Journal article

Neural differentiation of expected reward and risk in human subcortical structures

Kerstin Preuschoff, Peter Bossaerts, Steven R Quartz

NEURON | CELL PRESS | Published : 2006


In decision-making under uncertainty, economic studies emphasize the importance of risk in addition to expected reward. Studies in neuroscience focus on expected reward and learning rather than risk. We combined functional imaging with a simple gambling task to vary expected reward and risk simultaneously and in an uncorrelated manner. Drawing on financial decision theory, we modeled expected reward as mathematical expectation of reward, and risk as reward variance. Activations in dopaminoceptive structures correlated with both mathematical parameters. These activations differentiated spatially and temporally. Temporally, the activation related to expected reward was immediate, while the act..

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University of Melbourne Researchers