Expected reward modulates encoding-related theta activity before an event

Matthias J. Gruber, Andrew J. Watrous, Arne D. Ekstrom, Charan Ranganath, Leun J. Otten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Oscillatory brain activity in the theta frequency range (4-8. Hz) before the onset of an event has been shown to affect the likelihood of successfully encoding the event into memory. Recent work has also indicated that frontal theta activity might be modulated by reward, but it is not clear how reward expectancy, anticipatory theta activity, and memory formation might be related. Here, we used scalp electroencephalography (EEG) to assess the relationship between these factors. EEG was recorded from healthy adults while they memorized a series of words. Each word was preceded by a cue that indicated whether a high or low monetary reward would be earned if the word was successfully remembered in a later recognition test. Frontal theta power between the presentation of the reward cue and the onset of a word was predictive of later memory for the word, but only in the high reward condition. No theta differences were observed before word onset following low reward cues. The magnitude of prestimulus encoding-related theta activity in the high reward condition was correlated with the number of high reward words that were later confidently recognized. These findings provide strong evidence for a link between reward expectancy, theta activity, and memory encoding. Theta activity before event onset seems to be especially important for the encoding of motivationally significant stimuli. One possibility is that dopaminergic activity during reward anticipation mediates frontal theta activity related to memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-74
Number of pages7
JournalNeuroImage
Volume64
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Fingerprint

Reward
Cues
Electroencephalography
Scalp
Brain

Keywords

  • Anticipation
  • Long-term memory
  • Memory encoding
  • Prestimulus activity
  • Reward
  • Theta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology

Cite this

Gruber, M. J., Watrous, A. J., Ekstrom, A. D., Ranganath, C., & Otten, L. J. (2013). Expected reward modulates encoding-related theta activity before an event. NeuroImage, 64(1), 68-74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.07.064

Expected reward modulates encoding-related theta activity before an event. / Gruber, Matthias J.; Watrous, Andrew J.; Ekstrom, Arne D.; Ranganath, Charan; Otten, Leun J.

In: NeuroImage, Vol. 64, No. 1, 01.01.2013, p. 68-74.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gruber, MJ, Watrous, AJ, Ekstrom, AD, Ranganath, C & Otten, LJ 2013, 'Expected reward modulates encoding-related theta activity before an event', NeuroImage, vol. 64, no. 1, pp. 68-74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.07.064
Gruber, Matthias J. ; Watrous, Andrew J. ; Ekstrom, Arne D. ; Ranganath, Charan ; Otten, Leun J. / Expected reward modulates encoding-related theta activity before an event. In: NeuroImage. 2013 ; Vol. 64, No. 1. pp. 68-74.
@article{3340a0ac5ae246d890a910018b7a44f6,
title = "Expected reward modulates encoding-related theta activity before an event",
abstract = "Oscillatory brain activity in the theta frequency range (4-8. Hz) before the onset of an event has been shown to affect the likelihood of successfully encoding the event into memory. Recent work has also indicated that frontal theta activity might be modulated by reward, but it is not clear how reward expectancy, anticipatory theta activity, and memory formation might be related. Here, we used scalp electroencephalography (EEG) to assess the relationship between these factors. EEG was recorded from healthy adults while they memorized a series of words. Each word was preceded by a cue that indicated whether a high or low monetary reward would be earned if the word was successfully remembered in a later recognition test. Frontal theta power between the presentation of the reward cue and the onset of a word was predictive of later memory for the word, but only in the high reward condition. No theta differences were observed before word onset following low reward cues. The magnitude of prestimulus encoding-related theta activity in the high reward condition was correlated with the number of high reward words that were later confidently recognized. These findings provide strong evidence for a link between reward expectancy, theta activity, and memory encoding. Theta activity before event onset seems to be especially important for the encoding of motivationally significant stimuli. One possibility is that dopaminergic activity during reward anticipation mediates frontal theta activity related to memory.",
keywords = "Anticipation, Long-term memory, Memory encoding, Prestimulus activity, Reward, Theta",
author = "Gruber, {Matthias J.} and Watrous, {Andrew J.} and Ekstrom, {Arne D.} and Charan Ranganath and Otten, {Leun J.}",
year = "2013",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.07.064",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "64",
pages = "68--74",
journal = "NeuroImage",
issn = "1053-8119",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Expected reward modulates encoding-related theta activity before an event

AU - Gruber, Matthias J.

AU - Watrous, Andrew J.

AU - Ekstrom, Arne D.

AU - Ranganath, Charan

AU - Otten, Leun J.

PY - 2013/1/1

Y1 - 2013/1/1

N2 - Oscillatory brain activity in the theta frequency range (4-8. Hz) before the onset of an event has been shown to affect the likelihood of successfully encoding the event into memory. Recent work has also indicated that frontal theta activity might be modulated by reward, but it is not clear how reward expectancy, anticipatory theta activity, and memory formation might be related. Here, we used scalp electroencephalography (EEG) to assess the relationship between these factors. EEG was recorded from healthy adults while they memorized a series of words. Each word was preceded by a cue that indicated whether a high or low monetary reward would be earned if the word was successfully remembered in a later recognition test. Frontal theta power between the presentation of the reward cue and the onset of a word was predictive of later memory for the word, but only in the high reward condition. No theta differences were observed before word onset following low reward cues. The magnitude of prestimulus encoding-related theta activity in the high reward condition was correlated with the number of high reward words that were later confidently recognized. These findings provide strong evidence for a link between reward expectancy, theta activity, and memory encoding. Theta activity before event onset seems to be especially important for the encoding of motivationally significant stimuli. One possibility is that dopaminergic activity during reward anticipation mediates frontal theta activity related to memory.

AB - Oscillatory brain activity in the theta frequency range (4-8. Hz) before the onset of an event has been shown to affect the likelihood of successfully encoding the event into memory. Recent work has also indicated that frontal theta activity might be modulated by reward, but it is not clear how reward expectancy, anticipatory theta activity, and memory formation might be related. Here, we used scalp electroencephalography (EEG) to assess the relationship between these factors. EEG was recorded from healthy adults while they memorized a series of words. Each word was preceded by a cue that indicated whether a high or low monetary reward would be earned if the word was successfully remembered in a later recognition test. Frontal theta power between the presentation of the reward cue and the onset of a word was predictive of later memory for the word, but only in the high reward condition. No theta differences were observed before word onset following low reward cues. The magnitude of prestimulus encoding-related theta activity in the high reward condition was correlated with the number of high reward words that were later confidently recognized. These findings provide strong evidence for a link between reward expectancy, theta activity, and memory encoding. Theta activity before event onset seems to be especially important for the encoding of motivationally significant stimuli. One possibility is that dopaminergic activity during reward anticipation mediates frontal theta activity related to memory.

KW - Anticipation

KW - Long-term memory

KW - Memory encoding

KW - Prestimulus activity

KW - Reward

KW - Theta

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84867477851&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84867477851&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.07.064

DO - 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.07.064

M3 - Article

VL - 64

SP - 68

EP - 74

JO - NeuroImage

JF - NeuroImage

SN - 1053-8119

IS - 1

ER -