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Paper Detail

Paper: PS-1A.19
Session: Poster Session 1A
Location: H Lichthof
Session Time: Saturday, September 14, 16:30 - 19:30
Presentation Time:Saturday, September 14, 16:30 - 19:30
Presentation: Poster
Publication: 2019 Conference on Cognitive Computational Neuroscience, 13-16 September 2019, Berlin, Germany
Paper Title: Learning about Other Persons’ Character Traits Relies on Combining Reinforcement Learning with Representations of Trait Similarities
Manuscript:  Click here to view manuscript
License: Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Authors: Koen Frolichs, Benjamin Kuper-Smith, Jan Gläscher, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany; Gabriela Rosenblau, George Washington University and Children’s National Health System, United States; Christoph Korn, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany
Abstract: Humans often describe other persons (and themselves) in terms of abstract character traits. When getting to know a new person, they need to update their estimates of the other person across many different character traits. It is unclear how this learning process unfolds and how the relationship between diverse character traits are represented in brain activity. Here, we first showed in three behavioral studies that humans combine reinforcement learning with their knowledge about the correlations between traits when learning about other persons’ character. Second, in two functional imaging studies the fine-grained similarities between character traits were represented in medial prefrontal cortex, in a region that has consistently been linked to thinking about other persons. Our findings thus suggest a possible learning mechanism for rather complex generalization across character traits according to their similarities, which seem to be related to the medial prefrontal cortex.