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Confidence in value-based choice

De Martino, Benedetto and Fleming, Stephen M. and Garrett, Neil and Dolan, Raymond J. (2013) Confidence in value-based choice. Nature Neuroscience, 16 (1). pp. 105-110. ISSN 1097-6256. PMCID PMC3786394. doi:10.1038/nn.3279.

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Decisions are never perfect, with confidence in one's choices fluctuating over time. How subjective confidence and valuation of choice options interact at the level of brain and behavior is unknown. Using a dynamic model of the decision process, we show that confidence reflects the evolution of a decision variable over time, explaining the observed relation between confidence, value, accuracy and reaction time. As predicted by our dynamic model, we show that a functional magnetic resonance imaging signal in human ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) reflects both value comparison and confidence in the value comparison process. Crucially, individuals varied in how they related confidence to accuracy, allowing us to show that this introspective ability is predicted by a measure of functional connectivity between vmPFC and rostrolateral prefrontal cortex. Our findings provide a mechanistic link between noise in value comparison and metacognitive awareness of choice, enabling us both to want and to express knowledge of what we want.

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Dolan, Raymond J.0000-0001-9356-761X
Additional Information:© 2012 Nature Publishing Group. Received 6 August; accepted 15 November; published online 9 December 2012. We thank T. Fitzgerald, D. Kumaran and T. Sharot for comments on a previous draft of this manuscript, and T. Behrens and N. Daw for discussions. This work was supported by a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award, 098362/Z/12/Z to R.J.D.; S.M.F. and B.D.M. are supported by Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowships (B.D.M., 082674/Z/07/Z; S.M.F., WT096185). The Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging is supported by core funding from the Wellcome Trust, 091593/Z/10/Z. Author Contributions: B.D.M. and S.M.F. conceived and designed the study. B.D.M., N.G. and S.M.F. developed stimuli and gathered and analyzed behavioral and fMRI data. B.D.M., S.M.F. and R.J.D. interpreted the data and wrote the paper.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Wellcome Trust098362/Z/12/Z
Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship082674/Z/07/Z
Sir Henry Wellcome FellowshipWT096185
Wellcome Trust091593/Z/10/Z
Issue or Number:1
PubMed Central ID:PMC3786394
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130117-113338551
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:36456
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 23:50
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:22

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