Research

Computational Psychiatry & Decision-making

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Abstracts

  • doi pdf Reward-Based Learning, Model-Based and Model-Free
  • Huys QJM, and Seriès P
  • In Jaeger, D and Jung, R (Ed): Encyclopædia of Computational Neuroscience. SpringerReference. Springer Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2019.
  • Reinforcement learning (RL) techniques are a set of solutions for optimal long-term action choice such that actions take into account both immediate and delayed consequences. They fall into two broad classes: model-based and model-free approaches. Model-based approaches assume an explicit model of the environment and the agent. The model describes the consequences of actions and the associated returns. From this, optimal policies can be inferred. Psychologically, model-based descriptions apply to goal-directed decisions, in which choices reflect current preferences over outcomes. Model-free approaches forget any explicit knowledge of the dynamics of the environment or the consequences of actions and evaluate how good actions are through trial-and-error learning. Model-free values underlie habitual and Pavlovian conditioned responses that are emitted reflexively when faced with certain stimuli. While model-based techniques have substantial computational demands, model-free techniques require extensive experience.o