Revisiting the Role of Rewards in Motivation and Learning: Implications of Neuroscientific Research

Abstract

Rewards have been examined extensively by both psychologists and neuorscientists and have become one of the most contentious issues in social and educational psychology. In psychological research, reward processing has typically been studied in relation to behavioral outcomes. In contrast, neuroscientists have been examining how rewards are processed by brain structures that are related to the reward circuitry, and in a few instances have also evaluated behavioral outcomes. In this article, I first present findings from both the social and educational psychology and neuroscientific research on reward processing that have frequently been reported without acknowledgment of the presence of the other. Subsequently, five topics pointing to the need for integration of research findings across these two fields are considered. These include the following: (a) distinctions between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, (b) causes of undermining effects of rewards, (c) potential benefits of choice provided for individuals, (d) differences in reward types, and (e) individual differences in reward processing. It is argued that, if positive aspects of rewards are to be utilized and their potentially negative effects are to be avoided, neuroscientific, social, and educational research findings need to be integrated. This paper provides a first step toward such integration.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Notes

  1. 1.

    Several review articles that focus on maladaptive reward circuitry in adolescence are available for interested readers. For example, see Casey, Jones, and Somerville (2011) Choudhury et al. (2009), Crone and Westenberg (2009), Fareri et al. (2008).

  2. 2.

    The "Handbook of Approach and Avoidance Motivation" (Elliot, 2008) is a rare example of an excellent, integrated publication that combines neuroscientific and psychological studies on a motivational topic.

  3. 3.

    In Web of Science a TOPIC search for neuroscience AND rewards returns 944 citations.

  4. 4.

    Whereas the neuro-chemical basis of reward function is the DA system, other neuro-transmitters like GABA are also involved in the reward process. (See e.g., Cohen et al. 2012).

  5. 5.

    Recently the precise role of the OFC in reward guided learning and decision making has been evaluted by Rushworth et al. (2011), suggesting interactions of the various frontal lobe areas with one another, as well as with their brain regions.

  6. 6.

    Interestingly, Martin-Soelch et al. (2001) reported that in contrast to healthy subjects, nicotine and opiate addicts responded in typical reward-related regions to monetary rewards but not to non-monetary reinforcements. Reduced activation in performance-related regions of addicted subjects was also found. These findings suggest that reward systems in addicts are modified by experience and chemicals.

  7. 7.

    Renninger and Hidi (2011) argued that this variable reflected triggered situational interest (SI) as both curiosity and SI represent an internally driven search for novelty (Quintanilha 2010), a search that is rewarding.

  8. 8.

    I gratefully acknowledge that the relevance of the Incentive Relativity research to the topic of this paper was suggested to me by Kent Berridge.

  9. 9.

    Patall’s (2012) reviewed the theory and research related to the motivational complexity of choosing in the area of social and educational psychology. This review, which is beyond the scope of this article, contains over 260 references for interested readers.

References

  1. Adcock, R. A., Thangavel, A., Whitfield-Gabrieli, S., Knutson, B., & Gabrieli, J. D. E. (2006). Reward-motivated learning: Mesolimbic activation precedes memory formation. Neuron, 50, 507–517.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Alexander, P. A. (2000). Toward a model of academic development: Schooling and the acquisition of knowledge: The sequel. Educational Researcher, 29, 28–44.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Allan, B. M., & Fryer, R. G., Jr. (2011). The power and pitfalls of education incentives (Discussion Paper). Washington, DC: Brookings Institution/Hamilton Project.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Anderson, B. A., Laurent, P. A., & Yantis, S. (2011). Value-driven attentional capture. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 108, 10367–10371.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Arnold, H. J. (1976). Effects of performance feedback and extrinsic reward upon high intrinsic motivation. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 17, 275–288.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Ashby, F. G., Isen, A. M., & Turken, A. U. (1999). A neurophysiological theory of positive affect and its influence on cognition. Psychological Review, 106, 529–550.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Ashby, F. G., & Maddox, W. T. (2005). Human category learning. Annal Review of Psychology, 56, 149–178.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Ashby, F. G., Valentin, V. V., & Turken, A. U. (2002). The effects of positive affect and arousal on working memory and executive attention. In S. Moore & M. Oaksford (Eds.), Emotional cognition: From brain to behaviour (pp. 245–287). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Berridge, K. C. (2012). From prediction error to incentive salience: Mesolimbic computation of reward motivation. European Journal of Neuroscience, 35, 1124–1143.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Berridge, K. C., & Kringelbach, M. L. (2011). Building a neuroscience of pleasure and well-being (Review). Psychology of Well-Being: Theory, Research and Practice, 1, 1–3.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Berridge, K. C., Robinson, T. E., & Aldridge, I. W. (2009). Dissecting components of reward: 'Liking', 'wanting', and learning. Current Opinion in Pharmacology, 9, 65–73.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Breiter, H. C., Aharon, I., Kahneman, D., Dale, A., & Shizgal, P. (2001). Functional imaging of neural responses to expectancy and experience of monetary gains and losses. Neuron, 30, 619–639.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Bruer, J. T. (1997). Education and the brain: A bridge too far. Educational Researcher, 26(8), 4–16.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Bunzeck, N., Doeller, C. F., Fuentemilla, L., Dolan, R. J., & Duzel, E. (2009). Reward motivation accelerates the onset of neural novelty signals in humans to 85 milliseconds. Current Biology, 19, 1294–1300.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Byron, K., & Khazanchi, S. (2012). Rewards and creative performance: A meta-analytic test of theoretically derived hypotheses. Psychological Bulletin, 138, 809–830.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Calder, B. J., & Staw, B. M. (1975). Self-perception of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31, 599–605.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Camerer, C. F. (2010). Removing financial incentives demotivates the brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 107(49), 20849–20850.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Cameron, J., Banko, K. M., & Pierce, W. D. (2001). Pervasive negative effects of rewards on intrinsic motivation: The myth continues. The Behavior Analyst, 24, 1–44.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Cameron, J., & Pierce, W. D. (1994). Reinforcement, reward, and intrinsic motivation: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 64, 363–423.

  20. Cameron, J., & Pierce, W. D. (1996). The debate about rewards and intrinsic motivation: Protests and accusations do not alter the results. Review of Educational Research, 66, 39–51.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Cameron, J., & Pierce, W. D. (2002). Rewards and intrinsic motivation: Resolving the controversy. Westport, CT: Bergin and Garvey.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Cameron, J., Pierce, W. D., Banko, K. M., & Gear, A. (2005). Achievement-based rewards and intrinsic motivation: A test of cognitive mediators. Journal of Educational Psychology, 97, 641–655.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Carlson, J. M., Foti, D., Mujica-Parodi, L. R., Harmon-Jones, E., & Hajcak, G. (2011). Ventral striatal and medial prefrontal BOLD activation is correlated with reward-related electrocortical activity: A combined ERP and fMRI study. NeuroImage, 57, 1608–1616.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Carter, M. R., MacInnes, J. J., Huettel, S. A., & Adcock, R. A. (2009). Activation in the VTA and nucleus accumbens increases in anticipation of both gains and losses. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 3, Article 21, 1-15. Retrieved March 13, 2011, from http://www.frontiersin.org/behavioral_neuroscience/10.3389/neuro.08.021.2009/full

  25. Casey, B. J., Jones, R. M., & Somerville, L. H. (2011). Braking and accelerating of the adolescent brain. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21(1), 21–33.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Choudhury, S., Charman, T., & Blakemore, S. J. (2009). Mentalizing and development during adolescence. In M. de Haan & M. R. Gunnar (Eds.), Handbook of developmental social neuroscience (pp. 159–174). New York: Guilford Press.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Cialdini, R. B., Eisenberg, N., Green, B. L., Rhoads, K., & Bator, R. (1998). Undermining the undermining effect of reward on sustained interest. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 28, 249–263.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Cohen, J. Y., Haesler, S., Vong, L., Lowell, B. B., & Uchida, N. (2012). Neuron-type-specific signals for reward and punishment in the ventral tegmental area. Nature, 482(7383), 85–88.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Collins, M. A., & Amabile, T. M. (1999). Motivation and creativity. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Handbook of creativity (pp. 297–312). New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Cooke, L. J., Chambers, L. C., Añez, E. V., & Wardle, J. (2011). Facilitating or undermining? The effect of reward on food acceptance. A narrative review. Appetite, 57(493), 497.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Crone, E. A., & Westenberg, P. M. (2009). Development of the social brain in adolescence. In M. de Haan & M. R. Gunnar (Eds.), Handbook of developmental social neuroscience (pp. 378–396). New York: Guilford Press.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Daniel, R., & Pollmann, S. (2010). Comparing the neural basis of monetary reward and cognitive feedback during information-integration category learning. The Journal of Neuroscience, 30, 47–55.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Deci, E. L. (1971). Effects of externally mediated rewards on intrinsic motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 18, 105–115.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Deci, E. L. (1975). Intrinsic motivation. New York: Plenum.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  35. Deci, E. L., Koestner, R., & Ryan, R. M. (1999). A meta-analytic review of experiments examining the effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 125, 627–668.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York: Plenum.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  37. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2012). Motivation, personality, and development within embedded social contexts: An overview of Self-Determination Theory. In R. M. Ryan (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of human motivation (pp. 85–111). New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Deci, E. L., Ryan, R. M., & Koestner, R. (2001). The pervasive negative effect of rewards on intrinsic motivation: Response to Cameron (2001). Review of Educational Research, 71, 43–51.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. De Smedt, B., Ansari, D., Grabner, R. H., Hannula, M. M., Schneider, M., & Verschaffel, L. (2010). Cognitive neuroscience meets mathematics education. Educational Research Review, 5, 97–105.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Eisenberger, R., & Armeli, S. (1997). Can salient reward increase creative performance without reducing intrinsic creative interest? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 652–663.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Eisenberger, R., & Cameron, J. (1996). The detrimental effects of reward: Myth or reality? American Psychologist, 51, 1153–1166.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Eisenberger, R., Pierce, W. D., & Cameron, J. (1999). Effects of reward on intrinsic motivation: Negative, neutral, and positive. Psychological Bulletin, 125, 677–691.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Eisenberger, R., & Shanock, L. (2003). Rewards, intrinsic motivation, and creativity: A case study of conceptual and methodological isolation. Creativity Research Journal, 15, 121–130.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Elliot, A. J. (Ed.). (2008). Handbook of approach and avoidance motivation. New York & Hove, England: Psychology Press/Taylor & Francis Group.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Elliott, R., Agnew, Z., & Deakin, J. F. (2008). Medial orbitofrontal cortex codes relative rather than absolute value of financial rewards in humans. European Journal of Neuroscience, 27, 2213–2218.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Elliott, R., Newman, J. L., Longe, O. A., & William Deakin, J. F. (2004). Instrumental responding for rewards is associated with enhanced neuronal response in subcortical reward systems. NeuroImage, 21, 984–990.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Ernst, M., & Spear, L. P. (2009). Reward systems. In M. de Haan & M. R. Gunnar (Eds.), Handbook of developmental social neuroscience (pp. 324–341). New York: Guilford Press.

    Google Scholar 

  48. Fareri, D. S., Martin, L. N., & Delgado, M. R. (2008). Reward-related processing in the human brain: Developmental considerations. Development and Psychopathology, 20, 1191–1211.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Filsecker, M., & Hickey, D. T. (2014). A multilevel analysis of the effects of external rewards on elementary students’ motivation, engagement and learning in an educational game. Computers and Education, 75, 136–148.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Flaherty, C. F. (1996). Incentive relativity. In J. Gray (Ed.), Problems in the Behavioural Sciences (Vol. 15). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Flowerday, T. L. (2012, April). Choice as a motivator for undergraduate college students: Perceptions and beliefs. In S. E. Hidi (Chair), The motivational benefits and detriments of choosing: Exploring the complexity of choice in educational contexts. Roundtable session conducted at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

  52. Fredrickson, B. (2001). The role of positive emotion in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist, 56, 218–226.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Frenzel, A. C., Dicke, A. L., Pekrun, R., & Goetz, T. (2009). Development of mathematics interest in adolescence: Quantitative and qualitative insights. Paper presented at the meeting of the European Association on Learning and Instruction, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

  54. Gunnar, M. R., & deHaan, M. (2009). Methods in Social Neuroscience Issues in Studying Development. In M. de Haan & M. R. Gunnar (Eds.), Handbook of developmental social neuroscience (pp. 13–37). New York: Guilford Press.

    Google Scholar 

  55. Gruber J.M., Gelman D.B.,and Ranganath C. (2014). States of curiosity modulate hippocampus-dependent learning via the dopaminergic circuit. Neuron, 84(2), 486–496).

  56. Harackiewicz, J. M. (2011). I can't explain. In R. M. Azkin (Ed.), Most under-appreciated: 50 prominent social psychologists describe their most unloved work (pp. 185–187). New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  57. Harackiewicz, J. M., & Manderlink, G. (1984). A process analysis of the effects of performance- contingent rewards on intrinsic motivation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 20, 531–551.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. Harackiewicz, J. M., Manderlink, G., & Sansone, C. (1984). Rewarding pinball wizardry: Effects of evaluation and cue value on intrinsic interest. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 287–300.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Hennessey, B. A., & Amabile, T. M. (1998). Reward, intrinsic motivation, and creativity. American Psychologist, 53, 674–675.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Hickey, C., Chelazzi, L., & Theeuwes, J. (2011). Reward has a residual impact on target selection in visual search, but not on the suppression of distractors. Visual Cognition, 19, 117–128.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. Hickey, D. T. (2003). Engaged participation versus marginal nonparticipation: A strindently sociocultural approach to achievement motivation. The Elementary School Journal, 103, 401–429.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  62. Hidi, S. (2006). Interest: A unique motivational variable. Educational Research Review, 1, 69–82.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  63. Hidi, S., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2000). Motivating the academically unmotivated: A critical issue for the 21st century. Review of Educational Research, 70, 151–179.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  64. Horvitz, J. C. (2000). Mesolimbocortical and nigrostriatal dopamine responses to salient non-reward events. Neuroscience, 96, 651–656.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  65. Hsu, M., Bhatt, M., Adolphs, R., Tranel, D., & Camerer, C. F. (2005). Neural systems responding to degrees of uncertainty in human decision making. Science, 310, 1680–1683.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Hulleman, C. S., & Barron, K. E. (2010). Teacher motivation and performance pay: Separating myth from reality. Phi Delta Kappan, 91(9), 27–31.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. Iyengar, S. S., & Lepper, M. R. (2000). When choice is demotivating: Can one desire too much of a good thing? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 995–1006.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  68. Iyengar, S. S., & Lepper, M. R. (2002). Choice and its consequences: On the costs and benefits of self-determination. In A. Tesser, D. A. Stapel, & J. V. Wood (Eds.), Self and motivation: Emerging psychological perspectives (pp. 71–96). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

    Google Scholar 

  69. Izuma, K., Saito, D. N., & Sadato, N. (2008). Processing of Social and Monetary Rewards in the Human Straitum. Neuron, 58(2), 284–294.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  70. Jabbar, H. (2011). The behavioural economics of education: New directions for research. Educational Researcher, 40, 446–453.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  71. Kable, J. W., & Glimcher, P. W. (2007). The neural correlates of subjective value during intertemporal choice. Nature Neuroscience, 10, 1625–1633.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  72. Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (1979). Prospect theory: An analysis of decision under risk. Econometrica, 47, 263-291. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1914185

  73. Kang, M. J., Hsu, M., Krajbich, I. M., Loewenstein, G., McClure, S. M., Wang, J. T., & Camerer, C. F. (2009). The wick in the candle of learning: Epistemic curiosity activates reward circuitry and enhances memory. Psychological Science, 20, 963–973.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  74. Karniol, R., & Ross, M. (1977). The effects of performance-relevant and performance-irrelevant rewards on motivation. Child Development, 48, 482–487.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  75. Kim, S. (2013). Neuro scientific model of motivational process. Frontiers in Psychology, special section p1.

  76. Knutson, B., Delgado, M. R., & Phillips, P. E. M. (2008). Representation of subjective value in the striatum. In P. W. Glimcher, C. F. Camerer, E. Fehr, & R. A. Poldrack (Eds.), Neuroeconomics: Decision making and the brain (pp. 389–406). New York: Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  77. Knutson, B., Fong, G. W., Bennett, S. M., Adams, C. M., & Hommer, D. (2003). A region of mesial prefrontal cortex tracks monetarily rewarding outcomes: Characterization with rapid event-related fMRI. NeuroImage, 18, 263–272.

  78. Knutson, B., Westdorp, A., Kaiser, E., & Hommer, D. (2000). fMRI visualization of brain activity during a monetary incentive delay task. NeuroImage, 12, 20–27.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  79. Knutson, B., & Wimmer, G. E. (2007). Reward: Neural circuitry for social valuation. In E. Harmon-Jones & P. Winkielman (Eds.), Social neuroscience: Integrating biological and psychological explanations of social behavior (pp. 157–175). New York: Guilford Press.

    Google Scholar 

  80. Koepp, M. J., Gunn, R. N., Lawrence, A. D., Cunningham, V. J., Dagher, A., Jones, T., Brooks, D. J., Bench, C. J., & Grasby, P. M. (1998). Evidence for striatal dopamine release during a video game. Nature, 393, 266–268.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  81. Kohn, A. (1993). Punished by rewards: The trouble with gold stars, incentive plans, A's, praise, and other bribes. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

    Google Scholar 

  82. Krebs, R. M., Heipertz, D., Schuetze, H., & Düzel, E. (2011). Novelty increases the mesolimbic functional connectivity of the substantia nigral/ventral tegmental area (SN/VTA) during reward anticipation: Evidence from high-resolution fMRI. NeuroImage, 58, 647–655.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  83. Krebs, R. M., Schott, B. H., Schütze, H., & Düzel, E. (2009a). The novelty exploration bonus and its attentional modulation. Neuropsychologia, 47, 2272–2281.

  84. Krebs, R. M., Schott, B. H., & Düzel, E. (2009b). Personality traits are differentially associated with patterns of reward and novelty processing in the human substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area. Biological Psychiatry, 65, 103–110.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  85. Lee, W., & Reeve, J. (2013). Self-determined, but not non-self-determined, motivation predicts activations in the anterior insular cortex: an fMRI study of personal agency. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 8(5), 538–545.

  86. Lee, W., Reeve, J. (2014). Critical roles of interest in education: Theoretical and empirical advances .In K. Murayama (Chair) Intrinsic Vs. Extrinsic Motivation: A Neural Perspective Concurrent Symposia conducted at International Mind, Brain and Educational Society Conference, Fort Worth, Texas.

  87. Leotti, L. A., & Delgado, M. R. (2011). The inherent reward of choice. Psychological Science, 22(10), 1310–1318.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  88. Lepper, M. R. (1983). Extrinsic reward and intrinsic motivation: Implications for the classroom. In J. Levine & M. Wang (Eds.), Teacher and student perceptions: Implications for learning (pp. 281–317). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  89. Lepper, M. R. (1998). A whole much less than the sum of its parts. American Psychologist, 53, 675–676.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  90. Lepper, M. R., & Greene, D. (1975). Turning play into work: Effects of adult surveillance and extrinsic rewards on children's intrinsic motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31, 479–486.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  91. Lepper, M. R., & Greene, D. (1978). Overjustification research and beyond: Toward a means-end analysis of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. In M. R. Lepper & D. Greene (Eds.), The hidden costs of reward: New perspectives on the psychology of human motivation (pp. 109–148). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  92. Lepper, M. R., Greene, D., & Nisbett, R. E. (1973). Undermining children's intrinsic interest with extrinsic reward: A test of the "overjustification" hypothesis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 28, 129–137.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  93. Lepper, M. R., & Henderlong, J. (2000). Turning "play" into "work" and "work" into "play": 25 years of research on intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation. In C. Sansone & J. M. Harackiewicz (Eds.), Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation: The search for optimal motivation and performance (pp. 257–307). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

  94. Lepper, M. R., Henderlong Corpus, J., & Iyengar, S. S. (2005). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivational orientations in the classroom: Age differences and academic correlates. Journal of Educational Psychology, 97, 184–196.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  95. Lepper, M. R., Master, A., & Yow, W. Q. (2008). Intrinsic motivation in education. In M. L. Maehr, M. L. Maehr, S. A. Karabenick, & T. C. Urdan (Eds.), Advances in motivation and achievement: Vol. 15. Social psychological perspectives (pp. 521-555) (Series Edth ed.). Bingley, England: Emerald.

    Google Scholar 

  96. Linke, J., Kirsch, P., King, A. V., Gass, A., Hennerici, M. G., Bongers, A., & Wessa, M. (2010). Motivational orientation modulates the neural response to reward. NeuroImage, 49, 2618–2625.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  97. Ma, Q., Jin, J., Meng, L., & Shen, Q. (2014). Cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology. NeuroReport, 25(3), 194–198.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  98. Martin, L. E., Potts, G. F., Burton, P. C., & Montague, P. R. (2009). Electrophysiological and hemodynamic responses to reward prediction violation. Neuroreport, 20, 1140–1143.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  99. Martin-Soelch, C., Leenders, K. L., Chevalley, A.-F., Missimer, J., Künig, G., Magyar, S., Mino, A., & Schultz, W. (2001). Reward mechanisms in the brain and their role in dependence: Evidence from neurophysiological and neuroimaging studies. Brain Research Reviews, 36, 139–149.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  100. Mayes, L. C., Magidson, J., Lejuez, C. W., & Nicholls, S. S. (2009). Social relationships as primary rewards: The neurobiology of attachment. In M. de Haan & M. R. Gunnar (Eds.), Handbook of developmental social neuroscience (pp. 342–377). New York: Guilford Press.

    Google Scholar 

  101. McBride, W. J., Murphy, J. M., & Ikemoto, S. (1999). Localization of brain reinforcement mechanisms: Intracranial self-administration and intracranial place-conditioning studies. Behavioural Brain Research, 101, 129–152.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  102. McClure, S. M., York, M. K., & Montague, P. R. (2004). The neural substrates of reward processing in humans: The modern role of fMRI. Neuroscientist, 10, 260–268.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  103. Mitchell, C. P., & Flaherty, C. F. (2005). Differential effects of removing the glucose or saccharin components of a glucose-saccharin mixture in a successive negative contrast paradigm. Physiology and Behavior, 84, 579–583.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  104. Mizuno, K., Tanaka, M., Ishii, A., Tanabe, H. C., Onoe, H., Sadato, N., & Watanabe, Y. (2008). The neural basis of academic achievement motivation. NeuroImage, 42, 369–378.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  105. Montague, P. R., Dayan, P., & Sejnowski, T. J. (1996). A framework for mesencephalic dopamine systems based on predictive Hebbian learning. Journal of Neuroscience, 16, 1936–1947.

    Google Scholar 

  106. Murayama, K., Matsumoto, M., Izuma, K., & Matsumoto, K. (2010). Neural basis of the undermining effect of monetary reward on intrinsic motivation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 107(49), 20911–20916.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  107. Murayama, K., & Kitagami, S. (2013). Consolidation power of extrinsic rewards: reward cues enhance long-term memory for irrelevant past events. Jounral of Experiment Psycology: General. 1-3.

  108. Murayama, K., & Kuhbandner, C. (2011). Money enhances memory consolidation – But only boring material. Cognition, 119, 120–124.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  109. Murayama, K., Matsumoto, M., Izuma, K., Sugiura, A., Ryan, R. M., Deci, E. L., & Matsumoto, K. (2014). How self-determined choice facilitates performance: A key role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Cerebral Cortex. doi:10.1093/cercor/bht317. ISSN 1460–2199.

    Google Scholar 

  110. Nomura, E. M., & Reber, P. J. (2008). A review of medial temporal lobe and caudate contributions to visual category learning. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 32, 279–291.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  111. O'Doherty, J. P., Deichmann, R., Critchley, H. D., & Dolan, R. J. (2002). Neural responses during anticipation of a primary taste reward. Neuron, 33, 815–826.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  112. O'Doherty, J., Kringelbach, M. L., Rolls, E. T., Hornak, J., & Andrews, C. (2001). Abstract reward and punishment representations in the human orbitofrontal cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 4, 95–102.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  113. Olds, J., & Milner, P. (1954). Positive reinforcement produced by electrical stimulation of the septal area and other regions of rat brain. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 47, 419–427.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  114. Panksepp, J. (1998). Affective neuroscience. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  115. Panksepp, J. (2003). At the interface between the affective, behavioral and cognitive neurosciences: Decoding the emotional feelings of the brain. Brain and Cognition, 52, 4–14.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  116. Patall, E. A. (2012). The Motivational Complexity of Choosing: A Review of Theory and Research. In R. M. Ryan (Ed.), TheOxford Handbook of Human Motivation (pp. 248–279). New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  117. Patall, E. A., Cooper, H., & Robinson, C. J. (2008). The Effects of Choice on Intrinsic Motivation and Related Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis of Research Findings, Psychological Bulletin. American Psychological Association, 134(2), 270–300.

    Google Scholar 

  118. Pretty, G. H., & Seligman, C. (1984). Affect and the overjustification effect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 1251–1253.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  119. Quintanilha, A. (2010). Promoting curiosity and understanding risk. Keynote address, International Conference on Motivation, Porto, Portugal.

  120. Reiss, S. (2005). Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation at 30: Unresolved scientific issues. The Behavior Analyst, 28, 1–14.

    Google Scholar 

  121. Reiss, S. (2011). The 40-year debate on motivation. Retrieved November 7, 2011, from Psychology Today's website: http://www.psychologytoday.com/print/78753

  122. Reiss, S., & Sushinsky, L. W. (1975). Overjustification, competing responses, and the acquisition of intrinsic interest. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31, 1116–1125.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  123. Reiss, S., & Sushinsky, L. W. (1976). The competing response hypothesis of decreased play effects: A reply to Lepper and Greene. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 33, 233–244.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  124. Renninger, K. A., & Hidi, S. (2011). Revisiting the conceptualization, measurement, and generation of interest. Educational Psychologist, 46, 168–184.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  125. Renninger, K. A., & Hidi, S. (In Press). The Power of Interest for Engagement and Motivation. Rouledge Press.

  126. Renninger, K. A., & Su, S. (2012). Interest and its development. In R. M. Ryan (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Human Motivation (pp. 167–187). New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  127. Rowe, J. B., Eckstein, D., Braver, T., & Owen, A. M. (2008). How does reward expectation influence cognition in the human brain? Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20, 1980–1992.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  128. Rushworth, M. F. S., Noonan, M. P., Boorman, E. D., Walton, M. E. & Behrens T. E. (2011). Frontal Cortex and reward-Guided Learning and Decision-Making. Neuron Rev, 1054-1069.

  129. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). When rewards compete with nature: The undermining of intrinsic motivation and self-regulation. In C. Sansone & J. M. Harackiewicz (Eds.), Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation: The search for optimal motivation and performance (pp. 13–54). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  130. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2009). Promoting self-determined school engagement: Motivation, learning, and well-being. In K. Wentzel & A. Wigfield (Eds.), Handbook of motivation at school (pp. 171–196). New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  131. Sansone, C., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (1998). "Reality" is complicated. Comment on Eisenberger and Cameron. American Psychologist, 53, 673–674.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  132. Schlund, M. W., & Cataldo, M. F. (2005). Integrating functional neuroimaging and human operant research: Brain activation correlated with presentation of discriminative stimuli. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 84, 505–519.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  133. Schultz, W. (1998). Predictive reward signal of dopamine neurons. Journal of Neurophysiology, 80, 1–27.

    Google Scholar 

  134. Schultz, W. (2000). Multiple reward signals in brain. Nature Reviews: Neuroscience, 1(3), 199–207.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  135. Schultz, W. (2006). Behavioural theories and the neurophysiology of reward. Annual Review of Psychology, 57, 87–115.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  136. Schultz, W. (2007a). Reward. Scholarpedia, 2(3), 1652.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  137. Schultz, W. (2007b). Reward Signals. Scholarpedia, 2(6), 2184.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  138. Schultz, W. (2010a). Dopamine signals for reward value and risk: Basic and recent data. Behavioral and Brain Functions, 6, 24.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  139. Schultz, W. (2010b). Subjective neuronal coding of reward: Temporal value discounting and risk. European Journal of Neuroscience, 31, 2124–2135.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  140. Schultz, W., Dayan, P., & Montague, P. R. (1997). A neural substrate of prediction and reward. Science, 275, 1593–1599.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  141. Schultz, W., & Dickinson, A. (2000). Neuronal coding of prediction errors. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 23, 473–500.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  142. Schunk, D. (2008). An interview with Dale Schunk (Interviewed by G. Sakiz). Educational Psychology Review, 20, 485–491.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  143. Seger, C. A. (2008). How do the basal ganglia contribute to categorization? Their roles in generalization, response selection, and learning via feedback. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 32, 265–278.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  144. Tauer, John (2009). Different Motivational Strokes for Differentially Motivated Folks. Retrieved June 23, 2009, Psychology Today’s website: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/goal-posts/200906.

  145. Tobler, P. N., Fiorillo, C. D., & Schultz, W. (2005). Adaptive coding of reward value by dopamine neurons. Science, 307, 1642–1645.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  146. Tricomi, E. M., Delgado, M. R., & Fiez, J. A. (2004). Modulation of caudate activity by action contingency. Neuron, 41, 281–292.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  147. Urdan, Tim (2003). Intrinsic Motivation, Extrinsic Rewards, and Divergent Views of Reality. Eductional Psychology Review, Vol. 15, No. 3.

  148. Vansteenkiste, M., Niemiec, C. P., & Soenens, B. (2010). The development of the five mini-theories of self-determination theory: An historical overview, emerging trends, and future directions. In T. C. Urdan & S. A. Karabenick (Eds.), The decade ahead: Theoretical perspectives on motivation and achievement(Advances in Motivation and Achievement, Volume 16) (pp. 105–165). Bingley, England: Emerald Group.

    Google Scholar 

  149. Velten, E. (1968). A Laboratory Task for Induction of Mood States. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 6, 473–482.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  150. Waelti, P., Dickinson, A., & Schultz, W. (2001). Dopamine responses comply with basic assumptions of formal learning theory. Nature, 412, 43–48.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  151. Wiechman, B. (2007). Assessing the durability of the undermining effect: The impact of extrinsic rewards on college students' intrinsic motivation. Unpublished senior thesis, Psychology Department, Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont.

  152. Wightman, R. M., & Robinson, D. L. (2002). Transient changes in brain dopamine and their association with "reward.". Journal of Neurochemistry, 82, 721–735.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  153. Wise, R. A. (1985). The anhedonia hypothesis: Mark III. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 8, 178–186.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  154. Wittmann, B. C., Bunzeck, N., Dolan, R. J., & Düzel, E. (2007). Anticipation of novelty recruits reward system and hippocampus while promoting recollection. NeuroImage, 38, 194–202.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  155. Wittmann, B. C., Dolan, R. J., & Düzel, E. (2011). Behavioral specifications of reward-associated long-term memory enhancement in humans. Learning and Memory, 18, 296–300.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  156. Wittmann, B. C., Schott, B. H., Guderian, S., Frey, J. U., Heinze, H. J., & Düzel, E. (2005). Reward-related fMRI activation of dopaminergic midbrain is associated with enhanced hippocampus-dependent long-term memory formation. Neuron, 45, 459–467.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  157. Zimmerman, B. I. (1985). The development of "intrinsic" motivation: A social learning analysis. Annals of Child Development, 2, 117–160.

    Google Scholar 

  158. Zink, C. F., Pagnoni, G., Chappelow, J. C., Martin-Skurski, M. E., & Berns, G. S. (2006). Human striatal activation reflects degree of stimulus saliency. NeuroImage, 29, 977–983.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  159. Zink, C. F., Pagnoni, G., Martin, M. E., Dhamala, M., & Berns, G. S. (2003). Human striatal response to salient nonrewarding stimuli. Journal of Neuroscience, 23, 8092–8097.

    Google Scholar 

  160. Zink, C. F., Pagnoni, G., Martin-Skurski, M. E., Chappelow, J. C., & Berns, G. S. (2004). Human striatal responses to monetary reward depend on saliency. Neuron, 42, 509–517.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

First, I would like to thank my friend and long-time collaborator, Ann Renninger, for her help and encouragement during the preparation of this manuscript. Without her intellectual input, critical comments, and editorial assistance, this paper probably would have never been published. Second, I also want to acknowledge the help I received from Patricia Alexander and four neuroscientists: Ken Berridge, Brian Knutson, Kou Murayama, and Jaak Panksepp. Their willingness to have a dialog and ongoing conversations with me were invaluable. Helpful discussions with Pietro Boscolo, Judy Cameron, Rob Eisenberger, Rachael Karmiol, Mark Lepper, Steven Reiss, and Barry Zimmerman are also gratefully noted. I appreciate the support I received from as the Editorial assistance of Shubhangi Rathore, Anubhuti Jain, Andre Hidi, and Molly Hidi.

Finally, my gratitude goes to my husband, Andrew Hidi for his moral as well as financial support, and patience during the arduous journey that led to the publication of my work.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Suzanne Hidi.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Hidi, S. Revisiting the Role of Rewards in Motivation and Learning: Implications of Neuroscientific Research. Educ Psychol Rev 28, 61–93 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-015-9307-5

Download citation

Keywords

  • Rewards
  • Reward circuitry
  • Neuroscience
  • Motivation
  • Learning
  • Brain activation