Anticipating instrumentally obtained and passively-received rewards: A factorial fMRI investigation

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Abstract

During functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), subjects saw cues signaling probabilities of 1.0, 0.5, and 0 of winning $1 for hitting a subsequent target, and cues signaling similar probabilities of reward delivery requiring no instrumental response. Non-instrumental reward anticipation did not elicit activation. Instrumental reward anticipation activated multiple nodes of the basal ganglia–thalamocortical motor circuit. Ventromesial striatum was activated by joint requirement for an instrumental response together with uncertain (but not certain) reward.

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