Multiple neural circuits in value-based decision making

Manami Yamamoto, Xiaochuan Pan, Kensaku Nomoto and Masamichi Sakagami

in Decision Making, Affect, and Learning

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199600434
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725623 | DOI:

Series: Attention and Performance

Multiple neural circuits in value-based decision making

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Valuation is an essential process and function in decision making. The variety and organization of such valuation systems characterize the decision making of animals. To understand the nature of the distinct neural systems used in such valuation, monkey single-unit recording experiments were performed together with a human fMRI experiment using a perceptual discrimination task with asymmetric reward, and a reward inference task. The results suggest that both the primate and human brain have, at least, two distinct valuation systems: one in the nigro-striatal circuit (here, referred to as the ‘stimulus-based valuation system’) and the other in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) circuit (here, referred to as the ‘knowledge-based valuation system’). The nigro-striatal circuit calculates values based on the empirical and probabilistic relation between an event and its outcome. The PFC circuit, on the other hand, generates values by further extension of directly-experienced association through categorical processes and rules, thereby enabling animals to predict the outcome of an inexperienced event.

Keywords: valuation; decision making; primate brain; human brain; valuation systems; nigro-striatal circuit; prefrontal cortex

Chapter.  5967 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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