eCite Digital Repository

The impact of cognitive load on reward evaluation


Krigolson, OE and Hassall, CD and Satel, J and Klein, RM, The impact of cognitive load on reward evaluation, Brain research, 1627 pp. 225-232. ISSN 0006-8993 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2015.09.028


The neural systems that afford our ability to evaluate rewards and punishments are impacted by a variety of external factors. Here, we demonstrate that increased cognitive load reduces the functional efficacy of a reward processing system within the human medial-frontal cortex. In our paradigm, two groups of participants used performance feedback to estimate the exact duration of one second while electroencephalographic (EEG) data was recorded. Prior to performing the time estimation task, both groups were instructed to keep their eyes still and avoid blinking in line with well established EEG protocol. However, during performance of the time-estimation task, one of the two groups was provided with trial-to-trial-feedback about their performance on the time-estimation task and their eye movements to induce a higher level of cognitive load relative to participants in the other group who were solely provided with feedback about the accuracy of their temporal estimates. In line with previous work, we found that the higher level of cognitive load reduced the amplitude of the feedback-related negativity, a component of the human event-related brain potential associated with reward evaluation within the medial-frontal cortex. Importantly, our results provide further support that increased cognitive load reduces the functional efficacy of a neural system associated with reward processing.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Cognitive and computational psychology
Research Field:Memory and attention
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Satel, J (Dr Jason Satel)
ID Code:111180
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2016-09-01
Last Modified:2017-11-07

Repository Staff Only: item control page