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The effect of novelty on reinforcement learning

The effect of novelty on reinforcement learning

Progress in Brain Research 202: 415-439

Recent research suggests that novelty has an influence on reward-related learning. Here, we showed that novel stimuli presented from a pre-familiarized category can accelerate or decelerate learning of the most rewarding category, depending on the condition. The extent of this influence depended on the individual trait of novelty seeking. Different reinforcement learning models were developed to quantify subjects' choices. We introduced a bias parameter to model explorative behavior toward novel stimuli and characterize individual variation in novelty response. The theoretical framework allowed us to test different assumptions, concerning the motivational value of novelty. The best fitting-model combined all novelty components and had a significant positive correlation with both the experimentally measured novelty bias and the independent novelty-seeking trait. Altogether, we have not only shown that novelty by itself enhances behavioral responses underlying reward processing, but also that novelty has a direct influence on reward-dependent learning processes, consistently with computational predictions.

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Accession: 056307555

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23317843

DOI: 10.1016/b978-0-444-62604-2.00021-6

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