Caudate clues to rewarding cues.
Behavioral studies indicate that prior experience can influence discrimination of subsequent stimuli. The mechanisms responsible for highlighting a particular aspect of the stimulus, such as motion or color, as most relevant and thus deserving further scrutiny, however, remain poorly understood. In the current issue of Neuron, demonstrate that neurons in the caudate nucleus of the basal ganglia signal which dimension of a visual cue, either color or location, is associated with reward in an eye movement task. These findings raise the possibility that this structure participates in the reward-based control of visual attention.
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