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Cognitive Control

Three examples of sequences of actions controlled by the basal ganglia. First, the model follows a fixed sequence A->B->C->D, etc. Second, the model has a fixed routing of information from visual to working memory. This interrupts the sequencing ability, trapping it at the first value. Third, we use the thalamus to gate the flow of information. This allows the sequence to be started based on a visual cue, and then have that visual cue be ignored while going through the sequence.
Peer Reviewed: 
Figures 4 and 5 in Stewart, T. C., Choo F-X., & Eliasmith C. (2010). Symbolic Reasoning in Spiking Neurons: A Model of the Cortex/Basal Ganglia/Thalamus Loop. 32nd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Also Figures 5.6, 5.7, and 5.14 in Eliasmith, C. (In Press). How to build a brain: A neural architecture for biological cognition.
Publication URL:
Publication files: 
  • Start Nengo
  • Run the scripts for the three models:,, and
  • When run, the scripts will automatically run the models, producing .csv log files
  • To produce the graphs, you need python and matplotlib installed
  • Run the scripts,, and to create the plots. Note that these are not to be run in Nengo. These are normal python scripts.