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Human complex exploration strategies are enriched by noradrenaline-modulated heuristics

Dubois, M; Habicht, J; Michely, J; Moran, R; Dolan, RJ; Hauser, TU; (2021) Human complex exploration strategies are enriched by noradrenaline-modulated heuristics. Elife , 10 , Article e59907. 10.7554/eLife.59907. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

An exploration-exploitation trade-off, the arbitration between sampling a lesser-known against a known rich option, is thought to be solved using computationally demanding exploration algorithms. Given known limitations in human cognitive resources, we hypothesised the presence of additional cheaper strategies. We examined for such heuristics in choice behaviour where we show this involves a value-free random exploration, that ignores all prior knowledge, and a novelty exploration that targets novel options alone. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled drug study, assessing contributions of dopamine (400mg amisulpride) and noradrenaline (40mg propranolol), we show that value-free random exploration is attenuated under the influence of propranolol, but not under amisulpride. Our findings demonstrate that humans deploy distinct computationally cheap exploration strategies and where value-free random exploration is under noradrenergic control.

Type: Article
Title: Human complex exploration strategies are enriched by noradrenaline-modulated heuristics
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.59907
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.59907
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 article’s 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/
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/10118691
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