The hippocampus supports deliberation during value based decisions

Abstract

Choosing between two items involves deliberation and comparison of the features of each item and its value. Such decisions take more time when choosing between options of similar value, possibly because these decisions require more evidence, but the mechanisms involved are not clear. We propose that the hippocampus supports deliberation about value, given its well-known role in prospection and relational cognition. We assessed the role of the hippocampus in deliberation in two experiments. First, using fMRI in healthy participants, we found that BOLD activity in the hippocampus increased as a function of deliberation time. Second, we found that patients with hippocampal damage exhibited more stochastic choices and longer reaction times than controls, possibly due to their failure to construct value based on internal evidence during deliberation. Both sets of results were stronger in value-based decisions compared to perceptual decisions.

Data availability

Behavioral data from this study are available as source data included in this submission. Behavioral analysis code is available as source code included in this submission. Analysis code as well as task code is available at https://github.com/abakkour/MDMRT_scan. Imaging data has been deposited to OpenNeuro and is available to download at https://openneuro.org/datasets/ds002006/versions/1.0.0

The following data sets were generated

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Akram Bakkour

    Department of Psychology, Columbia University, New York, United States
    For correspondence
    ab4096@columbia.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-6070-4945
  2. Daniela J Palombo

    Memory Disorders Research Center, Boston University, Boston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Ariel Zylberberg

    Department of Neuroscience, Columbia University, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-2572-4748
  4. Yul HR Kang

    Department of Neuroscience, Columbia University, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Allison Reid

    Memory Disorders Research Center, Boston University, Boston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Mieke Verfaellie

    Memory Disorders Research Center, Boston University, Boston, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Michael N Shadlen

    Department of Neuroscience, Columbia University, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-2002-2210
  8. Daphna Shohamy

    Department of Psychology, Columbia University, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Funding

McKnight Foundation (McKnight Memory and Cognitive Disorders Award)

  • Daphna Shohamy

National Science Foundation (NSF grant #1606916)

  • Akram Bakkour

National Institutes of Health (NIH grant # R01EY011378)

  • Michael N Shadlen

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI Investigator)

  • Michael N Shadlen

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA Senior Research Career Scientist Award & VA Merit Grant CX001748)

  • Mieke Verfaellie

National Eye Institute (NEI grant T32-EY013933)

  • Yul HR Kang

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication. The contents of this manuscript do not represent the view of the US Department of Veterans Affairs or the US Government.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Thorsten Kahnt, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, United States

Ethics

Human subjects: Experimental procedures in Experiment 1 were approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Columbia University through Columbia IRB Protocol #AAAO5907. All fMRI participants provided signed informed consent before taking part in the study. All patients and age-matched healthy participants in experiment 2 provided informed consent in accordance with the Institutional Review Boards at Boston University and the VA Boston Healthcare System outlined in VABHS IRB #2997.

Version history

  1. Received: February 25, 2019
  2. Accepted: June 29, 2019
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: July 3, 2019 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: August 14, 2019 (version 2)

Copyright

This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

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  1. Akram Bakkour
  2. Daniela J Palombo
  3. Ariel Zylberberg
  4. Yul HR Kang
  5. Allison Reid
  6. Mieke Verfaellie
  7. Michael N Shadlen
  8. Daphna Shohamy
(2019)
The hippocampus supports deliberation during value based decisions
eLife 8:e46080.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.46080

Share this article

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.46080

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