Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Reasoning, learning, and creativity: frontal lobe function and human decision-making.

Abstract : The frontal lobes subserve decision-making and executive control--that is, the selection and coordination of goal-directed behaviors. Current models of frontal executive function, however, do not explain human decision-making in everyday environments featuring uncertain, changing, and especially open-ended situations. Here, we propose a computational model of human executive function that clarifies this issue. Using behavioral experiments, we show that unlike others, the proposed model predicts human decisions and their variations across individuals in naturalistic situations. The model reveals that for driving action, the human frontal function monitors up to three/four concurrent behavioral strategies and infers online their ability to predict action outcomes: whenever one appears more reliable than unreliable, this strategy is chosen to guide the selection and learning of actions that maximize rewards. Otherwise, a new behavioral strategy is tentatively formed, partly from those stored in long-term memory, then probed, and if competitive confirmed to subsequently drive action. Thus, the human executive function has a monitoring capacity limited to three or four behavioral strategies. This limitation is compensated by the binary structure of executive control that in ambiguous and unknown situations promotes the exploration and creation of new behavioral strategies. The results support a model of human frontal function that integrates reasoning, learning, and creative abilities in the service of decision-making and adaptive behavior.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadatas

Cited literature [59 references]  Display  Hide  Download

https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-00706739
Contributor : Delphine Autard <>
Submitted on : Monday, June 11, 2012 - 2:45:46 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, September 19, 2020 - 4:47:41 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 2:30:22 AM

File

journal.pbio.1001293.pdf
Publisher files allowed on an open archive

Identifiers

Collections

Citation

Anne Collins, Etienne Koechlin. Reasoning, learning, and creativity: frontal lobe function and human decision-making.. PLoS Biology, Public Library of Science, 2012, 10 (3), pp.e1001293. ⟨10.1371/journal.pbio.1001293⟩. ⟨inserm-00706739⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

734

Files downloads

796