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CCNBook Executive-PBWM in a Nutshell

This article tries to summarize the PBWM (Prefrontal cortex Basal ganglia Working Memory) model in the Executive chapter of the CCNBook. The PBWM model is further explained in O’Reilly & Frank’s paper: Making Working Memory Work: A Computational Model of Learning in the Prefrontal Cortex and Basal Ganglia, Neural Comput., 18(2) (2006). Here are points: The executive function requires controlling (i.e., keeping & releasing) states. The states are held in PFC. The control is carried out with the reinforcement learning mechanism described in the Motor chapter (cf. the nutshell). A figure explaining the model, conformable to the last figure in the Motor nutshell, is found in O’Reilly & Frank’s paper.

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Figure 5 (from CCNBook)

Here, BG is controlling gates for states in PFC, while it was for controlling in general in the Motor chapter. Posterior Cortex in the figure may mean a cortical region ‘posterior’ to PFC. Besides the gating, BG also controls output (Figure 10.11).

Figure 10.11 (from CCNBook)

For a most abstract level of understanding, these figures will suffice. The chapter notes that there is a hierarchy of control in the frontal cortex (Figure 10.16).

Figure 10.16 (from CCNBook)