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Aversive Pavlovian control of instrumental behavior in humans


Geurts, Dirk E M; Huys, Quentin J M; den Ouden, Hanneke E M; Cools, Roshan (2013). Aversive Pavlovian control of instrumental behavior in humans. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 25(9):1428-1441.

Abstract

Adaptive behavior involves interactions between systems regulating Pavlovian and instrumental control of actions. Here, we present the first investigation of the neural mechanisms underlying aversive Pavlovian-instrumental transfer using fMRI in humans. Recent evidence indicates that these Pavlovian influences on instrumental actions are action-specific: Instrumental approach is invigorated by appetitive Pavlovian cues but inhibited by aversive Pavlovian cues. Conversely, instrumental withdrawal is inhibited by appetitive Pavlovian cues but invigorated by aversive Pavlovian cues. We show that BOLD responses in the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens were associated with behavioral inhibition by aversive Pavlovian cues, irrespective of action context. Furthermore, BOLD responses in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex differed between approach and withdrawal actions. Aversive Pavlovian conditioned stimuli modulated connectivity between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the caudate nucleus. These results show that action-specific aversive control of instrumental behavior involves the modulation of fronto-striatal interactions by Pavlovian conditioned stimuli.

Abstract

Adaptive behavior involves interactions between systems regulating Pavlovian and instrumental control of actions. Here, we present the first investigation of the neural mechanisms underlying aversive Pavlovian-instrumental transfer using fMRI in humans. Recent evidence indicates that these Pavlovian influences on instrumental actions are action-specific: Instrumental approach is invigorated by appetitive Pavlovian cues but inhibited by aversive Pavlovian cues. Conversely, instrumental withdrawal is inhibited by appetitive Pavlovian cues but invigorated by aversive Pavlovian cues. We show that BOLD responses in the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens were associated with behavioral inhibition by aversive Pavlovian cues, irrespective of action context. Furthermore, BOLD responses in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex differed between approach and withdrawal actions. Aversive Pavlovian conditioned stimuli modulated connectivity between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the caudate nucleus. These results show that action-specific aversive control of instrumental behavior involves the modulation of fronto-striatal interactions by Pavlovian conditioned stimuli.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:10 Feb 2014 14:15
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:30
Publisher:MIT Press
ISSN:0898-929X
Additional Information:Copyright: MIT Press
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_00425
PubMed ID:23691985

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