Psychological and Brain Sciences Colloquium

Dartmouth Events

Psychological and Brain Sciences Colloquium

Bruno B. Averbeck, PhD, National Institutes of Health

Friday, November 8, 2019
4:00pm-5:00pm
Moore 202
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Please join us in Moore 202 on Friday, November 8, 2019, at 4 p.m., as Bruno Averbeck, PhD, Principal Investigator at National Institute of Health, presents "Neural Circuitry Underlying Reinforcement Learning."

Abstract: I will talk about a series of studies in which we have examined the neural circuitry that underlies reinforcement learning. Reinforcement learning (RL) is the behavioral process of learning to make advantageous choices. While some preferences are innate, many are learned over time. How do we learn what we like and what we want to avoid? Our work focuses understanding the contribution of frontal-striatal systems, the amygdala and dopamine to these learning processes.  We use lesions and neurophysiology in combination with computational modeling to study RL in macaque monkeys.  Most work on RL assumes that dopamine neurons encode reward prediction errors (RPEs) and these RPEs underly learning, by driving plasticity on frontal-striatal synapses.  However, our recent work shows that the amygdala also plays an important role in these processes.  We have also begun to dissect the contribution of the dorsal and ventral-striatum to learning to select actions to obtain rewards vs. learning to select objects to obtain rewards.  We will also discuss recent work examining the contribution of the ventral-striatum to learning from gains vs. losses. 

A reception will follow outside of Moore 202.

For more information, contact:
Michelle Powers

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.