Jeffery R. Wickens

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The spiny projection neurons are by far the most numerous type of striatal neuron. In addition to being the principal projection neurons of the striatum, the spiny projection neurons also have an extensive network of local axon collaterals by which they make synaptic connections with other striatal projection neurons. However, up to now there has been no(More)
Positive reinforcement helps to control the acquisition of learned behaviours. Here we report a cellular mechanism in the brain that may underlie the behavioural effects of positive reinforcement. We used intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) as a model of reinforcement learning, in which each rat learns to press a lever that applies reinforcing electrical(More)
Knowledge of the effect of dopamine on corticostriatal synaptic plasticity has advanced rapidly over the last 5 years. We consider this new knowledge in relation to three factors proposed earlier to describe the rules for synaptic plasticity in the corticostriatal pathway. These factors are a phasic increase in dopamine release, presynaptic activity and(More)
Behavioral conditioning of cue-reward pairing results in a shift of midbrain dopamine (DA) cell activity from responding to the reward to responding to the predictive cue. However, the precise time course and mechanism underlying this shift remain unclear. Here, we report a combined single-unit recording and temporal difference (TD) modeling approach to(More)
Dopamine and glutamate are key neurotransmitters involved in learning and memory mechanisms of the brain. These two neurotransmitter systems converge on nerve cells in the neostriatum. Dopamine modulation of activity-dependent plasticity at glutamatergic corticostriatal synapses has been proposed as a cellular mechanism for learning in the neostriatum. The(More)
Learning deficits resulting from dopamine depletion suggest that striatal dopamine release is crucial for reinforcement. Recently described firing patterns of dopamine neurons in behaving monkeys show that transient increases in dopamine release are brought about by reinforcement. We describe an enduring change in the strength of synaptic transmission(More)
With the rapid accumulation of neuroscientific data comes a pressing need to develop models that can explain the computational processes performed by the basal ganglia. Relevant biological information spans a range of structural levels, from the activity of neuronal membranes to the role of the basal ganglia in overt behavioural control. This viewpoint(More)
In recent years, dopamine has emerged as a key neurotransmitter that is crucially involved in incentive motivation and reinforcement learning. Dopamine release is evoked by rewards. The extensive divergence of outputs from a small number of dopaminergic neurons suggests a spatially nonselective action of dopamine, but it reinforces the specific actions that(More)
The striatum is the major input nucleus of the basal ganglia. It is thought to play a key role in learning on the basis of positive reinforcement and in action selection. One view of the striatum conceives it as comprising a reiterated matrix of processing units that perform common operations in different striatal regions, namely synaptic plasticity(More)
The striatum is composed of GABAergic medium spiny neurons with inhibitory collaterals forming a sparse random asymmetric network and receiving an excitatory glutamatergic cortical projection. Because the inhibitory collaterals are sparse and weak, their role in striatal network dynamics is puzzling. However, here we show by simulation of a striatal(More)