A Social Reinforcement Learning Hypothesis of Mutual Reward Preferences in Rats

Julen Hernandez-Lallement, Marijn van Wingerden, Sandra Schäble, Tobias Kalenscher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Although the use of neuroimaging techniques has revealed much about the neural correlates of social decision making (SDM) in humans, it remains poorly understood how social stimuli are represented, and how social decisions are implemented at the neural level in humans and in other species. To address this issue, the establishment of novel animal paradigms allowing a broad spectrum of neurobiological causal manipulations and neurophysiological recordings provides an exciting tool to investigate the neural implementation of social valuation in the brain. Here, we discuss the potential of a rodent model, Rattus norvegicus, for the understanding of SDM and its neural underpinnings. Particularly, we consider recent data collected in a rodent prosocial choice task within a social reinforcement framework and discuss factors that could drive SDM in rodents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-176
Number of pages18
JournalCurrent topics in behavioral neurosciences
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Amygdala/physiology
  • Animals
  • Choice Behavior/physiology
  • Humans
  • Rats
  • Reinforcement, Social
  • Reward


Dive into the research topics of 'A Social Reinforcement Learning Hypothesis of Mutual Reward Preferences in Rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this