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Robust and distributed neural representation of action values

Citation

Shin, Eunju et al. (2021), Robust and distributed neural representation of action values, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.gtht76hj0

Abstract

Studies in rats, monkeys, and humans have found action-value signals in multiple regions of the brain. These findings suggest that action-value signals encoded in these brain structures bias choices toward higher expected rewards. However, previous estimates of action-value signals might have been inflated by serial correlations in neural activity and also by activity related to other decision variables. Here, we applied several statistical tests based on permutation and surrogate data to analyze neural activity recorded from the striatum, frontal cortex, and hippocampus. The results show that previously identified action-value signals in these brain areas cannot be entirely accounted for by parallel serial correlations in neural activity and action value. We also found that neural activity related to action value is intermixed with signals related to other decision variables. Our findings provide strong evidence for broadly distributed neural signals related to action value throughout the brain.

Funding

Institute for Basic Science, Award: IBS-R002-A1

National Institute of Mental Health, Award: DA 029330