There you are: a delicious chocolate bar or a healthy apple sitting on a plate. Which one would you choose? Being able to make decisions when faced with such choices is a major task of the brain.
What happens in the brain when such decisions have to be made was a central question at the first conference of “reinforcement learning and decision making” (RLDM), which was held on 25-27 October 2013 at Princeton University. The mission of the conference was to gather scientists from different fields, such as machine learning (research on how computers can learn) and brain science disciplines, to facilitate communication on topics related to learning from reward and punishment and decision making.
A total of 6 members of our lab attended this conference. Roshan gave a talk on the role of serotonin in decision making. Other members of the group, Hanneke den Ouden, Verena Ly, Lieneke Janssen, Dirk Geurts and Payam Piray presented their work during the poster sessions.
The conference was a great success and attracted more than 300 researchers from different fields. About 30 talks were given by leading scientists working on topics related to reinforcement learning and decision making and more than 140 posters were presented. The next RLDM conference will take place in Alberta in 2015.
This post was written by Payam Piray, a PhD student at the Motivational and Cognitive Control lab.