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Hedging Your Bets by Learning Reward Correlations in the Human Brain

Wunderlich, Klaus and Symmonds, Mkael and Bossaerts, Peter and Dolan, Raymond J. (2011) Hedging Your Bets by Learning Reward Correlations in the Human Brain. Neuron, 71 (6). pp. 1141-1152. ISSN 0896-6273.

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Human subjects are proficient at tracking the mean and variance of rewards and updating these via prediction errors. Here, we addressed whether humans can also learn about higher-order relationships between distinct environmental outcomes, a defining ecological feature of contexts where multiple sources of rewards are available. By manipulating the degree to which distinct outcomes are correlated, we show that subjects implemented an explicit model-based strategy to learn the associated outcome correlations and were adept in using that information to dynamically adjust their choices in a task that required a minimization of outcome variance. Importantly, the experimentally generated outcome correlations were explicitly represented neuronally in right midinsula with a learning prediction error signal expressed in rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Thus, our data show that the human brain represents higher-order correlation structures between rewards, a core adaptive ability whose immediate benefit is optimized sampling.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Bossaerts, Peter0000-0003-2308-2603
Dolan, Raymond J.0000-0001-9356-761X
Additional Information:© 2011 Elsevier Inc. Accepted 28 July 2011. Published: September 21, 2011. Available online 21 September 2011. This study was supported by a Wellcome Trust Program Grant and Max Planck Award.
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Max Planck SocietyUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20111024-101009342
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Official Citation:Klaus Wunderlich, Mkael Symmonds, Peter Bossaerts, Raymond J. Dolan, Hedging Your Bets by Learning Reward Correlations in the Human Brain, Neuron, Volume 71, Issue 6, 22 September 2011, Pages 1141-1152, ISSN 0896-6273, 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.07.025.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:27375
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:24 Oct 2011 20:21
Last Modified:25 Nov 2020 01:04

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