Fronto-striatal gray matter contributions to discrimination learning in Parkinson's disease

O'Callaghan, Claire, Moustafa, Ahmed A., Wit, Sanne De, Shine, James M., Robbins, Trevor W., Lewis, Simon J. G. and Hornberger, Michael ORCID: (2013) Fronto-striatal gray matter contributions to discrimination learning in Parkinson's disease. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 7. ISSN 1662-5188

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Discrimination learning deficits in Parkinson's disease (PD) have been well-established. Using both behavioral patient studies and computational approaches, these deficits have typically been attributed to dopamine imbalance across the basal ganglia. However, this explanation of impaired learning in PD does not account for the possible contribution of other pathological changes that occur in the disease process, importantly including gray matter loss. To address this gap in the literature, the current study explored the relationship between fronto-striatal gray matter atrophy and learning in PD. We employed a discrimination learning task and computational modeling in order to assess learning rates in non-demented PD patients. Behaviorally, we confirmed that learning rates were reduced in patients relative to controls. Furthermore, voxel-based morphometry imaging analysis demonstrated that this learning impairment was directly related to gray matter loss in discrete fronto-striatal regions (specifically, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, inferior frontal gyrus and nucleus accumbens). These findings suggest that dopaminergic imbalance may not be the sole determinant of discrimination learning deficits in PD, and highlight the importance of factoring in the broader pathological changes when constructing models of learning in PD.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2013 O'Callaghan, Moustafa, de Wit, Shine, Robbins, Lewis and Hornberger. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Uncontrolled Keywords: computational modeling,discrimination learning,fronto-striatal,goal-directed learning,parkinson's disease,voxel-based morphometry
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2016 15:01
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 00:34
DOI: 10.3389/fncom.2013.00180

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