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Formation of global self-beliefs in the human brain

Rouault, M; Fleming, SM; (2020) Formation of global self-beliefs in the human brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) 10.1073/pnas.2003094117. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Humans create metacognitive beliefs about their performance across many levels of abstraction-from local confidence in individual decisions to global estimates of our skills and abilities. Despite a rich literature on the neural basis of local confidence judgements, how global self-performance estimates (SPEs) are constructed remains unknown. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we scanned human subjects while they performed several short blocks of tasks and reported on which task they think they performed best, providing a behavioral proxy for global SPEs. In a frontoparietal network sensitive to fluctuations in local confidence, we found that activity within ventromedial prefrontal cortex and precuneus was additionally modulated by global SPEs. In contrast, activity in ventral striatum was associated with subjects' global SPEs irrespective of fluctuations in local confidence, and predicted the extent to which global SPEs tracked objective task difficulty across individuals. Our findings reveal neural representations of global SPEs that go beyond the tracking of local confidence, and lay the groundwork for understanding how a formation of global self-beliefs may go awry in conditions characterized by distorted self-evaluation.

Type: Article
Title: Formation of global self-beliefs in the human brain
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2003094117
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2003094117
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: confidence, fMRI, metacognition, self-efficacy
UCL classification: UCL
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 > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10113425
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