Naoshige Uchida: “A normative perspective on the diversity of dopamine neurons”


September 20, 2019  Friday Lunch Seminar
12:15 〜 13:00

CiNet 1F Conference Room
“A normative perspective on the diversity of dopamine neurons”
Naoshige Uchida

Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Harvard University

Host PI: Shigeru Kitazawa


Midbrain dopamine neurons play important roles in learning, motivation and movements. It has long been thought that dopamine neurons broadcast a reward prediction error signal to drive learning to predict future outcomes. Recent studies have shown, however, that the signals sent by dopamine neurons are more diverse than previously thought. For instance, some dopamine neurons are activated by threatening stimuli but not by reward. It has been postulated that the activity of some dopamine neurons may be correlated with movement kinematics (e.g. speed) or the distance to a reward location (or motivational value) but not with reward prediction errors. These results have been taken as evidence that challenges the canonical view of dopamine signals based on reward prediction errors. In this talk, I will try to present a normative perspective on these diverse dopamine signals under the framework of the reinforcement learning theory.

About CiNet's Friday Lunch Seminars:
The Friday Lunch Seminar is CiNet's main regular meeting series, held every week at 12:15 in the beautiful main lecture theatre on the ground floor at CiNet. The talks are typically 40mins long and orientated towards an inter-disciplinary audience. They are informal, social, and most people bring their own lunch to eat during the talk. They are open to anyone who is feeling curious and wants to come, regardless of where you work.