Distributed Neural Representation of Expected Value

Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 25, pp. 4806-4812, May 11, 2005

Posted: 21 May 2005

See all articles by Brian Knutson

Brian Knutson

Stanford University - Psychology

Jonathan E. Taylor

Stanford University

Matthew Kaufman

Stanford University

Richard L. Peterson

Market Psychology Consulting

Gary H. Glover

Stanford University

Abstract

Anticipated reward magnitude and probability comprise dual components of expected value (EV), a cornerstone of economic and psychological theory. However, the neural mechanisms that compute EV have not been characterized. Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined neural activation as subjects anticipated monetary gains and losses that varied in magnitude and probability. Group analyses indicated that, although the subcortical nucleus accumbens (NAcc) activated proportional to anticipated gain magnitude, the cortical mesial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) additionally activated according to anticipated gain probability. Individual difference analyses indicated that, although NAcc activation correlated with self-reported positive arousal, MPFC activation correlated with probability estimates. These findings suggest that mesolimbic brain regions support the computation of EV in an ascending and distributed manner: whereas subcortical regions represent an affective component, cortical regions also represent a probabilistic component, and, furthermore, may integrate the two.

Keywords: Expected, value, probability, fmri, arousal, accumbens, prefrontal

JEL Classification: D00

Suggested Citation

Knutson, Brian and Taylor, Jonathan E. and Kaufman, Matthew and Peterson, Richard L. and Glover, Gary H., Distributed Neural Representation of Expected Value. Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 25, pp. 4806-4812, May 11, 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=726509

Brian Knutson (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Psychology ( email )

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

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

Jonathan E. Taylor

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Matthew Kaufman

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Richard L. Peterson

Market Psychology Consulting ( email )

San Francisco, CA
United States
415-267-4880 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.marketpsych.com/

Gary H. Glover

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
793
PlumX Metrics