Journal article

The human prefrontal cortex mediates integration of potential causes behind observed outcomes

Klaus Wunderlich, Ulrik R Beierholm, Peter Bossaerts, John P O'Doherty



Prefrontal cortex has long been implicated in tasks involving higher order inference in which decisions must be rendered, not only about which stimulus is currently rewarded, but also which stimulus dimensions are currently relevant. However, the precise computational mechanisms used to solve such tasks have remained unclear. We scanned human participants with functional MRI, while they performed a hierarchical intradimensional/extradimensional shift task to investigate what strategy subjects use while solving higher order decision problems. By using a computational model-based analysis, we found behavioral and neural evidence that humans solve such problems not by occasionally shifting focu..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Div Of Biological Infrastructure; Direct For Biological Sciences

Funding Acknowledgements

This research was supported by grants from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to J. P. O'Doherty, a Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Scholarship to K. Wunderlich, a Marie Curie European reintegration grant to U. R. Beierholm, a Searle Scholarship to J. O'Doherty, and the Caltech Brain Imaging Center and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation.