Neurons in the primate dorsal striatum signal the uncertainty of object-reward associations

J. Kael White, Ilya E. Monosov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

To learn, obtain reward and survive, humans and other animals must monitor, approach and act on objects that are associated with variable or unknown rewards. However, the neuronal mechanisms that mediate behaviours aimed at uncertain objects are poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that a set of neurons in an internal-capsule bordering regions of the primate dorsal striatum, within the putamen and caudate nucleus, signal the uncertainty of object-reward associations. Their uncertainty responses depend on the presence of objects associated with reward uncertainty and evolve rapidly as monkeys learn novel object-reward associations. Therefore, beyond its established role in mediating actions aimed at known or certain rewards, the dorsal striatum also participates in behaviours aimed at reward-uncertain objects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12735
JournalNature communications
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 14 2016

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