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Front Syst Neurosci. 2013 Oct 7;7:59. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2013.00059.

Toward a common theory for learning from reward, affect, and motivation: the SIMON framework.

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Department of Psychology, University of Alberta Edmonton, AB, Canada.


While the effects of reward, affect, and motivation on learning have each developed into their own fields of research, they largely have been investigated in isolation. As all three of these constructs are highly related, and use similar experimental procedures, an important advance in research would be to consider the interplay between these constructs. Here we first define each of the three constructs, and then discuss how they may influence each other within a common framework. Finally, we delineate several sources of evidence supporting the framework. By considering the constructs of reward, affect, and motivation within a single framework, we can develop a better understanding of the processes involved in learning and how they interplay, and work toward a comprehensive theory that encompasses reward, affect, and motivation.


affect; arousal; context; emotion; motivation; movements; reward; valence

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