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Many accounts of reward-based choice argue for distinct component processes that are serial and functionally localized. In this Opinion article, we argue for an alternative viewpoint, in which choices emerge from repeated computations that are distributed across many brain regions. We emphasize how several features of neuroanatomy may support the implementation of choice, including mutual inhibition in recurrent neural networks and the hierarchical organization of timescales for information processing across the cortex. This account also suggests that certain correlates of value are emergent rather than represented explicitly in the brain.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/nrn.2017.7

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nat Rev Neurosci

Publication Date

17/02/2017

Volume

18

Pages

172 - 182

Keywords

Animals, Brain, Brain Mapping, Choice Behavior, Decision Making, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Reward