Changing value through cued approach: An automatic mechanism of behavior change

Tom Schonberg*, Akram Bakkour, Ashleigh M. Hover, Jeanette A. Mumford, Lakshya Nagar, Jacob Perez, Russell A. Poldrack

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is believed that choice behavior reveals the underlying value of goods. The subjective values of stimuli can be changed through reward-based learning mechanisms as well as by modifying the description of the decision problem, but it has yet to be shown that preferences can be manipulated by perturbing intrinsic values of individual items. Here we show that the value of food items can be modulated by the concurrent presentation of an irrelevant auditory cue to which subjects must make a simple motor response (i.e., cue-approach training). Follow-up tests showed that the effects of this pairing on choice lasted at least 2 months after prolonged training. Eye-tracking during choice confirmed that cue-approach training increased attention to the cued items. Neuroimaging revealed the neural signature of a value change in the form of amplified preference-related activity in ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-630
Number of pages6
JournalNature Neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Institutes of Health
National Institute on AgingR01AG041653


    Dive into the research topics of 'Changing value through cued approach: An automatic mechanism of behavior change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this