Matthew Boggess L&S Sciences
Developing a Model of the Basal Ganglia and Cerebellum
Everyday actions require both the selection of the correct action and then the correct execution of this action. For example, when playing tennis, one has to both select the correct stroke to use and then correctly execute this stroke. The basal ganglia and cerebellum are two systems in the brain thought to be responsible for action selection and execution respectively. My research aims to develop a computational model of these two systems in order to investigate how they interact to produce complex motor actions. This model will be biologically constrained to best approximate actual biological function and will connect the two systems based on existing anatomical connections. By comparing the performance of this model with actual behavioral results, I hope to better understand the functional pathways in the brain that are responsible for producing actions as well as test hypotheses about how these two systems influence each other’s learning.