Guest Lecture of Christian Bellebaum

Guest Lecture of Christian Bellebaum


From Ruhr University Bochum



Date: 19 June 2013

Neural Mechanisms of Feedback Processing and Feedback-based Learning



Successful adaptation to the environment requires the continuous monitoring of one’s own responses in terms of desirable and non-desirable outcomes. The dopaminergic system has been shown to play an important role both in monitoring behaviour and its consequences and in adapting behaviour to changing environments. In interaction with the striatum and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), the dopaminergic midbrain is the key structure of the so-called “reward system”, that is, a system of neural structures involved in the processing of primary and secondary rewards and in linking behaviour and feedback. In the first part of the talk I will present findings regarding the role of the different structures of the reward system in feedback processing and feedback-based learning. A focus will be on psychophysiological studies assessing the “Feedback-related Negativity” (FRN), an ACC-driven event-related potential component, which has been suggested to reflect activity of the midbrain dopamine neurons. In the second part of my talk I will focus on observational learning from feedback, in which a more indirect association between behaviour and feedback is learned. I will present psychophysiological and neuroimaging evidence as well as evidence from a study with Parkinson’s Disease patients on dissociable neural mechanisms in active and observational learning from feedback.