The current proposal aims to study neural mechanisms of social learning in healthy adults as a precursor to understanding the impact of mental illnesses on social functioning. Changes in social behavior are often the first symptoms of a striking array of neuropsychiatric disorders. However, whereas disruptions in memory, motor, or emotional functioning are readily recognized as symptoms of more serious underlying conditions, decision-making deficits are often overlooked, particularly in the social domain. Furthermore, there exist few behavioral measures or biomarkers to quantify such deficits, due in part to our limited knowledge of the underlying neural mechanisms and their relation to mental disorders. We do so via a tight integration of computational modeling of goal-directed social behavior, and testing the predictions generated using complementary experimental techniques with both fMRI and focal lesion patients. In particular, we focus on the role of dopamine and interactions between the basal ganglia and frontal cortices, which are together critical for goal-directed behavior and known to be affected in a variety of disorders. First, we will use the model, calibrated on observed behavior, to derive trial-by-trial regressors for use in functional neuroimaging experiments. Second, the estimated parameters of the model themselves can be used to compare across health and diseased groups, or find subtypes of the diseased groups. Finally, the neural correlates and the behavioral estimates can be combined in order to find novel brain-behavior markers of diseases. In this way, we seek to provide a unifying account of goal-directed behavior in both social and non- social settings, which has the potential to lead to development of new ways of classifying mental disorders based on dimensions of observable behavior and neurobiological measures.

Public Health Relevance

The current proposal aims to study neural mechanisms of social learning in healthy adults as a precursor to understanding the impact of mental illnesses on social functioning. Changes in social behavior are often the first symptoms of a striking array of neuropsychiatric disorders. We seek to provide a unifying account of goal- directed behavior in both social and non-social settings using a neuroeconomic framework, which has the potential to lead to development of new ways of classifying mental disorders based on dimensions of observable behavior and neurobiological measures.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
1R01MH098023-01A1
Application #
8506911
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-IFCN-Q (02))
Program Officer
Simmons, Janine M
Project Start
2013-04-01
Project End
2018-01-31
Budget Start
2013-04-01
Budget End
2014-01-31
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$302,303
Indirect Cost
$102,303
Name
University of California Berkeley
Department
None
Type
Other Domestic Higher Education
DUNS #
124726725
City
Berkeley
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
94704
Saez, Ignacio; Set, Eric; Hsu, Ming (2014) From genes to behavior: placing cognitive models in the context of biological pathways. Front Neurosci 8:336
Set, Eric; Saez, Ignacio; Zhu, Lusha et al. (2014) Dissociable contribution of prefrontal and striatal dopaminergic genes to learning in economic games. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111:9615-20
Zhu, Lusha; Jenkins, Adrianna C; Set, Eric et al. (2014) Damage to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex affects tradeoffs between honesty and self-interest. Nat Neurosci 17:1319-21
Bertoux, Maxime; Cova, Florian; Pessiglione, Mathias et al. (2014) Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia patients do not succumb to the Allais paradox. Front Neurosci 8:287