Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:


Best to go with what you know?

In a changing world, how do we decide our best option? How do we settle between picking something familiar or trying out a new, possibly more rewarding, choice?

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: The contribution of exploration to making a decision.



  1. Daw, N. D. et al. Nature 441, 876–879 (2006).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Lee, D. Curr. Opin. Neurobiol. 16, 191–198 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Sutton, R. S. & Barto, A. G. Reinforcement Learning: An Introduction (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1998).

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  4. Ramnani, N. & Owen, A. M. Nature Rev. Neurosci. 5, 184–194 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Schweighofer, N. & Doya, K. Neural Netw. 16, 5–9 (2003).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Soltani, A., Lee, D. & Wang, X. -J. Neural Netw. (in the press).

  7. Doya, K. Neural Netw. 15, 495–506 (2002).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Aston-Jones, G. & Cohen, J. D. Annu. Rev. Neurosci. 28, 403–450 (2005).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Lee, D. Best to go with what you know?. Nature 441, 822–823 (2006).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing