Dec 7, 2002

Interactions between frontal cortex and basal ganglia in working memory: a computational model

Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience
Michael J FrankRandall C O'Reilly


The frontal cortex and the basal ganglia interact via a relatively well understood and elaborate system of interconnections. In the context of motor function, these interconnections can be understood as disinhibiting, or "releasing the brakes," on frontal motor action plans: The basal ganglia detect appropriate contexts for performing motor actions and enable the frontal cortex to execute such actions at the appropriate time. We build on this idea in the domain of working memory through the use of computational neural network models of this circuit. In our model, the frontal cortex exhibits robust active maintenance, whereas the basal ganglia contribute a selective, dynamic gating function that enables frontal memory representations to be rapidly updated in a task-relevant manner. We apply the model to a novel version of the continuous performance task that requires subroutine-like selective working memory updating and compare and contrast our model with other existing models and theories of frontal-cortex-basal-ganglia interactions.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Cortex Bone Disorders
Adrenal Cortex Diseases
Entire Basal Nuclei
Mental Recall
Neural Network Simulation
Motor Function
Structure of Broca's Area
Claustral Structure
Cortex of Organ

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