Goal-directed and habit-based behaviors are driven by multiple but dissociable decision making systems involving several different brain areas, including the hippocampus and dorsal striatum. On repetitive tasks, behavior transitions from goal directed to habit based with experience. Hippocampus has been implicated in initial learning and dorsal striatum in automating behavior, but recent studies suggest that subregions within the dorsal striatum have distinct roles in mediating habit-based and goal-directed behavior. We compared neural activity in the CA1 region of hippocampus with anterior dorsolateral and posterior dorsomedial striatum in rats on a spatial choice task, in which subjects experienced reward delivery changes that forced them to adjust their behavioral strategy. Our results confirm the importance of the hippocampus in evaluating predictive steps during goal-directed behavior, while separate circuits in the basal ganglia integrated relevant information during automation of actions and recognized when new behaviors were needed to continue obtaining rewards.
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© 2015 the American Physiological Society.
- Neural ensemble