Published October 21, 2020 | Version Published
Journal article Open

Subjective value and decision entropy are jointly encoded by aligned gradients across the human brain

  • 1. Department of Experimental Psychology, University College London, 26 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AP, UK
  • 2. Department of Experimental Psychology, University College London, 26 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AP, UK and Research Centre on Interactive Media, Smart Systems and Emerging Technologies — RISE, Nicosia, Cyprus
  • 3. Department of Experimental Psychology, University College London, 26 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AP, UK and The Alan Turing Institute, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB, UK

Description

Recent work has considered the relationship between value and confidence in both behavioural and neural representation. Here we evaluated whether the brain organises value and confidence signals in a systematic fashion that reflects the overall desirability of options. If so, regions that respond to either increases or decreases in both value and confidence should be widespread. We strongly confirmed these predictions through a model-based fMRI analysis of a mixed gambles task that assessed subjective value (SV) and inverse decision entropy (iDE), which is related to confidence. Purported value areas more strongly signalled iDE than SV, underscoring how intertwined value and confidence are. A gradient tied to the desirability of actions transitioned from positive SV and iDE in ventromedial prefrontal cortex to negative SV and iDE in dorsal medial prefrontal cortex. This alignment of SV and iDE signals could support retrospective evaluation to guide learning and subsequent decisions.

Notes

This work has been partly supported by the project that has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 739578 (RISE – Call: H2020-WIDESPREAD-01-2016-2017-TeamingPhase2) and the Republic of Cyprus through the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy.

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Funding

RISE – Research Center on Interactive Media, Smart System and Emerging Technologies 739578
European Commission