The Relationship between Learning, Memory and Neuronal Responses in the Primate Basal Forebrain

  • Fraser A. W. Wilson
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 295)


The purpose of this chapter is twofold: to describe the response properties of a class of reinforcement-related neurons (RRNs) in the basal forebrain of the monkey, and to provide a perspective on how processes of learning and memory influence these particular neurons. The basal forebrain is a complex region whose anatomical definition is being refined (see articles by Alheid, and Heimer in this book). In the context of this chapter, the term basal forebrain is restricted to the substantia innominata, the diagonal band of Broca, and a periventricular region adjacent to the walls of the third ventricle and anterior to the thalamus. These three regions share several common features: they contain cells that project to the cerebral cortex (Kievet and Kuypers, 1975; Mesulam et al., 1983), they receive afferent inputs from parahmbic regions of the cerebral cortex (Mesulam and Mufson, 1984; Russchen et al, 1985; Wilson and Rolls, 1990 a), and neurons with reinforcement-related activity are found throughout these three regions.


Recognition Memory Basal Forebrain Neuronal Response Familiar Stimulus Diagonal Band 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fraser A. W. Wilson
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of NeuroanatomyYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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