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Manuscript Submission Deadline 06 May 2023

Motivation is a complex process essential for the survival of individuals that shapes behavior in response to the changes of internal and environmental conditions. The possibility of obtaining reward and/or avoiding punishment is a key variable influencing motivation, favouring adaptation and healthy functioning. However, motivated behavior can get disrupted, as evidenced in different psychopathologies of appetitive as well as aversive motivation, including apathy, anhedonia, addiction, impulse disorders, or post-traumatic stress and other anxiety disorders.

The past decade has seen a flourishing of studies investigating neural and behavioral correlates of motivation in healthy individuals, as well as the mechanisms underlying disorders in which abnormal motivation plays a major role. In particular, studies have investigated the influence of the neural circuits that encode reward and aversionin several processes, including learning, incentive motivation and pleasure, aversive motivation and defensive behavior, and decision-making.

Recent studies are pushing the boundaries of knowledge on the brain mechanisms that shape human motivated behavior. The goal of the present Research Topic is to promote the cognitive neuroscience of human motivation, bridging the gap between basic and clinical research. Recent findings investigating the interplay between appetitive and aversive motivation and its adaptive and maladaptive implications are the target of the present Research Topic.

This Research Topic aims to compile the latest research on the neurobiological, psychological and behavioral mechanisms underlying motivated behavior, including studies investigating reward- and punishment-driven learning, incentive motivation and pleasure, aversive motivation and defensive behavior, and decision-making. A key question is to better understand these mechanisms through studies on healthy populations, as well as to develop emergent therapeutic approaches able to modify aberrant reward-related processing in clinical disorders. We welcome original research papers as well as reviews, meta-analyses of published literature, and commentaries.

Keywords: Motivation, incentive motivation, aversive motivation, pleasure, reinforcement learning, decision-making


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Motivation is a complex process essential for the survival of individuals that shapes behavior in response to the changes of internal and environmental conditions. The possibility of obtaining reward and/or avoiding punishment is a key variable influencing motivation, favouring adaptation and healthy functioning. However, motivated behavior can get disrupted, as evidenced in different psychopathologies of appetitive as well as aversive motivation, including apathy, anhedonia, addiction, impulse disorders, or post-traumatic stress and other anxiety disorders.

The past decade has seen a flourishing of studies investigating neural and behavioral correlates of motivation in healthy individuals, as well as the mechanisms underlying disorders in which abnormal motivation plays a major role. In particular, studies have investigated the influence of the neural circuits that encode reward and aversionin several processes, including learning, incentive motivation and pleasure, aversive motivation and defensive behavior, and decision-making.

Recent studies are pushing the boundaries of knowledge on the brain mechanisms that shape human motivated behavior. The goal of the present Research Topic is to promote the cognitive neuroscience of human motivation, bridging the gap between basic and clinical research. Recent findings investigating the interplay between appetitive and aversive motivation and its adaptive and maladaptive implications are the target of the present Research Topic.

This Research Topic aims to compile the latest research on the neurobiological, psychological and behavioral mechanisms underlying motivated behavior, including studies investigating reward- and punishment-driven learning, incentive motivation and pleasure, aversive motivation and defensive behavior, and decision-making. A key question is to better understand these mechanisms through studies on healthy populations, as well as to develop emergent therapeutic approaches able to modify aberrant reward-related processing in clinical disorders. We welcome original research papers as well as reviews, meta-analyses of published literature, and commentaries.

Keywords: Motivation, incentive motivation, aversive motivation, pleasure, reinforcement learning, decision-making


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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