However, there remain some challenges for this kind of account, m

However, there remain some challenges for this kind of account, most notably in cases where updating would be selective. Dopaminergic projections into PFC are diffuse and may not have the necessary spatial specificity for selective updating of distinct representations [32]. Selective updating by dopaminergic input might occur temporally instead

(e.g. via phase-tuned or frequency-tuned signals), but the prefrontal dopamine response may also lack the temporal resolution required by this scheme [33] (unlike BG output to thalamus [34••]). Thus, while dopamine clearly has effects in PFC (perhaps largely via effects on the gain of neuronal ensembles), the spatial-coarseness and temporal-coarseness of prefrontal dopaminergic afferents might render those projections ineffective for selective working memory RG7422 updating. Nonetheless, people are capable of simultaneously updating the entirety of working memory [35]; diffuse dopaminergic neuromodulation might be well adapted for such ‘global updates’ (but see 36 and 37). According to the prevailing top-down ‘biased competition’ model of prefrontal function, information residing in working memory actively biases behavior. However,

not all information in working memory needs to be relevant at the same time, and indeed might cross-talk or mutually interfere if mere maintenance yielded an obligatory biasing influence. Clearly, the capacity to ‘single out’ or select relevant representations stored within working memory is adaptive [38]. Behavioral evidence indicates that humans are capable of selecting information from within working Atezolizumab chemical structure memory [39]. One possibility is that BG-mediated gating mechanisms for selecting actions might also Megestrol Acetate be extended for selecting the outputs of working memory. In fact, the analogy between the BG’s role in action selection and its potential role in selecting working memory output is straightforward. Premotor areas gating the output of primary motor neurons requires similar rostral-to-caudal frontostriatal projections as required

for more abstract representations in working memory to influence premotor planning. In other words, higher-order plans can select motor plans via rostral corticostriatal circuits, just as motor plans can select individual movements via caudal ones. Hierarchical, rostrocaudal neural architectures have recently been argued to support the performance of complex tasks involving conditional rules 40, 41, 42••, 43, 44, 45 and 46•. A priori, output gating is an advantageous scheme in frontostriatal hierarchies of this kind. Unlike hierarchical input gating, hierarchical output gating allows subordinate regions to proceed with their own input and reallocation policies until (or unless) higher-order regions identify an important context or conditionality.

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