Biomedical Engineering Seminar: Requirements for the Robust Operant Conditioning of Neural Firing Rates
Building 193, Electrical and Electronic Engineering Building
T: (03) 8344 6606
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Operant conditioning experiments have shown that changes in the firing rates of individual neurons in the motor cortex of monkeys can be elicited. In these experiments, the firing rates of the neurons were measured using an implanted electrode, and the monkeys were presented with feedback based on these rates and rewarded for increasing them. Behavioural learning such as this is assumed to occur at the synaptic level and reward-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity (RSTDP) has previously been proposed as such a model.
In this study, the presenter will propose a generalization of the classical RSTDP model that can account for experiments where dopamine changes the amplitude of long-term potentiation and depression. Using analytical techniques and numerical simulations, classical RSTDP is compared with the proposed generalized model. The requirements for these models to elicit the increased firing rates observed in experiments is investigated. The resultant findings are consistent with existing experimental studies and also make testable predictions for possible future experiments.