Chapter

Reinforcement learning mechanisms in the human brain: Insights from model-based fMRI

John P O'Doherty

in Neuroimaging of Human Memory

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780199217298
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191696077 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217298.003.0004
Reinforcement learning mechanisms in the human brain: Insights from model-based fMRI

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This chapter discusses evidence for the applicability of reinforcement learning models to reward-learning and reward-based action selection in humans, with a particular emphasis on data derived from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies. It begins with a description of basic mechanisms by which predictions of future reward as well as punishment can be learned, and their associated neural bases. It then considers the mechanisms underlying action selection for reward, as well as in learning to avoid punishers. It also reviews instances where findings from functional neuroimaging studies are inconsistent with a simple reinforcement learning framework, and discusses the implications of these results for the development of a more complete theory of human choice.

Keywords: reinforcement learning; reward-learning; reward-based action; functional magnetic resonance imaging; fMRI; reward; punishment; choice

Chapter.  8703 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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