Memory guidance of value-based decision making at an abstract level of representation
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/17815
Value-based decisions about alternatives we have never experienced can be guided by associations between current choice options and memories of prior reward. A critical question is how similar memories need to be to the current situation to effectively guide decisions. We address this question in the context of associative learning of faces using a sensory preconditioning paradigm. We find that memories of reward spread along established associations between faces to guide decision making. While memory guidance is specific for associated facial identities, it does not only occur for the specific images that were originally encountered. Instead, memory guidance generalizes across different images of the associated identities. This suggests that memory guidance does not rely on a pictorial format of representation but on a higher, view-invariant level of abstraction. Thus, memory guidance operates on a level of representation that neither over- nor underspecifies associative relationships in the context of obtaining reward.
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