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CORDIS

Deciphering the Code of Value Signals in the Human Brain

Project description

Decoding value signals in the human brain

The human brain routinely makes complex decisions choosing between alternative courses of action. A central hypothesis is that the brain represents the motivational relevance of the choice options by means of value signals. However, it is not clear how the brain computes such values for multi-dimensional options and how it can adapt them to different contexts. The EU-funded COVADIS project represents an interdisciplinary step towards deciphering the neural code for value employing the combination of methods from cognitive neuroscience, computational modelling and behavioural psychophysics. The researchers will create an experimental setup for the study of value signals and present the results as a comprehensive report on a biologically plausible model of the brain computations underlying value processing.

Objective

Humans routinely make complex decisions between alternative courses of action. How our brains enable us to do this is a fundamental question in neuroscience. A central hypothesis is that the brain represents the motivational relevance of the choice options by means of value signals. However, it has remained elusive how the brain computes such values for multi-dimensional options and how it flexibly adapts them to different contexts.
This lack of knowledge has strong implications for society, since it prevents us from adequately treating psychiatric behavioral control disorders that affect the lives of millions worldwide, and since it hampers the rapidly growing artificial-intelligence industry trying to develop agents that are truly capable of autonomous value-based decisions.
This groundbreaking, interdisciplinary action will take an important step towards deciphering the neural code for value through the combined use of methods from cognitive neuroscience, computational modelling, and behavioral psychophysics. Specifically, I will create an experimental setup for the study of value signals, reveal the computational and biological principles of the neural code for value, and synthetize the results into a comprehensive report on a biologically plausible model of the brain computations underlying value processing.
My training in decision-making, neuroimaging, and computational modelling make me the ideal person for this action. The state-of-the-art and interdisciplinary research facilities of the Zürich center for Neuroeconomics at the University of Zürich make it the ideal host institution. At this pioneering lab, I will be trained in cutting-edge decoding methods for neuroimaging, non-invasive brain stimulation, statistical and computational skills, and in communicating the results of this interdisciplinary work. This will boost my ability to lead my own laboratory as an independent researcher in clinical and decision neuroscience.

Coordinator

UNIVERSITAT ZURICH
Net EU contribution
€ 203 149,44
Address
RAMISTRASSE 71
8006 Zurich
Switzerland

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Region
Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Zürich Zürich
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 203 149,44