Medial prefrontal and subcortical mechanisms underlying the acquisition of motor and cognitive action sequences in humans

Etienne Koechlin*, Adrian Danek, Yves Burnod, Jordan Grafman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Scopus citations

Abstract

The anterior medial prefrontal cortex (AMPC) in humans is involved in affect and in regulating goal-directed behaviors. The precise function of the AMPC, however, is poorly understood. Using magnetic resonance imaging, we found that bilateral regions in the AMPC were selectively recruited to compute the reliability of subjects' expectations that developed when subjects were learning sequences of cognitive tasks. In contrast, regions similarly recruited in learning sequences of motor acts were found in the ventral striatum. Our results show that beyond the execution of motor acts, the AMPC is selectively engaged in computing the relevance of cognitive goals that subjects intend to achieve. This indicates that the fronto-striatal circuit, including the ventral striatum and AMPC, subserves hierarchically distinct evaluative processes mediating the human ability to build behavioral plans, ranging from motor to cognitive action plans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-381
Number of pages11
JournalNeuron
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 18 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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