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Author: Raymond J Dolan (372)


Feb
2018

The locus coeruleus (LC) is the principal origin of noradrenaline in the brain. LC integrity varies considerably across healthy older individuals, and is suggested to contribute to altered cognitive functions in aging. Here we test this hypothesis using an incidental memory task that is known to be susceptible to noradrenergic modulation.

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Nov
2017

Assessing and analysing individual differences in change over time is of central scientific importance to developmental neuroscience. However, the literature is based largely on cross-sectional comparisons, which reflect a variety of influences and cannot directly represent change. We advocate using latent change score (LCS) models in longitudinal samples as a statistical framework to tease apart the complex processes underlying lifespan development in brain and behaviour using longitudinal data.

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Jan
2018

Macroscopic cortical networks are important for cognitive function, but it remains challenging to construct anatomically plausible individual structural connectomes from human neuroimaging. We introduce a new technique for cortical network mapping based on inter-regional similarity of multiple morphometric parameters measured using multimodal MRI. In three cohorts (two human, one macaque), we find that the resulting morphometric similarity networks (MSNs) have a complex topological organization comprising modules and high-degree hubs.

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Dec
2017

Complex network topology is characteristic of many biological systems, including anatomical and functional brain networks (connectomes). Here, we first constructed a structural covariance network from MRI measures of cortical thickness on 296 healthy volunteers, aged 14-24 years. Next, we designed a new algorithm for matching sample locations from the Allen Brain Atlas to the nodes of the SCN.

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Dec
2017

Indecisiveness and doubt are cognitive phenotypes of compulsive disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder. Little is known regarding the cognitive mechanisms that drive these behaviours across a compulsivity spectrum. Here, we used a sequential information gathering task to study indecisiveness in subjects with high and low obsessive-compulsive scores.

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Nov
2017

[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.

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Jan
2018

Motivated by prior data on local cortical shrinkage and intracortical myelination, we predicted age-related changes in topological organization of cortical structural networks during adolescence. We estimated structural correlation from magnetic resonance imaging measures of cortical thickness at 308 regions in a sample of N = 297 healthy participants, aged 14-24 years. We used a novel sliding-window analysis to measure age-related changes in network attributes globally, locally and in the context of several community partitions of the network.

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Oct
2017

Self-esteem is shaped by the appraisals we receive from others. Here, we characterize neural and computational mechanisms underlying this form of social influence. We introduce a computational model that captures fluctuations in self-esteem engendered by prediction errors that quantify the difference between expected and received social feedback.

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Oct
2017

Empirical evidence suggests the incentive value of an option is affected by other options available during choice and by options presented in the past. These contextual effects are hard to reconcile with classical theories and have inspired accounts where contextual influences play a crucial role. However, each account only addresses one or the other of the empirical findings and a unifying perspective has been elusive.

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Jan
2018

Substantial evidence indicates that subjective value is adapted to the statistics of reward expected within a given temporal context. However, how these contextual expectations are learned is poorly understood. To examine such learning, we exploited a recent observation that participants performing a gambling task adjust their preferences as a function of context.

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Aug
2017

Optimal decision making mandates organisms learn the relevant features of choice options. Likewise, knowing how much effort we should expend can assume paramount importance. A mesolimbic network supports reward learning, but it is unclear whether other choice features, such as effort learning, rely on this same network.

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Oct
2017

One of the most replicable findings in psychology is the positive manifold: the observation that individual differences in cognitive abilities are universally positively correlated. Investigating the developmental origin of the positive manifold is crucial to understanding it. In a large longitudinal cohort of adolescents and young adults ( N = 785; n = 566 across two waves, mean interval between waves = 1.

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Jul
2017

Awareness of one's own abilities is of paramount importance in adaptive decision making. Psychotherapeutic theories assume such metacognitive insight is impaired in compulsivity, though this is supported by scant empirical evidence. In this study, we investigate metacognitive abilities in compulsive participants using computational models, where these enable a segregation between metacognitive and perceptual decision making impairments.

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Oct
2017

A defining feature of the basal ganglia is their anatomical organization into multiple cortico-striatal loops. A central tenet of this architecture is the idea that local striatal function is determined by its precise connectivity with cortex, creating a functional topography that is mirrored within cortex and striatum. Here we formally test this idea using both human anatomical and functional imaging, specifically asking whether within striatal subregions one can predict between-voxel differences in functional signals based on between-voxel differences in corticostriatal connectivity.

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Aug
2017

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with deficits in representing reward prediction errors (RPEs), which are the difference between experienced and predicted reward. Reward prediction errors underlie learning of values in reinforcement learning models, are represented by phasic dopamine release, and are known to affect momentary mood.
To combine functional neuroimaging, computational modeling, and smartphone-based large-scale data collection to test, in the absence of learning-related concerns, the hypothesis that depression attenuates the impact of RPEs.

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Jul
2017

Neural oscillations in hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are a hallmark of rodent anxiety models that build on conflict between approach and avoidance. Yet, the function of these oscillations, and their expression in humans, remain elusive. Here, we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate neural oscillations in a task that simulated approach-avoidance conflict, wherein 23 male and female human participants collected monetary tokens under a threat of virtual predation.

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Jun
2017

Food intake is essential for maintaining homeostasis, which is necessary for survival in all species. However, food intake also impacts multiple biochemical processes that influence our behavior. Here, we investigate the causal relationship between macronutrient composition, its bodily biochemical impact, and a modulation of human social decision making.

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Dec
1969

Moral psychology research has highlighted several factors critical for evaluating the morality of another's choice, including the detection of norm-violating outcomes, the extent to which an agent caused an outcome, and the extent to which the agent intended good or bad consequences, as inferred from observing their decisions. However, person-centered accounts of moral judgment suggest that a motivation to infer the moral character of others can itself impact on an evaluation of their choices. Building on this person-centered account, we examine whether inferences about agents' moral character shape the sensitivity of moral judgments to the consequences of agents' choices, and agents' role in the causation of those consequences.

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Dec
1969

Impairments in metacognition, the ability to accurately report one's performance, are common in patients with psychiatric disorders, where a putative neuromodulatory dysregulation provides the rationale for pharmacological interventions. Previously, we have shown how unexpected arousal modulates metacognition (Allen et al., 2016).

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May
2017

Normative models of human cognition often appeal to Bayesian filtering, which provides optimal online estimates of unknown or hidden states of the world, based on previous observations. However, in many cases it is necessary to optimise beliefs about sequences of states rather than just the current state. Importantly, Bayesian filtering and sequential inference strategies make different predictions about beliefs and subsequent choices, rendering them behaviourally dissociable.

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Jun
2017

Moral systems universally prohibit harming others for personal gain. However, we know little about how such principles guide moral behavior. Using a task that assesses the financial cost participants ascribe to harming others versus themselves, we probed the relationship between moral behavior and neural representations of profit and pain.

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Dec
1969

The hippocampal-entorhinal system encodes a map of space that guides spatial navigation. Goal-directed behaviour outside of spatial navigation similarly requires a representation of abstract forms of relational knowledge. This information relies on the same neural system, but it is not known whether the organisational principles governing continuous maps may extend to the implicit encoding of discrete, non-spatial graphs.

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Dec
1969

Little is known about the underlying relationships between self-reported mental health items measuring both positive and negative emotional and behavioural symptoms at the population level in young people. Improved measurement of the full range of mental well-being and mental illness may aid in understanding the aetiological substrates underlying the development of both mental wellness as well as specific psychiatric diagnoses. A general population sample aged 14 to 24 years completed self-report questionnaires on anxiety, depression, psychotic-like symptoms, obsessionality and well-being.

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Apr
2017

Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can be described as cautious and hesitant, manifesting an excessive indecisiveness that hinders efficient decision making. However, excess caution in decision making may also lead to better performance in specific situations where the cost of extended deliberation is small. We compared 16 juvenile OCD patients with 16 matched healthy controls whilst they performed a sequential information gathering task under different external cost conditions.

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Apr
2017

Predicting future reward is paramount to performing an optimal action. Although a number of brain areas are known to encode such predictions, a detailed account of how the associated representations evolve over time is lacking. Here, we address this question using human magnetoencephalography (MEG) and multivariate analyses of instantaneous activity in reconstructed sources.

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Sep
2017

Building a New Field of Computational Psychiatry.

Biol Psychiatry 2017 Sep 19;82(6):388-390. Epub 2016 Nov 19.
Michael Moutoussis, Eran Eldar, Raymond J Dolan

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Nov
2016

Information sampling is often biased towards seeking evidence that confirms one's prior beliefs. Despite such biases being a pervasive feature of human behavior, their underlying causes remain unclear. Many accounts of these biases appeal to limitations of human hypothesis testing and cognition, de facto evoking notions of bounded rationality, but neglect more basic aspects of behavioral control.

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Oct
2016

Behavioral and neural evidence reveal a prospective goal-directed decision process that relies on mental simulation of the environment, and a retrospective habitual process that caches returns previously garnered from available choices. Artificial systems combine the two by simulating the environment up to some depth and then exploiting habitual values as proxies for consequences that may arise in the further future. Using a three-step task, we provide evidence that human subjects use such a normative plan-until-habit strategy, implying a spectrum of approaches that interpolates between habitual and goal-directed responding.

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Jan
2017

The effects of acute tryptophan depletion on human decision-making suggest that serotonin modulates the processing of rewards and punishments. However, few studies have assessed which of the many types of serotonin receptors are responsible.
Using a within-subject, double-blind, sham-controlled design in 26 subjects, we examined whether individual differences in serotonin system gene transcription, measured in peripheral blood, predicted the effect of acute tryptophan depletion on decision-making.

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Oct
2016

Human functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain networks have a complex topology comprising integrative components, e.g. long-distance inter-modular edges, that are theoretically associated with higher biological cost.

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Aug
2016

Contextual influences on choice are ubiquitous in ecological settings. Current evidence suggests that subjective values are normalized with respect to the distribution of potentially available rewards. However, how this context-sensitivity is realised in the brain remains unknown.

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Oct
2016

The human nucleus accumbens is thought to play an important role in guiding future action selection via an evaluation of current action outcomes. Here we provide electrophysiological evidence for a more direct, i.e.

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Dec
1969

How does human brain structure mature during adolescence? We used MRI to measure cortical thickness and intracortical myelination in 297 population volunteers aged 14-24 y old. We found and replicated that association cortical areas were thicker and less myelinated than primary cortical areas at 14 y. However, association cortex had faster rates of shrinkage and myelination over the course of adolescence.

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Jul
2016

The weight with which a specific outcome feature contributes to preference quantifies a person's 'taste' for that feature. However, far from being fixed personality characteristics, tastes are plastic. They tend to align, for example, with those of others even if such conformity is not rewarded.

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Jul
2016

Stress interferes with instrumental learning. However, choice is also influenced by non-instrumental factors, most strikingly by biases arising from Pavlovian associations that facilitate action in pursuit of rewards and inaction in the face of punishment. Whether stress impacts on instrumental learning via these Pavlovian associations is unknown.

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Dec
1969

Novelty seeking has been tied to impulsive choice and biased value based choice. It has been postulated that novel stimuli should trigger more vigorous approach and exploration. However, it is unclear whether stimulus novelty can enhance simple motor actions in the absence of explicit reward, a necessary condition for energizing approach and exploration in an entirely unfamiliar situation.

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Dec
1969

Substantial evidence indicates that incentive value depends on an anticipation of rewards within a given context. However, the computations underlying this context sensitivity remain unknown. To address this question, we introduce a normative (Bayesian) account of how rewards map to incentive values.

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Jul
2016

Fast internally generated sequences of neural representations are suggested to support learning and online planning. However, these sequences have only been studied in the context of spatial tasks and never in humans. Here, we recorded magnetoencephalography (MEG) while human subjects performed a novel non-spatial reasoning task.

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Jun
2016

Although social comparison is a known determinant of overall life satisfaction, it is not clear how it affects moment-to-moment variation in subjective emotional state. Using a novel social decision task combined with computational modelling, we show that a participant's subjective emotional state reflects not only the impact of rewards they themselves receive, but also the rewards received by a social partner. Unequal outcomes, whether advantageous or disadvantageous, reduce average momentary happiness.

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Jun
2016

The extent to which aging affects decision-making is controversial. Given the critical financial decisions that older adults face (e.g.

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Dec
1969

Although the impact of dopamine on reward learning is well documented, its influence on other aspects of behavior remains the subject of much ongoing work. Dopaminergic drugs are known to increase risk-taking behavior, but the underlying mechanisms for this effect are not clear. We probed dopamine's role by examining the effect of its precursor L-DOPA on the choices of healthy human participants in an experimental paradigm that allowed particular components of risk to be distinguished.

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Jul
2016

The role of dopaminergic brain regions in avoidance behaviour is unclear. Active avoidance requires motivation, and the latter is linked to increased activity in dopaminergic regions. However, avoidance is also often tethered to the prospect of punishment, a state typically characterized by below baseline levels of dopaminergic function.

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Dec
1969

When people anticipate uncertain future outcomes, they often prefer to know their fate in advance. Inspired by an idea in behavioral economics that the anticipation of rewards is itself attractive, we hypothesized that this preference of advance information arises because reward prediction errors carried by such information can boost the level of anticipation. We designed new empirical behavioral studies to test this proposal, and confirmed that subjects preferred advance reward information more strongly when they had to wait for rewards for a longer time.

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Sep
2016

Dopamine plays a key role in motivation. Phasic dopamine response reflects a reinforcement prediction error (RPE), whereas tonic dopamine activity is postulated to represent an average reward that mediates motivational vigor. However, it has been hard to find evidence concerning the neural encoding of average reward that is uncorrupted by influences of RPEs.

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Apr
2016

Pain is an elemental inducer of avoidance. Here, we demonstrate that people differ in how they learn to avoid pain, with some individuals refraining from actions that resulted in painful outcomes, whereas others favor actions that helped prevent pain. These individual biases were best explained by differences in learning from outcome prediction errors and were associated with distinct forms of striatal responses to painful outcomes.

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Dec
1969

Collective decision making often benefits both the individuals and the group in a variety of contexts. However, for the group to be successful, individuals should be able to strike a balance between their level of competence and their influence on the collective decisions. The hormone oxytocin has been shown to promote trust, conformism and attention to social cues.

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Mar
2016

Face processing is mediated by interactions between functional areas in the occipital and temporal lobe, and the fusiform face area (FFA) and anterior temporal lobe play key roles in the recognition of facial identity. Individuals with developmental prosopagnosia (DP), a lifelong face recognition impairment, have been shown to have structural and functional neuronal alterations in these areas. The present study investigated how face selectivity is generated in participants with normal face processing, and how functional abnormalities associated with DP, arise as a function of network connectivity.

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