1. Neuroscience
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A Bayesian model of context-sensitive value attribution

  1. Francesco Rigoli  Is a corresponding author
  2. Karl J Friston
  3. Cristina Martinelli
  4. Mirjana Selaković
  5. Sukhwinder S Shergill
  6. Raymond J Dolan
  1. University College London, United Kingdom
  2. University College London, United Kingdom
  3. King's College London, United Kingdom
  4. Sismanogleio General Hospital, Greece
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2016;5:e16127 doi: 10.7554/eLife.16127

Abstract

Substantial evidence indicates that incentive value depends on an anticipation of rewards within a given context. However, the computations underlying this context sensitivity remain unknown. To address this question we introduce a normative (Bayesian) account of how rewards map to incentive values. This assumes that the brain inverts a model of how rewards are generated. Key features of our account include (i) an influence of prior beliefs about the context in which rewards are delivered (weighted by their reliability in a Bayes-optimal fashion), (ii) the notion that incentive values correspond to precision-weighted prediction errors, (iii) and contextual information unfolding at different hierarchical levels. This formulation implies that incentive value is intrinsically context-dependent. We provide empirical support for this model by showing that incentive value is influenced by context variability and by hierarchically nested contexts. The perspective we introduce generates new empirical predictions that might help explaining psychopathologies, such as addiction.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Francesco Rigoli

    The Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, London, United Kingdom
    For correspondence
    f.rigoli@ucl.ac.uk
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Karl J Friston

    The Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, London, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Cristina Martinelli

    Department of Psychosis Studies, King's College London, London, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Mirjana Selaković

    Department of Psychiatry, Sismanogleio General Hospital, Athens, Greece
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Sukhwinder S Shergill

    Department of Psychosis Studies, King's College London, London, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Raymond J Dolan

    The Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, London, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Ethics

Human subjects: Experiment one was approved by the University College London Research Ethics Committee. Experiment two was approved by the King's College of London Research Ethics Committee. All participants provided written informed consent and were paid for participating.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Sam Gershman

Publication history

  1. Received: March 16, 2016
  2. Accepted: June 16, 2016
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: June 21, 2016 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: July 18, 2016 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2016, Rigoli et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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