ERIC Number: EJ926112
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
A Computational Model of How Cholinergic Interneurons Protect Striatal-Dependent Learning
Ashby, F. Gregory; Crossley, Matthew J.
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, v23 n6 p1549-1566 Jun 2011
An essential component of skill acquisition is learning the environmental conditions in which that skill is relevant. This article proposes and tests a neurobiologically detailed theory of how such learning is mediated. The theory assumes that a key component of this learning is provided by the cholinergic interneurons in the striatum known as tonically active neurons (TANs). The TANs are assumed to exert a tonic inhibitory influence over cortical inputs to the striatum that prevents the execution of any striatal-dependent actions. The TANs learn to pause in rewarding environments, and this pause releases the striatal output neurons from this inhibitory effect, thereby facilitating the learning and expression of striatal-dependent behaviors. When rewards are no longer available, the TANs cease to pause, which protects striatal learning from decay. A computational version of this theory accounts for a variety of single-cell recording data and some classic behavioral phenomena, including fast reacquisition after extinction.
Descriptors: Rewards, Educational Environment, Models, Computation, Theories, Learning Processes, Neurological Organization, Neurology, Science Education, Biology, Skill Development, Brain, Inhibition, Behavior, Cognitive Psychology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A