Review. The role of the striatum in aversive learning and aversive prediction errors

Mauricio R. Delgado, Jian Li, Daniela Schiller, Elizabeth A. Phelps

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Neuroeconomic studies of decision making have emphasized reward learning as critical in the representation of value-driven choice behaviour. However, it is readily apparent that punishment and aversive learning are also significant factors in motivating decisions and actions. In this paper, we review the role of the striatum and amygdala in affective learning and the coding of aversive prediction errors (PEs). We present neuroimaging results showing aversive PE-related signals in the striatum in fear conditioning paradigms with both primary (shock) and secondary (monetary loss) reinforcers. These results and others point to the general role for the striatum in coding PEs across a broad range of learning paradigms and reinforcer types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3787-3800
Number of pages14
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1511
StatePublished - Dec 12 2008


  • Amygdala
  • Fear conditioning
  • Neuroeconomics
  • Prediction error
  • Striatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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