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The anatomy of choice: dopamine and decision-making.

Friston, K; Schwartenbeck, P; FitzGerald, T; Moutoussis, M; Behrens, T; Dolan, RJ; (2014) The anatomy of choice: dopamine and decision-making. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci , 369 (1655) 10.1098/rstb.2013.0481. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper considers goal-directed decision-making in terms of embodied or active inference. We associate bounded rationality with approximate Bayesian inference that optimizes a free energy bound on model evidence. Several constructs such as expected utility, exploration or novelty bonuses, softmax choice rules and optimism bias emerge as natural consequences of free energy minimization. Previous accounts of active inference have focused on predictive coding. In this paper, we consider variational Bayes as a scheme that the brain might use for approximate Bayesian inference. This scheme provides formal constraints on the computational anatomy of inference and action, which appear to be remarkably consistent with neuroanatomy. Active inference contextualizes optimal decision theory within embodied inference, where goals become prior beliefs. For example, expected utility theory emerges as a special case of free energy minimization, where the sensitivity or inverse temperature (associated with softmax functions and quantal response equilibria) has a unique and Bayes-optimal solution. Crucially, this sensitivity corresponds to the precision of beliefs about behaviour. The changes in precision during variational updates are remarkably reminiscent of empirical dopaminergic responses-and they may provide a new perspective on the role of dopamine in assimilating reward prediction errors to optimize decision-making.

Type: Article
Title: The anatomy of choice: dopamine and decision-making.
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2013.0481
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2013.0481
Language: English
Additional information: © 2014 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Bayesian inference, active inference, agency, bounded rationality, free energy, utility theory
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/1450336
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