The interplay of pavlovian and instrumental processes in devaluation experiments: a computational embodied neuroscience model tested with a simulated rat

This paper presents an embodied biologically-plausible model investigating the relationships existing between classical and instrumental conditioning. The architecture and functioning of the model is constrained with some some important anatomical and physiological assumptions drawn from the relevant neuroscientific literature. The model is validated by successfully reproducing the primary outcomes of some instrumental- conditioning devaluation tests conducted with normal and amygdala-lesioned rats. These experiments are particularly important as they show how the sensitivity to internal states (as satiety) exhibited by classical conditioning mechanisms can transfer to behaviors acquired on the basis of instrumental conditioning mechanisms. The results presented are relevant for both neuroscience and behavioural sciences as they are based on a model, constrained and validated at both neural and behavioural level, which indicates how internal states might modulate learning and performance of rigid habits so as to render to action some of the flexibility typical of goal-directed behaviour. The results are also relevant for autonomous robotics as they start to investigate, with an embodied system, how the use of sophisticated motivational systems might allow building robots capable of exhibiting some of the flexibility typical of organisms.

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Contributo in volume
Author or Creator: 
Mannella F.
Mirolli M.
Baldassarre G.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, GBR
Modelling Perception With Artificial Neural Networks, edited by Tosh C.; Ruxton G., pp. 93–113. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010
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Marco Mirolli's picture
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Francesco Mannella's picture
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