Japanse scientists studying the brain of Japanese macaque monkeys have identified a group of neurons responsible for learning from others' mistakes. The team reported their results online on 5 August in the journal called Nature Neuroscience.
Monkeys and humans can learn from their mistakes, and for the first time this work pinpoints the group of neurons responsible for encoding the information required for this behaviour. The team, led by Masaki Isoda, designed an experiment where pairs of monkeys took turns choosing between two options, however, only one resulted in a reward.
While monkeys learned to make decisions from looking at their partners, researchers found a group of neurons in the medial frontal cortex that increased their firing rates when the other monkey made an error.
Original article: Social error monitoring in macaque frontal cortex.