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Opponent appetitive-aversive neural processes underlie predictive learning of pain relief.

Seymour, B and O'Doherty, JP and Koltzenburg, M and Wiech, K and Frackowiak, R and Friston, K and Dolan, R (2005) Opponent appetitive-aversive neural processes underlie predictive learning of pain relief. Nat Neurosci, 8. pp. 1234-1240. ISSN 1097-6256

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Abstract

Termination of a painful or unpleasant event can be rewarding. However, whether the brain treats relief in a similar way as it treats natural reward is unclear, and the neural processes that underlie its representation as a motivational goal remain poorly understood. We used fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) to investigate how humans learn to generate expectations of pain relief. Using a pavlovian conditioning procedure, we show that subjects experiencing prolonged experimentally induced pain can be conditioned to predict pain relief. This proceeds in a manner consistent with contemporary reward-learning theory (average reward/loss reinforcement learning), reflected by neural activity in the amygdala and midbrain. Furthermore, these reward-like learning signals are mirrored by opposite aversion-like signals in lateral orbitofrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex. This dual coding has parallels to 'opponent process' theories in psychology and promotes a formal account of prediction and expectation during pain.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Avoidance Learning Behavior Therapy Brain Capsaicin Conditioning (Psychology) Female Functional Laterality Humans Image Processing, Computer-Assisted Magnetic Resonance Imaging Male Models, Biological Oxygen Pain Pain Management Pain Measurement Reward Statistics, Nonparametric Time Factors
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Divisions: Div F > Computational and Biological Learning
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2014 11:21
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2014 01:08
DOI: 10.1038/nn1527

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