UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Intrinsic reward: potential cognitive and neural mechanisms

Blain, B; Sharot, T; (2021) Intrinsic reward: potential cognitive and neural mechanisms. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences , 39 pp. 113-118. 10.1016/j.cobeha.2021.03.008. Green open access

[thumbnail of 1-s2.0-S2352154621000565-main.pdf]
Preview
Text
1-s2.0-S2352154621000565-main.pdf - Published Version

Download (500kB) | Preview

Abstract

From child play to scientific discovery, many activities human engage in are rewarding in and of themselves. Here, we ask what makes such activities intrinsically rewarding. Based on the existing literature we propose the answer is an increased sense of self-efficacy. That is, an activity that is intrinsically rewarding is one that strengthens a person's belief that they can execute actions required to successfully deal with prospective situations. We show this notion can explain the rewarding nature of many activities and situations from solving cross word puzzles to helping others, consuming arts and playing sports. We suggest that processes that lead to increased self-efficacy, such as executing agency and learning, activate the neural reward system. This in turn is experienced as pleasure and reinforces the activity that generated the response. Intrinsic rewards would lead biological organism to improve their knowledge and skills which could help them adapt to changing environments.

Type: Article
Title: Intrinsic reward: potential cognitive and neural mechanisms
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cobeha.2021.03.008
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cobeha.2021.03.008
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10126708
Downloads since deposit
52Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item