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Nat Commun. 2018 Jun 27;9(1):2485. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04841-1.

Dissociable neural mechanisms track evidence accumulation for selection of attention versus action.

Author information

1
Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences, Carney Institute for Brain Science, Brown University, Providence, RI, 02912, USA. amitai_shenhav@brown.edu.
2
Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 08540, USA. amitai_shenhav@brown.edu.
3
Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 08540, USA.
4
Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA.
5
Department of Psychology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 08540, USA.
6
DeepMind, London, N1C 4AG, UK.
7
Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, University College London, London, W1T 4JG, UK.

Abstract

Decision-making is typically studied as a sequential process from the selection of what to attend (e.g., between possible tasks, stimuli, or stimulus attributes) to which actions to take based on the attended information. However, people often process information across these various levels in parallel. Here we scan participants while they simultaneously weigh how much to attend to two dynamic stimulus attributes and what response to give. Regions of the prefrontal cortex track information about the stimulus attributes in dissociable ways, related to either the predicted reward (ventromedial prefrontal cortex) or the degree to which that attribute is being attended (dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, dACC). Within the dACC, adjacent regions track correlates of uncertainty at different levels of the decision, regarding what to attend versus how to respond. These findings bridge research on perceptual and value-based decision-making, demonstrating that people dynamically integrate information in parallel across different levels of decision-making.

PMID:
29950596
PMCID:
PMC6021379
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-018-04841-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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