Imperial College London

Dr Peter Hellyer

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Brain Sciences

Honorary Lecturer



+44 (0)20 7594 9568peter.hellyer




4.35Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Hampshire, A and Hellyer, PJ and Parkin, B and Hiebert, N and MacDonald, P and Owen, A and Leech, R and Rowe, JB},
doi = {10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.11.060},
journal = {Neuroimage},
pages = {123--134},
title = {Network mechanisms of intentional learning},
url = {},
volume = {127},
year = {2015}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - The ability to learn new tasks rapidly is a prominent characteristic of human behaviour. Thisability relies on flexible cognitive systems that adapt in order to encode temporary programs forprocessing non-automated tasks. Previous functional imaging studies have revealed distinctroles for the lateral frontal cortices (LFCs) and the ventral striatum in intentional learningprocesses. However, the human LFCs are complex; they house multiple distinct sub-regions,each of which co-activates with a different functional network. It remains unclear how these LFCnetworks differ in their functions and how they coordinate with each other, and the ventralstriatum, to support intentional learning. Here, we apply a suite of fMRI connectivity methods todetermine how LFC networks activate and interact at different stages of two novel tasks, inwhich arbitrary stimulus-response rules are learnt either from explicit instruction or by trialand-error.We report that the networks activate en masse and in synchrony when novel rules arebeing learnt from instruction. However, these networks are not homogeneous in their functions;instead, the directed connectivities between them vary asymmetrically across the learningtimecourse and they disengage from the task sequentially along a rostro-caudal axis.Furthermore, when negative feedback indicates the need to switch to alternative stimulusresponserules, there is additional input to the LFC networks from the ventral striatum. Theseresults support the hypotheses that LFC networks interact as a hierarchical system duringintentional learning and that signals from the ventral striatum have a driving influence on thissystem when the internal program for processing the task is updated.
AU - Hampshire,A
AU - Hellyer,PJ
AU - Parkin,B
AU - Hiebert,N
AU - MacDonald,P
AU - Owen,A
AU - Leech,R
AU - Rowe,JB
DO - 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.11.060
EP - 134
PY - 2015///
SN - 1095-9572
SP - 123
TI - Network mechanisms of intentional learning
T2 - Neuroimage
UR -
UR -
VL - 127
ER -