Technical Program

Paper Detail

Paper: GS-2.2
Session: Contributed Talks II
Location: Ormandy
Session Time: Thursday, September 6, 13:00 - 13:40
Presentation Time:Thursday, September 6, 13:20 - 13:40
Presentation: Oral
Paper Title: The Exploration-Exploitation Dilemma as a Tool for Studying Addiction
Manuscript:  Click here to view manuscript
Authors: Irene Cogliati Dezza, Xavier Noel, Axel Cleeremans, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium; Angela Yu, University of California San Diego, United States
Abstract: Addiction is a complex psychiatry condition manifested by the loose of control over drugs or nondrug behaviors despite harmful consequences. In this study, we argue that the exploration-exploitation dilemma and its computational mechanisms can help us understand this disorder and its underlying mechanisms. We tested problem gamblers – for whom the confounding effects of substance abuse typically observed in drug addiction are nullified - and controls in a sequential decision-making task and adopted a reinforcement learning model so as to explore the mechanisms involved. The results show an unbalance in how problem gamblers solved decision problems, where reward learning and information control mechanisms both appear to play key roles. By studying addiction under the exploration-exploitation framework, this study opens up a new way of investigating this disorder and of reinterpreting its main symptoms as impairments of both learning and control mechanisms.