Cortical delta activity reflects reward prediction error and related behavioral adjustments, but at different times

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Recent work has suggested that reward prediction errors elicit a positive voltage deflection in the scalp-recorded electroencephalogram (EEG); an event sometimes termed a reward positivity. However, a strong test of this proposed relationship remains to be defined. Other important questions remain unaddressed: such as the role of the reward positivity in predicting future behavioral adjustments that maximize reward. To answer these questions, a three-armed bandit task was used to investigate the role of positive prediction errors during trial-by-trial exploration and task-set based exploitation. The feedback-locked reward positivity was characterized by delta band activities, and these related EEG features scaled with the degree of a computationally derived positive prediction error. However, these phenomena were also dissociated: the computational model predicted exploitative action selection and related response time speeding whereas the feedback-locked EEG features did not. Compellingly, delta band dynamics time-locked to the subsequent bandit (the P3) successfully predicted these behaviors. These bandit-locked findings included an enhanced parietal to motor cortex delta phase lag that correlated with the degree of response time speeding, suggesting a mechanistic role for delta band activities in motivating action selection. This dissociation in feedback vs. bandit locked EEG signals is interpreted as a differentiation in hierarchically distinct types of prediction error, yielding novel predictions about these dissociable delta band phenomena during reinforcement learning and decision making.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles