Learning and Memory: The Behavioral and Biological Substrates

By Isidore Gormezano; Edward A. Wasserman | Go to book overview

15
A Cerebellar Neural Network Implementation of a Temporally Adaptive Conditioned Response
John W. Moore John E. Desmond* University of Massachusetts, AmherstThis chapter introduces a theory of how a neural network capable of learning and generating a temporally adaptive conditioned response (CR), the conditioned nictitating membrane response (NMR) of the rabbit, might be implemented in brainstem and cerebellar circuits underlying this behavior ( Moore & Berthier, 1987; Thompson, 1986; Yeo, 1987). We characterize the conditioned NMR as temporally adaptive because its topographical features, latency and form, depend on the timing of the unconditioned stimulus (US) in relation to the conditioned stimulus (CS)( Gormezano, Kehoe, & Marshall, 1983). Unlike simpler CRs, such as those evinced by some invertebrate preparations, a CS for a temporally adaptive CR such as the NMR does not trigger an invariant reflexive response of fixed latency and form. Instead, it sets an occasion for a variable response that is sensitive to the temporal dimension of the task. A temporally adaptive CR can be regarded as a skill that requires a subtle resolution of forces ( Desmond, 1988; Desmond, in press; Desmond & Moore, 1988; Moore, Desmond, & Berthier, 1989). A number of authors have previously stressed this point ( Kimmel, 1965; Levey & Martin, 1968; Martin & Levey, 1965). The temporally adaptive features of the conditioned NMR encompassed by our model are listed here:
The latency of the CR with respect to onset of a conditioned stimulus (CS) changes during training. Initially, the CR appears as an enhanced unconditioned response (UR). The nascent CR can also be detected with CS-alone probes at this stage. It next appears just prior to the onset of the unconditioned stimulus (US). At this stage of early CR acquisition, the CR anticipates the UR and tends to
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*
Current address: EEG Systems Laboratory, 51 Federal Street, Suite 401, San Francisco, CA 94107.

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