Roles of Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex and Anterior Cingulate in Subjective Valuation of Prospective Effort

Patrick S. Hogan, Joseph K. Galaro, Vikram S Chib

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The perceived effort level of an action shapes everyday decisions. Despite the importance of these perceptions for decision-making, the behavioral and neural representations of the subjective cost of effort are not well understood. While a number of studies have implicated anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in decisions about effort/reward trade-offs, none have experimentally isolated effort valuation from reward and choice difficulty, a function that is commonly ascribed to this region. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to monitor brain activity while human participants engaged in uncertain choices for prospective physical effort. Our task was designed to examine effort-based decision-making in the absence of reward and separated from choice difficulty-allowing us to investigate the brain's role in effort valuation, independent of these other factors. Participants exhibited subjectivity in their decision-making, displaying increased sensitivity to changes in subjective effort as objective effort levels increased. Analysis of blood-oxygenation-level dependent activity revealed that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) encoded the subjective valuation of prospective effort, and ACC activity was best described by choice difficulty. These results provide insight into the processes responsible for decision-making regarding effort, partly dissociating the roles of vmPFC and ACC in prospective valuation of effort and choice difficulty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4277-4290
Number of pages14
JournalCerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991)
Volume29
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 13 2019

Fingerprint

Gyrus Cinguli
Prefrontal Cortex
Decision Making
Reward
Physical Exertion
Brain
Human Activities
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Costs and Cost Analysis

Keywords

  • anterior cingulate cortex
  • choice difficulty
  • effort
  • fMRI
  • ventromedial prefrontal cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

Roles of Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex and Anterior Cingulate in Subjective Valuation of Prospective Effort. / Hogan, Patrick S.; Galaro, Joseph K.; Chib, Vikram S.

In: Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991), Vol. 29, No. 10, 13.09.2019, p. 4277-4290.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{3e3d77bd1c67495fb9a90f4b306337ee,
title = "Roles of Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex and Anterior Cingulate in Subjective Valuation of Prospective Effort",
abstract = "The perceived effort level of an action shapes everyday decisions. Despite the importance of these perceptions for decision-making, the behavioral and neural representations of the subjective cost of effort are not well understood. While a number of studies have implicated anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in decisions about effort/reward trade-offs, none have experimentally isolated effort valuation from reward and choice difficulty, a function that is commonly ascribed to this region. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to monitor brain activity while human participants engaged in uncertain choices for prospective physical effort. Our task was designed to examine effort-based decision-making in the absence of reward and separated from choice difficulty-allowing us to investigate the brain's role in effort valuation, independent of these other factors. Participants exhibited subjectivity in their decision-making, displaying increased sensitivity to changes in subjective effort as objective effort levels increased. Analysis of blood-oxygenation-level dependent activity revealed that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) encoded the subjective valuation of prospective effort, and ACC activity was best described by choice difficulty. These results provide insight into the processes responsible for decision-making regarding effort, partly dissociating the roles of vmPFC and ACC in prospective valuation of effort and choice difficulty.",
keywords = "anterior cingulate cortex, choice difficulty, effort, fMRI, ventromedial prefrontal cortex",
author = "Hogan, {Patrick S.} and Galaro, {Joseph K.} and Chib, {Vikram S}",
year = "2019",
month = "9",
day = "13",
doi = "10.1093/cercor/bhy310",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "29",
pages = "4277--4290",
journal = "Cerebral Cortex",
issn = "1047-3211",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "10",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Roles of Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex and Anterior Cingulate in Subjective Valuation of Prospective Effort

AU - Hogan, Patrick S.

AU - Galaro, Joseph K.

AU - Chib, Vikram S

PY - 2019/9/13

Y1 - 2019/9/13

N2 - The perceived effort level of an action shapes everyday decisions. Despite the importance of these perceptions for decision-making, the behavioral and neural representations of the subjective cost of effort are not well understood. While a number of studies have implicated anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in decisions about effort/reward trade-offs, none have experimentally isolated effort valuation from reward and choice difficulty, a function that is commonly ascribed to this region. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to monitor brain activity while human participants engaged in uncertain choices for prospective physical effort. Our task was designed to examine effort-based decision-making in the absence of reward and separated from choice difficulty-allowing us to investigate the brain's role in effort valuation, independent of these other factors. Participants exhibited subjectivity in their decision-making, displaying increased sensitivity to changes in subjective effort as objective effort levels increased. Analysis of blood-oxygenation-level dependent activity revealed that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) encoded the subjective valuation of prospective effort, and ACC activity was best described by choice difficulty. These results provide insight into the processes responsible for decision-making regarding effort, partly dissociating the roles of vmPFC and ACC in prospective valuation of effort and choice difficulty.

AB - The perceived effort level of an action shapes everyday decisions. Despite the importance of these perceptions for decision-making, the behavioral and neural representations of the subjective cost of effort are not well understood. While a number of studies have implicated anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in decisions about effort/reward trade-offs, none have experimentally isolated effort valuation from reward and choice difficulty, a function that is commonly ascribed to this region. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to monitor brain activity while human participants engaged in uncertain choices for prospective physical effort. Our task was designed to examine effort-based decision-making in the absence of reward and separated from choice difficulty-allowing us to investigate the brain's role in effort valuation, independent of these other factors. Participants exhibited subjectivity in their decision-making, displaying increased sensitivity to changes in subjective effort as objective effort levels increased. Analysis of blood-oxygenation-level dependent activity revealed that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) encoded the subjective valuation of prospective effort, and ACC activity was best described by choice difficulty. These results provide insight into the processes responsible for decision-making regarding effort, partly dissociating the roles of vmPFC and ACC in prospective valuation of effort and choice difficulty.

KW - anterior cingulate cortex

KW - choice difficulty

KW - effort

KW - fMRI

KW - ventromedial prefrontal cortex

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85072022722&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85072022722&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/cercor/bhy310

DO - 10.1093/cercor/bhy310

M3 - Article

VL - 29

SP - 4277

EP - 4290

JO - Cerebral Cortex

JF - Cerebral Cortex

SN - 1047-3211

IS - 10

ER -