A neural marker of confidence predicts information seeking – new paper in Journal of Neuroscience

Congrats to Kobe et al. for getting their work accepted in The Journal of Neuroscience.
In their paper, they examine whether neural markers of confidence are predictive of information seeking. To study this, they devised a paradigm in which participants had to make a choice about the average color of eight elements. Before making their final choice, however, participants could decide whether or not they wanted to pay a small cost to see the stimulus again in an easier version.

Using multivariate decoding, the authors then trained a decoder at each point in time to predict based on EEG data whether a trial was judged with high or low confidence. Critically, it was then tested whether this decoder was able to classify whether participants wanted to sample more information or not. This was indeed possible in a time window following the initial speeded response. This time window corresponded to that of a previously established neural marker of confidence (Boldt & Yeung, 2015).

In sum, this study shows that neural indices of confidence are functionally involved in information-seeking decisions. You can find the paper here!


Context-dependent modulation of cognitive control – new paper in NeuroImage!

Congrats to Bart et al. for getting their work accepted at NeuroImage. In their paper, they address the context-dependent allocation of two prominent cognitive control modes: reactive and proactive control. They demonstrate that task-relevant areas such as intraparietal sulcus and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex are more active on task trials in reactive than in proactive mode. Importantly, the same areas were more active between task trials (i.e., during the intertrial intervals) in proactive than in reactive mode. This implicates that reactive control involves a transient reactivation of task-relevant brain areas exactly when needed, and that proactive control is characterized by sustained activation of similar areas when control is required on a longer time scale.

You can find the full paper here – or get into touch with Bart Aben!


Oscillatory signatures of reward prediction errors in declarative learning – New paper in NeuroImage

Congrats to Kate and Esther et al. with their new paper that just got accepted in NeuroImage! In this work, they investigated the time course of neural oscillations in processing reward during declarative learning. Earlier research showed that signed reward prediction errors (SRPE’s; “better-than-expected” signals) drive declarative learning. In the current paper, the occurrence of reward prediction errors (RPEs) was further validated by oscillatory signatures in the theta, high-beta and high-alpha bands. The paper can be found here!