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Publication Summary and Abstract

Humphries, M. D. & Gurney, K. (1999), A computational model of action selection in the basal ganglia: Thalamic and cortical interactions, Technical Report AIVRU132, The University of Sheffield.

We report a computational model of action selection in the basal ganglia that extends the work of Gurney, Prescott and Redgrave(1998b). The Gurney et al. model dealt with the basal gangla in isolation and we incorporated this model into a full thalamocortical circuit. We investigated the affect this had on the model's ability to perform action selection. The model's results were compared to the computational requirements and desirable characteristics of a switching mechanism as set out in Redgrave, Prescott and Gurney(1999). We found that the extended model fulfilled all of these requirements and characteristics, and had improved switching properties compared to the original model. The affects of dopamine modulation which were observed in the original model were maintained in the extended model. Furthermore, we discovered a mechanism of thalamocortical latching that improved switching performance. Finally, we outlined a functional role for the thalamic reticular nucleus that is both computationally and anatomically plausible.
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