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Brain Cogn. 2014 Aug;89:51-60. doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2013.12.003. Epub 2014 Jan 28.

Longitudinal study of striatal activation to reward and loss anticipation from mid-adolescence into late adolescence/early adulthood.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of New Orleans, United States. Electronic address:
  • 2Section on Development and Affective Neuroscience, National Institute of Mental Health Intramural Research Program, United States.
  • 3Center for Mind and Brain and Department of Human Ecology, University of California at Davis, United States.
  • 4Child Study Center, Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, United States.
  • 5Child Development Lab, Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, University of Maryland, United States.


Adolescent risk-taking behavior has been associated with age-related changes in striatal activation to incentives. Previous cross-sectional studies have shown both increased and decreased striatal activation to incentives for adolescents compared to adults. The monetary incentive delay (MID) task, designed to assess functional brain activation in anticipation of reward, has been used extensively to examine striatal activation in both adult and adolescent populations. The current study used this task with a longitudinal approach across mid-adolescence and late adolescence/early adulthood. Twenty-two participants (13 male) were studied using the MID task at two time-points, once in mid-adolescence (mean age=16.11; SD=1.44) and a second time in late adolescence/early adulthood (mean age=20.14; SD=.67). Results revealed greater striatal activation with increased age in high- compared to low-incentive contexts (incentive magnitude), for gain as well as for loss trials (incentive valence). Results extend cross-sectional findings and show reduced striatal engagement in adolescence compared to adulthood during preparation for action in an incentive context.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Development; Longitudinal; Monetary incentive delay task (MID); Reward; Striatal; fMRI

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