Publication Summary and Abstract
Humphries, M., Gurney, K. & Prescott, T. (2005), Action selection in a macroscopic model of the brainstem reticular formation, Modelling Natural Action Selection, J. J. Bryson, T. J. Prescott & A. Seth, pp. 61-68, AISB Press.
The behavioral repertoire of decerebrate and neonatal animals suggests that a relatively self-contained neural substrate of action selection may exist in the brainstem. Here we develop the hypothesis that the principal component of the substrate is the medial ponto-medullary reticular formation. Our quantitative structural model of this region, which proposes a macroscopic organisation at the level of inter-connected neural clusters, is extended to incorporate sensory input. Evidence is reviewed in support of the proposal that both input and output configurations of this region follow this organisation. To investigate how this biologicallyconstrained model may be configured to support action selection, a computational neural-population model of the medial reticular formation is outlined, and alternate configurations are assessed in simulation. We conclude that the configuration which most effectively supports action selection is likely to be one which represents compatible sub-actions at the cluster level; thus, co-activation of a set of these clusters would lead to the co-ordinated behavioral response observed in the animal.
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