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Reinforcement learning models that focus on the striatum and dopamine can predict the choices of animals and people. Representations of reward expectation and of reward prediction errors that are pertinent to decision making, however, are not confined to these regions but are also found in prefrontal and cingulate cortex. Moreover, decisions are not guided solely by the magnitude of the reward that is expected. Uncertainty in the estimate of the reward expectation, the value of information that might be gained by taking a course of action and the cost of an action all influence the manner in which decisions are made through prefrontal and cingulate cortex.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Neurosci

Publication Date





389 - 397


Animals, Choice Behavior, Decision Making, Gyrus Cinguli, Humans, Prefrontal Cortex, Probability Learning, Psychological Theory, Reinforcement (Psychology), Risk Assessment, Uncertainty