Date: April 21, 2017. 15:30
Location: CCU Seminar Room
Title: The role of dopamine in decision making and mood.
Affiliation: Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry, University College London. **
The subjective well-being or happiness of individuals is an important metric for societies, but we know little about how the cumulative influence of daily life events are aggregated to determine happiness. I use computational modeling to show that momentary happiness in a decision-making task is explained not by task earnings, but by the combined influence of past rewards and expectations. Using a combination of neuroimaging and pharmacology, I find that fluctuations in happiness relate to neural responses in the ventral striatum and to dopamine. Using the same task, I also identify a value-independent role of dopamine in decision making and introduce a new computational model that explains changes in risk taking in both pharmacology data and data collected using large-scale smartphone-based experiments.