Turning Point’s Talking Point

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Turning Point’s Talking Point

21 August 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Talking Point: Reinforcement Learning and Value Based Decision-Making in Substance Use Disorders – Presented by Dr Gillinder Bedi 

Persistent choices for drugs at the expense of other, more adaptive rewards is a cardinal behavioural feature of substance use disorders. Despite this, little is known about the processes underpinning these decisions in human drug users, and how interventions alter these processes. This seminar will present data from studies examining two key component processes of decision making in relation to substance use disorders: a) reinforcement learning, the process of learning iteratively from reward and loss to guide subsequent choices; and b) value-based, or goal directed, decision making. Findings indicate that decision science methods can provide important insights into the mechanisms sustaining problematic drug use, potentially informing novel approaches to treatment.