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The Social Network: How Reward Processing is Influenced by Social Context (talk recording available)
Dr. Mauricio Delgado
Tuesday, April 01, 2014, 01:00pm - 02:00pm
Rutgers University, Department of Psychology, NEWARK
Research in non-human animals, complemented by an array of human neuroimaging studies, has delineated a basic neurocircuitry underlying reward-related learning and motivated behaviors. Central to this circuit is the role of cortico-striatal systems as an interface for the processing of motor and motivational information. While the striatum in particular has been implicated in different aspects of reward processing in basic paradigms that assess the acquisition or expression of reward contingencies (e.g., learning that a button press leads to a reward), research has extended to probe the involvement of the striatum in more complex motivated behaviors typically displayed in human society (e.g., learning that an individual is trustworthy and interactions will lead to a reward). In this talk, we will focus on the influence of real and experimental social factors on neural mechanisms underlying reward-related processing. Specifically, we will discuss how different social contexts, such as a cooperative or competitive setting with a peer, modulate activity in cortico-striatal circuitry and subsequently alter how positive and negative outcomes are valued by individuals and can influence decision-making.