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J Cogn Neurosci. 2011 Oct;23(10):3068-83. doi: 10.1162/jocn_a_00008. Epub 2011 Mar 10.

Interactions within and between corticostriatal loops during component processes of category learning.

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Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.


We examined dynamic interactions between cortex and BG during stimulus-response and feedback processing phases of categorization. First, we dissociated stimulus-response processing from feedback processing using "jittered" intervals of time between response and feedback to examine how each recruits the four primary corticostriatal loops (motor, executive, visual, and motivational). Second, we examined dynamic interactions within and between corticostriatal loops using Granger causality mapping. On each trial, subjects viewed one of six abstract visual stimuli, pressed a button indicating category membership, and then received feedback as to whether the decision was right or wrong. Stimulus-response processing was associated with greater activity in the visual loop, whereas feedback processing resulted in activity in the executive loop that was sensitive to feedback valence. Granger causality mapping showed patterns of directed influence within corticostriatal loops and between loops from the motor to the executive, to the visual, and finally to the motivational loop. These patterns of interaction are consistent with functional integration of motor processing in the motor loop with feedback processing in the executive loop and maintenance of stimulus-response history for future responses in the motivational loop.

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