On the control of control: The role of dopamine in regulating prefrontal function and working memory

Todd S. Braver, Jonathan D. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

311 Scopus citations

Abstract

An important aspect of cognitive control is the ability to appropriately select, update, and maintain contextual information related to behavioral goals, and to use this information to coordinate processing over extended periods. In our novel, neurobiologically based, connectionist computational model, the selection, updating, and maintenance of context occur through interactions between the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and dopamine (DA) neurotransmitter system. Phasic DA activity serves two simultaneous and synergistic functions: (1) a gating function, which regulates the access of information to active memory mechanisms subserved by PFC; and (2) a learning function, which allows the system to discover what information is relevant for selection as context. We present a simulation that establishes the computational viability of these postulated neurobiological mechanisms for subserving control functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)712-737
Number of pages26
JournalAttention and Performance
Volume18
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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