Date of this Version
Numerous experiments have recently sought to identify neural signals associated with the subjective value (SV) of choice alternatives. Theoretically, SV assessment is an intermediate computational step during decision making, in which alternatives are placed on a common scale to facilitate value-maximizing choice. Here we present a quantitative, coordinate-based meta-analysis of 206 published fMRI studies investigating neural correlates of SV. Our results identify two general patterns of SV-correlated brain responses. In one set of regions, both positive and negative effects of SV on BOLD are reported at above-chance rates across the literature. Areas exhibiting this pattern include anterior insula, dorsomedialprefrontal cortex, dorsal and posterior striatum, and thalamus. The mixture of positive and negative effects potentially reflects an underlying U-shaped function, indicative of signal related to arousal or salience. In a second set of areas, including ventromedial prefrontal cortex and anterior ventral striatum, positive effects predominate. Positive effects in the latter regions are seen both when a decision is confronted and when an outcome is delivered, as well as for both monetary and primary rewards. These regions appear to constitute a “valuation system,” carrying a domain-general SV signal and potentially contributing to value-based decision making.
NOTICE: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Neuroimage. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms, may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in NeuroImage, 76, August 2013, 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.02.063.
cingulate cortex, decision-making, reward, striatum, ventromedial prefrontal cortex
Bartra, O., McGuire, J. T., & Kable, J. W. (2013). The Valuation System: A Coordinate-Based Meta-Analysis of BOLD fMRI Experiments Examining Neural Correlates of Subjective Value. NeuroImage, 76 412-427. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.02.063
Additional FilesMeta-Analysis of Subjective Value.pdf (204 kB)
Appendix A & B
Supplementary Materials.zip (7188 kB)
Zip file of supplementary materials
Date Posted: 16 February 2015
This document has been peer reviewed.