Cognitive Functions in the Prefrontal Association Cortex; Transitive Inference and the Lateral Prefrontal Cortex Shingo Tanaka 1 , Mineki Oguchi 1 , Masamichi Sakagami 1 1Brain Science institute, Tamagawa University Keyword: 前頭前野外側部 , 線条体 , カテゴリー化 , モデルフリープロセス , モデルベースプロセス , lateral prefrontal cortex , striatum , categorization , model-free process , model-based process pp.1263-1270
Published Date 2016/11/1
DOI https://doi.org/10.11477/mf.1416200590
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To behave appropriately in a complex and uncertain world, the brain makes use of several distinct learning systems. One such system is called the “model-free process”, via which conditioning allows the association between a stimulus or response and a given reward to be learned. Another system is called the “model-based process”. Via this process, the state transition between a stimulus and a response is learned so that the brain is able to plan actions prior to their execution. Several studies have tried to relate the difference between model-based and model-free processes to the difference in functions of the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) and the striatum. Here, we describe a series of studies that demonstrate the ability of LPFC neurons to categorize visual stimuli by their associated behavioral responses and to generate abstract information. If LPFC neurons utilize abstract code to associate a stimulus with a reward, they should be able to infer similar relationships between other stimuli of the same category and their rewards without direct experience of these stimulus-reward contingencies. We propose that this ability of LPFC neurons to utilize abstract information can contribute to the model-based learning process.

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