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Action-outcome learning requires the prelimbic prefrontal cortex. Here the authors report that fasudil, a Rho kinase inhibitor, reduces dendritic spine densities on prelimbic neurons in an activity-dependent manner, stimulating goal-directed actions, and reducing habitual responding for cocaine.
Previous studies have shown short-term plasticity in single neurons or local field potentials during brain-machine interface (BMI) training. Here the authors report long-term changes in functional connectivity of motor cortex neuronal ensemble activity as chronically amputated monkeys learn to operate a BMI.
People often assume that other people share their preferences, but how exactly this bias manifests itself in learning and decision-making is unclear. Here, authors show that a person's own preferences influence learning in both social and non-social situations, and that this bias improves performance.
Spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP) has been studied extensively in slices but whether such pairings can induce plasticity in vivo is not known. Here the authors report an experimental paradigm that achieves bidirectional corticostriatal STDP in vivo through modulation by behaviourally relevant reinforcement signals, mediated by dopamine and adenosine signaling.
Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) and optical imaging have both undergone impressive technological growth in recent years. A study in which mice learn to modulate neural activity merges these technologies to investigate the neural basis of BCI learning with unprecedented spatial detail.