Where is my reward and how do I get it? Interaction between the hippocampus and the basal ganglia during spatial learning

Aude Retailleau, Stephanie Etienne, Martin Guthrie, Thomas Boraud
Journal of Physiology-Paris. 2012-05-01; 106(3-4): 72-80
DOI: 10.1016/j.jphysparis.2011.10.002

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1. J Physiol Paris. 2012 May-Aug;106(3-4):72-80. doi:
10.1016/j.jphysparis.2011.10.002. Epub 2011 Oct 19.

Where is my reward and how do I get it? Interaction between the hippocampus and
the basal ganglia during spatial learning.

Retailleau A(1), Etienne S, Guthrie M, Boraud T.

Author information:
(1)University of Bordeaux, Institut des Maladies Neurodegeneratives, UMR 5293,
Bordeaux, France.

Spatial learning has been recognized over the years to be under the control of
the hippocampus and related temporal lobe structures. Hippocampal damage often
causes severe impairments in the ability to learn and remember a location in
space defined by distal visual cues. Recent experimental evidence in rodents
demonstrates, however, that other brain areas might also be involved in the
acquisition of spatial information. Amongst these, the cortex–basal ganglia loop
is known to be involved in reinforcement learning and has been identified as an
important contributor to spatial learning. In particular, it has been shown that
altered activity of the basal ganglia striatal complex can impair the ability to
perform spatial learning tasks. Until recently, little was known about how the
basal ganglia and the hippocampus interact and how their activities evolve during
learning. The present review, focusing on rodent studies, provides a glimpse of
the findings obtained over the past decade that support a dialog between these
two structures during spatial learning. Based on these studies, we propose a new
functional spatial decision network with three separate loops encompassing
hippocampus and specific basal ganglia regions. Each of the three loops serves a
different aspect of spatial decision making and all three are linked by their
mutual connections and are under the control of the dopaminergic learning signal.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jphysparis.2011.10.002
PMID: 22033208 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus