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  Previous issue (2020. Vol. 9, no. 1)

Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (online): 2304-4977


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2012

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal


Reinforcement learning in probabilistic environment and its role in human adaptive and maladaptive behavior 1296

Kozunova G.L.
PhD in Psychology, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for neuro-cognitive studies (MEG-center), Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia

The article discusses human training in conditions of partly uncertain outcomes of his/her actions that models one of the mechanisms of adaptive behavior in natural environment. Basic learning mechanisms are studied in details through modelling conditional reflexes of animals in experiments, where a certain behavior is reinforced similarly, immediately and repeatedly. At the same time, neurophysiological foundations of learning opportunities in humans under conditions of irregular or delayed reinforcements, despite increased interest to them in recent years, remain poorly studied. Research of mental and neuropsychiatric disorders has made a significant contribution to the development of this problem. Thus, the specific changes in some aspects of learning with probabilistic reinforcement were found in patients with Parkinson's disease, Tourette's syndrome, schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety disorders. In particular, it is shown that susceptibility to positive and negative reinforcement can be violated independently. Taking into consideration the pathogenetic mechanisms of these conditions, it can be concluded that the key structure for this type of training is the cingulate cortex and orbto-frontal cortex involved in bilateral interaction with underlying structures of striatal system, the limbic system and cores of reticular formations of the brain stem.

Keywords: reinforcement learning, uncertainty, prediction error, frontal cortex, dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, mental disorders

Column: Educational psychology


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