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The role of the hippocampus in weighting expectations during inference under uncertainty

Rigoli, F; Michely, J; Friston, KJ; Dolan, RJ; (2019) The role of the hippocampus in weighting expectations during inference under uncertainty. Cortex , 115 pp. 1-14. 10.1016/j.cortex.2019.01.005. Green open access

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Abstract

Making inference under uncertainty requires an optimal weighting of prior expectations and observations. How this weighting is realized in the brain remains elusive. To investigate this, we recorded functional neuroimaging data while participants estimated a number based on noisy observations. Crucially, the prior expectation about the variability of observations (an expected variability) was manipulated. Consistent with normative models, when novel observations were characterized by higher expected or observed variability, participants' estimates relied more on expectations than novel observations and were characterized by higher stochasticity. Activity in hippocampus increased when novel evidence was characterized by higher expected or observed variability. Response in superior parietal cortex reflected a precision-weighted prediction error signal (i.e., the distance between observations and expectations) that was modulated by hippocampal activity. Our findings implicate the hippocampus during inference under uncertainty, suggesting a role in weighting prior representations over observations and in modulating responsivity of superior parietal cortex to prediction error.

Type: Article
Title: The role of the hippocampus in weighting expectations during inference under uncertainty
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2019.01.005
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2019.01.005
Language: English
Additional information: © 2019 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Keywords: Hippocampus, Inference, Bayesian, Prior, Uncertainty
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10068395
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