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Evidence for a causal inverse model in an avian cortico-basal ganglia circuit


Giret, N; Kornfeld, J; Ganguli, S (2014). Evidence for a causal inverse model in an avian cortico-basal ganglia circuit. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(16):6063-6068.

Abstract

Learning by imitation is fundamental to both communication and social behavior and requires the conversion of complex, nonlinear sensory codes for perception into similarly complex motor codes for generating action. To understand the neural substrates underlying this conversion, we study sensorimotor transformations in songbird cortical output neurons of a basal-ganglia pathway involved in song learning. Despite the complexity of sensory and motor codes, we find a simple, temporally specific, causal correspondence between them. Sensory neural responses to song playback mirror motor-related activity recorded during singing, with a temporal offset of roughly 40 ms, in agreement with short feedback loop delays estimated using electrical and auditory stimulation. Such matching of mirroring offsets and loop delays is consistent with a recent Hebbian theory of motor learning and suggests that cortico-basal ganglia pathways could support motor control via causal inverse models that can invert the rich correspondence between motor exploration and sensory feedback.

Abstract

Learning by imitation is fundamental to both communication and social behavior and requires the conversion of complex, nonlinear sensory codes for perception into similarly complex motor codes for generating action. To understand the neural substrates underlying this conversion, we study sensorimotor transformations in songbird cortical output neurons of a basal-ganglia pathway involved in song learning. Despite the complexity of sensory and motor codes, we find a simple, temporally specific, causal correspondence between them. Sensory neural responses to song playback mirror motor-related activity recorded during singing, with a temporal offset of roughly 40 ms, in agreement with short feedback loop delays estimated using electrical and auditory stimulation. Such matching of mirroring offsets and loop delays is consistent with a recent Hebbian theory of motor learning and suggests that cortico-basal ganglia pathways could support motor control via causal inverse models that can invert the rich correspondence between motor exploration and sensory feedback.

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9 citations in Web of Science®
9 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:25 Feb 2015 08:31
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:00
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
Series Name:Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Number of Pages:6
ISSN:0027-8424
Additional Information:All PNAS-formatted versions are deposited in PubMed Central for release after 6 months, regardless of funding.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1317087111

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