Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Deficits in reinforcement learning but no link to apathy in patients with schizophrenia


Hartmann-Riemer, M N; Aschenbrenner, S; Bossert, M; Westermann, C; Seifritz, E; Tobler, PN; Weisbrod, M; Kaiser, S (2017). Deficits in reinforcement learning but no link to apathy in patients with schizophrenia. Scientific Reports, 7:40352.

Abstract

Negative symptoms in schizophrenia have been linked to selective reinforcement learning deficits in the context of gains combined with intact loss-avoidance learning. Fundamental mechanisms of reinforcement learning and choice are prediction error signaling and the precise representation of reward value for future decisions. It is unclear which of these mechanisms contribute to the impairments in learning from positive outcomes observed in schizophrenia. A recent study suggested that patients with severe apathy symptoms show deficits in the representation of expected value. Considering the fundamental relevance for the understanding of these symptoms, we aimed to assess the stability of these findings across studies. Sixty-four patients with schizophrenia and 19 healthy control participants performed a probabilistic reward learning task. They had to associate stimuli with gain or loss-avoidance. In a transfer phase participants indicated valuation of the previously learned stimuli by choosing among them. Patients demonstrated an overall impairment in learning compared to healthy controls. No effects of apathy symptoms on task indices were observed. However, patients with schizophrenia learned better in the context of loss-avoidance than in the context of gain. Earlier findings were thus partially replicated. Further studies are needed to clarify the mechanistic link between negative symptoms and reinforcement learning.

Abstract

Negative symptoms in schizophrenia have been linked to selective reinforcement learning deficits in the context of gains combined with intact loss-avoidance learning. Fundamental mechanisms of reinforcement learning and choice are prediction error signaling and the precise representation of reward value for future decisions. It is unclear which of these mechanisms contribute to the impairments in learning from positive outcomes observed in schizophrenia. A recent study suggested that patients with severe apathy symptoms show deficits in the representation of expected value. Considering the fundamental relevance for the understanding of these symptoms, we aimed to assess the stability of these findings across studies. Sixty-four patients with schizophrenia and 19 healthy control participants performed a probabilistic reward learning task. They had to associate stimuli with gain or loss-avoidance. In a transfer phase participants indicated valuation of the previously learned stimuli by choosing among them. Patients demonstrated an overall impairment in learning compared to healthy controls. No effects of apathy symptoms on task indices were observed. However, patients with schizophrenia learned better in the context of loss-avoidance than in the context of gain. Earlier findings were thus partially replicated. Further studies are needed to clarify the mechanistic link between negative symptoms and reinforcement learning.

Statistics

Altmetrics

Downloads

9 downloads since deposited on 25 Jan 2017
9 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:10 January 2017
Deposited On:25 Jan 2017 09:34
Last Modified:06 Aug 2017 11:25
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2045-2322
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/srep40352
PubMed ID:28071747

Download

Download PDF  'Deficits in reinforcement learning but no link to apathy in patients with schizophrenia'.
Preview
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 576kB
View at publisher
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)