Invited speaker: Wolfram Schultz (Department of Physiology, Development & Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, UK)
Getting the best reward with the dopamine prediction error signal, or not getting it.
Rewards are involved in learning, approach behaviour, economic choices and positive emotions. Prof. Schultz and his group investigate the dopamine reward prediction error signal during decision making using neurophysiological and behavioural methods. They conceptualise rewards as probability distributions of value, which offers a formal approach to the study of value and risk. Decision makers maximise utility, the fundamental economic decision variable that mathematically defines subjective reward value. The dopamine reward response constitutes a utility prediction error signal that helps decision makers obtain the best reward. This fast reward signal differs from slower dopamine activations heterogeneously changing with movements. By contrast, the prediction error signal may be altered or less effective in reward disorders by improperly affecting other neuronal systems involved in economic decisions.
Host: Ingo Willuhn