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Europe PubMed Central
Article . 2019
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Computing Value from Quality and Quantity in Human Decision-Making

Authors: de Berker, A.; Kurth-Nelson, Z.; Rutledge, R. ; https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7337-5039; Bestmann, S.; Dolan, R.;

Computing Value from Quality and Quantity in Human Decision-Making

Abstract

How organisms learn the value of single stimuli through experience is well described. In many decisions, however, value estimates are computed “on the fly” by combining multiple stimulus attributes. The neural basis of this computation is poorly understood. Here we explore a common scenario in which decision-makers must combine information about quality and quantity to determine the best option. Using fMRI, we examined the neural representation of quality, quantity, and their integration into an integrated subjective value signal in humans of both genders. We found that activity within inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) correlated with offer quality, while activity in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) specifically correlated with offer quantity. Several brain regions, including the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), were sensitive to an interaction of quality and quantity. However, the ACC was uniquely activated by quality, quantity, and their interaction, suggesting that this region provides a substrate for flexible computation of value from both quality and quantity. Furthermore, ACC signals across subjects correlated with the strength of quality and quantity signals in IFG and IPS, respectively. ACC tracking of subjective value also correlated with choice predictability. Finally, activity in the ACC was elevated for choice trials, suggesting that ACC provides a nexus for the computation of subjective value in multiattribute decision-making. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Would you prefer three apples or two oranges? Many choices we make each day require us to weigh up the quality and quantity of different outcomes. Using fMRI, we show that option quality is selectively represented in the inferior frontal gyrus, while option quantity correlates with areas of the intraparietal sulcus that have previously been associated with numerical processing. We show that information about the two is integrated into a value signal in the anterior cingulate cortex, and the fidelity of this integration predicts choice predictability. Our results demonstrate how on-the-fly value estimates are computed from multiple attributes in human value-based decision-making.

Keywords

Adult, Male, Brain Mapping, Sex Characteristics, number, Behavioral/Cognitive, Decision Making, Prefrontal Cortex, decision, Choice Behavior, Gyrus Cinguli, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, value, Parietal Lobe, Humans, Female, Research Articles

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    This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
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    influence
    This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    Average
    impulse
    This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
    Top 10%
  • citations
    This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    11
    popularity
    This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
    Top 10%
    influence
    This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    Average
    impulse
    This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
    Top 10%
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citations
This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Citations provided by BIP!
popularity
This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Popularity provided by BIP!
influence
This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Influence provided by BIP!
impulse
This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Impulse provided by BIP!
11
Top 10%
Average
Top 10%
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UKRI| The Computational Psychiatry of Major Depressive Disorder
Project
  • Funder: UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Project Code: MR/N02401X/1
  • Funding stream: MRC
,
WT| The neurobiology of motivation in health and disease.
Project
  • Funder: Wellcome Trust (WT)
  • Project Code: 098362
  • Funding stream: Neuroscience and Mental Health
iis
,
WT| Core support for the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging
Project
  • Funder: Wellcome Trust (WT)
  • Project Code: 091593
  • Funding stream: Neuroscience and Mental Health
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