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On the value of information and other rewards

Knowledge is not just power. Even if advance information can not influence an upcoming event, people (and animals) prefer to know ahead of time what the outcome will be. According to the firing patterns of neurons in the lateral habenula, from the brain's perspective, knowledge is also water—or at least its equivalent in terms of reward.

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Figure 1: Anticipation and the value of information.

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Correspondence to Yael Niv.

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Niv, Y., Chan, S. On the value of information and other rewards. Nat Neurosci 14, 1095–1097 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.2918

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