Evidence for Model-based Computations in the Human Amygdala during Pavlovian Conditioning
AuthorPrevost, C; McNamee, D; Jessup, RK; Bossaerts, P; O'Doherty, JP
Source TitlePLoS Computational Biology
PublisherPUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
University of Melbourne Author/sBossaerts, Peter
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsPrevost, C., McNamee, D., Jessup, R. K., Bossaerts, P. & O'Doherty, J. P. (2013). Evidence for Model-based Computations in the Human Amygdala during Pavlovian Conditioning. PLOS COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY, 9 (2), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002918.
Access StatusOpen Access
Contemporary computational accounts of instrumental conditioning have emphasized a role for a model-based system in which values are computed with reference to a rich model of the structure of the world, and a model-free system in which values are updated without encoding such structure. Much less studied is the possibility of a similar distinction operating at the level of Pavlovian conditioning. In the present study, we scanned human participants while they participated in a Pavlovian conditioning task with a simple structure while measuring activity in the human amygdala using a high-resolution fMRI protocol. After fitting a model-based algorithm and a variety of model-free algorithms to the fMRI data, we found evidence for the superiority of a model-based algorithm in accounting for activity in the amygdala compared to the model-free counterparts. These findings support an important role for model-based algorithms in describing the processes underpinning Pavlovian conditioning, as well as providing evidence of a role for the human amygdala in model-based inference.
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