Poster B60, Sunday, March 25, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Map-like coding of personal preferences facilitates social learning.
Raphael Kaplan1, Karl Friston1; 1University College London
Spatial cognition relies on transitioning between personal and external frames of reference in order to navigate our everyday world, yet how we switch between different reference frames during other behaviors like social decision-making is less clear. Here, we ask whether the functional anatomy of spatial navigation in extrapersonal space is also used when making abstract decisions about others and their social preferences. We had healthy volunteers give likelihood ratings for the personal preferences of a close friend, a typical person, and themselves for 100 different everyday scenarios (e.g., eating spicy food). Afterwards, during fMRI scanning, participants learned a novel agent’s personal preference for each previously rated scenario relative to themselves, their friend, or the typical person and then had to choose which of the two remaining individuals was closer to that novel agent’s preference. This enabled us to test for a main effect of changing the frame of reference, parametric effects of choice discriminability, and interactions between these two factors. We found that medial orbitofrontal cortex responded to choice discriminability differently depending on which reference frame was initially used to learn the novel agent’s personal preference. Notably, hippocampal and retrosplenial cortex responded to reference frames differently depending on how much allocentric translation was necessary to learn a novel agent’s personal preference for a given scenario. Taken together, these results provide evidence of distinct reference frame calculations in orbitofrontal cortex, hippocampus, and retrosplenial cortex during a social decision-making task that requires autobiographical memory.
Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic