Parallel neural networks for learning sequential procedures

Okihide Hikosaka, Katsuyuki Sakai, Xiaofeng Lu, Hiroyuki Nakahara, Miya K. Rand, Kae Nakamura, Shigehiro Miyachi, Kenji Doya

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

622 Scopus citations


Recent studies have shown that multiple brain areas contribute to different stages and aspects of procedural learning. On the basis of a series of studies using a sequence-learning task with trial-and-error, we propose a hypothetical scheme in which a sequential procedure is acquired independently by two cortical systems, one using spatial coordinates and the other using motor coordinates. They are active preferentially in the early and late stages of learning, respectively. Both of the two systems are supported by loop circuits formed with the basal ganglia and the cerebellum, the former for reward-based evaluation and the latter for processing of timing. The proposed neural architecture would operate in a flexible manner to acquire and execute multiple sequential procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)464-471
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Neurosciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Johan Lauwereyns and Mitsuo Kawato for insightful discussion and comments. This study was supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas from The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of Japan, The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Research for the Future Program and CREST (Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology) of Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST).


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