Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
. 2008 Dec 12;363(1511):3771-86.
doi: 10.1098/rstb.2008.0155.

Anticipatory Affect: Neural Correlates and Consequences for Choice

Affiliations
Free PMC article
Review

Anticipatory Affect: Neural Correlates and Consequences for Choice

Brian Knutson et al. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. .
Free PMC article

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.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
An affective circumplex (Watson et al. 1999).
Figure 2
Figure 2
Brain regions (red area) and foci (white circles) of interest (i.e. nucleus accumbens, insula and MPFC).
Figure 3
Figure 3
A minimal incentive processing scheme (Knutson & Cooper 2005).
Figure 4
Figure 4
An anticipatory affect model. An incentive cue for (a) an uncertain future outcome first elicits activation in at least two brain regions (NAcc and anterior insula), which may correlate with (b) anticipatory affective experience (positive arousal (orange circles) and negative arousal (blue circles)). The balance of activation in related circuits then promotes (c) approach (orange) or avoidance (blue) of the cued outcome.
Figure 5
Figure 5
MID task gain and loss trial structure.
Figure 6
Figure 6
Gain anticipation contrast>loss anticipation contrast ALE maps. Contrast comparisons showing ALE values that are significantly greater for the gain anticipation contrast (129 foci) than for the loss anticipation contrast (119 foci; A, anterior). The same 12 studies were compared for gain and loss anticipation contrasts (group A marked in table 1).
Figure 7
Figure 7
Gain anticipation contrast>gain outcome contrast ALE maps. Contrast comparisons showing ALE values that are significantly greater for the gain anticipation contrast (133 foci) than for the gain outcome contrast (87 foci; A, anterior; R, right). The same 12 studies were compared for gain anticipation and outcome contrasts (group B marked in table 1).
Figure 8
Figure 8
Affect dynamics during incentive anticipation in the MID task (n=12) (Samanez-Larkin et al. 2007). Lose (circles): grey, $0.00; rose, $0.50; red, $5.00. Win (squares): black, $0.00; light green, $0.50; dark green, $5.00.
Figure 9
Figure 9
(a) NAcc activation elicited by anticipation of monetary gain ($) versus non-gain (zero). (b) NAcc activation time courses for large gains and non-gains (s.e.m.). (c) Correlation of individual differences in NAcc response to large gain cue and cue-elicited positive arousal (i.e. ‘excitement’; n=24 and r=0.58; Bjork et al. 2004; Knutson & Gibbs 2007).

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 172 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback