Seminar – MPFI Seminar

The Good, the Bad and Something Inbetween

Peter Dayan

Feb 5,
  • Time:
  • Location: MPFI - Elmore Auditorium
  • Host: David Fitzpatrick
  • Speaker: Peter Dayan

In active avoidance tasks, subjects have to learn to execute particular actions in order to avoid an aversive stimulus, such as a shock. Such paradigms pose a number of psychological and neural enigmas, and so have attracted substantial computational interest. However, the ratio of conjecture to confirmation remains high. I will describe the points of contention, and then describe a model of some data from an experiment from Gentry, Lee, and Roesch (2016) who measured phasic dopamine concentrations in the nucleus accumbens core of rats whilst they avoided shocks, acquired food, or acted to gain no programmed outcome. These last, neutral, trials turned out to be a perfect probe for the workings of avoidance, partly because of the substantial differences between subjects and sessions revealed in the experiment.