The neural and computational processes driving maladaptive decision-making in addiction
presentationposted on 26.08.2021, 06:27 by Shivam KalhanShivam Kalhan
Adapting to the changing environment is a key component of optimal decision-making. Internal-models that accurately represent and selectively update from behaviorally relevant/salient stimuli may facilitate adaptive behaviors. Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and dopaminergic systems may produce these adaptive internal-models through selective updates from behaviorally relevant stimuli. Dysfunction of ACC and dopaminergic systems could therefore produce misaligned internal-models where updates are disproportionate to the salience of the cues. An aspect of addictive-like behaviors is reduced adaptation and, ACC and dopaminergic systems typically exhibit dysfunction in drug-dependents. We argue that ACC and dopaminergic dysfunction in dependents may produce misaligned internal-models such that drug-related stimuli are misattributed with a higher salience compared to non-drug related stimuli. Hence, drug-related rewarding stimuli generate over-weighted updates to the internal-model, while negative feedback and non-drug related rewarding stimuli generate down-weighted updates. This misaligned internal-model may therefore incorrectly reinforce maladaptive drug-related behaviors.