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Dissociable effects of reward magnitude on fronto-medial theta and FRN during performance monitoring

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Abstract
Reward processing is influenced by reward magnitude, as previous EEG studies showed changes in amplitude of the feedback-related negativity (FRN) and reward positivity (RewP), or power of fronto-medial theta (FM theta). However, it remains unclear whether these changes are driven by increased reward sensitivity, altered reward predictions, enhanced cognitive control, or a combination of these effects. To address this question, we asked 36 participants to perform a simple gambling task where feedback valence (reward vs. no-reward), its magnitude (small vs. large reward), and expectancy (expected vs. unexpected) were manipulated in a factorial design, while 64-channel EEG was recorded concurrently. We performed standard ERP analyses (FRN and RewP) as well as time-frequency decompositions (FM theta) of feedback-locked EEG data. Subjective reports showed that large rewards were more liked and expected than small ones. At the EEG level, increasing magnitude led to a larger RewP irrespective of expectancy, whereas the FRN was not influenced by this manipulation. In comparison, FM theta power was overall increased when reward magnitude was large, except if it was unexpected. These results show dissociable effects of reward magnitude on the RewP and FM theta power. Further, they suggest, that although large reward magnitude boosts reward processing (RewP), it can nonetheless undermine the need for enhanced cognitive control (FM theta) in case reward is unexpected. We discuss these new results in terms of optimistic bias or positive mood resulting from an increased reward magnitude.
Keywords
FEEDBACK-RELATED NEGATIVITY, NEURAL MECHANISMS, UNREALISTIC OPTIMISM, OSCILLATORY ACTIVITY, PREDICTION ERRORS, MIDLINE THETA, MONETARY LOSS, VALENCE, DYNAMICS, SENSITIVITY, motivation, reward, RewP, theta

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MLA
Paul, Katharina, et al. “Dissociable Effects of Reward Magnitude on Fronto-Medial Theta and FRN during Performance Monitoring.” PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY, vol. 57, no. 2, Wiley, 2020.
APA
Paul, K., Vassena, E., Severo, M. C., & Pourtois, G. (2020). Dissociable effects of reward magnitude on fronto-medial theta and FRN during performance monitoring. PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY, 57(2).
Chicago author-date
Paul, Katharina, Eliana Vassena, Mario Carlo Severo, and Gilles Pourtois. 2020. “Dissociable Effects of Reward Magnitude on Fronto-Medial Theta and FRN during Performance Monitoring.” PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY 57 (2).
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Paul, Katharina, Eliana Vassena, Mario Carlo Severo, and Gilles Pourtois. 2020. “Dissociable Effects of Reward Magnitude on Fronto-Medial Theta and FRN during Performance Monitoring.” PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY 57 (2).
Vancouver
1.
Paul K, Vassena E, Severo MC, Pourtois G. Dissociable effects of reward magnitude on fronto-medial theta and FRN during performance monitoring. PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY. 2020;57(2).
IEEE
[1]
K. Paul, E. Vassena, M. C. Severo, and G. Pourtois, “Dissociable effects of reward magnitude on fronto-medial theta and FRN during performance monitoring,” PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY, vol. 57, no. 2, 2020.
@article{8647657,
  abstract     = {Reward processing is influenced by reward magnitude, as previous EEG studies showed changes in amplitude of the feedback-related negativity (FRN) and reward positivity (RewP), or power of fronto-medial theta (FM theta). However, it remains unclear whether these changes are driven by increased reward sensitivity, altered reward predictions, enhanced cognitive control, or a combination of these effects. To address this question, we asked 36 participants to perform a simple gambling task where feedback valence (reward vs. no-reward), its magnitude (small vs. large reward), and expectancy (expected vs. unexpected) were manipulated in a factorial design, while 64-channel EEG was recorded concurrently. We performed standard ERP analyses (FRN and RewP) as well as time-frequency decompositions (FM theta) of feedback-locked EEG data. Subjective reports showed that large rewards were more liked and expected than small ones. At the EEG level, increasing magnitude led to a larger RewP irrespective of expectancy, whereas the FRN was not influenced by this manipulation. In comparison, FM theta power was overall increased when reward magnitude was large, except if it was unexpected. These results show dissociable effects of reward magnitude on the RewP and FM theta power. Further, they suggest, that although large reward magnitude boosts reward processing (RewP), it can nonetheless undermine the need for enhanced cognitive control (FM theta) in case reward is unexpected. We discuss these new results in terms of optimistic bias or positive mood resulting from an increased reward magnitude.},
  articleno    = {e13481},
  author       = {Paul, Katharina and Vassena, Eliana and Severo, Mario Carlo and Pourtois, Gilles},
  issn         = {0048-5772},
  journal      = {PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY},
  keywords     = {FEEDBACK-RELATED NEGATIVITY,NEURAL MECHANISMS,UNREALISTIC OPTIMISM,OSCILLATORY ACTIVITY,PREDICTION ERRORS,MIDLINE THETA,MONETARY LOSS,VALENCE,DYNAMICS,SENSITIVITY,motivation,reward,RewP,theta},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {17},
  publisher    = {Wiley},
  title        = {Dissociable effects of reward magnitude on fronto-medial theta and FRN during performance monitoring},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/psyp.13481},
  volume       = {57},
  year         = {2020},
}

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