Just a note to say that I'm still doing a lot of background research. I'm currently writing a review paper for a psych class I'm in. It will cover reinforcement learning in natural and artificial neural networks and why biologically-realistic algorithms are important. A lot of the papers I've been reading recently are from Nature Neuroscience and Nature Reviews Neuroscience.
Something my Verve code has been lacking is reward sensing/predicting by the neural network. After reading a few neuroscience papers dealing with reward signals in human brains, I think my artificial neural network should be able to: 1) sense "rewards" (kind of a vague term, but this will probably be programmed explicitly, as in neuralNet->addReward(0.5)), and 2) predict rewards (i.e. some special neurons should output a signal when rewards are expected to be given).