, 2010, Cohen et al., 2012, Essex et al., 2012 and Luo et al., 2012). The LFPC may therefore access information about the strength of willpower processes from the DLPFC
and PPC when assessing the potential benefits of precommitment. Previous fMRI studies of self-control suggest that the DLPFC promotes self-control by enhancing the weight of long-term goals in the neural computation of outcome values (Hare et al., 2009). The LFPC may therefore integrate information about long-term goals provided by the DLPFC when assessing the potential benefits of precommitment. Meanwhile, the PPC may be involved in the implementation of precommitment Selleckchem LY2157299 decisions, acting as an interface between value computations and motor outputs. Two previous studies have reported coactivation of the LFPC and the PPC during exploratory decision making (Daw et al., 2006 and Boorman et al., 2009); in these studies, activation in the PPC predicted switches BKM120 in behavioral strategies. Taken together, and consistent with cognitive hierarchy models of action control (Burgess et al., 2007, Koechlin and Hyafil, 2007 and Tsujimoto et al., 2011), these results suggest that the LFPC orchestrates precommitment
by translating precommitment values into actions via the PPC. The benefits of precommitment were stronger for participants with weak willpower, suggesting that precommitment may be a viable alternative self-control strategy when willpower is constitutively weak or situationally depleted. Neuroimaging data showed that participants with weaker willpower displayed stronger activation in the ventral striatum and vmPFC during binding choices for larger delayed rewards, relative to nonbinding choices for larger delayed rewards. These regions have been consistently implicated in the computation of expected value (Haber and Knutson, 2010), suggesting that those who stand to benefit more from precommitment encode those
benefits more strongly in the brain’s reward circuitry. This result supports the idea that individuals possess a degree of self-knowledge about their own self-control abilities—information they may use when deciding whether to precommit—and fits with previous studies Mannose-binding protein-associated serine protease implicating the LFPC in metacognition (Fleming et al., 2010 and De Martino et al., 2013) and the representation of anticipatory utility during intertemporal choice (Jimura et al., 2013). Notably, impulsive participants who stood to benefit more from precommitment—those who were more likely to succumb to temptation when attempting to exert willpower—showed stronger positive connectivity between LFPC and willpower regions during precommitment, relative to their cooler-headed peers. Moreover, activation in the vmPFC during precommitment mediated the relationship between impulsivity and LFPC-DLPFC connectivity.