Learning and Selective Attention

Peter Dayan   Sham Kakade   P Read Montague
Nature Neuroscience, 3 , 1218-1223.


Selective attention involves the differential processing of different stimuli, and has widespread psychological and neural consequences. Although computational modeling should offer a powerful way of linking the observable phenomena at different levels, a bulk of work has focused on the relatively narrow issue of constraints on processing resources. By contrast, we consider statistical and informational aspects of selective attention, divorced from resource constraints. These aspects are cleanly evident in animal conditioning experiments involving uncertain predictions and unreliable stimuli. Neuromodulatory systems and limbic structures are known to underpin attentional effects in such tasks.

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