Apr 13, 2007

Is there a brainstem substrate for action selection?

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
M D HumphriesTony J Prescott


The search for the neural substrate of vertebrate action selection has focused on structures in the forebrain and midbrain, and particularly on the group of sub-cortical nuclei known as the basal ganglia. Yet, the behavioural repertoire of decerebrate and neonatal animals suggests the existence of a relatively self-contained neural substrate for action selection in the brainstem. We propose that the medial reticular formation (mRF) is the substrate's main component and review evidence showing that the mRF's inputs, outputs and intrinsic organization are consistent with the requirements of an action-selection system. The internal architecture of the mRF is composed of interconnected neuron clusters. We present an anatomical model which suggests that the mRF's intrinsic circuitry constitutes a small-world network and extend this result to show that it may have evolved to reduce axonal wiring. Potential configurations of action representation within the internal circuitry of the mRF are then assessed by computational modelling. We present new results demonstrating that each cluster's output is most likely to represent activation of a component action; thus, coactivation of a set of these clusters would lead to the coordinated beha...Continue Reading

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  • Citations19


Mentioned in this Paper

Structure of Reticular Formation of Spinal Cord
In Silico
Anatomical Layer
Entire Brainstem
Entire Reticular Formation
Reticular Formation (Classical)
Entire Midbrain
Entire Basal Nuclei

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