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Significant trial-by-trial variation persists even in the most practiced skills. One prevalent view is that such variation is simply 'noise' that the nervous system is unable to control or that remains below threshold for behavioural relevance. An alternative hypothesis is that such variation enables trial-and-error learning, in which the motor system(More)
In songbirds, the basal ganglia outflow nucleus LMAN is a cortical analog that is required for several forms of song plasticity and learning. Moreover, in adults, inactivating LMAN can reverse the initial expression of learning driven via aversive reinforcement. In the present study, we investigated how LMAN contributes to both reinforcement-driven learning(More)
Variation in sequencing of actions occurs in many natural behaviors, yet how such variation is maintained is poorly understood. We investigated maintenance of sequence variation in adult Bengalese finch song, a learned skill with rendition-to-rendition variation in the sequencing of discrete syllables (i.e., syllable "b" might transition to "c" with 70%(More)
Reinforcement signals indicating success or failure are known to alter the probability of selecting between distinct actions. However, successful performance of many motor skills, such as speech articulation, also requires learning behavioral trajectories that vary continuously over time. Here, we investigated how temporally discrete reinforcement signals(More)
14 In songbirds, the basal ganglia outflow nucleus LMAN is a cortical analogue that is 15 required for several forms of song plasticity and learning. Moreover, in adults, inactivating 16 LMAN can reverse the initial expression of learning driven via aversive reinforcement. Here, we 17 investigate how LMAN contributes both to reinforcement-driven learning(More)
The role of synaptic dynamics in processing neural information is investigated in a neural information channel with realistic model neurons having chaotic intrinsic dynamics. Our neuron models are realized in simple analogue circuits, and our synaptic connections are realized both in analogue circuits and through a dynamic clamp program. The information(More)
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