Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

© 2020 Elsevier Ltd Experiments have implicated dopamine in model-based reinforcement learning (RL). These findings are unexpected as dopamine is thought to encode a reward prediction error (RPE), which is the key teaching signal in model-free RL. Here we examine two possible accounts for dopamine's involvement in model-based RL: the first that dopamine neurons carry a prediction error used to update a type of predictive state representation called a successor representation, the second that two well established aspects of dopaminergic activity, RPEs and surprise signals, can together explain dopamine's involvement in model-based RL.

Original publication




Journal article


Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences

Publication Date





74 - 82