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Activity in Inferior Parietal and Medial Prefrontal Cortex Signals the Accumulation of Evidence in a Probability Learning Task

d'Acremont, Mathieu and Fornari, Eleonora and Bossaerts, Peter (2013) Activity in Inferior Parietal and Medial Prefrontal Cortex Signals the Accumulation of Evidence in a Probability Learning Task. PLoS Computational Biology, 9 (1). Art. No. e1002895. ISSN 1553-734X. PMCID PMC3561043. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002895.

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In an uncertain environment, probabilities are key to predicting future events and making adaptive choices. However, little is known about how humans learn such probabilities and where and how they are encoded in the brain, especially when they concern more than two outcomes. During functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), young adults learned the probabilities of uncertain stimuli through repetitive sampling. Stimuli represented payoffs and participants had to predict their occurrence to maximize their earnings. Choices indicated loss and risk aversion but unbiased estimation of probabilities. BOLD response in medial prefrontal cortex and angular gyri increased linearly with the probability of the currently observed stimulus, untainted by its value. Connectivity analyses during rest and task revealed that these regions belonged to the default mode network. The activation of past outcomes in memory is evoked as a possible mechanism to explain the engagement of the default mode network in probability learning. A BOLD response relating to value was detected only at decision time, mainly in striatum. It is concluded that activity in inferior parietal and medial prefrontal cortex reflects the amount of evidence accumulated in favor of competing and uncertain outcomes.

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Bossaerts, Peter0000-0003-2308-2603
Additional Information:© 2013 d'Acremont et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Received: June 25, 2012; Accepted: December 7, 2012; Published: January 31, 2013. The study was supported by the AXA Insurance Research Fund, Centre d'Imagerie BioMédicale of the University of Lausanne, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, University of Geneva, Hopitaux Universitaires de Genève, the Leenaards and Jeantet Foundations, and the Swiss Finance Institute. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Author Contributions: Conceived and designed the experiments: MdA PB. Performed the experiments: MdA EF. Analyzed the data: MdA EF PB. Wrote the paper: MdA PB.
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AXA Insurance Research FundUNSPECIFIED
University of LausanneUNSPECIFIED
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire VaudoisUNSPECIFIED
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneUNSPECIFIED
University of GenevaUNSPECIFIED
Hopitaux Universitaires de GenèveUNSPECIFIED
Leenaards and Jeantet FoundationsUNSPECIFIED
Swiss Finance InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:1
PubMed Central ID:PMC3561043
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130307-133453094
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Official Citation:d'Acremont M, Fornari E, Bossaerts P (2013) Activity in Inferior Parietal and Medial Prefrontal Cortex Signals the Accumulation of Evidence in a Probability Learning Task. PLoS Comput Biol 9(1): e1002895. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002895
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:37375
Deposited On:08 Mar 2013 00:21
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:28

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