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timtyler comments on Are wireheads happy? - Less Wrong

108 Post author: Yvain 01 January 2010 04:41PM

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Comment author: timtyler 01 January 2010 08:22:01PM 4 points [-]

I would say the study supports the thesis that they learn, but then aren't motivated to act:

"A retest after 24 h showed that DD mice can learn and remember in the absence of dopamine, leading to the inference that the lack of dopamine results in a performance/motivational decrement that masks their learning competence for this relatively simple task."

Comment author: whpearson 01 January 2010 09:01:48PM 0 points [-]

I really wish I could get into that paper. I'd like to know whether was dopamine precursor given to the rats before the retest to enable eating? If so the learning may have been buffered and acquired through sleep or there is a different method for learning in sleep. I'll see if I can get to it in the next few days.

I'd agree that some learning did occur without dopamine, the knowledge of where to go was learnt. The brain is to complex to mediate all learning with direct feedback. What we are interested in is learning what should be done. That is the behaviour was learnt but that the behaviour should be performed wasn't immediately learnt. Or in other words it didn't know it should be motivated.

There is lots of work on dopamine and learning. I'm currently watching another interesting video on the subject.

Do you know of any related to opioids? All I can find some stuff on fear response learning.

Comment author: Alicorn 01 January 2010 10:21:54PM 5 points [-]

My school let me at the full text of the paper; here 'tis.

Comment author: whpearson 02 January 2010 01:18:11AM 0 points [-]

Thanks. I'll read it later.