Decisions bias future choices by modifying hippocampal associative memories

Lennart Luettgau, Claus Tempelmann, Luca Franziska Kaiser & Gerhard Jocham

Go to the profile of Nature Communications
Oct 24, 2019
0
0

Received Date: 11th October 19

Decision making is guided by memories of option values. However, retrieving items from memory renders them malleable. Here, we show that merely retrieving values from memory and making a choice between options is sufficient both to induce changes to stimulus-reward associations in the hippocampus and to bias future decision making. After allowing participants to make repeated choices between reward-conditioned stimuli, in the absence of any outcome, we observed that participants preferred stimuli they had previously chosen, and neglected previously non-chosen stimuli, over otherwise identical-valued options. Using functional brain imaging, we show that decisions induced changes to hippocampal representations of stimulus-outcome associations. These changes predicted future decision biases. Our results indicate that choice-induced preference changes are driven by choice-induced modification of memory representations and suggest that merely making a choice - even without experiencing any outcomes - induces associative plasticity.

Read in full at bioRxiv.

This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

Go to the profile of Nature Communications

Nature Communications

Nature Research, Springer Nature