Ageing is associated with disrupted reinforcement learning whilst learning to help others is preserved

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Ageing is associated with disrupted reinforcement learning whilst learning to help others is preserved. / Cutler, Jo; Wittmann, Marco K; Abdurahman, Ayat; Hargitai, Luca D; Drew, Daniel; Husain, Masud; Lockwood, Patricia L.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 12, No. 1, 4440, 12.2021.

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Cutler, Jo ; Wittmann, Marco K ; Abdurahman, Ayat ; Hargitai, Luca D ; Drew, Daniel ; Husain, Masud ; Lockwood, Patricia L. / Ageing is associated with disrupted reinforcement learning whilst learning to help others is preserved. In: Nature Communications. 2021 ; Vol. 12, No. 1.

Bibtex

@article{9542f3cce24847beb62b92a99f95c07f,
title = "Ageing is associated with disrupted reinforcement learning whilst learning to help others is preserved",
abstract = "Reinforcement learning is a fundamental mechanism displayed by many species. However, adaptive behaviour depends not only on learning about actions and outcomes that affect ourselves, but also those that affect others. Using computational reinforcement learning models, we tested whether young (age 18-36) and older (age 60-80, total n = 152) adults learn to gain rewards for themselves, another person (prosocial), or neither individual (control). Detailed model comparison showed that a model with separate learning rates for each recipient best explained behaviour. Young adults learned faster when their actions benefitted themselves, compared to others. Compared to young adults, older adults showed reduced self-relevant learning rates but preserved prosocial learning. Moreover, levels of subclinical self-reported psychopathic traits (including lack of concern for others) were lower in older adults and the core affective-interpersonal component of this measure negatively correlated with prosocial learning. These findings suggest learning to benefit others is preserved across the lifespan with implications for reinforcement learning and theories of healthy ageing.",
keywords = "Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Aging - psychology, Antisocial Personality Disorder - psychology, Female, Helping Behavior, Humans, Learning - physiology, Male, Middle Aged, Models, Psychological, Reinforcement, Psychology, Reward, Young Adult",
author = "Jo Cutler and Wittmann, {Marco K} and Ayat Abdurahman and Hargitai, {Luca D} and Daniel Drew and Masud Husain and Lockwood, {Patricia L}",
note = "Funding Information: This work was supported by a Medical Research Council Fellowship (MR/P014097/1), a Christ Church Junior Research Fellowship, a Christ Church Research Centre Grant, and a Jacobs Foundation Research Fellowship to P.L.; a Wellcome Trust Principal Fellowship to M.H.; NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Oxford. The Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging is supported by core funding from the Wellcome Trust (203139/Z/ 16/Z). We thank Ellena Crane for assistance with data collection. We are grateful to Matthew Apps and Miriam Klein-Flugge for helpful disucssions and to Craig Neumann for assistance with the Self-Report Psychopathy Scale. We are also grateful to our colleagues who acted as the other participant during the study. Publisher Copyright: {\textcopyright} 2021, The Author(s).",
year = "2021",
month = jul,
day = "21",
doi = "10.1038/s41467-021-24576-w",
language = "English",
volume = "12",
journal = "Nature Communications",
issn = "2041-1723",
publisher = "Springer",
number = "1",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Ageing is associated with disrupted reinforcement learning whilst learning to help others is preserved

AU - Cutler, Jo

AU - Wittmann, Marco K

AU - Abdurahman, Ayat

AU - Hargitai, Luca D

AU - Drew, Daniel

AU - Husain, Masud

AU - Lockwood, Patricia L

N1 - Funding Information: This work was supported by a Medical Research Council Fellowship (MR/P014097/1), a Christ Church Junior Research Fellowship, a Christ Church Research Centre Grant, and a Jacobs Foundation Research Fellowship to P.L.; a Wellcome Trust Principal Fellowship to M.H.; NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Oxford. The Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging is supported by core funding from the Wellcome Trust (203139/Z/ 16/Z). We thank Ellena Crane for assistance with data collection. We are grateful to Matthew Apps and Miriam Klein-Flugge for helpful disucssions and to Craig Neumann for assistance with the Self-Report Psychopathy Scale. We are also grateful to our colleagues who acted as the other participant during the study. Publisher Copyright: © 2021, The Author(s).

PY - 2021/7/21

Y1 - 2021/7/21

N2 - Reinforcement learning is a fundamental mechanism displayed by many species. However, adaptive behaviour depends not only on learning about actions and outcomes that affect ourselves, but also those that affect others. Using computational reinforcement learning models, we tested whether young (age 18-36) and older (age 60-80, total n = 152) adults learn to gain rewards for themselves, another person (prosocial), or neither individual (control). Detailed model comparison showed that a model with separate learning rates for each recipient best explained behaviour. Young adults learned faster when their actions benefitted themselves, compared to others. Compared to young adults, older adults showed reduced self-relevant learning rates but preserved prosocial learning. Moreover, levels of subclinical self-reported psychopathic traits (including lack of concern for others) were lower in older adults and the core affective-interpersonal component of this measure negatively correlated with prosocial learning. These findings suggest learning to benefit others is preserved across the lifespan with implications for reinforcement learning and theories of healthy ageing.

AB - Reinforcement learning is a fundamental mechanism displayed by many species. However, adaptive behaviour depends not only on learning about actions and outcomes that affect ourselves, but also those that affect others. Using computational reinforcement learning models, we tested whether young (age 18-36) and older (age 60-80, total n = 152) adults learn to gain rewards for themselves, another person (prosocial), or neither individual (control). Detailed model comparison showed that a model with separate learning rates for each recipient best explained behaviour. Young adults learned faster when their actions benefitted themselves, compared to others. Compared to young adults, older adults showed reduced self-relevant learning rates but preserved prosocial learning. Moreover, levels of subclinical self-reported psychopathic traits (including lack of concern for others) were lower in older adults and the core affective-interpersonal component of this measure negatively correlated with prosocial learning. These findings suggest learning to benefit others is preserved across the lifespan with implications for reinforcement learning and theories of healthy ageing.

KW - Adolescent

KW - Adult

KW - Aged

KW - Aged, 80 and over

KW - Aging - psychology

KW - Antisocial Personality Disorder - psychology

KW - Female

KW - Helping Behavior

KW - Humans

KW - Learning - physiology

KW - Male

KW - Middle Aged

KW - Models, Psychological

KW - Reinforcement, Psychology

KW - Reward

KW - Young Adult

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85111133671&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/s41467-021-24576-w

DO - 10.1038/s41467-021-24576-w

M3 - Article

C2 - 34290236

VL - 12

JO - Nature Communications

JF - Nature Communications

SN - 2041-1723

IS - 1

M1 - 4440

ER -