CCN meeting | Ethan Bromberg-Martin (Washington University, USA)

01-04-2021 from 15:00 to 16:00
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Neural circuitry for information seeking

Do you want to know what your future holds? Humans and animals often show a strong desire to seek information about the properties of uncertain future rewards, even when there is no way for them to use this information to influence the outcome. However, we are only beginning to understand the neural circuitry that motivates information seeking. I will present evidence for a cortico-basal ganglia network that detects upcoming opportunities to gain information and motivates gaze shifts in anticipation of the moment when the information will become available. Furthermore, I will present evidence that a subset of neurons connected to this network are active during decision making and signal the subjective value of information that governs its weight in decisions. Our results demonstrate a neural network for seeking information about future events, and suggest a mechanism by which information can be weighed against primary rewards (like food and water) in decision making.