Poster B104, Sunday, March 25, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Mechanisms for sampling distinct memory stores during decision-making
Avinash Vaidya1, David Badre1; 1Brown University, Department of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences
In everyday tasks, value assessment frequently depends on judging the relevance of an option based on a schematic understanding of current goals. For example, the value of a hammer may be much higher when trying to build a table than when constructing a model ship. However, in other cases, option values may be learned from direct experience and cached in episodic memory. Despite the ecological relevance of these distinct memory systems in decision-making, relatively little is known about how these different information sources are sampled and assessed. Using a novel experimental paradigm, we tested the neural and computational mechanisms underlying these processes. Subjects completed a task where they took the role of a restaurant chef and were asked to judge whether to feed food ingredients to customers. These ingredients could be assessed based on information about each customer’s preferred recipes, or from directly learned cached values. Using functional MRI, we compared BOLD responses to retrieval from schematic and episodic memory during decision-making, and in updating memory stores based on feedback. We also applied a computational model to describe task behavior and test subjects’ latent representations of ingredients in recipe space. Our experiment provides new mechanistic insights into the role of memory systems in informing this process.
Topic Area: THINKING: Decision making