Learning substrates in the primate prefrontal cortex and striatum: = activity related to successful actions
Author(s)Histed, Mark H.; Pasupathy, Anitha; Miller, Earl K.
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Learning from experience requires knowing whether a past action resulted in a desired outcome. The prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia are thought to play key roles in such learning of arbitrary stimulus-response associations. Previous studies have found neural activity in these areas, similar to dopaminergic neurons' signals, that transiently reflect whether a response is correct or incorrect. However, it is unclear how this transient activity, which fades in under a second, influences actions that occur much later. Here, we report that single neurons in both areas show sustained, persistent outcome-related responses. Moreover, single behavioral outcomes influence future neural activity and behavior: behavioral responses are more often correct and single neurons more accurately discriminate between the possible responses when the previous response was correct. These long-lasting signals about trial outcome provide a way to link one action to the next and may allow reward signals to be combined over time to implement successful learning.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Histed, Mark H., Anitha Pasupathy, and Earl K. Miller. “Learning Substrates in the Primate Prefrontal Cortex and Striatum: Sustained Activity Related to Successful Actions.” Neuron 63.2 (2009): 244–253. Web. 5 Apr. 2012.
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