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Neuroscience. 2017 Mar 14;345:12-26. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2016.03.021. Epub 2016 Mar 12.

The neural basis of reversal learning: An updated perspective.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, The Brain Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Electronic address: aizquie@psych.ucla.edu.
2
Department of Neurosciences, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM, USA.
3
Laboratory of Behavioral and Genomic Neuroscience, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Bethesda, MD, USA.
4
Department of Neuroscience and Friedman Brain Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10014, USA.

Abstract

Reversal learning paradigms are among the most widely used tests of cognitive flexibility and have been used as assays, across species, for altered cognitive processes in a host of neuropsychiatric conditions. Based on recent studies in humans, non-human primates, and rodents, the notion that reversal learning tasks primarily measure response inhibition, has been revised. In this review, we describe how cognitive flexibility is measured by reversal learning and discuss new definitions of the construct validity of the task that are serving as a heuristic to guide future research in this field. We also provide an update on the available evidence implicating certain cortical and subcortical brain regions in the mediation of reversal learning, and an overview of the principal neurotransmitter systems involved.

KEYWORDS:

amygdala; dopamine; frontal cortex; glutamate; serotonin; striatum

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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