Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

This paper investigates the possible role of neuroanatomical features in Pavlovian conditioning, via computer simulations with layered, feedforward artificial neural networks. The networks' structure and functioning are described by a strongly bottom-up model that takes into account the roles of hippocampal and dopaminergic systems in conditioning. Neuroanatomical features were simulated as generic structural or architectural features of neural networks. We focused on the number of units per hidden layer and connectivity. The effect of the number of units per hidden layer was investigated through simulations of resistance to extinction in fully connected networks. Large networks were more resistant to extinction than small networks, a stochastic effect of the asynchronous random procedure used in the simulator to update activations and weights. These networks did not simulate second-order conditioning because weight competition prevented conditioning to a stimulus after conditioning to another. Partially connected networks simulated second-order conditioning and devaluation of the second-order stimulus after extinction of a similar first-order stimulus. Similar stimuli were simulated as nonorthogonal input-vectors.

Original publication




Journal article


Behav Processes

Publication Date





526 - 535


Algorithms, Computer Simulation, Conditioning, Classical, Dopamine, Extinction, Psychological, Hippocampus, Humans, Models, Neurological, Neural Networks (Computer), Neural Pathways, Neurons, Stochastic Processes, Synapses