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Une approche neuro-computationnelle de la prise de décision et de sa régulation contextuelle

Abstract : Decision-making is the selection of an alternative according to our inner goals. Perceptual decisions, the selection of an action based on our perceptions, are made when sensory evidence accumulated over time reaches a decision threshold. This cognitive process is well accounted for by sequential sampling models of decision-making. Moreover, the model-driven neurobiological study of the decision-making process has linked the accumulation of sensory information with a parieto-prefrontal cortical network. The architecture of these cortical networks, the algorithms implemented and the mapping of elementary computations onto biological structures are the questions at the core of this thesis. First, we investigated the neural mechanisms underlying the contextual modulation of the decision-making process. We showed that predictive information on the forthcoming stimuli decreased the distance to the decision threshold, adjusting dynamically the amount of sensory information required to commit to a choice. In our study, the anterior cingulate cortex modulated the decision threshold in proportion to the amount of predictive information and the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex accumulated sensory information. Then, we addressed the question of the unicity across cognitive domains of the neuro-computational mechanisms of decision-making. We showed that a sequential sampling model of decision-making using subjective values as its inputs precisely predicted Human economic decision-making behavior. Moreover, we showed that the medial part of the orbito-frontal cortex coded the difference between the subjective values of the options under scrutiny on a common scale. This orbito-frontal decision-related value signal drove the sequential sampling decision-making process implemented in the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex. Taken together, our work delineates a functional architecture of Human decision-making by mapping elementary computations onto the human prefrontal cortex and by characterizing how the functional integration between these brain regions subserves the ability to make choices
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Philippe Domenech. Une approche neuro-computationnelle de la prise de décision et de sa régulation contextuelle. Sciences agricoles. Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I, 2011. Français. ⟨NNT : 2011LYO10177⟩. ⟨tel-00847494⟩

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