A salience misattribution model for addictive-like behaviors

Shivam Kalhan, A. David Redish, Robert Hester, Marta I. Garrido

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Adapting to the changing environment is a key component of optimal decision-making. Internal-models that accurately represent and selectively update from behaviorally relevant/salient stimuli may facilitate adaptive behaviors. Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and dopaminergic systems may produce these adaptive internal-models through selective updates from behaviorally relevant stimuli. Dysfunction of ACC and dopaminergic systems could therefore produce misaligned internal-models where updates are disproportionate to the salience of the cues. An aspect of addictive-like behaviors is reduced adaptation and, ACC and dopaminergic systems typically exhibit dysfunction in drug-dependents. We argue that ACC and dopaminergic dysfunction in dependents may produce misaligned internal-models such that drug-related stimuli are misattributed with a higher salience compared to non-drug related stimuli. Hence, drug-related rewarding stimuli generate over-weighted updates to the internal-model, while negative feedback and non-drug related rewarding stimuli generate down-weighted updates. This misaligned internal-model may therefore incorrectly reinforce maladaptive drug-related behaviors. We use the proposed framework to discuss ways behavior may be made more adaptive and how the framework may be supported or falsified experimentally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-477
Number of pages12
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Adaptation
  • Addiction
  • Anterior cingulate cortex
  • Decision-making
  • Dopamine
  • Internal-model updating
  • Prediction-errors
  • Salience


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