Choice Bias: A Quirky Byproduct of Learning From Reward

The price of learning from rewarding choices may be just a touch of self-delusion, according to a new study in Neuron.

The research by Jeffrey Cockburn, a graduate student in the research group of senior author Michael Frank, links a fundamental problem in neuroscience called “credit assignment” — how the brain reinforces learning only in the exact circuits that caused the rewarding choice — to an oft-observed quirk of behavior called “choice bias” – we value the rewards we choose more than equivalent rewards we don’t choose. The researchers used computational modeling and behavioral and genetic experiments to discover evidence that choice bias is essentially a byproduct of credit assignment.

Read more about this research at the Brown News site.