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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2008 Dec 12;363(1511):3771-86. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2008.0155.

Anticipatory affect: neural correlates and consequences for choice.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Building 420, Jordan Hall, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. knutson@psych.stanford.edu

Abstract

'Anticipatory affect' refers to emotional states that people experience while anticipating significant outcomes. Historically, technical limitations have made it difficult to determine whether anticipatory affect influences subsequent choice. Recent advances in the spatio-temporal resolution of functional magnetic resonance imaging, however, now allow researchers to visualize changes in neural activity seconds before choice occurs. We review evidence that activation in specific brain circuits changes during anticipation of monetary incentives, that this activation correlates with affective experience and that activity in these circuits may influence subsequent choice. Specifically, an activation likelihood estimate meta-analysis of cued response studies indicates that nucleus accumbens (NAcc) activation increases during gain anticipation relative to loss anticipation, while anterior insula activation increases during both loss and gain anticipation. Additionally, anticipatory NAcc activation correlates with self-reported positive arousal, whereas anterior insula activation correlates with both self-reported negative and positive arousal. Finally, NAcc activation precedes the purchase of desirable products and choice of high-risk gambles, whereas anterior insula activation precedes the rejection of overpriced products and choice of low-risk gambles. Together, these findings support a neurally plausible framework for understanding how anticipatory affect can influence choice.

PMID:
18829428
PMCID:
PMC2607363
DOI:
10.1098/rstb.2008.0155
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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