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Tracking the Emergence of Conceptual Knowledge during Human Decision Making

Kumaran, D; Summerfield, JJ; Hassabis, D; Maguire, EA; (2009) Tracking the Emergence of Conceptual Knowledge during Human Decision Making. NEURON , 63 (6) 889 - 901. 10.1016/j.neuron.2009.07.030. Gold open access

Abstract

Concepts lie at the very heart of intelligence, providing organizing principles with which to comprehend the world. Surprisingly little, however, is understood about how we acquire and deploy concepts. Here, we show that a functionally coupled circuit involving the hippocampus and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vMPFC) underpins the emergence of conceptual knowledge and its effect on choice behavior. Critically, the hippocampus alone supported the efficient transfer of knowledge to a perceptually novel setting. These findings provide compelling evidence that the hippocampus supports conceptual learning through the networking of discrete memories and reveal the nature of its interaction with downstream valuation modules such as the vMPFC. Our study offers neurobiological insights into the remarkable capacity of humans to discover the conceptual structure of related experiences and use this knowledge to solve exacting decision problems.

Type:Article
Title:Tracking the Emergence of Conceptual Knowledge during Human Decision Making
Open access status:An open access publication
DOI:10.1016/j.neuron.2009.07.030
Publisher version:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ articles/PMC2791172/?tool=pubmed
Keywords:MEDIAL TEMPORAL-LOBE, COMPLEMENTARY-LEARNING-SYSTEMS, HUMAN BRAIN, DECLARATIVE MEMORY, RECOGNITION MEMORY, PREFRONTAL CORTEX, HIPPOCAMPAL PATHOLOGY, ORBITOFRONTAL CORTEX, SINGLE NEURONS, ASSOCIATIONS
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit

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