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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2011 Jun;21(3):408-14. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2011.05.009. Epub 2011 Jun 12.

Learning and motivation in the human striatum.

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Department of Psychology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10025, USA.


The past decade has seen a dramatic change in our understanding of the role of the striatum in behavior. Early perspectives emphasized a role for the striatum in habitual learning of stimulus-response associations and sequences of actions. Recent advances from human neuroimaging research suggest a broader role for the striatum in motivated learning. New findings demonstrate that the striatum represents multiple learning signals and highlight the contribution of the striatum across many cognitive domains and contexts. Recent findings also emphasize interactions between the striatum and other specialized brain systems for learning. Together, these findings suggest that the striatum contributes to a distributed network that learns to select actions based on their predicted value in order to optimize behavior.

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