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Featuring Yael Niv, PhD, Professor at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute and Psychology at Princeton University, Codirector of the Rutgers-Princeton Center for Computational Neuropsychiatry (CCNP)

This seminar will be held in the Jerome L. Greene Science Center on Columbia’s Manhattanville campus (9th floor lecture hall). Columbia University’s Intercampus Shuttle Service is the best way to travel between campuses.

Phasic dopamine responses are thought to encode a prediction-error signal consistent with model-free reinforcement learning theories. However, a number of recent findings highlight the influence of model-based computations on dopamine responses, and suggest that dopamine prediction errors reflect more dimensions of an expected outcome than scalar reward value. In this talk I will focus on these challenges to the scalar prediction-error theory of dopamine, and to the strict dichotomy between model-based and model-free learning, suggesting that these may better be viewed as a set of intertwined computations rather than two alternative systems. Alas, phasic dopamine signals, until recently a beacon of computationally-interpretable brain activity, may not be as simple as we once hoped they were.


Those who wish to meet the speaker during their visit should contact Guillermo Horga. For general inquiries please contact programs@zi.columbia.edu.


The Columbia Neuroscience Seminar series is a collaborative effort of Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute, the Department of Neuroscience, the Doctoral Program in Neurobiology and Behavior and the Columbia Translational Neuroscience Initiative, and with support from the Kavli Institute for Brain Science.