Feindel Brain and Mind Seminar Series: Neural Circuits for Prediction and Comparisons of the Chance of Success Between the Self and Others for Future Decision Making in Primates
The Feindel Brain and Mind Seminar Series will advance the vision of Dr. William Feindel (1918–2014), Former Director of the Neuro (1972–1984), to constantly bridge the clinical and research realms. The talks will highlight the latest advances and discoveries in neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, and neuroimaging.
Speakers will include scientists from across The Neuro, as well as colleagues and collaborators locally and from around the world. The series is intended to provide a virtual forum for scientists and trainees to continue to foster interdisciplinary exchanges on the mechanisms, diagnosis and treatment of brain and cognitive disorders.
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Team Leader, RIKEN Center for Brain Science, Japan
Host: justine.clery [at] mcgill.ca (Justine Clergy)
Abstract: Predicting and comparing the problem-solving abilities of self and others is important for people cooperating in social settings to solve difficult problems. However, the neural mechanisms that enable prospective monitoring of self and others' abilities prior to problem-solving behaviour in social settings are not well understood. In the first half of this talk, I will present our research that has revealed the neural basis of the ability to predict one's own probability of success in a cognitive task prior to performing it. We designed a new task in which subjects are simultaneously presented with a task option that is difficult but always rewarding if they make correct perceptual judgments (internal probability option) and a task option that is easy and almost never fails but provides a probability of reward probabilistically (external probability option). Both human participants and macaque monkeys were asked to choose the task option with the highest likelihood of reward. We found that the alPFC (area 47) was activated in response to the prediction of internal probability in humans by functional MRI. The brain regions identified are evolutionarily novel and particularly well-developed in humans. Although the macaque brain has no anatomically homologous area with human alPFC, we found that the vlPFC (area 45) was involved in predicting the internal probability instead. Furthermore, non-invasive manipulation of vlPFC activity using transcranial ultrasound stimulation (TUS) had an effect on the ability for the prospective comparisons. The results suggest that vlPFC is an evolutionary origin of prospective monitoring ability, a prediction of one's abilities prior to problem-solving behaviour that is prominent in humans. In the second half of the talk, I will present our research that has revealed the neural basis of the prospective monitoring ability to predict and compare performance on a perceptual task by oneself and others. We designed a new task in which participants were asked to compare a task option in which they were rewarded if they answered the task correctly (self task) and a task option in which they were rewarded if others answered the task correctly (others' task). We also found that the human alPFC (area 47) plays an important role in predicting and comparing the performance of others with the self. These results suggest that primates rely on neural circuits with a hub in the anterior and ventral lateral prefrontal cortex to monitor their own and others' abilities and to determine their future behaviour.