This neurotransmitter increases drive and motivation and is one of the most important players in the brain's reward system. © magele-picture/stock.adobe.com
How do positive expectations improve mood?
The significance of positive expectation in the treatment of depression is well documented, but little is known about the neural mechanism through which positive expectations improve mood. This project investigates these links and the role played by the neurotransmitter dopamine and reward processing in the brain.
The role of dopamine, reward learning and prefrontal activity in mood improved by expectation
This project investigates the neural, neurochemical and neurocomputational pathways underlying expectation effects on negative mood and anhedonia. Using EEG (electroencephalography) and pharmacological manipulation of the dopaminergic system as well as computational modelling of reward learning, we will explore how dopamine-dependent reward processing contributes to expectation effects on negative affect and depressive symptoms. The results will help us to understand prefrontal and orbitofrontal activity during the development of expectation effects on mood, depressive symptoms and pain.
Müller EM, Pechtel P, Cohen AL, Douglas SR, Pizzagalli DA (2015) Potentiated processing of negative feedback in depression is attenuated by anhedonia. Depression and Anxiety 32: 296-305. PubMed
Stolz C, Endres D, Müller EM (2019) Threat‐conditioned contexts modulate the late positive potential to faces - A mobile EEG/virtual reality study. Psychophysiol, 56(4): e13308. PubMed