Workshop on Reward processing

Workshop on Reward processing

28.11.2017 14:30 – 17:30

14:30 - 15:20 - Eva R. Pool - Influence of stress and outcome devaluation procedures in reward processing

A common symptom across many clinical conditions such as binge eating, pathological gambling or drug addiction is the willingness to go to extraordinary lengths in order to obtain an object of desire, even though once obtained the object is not experienced as pleasurable. What are the mechanisms that make the human brain vulnerable to situations where choice behavior is hijacked in the service of outcomes that are not valued by the individual? I will present two series of studies that aimed to address this question by combining classical experimental paradigms (e.g., Pavlovian conditioning, selective satiation procedures) developed through the study of animal behavior, with psychophysiological and eye-tracking techniques.
The first set of studies combined a Pavlovian-instrumental transfer test (PIT) with a stress induction procedure. Results suggest that, in humans, stress selectively increases the Pavlovian influence on effort mobilization, independently of the hedonic properties of the reward.
The second set of studies combined a classical Pavlovian conditioning with a selective satiation procedure to decrease the value of the reward. These studies highlight that the same Pavlovian cue elicits different kinds of Pavlovian responses, some of which flexibly adapt to reward devaluation, whereas some other are resistant to the reward devaluation.
Altogether, these findings provide new insights into the understanding of the mechanisms underlying the persistence of reward-seeking behaviors when the reward is no longer valued by the individual.

15:20 - 16:10 - Sven Collette - Neural correlations underlying learning about and from others in the human brain

This talk will address our ability to make accurate inferences about the value of an object by learning through observing the behavior of others. To appreciate the relevance of another individual’s behavior for one’s own understanding of the value of things in the world, it is necessary to appreciate the goals and preferences of others. I will discuss how we might learn preferences of others, as well as how the human brain implements inferences from observed actions, as opposed to using simpler strategies such as imitation/avoidance.

16:10 - 16:40 - Coffee break

16:40 - 17:30 - Ewa A. Miendlarzewska - Memory modulation by prior reward value

Effects of an extrinsic incentive have been shown to “spill over” and lead to various forms of associative generalization 1. In general, evoking the memory of a rewarding episode is usually associated with positive feelings and may restore a state of reward motivation. This process of memory reactivation engages the hippocampus and the surrounding cortices in the medial temporal lobe together with the dopaminergic reward circuit, in particular the ventral striatum (VS), the ventral tegmental area and/or substantia nigra (VTA/SN) 2–5.
In an fMRI experiment, we demonstrated that presenting a previously reward value-associated cue in a different learning task context in which it no longer predicts reward, leads to devaluation of that stimulus signaled by the ventral striatum (VS) and the dopaminergic mesocorticolimbic pathway. Secondly, this value adaptation upon context switch evoked a similar response in the VS and the hippocampus not only for previously conditioned pictures but also for new semantically related items, demonstrating generalization that also relies on the mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic reward circuit. Thirdly, we show evidence that previously learned high reward value may impair hippocampal learning.


Bâtiment: Campus Biotech

Room H4.02 230.080

Organisé par

Centre interfacultaire en sciences affectives (CISA)


Eva R. Pool, University of Geneva
Sven Collette , University of Geneva
Ewa A. Miendlarzewska, University of Geneva

entrée libre


Catégorie: Séminaire

Mots clés: CISA

Plus d'infos

Contact: missing email

Fichiers joints

Plan du site avec parcours H4-02.pdf110.2 Kb
Workshop “Reward processing”.pdf212.2 Kb