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Nat Neurosci. 2007 Jan;10(1):126-31. Epub 2006 Dec 24.

Separate neural substrates for skill learning and performance in the ventral and dorsal striatum.

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  • 1Department of Psychology and Center for Neuroscience, University of Colorado Boulder, 345 UCB, Boulder, Colorado 80309, USA. hisham.atallah@colorado.edu

Abstract

It is widely accepted that the striatum of the basal ganglia is a primary substrate for the learning and performance of skills. We provide evidence that two regions of the rat striatum, ventral and dorsal, play distinct roles in instrumental conditioning (skill learning), with the ventral striatum being critical for learning and the dorsal striatum being important for performance but, notably, not for learning. This implies an actor (dorsal) versus director (ventral) division of labor, which is a new variant of the widely discussed actor-critic architecture. Our results also imply that the successful performance of a skill can ultimately result in its establishment as a habit outside the basal ganglia.

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PMID:
17187065
DOI:
10.1038/nn1817
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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