Cortical electrophysiological network dynamics of feedback learning

Trends Cogn Sci. 2011 Dec;15(12):558-66. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2011.10.004. Epub 2011 Nov 9.


Understanding the neurophysiological mechanisms of learning is important for both fundamental and clinical neuroscience. We present a neurophysiologically inspired framework for understanding cortical mechanisms of feedback-guided learning. This framework is based on dynamic changes in systems-level oscillatory synchronization, reflecting changes in synaptic plasticity between stimulus-processing and motor areas that are modulated in a top-down fashion by different areas of the prefrontal cortex. We make new and testable predictions for how large-scale cortical networks support learning from feedback. Testing these predictions may provide new insights into the basic mechanisms underlying learning and how these mechanisms may be impaired in clinical disorders in which feedback learning is compromised.

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Electrophysiological Phenomena / physiology*
  • Feedback*
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*