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An interface problem ...
‘we should search in vain among the literature for a consensus about the psychological processes by which primary motivational states, such as hunger and thirst, regulate simple goal-directed [i.e. instrumental] acts’
Dickinson & Balleine, 1994 p. 1
An Interface Problem:
How are non-accidental matches possible?
Primary motivational states guide some actions.
Preferences guide some actions.
Pursuing a single goal can involve both kinds of state.
Primary motivational states can differ from preferences.
Two motivational states match in a particular context just if, in that context, the actions one would cause and the actions the other would cause are not too different.
Experience is key ...
‘primary motivational states, such as hunger, do not determine the value of an instrumental goal directly;
rather, animals have to learn about the value of a commodity in a particular motivational state through direct experience with it in that state’
Dickinson & Balleine , 1994 p. 7
Why are rats (and you) aware of bodily states such as hunger and revulsion?
Because this awareness enables your preferences to be coupled,
but only losely,
to your primary motivational states.
Isn’t it redunant to have dissociable kinds of motivational state?
‘the motivational control over goal-directed actions is, at least in part, indirect and mediated by learning about one's own reactions to primary incentives.
By this process [...], goal-directed actions are liberated from the tyranny of primary motivation’
Dickinson & Balleine , 1994 p. 16