We developed a circuit model of spiking neurons that includes multiple pathways in the basal ganglia (BG) and is endowed with feedback mechanisms at three levels: cortical microcircuit, corticothalamic loop, and cortico-BG-thalamocortical system. We focused on executive control in a stop signal task, which is known to depend on BG across species. The model reproduces a range of experimental observations and shows that the newly discovered feedback projection from external globus pallidus to striatum is crucial for inhibitory control. Moreover, stopping process is enhanced by the cortico-subcortical reverberatory dynamics underlying persistent activity, establishing interdependence between working memory and inhibitory control. Surprisingly, the stop signal reaction time (SSRT) can be adjusted by weights of certain connections but is insensitive to other connections in this complex circuit, suggesting novel circuit-based intervention for inhibitory control deficits associated with mental illness. Our model provides a unified framework for inhibitory control, decision making, and working memory.
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