Dr Ben Seymour, Computational and Biological Learning Lab, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1PZ


Center for Information and Neural Networks, National Institute for Information and Communications Technology (NICT), 1-3 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.

bjs49 AT / seymour AT

F1000 reviews (paywall)



Ben Seymour
Pain: a precision signal for reinforcement learning and control.
Neuron. 101(6) 1029-41

Sangwan Lee and Ben Seymour
Decision-making in brains and robots - the case for an interdisciplinary approach.
Current Opinion in Behavioural Sciences 26: 137-45

Jee Hang Lee, Ben Seymour, Joel Leibo, Su Jin An, Sangwan Lee.
Towards high-performance, memory-efficient, and fast reinoforcement learning - lessons from decision neuroscience.
Science Robotics 4(26) 2975


Agnes Norbury, Trevor Robbins, Ben Seymour. 
Value Generalisation in human avoidance learning. 
eLife 7: e34779 (2018)

Yamishita et al.
A prediction model of working memory across health and psychiatric disease using whole-brain functional connectivity.
eLife 7. e38844

The control of pain by active relief learning
eLife 2018;7:e31949 

Anterior cingulate cortex connectivity is associated with suppression of behaviour in a rat model of chronic pain. 
Brain and Neuroscience Advances, 2: 2398212818779646 (2018)
Model-based and model-free pain avoidance learning
Brain and Neuroscience Advances, 2: 2398212818772964 (2018)


Thermosensory perceptual learning is associated with structural brain changes in parietal-opercular (SII) cortex.
Journal of Neuroscience Sep 27;37(39):9380-9388

Stefan Elfwing and Ben Seymour
Parallel reward and punishment control in humans and robots: safe reinforcement learning using the MaxPain algorithm
Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL-EpiRob), 2017 Joint IEEE International Conference on. IEEE, 2017.

Luca Piccolo, Fabio Dalla Libera, Andrea Bonarini, Ben Seymour, Hiroshi Ishiguro
Pain and Self-Preservation in Autonomous Robots: from Neurobiological Models to Psychiatric Disease
Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL-EpiRob), 2017 Joint IEEE International Conference on. IEEE, 2017.

Jenessa Lancaster, Daniel Callan, Mitsuo Kawato, and Ben Seymour. 
Decoding acute pain with combined EEG and physiological data. 
Neural Engineering (NER), 2013 6th International IEEE/EMBS Conference.

Harry Barber, Hiroaki Mano, Suyi Zhang, Nobuhiro Hagura, Patrick Haggard, Martin Koltzenburg, Ben Seymour.
Thermal interfaces: reduction in discriminative accuracy despite enhanced subjective confidence after topical application of menthol.
Neural Engineering (NER), 2013 6th International IEEE/EMBS Conference


Ai Koizumi, Kaoru Amano, Aurelio Cortese, Kazuhisa Shibata, Wako Yoshida, Ben Seymour, Mitsuo Kawato, Hakwan Lau
Fear reduction without fear through reinforcement of neural activity that bypasses conscious exposure. 
Nature Human Behaviour 1, Article number: 0006 (2016).

Takafumi Yanagisawa, Ryohei Fukuma, Ben Seymour, Koichi Hosomi, Haruhiko Kishima, Takeshi Shimizu, Hiroshi Yokoi, Masayuki Hirata, Toshiki Yoshimine, Yukiyasu Kamitani, Youichi Saitoh.
Induced sensorimotor brain plasticity controls pain in phantom limb patients.
Nature Communications, 7, Article number: 13209 (2016)

Ben Seymour, Michael Barbe, Peter Dayan, Tamara Shiner, Ray Dolan, Gereon Fink GR.
Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus modulates sensitivity to decision outcome value in Parkinson's disease.
Scientific Reports, 2016 Sep 14;6:32509. doi: 10.1038/srep32509

Rebecca Lawson, Camilla Nord, Ben Seymour, David Thomas, Peter Dayan, Steve Pilling, Jon Roiser.
Disrupted habenula function in major depression.
Molecular Psychiatry, 2016 May 31. doi: 10.1038/mp.2016.81

Suyi Zhang, Hiro Mano, Ganesh Gowrishanker, Trevor Robbins, Ben Seymour
Dissociable learning processes underlie human pain conditioning.
Current Biology, Volume 26, Issue 1, 11 January 2016, Pages 52–58


Pauli WM, Larsen T, Collette S, Tyszka JM, Seymour B, O'Doherty JP.
Distinct Contributions of Ventromedial and Dorsolateral Subregions of the Human Substantia Nigra to Appetitive and Aversive Learning.
Journal of Neuroscience. 2015 Oct 21;35(42):14220-33

Ben Seymour, Masaki Maruyma and Benedetto De Martino
When is a loss a loss: excitatory ad inhibitory processes in loss-related decision-making
Current Opinion in Behavioural Neuroscience. Online Oct 2015

Sylvain Chassang, Erik Snowberg, Ben Seymour and Cayley Bowles
Accounting for Behaviour in Treatment Effects - New Applications of Blind Trials
PLoS One June 10;10(6):e0127227

Koichi Hosomi, Ben Seymour, Youichi Saitoh.
Modulating the Pain Network - Neurostimulation for Central Post-Stroke Pain
Nature Reviews Neurology. 11(5):290-9

Hiroaki Mano and Ben Seymour.
Pain - a distributed information network?
PLoS Biology Jan 6;13(1):e1002037

Giles Story, Ivo Vlaev, Ben Seymour, Peter Dayan, Ara Darzi, Ray Dolan.
Anticipation and Choice Heuristics in the Dynamic Consumption of Pain Relief.
PLoS Computational Biology. In press



Suyi Zhang and Ben Seymour.
Technology for Chronic Pain
Current Biology 24 (18) 930-35

Joel Winston, Ivo Vlaev, Ben Seymour, Nick Chater, and Ray Dolan 
Relative Valuation of Pain in the Orbitofrontal Cortex
Journal of Neuroscience Oct 29;34(44):14526-35.

Rececca Lawson, Ben Seymour, Leeanoh Loh, Antoine Lutti, Ray Dolan, Peter Dayan, Nikolaus Weiskopf, Jon Roiser.
The habenula encodes negative motivational value associated with primary punishment in humans.
PNAS  111 (32) 11858-63. 

Rongyun Yu, Dean Mobbs, Ben Seymour, James Rowe, Andy Calder.
The neural signature of escalating frustration in humans.
Cortex 2014;54:165-78. 

Giles Story, Ivo Vlaev, Ben Seymour, Ara Darzi, Ray Dolan.
Does temporal discounting explain unhealthy behavior? A systematic review and reinforcement learning perspective.
Front Behav Neurosci. 2014 Mar 12;8:76.

Maria Joao and Ben Seymour.
Decoding the Matrix: benefits and limitations of applying machine learning algorithms to pain neuroimaging.
Pain. 2014 May;155(5):864-867. 

Wako Yoshida, Ben Seymour.
Decisions about decisions
Neuron. 81(3):468-70, 2014.



Giles Story, Ivo Vlaev, Ben Seymour, Joel Winston, Ara Darzi and Ray Dolan.
Dread and the disvalue of future pain.
PLoS Computational Biology 2013;9(11) e1003335. 

Wako Yoshida, Ben Seymour, Martin Koltzenburg and Ray Dolan.
Uncertainty increases pain: evidence for a novel mechanism of pain modulation involving the periaqueductal grey.
Journal of Neuroscience. 2013;33(13):5638-46

Ivo Vlaev, Ben Seymour, Nick Chater, Joel Winston, Wako Yoshida, Nicolas Wright, Mkael Symmonds, and Ray Dolan.
Prices need no preferences: social trends determine decisons in experimental markers for pain relief.
Health Psychology. 2014;33(1):66-76


Tamara Shiner, Ben Seymour, Mkael Symmonds, Peter Dayan, Khalaish Bhatia, Ray Dolan.
The effect of motivation on movement: a study of bradykinesia in Parkinson's disease.
PLoS One. 2012 7(10) e47138

Ben Seymour and Ivo Vlaev.
Can, and should, behavioural neuroscience influence public policy.
Trends in Cognitive Sciences. Sep; 16(9):449-51.

Ben Seymour.
Hodgkin and Huxley's Legacy - the Science of Neural Supercomputing.
Brain2012. 135(9) 2892-5.

Ben Seymour and Ray Dolan.
Emotion, Motivation, and Pain.
Wall and Melzack's Textbook of Pain2012. Ch. 17. Eds. Kotzenburg and McMahaon. Elsevier. In press

Ben Seymour, Nathaniel Daw, Jon Roiser, Peter Dayan, Ray Dolan.
Serotonin selectively modulates reward value in human decision-making
Journal of Neuroscience, 2012. 32(17):5833–5842-5833 

Ben Seymour.
The maladaptive Brain: excitable pathways to chronic pain.
Brain2012, 135 (2) 316-318

Tamara Shiner, Ben Seymour, Klaus Wunderlich, Ciaran Hill, Kailash Bhatia, Peter Dayan, Ray Dolan.
Dopamine and performance in a reinforcement learning task – evidence from Parkinson’s disease.
Brain. 2012. 135(6) 1871-83.



Nathaniel Daw, Sam Gershman, Ben Seymour, Peter Dayan, Ray Dolan.
Model-­‐based choices on humans’ choices and striatal prediction errors.
Neuron. 2011. 69(6) 1204-­‐15.

Crockett MJ, Clark L, Roiser JP, Robinson OJ, Cools R, Chase HW, den Ouden H, Apergis-Schoute A, Campbell-Meikeljohn D, Seymour B, Sahakian BJ, Rogers RD, Robbins TW.
Converging evidence for central 5-HT effects in acute tryptophan depletion.
Molecular Psychiatry. (epub2011); 2012 17(2): 121-3.

Ben Seymour, Wako Yoshida.
The computational neuroscience of pain.
Japanese Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2011. 40(4) 491-499.


Tom Fitzgerald, Ben Seymour, Dominic Bach, Ray Dolan.
Differentiable Neural Substrates for Learnt and Described Value and Risk.
Current Biology2010;20(20):1823-9.

Rongyun Yu, Dean Mobbs, Ben Seymour, Andrew Calder.
Insula and Striatum Mediate the Default Bias.
Journal of Neuroscience. 2010;30(44):14702-7.

Wako Yoshida, Ben Seymour, Karl Friston, Ray Dolan.
Neural mechanisms of belief inference during cooperative games.
Journal of Neuroscience. 2010;30(32):10744-51.

Irma Kurniawan, Ben Seymour, Debbie Talmi, Wako Yoshida, Nick Chater, Ray Dolan.
Choosing to make an effort: the role of striatum in signaling physical effort of a chosen action.
Journal of Neurophysiology. 2010;104(1):313-21. 

Alex Pine, Tamara Shiner, Ben Seymour, Ray Dolan.
Dopamine, time, and impulsivity in humans..
Journal of Neuroscience 2010;30(26):8888-96. 

Irma Kurniawan, Ben Seymour, Ivo Vlaev, Julia Trommershäuser, Ray Dolan, Nick Chater
Pain relativity in motor control.
Psychological Science2010;21(6):840-7. 


Ben Seymour, Wako Yoshida, Ray Dolan.
Altruistic Learning.
Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience. 2009: 23:3

Alex Pine, Ben Seymour, Jon Roiser, Peter Bossaerts, Val Curran, Ray Dolan.
Encoding of marginal utility across time in the human brain.
Journal of NeuroScience. 2009; 29: 9575 - 9581 . 

Dean Mobbs, Demis Hassabis, Ben Seymour, Jen Marchant, Nikolaus Weiskopf, Ray Dolan, and Chris Frith.
Choking on the money: reward-based performance decrements are associated with midbrain activity.
Psychological Science2009;20(8):955-62.

Tom Fitzgerald, Ben Seymour, and Ray Dolan.
The role of human orbitofrontal cortex in value comparison for incommensurable objects.
Journal of Neuroscience. 2009; 29: 8388 - 8395. 

Jon Roiser, Benedetto de Martino, Geoffrey Tan, Dharsh Kumaran, Ben Seymour, Nick Wood, and Ray Dolan.
A genetically mediated bias in decision making driven by failure of amygdala control.
Journal of Neuroscience2009; 29: 5985 - 5991.

Dean Mobbs, Jen Marchant, Demis Hassabis, Ben Seymour, Geoff Tan, Marcus Gray, Pedrag Petrovic, Ray Dolan, Chris Frith.
From threat to fear: the neural organization of defensive fear systems in humans.
Journal of Neuroscience. 2009;29(39):12236-43.

Dean Mobbs, Rongyun Yu, Marcel Meyer, Luca Passamonti, Ben Seymour, Andrew Calder, Susanne Schweizer, Chris Frith, Tim Dagleish.
A key role for similarity in vicarious reward.

Ivo Vlaev and Ben Seymour, Ray Dolan, Nick Chater.
The price of pain and the value of suffering.
Psychological Science2009. 20:309-317. 

Dominik Bach, Ben Seymour and Ray Dolan.
Neural activity associated with the passive prediction of ambiguity and risk for aversive events.
Journal of Neuroscience 2009, 29(6):1648-1656. 


Predrag Petrovic, Burkhard Pleger, Ben Seymour, Stefan Kloppel, Benedetto De Martino, Hugo Critchley, Ray Dolan.
Blocking central opiate function modulates hedonic impact and anterior cingulate response to rewards and losses.
Journal of Neuroscience. 2008. 28(42):10509 –10516. 

Chris Brown, Ben Seymour, Wael El-Deredy, Anthony Jones.
Confidence in beliefs about pain predicts expectancy effects on pain perception and anticipatory processing in right anterior insula.
Pain. 2008, 139(2) 324-33. 

Ben Seymour and Sam McClure.
Anchors, scales and the relative coding of value in the brain.
Current Opinion in Neurobiology. 2008;18(2):173-8. 

Bianca Wittmann, Nathaniel Daw, Ben Seymour and Ray Dolan.
Striatal activity underlies novelty-based choice in humans.
Neuron. 2008 58(6):967-73.

Ben Seymour and Ray Dolan.
Emotion, decision-making and the amygdala.
Neuron. 2008 12;58(5):662-71. 

Peter Dayan and Ben Seymour.
Values and actions in aversion.
in 'Neuroeconomics: Decision making and the brain2008 eds Glimcher, Camerer, Fehr and Poldrack. 

Debbie Talmi, Ben Seymour, Peter Dayan and Ray Dolan.
Human Pavlovian-instrumental transfer.
Journal of Neuroscience. 2008 28(2): 360-368 


Dean Mobbs, Predrag Petrovic, Jennifer Marchant, Demis Hassabis, Nikolaus Weiskopf, Ben Seymour, Ray Dolan, Chris Frith.
When Fear Is Near: Threat Imminence Elicits Prefrontal– Periaqueductal Gray Shifts in Humans.
Science 2007;317:1079-83. 
Commentary by Stephen Maren.

Chris Brown,Ben Seymour, Yvonne Boyle, Wael El-Deredy, Anthony Jones.
Modulation of pain ratings by expectation and uncertainty: Behavioral characteristics and anticipatory neural correlates.
Pain. 2007. 135(3):240-50

Ben Seymour, Nathaniel Daw, Peter Dayan, Tania Singer, Ray Dolan.
Differential encoding of losses and gains in the human striatum.
Journal of Neuroscience. 2007;27(18):4826-31. 

Ben Seymour, Tania Singer, Ray Dolan.
The neurobiology of punishment.
Nature Reviews: Neuroscience. 2007. 8;300-311 


Peter Dayan, Yael Niv, Ben Seymour, Nathaniel Daw.
The Misbehavior of Value and the Discipline of the Will.
Neural Networks2006 19(8):1153-60. 

Raffael Kalisch, Elian Korenfeld, Klaas E. Stephan, Nikolaus Weiskopf, Ben Seymour, and Ray Dolan.
Context-Dependent Human Extinction Memory Is Mediated by a Ventromedial Prefrontal and Hippocampal Network.
Journal of Neuroscience2006;26:9503-11. 

Mathias Pesseglione, Ben Seymour, Guillaume Flandin, Ray Dolan, Chris Frith.
Dopamine-dependent prediction errors underpin reward-seeking behaviour in humans.

Benedetto De Martino, Dharsh Kumaran, Ben Seymour, Ray Dolan.
Frames, biases and decision making in the human brain.
Science. 2006;313(5787):684-7. 
Commentary by Daniel Kahneman and Shane Frederick.

Nathaniel Daw, John O'Doherty, Peter Dayan, Ben Seymour, Ray Dolan.
Cortical substrates for exploratory decisions in humans.
Nature 2006;441(7095):876-9. 
Commentary by Daeyeol Lee.

Ben Seymour.
Carry on eating: neural pathways mediating conditioned potentiation of feeding.
Journal of Neuroscience2006;26(4):1061-2. 

John O'Doherty, Tony Buchannen, Ben Seymour, Ray Dolan.
Predictive neural coding of reward preference involves dissociable responses in human ventral midbrain and ventral striatum.
Neuron 2006;49(1):157-66. 

Tania Singer, Ben Seymour, John O'Doherty, Klaas Stephan, Ray Dolan, Chris Frith.
Empathic neural responses are modulated by the perceived fairness of others.
Nature. 2006;439(7075):466-9. 


McKell Carter, John O'Doherty, Ben Seymour, Christof Koch, Ray Dolan.
Contingency awareness in human aversive conditioning involves the middle frontal gyrus.
Neuroimage. 2005 29(3):1007-12.

Ben Seymour, John O'Doherty, Martin Koltzenburg, Katya Wiech, Richard Frackowiak, Karl Friston, Ray Dolan
Opponent appetitive-aversive neural processes underlie predictive learning of pain relief.
Nature Neuroscience. 2005;8(9):1234-40. Epub 2005 Aug 21.

Katya Wiech, Ben Seymour, Raffael Kalisch, Klass Stephan, Martin Koltzenburg, Jon Driver, Ray Dolan.
Modulation of pain processing in hyperalgesia by cognitive demand.
Neuroimage. 2005;27(1):59-69.

Raffael Kalisch, Katya Wiech, Hugo Critchley, Ben Seymour, John O'Doherty, David Oakley, Phil Allen, Ray Dolan.
Anxiety reduction through detachment: subjective, physiological, and neural effects.
J Cogn Neurosci. 2005;17(6):874-83.


Ben Seymour, John O'Doherty, Peter Dayan, Martin Koltzenburg, Anthony Jones, Ray Dolan, Karl Friston, Richard Frackowiak.
Temporal difference models describe higher-order learning in humans.
Nature. 2004;429(6992):664-7.

Tania Singer, Ben Seymour, John O'Doherty, Holger Kaube, Ray Dolan, Chris Frith.
Empathy for pain involves the affective but not sensory components of pain.
Science. 2004;303(5661):1157-62.