Modulating proactive cognitive control by reward:Differential anticipatory effects of performance contingent and non-contingent rewards

Motonori Yamaguchi

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Abstract

The present study investigated the influences of two different forms of reward presentation in modulating cognitive control. In three experiments, participants performed a flanker task for which one-third of trials were precued for a chance of obtaining a reward (reward trials). In Experiment 1, a reward was provided if participants made the correct response on reward trials but a penalty was given if they made an incorrect response on these trials. The anticipation of this performance-contingent reward increased response speed and reduced the flanker effect but had little influence on the sequential modulation of the flanker effect after incompatible trials. In Experiment 2, participants obtained a reward randomly on two-thirds of the precued reward trials and were given a penalty on the remaining one-third, regardless of their performance. The anticipation of this non-contingent reward had little influence on the overall response speed or flanker effect but reduced the sequential modulation of the flanker effect after incompatible trials. Experiment 3 also used performance non-contingent rewards but participants were randomly penalized more often than they were rewarded; non-contingent penalty had little influence on the sequential modulation of the flanker effect. None of the three experiments showed a reliable influence of the actual acquisition of rewards on task performance. These results indicate anticipatory effects of performance contingent and non-contingent rewards on cognitive control with little evidence of aftereffects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalPsychological Research
Early online date31 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 May 2018

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Reward
Cognitive Control
Contingent
Task Performance and Analysis
Experiment

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title = "Modulating proactive cognitive control by reward:Differential anticipatory effects of performance contingent and non-contingent rewards",
abstract = "The present study investigated the influences of two different forms of reward presentation in modulating cognitive control. In three experiments, participants performed a flanker task for which one-third of trials were precued for a chance of obtaining a reward (reward trials). In Experiment 1, a reward was provided if participants made the correct response on reward trials but a penalty was given if they made an incorrect response on these trials. The anticipation of this performance-contingent reward increased response speed and reduced the flanker effect but had little influence on the sequential modulation of the flanker effect after incompatible trials. In Experiment 2, participants obtained a reward randomly on two-thirds of the precued reward trials and were given a penalty on the remaining one-third, regardless of their performance. The anticipation of this non-contingent reward had little influence on the overall response speed or flanker effect but reduced the sequential modulation of the flanker effect after incompatible trials. Experiment 3 also used performance non-contingent rewards but participants were randomly penalized more often than they were rewarded; non-contingent penalty had little influence on the sequential modulation of the flanker effect. None of the three experiments showed a reliable influence of the actual acquisition of rewards on task performance. These results indicate anticipatory effects of performance contingent and non-contingent rewards on cognitive control with little evidence of aftereffects.",
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N2 - The present study investigated the influences of two different forms of reward presentation in modulating cognitive control. In three experiments, participants performed a flanker task for which one-third of trials were precued for a chance of obtaining a reward (reward trials). In Experiment 1, a reward was provided if participants made the correct response on reward trials but a penalty was given if they made an incorrect response on these trials. The anticipation of this performance-contingent reward increased response speed and reduced the flanker effect but had little influence on the sequential modulation of the flanker effect after incompatible trials. In Experiment 2, participants obtained a reward randomly on two-thirds of the precued reward trials and were given a penalty on the remaining one-third, regardless of their performance. The anticipation of this non-contingent reward had little influence on the overall response speed or flanker effect but reduced the sequential modulation of the flanker effect after incompatible trials. Experiment 3 also used performance non-contingent rewards but participants were randomly penalized more often than they were rewarded; non-contingent penalty had little influence on the sequential modulation of the flanker effect. None of the three experiments showed a reliable influence of the actual acquisition of rewards on task performance. These results indicate anticipatory effects of performance contingent and non-contingent rewards on cognitive control with little evidence of aftereffects.

AB - The present study investigated the influences of two different forms of reward presentation in modulating cognitive control. In three experiments, participants performed a flanker task for which one-third of trials were precued for a chance of obtaining a reward (reward trials). In Experiment 1, a reward was provided if participants made the correct response on reward trials but a penalty was given if they made an incorrect response on these trials. The anticipation of this performance-contingent reward increased response speed and reduced the flanker effect but had little influence on the sequential modulation of the flanker effect after incompatible trials. In Experiment 2, participants obtained a reward randomly on two-thirds of the precued reward trials and were given a penalty on the remaining one-third, regardless of their performance. The anticipation of this non-contingent reward had little influence on the overall response speed or flanker effect but reduced the sequential modulation of the flanker effect after incompatible trials. Experiment 3 also used performance non-contingent rewards but participants were randomly penalized more often than they were rewarded; non-contingent penalty had little influence on the sequential modulation of the flanker effect. None of the three experiments showed a reliable influence of the actual acquisition of rewards on task performance. These results indicate anticipatory effects of performance contingent and non-contingent rewards on cognitive control with little evidence of aftereffects.

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