Michael A McDannald

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In many cases, learning is thought to be driven by differences between the value of rewards we expect and rewards we actually receive. Yet learning can also occur when the identity of the reward we receive is not as expected, even if its value remains unchanged. Learning from changes in reward identity implies access to an internal model of the environment,(More)
Patients with damage to the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) display various impairments in cognitive and affective function, including a reduced ability to use information about the consequences of their actions to guide their behavior. In this study, rats with neurotoxic lesions of the OFC failed to use specific expectancies about outcomes to guide their(More)
Computational and learning theory models propose that behavioral control reflects value that is both cached (computed and stored during previous experience) and inferred (estimated on the fly on the basis of knowledge of the causal structure of the environment). The latter is thought to depend on the orbitofrontal cortex. Yet some accounts propose that the(More)
The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) has long been implicated in associative learning. Early work by Mishkin and Rolls showed that the OFC was critical for rapid changes in learned behavior, a role that was reflected in the encoding of associative information by orbitofrontal neurons. Over the years, new data-particularly neurophysiological data-have increasingly(More)
Learning is proposed to occur when there is a discrepancy between reward prediction and reward receipt. At least two separate systems are thought to exist: one in which predictions are proposed to be based on model-free or cached values; and another in which predictions are model-based. A basic neural circuit for model-free reinforcement learning has(More)
Nodes in networks are often of different types, and in this sense networks are differentiated. Here we examine the relationship between network differentiation and network size in networks under economic or natural selective pressure, such as electronic circuits (networks of electronic components), Legos (networks of Lego pieces), businesses (networks of(More)
When exposed to pairings of a visual stimulus with food delivery, rats normally acquire both conditioned orienting responses directed toward the visual stimulus and conditioned food-related responses. Consistent with the results of previous lesion studies, reversible inactivation of amygdala central nucleus function before each conditioning session(More)
The best way to respond flexibly to changes in the environment is to anticipate them. Such anticipation often benefits us if we can infer that a change has occurred, before we have actually experienced the effects of that change. Here we test for neural correlates of this process by recording single-unit activity in the orbitofrontal cortex in rats(More)
The nucleus accumbens (NA) has been hypothesized to be part of a circuit in which cue-evoked information about expected outcomes is mobilized to guide behavior. Here we tested this hypothesis using a Pavlovian reinforcer devaluation task, previously applied to assess outcome-guided behavior after damage to regions such as the orbitofrontal cortex and(More)
Rats with bilateral lesions of the ventral striatal nucleus accumbens failed to acquire Pavlovian second-order conditioning to auditory stimuli paired with visual stimuli that had previously received first-order pairings with food. This deficit in second-order conditioning was specific to learning driven by incentive properties of the first-order cues, and(More)