Human oscillatory activity associated to reward processing in a gambling task

Josep Marco-Pallares, David Cucurell, Toni Cunillera, Rafael García, Antonio Andrés-Pueyo, Thomas F. Münte, Antoni Rodríguez-Fornells*

*Corresponding author for this work
133 Citations (Scopus)


Previous event-related brain potential (ERP) studies have identified a medial frontal negativity (MFN) in response to negative feedback or monetary losses. In contrast, no EEG correlates have been identified related to the processing of monetary gains or positive feedback. This result is puzzling considering the large number of brain regions involved in the processing of rewards. In the present study we used a gambling task to investigate this issue with trial-by-trial wavelet-based time-frequency analysis of the electroencephalographic signal recorded non-invasively in healthy humans. Using this analysis a mediofrontal oscillatory component in the beta range was identified which was associated to monetary gains. In addition, standard time-domain ERP analysis showed an MFN for losses that was associated with an increase in theta power in the time-frequency analysis. We propose that the reward-related beta oscillatory activity signifies the functional coupling of distributed brain regions involved in reward processing.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)241-248
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 22.01.2008

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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