Biological Determinants of Reinforcement - Vol. 7

By Michael L. Commons; Russell M. Church et al. | Go to book overview

Other quantitative aspects that have not been symmetrically investigated are the charge-duration relations that have been mapped out for BSR, but are lacking for timing functions. This serious omission for timing has been due to the previous inability to vary the charge component of the stimulation that drives the internal clock. The type of brain-stimulation experiment described above may help to remedy this situation. With this method it may also be possible to uncover frequency-tuning mechanisms that are designed to distinguish reward and timing signals at the level of the temporal integrator. Future work should attempt to integrate the quantitative properties of BSR ( Gallistel, 1983) and timing ( Gibbon , 1977) with some novel ideas about frequency-tuning mechanisms, linear integration, charge-duration functions, and performance criteria.


CONCLUSION

It is hoped that there will be some value to the organization of the data and ideas that has been presented here. The structural ideas about the functions that might reside in various neuronal systems of the brain are, of course, independent of the dopaminergic view presented here. Other neurotransmitter systems or sub-systems may be discovered that are more directly responsible for the processes described. An attempt has been made here to make this presentation somewhat abstract and theoretical so that a wide spectrum of findings about BSR and timing can be brought together and pull us out of our present, rather divergent condition. I think that scaling processes that may be active in both BSR and timing are central to the formation of the behavior repertoire of animals that is modifiable by experience.


ACKNOWLEDGMENT

The preparation of this chapter was supported by National Institute of Mental Health Research Grant MH 37049 to Brown University and by National Institutes of Health Biomedical Research Support S07 RR07060-20 to Columbia University.


REFERENCES

Bannon M. J., & Roth R. H. ( 1983). "Pharmacology of mesocortical dopamine neurons". Pharmacological Reviews, 35, 53-68.

Broekkamp C. L. E., Pijnenburg A. J. J., Cools A. R., & van J. M. Rossum ( 1975). "The effect of microinjections of amphetamine in the neostriatum and the nucleus accumbens on self-stimulation behavior". Psychopharmacologia, 42, 179-183.

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