Nonassociative and associative learning rules simultaneously modify neural circuits. However, it remains unclear how these forms of plasticity interact to produce conditioned responses. Here we integrate nonassociative and associative conditioning within a uniform model of olfactory learning in the honeybee. Honeybees show a fairly abrupt increase in response after a number of conditioning trials. The occurrence of this abrupt change takes many more trials after exposure to nonassociative trials than just using associative conditioning. We found that the interaction of unsupervised and supervised learning rules is critical for explaining latent inhibition phenomenon. Associative conditioning combined with the mutual inhibition between the output neurons produces an abrupt increase in performance despite smooth changes of the synaptic weights. The results show that an integrated set of learning rules implemented using fan-out connectivities together with neural inhibition can explain the broad range of experimental data on learning behaviors.
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