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Cereb Cortex. 2007 Jan;17(1):37-43. Epub 2006 Jan 25.

Neural correlates of rule-based and information-integration visual category learning.

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Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.


An emerging theory of the neurobiology of category learning postulates that there are separate neural systems supporting the learning of categories based on verbalizeable rules (RB) or through implicit information integration (II). The medial temporal lobe (MTL) is thought to play a crucial role in successful RB categorization, whereas the posterior regions of the caudate are hypothesized to support II categorization. Functional neuroimaging was used to assess activity in these systems during category-learning tasks with category structures designed to afford either RB or II learning. Successful RB categorization was associated with relatively increased activity in the anterior MTL. Successful II categorization was associated with increased activity in the caudate body. The dissociation observed with neuroimaging is consistent with the roles of these systems in memory and dissociations reported in patient populations. Convergent evidence from these approaches consistently reinforces the idea of multiple neural systems supporting category learning.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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