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No substantial change in the balance between model-free and model-based control via training on the two-step task


Grosskurth, Elmar D; Bach, Dominik R; Economides, Marcos; Huys, Quentin J M; Holper, Lisa (2019). No substantial change in the balance between model-free and model-based control via training on the two-step task. PLoS Computational Biology, 15(11):e1007443.

Abstract

Human decisions can be habitual or goal-directed, also known as model-free (MF) or model-based (MB) control. Previous work suggests that the balance between the two decision systems is impaired in psychiatric disorders such as compulsion and addiction, via overreliance on MF control. However, little is known whether the balance can be altered through task training. Here, 20 healthy participants performed a well-established two-step task that differentiates MB from MF control, across five training sessions. We used computational modelling and functional near-infrared spectroscopy to assess changes in decision-making and brain hemodynamic over time. Mixed-effects modelling revealed overall no substantial changes in MF and MB behavior across training. Although our behavioral and brain findings show task-induced changes in learning rates, these parameters have no direct relation to either MF or MB control or the balance between the two systems, and thus do not support the assumption of training effects on MF or MB strategies. Our findings indicate that training on the two-step paradigm in its current form does not support a shift in the balance between MF and MB control. We discuss these results with respect to implications for restoring the balance between MF and MB control in psychiatric conditions.

Abstract

Human decisions can be habitual or goal-directed, also known as model-free (MF) or model-based (MB) control. Previous work suggests that the balance between the two decision systems is impaired in psychiatric disorders such as compulsion and addiction, via overreliance on MF control. However, little is known whether the balance can be altered through task training. Here, 20 healthy participants performed a well-established two-step task that differentiates MB from MF control, across five training sessions. We used computational modelling and functional near-infrared spectroscopy to assess changes in decision-making and brain hemodynamic over time. Mixed-effects modelling revealed overall no substantial changes in MF and MB behavior across training. Although our behavioral and brain findings show task-induced changes in learning rates, these parameters have no direct relation to either MF or MB control or the balance between the two systems, and thus do not support the assumption of training effects on MF or MB strategies. Our findings indicate that training on the two-step paradigm in its current form does not support a shift in the balance between MF and MB control. We discuss these results with respect to implications for restoring the balance between MF and MB control in psychiatric conditions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Physical Sciences > Modeling and Simulation
Physical Sciences > Ecology
Life Sciences > Molecular Biology
Life Sciences > Genetics
Life Sciences > Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Physical Sciences > Computational Theory and Mathematics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ecology, Modelling and Simulation, Computational Theory and Mathematics, Genetics, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, Molecular Biology, Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:14 November 2019
Deposited On:18 Feb 2020 13:20
Last Modified:11 May 2020 19:45
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1553-734X
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1007443
PubMed ID:31725719

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