Articles

A Neural Substrate of Prediction and Reward

Science  14 Mar 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5306, pp. 1593-1599
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5306.1593

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Abstract

The capacity to predict future events permits a creature to detect, model, and manipulate the causal structure of its interactions with its environment. Behavioral experiments suggest that learning is driven by changes in the expectations about future salient events such as rewards and punishments. Physiological work has recently complemented these studies by identifying dopaminergic neurons in the primate whose fluctuating output apparently signals changes or errors in the predictions of future salient and rewarding events. Taken together, these findings can be understood through quantitative theories of adaptive optimizing control.

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