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Subjective value and decision entropy are jointly encoded by aligned gradients across the human brain

By Sebastian Bobadilla-Suarez, Olivia Guest, Bradley C Love

Posted 19 Feb 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.02.18.954362

Recent work has considered the relationship between value and confidence in both behavior and neural representation. Here we evaluated whether the brain organizes value and confidence signals in a systematic fashion that reflects the overall desirability of options. If so, regions that respond to either increases or decreases in both value and confidence should be widespread. We strongly confirmed these predictions through a model-based fMRI analysis of a mixed gambles task that assessed subjective value (SV) and inverse decision entropy (iDE), which is related to confidence. Purported value areas more strongly signalled iDE than SV, underscoring how intertwined value and confidence are. A gradient tied to the desirability of actions transitioned from positive SV and iDE in ventromedial prefrontal cortex to negative SV and iDE in dorsal medial prefrontal cortex. This alignment of SV and iDE signals could support retrospective evaluation to guide learning and subsequent decisions. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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