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Reward Motivation Accelerates the Onset of Neural Novelty Signals in Humans to 85 Milliseconds

Bunzeck, N; Doeller, CF; Fuentemilla, L; Dolan, RJ; Duzel, E; (2009) Reward Motivation Accelerates the Onset of Neural Novelty Signals in Humans to 85 Milliseconds. Current Biology , 19 (15) 1294 - 1300. 10.1016/j.cub.2009.06.021. Gold open access

Abstract

The neural responses that distinguish novel from familiar items in recognition memory tasks are remarkably fast in both humans and nonhuman primates. In humans, the earliest onsets of neural novelty effects emerge at about similar to 150-200 ms after stimulus onset [1-5]. However, in recognition memory studies with nonhuman primates, novelty effects can arise at as early as 70-80 ms [6, 7]. Here, we address the possibility that this large species difference in onset latencies is caused experimentally by the necessity of using reward reinforcement to motivate the detection of novel or familiar items in nonhuman primates but not in humans. Via magnetoencephalography in humans, we show in two experiments that the onset of neural novelty signals is accelerated from similar to 200 ms to similar to 85 ms if correct recognition memory for either novel or familiar items is rewarded. Importantly, this acceleration is independent of whether the detection of the novel or the familiar scenes is rewarded. Furthermore, this early novelty effect contributed to memory retrieval because neural reward responses, which were contingent upon novelty detection, followed similar to 100 ms later. Thus, under the contextual influence of reward motivation, behaviorally relevant novelty signals emerge much faster than previously held possible in humans.

Type:Article
Title:Reward Motivation Accelerates the Onset of Neural Novelty Signals in Humans to 85 Milliseconds
Open access status:An open access publication
DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2009.06.021
Publisher version:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ articles/PMC2764383/?tool=pubmed
Language:English
Keywords:EVENT-RELATED POTENTIALS, LONG-TERM-MEMORY, RECOGNITION MEMORY, RESPONSES, MODULATION, ACTIVATION, MECHANISMS, DOPAMINE, NEURONS, CORTEX
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Psychology and Language Sciences (Division of) > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Neurology > Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences

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