2017年9月18日月曜日

Neural Basis for Economic Saving Strategies in Human Amygdala-Prefrontal Reward Circuits

Zangemeister L, Grabenhorst F, Schultz W.
Curr Biol. 2016 Nov 21;26(22):3004-3013.

Economic saving is an elaborate behavior in which the goal of a reward in the future directs planning and decision-making in the present. Here, we measured neural activity while subjects formed simple economic saving strategies to accumulate rewards and then executed their strategies through choice sequences of self-defined lengths. Before the initiation of a choice sequence, prospective activations in the amygdala predicted subjects' internal saving plans and their value up to two minutes before a saving goal was achieved. The valuation component of this planning activity persisted during execution of the saving strategy and predicted subjects' economic behavior across different tasks and testing days. Functionally coupled amygdala and prefrontal cortex activities encoded distinct planning components that signaled the transition from saving strategy formation to execution and reflected individual differences in saving behavior. Our findings identify candidate neural mechanisms for economic saving in amygdala and prefrontal cortex and suggest a novel planning function for the human amygdala in directing strategic behavior toward self-determined future rewards.

2017年9月14日木曜日

Dynamic Interaction between Reinforcement Learning and Attention in Multidimensional Environments

Leong YC, Radulescu A, Daniel R, DeWoskin V, Niv Y.
Neuron. 2017 Jan 18;93(2):451-463.

Little is known about the relationship between attention and learning during decision making. Using eye tracking and multivariate pattern analysis of fMRI data, we measured participants' dimensional attention as they performed a trial-and-error learning task in which only one of three stimulus dimensions was relevant for reward at any given time. Analysis of participants' choices revealed that attention biased both value computation during choice and value update during learning. Value signals in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and prediction errors in the striatum were similarly biased by attention. In turn, participants' focus of attention was dynamically modulated by ongoing learning. Attentional switches across dimensions correlated with activity in a frontoparietal attention network, which showed enhanced connectivity with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex between switches. Our results suggest a bidirectional interaction between attention and learning: attention constrains learning to relevant dimensions of the environment, while we learn what to attend to via trial and error.

2017年9月13日水曜日

Ravens parallel great apes in flexible planning for tool-use and bartering

Can Kabadayi, Mathias Osvath
Science  14 Jul 2017: Vol. 357, Issue 6347, pp. 202-204
DOI: 10.1126/science.aam8138

The ability to flexibly plan for events outside of the current sensory scope is at the core of being human and is crucial to our everyday lives and society. Studies on apes have shaped a belief that this ability evolved within the hominid lineage. Corvids, however, have shown evidence of planning their food hoarding, although this has been suggested to reflect a specific caching adaptation rather than domain-general planning. Here, we show that ravens plan for events unrelated to caching—tool-use and bartering—with delays of up to 17 hours, exert self-control, and consider temporal distance to future events. Their performance parallels that seen in apes and suggests that planning evolved independently in corvids, which opens new avenues for the study of cognitive evolution.

2017年9月11日月曜日

Two areas for familiar face recognition in the primate brain

Sofia M. Landi, Winrich A. Freiwald
Science  11 Aug 2017: Vol. 357, Issue 6351, pp. 591-595

Familiarity alters face recognition: Familiar faces are recognized more accurately than unfamiliar ones and under difficult viewing conditions when unfamiliar face recognition fails. The neural basis for this fundamental difference remains unknown. Using whole-brain functional magnetic resonance imaging, we found that personally familiar faces engage the macaque face-processing network more than unfamiliar faces. Familiar faces also recruited two hitherto unknown face areas at anatomically conserved locations within the perirhinal cortex and the temporal pole. These two areas, but not the core face-processing network, responded to familiar faces emerging from a blur with a characteristic nonlinear surge, akin to the abruptness of familiar face recognition. In contrast, responses to unfamiliar faces and objects remained linear. Thus, two temporal lobe areas extend the core face-processing network into a familiar face-recognition system.

2017年9月7日木曜日

Pavlovian conditioning–induced hallucinations result from overweighting of perceptual priors

A. R. Powers, C. Mathys, P. R. Corlett
Science  11 Aug 2017: Vol. 357, Issue 6351, pp. 596-600

Some people hear voices that others do not, but only some of those people seek treatment. Using a Pavlovian learning task, we induced conditioned hallucinations in four groups of people who differed orthogonally in their voice-hearing and treatment-seeking statuses. People who hear voices were significantly more susceptible to the effect. Using functional neuroimaging and computational modeling of perception, we identified processes that differentiated voice-hearers from non–voice-hearers and treatment-seekers from non–treatment-seekers and characterized a brain circuit that mediated the conditioned hallucinations. These data demonstrate the profound and sometimes pathological impact of top-down cognitive processes on perception and may represent an objective means to discern people with a need for treatment from those without.

2017年9月5日火曜日

Hierarchically Organized Medial Frontal Cortex-Basal Ganglia Loops Selectively Control Task- and Response-Selection

Franziska M. Korb, Jiefeng Jiang, Joseph A. King and Tobias Egner
Journal of Neuroscience 16 August 2017, 37 (33) 7893-7905; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3289-16.2017

Adaptive behavior requires context-sensitive configuration of task-sets that specify time-varying stimulus–response mappings. Intriguingly, response time costs associated with changing task-sets and motor responses are known to be strongly interactive: switch costs at the task level are small in the presence of a response-switch but large when accompanied by a response-repetition, and vice versa for response-switch costs. The reasons behind this well known interdependence between task- and response-level control processes are currently not well understood. Here, we formalized and tested a model assuming a hierarchical organization of superordinate task-set and subordinate response-set selection processes to account for this effect. The model was found to successfully explain the full range of behavioral task- and response-switch costs across first and second order trial transitions. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in healthy humans, we then characterized the neural circuitry mediating these effects. We found that presupplementary motor area (preSMA) activity tracked task-set control costs, SMA activity tracked response-set control costs, and basal ganglia (BG) activity mirrored the interaction between task- and response-set regulation processes that characterized participants' response times. A subsequent fMRI-guided transcranial magnetic stimulation experiment confirmed dissociable roles of the preSMA and SMA in determining response costs. Together, these data provide evidence for a hierarchical organization of posterior medial frontal cortex and its interaction with the BG, where a superordinate preSMA-BG loop establishes task-set selection, which imposes a (unidirectional) constraint on a subordinate SMA-BG loop that determines response-selection, resulting in the characteristic interdependence in task- and response-switch costs in behavior.

2017年9月4日月曜日

Crowdsourcing Samples in Cognitive Science

Neil Stewart, Jesse Chandler, and Gabriele Paolacci
Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Available online 10 August 2017

Crowdsourcing data collection from research participants recruited from online labor markets is now common in cognitive science. We review who is in the crowd and who can be reached by the average laboratory. We discuss reproducibility and review some recent methodological innovations for online experiments. We consider the design of research studies and arising ethical issues. We review how to code experiments for the web, what is known about video and audio presentation, and the measurement of reaction times. We close with comments about the high levels of experience of many participants and an emerging tragedy of the commons.