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Enhanced neural responses to imagined primary rewards predict reduced monetary temporal discounting


Hakimi, S; Hare, T A (2015). Enhanced neural responses to imagined primary rewards predict reduced monetary temporal discounting. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(38):13103-13109.

Abstract

The pervasive tendency to discount the value of future rewards varies considerably across individuals and has important implications for health and well-being. Here, we used fMRI with human participants to examine whether an individual's neural representation of an imagined primary reward predicts the degree to which the value of delayed monetary payments is discounted. Because future rewards can never be experienced at the time of choice, imagining or simulating the benefits of a future reward may play a critical role in decisions between alternatives with either immediate or delayed benefits. We found that enhanced ventromedial prefrontal cortex response during imagined primary reward receipt was correlated with reduced discounting in a separate monetary intertemporal choice task. Furthermore, activity in enhanced ventromedial prefrontal cortex during reward imagination predicted temporal discounting behavior both between- and within-individual decision makers with 62% and 73% mean balanced accuracy, respectively. These results suggest that the quality of reward imagination may impact the degree to which future outcomes are discounted.

Abstract

The pervasive tendency to discount the value of future rewards varies considerably across individuals and has important implications for health and well-being. Here, we used fMRI with human participants to examine whether an individual's neural representation of an imagined primary reward predicts the degree to which the value of delayed monetary payments is discounted. Because future rewards can never be experienced at the time of choice, imagining or simulating the benefits of a future reward may play a critical role in decisions between alternatives with either immediate or delayed benefits. We found that enhanced ventromedial prefrontal cortex response during imagined primary reward receipt was correlated with reduced discounting in a separate monetary intertemporal choice task. Furthermore, activity in enhanced ventromedial prefrontal cortex during reward imagination predicted temporal discounting behavior both between- and within-individual decision makers with 62% and 73% mean balanced accuracy, respectively. These results suggest that the quality of reward imagination may impact the degree to which future outcomes are discounted.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:04 Nov 2015 16:44
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:29
Publisher:Society for Neuroscience
ISSN:0270-6474
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1863-15.2015

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