| EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE
Wednesday, May 23, 2001
5:00 p.m. EST
Researchers Localize the Brain Circuitry Anticipating Monetary Gains
- Money, an incentive unique to humans, produced cerebral blood flow changes similar to those seen previously in response to other types of rewards, such as euphoria-producing drugs;
- Changes in the cerebral blood flow in the sublenticular extended amygdala (SLEA) and the orbitofrontal cortex (Cob) tracked the expected monetary values, and as the expected monetary value increased so did responses in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), SLEA, and hypothalamus;
- A broadly distributed set of brain regions was activated during the prospect phase and responses in many of these regions were seen during the outcome phase as well;
- The blood flow responses in three areas of the brain rich in dopamine receptors, the NAc, SLEA, and hypothalamus, roughly paralleled previously observed findings in monkeys during anticipation and experience of
- The predominant responses to gains or the prospects of gains were seen in the right hemisphere of the brain, whereas the left hemisphere was more active in response to negative prospects.
"The results of our gaming experiment, coupled with findings from prior studies of the anticipation and experience of positive and negative outcomes in humans and laboratory animals, suggest that a network of interrelated structures at different levels of the neuraxis coordinate the processing of goal-related stimuli, " says Dr. Breiter.
"A challenge for future work is to determine the roles played by the different components of this circuitry in the cognitive, emotional, and motivational processes involved in anticipation, evaluation, and decision-making," Dr. Breiter states.
Note to reporters: The full text of this article is available on the Neuron Web site (www.neuron.org).
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