29 September 2021: Executive contributions to reinforcement learning computations in humans

Anne Collins
Department of Psychology
University of California, Berkeley

The study of the neural processes that support reinforcement learning has been greatly successful. It has characterized a simple brain network (including cortico-basal ganglia loops and dopaminergic signaling) that enables animals to learn to make valuable choices, using valenced outcomes. However, increasing evidence shows that the story is more complex in humans, where additional processes also contribute importantly to learning. In this talk, I will show three examples of how prefrontal-dependent executive processes are essential to reinforcement learning in humans, operating both in parallel to the brain’s reinforcement learning network, as well as feeding this network information.

View this recorded session here.