Modeling the neural substrates of learning through conditioning: a two-phased model

  • Authors
  • Puigbò JY, González Ballester MA, Verschure PFMJ
  • UPF authors
  • VERSCHURE, PAULUS FRANCISCUS MARIA JOSEPH; PUIGBO LLOBET, JORDI YSARD; GONZALEZ BALLESTER, MIGUEL ANGEL;
  • Type
  • Scholarly articles
  • Journal títle
  • IBM Journal of Research and Development
  • Publication year
  • 2017
  • Volume
  • 61
  • Number
  • 2/3
  • Pages
  • 1-11
  • ISSN
  • 0018-8646
  • Publication State
  • Published
  • Abstract
  • How animals and humans obtain relevant representations of the environment for their survival is not fully understood. Classical conditioning experiments have sometimes helped identify when those representations are learned. We review the literature that highlights the roles of the amygdala during classical conditioning, including the association of emotional responses between conditioned stimuli (CS) and unconditioned stimuli (US) and stimuli-induced synaptic plasticity in sensory areas. The particular connectivity from both cortical and subcortical areas to the amygdala and from the amygdala toward the main brain areas, releasing plasticity-inducing neurotransmitters, suggests that the role of the amygdala goes beyond the formation of emotional memories toward the encoding of valence (e.g., the positive or negative emotional value of a stimulus) or relevance. This particular architecture positions the amygdala as a driver of motivation and sensory modulation. We suggest that amygdalar CS-US associations indirectly attribute to the CS the capacity to regulate synaptic-plasticity-inducing neurotransmitters in the brain. We present a model of cholinergic modulation of the sensory cortex that addresses these roles. This model is a first step toward a two-phased learning theory, with sensory learning scaffolding associative learning. This model predicts that a cascade of iteratively learned US-CS and CS-CS associations found in daily life could help fine-tune relevant perceptual and behavioral skills.
  • Complete citation
  • Puigbò JY, González Ballester MA, Verschure PFMJ. Modeling the neural substrates of learning through conditioning: a two-phased model. IBM Journal of Research and Development 2017; 61(2/3): 1-11.
Bibliometric indicators
  • 1 times cited Scopus
  • 0 times cited WOS
  • Índex Scimago de 0.275(2017)