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lukeprog comments on Do Humans Want Things? - Less Wrong

23 Post author: lukeprog 04 August 2011 05:00AM

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Comment author: lukeprog 08 August 2011 01:23:12AM 0 points [-]

What an odd way of putting it, by the way: the whole point is that it isn't the brain that's doing the throwing away.

Agreed, fixed.

Human brains throw away some of that information at the transducer.

Well, it throws away information about objective stimuli intensity in such away that the objective stimuli intensity cannot be recovered. Obviously it doesn't throw away all information, but merely information needed to encode value for objective stimuli intensities.

The fact that something isn't directly available to our senses is no reason why we can't value it

Exactly; hence the puzzle. If our brains aren't encoding value for X, how can we be said to value X? This is something we'll explore in future posts.

Comment author: [deleted] 20 August 2011 07:19:10AM 2 points [-]

I've had the most pleasant evening trying to find research discounting your claims and instead having my beliefs whipped around by evidence (though I still don't understand how a neuron can be said encode in a purely reference independent manner given as with pain receptors' sensing thresholds for mechanical, thermal, and chemical changes or absolute pitch recognition).

One of the few sources my motivated cognition discovered was the work of Padoa-Schioppa, who found, for instance,

In the experiments, monkeys chose between different juices and their choice patterns provided a measure of subjective value. Value ranges were varied from session to session and, in each session, OFC (Orbitofrontal Cortex) neurons encoded values in a linear way.

Which of course seems another reference independent encoding, though there is just about as much evidence the other way on the subject of the OFC, such as Elliott (2008).

Comment author: lukeprog 20 August 2011 07:28:20AM 0 points [-]

Which Padoa-Schioppa paper is that?

Comment author: [deleted] 05 September 2011 02:54:38AM *  0 points [-]

The passage was from Range-adapting representation of economic value in the orbitofrontal cortex. You might also be interested in The orbitofrontal cortex and beyond: from affect to decision-making (Rolls, Grabenhorst 2008), which presents a high level summary of research on the topic, with dozens of citations of consistent and continuous stimulus representations in OFC for a few species and and primary reinforcers.