2013年10月22日火曜日

Cortical Signals for Rewarded Actions and Strategic Exploration

Christopher H. Donahue, Hyojung Seo, and Daeyeol Lee
Neuron, 05 September 2013

環境が安定している時は「過去に学習した行動」を取り続ければ良い。
一方、環境が不安定な時は、「探索行動」を頻繁に行う必要がある。
探索行動が必要な状況では(必要ない状況と比べ)、Supplementary eye field(補足眼球野)の活動が「過去に成功した行動/選択」の情報を反映する。
また、その活動は「探索行動が必要な状況で、探索行動を行う頻度」と相関する。

In stable environments, decision makers can exploit their previously learned strategies for optimal outcomes, while exploration might lead to better options in unstable environments. Here, to investigate the cortical contributions to exploratory behavior, we analyzed single-neuron activity recorded from four different cortical areas of monkeys performing a matching-pennies task and a visual search task, which encouraged and discouraged exploration, respectively. We found that neurons in multiple regions in the frontal and parietal cortex tended to encode signals related to previously rewarded actions more reliably than unrewarded actions. In addition, signals for rewarded choices in the supplementary eye field were attenuated during the visual search task and were correlated with the tendency to switch choices during the matching-pennies task. These results suggest that the supplementary eye field might play a unique role in encouraging animals to explore alternative decision-making strategies.

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