The HRL organises a series of monthly seminaries. The series is labeled "nEuro-economics seminar series" because we invite Europe-based early career research to speak about their research in the cross road between neuroscience, psychology and economics. The "nEuro-economics seminar series" usually take place on a Friday (early afternoon), leaving time to students and research to have meetings with the speaker.
October 15, 2019, 11am, ENS
Yael Niv (Princeton University): "The interaction between mood and reward"
A good mood can be a blessing, but persistent bad moods or mood swings are so detrimental to our well-being that they are at the root of many psychiatric disorders. In this talk, I will present a computational model of mood and valuation that suggests that mood and unexpected outcomes (rewards or punishments) influence each other bi-directionally. After showing empirical evidence for both sides of the interaction, I will discuss the theoretical implications of such a positive feedback loop, especially for pathologies of mood instability. Finally, I will suggest that mood is not simply epiphenomonological, but might play a role in tracking global changes in the environment. This is especially useful in environments with dependencies between different states, and across time (momentum). Properly calibrated, mood may therefore allow rapid adaptation to some kinds of change and generalization of learning from one situation to another.
September 20, 2019, 2:30pm, ENS
Brian Hill (HEC): "Updating Confidence in Beliefs"
This paper develops a belief update rule under ambiguity, motivated by the maxim: in the face of new information, retain those conditional beliefs in which you are more confident, and relinquish only those in which you have less confidence. We provide a preference-based axiomatisation, drawing on the account of confidence in beliefs developed in Hill (2013). The proposed rule constitutes a general framework of which several existing rules for multiple priors (Full Bayesian, Maximum Likelihood) are special cases, but avoids the problems that these rules have with updating on complete ignorance. Moreover, it can handle surprising and null events, such as crises or reasoning in games, recovering traditional approaches, such as conditional probability systems, as special cases.
May 17, 2019, 2pm, ENS, room Langevin
Aurélien Baillon (Erasmus School of Economics): "Signal perception and belief updating"
This paper introduces a theory of signal perception to study how people update their beliefs. By allowing perceived signals to deviate from actual signals, we identify the probability that people miss or misread signals, giving indexes of conservatism and confirmatory bias. In an experiment, we elicited perceived signals from choices and obtained a structural estimation of the indexes. The subjects were conservative and acted as if they missed 43% of the signals they received. Also they exhibited confirmatory bias by misreading 19% of the signals contradicting their prior beliefs.
April 19, 2019, 3pm, ENS, room Langevin
Shauna Parkes (Institut de Neurosciences Cognitives et Intégratives d'Aquitaine): "Neural and psychological bases of goal-directed behaviour in the rat"
Appropriate decision making is critical for adapting to a changing environment. Every day we must make decisions based on internal goals and the expectation that a given action will lead to goal achievement. Such decisions are experimentally defined as “goal-directed.” Over the years, we have been particularly interested in the neural circuits of incentive learning and memory; that is, the brain regions and circuits that encode and retrieve goal values to guide adaptive choice. Current evidence indicates that interactions between the insular cortex, the striatum and the amygdala are crucial for such incentive learning. Here, I will review evidence from free operant tasks employing causal interventions in rats to outline the distinct involvement of each of these regions, and the neural pathways between these regions, in the mental representation of goal values. I will also share some purely behavioural data examining how context may influence the goal representation as well as the effect of environmental factors such as diet on the balance between actions and habits.
September 12, 2018, 11am, room Langevin
Elliot Ludwig (Warvic Business School - The University of Warwick): "Memory biases in risky decisions from experience"
May 2d, 2018, 2pm, room Langevin
Eric Schultz (Computational Cognitive Neuroscience Lab & the Data Science Initiative Harvard University): "Exploration and generalization in structured bandits"
February 3d, 2017, 11:30am-12:30, room Assia Djebar
Uri Hertz (Univ. College London): "How to influence others and get approval from your granny: The neural computations underlying strategic management of social influence"