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Instrumental behaviour is controlled by two systems: a stimulus-response habit mechanism and a goal-directed process that involves two forms of learning. The first is learning about the instrumental contingency between the response and reward, whereas the second consists of the acquisition of incentive value by the reward. Evidence for contingency learning(More)
In three experiments we examined the effect of bilateral excitotoxic lesions of the nucleus accumbens core or shell subregions on instrumental performance, outcome devaluation, degradation of the instrumental contingency, Pavlovian conditioning, and Pavlovian-instrumental transfer. Rats were food deprived and trained to press two levers, one delivering food(More)
This series of experiments compared the effects of lesions of the basolateral complex (BLA) and the central nucleus (CN) of the amygdala on a number of tests of instrumental learning and performance and particularly on the contribution of these structures to the specific and general forms of pavlovian-instrumental transfer (PIT). In experiment 1, groups of(More)
Habits are controlled by antecedent stimuli rather than by goal expectancy. Interval schedules of feedback have been shown to generate habits, as revealed by the insensitivity of behaviour acquired under this schedule to outcome devaluation treatments. Two experiments were conducted to assess the role of the dorsolateral striatum in habit learning. In(More)
Considerable evidence suggests that, in instrumental conditioning, rats learn the relationship between actions and their specific consequences or outcomes. The present study examined the role of the dorsomedial striatum (DMS) in this type of learning after excitotoxic lesions and reversible, muscimol-induced inactivation. In three experiments, rats were(More)
Recent studies suggest that there are multiple 'reward' or 'reward-like' systems that control food seeking; evidence points to two distinct learning processes and four modulatory processes that contribute to the performance of food-related instrumental actions. The learning processes subserve the acquisition of goal-directed and habitual actions and involve(More)
Habits are characterized by an insensitivity to their consequences and, as such, can be distinguished from goal-directed actions. The neural basis of the development of demonstrably outcome-insensitive habitual actions in humans has not been previously characterized. In this experiment, we show that extensive training on a free-operant task reduces the(More)
Numerous studies have implicated human and primate prefrontal cortex in the ability to hold and manipulate goal or outcome-related information in working memory to guide the performance of forthcoming actions. Here we report that cell-body lesions of prelimbic cortex impair the ability of rats to select an action based on previously encoded action-outcome(More)
The amygdala is a heterogeneous structure that has been implicated in a wide variety of functions, most notably in fear conditioning. From this research, an influential serial model of amygdala processes has emerged in which aversive learning is mediated by the amygdala basolateral nucleus whereas performance, in this case of various defensive reflexes, is(More)