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Event Type:  Seminar (This is an NIH Science event)
Title:  Learning to Distinguish the Good from the Bad: Neural Systems Underlying Reinforcement Learning
Description:  The section on Learning and Decision making studies the neural circuitry and computational mechanisms that underlie reinforcement learning. Reinforcement learning (RL) is the behavioral process of learning what we like and do not like from experience. While some preferences are innate, many are learned over time. There are few areas in systems neuroscience where a theory has linked a neural mechanism to behavior as successfully as RL. The standard model of RL, developed in the mid-1990s, assumes that dopamine neurons code reward prediction errors (RPEs). RPEs are the difference between the reward that is received and the reward that was predicted. These dopaminergic RPEs are then communicated to the basal ganglia, specifically the striatum, because of its substantial dopamine innervation. The striatal neurons integrate RPEs to develop representations of the values of choices, i.e. our preferences. In contrast to the standard model we have recently shown that the amygdala, a structure in the medial temporal lobe, has a larger role in RL than the ventral striatum (VS). In addition, the role of the VS depends on the reward environment. When rewards are predictable, the VS has almost no role in learning whereas when rewards are less predictable the VS plays a larger role. These data outline a more specific role for the VS in RL than is attributed to it by current models. Given that the VS has been implicated in depression, particularly adolescent depression, this delineation of the contribution of the VS to normal behavior may help inform hypotheses about the mechanisms and circuitry underlying depression.
Series Name:  NIH Director's Seminar Series
Videocast:  Event will be videocast LIVE on the Web
Videocast URL:
  Event will be available in the videocast ARCHIVE
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Friday, October 27, 2017   12:00pm - 1:00pm Add To Outlook Calendar     Add To iCal Calendar     Add To Entourage Calendar
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Name:   Bruno Averbeck, Ph.D.
Title:   Chief, Section on Learning and Decision Making
Organization:   Laboratory of Neuropsychology, NIMH

Organization(s):  [NIH] Office of the Director (OD)

Location:  On the main NIH Campus
Building:  1
Room:  Wilson Hall
Street Address:  1 Center Drive
City:  Bethesda
State:  Maryland
Zip Code:  20892

Name:   Margaret McBurney
Phone:   (301) 496-1921
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