Neural Bases of Actions and Habits

Sign In

Full text access may be available.

To access full text, please use your member or institutional sign in.

Formats Non-Member Member
$15 $15
Learn how you can qualify for the best price for this item!
Become an IEEE Member or Subscribe to
IEEE Xplore for exclusive pricing!
close button

puzzle piece

IEEE membership options for an individual and IEEE Xplore subscriptions for an organization offer the most affordable access to essential journal articles, conference papers, standards, books, and eLearning courses.

Learn more about:

IEEE membership

IEEE Xplore subscriptions

3 Author(s)

Considerable evidence suggests that the behavioral mechanisms for instrumental action selection are mediated by two distinct learning processes: a goal-directed process whereby actions are selected with reference to the incentive value and causal relationship between actions and associated outcomes, and a more reflexive habitual process in which actions are elicited by antecedent stimuli without any consideration of the associated outcome. This chapter reviews evidence from experiments in both rodents and humans which suggests that the behavioral dichotomy between these two modes of action selection are also reflected at the neural level, involving at least partly dissociable regions: a circuit involving the medial prefrontal cortex and dorsomedial striatum is implicated in goal-directed learning, whereas a region of posterior lateral dorsal striatum is implicated in habitual learning. Building on the arguments put forward by Winstanley et al. (this volume), it can be concluded that the specific neural circuits identified as contributing to goal-directed learning, but not those involved in habit learning, are a constituent element of the neural systems underlying cognitive search.