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Nat Hum Behav. 2020 Feb;4(2):201-214. doi: 10.1038/s41562-019-0765-5. Epub 2019 Nov 11.

Dissociating neural learning signals in human sign- and goal-trackers.

Author information

1
Cognitive Sciences, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany. danieljschad@gmail.com.
2
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité Campus Mitte, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany. danieljschad@gmail.com.
3
Cognitive Sciences, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany.
4
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité Campus Mitte, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
5
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.
6
Department of Economics, Zurich Center for Neuroeconomics, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
7
Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany.
8
Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, London WC1N 3BG, United Kingdom.
9
Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research, Max Planck University College London, London, UK.
10
Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany.
11
Institute of Clinical Psyhology & Psychotherapy, TU-Dresden und Department of Psychiatry, Ludwig-Maximalians-Universität, München, Germany.
12
Department of Addiction Medicine and Psychotherapy, kbo-Isar-Amper-Klinikum, Munich, Germany.
13
Neuroimaging Center, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.
14
Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, University College London, London, UK.
15
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany.
16
Center for Addictive Disorders, Hospital of Psychiatry, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.
17
Translational Neuromodeling Unit, University of Zürich and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, Switzerland.
18
Complex Depression Anxiety and Trauma Service, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

Abstract

Individuals differ in how they learn from experience. In Pavlovian conditioning models, where cues predict reinforcer delivery at a different goal location, some animals-called sign-trackers-come to approach the cue, whereas others, called goal-trackers, approach the goal. In sign-trackers, model-free phasic dopaminergic reward-prediction errors underlie learning, which renders stimuli 'wanted'. Goal-trackers do not rely on dopamine for learning and are thought to use model-based learning. We demonstrate this double dissociation in 129 male humans using eye-tracking, pupillometry and functional magnetic resonance imaging informed by computational models of sign- and goal-tracking. We show that sign-trackers exhibit a neural reward prediction error signal that is not detectable in goal-trackers. Model-free value only guides gaze and pupil dilation in sign-trackers. Goal-trackers instead exhibit a stronger model-based neural state prediction error signal. This model-based construct determines gaze and pupil dilation more in goal-trackers.

PMID:
31712764
DOI:
10.1038/s41562-019-0765-5

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