Signed and unsigned effects of prediction error on memory: Is it a matter of choice?

  • Adaptive decision-making is governed by at least two types of memory processes. On the one hand, learned predictions through integrating multiple experiences, and on the other hand, one-shot episodic memories. These two processes interact, and predictions – particularly prediction errors – influence how episodic memories are encoded. However, studies using computational models disagree on the exact shape of this relationship, with some findings showing an effect of signed prediction errors and others showing an effect of unsigned prediction errors on episodic memory. We argue that the choice-confirmation bias, which reflects stronger learning from choice-confirming compared to disconfirming outcomes, could explain these seemingly diverging results. Our perspective implies that the influence of prediction errors on episodic encoding critically depends on whether people can freely choose between options (i.e., instrumental learning tasks) or not (Pavlovian learning tasks). The choice-confirmation bias on memory encoding might have evolved to prioritize memory representations that optimize reward-guided decision-making. We conclude by discussing open issues and implications for future studies.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar
Author:Francesco PupilloORCiD, Rasmus BrucknerORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Neuroscience & biobehavioral reviews
Place of publication:Amsterdam [u.a.]
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2023/08/24
Date of first Publication:2023/08/24
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2023/09/20
Tag:Choice-confirmation bias; Computational models; Episodic memory; Positivity bias; Prediction error
Article Number:105371
Page Number:8
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Psychologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International