Parallel neural networks for learning sequential procedures

Trends Neurosci. 1999 Oct;22(10):464-71. doi: 10.1016/s0166-2236(99)01439-3.


Recent studies have shown that multiple brain areas contribute to different stages and aspects of procedural learning. On the basis of a series of studies using a sequence-learning task with trial-and-error, we propose a hypothetical scheme in which a sequential procedure is acquired independently by two cortical systems, one using spatial coordinates and the other using motor coordinates. They are active preferentially in the early and late stages of learning, respectively. Both of the two systems are supported by loop circuits formed with the basal ganglia and the cerebellum, the former for reward-based evaluation and the latter for processing of timing. The proposed neural architecture would operate in a flexible manner to acquire and execute multiple sequential procedures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basal Ganglia / cytology*
  • Cerebellum / cytology*
  • Motor Neurons / physiology*
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Neural Networks, Computer*
  • Neural Pathways