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Author: Ray Dolan (44)


Dec
1969

Personality with stable behavioural traits emerges in the adolescent and young adult years. Models of putatively distinct, but correlated, personality traits have been developed to describe behavioural styles including schizotypal, narcissistic, callous-unemotional, negative emotionality, antisocial and impulsivity traits. These traits have influenced the classification of their related personality disorders.

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Jan
2018

Pathophysiology in schizophrenia has been linked to aberrant incentive salience, namely the dysfunctional processing of value linked to abnormal dopaminergic activity. In line with this, recent studies showed impaired learning of value in schizophrenia. However, how value is used to guide behaviour independently from learning, as in risky choice, has rarely been examined in this disorder.

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Oct
2017

A better memory for negative emotional events is often attributed to a conjoint impact of increased arousal and noradrenergic modulation (NA). A decline in NA during aging is well documented but its impact on memory function during aging is unclear. Using pupil diameter (PD) as a proxy for NA, we examined age differences in memory for negative events in younger (18-30 years) and older (62-83 years) adults based on a segregation of early arousal to negative events, and later retrieval-related PD responses.

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Dec
1969

It would be maladaptive to learn about catastrophes by trial and error alone. Investment in planning and effort are necessary. Devoting too many resources to averting disaster, however, can impair quality of life, as in anxiety and paranoia.

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Dec
1969

To investigate differences in the quality, confidence, and consistency of intraoperative surgical decision making (DM) and using functional neuroimaging expose decision systems that operators use.
Novices are hypothesized to use conscious analysis (effortful DM) leading to activation across the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, whereas experts are expected to use unconscious automation (habitual DM) in which decisions are recognition-primed and prefrontal cortex independent.
A total of 22 subjects (10 medical student novices, 7 residents, and 5 attendings) reviewed simulated laparoscopic cholecystectomy videos, determined the next safest operative maneuver upon video termination (10 s), and reported decision confidence.

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Jan
2017

The hippocampus plays a central role in the approach-avoidance conflict that is central to the genesis of anxiety. However, its exact functional contribution has yet to be identified. We designed a novel gambling task that generated approach-avoidance conflict while controlling for spatial processing.

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Sep
2016

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus in Parkinson's disease is known to cause a subtle but important adverse impact on behaviour, with impulsivity its most widely reported manifestation. However, precisely which computational components of the decision process are modulated is not fully understood. Here we probe a number of distinct subprocesses, including temporal discount, outcome utility, instrumental learning rate, instrumental outcome sensitivity, reward-loss trade-offs, and perseveration.

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Oct
2016

Animal studies indicate that hippocampal representations of environmental context modulate reward-related processing in the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area (SN/VTA), a major origin of dopamine in the brain. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in humans, we investigated the neural specificity of context-reward associations under conditions where the presence of perceptually similar neutral contexts imposed high demands on a putative hippocampal function, pattern separation. The design also allowed us to investigate how contextual reward enhances long-term memory for embedded neutral objects.

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Nov
2015

Classical economic models are predicated on the idea that the ultimate aim of choice is to maximize utility or reward. In contrast, an alternative perspective highlights the fact that adaptive behavior requires agents' to model their environment and minimize surprise about the states they frequent. We propose that choice behavior can be more accurately accounted for by surprise minimization compared to reward or utility maximization alone.

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Jan
2016

Dopamine is implicated in a diverse range of cognitive functions including cognitive flexibility, task switching, signalling novel or unexpected stimuli as well as advance information. There is also longstanding line of thought that links dopamine with belief formation and, crucially, aberrant belief formation in psychosis. Integrating these strands of evidence would suggest that dopamine plays a central role in belief updating and more specifically in encoding of meaningful information content in observations.

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Nov
2015

Individuals with developmental prosopagnosia (DP) experience face recognition impairments despite normal intellect and low-level vision and no history of brain damage. Prior studies using diffusion tensor imaging in small samples of subjects with DP (n=6 or n=8) offer conflicting views on the neurobiological bases for DP, with one suggesting white matter differences in two major long-range tracts running through the temporal cortex, and another suggesting white matter differences confined to fibers local to ventral temporal face-specific functional regions of interest (fROIs) in the fusiform gyrus. Here, we address these inconsistent findings using a comprehensive set of analyzes in a sample of DP subjects larger than both prior studies combined (n=16).

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Jan
2015

Electrophysiological data disclose rich dynamics in patterns of neural activity evoked by sensory objects. Retrieving objects from memory reinstates components of this activity. In humans, the temporal structure of this retrieved activity remains largely unexplored, and here we address this gap using the spatiotemporal precision of magnetoencephalography (MEG).

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Feb
2015

When casting behaviour as active (Bayesian) inference, optimal inference is defined with respect to an agent's beliefs - based on its generative model of the world. This contrasts with normative accounts of choice behaviour, in which optimal actions are considered in relation to the true structure of the environment - as opposed to the agent's beliefs about worldly states (or the task). This distinction shifts an understanding of suboptimal or pathological behaviour away from aberrant inference as such, to understanding the prior beliefs of a subject that cause them to behave less 'optimally' than our prior beliefs suggest they should behave.

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Nov
2014

Valuable stimuli are invariably localized in space. While our knowledge regarding the neural networks supporting value assignment and comparisons is considerable, we lack a basic understanding of how the human brain integrates motivational and spatial information. The amygdala is a key structure for learning and maintaining the value of sensory stimuli and a recent non-human primate study provided initial evidence that it also acts to integrate value with spatial location, a question we address here in a human setting.

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Oct
2015

Dopamine plays a key role in learning; however, its exact function in decision making and choice remains unclear. Recently, we proposed a generic model based on active (Bayesian) inference wherein dopamine encodes the precision of beliefs about optimal policies. Put simply, dopamine discharges reflect the confidence that a chosen policy will lead to desired outcomes.

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Nov
2014

The perceived intensity of sensory stimuli is reduced when these stimuli are caused by the observer's actions. This phenomenon is traditionally explained by forward models of sensory action-outcome, which arise from motor processing. Although these forward models critically predict anticipatory modulation of sensory neural processing, neurophysiological evidence for anticipatory modulation is sparse and has not been linked to perceptual data showing sensory attenuation.

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Apr
2014

Action versus valence in decision making.

Trends Cogn Sci 2014 Apr 25;18(4):194-202. Epub 2014 Feb 25.
Marc Guitart-Masip, Emrah Duzel, Ray Dolan, Peter Dayan
The selection of actions, and the vigor with which they are executed, are influenced by the affective valence of predicted outcomes. This interaction between action and valence significantly influences appropriate and inappropriate choices and is implicated in the expression of psychiatric and neurological abnormalities, including impulsivity and addiction. We review a series of recent human behavioral, neuroimaging, and pharmacological studies whose key design feature is an orthogonal manipulation of action and valence.

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Apr
2014

Subjects with schizophrenia are impaired at reinforcement-driven reversal learning from as early as their first episode. The neurobiological basis of this deficit is unknown. We obtained behavioral and fMRI data in 24 unmedicated, primarily first episode, schizophrenia patients and 24 age-, IQ- and gender-matched healthy controls during a reversal learning task.

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Oct
2013

An enduring and richly elaborated dichotomy in cognitive neuroscience is that of reflective versus reflexive decision making and choice. Other literatures refer to the two ends of what is likely to be a spectrum with terms such as goal-directed versus habitual, model-based versus model-free or prospective versus retrospective. One of the most rigorous traditions of experimental work in the field started with studies in rodents and graduated via human versions and enrichments of those experiments to a current state in which new paradigms are probing and challenging the very heart of the distinction.

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Jul
2013

Subjects routinely control the vigor with which they emit motoric responses. However, the bulk of formal treatments of decision-making ignores this dimension of choice. A recent theoretical study suggested that action vigor should be influenced by experienced average reward rate and that this rate is encoded by tonic dopamine in the brain.

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Jan
2014

A standard view in health economics is that, although there is no market that determines the "prices" for health states, people can nonetheless associate health states with monetary values (or other scales, such as quality adjusted life year [QALYs] and disability adjusted life year [DALYs]). Such valuations can be used to shape health policy, and a major research challenge is to elicit such values from people; creating experimental "markets" for health states is a theoretically attractive way to address this. We explore the possibility that this framework may be fundamentally flawed-because there may not be any stable values to be revealed.

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Apr
2012

Establishing a function for the neuromodulator serotonin in human decision-making has proved remarkably difficult because if its complex role in reward and punishment processing. In a novel choice task where actions led concurrently and independently to the stochastic delivery of both money and pain, we studied the impact of decreased brain serotonin induced by acute dietary tryptophan depletion. Depletion selectively impaired both behavioral and neural representations of reward outcome value, and hence the effective exchange rate by which rewards and punishments were compared.

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Sep
2011

We investigated how rapidly the reward-predicting properties of visual cues are signaled in the human brain and the extent these reward prediction signals are contextually modifiable. In a magnetoencephalography study, we presented participants with fractal visual cues that predicted monetary rewards with different probabilities. These cues were presented in the temporal context of a preceding novel or familiar image of a natural scene.

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Dec
1969

Motivational theories of choice focus on the influence of goal values and strength of reinforcement to explain behavior. By contrast relatively little is known concerning how the cost of an action, such as effort expended, contributes to a decision to act. Effort-based decision making addresses how we make an action choice based on an integration of action and goal values.

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Jun
2012

Medial temporal lobe (MTL) dependent long-term memory for novel events is modulated by a circuitry that also responds to reward and includes the ventral striatum, dopaminergic midbrain, and medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC). This common neural network may reflect a functional link between novelty and reward whereby novelty motivates exploration in the search for rewards; a link also termed novelty "exploration bonus." We used fMRI in a scene encoding paradigm to investigate the interaction between novelty and reward with a focus on neural signals akin to an exploration bonus.

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Oct
2010

Humans show substantial deviation from rationality during economic decision making under uncertainty. A computational perspective suggests these deviations arise out of an interaction between distinct valuation systems in the brain. Here, we provide behavioural data showing that the incidental presentation of aversive and appetitive conditioned stimuli can alter subjects' preferences in an economic task, involving a choice between a safe or gamble option.

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Jun
2010

Individuals with autism spectrum conditions (ASCs) have a core difficulty in recursively inferring the intentions of others. The precise cognitive dysfunctions that determine the heterogeneity at the heart of this spectrum, however, remains unclear. Furthermore, it remains possible that impairment in social interaction is not a fundamental deficit but a reflection of deficits in distinct cognitive processes.

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Jan
2010

Dystonia is associated with impaired somatosensory ability. The electrophysiological method of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can be used for noninvasive stimulation of the human cortex and can alter cortical excitability and associated behavior. Among others, rTMS can alter/improve somatosensory discrimation abilities, as shown in healthy controls.

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Dec
2009

Individuals with developmental prosopagnosia exhibit severe and lasting difficulties in recognizing faces despite the absence of apparent brain abnormalities. We used voxel-based morphometry to investigate whether developmental prosopagnosics show subtle neuroanatomical differences from controls. An analysis based on segmentation of T1-weighted images from 17 developmental prosopagnosics and 18 matched controls revealed that they had reduced grey matter volume in the right anterior inferior temporal lobe and in the superior temporal sulcus/middle temporal gyrus bilaterally.

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Dec
1969

Altruistic learning.

Front Behav Neurosci 2009 8;3:23. Epub 2009 Sep 8.
Ben Seymour, Wako Yoshida, Ray Dolan
The origin of altruism remains one of the most enduring puzzles of human behaviour. Indeed, true altruism is often thought either not to exist, or to arise merely as a miscalculation of otherwise selfish behaviour. In this paper, we argue that altruism emerges directly from the way in which distinct human decision-making systems learn about rewards.

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Dec
2008

Game theory of mind.

PLoS Comput Biol 2008 Dec 26;4(12):e1000254. Epub 2008 Dec 26.
Wako Yoshida, Ray J Dolan, Karl J Friston
This paper introduces a model of 'theory of mind', namely, how we represent the intentions and goals of others to optimise our mutual interactions. We draw on ideas from optimum control and game theory to provide a 'game theory of mind'. First, we consider the representations of goals in terms of value functions that are prescribed by utility or rewards.

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Jun
2008

Emotion plays a critical role in many contemporary accounts of decision making, but exactly what underlies its influence and how this is mediated in the brain remain far from clear. Here, we review behavioral studies that suggest that Pavlovian processes can exert an important influence over choice and may account for many effects that have traditionally been attributed to emotion. We illustrate how recent experiments cast light on the underlying structure of Pavlovian control and argue that generally this influence makes good computational sense.

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Feb
2008

Visuo-attentional deficits occur early in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and are considered more responsive to pro-cholinergic therapy than characteristic memory disturbances. We hypothesised that neural responses in AD during visuo-attentional processing would be impaired relative to controls, yet partially susceptible to improvement with the cholinesterase inhibitor physostigmine. We studied 16 mild AD patients and 17 age-matched healthy controls, using fMRI-scanning to enable within-subject placebo-controlled comparisons of effects of physostigmine on stimulus- and attention- related brain activations, plus between-group comparisons for these.

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May
2007

Studies on human monetary prediction and decision making emphasize the role of the striatum in encoding prediction errors for financial reward. However, less is known about how the brain encodes financial loss. Using Pavlovian conditioning of visual cues to outcomes that simultaneously incorporate the chance of financial reward and loss, we show that striatal activation reflects positively signed prediction errors for both.

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May
2007

Unconscious motivation in humans is often inferred but rarely demonstrated empirically. We imaged motivational processes, implemented in a paradigm that varied the amount and reportability of monetary rewards for which subjects exerted physical effort. We show that, even when subjects cannot report how much money is at stake, they nevertheless deploy more force for higher amounts.

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Apr
2007

The neurobiology of punishment.

Nat Rev Neurosci 2007 Apr;8(4):300-11
Ben Seymour, Tania Singer, Ray Dolan
Animals, in particular humans, frequently punish other individuals who behave negatively or uncooperatively towards them. In animals, this usually serves to protect the personal interests of the individual concerned, and its kin. However, humans also punish altruistically, in which the act of punishing is personally costly.

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Jul
2006

The aim of this study was to explore social and emotional functions in patients with medial frontal damage including the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC).
Three patients with medial frontal lobe lesions primarily involving the ACC performed tasks on motivational decision making, emotional facial expression recognition, and social cognition, including theory of mind (ToM). Their performance on these tasks was compared with age and education matched healthy controls.

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Sep
2006

Filmmakers have long recognized the importance of editing techniques to guide the audiences' perceptions and enhance the impact of a scene. We demonstrate behaviorally that pairing identical faces with either neutral or emotionally salient contextual movies, an editing technique referred to as the 'Kuleshov Effect', results in both altered attributions of facial expression and mental-state. Using functional neuroimaging (fMRI), we show that faces paired with emotional movies enhance BOLD responses in the bilateral temporal pole, anterior cingulate cortices, amygdala and bilateral superior temporal sulcus relative to identical faces juxtaposed with neutral movies.

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Nov
2007

We tested for differential brain response to distinct spatial frequency (SF) components in faces. During a functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment, participants were presented with "hybrid" faces containing superimposed low and high SF information from different identities. We used a repetition paradigm where faces at either SF range were independently repeated or changed across consecutive trials.

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Jan
2007

Electrophysiological recording in the anterior superior temporal sulcus (STS) of monkeys has demonstrated separate cell populations responsive to direct and averted gaze. Human functional imaging has demonstrated posterior STS activation in gaze processing, particularly in coding the intentions conveyed by gaze, but to date has provided no evidence of dissociable coding of different gaze directions. Because the spatial resolution typical of group-based fMRI studies (approximately 6-10 mm) exceeds the size of cellular patches sensitive to different facial characteristics (1-4 mm in monkeys), a more sensitive technique may be required.

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Jun
2006

Empathic responses underlie our ability to share emotions and sensations with others. We investigated whether observed pupil size modulates our perception of other's emotional expressions and examined the central mechanisms modulated by incidental perception of pupil size in emotional facial expressions. We show that diminishing pupil size enhances ratings of emotional intensity and valence for sad, but not happy, angry or neutral facial expressions.

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Feb
2006

Intuitive interference in quantitative reasoning.

Brain Res 2006 Feb 27;1073-1074:383-8. Epub 2006 Jan 27.
Ruth Stavy, Vinod Goel, Hugo Critchley, Ray Dolan
It is well known that surface features of a task can queue multiple reasoning strategies. Interference or conflict among the strategies is signaled by increasing reaction times and error rates. To determine the neural basis of this interference, we studied 14 volunteers using event-related fMRI, as they compared the perimeters of geometrical shapes in congruent (where the shapes' perimeter changed in the same direction as its area) and incongruent (where the shapes' perimeter was conserved but its area changed) conditions.

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Mar
2005

Traditional split-field studies and patient research indicate a privileged role for the right hemisphere in emotional processing [1-7], but there has been little direct fMRI evidence for this, despite many studies on emotional-face processing [8-10](see Supplemental Background). With fMRI, we addressed differential hemispheric processing of fearful versus neutral faces by presenting subjects with faces bilaterally [11-13]and orthogonally manipulating whether each hemifield showed a fearful or neutral expression prior to presentation of a checkerboard target. Target discrimination in the left visual field was more accurate after a fearful face was presented there.

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