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Model-Based Reasoning in Humans Becomes Automatic with Training

Economides, M; Kurth-Nelson, Z; Lübbert, A; Guitart-Masip, M; Dolan, RJ; (2015) Model-Based Reasoning in Humans Becomes Automatic with Training. PLoS Comput Biol , 11 (9) , Article e1004463. 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004463. Green open access

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Abstract

Model-based and model-free reinforcement learning (RL) have been suggested as algorithmic realizations of goal-directed and habitual action strategies. Model-based RL is more flexible than model-free but requires sophisticated calculations using a learnt model of the world. This has led model-based RL to be identified with slow, deliberative processing, and model-free RL with fast, automatic processing. In support of this distinction, it has recently been shown that model-based reasoning is impaired by placing subjects under cognitive load--a hallmark of non-automaticity. Here, using the same task, we show that cognitive load does not impair model-based reasoning if subjects receive prior training on the task. This finding is replicated across two studies and a variety of analysis methods. Thus, task familiarity permits use of model-based reasoning in parallel with other cognitive demands. The ability to deploy model-based reasoning in an automatic, parallelizable fashion has widespread theoretical implications, particularly for the learning and execution of complex behaviors. It also suggests a range of important failure modes in psychiatric disorders.

Type: Article
Title: Model-Based Reasoning in Humans Becomes Automatic with Training
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004463
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004463
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 Economides et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
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 > 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/1472739
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