The Basics of Dopamine: How We Learn and Store Value

Paul W. Glimcher

in Foundations of Neuroeconomic Analysis

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199744251
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199863433 | DOI:
The Basics of Dopamine: How We Learn and Store Value

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This chapter reviews the anatomy of the neural circuits associated with dopamine and valuation; presents theories of reinforcement learning from psychology and computer science that predate dopaminergic studies of valuation; examines experimental work that forged a relationship between dopamine and these pre-existing computational theories; and reductively follows these insights all the way down to the behavior of ion channels. It shows that a neuroeconomic theory of valuation sweeps effectively from cell membranes to utility theory, and that constraints derived from each interlocking level of analysis provide useful tools for better understanding how we decide.

Keywords: neural circuits; neuroeconomic theory; valuation; dopamine; reinforcement learning

Chapter.  14397 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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