Daniela Muoz Lopez Humanities and Social Science
Analyzing the Association Between Impulsivity and Reinforcement Learning
Previous research has identified reinforcement learning (RL) as a cognitive process that uses rewards to help us learn which actions will yield better results over time. This process is influenced by decision making which allows us to maximize our rewards and minimize our punishments. The neural aspects of RL are well studied and can be linked to various brain regions such as the prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortex. Currently, it is unknown whether RL is impacted by impulsivity. Impulsivity plays a major role in the understanding of personality traits and refers to actions that are poorly thought out or expressed in an untimely matter. Those with impulsive traits may experience difficulty inhibiting automatic responses; this is thought to interfere with goal driven behavior and is associated with decreased higher order activity such as learning. My research focuses on analyzing the potential association between impulsivity and reinforcement learning and understanding the implications this may have on daily life. Furthermore, I will propose a computational model that will explain the relationship between these two variables.