Uncertainty-based Competition Between Prefrontal and Dorsolateral Striatal Systems for Behavioral Control

Nat Neurosci. 2005 Dec;8(12):1704-11. doi: 10.1038/nn1560. Epub 2005 Nov 6.

Abstract

A broad range of neural and behavioral data suggests that the brain contains multiple systems for behavioral choice, including one associated with prefrontal cortex and another with dorsolateral striatum. However, such a surfeit of control raises an additional choice problem: how to arbitrate between the systems when they disagree. Here, we consider dual-action choice systems from a normative perspective, using the computational theory of reinforcement learning. We identify a key trade-off pitting computational simplicity against the flexible and statistically efficient use of experience. The trade-off is realized in a competition between the dorsolateral striatal and prefrontal systems. We suggest a Bayesian principle of arbitration between them according to uncertainty, so each controller is deployed when it should be most accurate. This provides a unifying account of a wealth of experimental evidence about the factors favoring dominance by either system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Decision Making / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neostriatum / physiology*
  • Neural Networks, Computer
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Volition / physiology*