Adult Age Differences in Frontostriatal Representation of Prediction Error But Not Reward Outcome

Cognitive Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 14 (2), 672-682, 2014

26 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2015

See all articles by Gregory R. Samanez-Larkin

Gregory R. Samanez-Larkin

Duke University - Department of Psychology and Neuroscience; Duke University - Center for Cognitive Neuroscience

Darrell Worthy

Texas A&M University - Department of Psychology

Rui Mata

University of Basel

Samuel M. McClure

Stanford University - Psychology

Brian Knutson

Stanford University - Psychology

Date Written: May 23, 2014

Abstract

Emerging evidence from decision neuroscience suggests that although younger and older adults show similar frontostriatal representations of reward magnitude, older adults often show deficits in feedback-driven reinforcement learning. In the present study, healthy adults completed reward-based tasks that did or did not depend on probabilistic learning, while undergoing functional neuroimaging. We observed reductions in the frontostriatal representation of prediction errors during probabilistic learning in older adults. In contrast, we found evidence for stability across adulthood in the representation of reward outcome in a task that did not require learning. Together, the results identify changes across adulthood in the dynamic coding of relational representations of feedback, in spite of preserved reward sensitivity in old age. Overall, the results suggest that the neural representation of prediction error, but not reward outcome, is reduced in old age. These findings reveal a potential dissociation between cognition and motivation with age and identify a potential mechanism for explaining changes in learning-dependent decision making in old adulthood.

Keywords: Aging, Reward, Motivation, Learning, Decision making, Medial prefrontal cortex, Ventral striatum

JEL Classification: D83, D87, J14

Suggested Citation

Samanez-Larkin, Gregory R. and Worthy, Darrell and Mata, Rui and McClure, Samuel M. and Knutson, Brian, Adult Age Differences in Frontostriatal Representation of Prediction Error But Not Reward Outcome (May 23, 2014). Cognitive Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 14 (2), 672-682, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2681926

Gregory R. Samanez-Larkin (Contact Author)

Duke University - Department of Psychology and Neuroscience ( email )

Durham, NC 27708
United States

Duke University - Center for Cognitive Neuroscience ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

Darrell Worthy

Texas A&M University - Department of Psychology ( email )

College Station, TX 77843-4235
United States

Rui Mata

University of Basel ( email )

Petersplatz 1
Basel, CH-4003
Switzerland

Samuel M. McClure

Stanford University - Psychology ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Brian Knutson

Stanford University - Psychology ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States
650 723 7431 (Phone)
650 725 5699 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://psychology.stanford.edu/~knutson

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