Prior expectations can bias evaluative judgments of sensory information. We show that information about a performer's status can bias the evaluation of musical stimuli, reflected by differential activity of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Moreover, we demonstrate that decreased susceptibility to this confirmation bias is (a) accompanied by the recruitment of and (b) correlated with the white-matter structure of the executive control network, particularly related to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). By using long-duration musical stimuli, we were able to track the initial biasing, subsequent perception, and ultimate evaluation of the stimuli, examining the full evolution of these biases over time. Our findings confirm the persistence of confirmation bias effects even when ample opportunity exists to gather information about true stimulus quality, and underline the importance of executive control in reducing bias.
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