S. de Wit
- Resolution of conflict between goal-directed actions: outcome encoding and neural control processes
- Journal of Experimental Psychology. Animal Behavior Processes
- Volume | Issue number
- 35 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
According to O-R theory of instrumental learning, incongruent biconditional discriminations should be impossible to solve in a goal-directed manner because the event acting as the outcome of one response also acts as a discriminative stimulus for an opposite response. Each event should therefore be associated with two competing responses. However, Dickinson and de Wit (2003) have presented evidence that rats can learn incongruent discriminations. The present study investigated whether rats were able to engage additional processes to solve incongruent discriminations in a goal-directed manner. Experiment 1 provides evidence that rats resolve the response conflict that arises in the incongruent discrimination by differentially encoding events in their roles as discriminative stimulus and as outcome. Furthermore, Experiment 2 shows that once goal-directed control has been established the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex is not directly involved in its maintenance but rather plays a central role in conflict resolution processes.
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