For video footage from past you can visit the individual event pages, or go to our YouTube Channel.
To filter by event category, click on the event category link in the table below or use the menu on the right.
List of Past Events
Action evaluation in sequential tasks: Habits and beyond (talk recording available)
Professor Nathaniel Daw
Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 01:00pm - 02:30pm
Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Princeton University, Department of Psychology
In many tasks, such as mazes or chess, effective decision making typically requires enumerating the expected outcomes of candidate actions over a series of subsequent events. Because of the computational complexity of such evaluation, it is believed that human and animal brains use a range of shortcuts to simplify or approximate it. I review behavioral and neural evidence that humans rationally trade off exact and approximate evaluation in such sequential decision making. This research offers a new perspective on healthy behaviors, like habits, and pathological ones, like compulsion, which are both viewed as evaluations that fail to incorporate experiences relevant to a decision and instead rely on inappropriate or out-of-date evaluations. I also present new theoretical and experimental work that aims to address the the positive counterpart to such neglect: which particular events are considered, in which circumstances, to support choice. This brings the reach of the framework to many new phenomena, including pre-computation for future choices, nonlocal activity in the hippocampal place system, consolidation during sleep, and a new range of disordered symptoms such as craving, hallucinations, and rumination.
- Daphna Shohamy and Nathaniel D Daw (2015) - Integrating memories to guide decisions. http://www.princeton.edu/~ndaw/sd15.pdf
- Marcelo Gomes Mattar and Nathaniel D Daw (2018) - Prioritized memory access explains planning and hippocampal replay. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2018/01/03/225664.full.pdf