Electrocortical measures of win and loss processing are associated with mesocorticolimbic functional connectivity: A combined ERP and rs-fMRI study

Psychophysiology. 2022 Dec;59(12):e14118. doi: 10.1111/psyp.14118. Epub 2022 Jun 7.


The reward positivity (RewP) event-related potential is a well-validated measure of reward processing implicated in internalizing psychopathologies. The RewP is thought to reflect reward reactivity in the mesocorticolimbic system; however, it is not clear how the RewP is related to the functional connectivity of reward-related brain regions. The current study examined associations between the RewP (Win and Loss residuals) and resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI), among adults with internalizing psychopathology (IP) and healthy controls (HC). All participants (N = 102) completed a validated monetary reward task during electroencephalogram and rs-fMRI. Regression analyses were conducted with (1) RewP-Win residual amplitude and striatal seeds (caudate, putamen, nucleus accumbens) and (2) RewP-Loss residual amplitude and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) seeds. Overall, individuals with greater RewP-Win residual amplitude demonstrated increased rs-fMRI connectivity between striatal regions and the medial prefrontal cortex, as well as the parahippocampal gyrus, but decreased connectivity between striatal regions and regions involved in cognitive control and sensorimotor processing. Greater RewP-Loss residual was related to greater connectivity between the ACC and regions involved in reward/loss processing and motor control, but decreased connectivity between the ACC and regions involved in cognitive control. Relationships between the RewP and rs-fMRI were generally consistent across IP and HC. However, a few patterns were unique to IP. Results indicate the RewP is associated with resting-state functional connectivity of reward- and loss-related brain regions, suggesting connectivity of the mesocorticolimbic system may be an important individual difference factor in dimensions of attainment of reward and loss.

Keywords: ERP; anxiety; depression; functional connectivity; resting-state; reward.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Reward