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Publication Summary and Abstract

Stafford, T, & Gurney, K. (2005), The basal ganglia as the selection mechanism in a cognitive task, Modelling Natural Action Selection, J. J. Bryson, T. J. Prescott & A. Seth (Eds.), pp. 77-83, AISB Press.

This paper builds on our existing, biologically constrained, model of the basal ganglia, which was originally constructed under the premise that these subcortical structures perform action selection. Here we show how this same model, when used in conjunction with a connectionist model of processing in the Stroop task, can provide an improved account of human performance on that task. Our model accounts for a wide variety of phenomenon, and provides a framework for connecting Stroop processing with the neuroanatomical basis of action selection. This work validates modelling the basal ganglia as the vertebrate solution to the action selection problem and demonstrates the importance of action selection issues to understanding performance on cognitive tasks. Proposals are made concerning the desirable properties a selection mechanism must possess.
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