Microstructural brain differences predict functional hemodynamic responses in a reward processing task

Estela Camara, Antoni Rodriguez-Fornells, Thomas F. Münte

42 Citations (Scopus)


Many aspects of human behavior are driven by rewards, yet different people are differentially sensitive to rewards and punishment. In this study, we show that white matter microstructure in the uncinate/inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, defined by fractional anisotropy values derived from diffusion tensor magnetic resonance images, correlates with both short-term (indexed by the fMRI blood oxygenation level-dependent response to reward in the nucleus accumbens) and long-term (indexed by the trait measure sensitivity to punishment) reactivity to rewards. Moreover, trait measures of reward processing were also correlated with reward-related functional activation in the nucleus accumbens. The white matter tract revealed by the correlational analysis connects the anterior temporal lobe with the medial and lateral orbitofrontal cortex and also supplies the ventral striatum. The pattern of strong correlations suggests an intimate relationship between white matter structure and reward-related behavior thatmayalso play a role in anumberof pathological conditions, such as addiction and pathological gambling.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number34
Pages (from-to)11398-11402
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 25.08.2010

Research Areas and Centers

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


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