Modeling the role of working memory and episodic memory in behavioral tasks.
The mechanisms of goal-directed behavior have been studied using reinforcement learning theory, but these theoretical techniques have not often been used to address the role of memory systems in performing behavioral tasks. This work addresses this shortcoming by providing a way in which working memory (WM) and episodic memory may be included in the reinforcement learning framework, then simulating the successful acquisition and performance of six behavioral tasks, drawn from or inspired by the rat experimental literature, that require WM or episodic memory for correct performance. With no delay imposed during the tasks, simulations with WM can solve all of the tasks at above the chance level. When a delay is imposed, simulations with both episodic memory and WM can solve all of the tasks except a disambiguation of odor sequences task. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.