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Mindfulness training modulates value signals in ventromedial prefrontal cortex through input from insular cortex

Kirk, U; Gu, X; Harvey, AH; Fonagy, P; Montague, PR; (2014) Mindfulness training modulates value signals in ventromedial prefrontal cortex through input from insular cortex. Neuroimage 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.06.035. Green open access

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PDF (Fig. S1. Art-viewing paradigm and post-training behavioral results)
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PDF (Fig. S2. Bilateral insula cortex anatomical region of interest (ROI))
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PDF (Table S1. Conjunction analysis using the contrast [sponsor > nonsponsor] for both the MT and the ACT group in the pre-training condition)
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PDF (Table S2. Secondary reward paradigm. Psychophysiological interaction (PPI). Regions showing functional connectivity with vmPFC)
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PDF (Table S3. Primary reward paradigm. Psychophysiological interaction (PPI). Regions showing functional connectivity with vmPFC)
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Abstract

Neuroimaging research has demonstrated that ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) encodes value signals that can be modulated by top-down cognitive input such as semantic knowledge, price incentives, and monetary favors suggesting that such biases may have an identified biological basis. It has been hypothesized that mindfulness training (MT) provides one path for gaining control over such top-down influences; yet, there have been no direct tests of this hypothesis. Here, we probe the behavioral and neural effects of MT on value signals in vmPFC in a randomized longitudinal design of 8weeks of MT on an initially naïve subject cohort. The impact of this within-subject training was assessed using two paradigms: one that employed primary rewards (fruit juice) in a simple conditioning task and another that used a well-validated art-viewing paradigm to test bias of monetary favors on preference. We show that MT behaviorally censors the top-down bias of monetary favors through a measurable influence on value signals in vmPFC. MT also modulates value signals in vmPFC to primary reward delivery. Using a separate cohort of subjects we show that 8weeks of active control training (ACT) generates the same behavioral impact also through an effect on signals in the vmPFC. Importantly, functional connectivity analyses show that value signals in vmPFC are coupled with bilateral posterior insula in the MT groups in both paradigms, but not in the ACT groups. These results suggest that MT integrates interoceptive input from insular cortex in the context of value computations of both primary and secondary rewards.

Type: Article
Title: Mindfulness training modulates value signals in ventromedial prefrontal cortex through input from insular cortex
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.06.035
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.06.035
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivativeWorks 3.0 licence (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). You are free to share (copy, distribute and transmit the work), but you must attribute the author, you may not use this work for commercial purposes and you may not alter, transform, or build upon this work and distribute any derivative works you create under a similar license.
Keywords: Insular cortex, Longitudinal design, Mindfulness training, Valuation, fMRI, vmPFC
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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 > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1433395
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