A computational model of action selection in the basal ganglia. II. Analysis and simulation of behaviour

Biol Cybern. 2001 Jun;84(6):411-23. doi: 10.1007/PL00007985.


In a companion paper a new functional architecture was proposed for the basal ganglia based on the premise that these brain structures play a central role in behavioural action selection. The current paper quantitatively describes the properties of the model using analysis and simulation. The decomposition of the basal ganglia into selection and control pathways is supported in several ways. First, several elegant features are exposed--capacity scaling, enhanced selectivity and synergistic dopamine modulation--which might be expected to exist in a well designed action selection mechanism. The discovery of these features also lends support to the computational premise of selection that underpins our model. Second, good matches between model globus pallidus external segment output and globus pallidus internal segment and substantia nigra reticulata area output, and neurophysiological data, have been found which are indicative of common architectural features in the model and biological basal ganglia. Third, the behaviour of the model as a signal selection mechanism has parallels with some kinds of action selection observed in animals under various levels of dopaminergic modulation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basal Ganglia / physiology*
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological*