093 | Successive Negative Contrast in humans: non-monetary incentives and their control over behavior

Cognition, Behavior, and Memory

Author: Manuel Correa Freisztav | Email: correafreisztavmanuel@gmail.com

Manuel Correa Freisztav , María Florencia Coldeira , Rubén Néstor Muzio

1° Grupo de Neurociencia en humanos, Laboratorio de Biología del Comportamiento, IBYME-CONICET

Successive Negative Contrast (SNC) is a paradoxical reinforcement effect (PRE) observed when a reinforcer is devalued before cues associated with a higher reinforcement magnitude. This phenomenon is believed to be inherent to mammals, who, apart from extinction (an allocentric learning mechanism), may also show egocentric learning related to their own emotions. While animal models typically use primary reinforcers, human studies often rely on monetary incentives. In this study, three distinct computerized behavioral tasks of instrumental SNC were examined, using points redeemable for gifts as reinforcer. Participants’ reaction times (RT) were measured expecting differences in the devaluation condition (80-10 points) as compared to a control group, consistently reinforced with 10 points. Although the RTs revealed promising trends, an ANOVA revealed statistically significant differences only in the trials factor, whereas the interaction effect of Group x Trials did not show any significant differences. Two of the tasks are suitable for a future study, but the lack of differences between conditions (i.e., neither SNC nor inverted SNC) implies that points might not be controlling behavior. In a new pilot study, we measure pupil dilation, EEG and electrodermal activity. Preliminary results show arousal increments linked to reward devaluation. The efficacy of non-monetary incentives in human subjects is discussed.