Despite wide evidence suggesting anatomical and functional interactions between cortex, cerebellum and basal ganglia, the learning processes operating within them --often viewed as respectively unsupervised, supervised and reinforcement learning-- are studied in isolation, neglecting their strong interdependence. We discuss how those brain areas form a highly integrated system combining different learning mechanisms into an effective super-learning process supporting the acquisition of flexible motor behaviour. The term "super-learning" does not indicate a new learning paradigm. Rather, it refers to the fact that different learning mechanisms act in synergy as they: (a) affect neural structures often relying on the widespread action of neuromodulators; (b) act within various stages of cortical/subcortical pathways that are organised in pipeline to support multiple sensation-to-action mappings operating at different levels of abstraction; (c) interact through the reciprocal influence of the output compartments of different brain structures, most notably in the cerebello-cortical and basal ganglia-cortical loops. Here we articulate this new hypothesis and discuss empirical evidence supporting it by specifically referring to motor adaptation and sequence learning.
The super-learning hypothesis: Integrating learning processes across cortex, cerebellum and basal ganglia
Pergamon., New York, Stati Uniti d'America
Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews 100 (2019): 19–34. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.02.008
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Caligiore D.; Arbib M.A.; Miall R.C.; Baldassarre G./titolo:The super-learning hypothesis: Integrating learning processes across cortex, cerebellum and basal ganglia/doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.02.008/rivista:Neuroscience and b