Category Learning in the Brain
Author(s)Miller, Earl K.; Seger, Carol A.
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The ability to group items and events into functional categories is a fundamental characteristic of sophisticated thought. It is subserved by plasticity in many neural systems, including neocortical regions (sensory, prefrontal, parietal, and motor cortex), the medial temporal lobe, the basal ganglia, and midbrain dopaminergic systems. These systems interact during category learning. Corticostriatal loops may mediate recursive, bootstrapping interactions between fast reward-gated plasticity in the basal ganglia and slow reward-shaded plasticity in the cortex. This can provide a balance between acquisition of details of experiences and generalization across them. Interactions between the corticostriatal loops can integrate perceptual, response, and feedback-related aspects of the task and mediate the shift from novice to skilled performance. The basal ganglia and medial temporal lobe interact competitively or cooperatively, depending on the demands of the learning task.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Annual Reviews in Neuroscience
Seger, Carol A., and Earl K. Miller. “Category Learning in the Brain.” Annual Review of Neuroscience 33.1 (2010): 203–219.
Author's final manuscript