Scientific article
Open access

The importance of actions and the worth of an object: dissociable neural systems representing core value and economic value

Published inSocial cognitive and affective neuroscience, vol. 7, no. 5, p. 497-505
Publication date2012

Neuroeconomic research has delineated neural regions involved in the computation of value, referring to a currency for concrete choices and decisions ('economic value'). Research in psychology and sociology, on the other hand, uses the term 'value' to describe motivational constructs that guide choices and behaviors across situations ('core value'). As a first step towards an integration of these literatures, we compared the neural regions computing economic value and core value. Replicating previous work, economic value computations activated a network centered on medial orbitofrontal cortex. Core value computations activated medial prefrontal cortex, a region involved in the processing of self-relevant information and dorsal striatum, involved in action selection. Core value ratings correlated with activity in precuneus and anterior prefrontal cortex, potentially reflecting the degree to which a core value is perceived as internalized part of one's self-concept. Distributed activation pattern in insula and ACC allowed differentiating individual core value types. These patterns may represent evaluation profiles reflecting prototypical fundamental concerns expressed in the core value types. Our findings suggest mechanisms by which core values, as motivationally important long-term goals anchored in the self-schema, may have the behavioral power to drive decisions and behaviors in the absence of immediately rewarding behavioral options.

  • Adult
  • Brain/anatomy & histology/blood supply/physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Decision Making
  • Economics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Individuality
  • Linear Models
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Motivation/physiology
  • Oxygen/blood
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Young Adult
Citation (ISO format)
BROSCH, Tobias et al. The importance of actions and the worth of an object: dissociable neural systems representing core value and economic value. In: Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, 2012, vol. 7, n° 5, p. 497–505. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsr036
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1749-5016

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