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Feature Article Distributed Modular Architectures

Summary: Feature Article
Distributed Modular Architectures
Linking Basal Ganglia, Cerebellum, and
Cerebral Cortex: Their Role in Planning
and Controlling Action
The motor system includes structures distributed widely through the
CNS. and in this feature article we present a scheme for how they
might cooperate in the control of action. Distributed modules, which
constitute the basic building blocks of our model, include recurrent
loops connecting distant brain structures, as well as local circuitry
thatmodulates loop activity. We consider interconnections among the
basal ganglia, cerebellum, and cerebral cortex and the specialized
properties of certain cell types within each ofthose structures. name-
ly. striatal spiny neurons, cerebellar Purkinje cells, and neocortical
pyramidal cells. In our model, striatal spiny neurons of thebasal gan-
glia function in contextual pattern recognition under the training in-
fluence of reinforcement signals transmitted in dopamine fibers. Cer-
ebellar Purkinje cells also function in pattern recognition, in their
case to select and execute actions through training supervised by
climbing fibers, which signal discoordination. Neocortical pyramidal


Source: Apkarian, A. Vania - Department of Physiology, Northwestern University


Collections: Biology and Medicine