Punishment can act as a performance enhancer in a similar way to monetary reward, a new study has claimed.
Researchers from the University of Nottingham looked at how the efficiency with which we make decisions based on ambiguous sensory information — such as visual or auditory — is affected by the potential for, and severity of, anticipated punishment.
To investigate this, they asked participants in the study to perform a simple perceptual task — asking them to judge whether a blurred shape behind a rainy window is a person or something else. They punished incorrect decisions by imposing monetary penalties. At the same time, they measured the participants’ brain activity in response to different amounts of monetary punishment. They found that participants’ performance increased systematically as the amount of punishment increased, suggesting that punishment acts as a performance enhancer in a similar way to monetary reward.
At the neural level, the academics identified multiple and distinct brain activations induced by punishment and distributed throughout different areas of the brain. Crucially, the timing of these activations confirmed that the punishment does not influence the way in which the brain processes the sensory evidence but does have an impact on the brain’s decision maker responsible for decoding sensory information at a later stage in the decisionmaking process.
Finally, they showed that those participants who showed the greatest improvements in performance also showed the biggest changes in brain activity. This is a key finding as it provides a potential route to study differences between individuals and their personality traits in order to characterize why some may respond better to reward and punishment than others.
Read more Health News.
Though all possible measures have been taken to ensure accuracy, reliability, timeliness and authenticity of the information; Onlymyhealth assumes no liability for the same. Using any information of this website is at the viewers’ risk. Please be informed that we are not responsible for advice/tips given by any third party in form of comments on article pages . If you have or suspect having any medical condition, kindly contact your professional health care provider.