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Nat Neurosci. 2005 Dec;8(12):1704-11. Epub 2005 Nov 6.

Uncertainty-based competition between prefrontal and dorsolateral striatal systems for behavioral control.

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  • 1Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, University College London, Alexandra House, 17 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AR, UK. daw@gatsby.ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

A broad range of neural and behavioral data suggests that the brain contains multiple systems for behavioral choice, including one associated with prefrontal cortex and another with dorsolateral striatum. However, such a surfeit of control raises an additional choice problem: how to arbitrate between the systems when they disagree. Here, we consider dual-action choice systems from a normative perspective, using the computational theory of reinforcement learning. We identify a key trade-off pitting computational simplicity against the flexible and statistically efficient use of experience. The trade-off is realized in a competition between the dorsolateral striatal and prefrontal systems. We suggest a Bayesian principle of arbitration between them according to uncertainty, so each controller is deployed when it should be most accurate. This provides a unifying account of a wealth of experimental evidence about the factors favoring dominance by either system.

PMID:
16286932
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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