Model-based and model-free pain avoidance learning
Brain and Neuroscience Advances
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Wang, O., Lee, S., O'Doherty, J., Seymour, B., & Yoshida, W. (2018). Model-based and model-free pain avoidance learning. Brain and Neuroscience Advances, 2 https://doi.org/10.1177/2398212818772964
Whilst there is good evidence that reward learning is underpinned by two distinct decision control systems - a cognitive ‘model-based’ and a habit-based ‘model-free’ system, a comparable distinction for punishment avoidance has been much less clear. We implemented a pain avoidance task that placed differential emphasis on putative model-based and model-free processing, mirroring a paradigm and modelling approach recently developed for reward-based decision-making. Subjects performed a two-step decision-making task with probabilistic pain outcomes of different quantities. The delivery of outcomes was sometimes contingent on a rule signalled at the beginning of each trial, emulating a form of outcome devaluation. The behavioural data showed that subjects tended to use a mixed strategy - favouring the simpler model-free learning strategy when outcomes did not depend on the rule, and favouring a model-based when they did. Furthermore, the data was well described by a dynamic transition model between the two controllers. When compared to data from a reward-based task (albeit tested in the context of the scanner), we observed that avoidance involved a significantly greater tendency for subjects to switch between model-free and model-based systems in the face of changes in uncertainty. Our study suggests a dual-system model of pain avoidance, similar to but possibly more dynamically flexible than reward-based decision-making.
decision making, pain avoidance, reinforcement learning, uncertainty
Arthritis Research UK (Ref: 21357).
Arthritis Research UK (21537)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/2398212818772964
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/280323
Attribution 4.0 International, Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
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