Exacerbation of the credit assignment problem in rats with lesions of the medial prefrontal cortex is revealed by Bayesian analysis of behavior in the pre-solution period of learning.

Exacerbation of the credit assignment problem in rats with lesions of the medial prefrontal cortex is revealed by Bayesian analysis of behavior in the pre-solution period of learning. Behav Brain Res. 2019 Jun 13;:112037 Authors: Wang J, Tait DS, Brown VJ, Bowman EM Abstract Our internal models of the world help us to process information rapidly: in general model-based learning is more rapid than model-free learning. However, the cognitive flexibility required to overcome cognitive predispositions can let us down: it is not fully developed until adulthood; predispositions can be unconscious biases; and cognitive flexibility is impaired in many psychiatric and neurological conditions. To understand these limits to flexibility, we need to know how brain generates predispositions and deploys flexibility. We performed a detailed analysis of the exploratory behavior of rats in the pre-solution period of a two-alternative forced choice discrimination learning task. Rats readily learn in which of two bowls, filled with differentially scented and textured digging materials, there is hidden bait. In a single session, they are presented with a series of discrimination learning and reversal stages. We performed a simple Bayesian analysis on the data from 68 rats, 33 of which had lesions of the medial prefrontal cortex), to examine patterns of responding in the pre-solution period. Control rats rapidly focussed on the relevant stimulus attributes and showed flexibil...
Source: Behavioural Brain Research - Category: Neurology Authors: Tags: Behav Brain Res Source Type: research

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