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It is widely held that the interaction between instrumental and Pavlovian conditioning induces powerful motivational biases. Pavlovian-Instrumental Transfer (PIT) is one of the key paradigms demonstrating this effect, which can further be decomposed into a general and specific component. Although these two forms of PIT have been studied at the level of(More)
Decision making consists of choosing among available options on the basis of a valuation of their potential costs and benefits. Most theoretical models of decision making in behavioral economics, psychology, and computer science propose that the desirability of outcomes expected from alternative options can be quantified by utility functions. These utility(More)
To understand how the human amygdala contributes to associative learning, it is necessary to differentiate the contributions of its subregions. However, major limitations in the techniques used for the acquisition and analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data have hitherto precluded segregation of function with the amygdala in humans.(More)
We propose a Survival Optimization System (SOS) to account for the strategies that humans and other animals use to defend against recurring and novel threats. The SOS attempts to merge ecological models that define a repertoire of contextually relevant threat induced survival behaviors with contemporary approaches to human affective science. We first(More)
Contemporary computational accounts of instrumental conditioning have emphasized a role for a model-based system in which values are computed with reference to a rich model of the structure of the world, and a model-free system in which values are updated without encoding such structure. Much less studied is the possibility of a similar distinction(More)
On a daily basis, we place our lives in the hands of strangers. From dentists to pilots, we make inferences about their competence to perform their jobs and consequently to keep us from harm. Here we explore whether the perceived competence of others can alter one's anticipation of pain. In two studies, participants (Receivers) believed their chances of(More)
While there is evidence that implicit self-esteem transfers to chosen objects (associative self-anchoring), it is still unknown whether this phenomenon extends to explicit self-esteem. Moreover, whether the knowledge that these objects might belong to the self in the future or not affects the evaluation of these objects has received little attention. Here,(More)
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