CUED Publications database

Temporal difference models describe higher-order learning in humans.

Seymour, B and O'Doherty, JP and Dayan, P and Koltzenburg, M and Jones, AK and Dolan, RJ and Friston, KJ and Frackowiak, RS (2004) Temporal difference models describe higher-order learning in humans. Nature, 429. pp. 664-667.

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Abstract

The ability to use environmental stimuli to predict impending harm is critical for survival. Such predictions should be available as early as they are reliable. In pavlovian conditioning, chains of successively earlier predictors are studied in terms of higher-order relationships, and have inspired computational theories such as temporal difference learning. However, there is at present no adequate neurobiological account of how this learning occurs. Here, in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study of higher-order aversive conditioning, we describe a key computational strategy that humans use to learn predictions about pain. We show that neural activity in the ventral striatum and the anterior insula displays a marked correspondence to the signals for sequential learning predicted by temporal difference models. This result reveals a flexible aversive learning process ideally suited to the changing and uncertain nature of real-world environments. Taken with existing data on reward learning, our results suggest a critical role for the ventral striatum in integrating complex appetitive and aversive predictions to coordinate behaviour.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Conditioning, Classical Cues Electric Stimulation Hand Humans Learning Magnetic Resonance Imaging Models, Neurological Neostriatum Pain Punishment Time Factors
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Divisions: Div F > Computational and Biological Learning
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2014 11:21
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2014 01:05
DOI: 10.1038/nature02581