A specific role for posterior dorsolateral striatum in human habit learning.

Department of Psychology, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ 07102, USA.
European Journal of Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 3.67). 06/2009; 29(11):2225-32. DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2009.06796.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Habits are characterized by an insensitivity to their consequences and, as such, can be distinguished from goal-directed actions. The neural basis of the development of demonstrably outcome-insensitive habitual actions in humans has not been previously characterized. In this experiment, we show that extensive training on a free-operant task reduces the sensitivity of participants' behavior to a reduction in outcome value. Analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging data acquired during training revealed a significant increase in task-related cue sensitivity in a right posterior putamen-globus pallidus region as training progressed. These results provide evidence for a shift from goal-directed to habit-based control of instrumental actions in humans, and suggest that cue-driven activation in a specific region of dorsolateral posterior putamen may contribute to the habitual control of behavior in humans.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Studies in humans and rodents suggest that behavior can at times be ‘goal-directed’, i.e. planned, and purposeful, and at times ‘habitual’, i.e. inflexible and automatically evoked by stimuli. Their distinction is central to conceptions of pathological compulsion, as in drug abuse and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Evidence for this distinction primarily comes from outcome devaluation studies, where the sensitivity of a previously learned behavior to motivational change is used to assay the dominance of habits vs. goal- directed actions. However, little is known about how habits and goal-directed control arise. Specifically, the present study sought to reveal the trial-by-trial dynamics of instrumental learning that promote, and protect against, developing habits. In two complementary experiments with independent samples, participants completed a sequential decision task that dissociates two computational learning mechanisms, model- based and model-free. We then tested for habits by devaluing one of the rewards that had reinforced behavior. In each case, we found that individual differences in model-based learning predicted the participants’ subsequent sensitivity to outcome devaluation, suggesting an associative mechanism underlying a bias toward habit formation in healthy individuals.
    Cognitive Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience 02/2015; · 3.87 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In lower animals and humans, stress/anxiety can enhance dorsal striatal-dependent habit memory,at the expense of hippocampal-dependent cognitive memory. The present review considers the potential for this 'stress/anxiety-induced habit bias' to explain some aspects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In rats,anxiety induced by peripheral or intra-amygdala infusions of anxiogenic drugs can enhance habit memory and impair cognitive memory. In tasks in which both habit and cognitive memory processes may provide a learned solution, stress and drug-induced anxiety favors the use of habit memory. The effect of stress and anxiety on the use of multiple memory systems in rats depends on the functional integrity of the basolateral amygdala. Thus,under robust emotional arousal, amygdala activation can modulate the relative use of memory systems in a manner that favors habit memory. We propose a similar mechanism may underlie the development and persistence of some PTSD symptoms. The traumatic memories of PTSD patients can be deficient in hippocampus-dependent contextual or autobiographical aspects, and enhanced in responding to trauma-related cues, which we suggest may reflect increased involvement of the dorsal striatum.We briefly consider the potential role of a stress/anxiety induced habit bias with regard to other psychopathologies,including obsessive-compulsive disorder and drug addiction.
    Reviews in the neurosciences 01/2012; 23:627-643. · 3.31 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The recent focus of addiction research has been on effect of drug exposure on the neural processes that mediate the acquisition and performance of goal-directed instrumental actions. Deficits in goal-directed control and a consequent dysregulation of habit learning processes have been described as resulting in compulsive drug seeking. Similarly, considerable research has focussed on the motivational and emotional changes that drugs produce and that result in changes in the incentive processes that modulate goal-directed performance. Although these areas have developed independently, we argue that the effects they described are likely not independent. Here we hypothesize that these changes result from a core deficit in the way the learning and performance factors that support goal-directed action are integrated at a neural level to maintain behavioural control. A dorsal basal ganglia stream mediating goal-directed learning and a ventral stream mediating various performance factors find several points of integration in the cortical basal ganglia system, most notably in the thalamocortical network linking basal ganglia output to a variety of cortical control centres. Recent research in humans and other animals is reviewed suggesting that learning and performance factors are integrated in a network centred on the mediodorsal thalamus and that disintegration in this network may provide the basis for a 'switch' from recreational to dysregulated drug seeking resulting in the well documented changes associated with addiction. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Brain Research 12/2014; · 2.83 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 30, 2014