Cara L. Buck; Jonathan D. Cohen; Field, Brent; Daniel Kahneman; Samuel M. McClure; Leigh E. Nystrom
Studies of subjective well-being have conventionally relied upon self-report, which directs subjects’ attention to their emotional experiences. This method presumes that attention itself does not influence emotional processes, which could bias sampling. We tested whether attention influences experienced utility (the moment-by-moment experience of pleasure) by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure the activity of brain systems thought to represent hedonic value while manipulating attentional load. Subjects received appetitive or aversive solutions orally while alternatively executing a low or high attentional load task. Brain regions associated with hedonic processing, including the ventral striatum, showed a response to both juice and quinine. This response decreased during the high-load task relative to the low-load task. Thus, attentional allocation may influence experienced utility by modulating (either directly or indirectly) the activity of brain mechanisms thought to represent hedonic value.
This dataset contains all the data, model and MATLAB codes used to generate the figures and data reported in the article (DOI: 10.1002/2014JD022278). The data was generated during September 2013 and February 2014 using the Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Model also provided with this package. The data was generated using the computational resources supported by the PICSciE OIT High Performance Computing Center and Visualization Laboratory at Princeton University. The dataset contains a pdf Readme file which explains in detail how the data can be used. Users are recommended to go through this file before using the data.