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Dissociation of reward anticipation and outcome with event-related fMRI

Knutson, Brian1, CA; Fong, Grace W.; Adams, Charles M.; Varner, Jerald L.; Hommer, Daniel

Brain Imaging

Reward processing involves both appetitive and consummatory phases. We sought to examine whether reward anticipation vs outcomes would recruit different regions of ventral forebrain circuitry using event-related fMRI. Nine healthy volunteers participated in a monetary incentive delays task in which they either responded to a cued target for monetary reward, responded to a cued target for no reward, or did not respond to a cued target during scanning. Multiple regression analyses indicated that while anticipation of reward vs non-reward activated foci in the ventral striatum, reward vs non-reward outcomes activated foci in the ventromedial frontal cortex. These findings suggest that reward anticipation and outcomes may differentially recruit distinct regions that lie along the trajectory of ascending dopamine projections.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, Bldg. 10, Rm. 6S240, Bethesda, MD, 20892-1610; 1Department of Psychology, Bldg. 420, Jordan Hall, Stanford, CA 94305-2130, USA

CACorresponding Author

Received 2 August 2001; accepted 14 September 2001

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.