blue in the VTA and compared cell labeling patterns in forebrain regions of intact and lesioned animals. We also compared stimulation-induced regional [14C]deoxyglucose (DG) accumulation patterns in the forebrains of intact and lesioned animals. As expected, postlesion threshold shifts varied: threshold pps remained the same or decreased in eight animals, increased by small but significant amounts in three rats, and increased substantially in six subjects. Unexpectedly, LH lesions did not anatomically or functionally disconnect all forebrain nuclei from the VTA. Most septal and preoptic regions contained equivalent levels of True Blue label in intact and lesioned animals. In both intact and lesioned groups, VTA stimulation increased metabolic activity in the fundus of the striatum (FS), the nucleus of the diagonal band, and the medial preoptic area. On the other hand, True Blue labeling demonstrated anatomical disconnection of the accumbens, FS, substantia innominata/magnocellular preoptic nucleus (SI/MA), and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. [14C]DG autoradiography indicated functional disconnection of the lateral preoptic area and SI/MA. Correlations between patterns of True Blue labeling or [14C]deoxyglucose accumulation and postlesion shifts in threshold pulse frequency were weak and generally negative. These direct measures of connectivity concord with the behavioral measures in suggesting a diffuse net-like connection between forebrain nuclei and the VTA.

  5. Model Checking Markov Reward Models with Impulse Rewards

    Cloth, Lucia; Katoen, Joost-Pieter; Khattri, Maneesh; Pulungan, Reza; Bondavalli, Andrea; Haverkort, Boudewijn; Tang, Dong

    This paper considers model checking of Markov reward models (MRMs), continuous-time Markov chains with state rewards as well as impulse rewards. The reward extension of the logic CSL (Continuous Stochastic Logic) is interpreted over such MRMs, and two numerical algorithms are provided to check the

  6. Developmental continuity in reward-related enhancement of cognitive control.

    Strang, Nicole M; Pollak, Seth D

    2014-10-01

    Adolescents engage in more risky behavior than children or adults. The most prominent hypothesis for this phenomenon is that brain systems governing reward sensitivity and brain systems governing self-regulation mature at different rates. Those systems governing reward sensitivity mature in advance of those governing self-control. This hypothesis has substantial empirical support, however, the evidence supporting this theory has been exclusively derived from contexts where self-control systems are required to regulate reward sensitivity in order to promote adaptive behavior. In adults, reward promotes a shift to a proactive control strategy and better cognitive control performance. It is unclear whether children and adolescents will respond to reward in the same way. Using fMRI methodology, we explored whether children and adolescents would demonstrate a shift to proactive control in the context of reward. We tested 22 children, 20 adolescents, and 23 adults. In contrast to our hypothesis, children, adolescents, and adults all demonstrated a shift to proactive cognitive control in the context of reward. In light of the results, current neurobiological theories of adolescent behavior need to be refined to reflect that in certain contexts there is continuity in the manner reward and cognitive control systems interact across development. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  7. Reward and punishment.

    Sigmund, K; Hauert, C; Nowak, M A

    2001-09-11

    Minigames capturing the essence of Public Goods experiments show that even in the absence of rationality assumptions, both punishment and reward will fail to bring about prosocial behavior. This result holds in particular for the well-known Ultimatum Game, which emerges as a special case. But reputation can induce fairness and cooperation in populations adapting through learning or imitation. Indeed, the inclusion of reputation effects in the corresponding dynamical models leads to the evolution of economically productive behavior, with agents contributing to the public good and either punishing those who do not or rewarding those who do. Reward and punishment correspond to two types of bifurcation with intriguing complementarity. The analysis suggests that reputation is essential for fostering social behavior among selfish agents, and that it is considerably more effective with punishment than with reward.

  8. A Markov reward model checker

    Katoen, Joost P.; Maneesh Khattri, M.; Zapreev, I.S.; Zapreev, I.S.

    2005-01-01

    This short tool paper introduces MRMC, a model checker for discrete-time and continuous-time Markov reward models. It supports reward extensions of PCTL and CSL, and allows for the automated verification of properties concerning long-run and instantaneous rewards as well as cumulative rewards. In

  9. Overlapping neural systems represent cognitive effort and reward anticipation.

    Vassena, Eliana; Silvetti, Massimo; Boehler, Carsten N; Achten, Eric; Fias, Wim; Verguts, Tom

    2014-01-01

    Anticipating a potential benefit and how difficult it will be to obtain it are valuable skills in a constantly changing environment. In the human brain, the anticipation of reward is encoded by the Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) and Striatum. Naturally, potential rewards have an incentive quality, resulting in a motivational effect improving performance. Recently it has been proposed that an upcoming task requiring effort induces a similar anticipation mechanism as reward, relying on the same cortico-limbic network. However, this overlapping anticipatory activity for reward and effort has only been investigated in a perceptual task. Whether this generalizes to high-level cognitive tasks remains to be investigated. To this end, an fMRI experiment was designed to investigate anticipation of reward and effort in cognitive tasks. A mental arithmetic task was implemented, manipulating effort (difficulty), reward, and delay in reward delivery to control for temporal confounds. The goal was to test for the motivational effect induced by the expectation of bigger reward and higher effort. The results showed that the activation elicited by an upcoming difficult task overlapped with higher reward prospect in the ACC and in the striatum, thus highlighting a pivotal role of this circuit in sustaining motivated behavior.

  10. Differential encoding of factors influencing predicted reward value in monkey rostral anterior cingulate cortex.

    Toda, Koji; Sugase-Miyamoto, Yasuko; Mizuhiki, Takashi; Inaba, Kiyonori; Richmond, Barry J; Shidara, Munetaka

    2012-01-01

    The value of a predicted reward can be estimated based on the conjunction of both the intrinsic reward value and the length of time to obtain it. The question we addressed is how the two aspects, reward size and proximity to reward, influence the responses of neurons in rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC), a brain region thought to play an important role in reward processing. We recorded from single neurons while two monkeys performed a multi-trial reward schedule task. The monkeys performed 1-4 sequential color discrimination trials to obtain a reward of 1-3 liquid drops. There were two task conditions, a valid cue condition, where the number of trials and reward amount were associated with visual cues, and a random cue condition, where the cue was picked from the cue set at random. In the valid cue condition, the neuronal firing is strongly modulated by the predicted reward proximity during the trials. Information about the predicted reward amount is almost absent at those times. In substantial subpopulations, the neuronal responses decreased or increased gradually through schedule progress to the predicted outcome. These two gradually modulating signals could be used to calculate the effect of time on the perception of reward value. In the random cue condition, little information about the reward proximity or reward amount is encoded during the course of the trial before reward delivery, but when the reward is actually delivered the responses reflect both the reward proximity and reward amount. Our results suggest that the rACC neurons encode information about reward proximity and amount in a manner that is dependent on utility of reward information. The manner in which the information is represented could be used in the moment-to-moment calculation of the effect of time and amount on predicted outcome value.

  11. Immunohistochemical localization of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide (CARTp) in the brain of the pigeon (Columba livia) and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Gutierrez-Ibanez, Cristian; Iwaniuk, Andrew N; Jensen, Megan; Graham, David J; Pogány, Ákos; Mongomery, Benjamin C; Stafford, James L; Luksch, Harald; Wylie, Douglas R

    2016-12-15

    Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptides (CARTp) are neuropeptides that act as neurotransmitters in the brain of vertebrates. The expression of CARTp has been characterized in teleosts, amphibians, and several mammalian species, but comparative data in reptiles and birds are nonexistent. In this study, we show the distribution of immunoreactivity against CART peptides (CARTp-ir) in the brains of two bird species: the pigeon (Columba livia) and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). We found CARTp-ir cells and terminals in the brains of both, but no major differences between the two species. As in mammals, teleost fish, and amphibians, CARTp-ir terminals and cells were abundant in subpallial regions, particularly the striatum and nucleus accumbens. We also found CARTp-ir cells and terminals in the hypothalamus, and a large number of CARTp-ir terminals in the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, periaqueductal gray, parabrachial nucleus, and dorsal vagal complex. However, in contrast to other vertebrates, CARTp-ir was not found in the olfactory bulb. In addition there was almost no CARTp-ir in the pallium or the hippocampal formation, and little CARTp-ir in the cerebellum. The conserved expression of CARTp in the subpallium, hypothalamus, and dorsal vagal complex of birds suggests that some of the functions of CARTp, such as regulation of food intake and interactions with the social control network and mesolimbic reward system, are conserved among vertebrates. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3747-3773, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Reward associations magnify memory-based biases on perception.

    Doallo, Sonia; Patai, Eva Zita; Nobre, Anna Christina

    2013-02-01

    Long-term spatial contextual memories are a rich source of predictions about the likely locations of relevant objects in the environment and should enable tuning of neural processing of unfolding events to optimize perception and action. Of particular importance is whether and how the reward outcome of past events can impact perception. We combined behavioral measures with recordings of brain activity with high temporal resolution to test whether the previous reward outcome associated with a memory could modulate the impact of memory-based biases on perception, and if so, the level(s) at which visual neural processing is biased by reward-associated memory-guided attention. Data showed that past rewards potentiate the effects of spatial memories upon the discrimination of target objects embedded within complex scenes starting from early perceptual stages. We show that a single reward outcome of learning impacts on how we perceive events in our complex environments.

  13. Food reward system: current perspectives and future research needs.

    Alonso-Alonso, Miguel; Woods, Stephen C; Pelchat, Marcia; Grigson, Patricia Sue; Stice, Eric; Farooqi, Sadaf; Khoo, Chor San; Mattes, Richard D; Beauchamp, Gary K

    2015-05-01

    This article reviews current research and cross-disciplinary perspectives on the neuroscience of food reward in animals and humans, examines the scientific hypothesis of food addiction, discusses methodological and terminology challenges, and identifies knowledge gaps and future research needs. Topics addressed herein include the role of reward and hedonic aspects in the regulation of food intake, neuroanatomy and neurobiology of the reward system in animals and humans, responsivity of the brain reward system to palatable foods and drugs, translation of craving versus addiction, and cognitive control of food reward. The content is based on a workshop held in 2013 by the North American Branch of the International Life Sciences Institute. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Life Sciences Institute.

  14. Imbalance in the sensitivity to different types of rewards in pathological gambling.

    Sescousse, Guillaume; Barbalat, Guillaume; Domenech, Philippe; Dreher, Jean-Claude

    2013-08-01

    Pathological gambling is an addictive disorder characterized by a persistent and compulsive desire to engage in gambling activities. This maladaptive behaviour has been suggested to result from a decreased sensitivity to experienced rewards, regardless of reward type. Alternatively, pathological gambling might reflect an imbalance in the sensitivity to monetary versus non-monetary incentives. To directly test these two hypotheses, we examined how the brain reward circuit of pathological gamblers responds to different types of rewards. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we compared the brain responses of 18 pathological gamblers and 20 healthy control subjects while they engaged in a simple incentive task manipulating both monetary and visual erotic rewards. During reward anticipation, the ventral striatum of pathological gamblers showed a differential response to monetary versus erotic cues, essentially driven by a blunted reactivity to cues predicting erotic stimuli. This differential response correlated with the severity of gambling symptoms and was paralleled by a reduced behavioural motivation for erotic rewards. During reward outcome, a posterior orbitofrontal cortex region, responding to erotic rewards in both groups, was further recruited by monetary gains in pathological gamblers but not in control subjects. Moreover, while ventral striatal activity correlated with subjective ratings assigned to monetary and erotic rewards in control subjects, it only correlated with erotic ratings in gamblers. Our results point to a differential sensitivity to monetary versus non-monetary rewards in pathological gambling, both at the motivational and hedonic levels. Such an imbalance might create a bias towards monetary rewards, potentially promoting addictive gambling behaviour.

  15. Elevated Striatal Reactivity Across Monetary and Social Rewards in Bipolar I Disorder

    Dutra, Sunny J.; Cunningham, William A.; Kober, Hedy; Gruber, June

    2016-01-01

    Bipolar disorder (BD) is associated with increased reactivity to rewards and heightened positive affectivity. It is less clear to what extent this heightened reward sensitivity is evident across contexts and what the associated neural mechanisms might be. The present investigation employed both a monetary and social incentive delay task among adults with remitted BD type I (N=24) and a healthy non-psychiatric control group (HC; N=25) using fMRI. Both whole-brain and region-of-interest analyses revealed elevated ventral and dorsal striatal reactivity across monetary and social reward receipt, but not anticipation, in the BD group. Post-hoc analyses further suggested that greater striatal reactivity to reward receipt across monetary and social reward tasks predicted decreased self-reported positive affect when anticipating subsequent rewards in the HC, but not BD, group. Results point toward elevated striatal reactivity to reward receipt as a potential neural mechanism of reward reactivity. PMID:26390194

  16. Leptin Suppresses the Rewarding Effects of Running via STAT3 Signaling in Dopamine Neurons.

    Fernandes, Maria Fernanda A; Matthys, Dominique; Hryhorczuk, Cécile; Sharma, Sandeep; Mogra, Shabana; Alquier, Thierry; Fulton, Stephanie

    2015-10-06

    The adipose hormone leptin potently influences physical activity. Leptin can decrease locomotion and running, yet the mechanisms involved and the influence of leptin on the rewarding effects of running ("runner's high") are unknown. Leptin receptor (LepR) signaling involves activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3), including in dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) that are essential for reward-relevant behavior. We found that mice lacking STAT3 in dopamine neurons exhibit greater voluntary running, an effect reversed by viral-mediated STAT3 restoration. STAT3 deletion increased the rewarding effects of running whereas intra-VTA leptin blocked it in a STAT3-dependent manner. Finally, STAT3 loss-of-function reduced mesolimbic dopamine overflow and function. Findings suggest that leptin influences the motivational effects of running via LepR-STAT3 modulation of dopamine tone. Falling leptin is hypothesized to increase stamina and the rewarding effects of running as an adaptive means to enhance the pursuit and procurement of food. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Hypothalamic interaction with the mesolimbic DA system in the control of the maternal and sexual behaviors in rats.

    Stolzenberg, Danielle S; Numan, Michael

    2011-01-01

    The medial preoptic area (MPOA) of the hypothalamus regulates maternal behavior, male sexual behavior, and female sexual behavior. Functional neuroanatomical evidence indicates that the appetitive aspects of maternal behavior are regulated through MPOA interactions with the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system; a major focus of this review is to explore whether or not the MPOA participates in the appetitive aspects of sexual behavior via its interaction with the mesolimbic DA system. A second focus of this review is to examine the extent to which estradiol interactions with DA within this circuit regulate all three reproductive behaviors. One mechanism through which estradiol activates male sexual behavior is through the potentiation of DA activity in the MPOA. In the hypothalamus, estradiol has also been found to act in concert with DA, through the activation of similar intracellular signaling pathways, in order to stimulate female sexual behavior. Finally, recent evidence suggests that some effects of estradiol are mediated by direct action of estradiol on the mesolimbic DA system. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Motivational orientation modulates the neural response to reward.

    Linke, Julia; Kirsch, Peter; King, Andrea V; Gass, Achim; Hennerici, Michael G; Bongers, André; Wessa, Michèle

    2010-02-01

    Motivational orientation defines the source of motivation for an individual to perform a particular action and can either originate from internal desires (e.g., interest) or external compensation (e.g., money). To this end, motivational orientation should influence the way positive or negative feedback is processed during learning situations and this might in turn have an impact on the learning process. In the present study, we thus investigated whether motivational orientation, i.e., extrinsic and intrinsic motivation modulates the neural response to reward and punishment as well as learning from reward and punishment in 33 healthy individuals. To assess neural responses to reward, punishment and learning of reward contingencies we employed a probabilistic reversal learning task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation were assessed with a self-report questionnaire. Rewarding trials fostered activation in the medial orbitofrontal cortex and anterior cingulate gyrus (ACC) as well as the amygdala and nucleus accumbens, whereas for punishment an increased neural response was observed in the medial and inferior prefrontal cortex, the superior parietal cortex and the insula. High extrinsic motivation was positively correlated to increased neural responses to reward in the ACC, amygdala and putamen, whereas a negative relationship between intrinsic motivation and brain activation in these brain regions was observed. These findings show that motivational orientation indeed modulates the responsiveness to reward delivery in major components of the human reward system and therefore extends previous results showing a significant influence of individual differences in reward-related personality traits on the neural processing of reward. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. The Mesolimbic Dopaminergic Dysfunction in Psychosis: A Review of the Literature

    Pedro Alves de Moura

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: For several decades now it is thought that dopamine hyperactivity on the mesolimbic pathway is implied on the genesis of schizophrenic psychotic symptoms. Aims: In this review we sought to interconnect the various areas of current knowledge, seeking to relate them to clinical practice. Methods: A systematic English language PUBMED search was done, using MeSH (medical subject headings terms “mesolimbic” and “psychosis”, until April 2014, including reviews. Results and Conclusions: We found 111 papers, and excluded 56 after an abstract review. We selected 14 papers of the remaining 55. We present evidence on the part played by the neurodevelopment, acetylcholine nicotinic receptor regulation, influence of KCNQ potassium channels, neurotransmitter peptides, adenosine and phosphodiesterase 10A, as well as advances on understanding the etiology of schizophrenia on the development of psychotic symptoms associated not only with this disease but also with several disturbances on which they can occur, as well as a possible relation between these various influences, where it has been possible to do so. It is, therefore, an enunciation of the neurobiological substrate underlying psychotic symptoms.

  20. Acute Stress Influences Neural Circuits of Reward Processing

    Anthony John Porcelli

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available People often make decisions under aversive conditions such as acute stress. Yet, less is known about the process in which acute stress can influence decision-making. A growing body of research has established that reward-related information associated with the outcomes of decisions exerts a powerful influence over the choices people make and that an extensive network of brain regions, prominently featuring the striatum, is involved in the processing of this reward-related information. Thus, an important step in research on the nature of acute stress’ influence over decision-making is to examine how it may modulate responses to rewards and punishments within reward-processing neural circuitry. In the current experiment, we employed a simple reward processing paradigm – where participants received monetary rewards and punishments – known to evoke robust striatal responses. Immediately prior to performing each of two task runs, participants were exposed to acute stress (i.e., cold pressor or a no stress control procedure in a between-subjects fashion. No stress group participants exhibited a pattern of activity within the dorsal striatum and orbitofrontal cortex consistent with past research on outcome processing – specifically, differential responses for monetary rewards over punishments. In contrast, acute stress group participants’ dorsal striatum and orbitofrontal cortex demonstrated decreased sensitivity to monetary outcomes and a lack of differential activity. These findings provide insight into how neural circuits may process rewards and punishments associated with simple decisions under acutely stressful conditions.

  1. Perinatal Western Diet Consumption Leads to Profound Plasticity and GABAergic Phenotype Changes within Hypothalamus and Reward Pathway from Birth to Sexual Maturity in Rat

    Julie Paradis

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Perinatal maternal consumption of energy dense food increases the risk of obesity in children. This is associated with an overconsumption of palatable food that is consumed for its hedonic property. The underlying mechanism that links perinatal maternal diet and offspring preference for fat is still poorly understood. In this study, we aim at studying the influence of maternal high-fat/high-sugar diet feeding [western diet (WD] during gestation and lactation on the reward pathways controlling feeding in the rat offspring from birth to sexual maturity. We performed a longitudinal follow-up of WD and Control offspring at three critical time periods (childhood, adolescence, and adulthood and focus on investigating the influence of perinatal exposure to palatable diet on (i fat preference, (ii gene expression profile, and (iii neuroanatomical/architectural changes of the mesolimbic dopaminergic networks. We showed that WD feeding restricted to the perinatal period has a clear long-lasting influence on the organization of homeostatic and hedonic brain circuits but not on fat preference. We demonstrated a period specific evolution of the preference for fat that we correlated with specific brain molecular signatures. In offspring from WD fed dams, we observed during childhood the existence of fat preference associated with a higher expression of key gene involved in the dopamine (DA systems; at adolescence, a high-fat preference for both groups, progressively reduced during the 3 days test for the WD group and associated with a reduced expression of key gene involved in the DA systems for the WD group that could suggest a compensatory mechanism to protect them from further high-fat exposure; and finally at adulthood, a preference for fat that was identical to control rats but associated with profound modification in key genes involved in the γ-aminobutyric acid network, serotonin receptors, and polysialic acid–NCAM-dependent remodeling of the

  2. Interactions between cannabidiol and Δ9-THC following acute and repeated dosing: Rebound hyperactivity, sensorimotor gating and epigenetic and neuroadaptive changes in the mesolimbic pathway.

    Todd, Stephanie M; Zhou, Cilla; Clarke, David J; Chohan, Tariq W; Bahceci, Dilara; Arnold, Jonathon C

    2017-02-01

    The evidence base for the use of medical cannabis preparations containing specific ratios of cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is limited. While there is abundant data on acute interactions between CBD and THC, few studies have assessed the impact of their repeated co-administration. We previously reported that CBD inhibited or potentiated the acute effects of THC dependent on the measure being examined at a 1:1 CBD:THC dose ratio. Further, CBD decreased THC effects on brain regions involved in memory, anxiety and body temperature regulation. Here we extend on these finding by examining over 15 days of treatment whether CBD modulated the repeated effects of THC on behaviour and neuroadaption markers in the mesolimbic dopamine pathway. After acute locomotor suppression, repeated THC caused rebound locomotor hyperactivity that was modestly inhibited by CBD. CBD also slightly reduced the acute effects of THC on sensorimotor gating. These subtle effects were found at a 1:1 CBD:THC dose ratio but were not accentuated by a 5:1 dose ratio. CBD did not alter the trajectory of enduring THC-induced anxiety nor tolerance to the pharmacological effects of THC. There was no evidence of CBD potentiating the behavioural effects of THC. However we demonstrated for the first time that repeated co-administration of CBD and THC increased histone 3 acetylation (H3K9/14ac) in the VTA and ΔFosB expression in the nucleus accumbens. These changes suggest that while CBD may have protective effects acutely, its long-term molecular actions on the brain are more complex and may be supradditive. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  3. At what stage of neural processing does cocaine act to boost pursuit of rewards?

    Giovanni Hernandez

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Dopamine-containing neurons have been implicated in reward and decision making. One element of the supporting evidence is that cocaine, like other drugs that increase dopaminergic neurotransmission, powerfully potentiates reward seeking. We analyze this phenomenon from a novel perspective, introducing a new conceptual framework and new methodology for determining the stage(s of neural processing at which drugs, lesions and physiological manipulations act to influence reward-seeking behavior. Cocaine strongly boosts the proclivity of rats to work for rewarding electrical brain stimulation. We show that the conventional conceptual framework and methods do not distinguish between three conflicting accounts of how the drug produces this effect: increased sensitivity of brain reward circuitry, increased gain, or decreased subjective reward costs. Sensitivity determines the stimulation strength required to produce a reward of a given intensity (a measure analogous to the KM of an enzyme whereas gain determines the maximum intensity attainable (a measure analogous to the vmax of an enzyme-catalyzed reaction. To distinguish sensitivity changes from the other determinants, we measured and modeled reward seeking as a function of both stimulation strength and opportunity cost. The principal effect of cocaine was a two-fourfold increase in willingness to pay for the electrical reward, an effect consistent with increased gain or decreased subjective cost. This finding challenges the long-standing view that cocaine increases the sensitivity of brain reward circuitry. We discuss the implications of the results and the analytic approach for theories of how dopaminergic neurons and other diffuse modulatory brain systems contribute to reward pursuit, and we explore the implications of the conceptual framework for the study of natural rewards, drug reward, and mood.

  4. Excessive body fat linked to blunted somatosensory cortex response to general reward in adolescents.

    Navas, J F; Barrós-Loscertales, A; Costumero-Ramos, V; Verdejo-Román, J; Vilar-López, R; Verdejo-García, A

    2018-01-01

    The brain reward system is key to understanding adolescent obesity in the current obesogenic environment, rich in highly appetising stimuli, to which adolescents are particularly sensitive. We aimed to examine the association between body fat levels and brain reward system responsivity to general (monetary) rewards in male and female adolescents. Sixty-eight adolescents (34 females; mean age (s.d.)= 16.56 (1.35)) were measured for body fat levels with bioelectric impedance, and underwent a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan during the Monetary Incentive Delay (MID) task. The MID task reliably elicits brain activations associated with two fundamental aspects of reward processing: anticipation and feedback. We conducted regression analyses to examine the association between body fat and brain reward system responsivity during reward anticipation and feedback, while controlling for sex, age and socioeconomic status. We also analysed the moderating impact of sex on the relationship between fat levels and brain responsivity measures. Brain imaging analyses were corrected for multiple comparisons, with a cluster-defining threshold of Preward feedback after controlling for key sociodemographic variables. Although we did not find significant associations between body fat and brain activations during reward anticipation, S1/supramarginal gyrus activation during feedback was linked to increased negative prediction error, that is, less reward than expected, in illustrative post hoc analyses. Sex did not significantly moderate the association between body fat and brain activation in the MID task. In adolescents, higher adiposity is linked to hypo-responsivity of somatosensory regions during general (monetary) reward feedback. Findings suggest that adolescents with excess weight have blunted activation in somatosensory regions involved in reward feedback learning.

  5. From molecule to behavior: Brain aromatase (cyp19a1b) characterization, expression analysis and its relation with social status and male agonistic behavior in a Neotropical cichlid fish.

    Ramallo, Martín R; Morandini, Leonel; Birba, Agustina; Somoza, Gustavo M; Pandolfi, Matías

    2017-03-01

    The enzyme aromatase, responsible for the conversion of C19 androgens to C18 estrogens, exists as two paralogue copies in teleost fish: Cyp19a1a mostly expressed in the gonads, referred as gonadal aromatase, and Cyp19a1b, mostly expressed in the brain, accordingly known as brain aromatase. The neural localization of Cyp19a1b is greatly contained within the social behavior network and mesolimbic reward system in fish, suggesting a strong role of estrogen synthesis in the regulation of social behavior. In this work we aimed to analyze the variation in cyp19a1b expression in brain and pituitary of males of a highly social cichlid, Cichlasoma dimerus (locally known as chanchita), and its relation with inter-individual variability in agonistic behavior in a communal social environment. We first characterized chanchita's cyp19a1b mRNA and deduced amino acid sequence, which showed a high degree of conservation when compared to other teleost brain aromatase sequences, and its tissue expression patterns. Within the brain, Cyp19a1b was solely detected at putative radial glial cells of the forebrain, close to the brain ventricles. We then studied the relative expression levels of cyp19a1b by Real Time PCR in the brain and pituitary of males of different social status, territorial vs. non-territorial, and its relationship with an index of agonistic behavior. We found that even though, brain aromatase expression did not differ between types of males, pituitary cyp19a1b expression levels positively correlated with the index of agonistic behavior. This suggests a novel role of the pituitary in the regulation of social behavior by local estrogen synthesis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Stress and reward

    Chumbley, J R; Hulme, O; Köchli, H

    2014-01-01

    Healthy individuals tend to consume available rewards like food and sex. This tendency is attenuated or amplified in most stress-related psychiatric conditions, so we asked if it depends on endogenous levels of the 'canonical stress hormone' cortisol. We unobtrusively quantified how hard healthy...

  7. Bribes or Rewards.

    Megyeri, Kathy A.

    Small tangible rewards for student progress, such as candy bars, pens, or ribbons, add potency to the verbal and written praise offered by the teacher, thus increasing student motivation. Giving students small prizes enhances the cooperative atmosphere of learning, especially for those who do not normally do well. Research indicates that low…

  8. Developmental changes in the reward positivity: An electrophysiological trajectory of reward processing

    Carmen N. Lukie

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Children and adolescents learn to regulate their behavior by utilizing feedback from the environment but exactly how this ability develops remains unclear. To investigate this question, we recorded the event-related brain potential (ERP from children (8–13 years, adolescents (14–17 years and young adults (18–23 years while they navigated a “virtual maze” in pursuit of monetary rewards. The amplitude of the reward positivity, an ERP component elicited by feedback stimuli, was evaluated for each age group. A current theory suggests the reward positivity is produced by the impact of reinforcement learning signals carried by the midbrain dopamine system on anterior cingulate cortex, which utilizes the signals to learn and execute extended behaviors. We found that the three groups produced a reward positivity of comparable size despite relatively longer ERP component latencies for the children, suggesting that the reward processing system reaches maturity early in development. We propose that early development of the midbrain dopamine system facilitates the development of extended goal-directed behaviors in anterior cingulate cortex.

  9. Reward positivity: Reward prediction error or salience prediction error?

    Heydari, Sepideh; Holroyd, Clay B

    2016-08-01

    The reward positivity is a component of the human ERP elicited by feedback stimuli in trial-and-error learning and guessing tasks. A prominent theory holds that the reward positivity reflects a reward prediction error signal that is sensitive to outcome valence, being larger for unexpected positive events relative to unexpected negative events (Holroyd & Coles, 2002). Although the theory has found substantial empirical support, most of these studies have utilized either monetary or performance feedback to test the hypothesis. However, in apparent contradiction to the theory, a recent study found that unexpected physical punishments also elicit the reward positivity (Talmi, Atkinson, & El-Deredy, 2013). The authors of this report argued that the reward positivity reflects a salience prediction error rather than a reward prediction error. To investigate this finding further, in the present study participants navigated a virtual T maze and received feedback on each trial under two conditions. In a reward condition, the feedback indicated that they would either receive a monetary reward or not and in a punishment condition the feedback indicated that they would receive a small shock or not. We found that the feedback stimuli elicited a typical reward positivity in the reward condition and an apparently delayed reward positivity in the punishment condition. Importantly, this signal was more positive to the stimuli that predicted the omission of a possible punishment relative to stimuli that predicted a forthcoming punishment, which is inconsistent with the salience hypothesis. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  10. Commitment to Self-Rewards

    Koch, Alexander K.; Nafziger, Julia

    2009-01-01

    Self-administered rewards are ubiquitous. They serve as incentives for personal accomplish¬ments and are widely recommended as tools for overcoming self-control problems. However, it seems puzzling why self-rewards can work: the prospect of a reward has a motivating force only if the threat of self-denial of the reward after low performance is credible. We explain how a rational forward-looking individual may achieve commitment to self-rewards, by applying Köszegi and Rabin's (2006) model of ...

  11. Nucleus accumbens deep brain stimulation as treatment option for binge eating disorder?

    Lok, R.; Verhagen, M.; Staal, L.; Van Dijk, J.; Van Beek, A.; Temel, Y.; Jahanshahi, A.; Staal, M.; Van Dijk, G.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: Binge eating disorder (BED) has been postulated to arise from mesolimbic dopaminergic system changes, presumably homologous to those seen in drug addiction. Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is regarded as a relatively novel but promising surgical treatment of addiction. Because of

  12. Adaptive scaling of reward in episodic memory:a replication study

    Mason, Alice; Ludwig, Casimir; Farrell, Simon

    2017-01-01

    Reward is thought to enhance episodic memory formation via dopaminergic consolidation. Bunzeck, Dayan, Dolan, and Duzel [(2010). A common mechanism for adaptive scaling of reward and novelty. Human Brain Mapping, 31, 1380–1394] provided functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and behavioural evidence that reward and episodic memory systems are sensitive to the contextual value of a reward—whether it is relatively higher or lower—as opposed to absolute value or prediction error. We carrie...

  13. Synaptic plasticity in drug reward circuitry.

    Winder, Danny G; Egli, Regula E; Schramm, Nicole L; Matthews, Robert T

    2002-11-01

    Drug addiction is a major public health issue worldwide. The persistence of drug craving coupled with the known recruitment of learning and memory centers in the brain has led investigators to hypothesize that the alterations in glutamatergic synaptic efficacy brought on by synaptic plasticity may play key roles in the addiction process. Here we review the present literature, examining the properties of synaptic plasticity within drug reward circuitry, and the effects that drugs of abuse have on these forms of plasticity. Interestingly, multiple forms of synaptic plasticity can be induced at glutamatergic synapses within the dorsal striatum, its ventral extension the nucleus accumbens, and the ventral tegmental area, and at least some of these forms of plasticity are regulated by behaviorally meaningful administration of cocaine and/or amphetamine. Thus, the present data suggest that regulation of synaptic plasticity in reward circuits is a tractable candidate mechanism underlying aspects of addiction.

  14. The amygdala, reward and emotion.

    Murray, Elisabeth A

    2007-11-01

    Recent research provides new insights into amygdala contributions to positive emotion and reward. Studies of neuronal activity in the monkey amygdala and of autonomic responses mediated by the monkey amygdala show that, contrary to a widely held view, the amygdala is just as important for processing positive reward and reinforcement as it is for negative. In addition, neuropsychological studies reveal that the amygdala is essential for only a fraction of what might be considered 'stimulus-reward processing', and that the neural substrates for emotion and reward are partially nonoverlapping. Finally, evidence suggests that two systems within the amygdala, operating in parallel, enable reward-predicting cues to influence behavior; one mediates a general, arousing effect of reward and the other links the sensory properties of reward to emotion.

  15. Reward-based behaviors and emotional processing in human with narcolepsy-cataplexy

    Sophie eBayard

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available ajor advances in the past decade have led a better understanding of the pathophysiology of narcolepsy with cataplexy caused by the early loss of hypothalamic hypocretin neurons. Although a role for hypocretin in the regulation of sleep/wakefulness state is widely recognized, other functions, not necessarily related to arousal, have been identified. Hence, the hypocretin system enhances signaling in the mesolimbic pathways regulating reward processing, emotion and mood regulation, and addiction. Although studies on hypocretin-deficient mice have shown that hypocretin plays an essential role in reward-seeking, depression-like behavior and addiction, results in human narcolepsy remained subject to debate. Most of studies revealed that hypocretin-deficient narcolepsy patients either drug-free or medicated with psychostimulant had preferences towards risky choices in a decision-making task under ambiguity together with higher frequency of depressive symptoms and binge eating disorder compared to controls. However, human studies mostly reported the lack of association with pathological impulsivity and gambling, and substance and alcohol abuse in the context of narcolepsy-cataplexy. Prospective larger studies are required to confirm these findings in drug-free and medicated patients with narcolepsy. Inclusion of patients with other central hypersomnias without hypocretin deficiency will provide answer to the major question of the role of the hypocretin system in reward-based behaviors and emotional processing in humans.

  16. Reward and punishment

    Sigmund, Karl; Hauert, Christoph; Nowak, Martin A.

    2001-01-01

    Minigames capturing the essence of Public Goods experiments show that even in the absence of rationality assumptions, both punishment and reward will fail to bring about prosocial behavior. This result holds in particular for the well-known Ultimatum Game, which emerges as a special case. But reputation can induce fairness and cooperation in populations adapting through learning or imitation. Indeed, the inclusion of reputation effects in the corresponding dynamical models leads to the evolut...

  17. Reward-Guided Learning with and without Causal Attribution

    Jocham, Gerhard; Brodersen, Kay H.; Constantinescu, Alexandra O.; Kahn, Martin C.; Ianni, Angela M.; Walton, Mark E.; Rushworth, Matthew F.S.; Behrens, Timothy E.J.

    2016-01-01

    Summary When an organism receives a reward, it is crucial to know which of many candidate actions caused this reward. However, recent work suggests that learning is possible even when this most fundamental assumption is not met. We used novel reward-guided learning paradigms in two fMRI studies to show that humans deploy separable learning mechanisms that operate in parallel. While behavior was dominated by precise contingent learning, it also revealed hallmarks of noncontingent learning strategies. These learning mechanisms were separable behaviorally and neurally. Lateral orbitofrontal cortex supported contingent learning and reflected contingencies between outcomes and their causal choices. Amygdala responses around reward times related to statistical patterns of learning. Time-based heuristic mechanisms were related to activity in sensorimotor corticostriatal circuitry. Our data point to the existence of several learning mechanisms in the human brain, of which only one relies on applying known rules about the causal structure of the task. PMID:26971947

  18. Bio-robots automatic navigation with electrical reward stimulation.

    Sun, Chao; Zhang, Xinlu; Zheng, Nenggan; Chen, Weidong; Zheng, Xiaoxiang

    2012-01-01

    Bio-robots that controlled by outer stimulation through brain computer interface (BCI) suffer from the dependence on realtime guidance of human operators. Current automatic navigation methods for bio-robots focus on the controlling rules to force animals to obey man-made commands, with animals' intelligence ignored. This paper proposes a new method to realize the automatic navigation for bio-robots with electrical micro-stimulation as real-time rewards. Due to the reward-seeking instinct and trial-and-error capability, bio-robot can be steered to keep walking along the right route with rewards and correct its direction spontaneously when rewards are deprived. In navigation experiments, rat-robots learn the controlling methods in short time. The results show that our method simplifies the controlling logic and realizes the automatic navigation for rat-robots successfully. Our work might have significant implication for the further development of bio-robots with hybrid intelligence.

  19. Effects of alexithymia and empathy on the neural processing of social and monetary rewards.

    Goerlich, Katharina Sophia; Votinov, Mikhail; Lammertz, Sarah E; Winkler, Lina; Spreckelmeyer, Katja N; Habel, Ute; Gründer, Gerhard; Gossen, Anna

    2017-07-01

    Empathy has been found to affect the neural processing of social and monetary rewards. Alexithymia, a subclinical condition showing a close inverse relationship with empathy is linked to dysfunctions of socio-emotional processing in the brain. Whether alexithymia alters the neural processing of rewards, which is currently unknown. Here, we investigated the influence of both alexithymia and empathy on reward processing using a social incentive delay (SID) task and a monetary incentive delay (MID) task in 45 healthy men undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. Controlling for temperament-character dimensions and rejection sensitivity, the relationship of alexithymia and empathy with neural activity in several a priori regions of interest (ROIs) was examined by means of partial correlations, while participants anticipated and received social and monetary rewards. Results were considered significant if they survived Holm-Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. Alexithymia modulated neural activity in several ROIs of the emotion and reward network, both during the anticipation of social and monetary rewards and in response to the receipt of monetary rewards. In contrast, empathy did not affect reward anticipation and modulated ROI activity only in response to the receipt of social rewards. These results indicate a significant influence of alexithymia on the processing of social and monetary rewards in the healthy brain.

  20. Frontal theta and beta synchronizations for monetary reward increase visual working memory capacity.

    Kawasaki, Masahiro; Yamaguchi, Yoko

    2013-06-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) capacity is affected by motivational influences; however, little is known about how reward-related brain activities facilitate the VWM systems. To investigate the dynamic relationship between VWM- and reward-related brain activities, we conducted time-frequency analyses using electroencephalograph (EEG) data obtained during a monetary-incentive delayed-response task that required participants to memorize the position of colored disks. In case of a correct answer, participants received a monetary reward (0, 10 or 50 Japanese yen) announced at the beginning of each trial. Behavioral results showed that VWM capacity under high-reward condition significantly increased compared with that under low- or no-reward condition. EEG results showed that frontal theta (6 Hz) amplitudes enhanced during delay periods and positively correlated with VWM capacity, indicating involvement of theta local synchronizations in VWM. Moreover, frontal beta activities (24 Hz) were identified as reward-related activities, because delay-period amplitudes correlated with increases in VWM capacity between high-reward and no-reward conditions. Interestingly, cross-frequency couplings between frontal theta and beta phases were observed only under high-reward conditions. These findings suggest that the functional dynamic linking between VWM-related theta and reward-related beta activities on the frontal regions plays an integral role in facilitating increases in VWM capacity.

  1. Taking two to tango: a role for ghrelin receptor heterodimerization in stress and reward.

    Schellekens, Harriët; Dinan, Timothy G; Cryan, John F

    2013-08-30

    The gut hormone, ghrelin, is the only known peripherally derived orexigenic signal. It activates its centrally expressed receptor, the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R1a), to stimulate food intake. The ghrelin signaling system has recently been suggested to play a key role at the interface of homeostatic control of appetite and the hedonic aspects of food intake, as a critical role for ghrelin in dopaminergic mesolimbic circuits involved in reward signaling has emerged. Moreover, enhanced plasma ghrelin levels are associated with conditions of physiological stress, which may underline the drive to eat calorie-dense "comfort-foods" and signifies a role for ghrelin in stress-induced food reward behaviors. These complex and diverse functionalities of the ghrelinergic system are not yet fully elucidated and likely involve crosstalk with additional signaling systems. Interestingly, accumulating data over the last few years has shown the GHS-R1a receptor to dimerize with several additional G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) involved in appetite signaling and reward, including the GHS-R1b receptor, the melanocortin 3 receptor (MC3), dopamine receptors (D1 and D2), and more recently, the serotonin 2C receptor (5-HT2C). GHS-R1a dimerization was shown to affect downstream signaling and receptor trafficking suggesting a potential novel mechanism for fine-tuning GHS-R1a receptor mediated activity. This review summarizes ghrelin's role in food reward and stress and outlines the GHS-R1a dimer pairs identified to date. In addition, the downstream signaling and potential functional consequences of dimerization of the GHS-R1a receptor in appetite and stress-induced food reward behavior are discussed. The existence of multiple GHS-R1a heterodimers has important consequences for future pharmacotherapies as it significantly increases the pharmacological diversity of the GHS-R1a receptor and has the potential to enhance specificity of novel ghrelin-targeted drugs.

  2. Diet-induced obesity causes ghrelin resistance in reward processing tasks.

    Lockie, Sarah H; Dinan, Tara; Lawrence, Andrew J; Spencer, Sarah J; Andrews, Zane B

    2015-12-01

    Diet-induced obesity (DIO) causes ghrelin resistance in hypothalamic Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons. However, ghrelin promotes feeding through actions at both the hypothalamus and mesolimbic dopamine reward pathways. Therefore, we hypothesized that DIO would also establish ghrelin resistance in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a major site of dopaminergic cell bodies important in reward processing. We observed reduced sucrose and saccharin consumption in Ghrelin KO vs Ghrelin WT mice. Moreover, DIO reduced saccharin consumption relative to chow-fed controls. These data suggest that the deletion of ghrelin and high fat diet both cause anhedonia. To assess if these are causally related, we tested whether DIO caused ghrelin resistance in a classic model of drug reward, conditioned place preference (CPP). Chow or high fat diet (HFD) mice were conditioned with ghrelin (1mg/kg in 10ml/kg ip) in the presence or absence of food in the conditioning chamber. We observed a CPP to ghrelin in chow-fed mice but not in HFD-fed mice. HFD-fed mice still showed a CPP for cocaine (20mg/kg), indicating that they maintained the ability to develop conditioned behaviour. The absence of food availability during ghrelin conditioning sessions induced a conditioned place aversion, an effect that was still present in both chow and HFD mice. Bilateral intra-VTA ghrelin injection (0.33μg/μl in 0.5μl) robustly increased feeding in both chow-fed and high fat diet (HFD)-fed mice; however, this was correlated with body weight only in the chow-fed mice. Our results suggest that DIO causes ghrelin resistance albeit not directly in the VTA. We suggest there is impaired ghrelin sensitivity in upstream pathways regulating reward pathways, highlighting a functional role for ghrelin linking appropriate metabolic sensing with reward processing. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  3. Reward Processing by the Dorsal Raphe Nucleus: 5-HT and Beyond

    Luo, Minmin; Zhou, Jingfeng; Liu, Zhixiang

    2015-01-01

    The dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) represents one of the most sensitive reward sites in the brain. However, the exact relationship between DRN neuronal activity and reward signaling has been elusive. In this review, we will summarize anatomical, pharmacological, optogenetics, and electrophysiological studies on the functions and circuit mechanisms of…

  4. Theta-band phase locking of orbitofrontal neurons during reward expectancy

    van Wingerden, M.; Vinck, M.; Lankelma, J.; Pennartz, C.M.A.

    2010-01-01

    The expectancy of a rewarding outcome following actions and cues is coded by a network of brain structures including the orbitofrontal cortex. Thus far, predicted reward was considered to be coded by time-averaged spike rates of neurons. However, besides firing rate, the precise timing of action

  5. Effects of motivation on reward and attentional networks: an fMRI study.

    Ivanov, Iliyan; Liu, Xun; Clerkin, Suzanne; Schulz, Kurt; Friston, Karl; Newcorn, Jeffrey H; Fan, Jin

    2012-11-01

    Existing evidence suggests that reward and attentional networks function in concert and that activation in one system influences the other in a reciprocal fashion; however, the nature of these influences remains poorly understood. We therefore developed a three-component task to assess the interaction effects of reward anticipation and conflict resolution on the behavioral performance and the activation of brain reward and attentional systems. Sixteen healthy adult volunteers aged 21-45 years were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing the task. A two-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) with cue (reward vs. non-reward) and target (congruent vs. incongruent) as within-subjects factors was used to test for main and interaction effects. Neural responses to anticipation, conflict, and reward outcomes were tested. Behaviorally there were main effects of both reward cue and target congruency on reaction time. Neuroimaging results showed that reward anticipation and expected reward outcomes activated components of the attentional networks, including the inferior parietal and occipital cortices, whereas surprising non-rewards activated the frontoinsular cortex bilaterally and deactivated the ventral striatum. In turn, conflict activated a broad network associated with cognitive control and motor functions. Interaction effects showed decreased activity in the thalamus, anterior cingulated gyrus, and middle frontal gyrus bilaterally when difficult conflict trials (e.g., incongruent targets) were preceded by reward cues; in contrast, the ventral striatum and orbitofrontal cortex showed greater activation during congruent targets preceded by reward cues. These results suggest that reward anticipation is associated with lower activation in attentional networks, possibly due to increased processing efficiency, whereas more difficult, conflict trials are associated with lower activity in regions of the reward system, possibly

  6. Favorite brands as cultural objects modulate reward circuit.

    Schaefer, Michael; Rotte, Michael

    2007-01-22

    On the basis of the hypothesis that brands may function as reward stimuli, we investigated brain responses to favorite brands. Participants viewed brand logos while we measured cortical activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Results revealed activity in the striatum for favorite brands that positively correlated with sports and luxury characteristics, but negatively with attributions to a brand of rational choice. Reduced activation of a single region in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was demonstrated when viewing the most beloved brand, possibly suggesting reduced strategic reasoning on the basis of affect. The results propose that brands that have been associated with appetitive stimuli owing to marketing efforts engage brain networks similar to those engaged by artificially associated reward stimuli. Moreover, social stimuli may function as secondary inducers of reward mechanisms.

  7. Social reward shapes attentional biases.

    Anderson, Brian A

    2016-01-01

    Paying attention to stimuli that predict a reward outcome is important for an organism to survive and thrive. When visual stimuli are associated with tangible, extrinsic rewards such as money or food, these stimuli acquire high attentional priority and come to automatically capture attention. In humans and other primates, however, many behaviors are not motivated directly by such extrinsic rewards, but rather by the social feedback that results from performing those behaviors. In the present study, I examine whether positive social feedback can similarly influence attentional bias. The results show that stimuli previously associated with a high probability of positive social feedback elicit value-driven attentional capture, much like stimuli associated with extrinsic rewards. Unlike with extrinsic rewards, however, such stimuli also influence task-specific motivation. My findings offer a potential mechanism by which social reward shapes the information that we prioritize when perceiving the world around us.

  8. Lateral hypothalamus, nucleus accumbens, and ventral pallidum roles in eating and hunger: interactions between homeostatic and reward circuitry

    Daniel Charles Castro

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The study of the neural bases of eating behavior, hunger, and reward has consistently implicated the lateral hypothalamus (LH and its interactions with mesocorticolimbic circuitry, such as mesolimbic dopamine projections to nucleus accumbens (NAc and ventral pallidum (VP, in controlling motivation to eat. The NAc and VP play special roles in mediating the hedonic impact (‘liking’ and motivational incentive salience (‘wanting’ of food rewards, and their interactions with LH help permit regulatory hunger/satiety modulation of food motivation and reward. Here, we review some progress that has been made regarding this circuitry and its functions: the identification of localized anatomical hedonic hotspots within NAc and VP for enhancing hedonic impact; interactions of NAc/VP hedonic hotspots with specific LH signals such as orexin; an anterior-posterior gradient of sites in NAc shell for producing intense appetitive eating versus intense fearful reactions; and anatomically distributed appetitive functions of dopamine and mu opioid signals in NAc shell and related structures. Such findings help improve our understanding of NAc, VP, and LH interactions in mediating affective and motivation functions, including ‘liking’ and ‘wanting’ for food rewards.

  9. Monetary rewards modulate inhibitory control

    Paula Marcela Herrera

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The ability to override a dominant response, often referred to as behavioural inhibiton, is considered a key element of executive cognition. Poor behavioural inhibition is a defining characteristic of several neurological and psychiatric populations. Recently, there has been increasing interest in the motivational dimension of behavioural inhibition, with some experiments incorporating emotional contingencies in classical inhibitory paradigms such as the Go/Nogo and Stop Signal Tasks. Several studies have reported a positive modulatory effect of reward on the performance of such tasks in pathological conditions such as substance abuse, pathological gambling, and ADHD. However, experiments that directly investigate the modulatory effects of reward magnitudes on the performance of inhibitory paradigms are rare and consequently, little is known about the finer grained relationship between motivation and self-control. Here, we probed the effect of reward and reward magnitude on behavioural inhibition using two modified version of the widely used Stop Signal Task. The first task compared no reward with reward, whilst the other compared two different reward magnitudes. The reward magnitude effect was confirmed by the second study, whereas it was less compelling in the first study, possibly due to the effect of having no reward in some conditions. In addition, our results showed a kick start effect over global performance measures. More specifically, there was a long lasting improvement in performance throughout the task, when participants received the highest reward magnitudes at the beginning of the protocol. These results demonstrate that individuals’ behavioural inhibition capacities are dynamic not static because they are modulated by the reward magnitude and initial reward history of the task at hand.

  10. Impaired reward responsiveness in schizophrenia.

    Taylor, Nicholas; Hollis, Jeffrey P; Corcoran, Sarah; Gross, Robin; Cuthbert, Bruce; Swails, Lisette W; Duncan, Erica

    2018-03-08

    Anhedonia is a core negative symptom of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia patients report largely intact pleasure in consuming rewards, but have impairments in generating motivated behavior to pursue rewards, and show reduced fMRI activation of the reward pathway during presentation of rewarded stimuli. A computer based task measuring the development of a response bias in favor of rewarded stimuli permits assessment of reward-induced motivation. We hypothesized that subjects with schizophrenia would be impaired on this task. 58 schizophrenia subjects (SCZ) and 52 healthy controls (CON) were studied with a signal detection task to assess reward responsiveness. In multiple trials over three blocks subjects were asked to correctly identify two stimuli that were paired with unequal chance of monetary reward. The critical outcome variable was response bias, the development of a greater percent correct identification of the stimulus that was rewarded more often. An ANOVA on response bias with Block as a repeated-measures factor and Diagnosis as a between-group factor indicated that SCZ subjects achieved a lower bias to rewarded stimuli than CON subjects (F(1,105)=8.82, p=0.004, η 2 =0.078). Post hoc tests indicated that SCZ subjects had significantly impaired bias in Block 1 (p=0.002) and Block 2 (p=0.05), indicating that SCZ were slower to achieve normal levels of bias during the session. SCZ subjects were slower to develop response bias to rewarded stimuli than CON subjects. This finding is consonant with the hypothesis that people with schizophrenia have a blunted capacity to modify behavior in response to reward. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  11. Association of Elevated Reward Prediction Error Response With Weight Gain in Adolescent Anorexia Nervosa.

    DeGuzman, Marisa; Shott, Megan E; Yang, Tony T; Riederer, Justin; Frank, Guido K W

    2017-06-01

    Anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric disorder of unknown etiology. Understanding associations between behavior and neurobiology is important in treatment development. Using a novel monetary reward task during functional magnetic resonance brain imaging, the authors tested how brain reward learning in adolescent anorexia nervosa changes with weight restoration. Female adolescents with anorexia nervosa (N=21; mean age, 16.4 years [SD=1.9]) underwent functional MRI (fMRI) before and after treatment; similarly, healthy female control adolescents (N=21; mean age, 15.2 years [SD=2.4]) underwent fMRI on two occasions. Brain function was tested using the reward prediction error construct, a computational model for reward receipt and omission related to motivation and neural dopamine responsiveness. Compared with the control group, the anorexia nervosa group exhibited greater brain response 1) for prediction error regression within the caudate, ventral caudate/nucleus accumbens, and anterior and posterior insula, 2) to unexpected reward receipt in the anterior and posterior insula, and 3) to unexpected reward omission in the caudate body. Prediction error and unexpected reward omission response tended to normalize with treatment, while unexpected reward receipt response remained significantly elevated. Greater caudate prediction error response when underweight was associated with lower weight gain during treatment. Punishment sensitivity correlated positively with ventral caudate prediction error response. Reward system responsiveness is elevated in adolescent anorexia nervosa when underweight and after weight restoration. Heightened prediction error activity in brain reward regions may represent a phenotype of adolescent anorexia nervosa that does not respond well to treatment. Prediction error response could be a neurobiological marker of illness severity that can indicate individual treatment needs.

  12. Commitment to self-rewards

    Koch, Alexander; Nafziger, Julia

    People often overcome self-control problems by promising to reward themselves for accomplishing a task. Such strategies based on self-administered rewards however require the person to believe that she would indeed deny herself the reward if she should fail to achieve the desired outcome. Drawing...... on Koszegi and Rabin's (2006) model of endogenous reference point formation, we show how a rational forward-looking individual can achieve such internal commitment. But our results also demonstrate the limitations of self regulation based on self-rewards....

  13. Impaired Feedback Processing for Symbolic Reward in Individuals with Internet Game Overuse

    Jinhee Kim

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Reward processing, which plays a critical role in adaptive behavior, is impaired in addiction disorders, which are accompanied by functional abnormalities in brain reward circuits. Internet gaming disorder, like substance addiction, is thought to be associated with impaired reward processing, but little is known about how it affects learning, especially when feedback is conveyed by less-salient motivational events. Here, using both monetary (±500 KRW and symbolic (Chinese characters “right” or “wrong” rewards and penalties, we investigated whether behavioral performance and feedback-related neural responses are altered in Internet game overuse (IGO group. Using functional MRI, brain responses for these two types of reward/penalty feedback were compared between young males with problems of IGO (IGOs, n = 18, mean age = 22.2 ± 2.0 years and age-matched control subjects (Controls, n = 20, mean age = 21.2 ± 2.1 during a visuomotor association task where associations were learned between English letters and one of four responses. No group difference was found in adjustment of error responses following the penalty or in brain responses to penalty, for either monetary or symbolic penalties. The IGO individuals, however, were more likely to fail to choose the response previously reinforced by symbolic (but not monetary reward. A whole brain two-way ANOVA analysis for reward revealed reduced activations in the IGO group in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex/ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC in response to both reward types, suggesting impaired reward processing. However, the responses to reward in the inferior parietal region and medial orbitofrontal cortex/vmPFC were affected by the types of reward in the IGO group. Unlike the control group, in the IGO group the reward response was reduced only for symbolic reward, suggesting lower attentional and value processing specific to symbolic reward. Furthermore

  14. Stress, eating and the reward system.

    Adam, Tanja C; Epel, Elissa S

    2007-07-24

    An increasing number of people report concerns about the amount of stress in their life. At the same time obesity is an escalating health problem worldwide. Evidence is accumulating rapidly that stress related chronic stimulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and resulting excess glucocorticoid exposure may play a potential role in the development of visceral obesity. Since adequate regulation of energy and food intake under stress is important for survival, it is not surprising that the HPA axis is not only the 'conductor' of an appropriate stress response, but is also tightly intertwined with the endocrine regulation of appetite. Here we attempt to link animal and human literatures to tease apart how different types of psychological stress affect eating. We propose a theoretical model of Reward Based Stress Eating. This model emphasizes the role of cortisol and reward circuitry on motivating calorically dense food intake, and elucidating potential neuroendocrine mediators in the relationship between stress and eating. The addiction literature suggests that the brain reward circuitry may be a key player in stress-induced food intake. Stress as well as palatable food can stimulate endogenous opioid release. In turn, opioid release appears to be part of an organisms' powerful defense mechanism protecting from the detrimental effects of stress by decreasing activity of the HPA axis and thus attenuating the stress response. Repeated stimulation of the reward pathways through either stress induced HPA stimulation, intake of highly palatable food or both, may lead to neurobiological adaptations that promote the compulsive nature of overeating. Cortisol may influence the reward value of food via neuroendocrine/peptide mediators such as leptin, insulin and neuropeptide Y (NPY). Whereas glucocorticoids are antagonized by insulin and leptin acutely, under chronic stress, that finely balanced system is dysregulated, possibly contributing to increased food

  15. Maladaptive Reward-Learning and Impulse Control Disorders in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease: A Clinical Overview and Pathophysiology Update

    Jee-Young Lee

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Impulse control disorders (ICD in Parkinson’s disease (PD are a disabling non-motor symptom with frequencies of 13–35% among patients receiving dopamine replacement therapy. ICD in PD is strongly associated with dopaminergic drug use, especially non-ergot dopamine agonists (DA. However, individual susceptibility and disease-related neural changes are also important contributors to the development of ICD. Discrepancies between nigrostriatal and mesolimbic dopaminergic degeneration and non-physiological administration of dopaminergic drugs may induce abnormal ’hyperstimulation’ of the mesolimbic system, which alters reward-learning behaviors in PD patients. In addition, DA can make patients more impulsive during decision-making and seek risk-taking behaviors. DA intake is also related to the biased representation of rewards. Ultimately, loss of negative feedback control due to dysfunctional frontostriatal connections is necessary for the establishment of ICD in PD. The subsequent behavioral and neural changes are affected by PD treatment and disease progression; thus, proper treatment guidelines for physicians are needed to prevent the development of ICD. Future studies aimed at producing novel therapeutics to control the risk factors for ICD or treat ICD behaviors in PD are warranted. This review summarizes recent advances from epidemiological and pathophysiological studies on ICD in PD. Management principles and limitations of current therapeutics are briefly discussed.

  16. Monetary rewards influence retrieval orientations.

    Halsband, Teresa M; Ferdinand, Nicola K; Bridger, Emma K; Mecklinger, Axel

    2012-09-01

    Reward anticipation during learning is known to support memory formation, but its role in retrieval processes is so far unclear. Retrieval orientations, as a reflection of controlled retrieval processing, are one aspect of retrieval that might be modulated by reward. These processes can be measured using the event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited by retrieval cues from tasks with different retrieval requirements, such as via changes in the class of targeted memory information. To determine whether retrieval orientations of this kind are modulated by reward during learning, we investigated the effects of high and low reward expectancy on the ERP correlates of retrieval orientation in two separate experiments. The reward manipulation at study in Experiment 1 was associated with later memory performance, whereas in Experiment 2, reward was directly linked to accuracy in the study task. In both studies, the participants encoded mixed lists of pictures and words preceded by high- or low-reward cues. After 24 h, they performed a recognition memory exclusion task, with words as the test items. In addition to a previously reported material-specific effect of retrieval orientation, a frontally distributed, reward-associated retrieval orientation effect was found in both experiments. These findings suggest that reward motivation during learning leads to the adoption of a reward-associated retrieval orientation to support the retrieval of highly motivational information. Thus, ERP retrieval orientation effects not only reflect retrieval processes related to the sought-for materials, but also relate to the reward conditions with which items were combined during encoding.

  17. CRF1 receptor-deficiency increases cocaine reward.

    Contarino, Angelo; Kitchener, Pierre; Vallée, Monique; Papaleo, Francesco; Piazza, Pier-Vincenzo

    2017-05-01

    Stimulant drugs produce reward but also activate stress-responsive systems. The corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and the related hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis stress-responsive systems are activated by stimulant drugs. However, their role in stimulant drug-induced reward remains poorly understood. Herein, we report that CRF 1 receptor-deficient (CRF 1 -/-), but not wild-type, mice show conditioned place preference (CPP) responses to a relatively low cocaine dose (5 mg/kg, i.p.). Conversely, wild-type, but not CRF 1 -/-, mice display CPP responses to a relatively high cocaine dose (20 mg/kg, i.p.), indicating that CRF 1 receptor-deficiency alters the rewarding effects of cocaine. Acute pharmacological antagonism of the CRF 1 receptor by antalarmin also eliminates cocaine reward. Nevertheless, CRF 1 -/- mice display higher stereotypy responses to cocaine than wild-type mice. Despite the very low plasma corticosterone concentration, CRF 1 -/- mice show higher nuclear glucocorticoid receptor (GR) levels in the brain region of the hippocampus than wild-type mice. Full rescue of wild-type-like corticosterone and GR circadian rhythm and level in CRF 1 -/- mice by exogenous corticosterone does not affect CRF 1 receptor-dependent cocaine reward but induces stereotypy responses to cocaine. These results indicate a critical role for the CRF 1 receptor in cocaine reward, independently of the closely related HPA axis activity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Reward priming eliminates color-driven affect in perception.

    Hu, Kesong

    2018-01-03

    Brain and behavior evidence suggests that colors have distinct affective properties. Here, we investigated how reward influences color-driven affect in perception. In Experiment 1, we assessed competition between blue and red patches during a temporal-order judgment (TOJ) across a range of stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs). During the value reinforcement, reward was linked to either blue (version 1) or red (version 2) in the experiment. The same stimuli then served as test ones in the following unrewarded, unspeeded TOJ task. Our analysis showed that blue patches were consistently seen as occurring first, even when objectively appearing 2nd at short SOAs. This accelerated perception of blue over red was disrupted by prior primes related to reward (vs. neutral) but not perceptional (blue vs. red) priming. Experiment 2 replicated the findings of Experiment 1 while uncoupling action and stimulus values. These results are consistent with the blue-approach and red-avoidance motivation hypothesis and highlight an active nature of the association of reward priming and color processing. Together, the present study implies a link between reward and color affect and contributes to the understanding of how reward influences color affect in visual processing.

  19. Potential effects of reward and loss avoidance in overweight adolescents.

    Reyes, Sussanne; Peirano, Patricio; Luna, Beatriz; Lozoff, Betsy; Algarín, Cecilia

    2015-08-01

    Reward system and inhibitory control are brain functions that exert an influence on eating behavior regulation. We studied the differences in inhibitory control and sensitivity to reward and loss avoidance between overweight/obese and normal-weight adolescents. We assessed 51 overweight/obese and 52 normal-weight 15-y-old Chilean adolescents. The groups were similar regarding sex and intelligence quotient. Using Antisaccade and Incentive tasks, we evaluated inhibitory control and the effect of incentive trials (neutral, loss avoidance, and reward) on generating correct and incorrect responses (latency and error rate). Compared to normal-weight group participants, overweight/obese adolescents showed shorter latency for incorrect antisaccade responses (186.0 (95% CI: 176.8-195.2) vs. 201.3 ms (95% CI: 191.2-211.5), P reward (41.0 (95% CI: 34.5-47.5) vs. 49.8% (95% CI: 43.0-55.1), P reward and loss avoidance trials. These findings could suggest that an imbalance of inhibition and reward systems influence their eating behavior.

  20. Reward processing and intertemporal decision making in adults and adolescents: the role of impulsivity and decision consistency.

    Ripke, Stephan; Hübner, Thomas; Mennigen, Eva; Müller, Kathrin U; Rodehacke, Sarah; Schmidt, Dirk; Jacob, Mark J; Smolka, Michael N

    2012-10-10

    Several studies report differences between adults and adolescents in reward processing and impulsivity. Consistently, adolescents are more impulsive in their decision making, as measured by intertemporal choice tasks. Since impulsivity affects an individual's perception and neural processing of rewards, it is unclear whether previously reported differences in brain activation between adults and adolescents are primarily due to maturation of the brain reward system or differences in impulsivity (i.e. discounting behaviour). To disentangle this, we analysed data from 235 adolescents and 29 adults who performed an intertemporal choice task in which monetary rewards were adapted to individual impulsivity. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we measured brain activity and assessed impulsivity and consistency of choices at the behavioural level. Although adolescents discounted delayed rewards more steeply than adults, when controlling for impulsivity, neural processing of reward value did not differ between groups. However, more impulsive subjects showed a lower brain response to delayed rewards, independent of age. Concerning decision making, adolescents exhibited a lower consistency of choices and less brain activity in the parietal network than adults. We conclude that processing of the value of prospective delayed rewards is more sensitive to discounting behaviour than to chronological age. Lower consistency of intertemporal choices might indicate ongoing maturation of parietal brain areas in adolescents. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Negative Symptoms and Reward Disturbances in Schizophrenia Before and After Antipsychotic Monotherapy

    Nielsen, Mette Ødegaard; Rostrup, Egill; Broberg, Brian Villumsen

    2018-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Negative symptoms (NS) are a central part of the symptomatology of schizophrenia, which is highly correlated to the functional outcome. Disturbances of the brain reward system are suggested to be central in the pathogenesis of NS by decreasing motivation and hedonic experiences...... = .001). DISCUSSION: Patients improving in NS score had a less aberrant reward system at baseline, but reward related activity was reduced over time. Patients not improving in NS showed decreased striatal reward-activity at baseline, which improved over time. Whether this is associated with alteration....... In this study, we compared reward-related brain activity in patients improving and not improving in NS after treatment with amisulpride. METHODS: Thirty-nine antipsychotic-naive patients and 49 healthy controls completed functional magnetic resonance imaging with a modified monetary incentive delay task...

  2. Ghrelin modulates the fMRI BOLD response of homeostatic and hedonic brain centers regulating energy balance in the rat.

    Miklós Sárvári

    Full Text Available The orexigenic gut-brain peptide, ghrelin and its G-protein coupled receptor, the growth hormone secretagogue receptor 1a (GHS-R1A are pivotal regulators of hypothalamic feeding centers and reward processing neuronal circuits of the brain. These systems operate in a cooperative manner and receive a wide array of neuronal hormone/transmitter messages and metabolic signals. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was employed in the current study to map BOLD responses to ghrelin in different brain regions with special reference on homeostatic and hedonic regulatory centers of energy balance. Experimental groups involved male, ovariectomized female and ovariectomized estradiol-replaced rats. Putative modulation of ghrelin signaling by endocannabinoids was also studied. Ghrelin-evoked effects were calculated as mean of the BOLD responses 30 minutes after administration. In the male rat, ghrelin evoked a slowly decreasing BOLD response in all studied regions of interest (ROI within the limbic system. This effect was antagonized by pretreatment with GHS-R1A antagonist JMV2959. The comparison of ghrelin effects in the presence or absence of JMV2959 in individual ROIs revealed significant changes in the prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens of the telencephalon, and also within hypothalamic centers like the lateral hypothalamus, ventromedial nucleus, paraventricular nucleus and suprachiasmatic nucleus. In the female rat, the ghrelin effects were almost identical to those observed in males. Ovariectomy and chronic estradiol replacement had no effect on the BOLD response. Inhibition of the endocannabinoid signaling by rimonabant significantly attenuated the response of the nucleus accumbens and septum. In summary, ghrelin can modulate hypothalamic and mesolimbic structures controlling energy balance in both sexes. The endocannabinoid signaling system contributes to the manifestation of ghrelin's BOLD effect in a region specific manner. In females, the

  3. Model Checking Multivariate State Rewards

    Nielsen, Bo Friis; Nielson, Flemming; Nielson, Hanne Riis

    2010-01-01

    We consider continuous stochastic logics with state rewards that are interpreted over continuous time Markov chains. We show how results from multivariate phase type distributions can be used to obtain higher-order moments for multivariate state rewards (including covariance). We also generalise...

  4. Reward systems and food intake: role of opioids.

    Gosnell, B A; Levine, A S

    2009-06-01

    Humans eat for many reasons, including the rewarding qualities of foods. A host of neurotransmitters have been shown to influence eating behavior and some of these appear to be involved in reward-induced eating. Endogenous opioid peptides and their receptors were first reported more than 30 years ago, and studies suggesting a role of opioids in the regulation of food intake date back nearly as far. Opioid agonists and antagonists have corresponding stimulatory and inhibitory effects on feeding. In addition to studies aimed at identifying the relevant receptor subtypes and sites of action within the brain, there has been a continuing interest in the role of opioids on diet/taste preferences, food reward, and the overlap of food reward with others types of reward. Data exist that suggest a role for opioids in the control of appetite for specific macronutrients, but there is also evidence for their role in the stimulation of intake based on already-existing diet or taste preferences and in controlling intake motivated by hedonics rather than by energy needs. Finally, various types of studies indicate an overlap between mechanisms mediating drug reward and palatable food reward. Preference or consumption of sweet substances often parallels the self-administration of several drugs of abuse, and under certain conditions, the termination of intermittent access to sweet substances produces symptoms that resemble those observed during opiate withdrawal. The overconsumption of readily available and highly palatable foods likely contributes to the growing rates of obesity worldwide. An understanding of the role of opioids in mediating food reward and promoting the overconsumption of palatable foods may provide insights into new approaches for preventing obesity.

  5. Hunger does not motivate reward in women remitted from anorexia nervosa.

    Wierenga, Christina E; Bischoff-Grethe, Amanda; Melrose, A James; Irvine, Zoe; Torres, Laura; Bailer, Ursula F; Simmons, Alan; Fudge, Julie L; McClure, Samuel M; Ely, Alice; Kaye, Walter H

    2015-04-01

    Hunger enhances sensitivity to reward, yet individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) are not motivated to eat when starved. This study investigated brain response to rewards during hunger and satiated states to examine whether diminished response to reward could underlie food restriction in AN. Using a delay discounting monetary decision task known to discriminate brain regions contributing to processing of immediate rewards and cognitive control important for decision making regarding future rewards, we compared 23 women remitted from AN (RAN group; to reduce the confounding effects of starvation) with 17 healthy comparison women (CW group). Monetary rewards were used because the rewarding value of food may be confounded by anxiety in AN. Interactions of Group (RAN, CW) × Visit (hunger, satiety) revealed that, for the CW group, hunger significantly increased activation in reward salience circuitry (ventral striatum, dorsal caudate, anterior cingulate cortex) during processing of immediate reward, whereas satiety increased activation in cognitive control circuitry (ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, insula) during decision making. In contrast, brain response in reward and cognitive neurocircuitry did not differ during hunger and satiety in the RAN group. A main effect of group revealed elevated response in the middle frontal gyrus for the RAN group compared with the CW group. Women remitted from AN failed to increase activation of reward valuation circuitry when hungry and showed elevated response in cognitive control circuitry independent of metabolic state. Decreased sensitivity to the motivational drive of hunger may explain the ability of individuals with AN to restrict food when emaciated. Difficulties in valuating emotional salience may contribute to inabilities to appreciate the risks inherent in this disorder. Copyright © 2015 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. BAS-drive trait modulates dorsomedial striatum activity during reward response-outcome associations.

    Costumero, Víctor; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso; Fuentes, Paola; Rosell-Negre, Patricia; Bustamante, Juan Carlos; Ávila, César

    2016-09-01

    According to the Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory, behavioral studies have found that individuals with stronger reward sensitivity easily detect cues of reward and establish faster associations between instrumental responses and reward. Neuroimaging studies have shown that processing anticipatory cues of reward is accompanied by stronger ventral striatum activity in individuals with stronger reward sensitivity. Even though establishing response-outcome contingencies has been consistently associated with dorsal striatum, individual differences in this process are poorly understood. Here, we aimed to study the relation between reward sensitivity and brain activity while processing response-reward contingencies. Forty-five participants completed the BIS/BAS questionnaire and performed a gambling task paradigm in which they received monetary rewards or punishments. Overall, our task replicated previous results that have related processing high reward outcomes with activation of striatum and medial frontal areas, whereas processing high punishment outcomes was associated with stronger activity in insula and middle cingulate. As expected, the individual differences in the activity of dorsomedial striatum correlated positively with BAS-Drive. Our results agree with previous studies that have related the dorsomedial striatum with instrumental performance, and suggest that the individual differences in this area may form part of the neural substrate responsible for modulating instrumental conditioning by reward sensitivity.

  7. Expected reward modulates encoding-related theta activity before an event.

    Gruber, Matthias J; Watrous, Andrew J; Ekstrom, Arne D; Ranganath, Charan; Otten, Leun J

    2013-01-01

    Oscillatory brain activity in the theta frequency range (4-8 Hz) before the onset of an event has been shown to affect the likelihood of successfully encoding the event into memory. Recent work has also indicated that frontal theta activity might be modulated by reward, but it is not clear how reward expectancy, anticipatory theta activity, and memory formation might be related. Here, we used scalp electroencephalography (EEG) to assess the relationship between these factors. EEG was recorded from healthy adults while they memorized a series of words. Each word was preceded by a cue that indicated whether a high or low monetary reward would be earned if the word was successfully remembered in a later recognition test. Frontal theta power between the presentation of the reward cue and the onset of a word was predictive of later memory for the word, but only in the high reward condition. No theta differences were observed before word onset following low reward cues. The magnitude of prestimulus encoding-related theta activity in the high reward condition was correlated with the number of high reward words that were later confidently recognized. These findings provide strong evidence for a link between reward expectancy, theta activity, and memory encoding. Theta activity before event onset seems to be especially important for the encoding of motivationally significant stimuli. One possibility is that dopaminergic activity during reward anticipation mediates frontal theta activity related to memory. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. The influence of motherhood on neural systems for reward processing in low income, minority, young women.

    Moses-Kolko, Eydie L; Forbes, Erika E; Stepp, Stephanie; Fraser, David; Keenan, Kate E; Guyer, Amanda E; Chase, Henry W; Phillips, Mary L; Zevallos, Carlos R; Guo, Chaohui; Hipwell, Alison E

    2016-04-01

    Given the association between maternal caregiving behavior and heightened neural reward activity in experimental animal studies, the present study examined whether motherhood in humans positively modulates reward-processing neural circuits, even among mothers exposed to various life stressors and depression. Subjects were 77 first-time mothers and 126 nulliparous young women from the Pittsburgh Girls Study, a longitudinal study beginning in childhood. Subjects underwent a monetary reward task during functional magnetic resonance imaging in addition to assessment of current depressive symptoms. Life stress was measured by averaging data collected between ages 8-15 years. Using a region-of-interest approach, we conducted hierarchical regression to examine the relationship of psychosocial factors (life stress and current depression) and motherhood with extracted ventral striatal (VST) response to reward anticipation. Whole-brain regression analyses were performed post-hoc to explore non-striatal regions associated with reward anticipation in mothers vs nulliparous women. Anticipation of monetary reward was associated with increased neural activity in expected regions including caudate, orbitofrontal, occipital, superior and middle frontal cortices. There was no main effect of motherhood nor motherhood-by-psychosocial factor interaction effect on VST response during reward anticipation. Depressive symptoms were associated with increased VST activity across the entire sample. In exploratory whole brain analysis, motherhood was associated with increased somatosensory cortex activity to reward (FWE cluster forming threshold preward anticipation-related VST activity nor does motherhood modulate the impact of depression or life stress on VST activity. Future studies are needed to evaluate whether earlier postpartum assessment of reward function, inclusion of mothers with more severe depressive symptoms, and use of reward tasks specific for social reward might reveal an

  9. The role of the dorsal raphé nucleus in reward-seeking behavior

    Kae eNakamura

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Pharmacological experiments have shown that the modulation of brain serotonin levels has a strong impact on value-based decision making. Anatomical and physiological evidence also revealed that the dorsal raphé nucleus (DRN, a major source of serotonin, and the dopamine system receive common inputs from brain regions associated with appetitive and aversive information processing. The serotonin and dopamine systems also have reciprocal functional influences on each other. However, the specific mechanism by which serotonin affects value-based decision making is not clear.To understand the information carried by the DRN for reward-seeking behavior, we measured single neuron activity in the primate DRN during the performance of saccade tasks to obtain different amounts of a reward. We found that DRN neuronal activity was characterized by tonic modulation that was altered by the expected and received reward value. Consistent reward-dependent modulation across different task periods suggested that DRN activity kept track of the reward value throughout a trial. The DRN was also characterized by modulation of its activity in the opposite direction by different neuronal subgroups, one firing strongly for the prediction and receipt of large rewards, with the other firing strongly for small rewards. Conversely, putative dopamine neurons showed positive phasic responses to reward-indicating cues and the receipt of an unexpected reward amount, which supports the reward prediction error signal hypothesis of dopamine.I suggest that the tonic reward monitoring signal of the DRN, possibly together with its interaction with the dopamine system, reports a continuous level of motivation throughout the performance of a task. Such a signal may provide reward context information to the targets of DRN projections, where it may be integrated further with incoming motivationally salient information.

  10. Risk and reward

    Kellas, G.K.; Hodgshon, S.G.

    1992-01-01

    This paper looks at the problems facing the international oil explorationist and host Governments in 1992, under a cloud of low oil prices and falling company profits, yet with more quality acreage available worldwide than for many years, especially with the emergence of the CIS states as prospective hunting grounds for the western oil company. Given the extent of the spread of opportunities available to companies and recognition of the increasing need to justify, on economic grounds, progress with any licence application this paper suggests two approaches that companies can adopt to rank the opportunities available, and maximize the value, on an after risk basis, of their (limited) international exploration budget : subjective rating by factor or the Risk/Reward balance. Both of these approaches include measures of prospectivity and measures of local cost and fiscal effects in providing an overall exploration rating which can be used by companies to rank the available opportunities

  11. ATLAS rewards industry

    2006-01-01

    Showing excellence in mechanics, electronics and cryogenics, three industries are honoured for their contributions to the ATLAS experiment. Representatives of the three award-wining companies after the ceremony. For contributing vital pieces to the ATLAS puzzle, three industries were recognized on Friday 5 May during a supplier awards ceremony. After a welcome and overview of the ATLAS experiment by spokesperson Peter Jenni, CERN Secretary-General Maximilian Metzger stressed the importance of industry to CERN's scientific goals. Close interaction with CERN was a key factor in the selection of each rewarded company, in addition to the high-quality products they delivered to the experiment. Alu Menziken Industrie AG, of Switzerland, was honoured for the production of 380,000 aluminium tubes for the Monitored Drift Tube Chambers (MDT). As Giora Mikenberg, the Muon System Project Leader stressed, the aluminium tubes were delivered on time with an extraordinary quality and precision. Between October 2000 and Jan...

  12. Amphetamine-induced sensitization and reward uncertainty similarly enhance incentive salience for conditioned cues

    Robinson, Mike J.F.; Anselme, Patrick; Suchomel, Kristen; Berridge, Kent C.

    2015-01-01

    Amphetamine and stress can sensitize mesolimbic dopamine-related systems. In Pavlovian autoshaping, repeated exposure to uncertainty of reward prediction can enhance motivated sign-tracking or attraction to a discrete reward-predicting cue (lever CS+), as well as produce cross-sensitization to amphetamine. However, it remains unknown how amphetamine-sensitization or repeated restraint stress interact with uncertainty in controlling CS+ incentive salience attribution reflected in sign-tracking. Here rats were tested in three successive phases. First, different groups underwent either induction of amphetamine sensitization or repeated restraint stress, or else were not sensitized or stressed as control groups (either saline injections only, or no stress or injection at all). All next received Pavlovian autoshaping training under either certainty conditions (100% CS-UCS association) or uncertainty conditions (50% CS-UCS association and uncertain reward magnitude). During training, rats were assessed for sign-tracking to the lever CS+ versus goal-tracking to the sucrose dish. Finally, all groups were tested for psychomotor sensitization of locomotion revealed by an amphetamine challenge. Our results confirm that reward uncertainty enhanced sign-tracking attraction toward the predictive CS+ lever, at the expense of goal-tracking. We also report that amphetamine sensitization promoted sign-tracking even in rats trained under CS-UCS certainty conditions, raising them to sign-tracking levels equivalent to the uncertainty group. Combining amphetamine sensitization and uncertainty conditions together did not add together to elevate sign-tracking further above the relatively high levels induced by either manipulation alone. In contrast, repeated restraint stress enhanced subsequent amphetamine-elicited locomotion, but did not enhance CS+ attraction. PMID:26076340

  13. Amphetamine-induced sensitization and reward uncertainty similarly enhance incentive salience for conditioned cues.

    Robinson, Mike J F; Anselme, Patrick; Suchomel, Kristen; Berridge, Kent C

    2015-08-01

    Amphetamine and stress can sensitize mesolimbic dopamine-related systems. In Pavlovian autoshaping, repeated exposure to uncertainty of reward prediction can enhance motivated sign-tracking or attraction to a discrete reward-predicting cue (lever-conditioned stimulus; CS+), as well as produce cross-sensitization to amphetamine. However, it remains unknown how amphetamine sensitization or repeated restraint stress interact with uncertainty in controlling CS+ incentive salience attribution reflected in sign-tracking. Here rats were tested in 3 successive phases. First, different groups underwent either induction of amphetamine sensitization or repeated restraint stress, or else were not sensitized or stressed as control groups (either saline injections only, or no stress or injection at all). All next received Pavlovian autoshaping training under either certainty conditions (100% CS-UCS association) or uncertainty conditions (50% CS-UCS association and uncertain reward magnitude). During training, rats were assessed for sign-tracking to the CS+ lever versus goal-tracking to the sucrose dish. Finally, all groups were tested for psychomotor sensitization of locomotion revealed by an amphetamine challenge. Our results confirm that reward uncertainty enhanced sign-tracking attraction toward the predictive CS+ lever, at the expense of goal-tracking. We also reported that amphetamine sensitization promoted sign-tracking even in rats trained under CS-UCS certainty conditions, raising them to sign-tracking levels equivalent to the uncertainty group. Combining amphetamine sensitization and uncertainty conditions did not add together to elevate sign-tracking further above the relatively high levels induced by either manipulation alone. In contrast, repeated restraint stress enhanced subsequent amphetamine-elicited locomotion, but did not enhance CS+ attraction. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  14. Dopamine and reward: the anhedonia hypothesis 30 years on.

    Wise, Roy A

    2008-10-01

    The anhedonia hypothesis--that brain dopamine plays a critical role in the subjective pleasure associated with positive rewards--was intended to draw the attention of psychiatrists to the growing evidence that dopamine plays a critical role in the objective reinforcement and incentive motivation associated with food and water, brain stimulation reward, and psychomotor stimulant and opiate reward. The hypothesis called to attention the apparent paradox that neuroleptics, drugs used to treat a condition involving anhedonia (schizophrenia), attenuated in laboratory animals the positive reinforcement that we normally associate with pleasure. The hypothesis held only brief interest for psychiatrists, who pointed out that the animal studies reflected acute actions of neuroleptics whereas the treatment of schizophrenia appears to result from neuroadaptations to chronic neuroleptic administration, and that it is the positive symptoms of schizophrenia that neuroleptics alleviate, rather than the negative symptoms that include anhedonia. Perhaps for these reasons, the hypothesis has had minimal impact in the psychiatric literature. Despite its limited heuristic value for the understanding of schizophrenia, however, the anhedonia hypothesis has had major impact on biological theories of reinforcement, motivation, and addiction. Brain dopamine plays a very important role in reinforcement of response habits, conditioned preferences, and synaptic plasticity in cellular models of learning and memory. The notion that dopamine plays a dominant role in reinforcement is fundamental to the psychomotor stimulant theory of addiction, to most neuroadaptation theories of addiction, and to current theories of conditioned reinforcement and reward prediction. Properly understood, it is also fundamental to recent theories of incentive motivation.

  15. Medial reward and lateral non-reward orbitofrontal cortex circuits change in opposite directions in depression.

    Cheng, Wei; Rolls, Edmund T; Qiu, Jiang; Liu, Wei; Tang, Yanqing; Huang, Chu-Chung; Wang, XinFa; Zhang, Jie; Lin, Wei; Zheng, Lirong; Pu, JunCai; Tsai, Shih-Jen; Yang, Albert C; Lin, Ching-Po; Wang, Fei; Xie, Peng; Feng, Jianfeng

    2016-12-01

    The first brain-wide voxel-level resting state functional connectivity neuroimaging analysis of depression is reported, with 421 patients with major depressive disorder and 488 control subjects. Resting state functional connectivity between different voxels reflects correlations of activity between those voxels and is a fundamental tool in helping to understand the brain regions with altered connectivity and function in depression. One major circuit with altered functional connectivity involved the medial orbitofrontal cortex Brodmann area 13, which is implicated in reward, and which had reduced functional connectivity in depression with memory systems in the parahippocampal gyrus and medial temporal lobe, especially involving the perirhinal cortex Brodmann area 36 and entorhinal cortex Brodmann area 28. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores were correlated with weakened functional connectivity of the medial orbitofrontal cortex Brodmann area 13. Thus in depression there is decreased reward-related and memory system functional connectivity, and this is related to the depressed symptoms. The lateral orbitofrontal cortex Brodmann area 47/12, involved in non-reward and punishing events, did not have this reduced functional connectivity with memory systems. Second, the lateral orbitofrontal cortex Brodmann area 47/12 had increased functional connectivity with the precuneus, the angular gyrus, and the temporal visual cortex Brodmann area 21. This enhanced functional connectivity of the non-reward/punishment system (Brodmann area 47/12) with the precuneus (involved in the sense of self and agency), and the angular gyrus (involved in language) is thus related to the explicit affectively negative sense of the self, and of self-esteem, in depression. A comparison of the functional connectivity in 185 depressed patients not receiving medication and 182 patients receiving medication showed that the functional connectivity of the lateral orbitofrontal cortex Brodmann

  16. Orbitofrontal reward sensitivity and impulsivity in adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Wilbertz, Gregor; van Elst, Ludger Tebartz; Delgado, Mauricio R; Maier, Simon; Feige, Bernd; Philipsen, Alexandra; Blechert, Jens

    2012-03-01

    Impulsivity symptoms of adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) such as increased risk taking have been linked with impaired reward processing. Previous studies have focused on reward anticipation or on rewarded executive functioning tasks and have described a striatal hyporesponsiveness and orbitofrontal alterations in adult and adolescent ADHD. Passive reward delivery and its link to behavioral impulsivity are less well understood. To study this crucial aspect of reward processing we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) combined with electrodermal assessment in male and female adult ADHD patients (N=28) and matched healthy control participants (N=28) during delivery of monetary and non-monetary rewards. Further, two behavioral tasks assessed risky decision making (game of dice task) and delay discounting. Results indicated that both groups activated ventral and dorsal striatum and the medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC) in response to high-incentive (i.e. monetary) rewards. A similar, albeit less strong activation pattern was found for low-incentive (i.e. non-monetary) rewards. Group differences emerged when comparing high and low incentive rewards directly: activation in the mOFC coded for the motivational change in reward delivery in healthy controls, but not ADHD patients. Additionally, this dysfunctional mOFC activity in patients correlated with risky decision making and delay discounting and was paralleled by physiological arousal. Together, these results suggest that the mOFC codes reward value and type in healthy individuals whereas this function is deficient in ADHD. The brain-behavior correlations suggest that this deficit might be related to behavioral impulsivity. Reward value processing difficulties in ADHD should be considered when assessing reward anticipation and emotional learning in research and applied settings. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. The anticipation and outcome phases of reward and loss processing: A neuroimaging meta-analysis of the monetary incentive delay task.

    Oldham, Stuart; Murawski, Carsten; Fornito, Alex; Youssef, George; Yücel, Murat; Lorenzetti, Valentina

    2018-04-25

    The processing of rewards and losses are crucial to everyday functioning. Considerable interest has been attached to investigating the anticipation and outcome phases of reward and loss processing, but results to date have been inconsistent. It is unclear if anticipation and outcome of a reward or loss recruit similar or distinct brain regions. In particular, while the striatum has widely been found to be active when anticipating a reward, whether it activates in response to the anticipation of losses as well remains ambiguous. Furthermore, concerning the orbitofrontal/ventromedial prefrontal regions, activation is often observed during reward receipt. However, it is unclear if this area is active during reward anticipation as well. We ran an Activation Likelihood Estimation meta-analysis of 50 fMRI studies, which used the Monetary Incentive Delay Task (MIDT), to identify which brain regions are implicated in the anticipation of rewards, anticipation of losses, and the receipt of reward. Anticipating rewards and losses recruits overlapping areas including the striatum, insula, amygdala and thalamus, suggesting that a generalised neural system initiates motivational processes independent of valence. The orbitofrontal/ventromedial prefrontal regions were recruited only during the reward outcome, likely representing the value of the reward received. Our findings help to clarify the neural substrates of the different phases of reward and loss processing, and advance neurobiological models of these processes. © 2018 The Authors Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Inside the Adolescent Brain

    Drury, Stacy S.

    2009-01-01

    Dr. Jay Giedd says that the main alterations in the adolescent brain are the inverted U-shaped developmental trajectories with late childhood/early teen peaks for gray matter volume among others. Giedd adds that the adolescent brain is vulnerable to substances that artificially modulate dopamine levels since its reward system is in a state of flux.

  19. Moving beyond energy homeostasis: new roles for glucagon-like peptide-1 in food and drug reward.

    Reddy, India A; Stanwood, Gregg D; Galli, Aurelio

    2014-07-01

    Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a hormone and neuropeptide, is known to regulate energy homeostasis in part through an established central role in controlling food intake. Historically this central role has largely been attributed to GLP-1 receptor signaling in the brainstem and hypothalamus. However, emerging data indicate that GLP-1 also contributes to non-homeostatic regulation of food reward and motivated behaviors in brain reward centers, including the ventral tegmental area and nucleus accumbens. The hypothesis that GLP-1 signaling modulates reward circuitry has provided the impetus for studies demonstrating that GLP-1 attenuates reward for psychostimulants and alcohol. Here, we examine current evidence for GLP-1-mediated regulation of food and drug reward and use these findings to hypothesize mechanisms of action within brain reward centers. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Convergent dysregulation of frontal cortical cognitive and reward systems in eating disorders.

    Stefano, George B; Ptáček, Radek; Kuželová, Hana; Mantione, Kirk J; Raboch, Jiří; Papezova, Hana; Kream, Richard M

    2013-05-10

    A substantive literature has drawn a compelling case for the functional involvement of mesolimbic/prefrontal cortical neural reward systems in normative control of eating and in the etiology and persistence of severe eating disorders that affect diverse human populations. Presently, we provide a short review that develops an equally compelling case for the importance of dysregulated frontal cortical cognitive neural networks acting in concert with regional reward systems in the regulation of complex eating behaviors and in the presentation of complex pathophysiological symptoms associated with major eating disorders. Our goal is to highlight working models of major eating disorders that incorporate complementary approaches to elucidate functionally interactive neural circuits defined by their regulatory neurochemical phenotypes. Importantly, we also review evidence-based linkages between widely studied psychiatric and neurodegenerative syndromes (e.g., autism spectrum disorders and Parkinson's disease) and co-morbid eating disorders to elucidate basic mechanisms involving dopaminergic transmission and its regulation by endogenously expressed morphine in these same cortical regions.

  1. Reward, addiction, and emotion regulation systems associated with rejection in love.

    Fisher, Helen E; Brown, Lucy L; Aron, Arthur; Strong, Greg; Mashek, Debra

    2010-07-01

    Romantic rejection causes a profound sense of loss and negative affect. It can induce clinical depression and in extreme cases lead to suicide and/or homicide. To begin to identify the neural systems associated with this natural loss state, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study 10 women and 5 men who had recently been rejected by a partner but reported they were still intensely "in love." Participants alternately viewed a photograph of their rejecting beloved and a photograph of a familiar, individual, interspersed with a distraction-attention task. Their responses while looking at their rejecter included love, despair, good, and bad memories, and wondering why this happened. Activation specific to the image of the beloved occurred in areas associated with gains and losses, craving and emotion regulation and included the ventral tegmental area (VTA) bilaterally, ventral striatum, medial and lateral orbitofrontal/prefrontal cortex, and cingulate gyrus. Compared with data from happily-in-love individuals, the regional VTA activation suggests that mesolimbic reward/survival systems are involved in romantic passion regardless of whether one is happily or unhappily in love. Forebrain activations associated with motivational relevance, gain/loss, cocaine craving, addiction, and emotion regulation suggest that higher-order systems subject to experience and learning also may mediate the rejection reaction. The results show activation of reward systems, previously identified by monetary stimuli, in a natural, endogenous, negative emotion state. Activation of areas involved in cocaine addiction may help explain the obsessive behaviors associated with rejection in love.

  2. Neural correlates of reward processing in healthy siblings of patients with schizophrenia

    Esther eHanssen

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Deficits in motivational behavior and psychotic symptoms often observed in schizophrenia (SZ may be driven by dysfunctional reward processing (RP. RP can be divided in two different stages; reward anticipation and reward consumption. Aberrant processing during reward anticipation seems to be related to SZ. Studies in patients with SZ have found less activation in the ventral striatum (VS during anticipation of reward, but these findings do not provide information on effect of the genetic load on reward processing. Therefore, this study investigated RP in healthy first-degree relatives of SZ patients. The sample consisted of 94 healthy siblings of SZ patients and 57 healthy controls. Participants completed a classic RP task, the Monetary Incentive Delay task, during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. As expected, there were no behavioral differences between groups. In contrast to our expectations, we found no differences in any of the anticipatory reward related brain areas (region of interest analyses. Whole-brain analyses did reveal group differences during both reward anticipation and reward consumption; during reward anticipation siblings showed less deactivation in the insula, posterior cingulate cortex (PCC and medial frontal gyrus (MFG than controls. During reward consumption siblings showed less deactivation in the PCC and the right MFG compared to controls and activation in contrast to deactivation in controls in the precuneus and the left MFG. Exclusively in siblings, MFG activity correlated positively with subclinical negative symptoms. These regions are typically associated with the default mode network (DMN, which normally shows decreases in activation during task-related cognitive processes. Thus, in contrast to prior literature in patients with SZ, the results do not point to altered brain activity in classical RP brain areas, such as the VS. However, the weaker deactivation found outside the reward-related network in

  3. Employee Reward Systems in Organizations

    Došenović Dragana

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Employee rewarding is one of the activities of human resource management concerning the management of money, goods and services that employees receive from their employer in exchange for their work. Given that a properly designed reward system is one of the conditions for a stable business, successful performance of work activities and the achievement of set objectives in each organization, the basic theme of this paper is the employee reward system, with a special focus on different elements of it. The purpose of this paper is to describe the role and significance of the observed system and to draw attention to its role in employee’s motivation.

  4. Reward and aversion in a heterogeneous midbrain dopamine system.

    Lammel, Stephan; Lim, Byung Kook; Malenka, Robert C

    2014-01-01

    The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is a heterogeneous brain structure that serves a central role in motivation and reward processing. Abnormalities in the function of VTA dopamine (DA) neurons and the targets they influence are implicated in several prominent neuropsychiatric disorders including addiction and depression. Recent studies suggest that the midbrain DA system is composed of anatomically and functionally heterogeneous DA subpopulations with different axonal projections. These findings may explain a number of previously confusing observations that suggested a role for DA in processing both rewarding as well as aversive events. Here we will focus on recent advances in understanding the neural circuits mediating reward and aversion in the VTA and how stress as well as drugs of abuse, in particular cocaine, alter circuit function within a heterogeneous midbrain DA system. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'NIDA 40th Anniversary Issue'. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Abnormal Social Reward Responses in Anorexia Nervosa: An fMRI Study.

    Esther Via

    Full Text Available Patients with anorexia nervosa (AN display impaired social interactions, implicated in the development and prognosis of the disorder. Importantly, social behavior is modulated by reward-based processes, and dysfunctional at-brain-level reward responses have been involved in AN neurobiological models. However, no prior evidence exists of whether these neural alterations would be equally present in social contexts. In this study, we conducted a cross-sectional social-judgment functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI study of 20 restrictive-subtype AN patients and 20 matched healthy controls. Brain activity during acceptance and rejection was investigated and correlated with severity measures (Eating Disorder Inventory -EDI-2 and with personality traits of interest known to modulate social behavior (The Sensitivity to Punishment and Sensitivity to Reward Questionnaire. Patients showed hypoactivation of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC during social acceptance and hyperactivation of visual areas during social rejection. Ventral striatum activation during rejection was positively correlated in patients with clinical severity scores. During acceptance, activation of the frontal opercula-anterior insula and dorsomedial/dorsolateral prefrontal cortices was differentially associated with reward sensitivity between groups. These results suggest an abnormal motivational drive for social stimuli, and involve overlapping social cognition and reward systems leading to a disruption of adaptive responses in the processing of social reward. The specific association of reward-related regions with clinical and psychometric measures suggests the putative involvement of reward structures in the maintenance of pathological behaviors in AN.

  6. Abnormal Social Reward Responses in Anorexia Nervosa: An fMRI Study.

    Via, Esther; Soriano-Mas, Carles; Sánchez, Isabel; Forcano, Laura; Harrison, Ben J; Davey, Christopher G; Pujol, Jesús; Martínez-Zalacaín, Ignacio; Menchón, José M; Fernández-Aranda, Fernando; Cardoner, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) display impaired social interactions, implicated in the development and prognosis of the disorder. Importantly, social behavior is modulated by reward-based processes, and dysfunctional at-brain-level reward responses have been involved in AN neurobiological models. However, no prior evidence exists of whether these neural alterations would be equally present in social contexts. In this study, we conducted a cross-sectional social-judgment functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study of 20 restrictive-subtype AN patients and 20 matched healthy controls. Brain activity during acceptance and rejection was investigated and correlated with severity measures (Eating Disorder Inventory -EDI-2) and with personality traits of interest known to modulate social behavior (The Sensitivity to Punishment and Sensitivity to Reward Questionnaire). Patients showed hypoactivation of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC) during social acceptance and hyperactivation of visual areas during social rejection. Ventral striatum activation during rejection was positively correlated in patients with clinical severity scores. During acceptance, activation of the frontal opercula-anterior insula and dorsomedial/dorsolateral prefrontal cortices was differentially associated with reward sensitivity between groups. These results suggest an abnormal motivational drive for social stimuli, and involve overlapping social cognition and reward systems leading to a disruption of adaptive responses in the processing of social reward. The specific association of reward-related regions with clinical and psychometric measures suggests the putative involvement of reward structures in the maintenance of pathological behaviors in AN.

  7. Cerebral interactions of pain and reward and their relevance for chronic pain.

    Becker, Susanne; Gandhi, Wiebke; Schweinhardt, Petra

    2012-06-29

    Pain and reward are opponent, interacting processes. Such interactions are enabled by neuroanatomical and neurochemical overlaps of brain systems that process pain and reward. Cerebral processing of hedonic ('liking') and motivational ('wanting') aspects of reward can be separated: the orbitofrontal cortex and opioids play an important role for the hedonic experience, and the ventral striatum and dopamine predominantly process motivation for reward. Supported by neuroimaging studies, we present here the hypothesis that the orbitofrontal cortex and opioids are responsible for pain modulation by hedonic experience, while the ventral striatum and dopamine mediate motivational effects on pain. A rewarding stimulus that appears to be particularly important in the context of pain is pain relief. Further, reward, including pain relief, leads to operant learning, which can affect pain sensitivity. Indirect evidence points at brain mechanisms that might underlie pain relief as a reward and related operant learning but studies are scarce. Investigating the cerebral systems underlying pain-reward interactions as well as related operant learning holds the potential of better understanding mechanisms that contribute to the development and maintenance of chronic pain, as detailed in the last section of this review. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Endogenous Cholinergic Inputs and Local Circuit Mechanisms Govern the Phasic Mesolimbic Dopamine Response to Nicotine

    Graupner, Michael; Maex, Reinoud; Gutkin, Boris

    2013-01-01

    Nicotine exerts its reinforcing action by stimulating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and boosting dopamine (DA) output from the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Recent data have led to a debate about the principal pathway of nicotine action: direct stimulation of the DAergic cells through nAChR activation, or disinhibition mediated through desensitization of nAChRs on GABAergic interneurons. We use a computational model of the VTA circuitry and nAChR function to shed light on this issue. Our model illustrates that the α4β2-containing nAChRs either on DA or GABA cells can mediate the acute effects of nicotine. We account for in vitro as well as in vivo data, and predict the conditions necessary for either direct stimulation or disinhibition to be at the origin of DA activity increases. We propose key experiments to disentangle the contribution of both mechanisms. We show that the rate of endogenous acetylcholine input crucially determines the evoked DA response for both mechanisms. Together our results delineate the mechanisms by which the VTA mediates the acute rewarding properties of nicotine and suggest an acetylcholine dependence hypothesis for nicotine reinforcement. PMID:23966848

  9. Integration of reward signalling and appetite regulating peptide systems in the control of food-cue responses.

    Reichelt, A C; Westbrook, R F; Morris, M J

    2015-11-01

    Understanding the neurobiological substrates that encode learning about food-associated cues and how those signals are modulated is of great clinical importance especially in light of the worldwide obesity problem. Inappropriate or maladaptive responses to food-associated cues can promote over-consumption, leading to excessive energy intake and weight gain. Chronic exposure to foods rich in fat and sugar alters the reinforcing value of foods and weakens inhibitory neural control, triggering learned, but maladaptive, associations between environmental cues and food rewards. Thus, responses to food-associated cues can promote cravings and food-seeking by activating mesocorticolimbic dopamine neurocircuitry, and exert physiological effects including salivation. These responses may be analogous to the cravings experienced by abstaining drug addicts that can trigger relapse into drug self-administration. Preventing cue-triggered eating may therefore reduce the over-consumption seen in obesity and binge-eating disorder. In this review we discuss recent research examining how cues associated with palatable foods can promote reward-based feeding behaviours and the potential involvement of appetite-regulating peptides including leptin, ghrelin, orexin and melanin concentrating hormone. These peptide signals interface with mesolimbic dopaminergic regions including the ventral tegmental area to modulate reactivity to cues associated with palatable foods. Thus, a novel target for anti-obesity therapeutics is to reduce non-homeostatic, reward driven eating behaviour, which can be triggered by environmental cues associated with highly palatable, fat and sugar rich foods. © 2015 The British Pharmacological Society.

  10. Random reward priming is task-contingent

    Ásgeirsson, Árni Gunnar; Kristjánsson, Árni

    2014-01-01

    Consistent financial reward of particular features influences the allocation of visual attention in many ways. More surprising are 1-trial reward priming effects on attention where reward schedules are random and reward on one trial influences attentional allocation on the next. Those findings...

  11. Reward-centricity and attenuated aversions: An adolescent phenotype emerging from studies in laboratory animals.

    Doremus-Fitzwater, Tamara L; Spear, Linda P

    2016-11-01

    Adolescence is an evolutionarily conserved developmental period, with neural circuits and behaviors contributing to the detection, procurement, and receipt of rewards bearing similarity across species. Studies with laboratory animals suggest that adolescence is typified by a "reward-centric" phenotype-an increased sensitivity to rewards relative to adults. In contrast, adolescent rodents are reportedly less sensitive to the aversive properties of many drugs and naturally aversive stimuli. Alterations within the mesocorticolimbic dopamine and endocannabinoid systems likely contribute to an adolescent reward-sensitive, yet aversion-resistant, phenotype. Although early hypotheses postulated that developmental changes in dopaminergic circuitry would result in a "reward deficiency" syndrome, evidence now suggests the opposite: that adolescents are uniquely poised to seek out hedonic stimuli, experience greater "pleasure" from rewards, and consume rewarding stimuli in excess. Future studies that more clearly define the role of specific brain regions and neurotransmitter systems in the expression of behaviors toward reward- and aversive-related cues and stimuli are necessary to more fully understand an adolescent-proclivity for and vulnerability to rewards and drugs of potential abuse. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Common and distinct neural correlates of personal and vicarious reward: A quantitative meta-analysis

    Morelli, Sylvia A.; Sacchet, Matthew D.; Zaki, Jamil

    2015-01-01

    Individuals experience reward not only when directly receiving positive outcomes (e.g., food or money), but also when observing others receive such outcomes. This latter phenomenon, known as vicarious reward, is a perennial topic of interest among psychologists and economists. More recently, neuroscientists have begun exploring the neuroanatomy underlying vicarious reward. Here we present a quantitative whole-brain meta-analysis of this emerging literature. We identified 25 functional neuroimaging studies that included contrasts between vicarious reward and a neutral control, and subjected these contrasts to an activation likelihood estimate (ALE) meta-analysis. This analysis revealed a consistent pattern of activation across studies, spanning structures typically associated with the computation of value (especially ventromedial prefrontal cortex) and mentalizing (including dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and superior temporal sulcus). We further quantitatively compared this activation pattern to activation foci from a previous meta-analysis of personal reward. Conjunction analyses yielded overlapping VMPFC activity in response to personal and vicarious reward. Contrast analyses identified preferential engagement of the nucleus accumbens in response to personal as compared to vicarious reward, and in mentalizing-related structures in response to vicarious as compared to personal reward. These data shed light on the common and unique components of the reward that individuals experience directly and through their social connections. PMID:25554428

  13. Motor Planning under Unpredictable Reward: Modulations of Movement Vigor and Primate Striatum Activity

    Ioan eOpris

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Although reward probability is an important factor that shapes animal behavior, it is not well understood however, how the primate brain translates reward expectation into the vigor of movement (reaction time and speed. To address this question, we trained two monkeys in a reaction time task that required wrist movements in response to vibrotactile and visual stimuli, with a variable reward schedule. Correct performance was rewarded in 75 % of the trials. Monkeys were certain that they would be rewarded only in the trials immediately following withheld rewards. In these trials, the animals responded sooner and moved faster. Single-unit recordings from the dorsal striatum revealed that modulations in striatal neurons reflected such modulations of movement vigor. First, in the trials with certain rewards, striatal neurons modulated their firing rates earlier. Second, magnitudes of changes in neuronal firing rates depended on whether or not monkeys were certain about the reward. Third, these modulations depended on the sensory modality of the cue (visual vs. vibratory and/or movement direction (flexions vs. extensions. We conclude that dorsal striatum may be a part of the mechanism responsible for the modulation of movement vigor in response to changes of reward predictability.

  14. Neural and personality correlates of individual differences related to the effects of acute tryptophan depletion on future reward evaluation.

    Demoto, Yoshihiko; Okada, Go; Okamoto, Yasumasa; Kunisato, Yoshihiko; Aoyama, Shiori; Onoda, Keiichi; Munakata, Ayumi; Nomura, Michio; Tanaka, Saori C; Schweighofer, Nicolas; Doya, Kenji; Yamawaki, Shigeto

    2012-01-01

    In general, humans tend to discount the value of delayed reward. An increase in the rate of discounting leads to an inability to select a delayed reward over a smaller immediate reward (reward-delay impulsivity). Although deficits in the serotonergic system are implicated in this reward-delay impulsivity, there is individual variation in response to serotonin depletion. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the effects of serotonin depletion on the ability to evaluate future reward are affected by individual personality traits or brain activation. Personality traits were assessed using the NEO-Five Factor Inventory and Temperament and Character Inventory. The central serotonergic levels of 16 healthy volunteers were manipulated by dietary tryptophan depletion. Subjects performed a delayed reward choice task that required the continuous estimation of reward value during functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning. Discounting rates were increased in 9 participants, but were unchanged or decreased in 7 participants in response to tryptophan depletion. Participants whose discounting rate was increased by tryptophan depletion had significantly higher neuroticism and lower self-directedness. Furthermore, tryptophan depletion differentially affected the groups in terms of hemodynamic responses to the value of predicted future reward in the right insula. These results suggest that individuals who have high neuroticism and low self-directedness as personality traits are particularly vulnerable to the effect of low serotonin on future reward evaluation accompanied by altered brain activation patterns. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  15. Individual differences in regulatory focus predict neural response to reward.

    Scult, Matthew A; Knodt, Annchen R; Hanson, Jamie L; Ryoo, Minyoung; Adcock, R Alison; Hariri, Ahmad R; Strauman, Timothy J

    2017-08-01

    Although goal pursuit is related to both functioning of the brain's reward circuits and psychological factors, the literatures surrounding these concepts have often been separate. Here, we use the psychological construct of regulatory focus to investigate individual differences in neural response to reward. Regulatory focus theory proposes two motivational orientations for personal goal pursuit: (1) promotion, associated with sensitivity to potential gain, and (2) prevention, associated with sensitivity to potential loss. The monetary incentive delay task was used to manipulate reward circuit function, along with instructional framing corresponding to promotion and prevention in a within-subject design. We observed that the more promotion oriented an individual was, the lower their ventral striatum response to gain cues. Follow-up analyses revealed that greater promotion orientation was associated with decreased ventral striatum response even to no-value cues, suggesting that promotion orientation may be associated with relatively hypoactive reward system function. The findings are also likely to represent an interaction between the cognitive and motivational characteristics of the promotion system with the task demands. Prevention orientation did not correlate with ventral striatum response to gain cues, supporting the discriminant validity of regulatory focus theory. The results highlight a dynamic association between individual differences in self-regulation and reward system function.

  16. Glutamatergic transmission in drug reward: implications for drug addiction.

    D'Souza, Manoranjan S

    2015-01-01

    Individuals addicted to drugs of abuse such as alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, and heroin are a significant burden on healthcare systems all over the world. The positive reinforcing (rewarding) effects of the above mentioned drugs play a major role in the initiation and maintenance of the drug-taking habit. Thus, understanding the neurochemical mechanisms underlying the reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse is critical to reducing the burden of drug addiction in society. Over the last two decades, there has been an increasing focus on the role of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate in drug addiction. In this review, pharmacological and genetic evidence supporting the role of glutamate in mediating the rewarding effects of the above described drugs of abuse will be discussed. Further, the review will discuss the role of glutamate transmission in two complex heterogeneous brain regions, namely the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA), which mediate the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse. In addition, several medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration that act by blocking glutamate transmission will be discussed in the context of drug reward. Finally, this review will discuss future studies needed to address currently unanswered gaps in knowledge, which will further elucidate the role of glutamate in the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse.

  17. The attention habit: how reward learning shapes attentional selection.

    Anderson, Brian A

    2016-04-01

    There is growing consensus that reward plays an important role in the control of attention. Until recently, reward was thought to influence attention indirectly by modulating task-specific motivation and its effects on voluntary control over selection. Such an account was consistent with the goal-directed (endogenous) versus stimulus-driven (exogenous) framework that had long dominated the field of attention research. Now, a different perspective is emerging. Demonstrations that previously reward-associated stimuli can automatically capture attention even when physically inconspicuous and task-irrelevant challenge previously held assumptions about attentional control. The idea that attentional selection can be value driven, reflecting a distinct and previously unrecognized control mechanism, has gained traction. Since these early demonstrations, the influence of reward learning on attention has rapidly become an area of intense investigation, sparking many new insights. The result is an emerging picture of how the reward system of the brain automatically biases information processing. Here, I review the progress that has been made in this area, synthesizing a wealth of recent evidence to provide an integrated, up-to-date account of value-driven attention and some of its broader implications. © 2015 New York Academy of Sciences.

  18. Learning from sensory and reward prediction errors during motor adaptation.

    Izawa, Jun; Shadmehr, Reza

    2011-03-01

    Voluntary motor commands produce two kinds of consequences. Initially, a sensory consequence is observed in terms of activity in our primary sensory organs (e.g., vision, proprioception). Subsequently, the brain evaluates the sensory feedback and produces a subjective measure of utility or usefulness of the motor commands (e.g., reward). As a result, comparisons between predicted and observed consequences of motor commands produce two forms of prediction error. How do these errors contribute to changes in motor commands? Here, we considered a reach adaptation protocol and found that when high quality sensory feedback was available, adaptation of motor commands was driven almost exclusively by sensory prediction errors. This form of learning had a distinct signature: as motor commands adapted, the subjects altered their predictions regarding sensory consequences of motor commands, and generalized this learning broadly to neighboring motor commands. In contrast, as the quality of the sensory feedback degraded, adaptation of motor commands became more dependent on reward prediction errors. Reward prediction errors produced comparable changes in the motor commands, but produced no change in the predicted sensory consequences of motor commands, and generalized only locally. Because we found that there was a within subject correlation between generalization patterns and sensory remapping, it is plausible that during adaptation an individual's relative reliance on sensory vs. reward prediction errors could be inferred. We suggest that while motor commands change because of sensory and reward prediction errors, only sensory prediction errors produce a change in the neural system that predicts sensory consequences of motor commands.

  19. Glutamatergic transmission in drug reward: Implications for drug addiction

    Manoranjan S Dsouza

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Individuals addicted to drugs of abuse such as alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, and heroin are a significant burden on healthcare systems all over the world. The positive reinforcing (rewarding effects of the above mentioned drugs play a major role in the initiation and maintenance of the drug-taking habit. Thus, understanding the neurochemical mechanisms underlying the reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse is critical to reducing the burden of drug addiction in society. Over the last two decades, there has been an increasing focus on the role of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate in drug addiction. In this review, pharmacological and genetic evidence supporting the role of glutamate in mediating the rewarding effects of the above described drugs of abuse will be discussed. Further, the review will discuss the role of glutamate transmission in two complex heterogeneous brain regions, namely the nucleus accumbens (NAcc and the ventral tegmental area (VTA, which mediate the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse. In addition, several medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration that act by blocking glutamate transmission will be discussed in the context of drug reward. Finally, this review will discuss future studies needed to address currently unanswered gaps in knowledge, which will further elucidate the role of glutamate in the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse.

  20. Premotor and Motor Cortices Encode Reward.

    Pavan Ramkumar

    Full Text Available Rewards associated with actions are critical for motivation and learning about the consequences of one's actions on the world. The motor cortices are involved in planning and executing movements, but it is unclear whether they encode reward over and above limb kinematics and dynamics. Here, we report a categorical reward signal in dorsal premotor (PMd and primary motor (M1 neurons that corresponds to an increase in firing rates when a trial was not rewarded regardless of whether or not a reward was expected. We show that this signal is unrelated to error magnitude, reward prediction error, or other task confounds such as reward consumption, return reach plan, or kinematic differences across rewarded and unrewarded trials. The availability of reward information in motor cortex is crucial for theories of reward-based learning and motivational influences on actions.

  1. The role of the central ghrelin system in reward from food and chemical drugs.

    Dickson, Suzanne L; Egecioglu, Emil; Landgren, Sara; Skibicka, Karolina P; Engel, Jörgen A; Jerlhag, Elisabet

    2011-06-20

    Here we review recent advances that identify a role for the central ghrelin s