Bodian Seminars are scheduled for every Monday at 4 p.m. If there is not a specific date listed below, then that date is open. Please contact us to schedule a seminar for an open date.
Sridevi V. Sarma, Ph.D.
Institute of Computational Medicine
Johns Hopkins University
Risk-taking bias in human decision-making is encoded
via a right-left brain push-pull system
A person’s decisions vary even when options stay the same, like when a gambler changes bets despite constant odds of winning. Internal bias (e.g., emotion) contributes to this variability and is shaped by past outcomes, yet its neurobiology during decision-making is not well understood. To map neural circuits encoding bias, we administered a gambling task to 10 participants implanted with intracerebral depth electrodes in cortical and subcortical structures. We predicted the variability in betting behavior within and across patients by individual bias, which is estimated through a dynamical model of choice. Our analysis further revealed that high-frequency activity increased in the right hemisphere when participants were biased towards risky bets, while it increased in the left hemisphere when participants were biased away from risky bets. Our findings provide the first electrophysiological evidence that risk-taking bias is a lateralized push-pull neural system governing counterintuitive and highly variable decision-making in humans.
Long Ding, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Department of Neuroscience
University of Pennsylvania
“The caudate nucleus and reward-based visual decisions”
Decision making is a complex process that interprets sensory information within the context of reward contingency, task goal and intrinsic bias, etc. How and where this process is implemented in the brain remain unclear. The basal ganglia have been shown to contribute causally to reward-based economic decisions and to noisy sensory evidence-based perceptual decisions, leading to the hypothesis that sensory and reward information may be combined within the basal ganglia to support decision formation. In my talk, I will present our new results on how the caudate nucleus encodes combined signals at the single-neuron level and how disruption of caudate activity influences decision performance. These results further support the idea that the basal ganglia are a key player in the complex decision process.
Uta Noppeney, Ph.D.
Cognitive Robotics Centre
University of Birmingham