A neurocomputational model of classical conditioning phenomena: A putative role for the hippocampal region in associative learning

Ahmed A. Moustafa*, Catherine E. Myers, Mark A. Gluck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Some existing models of hippocampal function simulate performance in classical conditioning tasks using the error backpropagation algorithm to guide learning (Gluck, M.A., and Myers, C.E., (1993). Hippocampal mediation of stimulus representation: a computational theory. Hippocampus, 3(4), 491-516.). This algorithm is not biologically plausible because it requires information to be passed backward through layers of nodes and assumes that the environment provides information to the brain about what correct outputs should be. Here, we show that the same information-processing function proposed for the hippocampal region in the Gluck and Myers (1993) model can also be implemented in a network without using the backpropagation algorithm. Instead, our newer instantiation of the theory uses only (a) Hebbian learning methods which match more closely with synaptic and associative learning mechanisms ascribed to the hippocampal region and (b) a more plausible representation of input stimuli. We demonstrate here that this new more biologically plausible model is able to simulate various behavioral effects, including latent inhibition, acquired equivalence, sensory preconditioning, negative patterning, and context shift effects. In addition, the newer model is able to address some new phenomena including the effect of the number of training trials on blocking and overshadowing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-195
Number of pages16
JournalBrain Research
Volume1276
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes

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