Neuroscience: Learning experience

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    Neuron 63, 244–253 (2009) 10.1016/j.neuron.2009.06.019

    Sustained firing by neurons in two brain regions may help animals learn from the consequences of earlier actions.

    Mark Histed, now at Harvard Medical School, and his colleagues trained macaques to move their eyes left or right in response to visual cues. The researchers located neurons in the prefrontal cortex and the caudate nucleus of the basal ganglia — two regions known to be involved in learning — that fired for several seconds after the monkeys found out whether their eye movements were correct.

    The firing lasted until the following trial, suggesting that the neurons carried the link between the monkey's behaviour and its outcome into the next trial to facilitate learning.

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    Neuroscience: Learning experience. Nature 460, 668 (2009) doi:10.1038/460668e

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