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Sample records for ventral prefrontal cortex

  1. Functional organization and visual representations in human ventral lateral prefrontal cortex

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    Annie Wai Yiu Chan

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent neuroimaging studies in both human and non-human primates have identified face selective activation in the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex even in the absence of working memory demands. Further, research has suggested that this face-selective response is largely driven by the presence of the eyes. However, the nature and origin of visual category responses in the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex remain unclear. Further, in a broader sense, how do these findings relate to our current understandings of lateral prefrontal cortex? What do these findings tell us about the underlying function and organization principles of the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex? What is the future direction for investigating visual representations in this cortex? This review focuses on the function, topography, and circuitry of the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex to enhance our understanding of the evolution and development of this cortex.

  2. The Development of the Ventral Prefrontal Cortex and Social Flexibility

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    Nelson, Eric E.; Guyer, Amanda E.

    2011-01-01

    Over the last several years a number of studies in both humans and animals have suggested that the orbitofrontal and ventrolateral prefrontal cortices play an important role in generating flexible behavior. We suggest that input from these brain regions contribute to three functions involved in generating flexible behavior within social contexts: valuation, inhibition, and rule use. Recent studies have also demonstrated that the prefrontal cortex undergoes a prolonged course of maturation that extends well after puberty. Here, we review evidence that the prolonged development of these prefrontal regions parallels a slowly emerging ability for flexible social behavior. We also speculate on the possibility that sensitive periods for organizing social behavior may be embedded within this developmental time-fame. Finally, we discuss the role of prefrontal cortex in adolescent mood and anxiety disorders, particularly as orbitofrontal and ventrolateral prefrontal cortices are engaged in a social context. PMID:21804907

  3. Neuropsychiatric effects of neurodegeneration of the medial vs. lateral ventral prefrontal cortex in humans

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    Huey, Edward D.; Lee, Seonjoo; Brickman, Adam M.; Manoochehri, Masood; Griffith, Erica; Devanand, D.P.; Stern, Yaakov; Grafman, Jordan

    2015-01-01

    Animal evidence suggests that a brain network involving the medial and rostral ventral prefrontal cortex (PFC) is central for threat response and arousal and a network involving the lateral and caudal PFC plays an important role in reward learning and behavioral control. In this study, we contrasted the neuropsychiatric effects of degeneration of the medial versus lateral PFC in 43 patients with Frontotemporal dementia and 11 patients with Corticobasal Syndrome using MRI, the Neuropsychiatric...

  4. Reciprocal neural response within lateral and ventral medial prefrontal cortex during hot and cold reasoning.

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    Goel, Vinod; Dolan, Raymond J

    2003-12-01

    Logic is widely considered the basis of rationality. Logical choices, however, are often influenced by emotional responses, sometimes to our detriment, sometimes to our advantage. To understand the neural basis of emotionally neutral ("cold") and emotionally salient ("hot") reasoning we studied 19 volunteers using event-related fMRI, as they made logical judgments about arguments that varied in emotional saliency. Despite identical logical form and content categories across "hot" and "cold" reasoning conditions, lateral and ventral medial prefrontal cortex showed reciprocal response patterns as a function of emotional saliency of content. "Cold" reasoning trials resulted in enhanced activity in lateral/dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (L/DLPFC) and suppression of activity in ventral medial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC). By contrast, "hot" reasoning trials resulted in enhanced activation in VMPFC and suppression of activation in L/DLPFC. This reciprocal engagement of L/DLPFC and VMPFC provides evidence for a dynamic neural system for reasoning, the configuration of which is strongly influenced by emotional saliency.

  5. Different role of the ventral medial prefrontal cortex on modulation of innate and associative learned fear.

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    Lisboa, S F; Stecchini, M F; Corrêa, F M A; Guimarães, F S; Resstel, L B M

    2010-12-15

    Reversible inactivation of the ventral portion of medial prefrontal cortex (vMPFC) of the rat brain has been shown to induce anxiolytic-like effects in animal models based on associative learning. The role of this brain region in situations involving innate fear, however, is still poorly understood, with several contradictory results in the literature. The objective of the present work was to verify in male Wistar rats the effects of vMPFC administration of cobalt chloride (CoCl(2)), a selective inhibitor of synaptic activity, in rats submitted to two models based on innate fear, the elevated plus-maze (EPM) and light-dark box (LDB), comparing the results with those obtained in two models involving associative learning, the contextual fear conditioning (CFC) and Vogel conflict (VCT) tests. The results showed that, whereas CoCl(2) induced anxiolytic-like effects in the CFC and VCT tests, it enhanced anxiety in rats submitted to the EPM and LDB. Together these results indicate that the vMPFC plays an important but complex role in the modulation of defensive-related behaviors, which seems to depend on the nature of the anxiety/fear inducing stimuli. Copyright © 2010 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Comparison of visual receptive fields in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and ventral intraparietal area in macaques.

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    Viswanathan, Pooja; Nieder, Andreas

    2017-12-01

    The concept of receptive field (RF) describes the responsiveness of neurons to sensory space. Neurons in the primate association cortices have long been known to be spatially selective but a detailed characterisation and direct comparison of RFs between frontal and parietal association cortices are missing. We sampled the RFs of a large number of neurons from two interconnected areas of the frontal and parietal lobes, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and ventral intraparietal area (VIP), of rhesus monkeys by systematically presenting a moving bar during passive fixation. We found that more than half of neurons in both areas showed spatial selectivity. Single neurons in both areas could be assigned to five classes according to the spatial response patterns: few non-uniform RFs with multiple discrete response maxima could be dissociated from the vast majority of uniform RFs showing a single maximum; the latter were further classified into full-field and confined foveal, contralateral and ipsilateral RFs. Neurons in dlPFC showed a preference for the contralateral visual space and collectively encoded the contralateral visual hemi-field. In contrast, VIP neurons preferred central locations, predominantly covering the foveal visual space. Putative pyramidal cells with broad-spiking waveforms in PFC had smaller RFs than putative interneurons showing narrow-spiking waveforms, but distributed similarly across the visual field. In VIP, however, both putative pyramidal cells and interneurons had similar RFs at similar eccentricities. We provide a first, thorough characterisation of visual RFs in two reciprocally connected areas of a fronto-parietal cortical network. © 2017 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Lateral prefrontal cortex is organized into parallel dorsal and ventral streams along the rostro-caudal axis.

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    Blumenfeld, Robert S; Nomura, Emi M; Gratton, Caterina; D'Esposito, Mark

    2013-10-01

    Anatomical connectivity differences between the dorsal and ventral lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) of the non-human primate strongly suggests that these regions support different functions. However, after years of study, it remains unclear whether these regions are functionally distinct. In contrast, there has been a groundswell of recent studies providing evidence for a rostro-caudal functional organization, along the lateral as well as dorsomedial frontal cortex. Thus, it is not known whether dorsal and ventral regions of lateral PFC form distinct functional networks and how to reconcile any dorso-ventral organization with the medio-lateral and rostro-caudal axes. Here, we used resting-state connectivity data to identify parallel dorsolateral and ventrolateral streams of intrinsic connectivity with the dorsomedial frontal cortex. Moreover, we show that this connectivity follows a rostro-caudal gradient. Our results provide evidence for a novel framework for the intrinsic organization of the frontal cortex that incorporates connections between medio-lateral, dorso-ventral, and rostro-caudal axes.

  8. Task-related modulation of effective connectivity during perceptual decision making: Dissociation between dorsal and ventral prefrontal cortex

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    Rei eAkaishi

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The dorsal and ventral parts of the lateral prefrontal cortex have been thought to play distinct roles in decision making. Although its dorsal part such as the frontal eye field (FEF is shown to play roles in accumulation of sensory information during perceptual decision making, the role of the ventral prefrontal cortex (PFv is not well-documented. Previous studies have suggested that the PFv is involved in selective attention to the task-relevant information and is associated with accuracy of the behavioral performance. It is unknown, however, whether the accumulation and selection processes are anatomically dissociated between the FEF and PFv. Here we show that, by using concurrent TMS and EEG recording, the short-latency (20 – 40 ms TMS-evoked potentials after stimulation of the FEF change as a function of the time to behavioral response, whereas those after stimulation of the PFv change depending on whether the response is correct or not. The potentials after stimulation of either region did not show significant interaction between time to response and performance accuracy, suggesting dissociation between the processes subserved by the FEF and PFv networks. The results are consistent with the idea that the network involving the FEF plays a role in information accumulation, whereas the network involving the PFv plays a role in selecting task relevant information. In addition, stimulation of the FEF and PFv induced activation in common regions in the dorsolateral and medial frontal cortices, suggesting convergence of information processed in the two regions. Taken together, the results suggest dissociation between the FEF and PFv networks for their computational roles in perceptual decision making. The study also highlights the advantage of TMS-EEG technique in investigating the computational processes subserved by the neural network in the human brain with a high temporal resolution.

  9. Task-related modulation of effective connectivity during perceptual decision making: dissociation between dorsal and ventral prefrontal cortex.

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    Akaishi, Rei; Ueda, Naoko; Sakai, Katsuyuki

    2013-01-01

    The dorsal and ventral parts of the lateral prefrontal cortex have been thought to play distinct roles in decision making. Although its dorsal part such as the frontal eye field (FEF) is shown to play roles in accumulation of sensory information during perceptual decision making, the role of the ventral prefrontal cortex (PFv) is not well-documented. Previous studies have suggested that the PFv is involved in selective attention to the task-relevant information and is associated with accuracy of the behavioral performance. It is unknown, however, whether the accumulation and selection processes are anatomically dissociated between the FEF and PFv. Here we show that, by using concurrent TMS and EEG recording, the short-latency (20-40 ms) TMS-evoked potentials after stimulation of the FEF change as a function of the time to behavioral response, whereas those after stimulation of the PFv change depending on whether the response is correct or not. The potentials after stimulation of either region did not show significant interaction between time to response and performance accuracy, suggesting dissociation between the processes subserved by the FEF and PFv networks. The results are consistent with the idea that the network involving the FEF plays a role in information accumulation, whereas the network involving the PFv plays a role in selecting task relevant information. In addition, stimulation of the FEF and PFv induced activation in common regions in the dorsolateral and medial frontal cortices, suggesting convergence of information processed in the two regions. Taken together, the results suggest dissociation between the FEF and PFv networks for their computational roles in perceptual decision making. The study also highlights the advantage of TMS-EEG technique in investigating the computational processes subserved by the neural network in the human brain with a high temporal resolution.

  10. Brain networks of social action-outcome contingency: The role of the ventral striatum in integrating signals from the sensory cortex and medial prefrontal cortex.

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    Sumiya, Motofumi; Koike, Takahiko; Okazaki, Shuntaro; Kitada, Ryo; Sadato, Norihiro

    2017-10-01

    Social interactions can be facilitated by action-outcome contingency, in which self-actions result in relevant responses from others. Research has indicated that the striatal reward system plays a role in generating action-outcome contingency signals. However, the neural mechanisms wherein signals regarding self-action and others' responses are integrated to generate the contingency signal remain poorly understood. We conducted a functional MRI study to test the hypothesis that brain activity representing the self modulates connectivity between the striatal reward system and sensory regions involved in the processing of others' responses. We employed a contingency task in which participants made the listener laugh by telling jokes. Participants reported more pleasure when greater laughter followed their own jokes than those of another. Self-relevant listener's responses produced stronger activation in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Laughter was associated with activity in the auditory cortex. The ventral striatum exhibited stronger activation when participants made listeners laugh than when another did. In physio-physiological interaction analyses, the ventral striatum showed interaction effects for signals extracted from the mPFC and auditory cortex. These results support the hypothesis that the mPFC, which is implicated in self-related processing, gates sensory input associated with others' responses during value processing in the ventral striatum. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Amygdala, Hippocampus, and Ventral Medial Prefrontal Cortex Volumes Differ in Maltreated Youth with and without Chronic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

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    Morey, Rajendra A; Haswell, Courtney C; Hooper, Stephen R; De Bellis, Michael D

    2016-02-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is considered a disorder of recovery where individuals fail to learn and retain extinction of the traumatic fear response. In maltreated youth, PTSD is common, chronic, and associated with comorbidity. Studies of extinction-related structural volumes (amygdala, hippocampus, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC)) and this stress diathesis, in maltreated youth were not previously investigated. In this cross-sectional study, neuroanatomical volumes associated with extinction in maltreated youth with PTSD (N=31), without PTSD (N=32), and in non-maltreated healthy volunteers (n=57) were examined using magnetic resonance imaging. Groups were sociodemographically similar. Participants underwent extensive assessments for strict inclusion/exclusion criteria and DSM-IV disorders. Maltreated youth with PTSD demonstrated decreased right vmPFC volumes compared with both maltreated youth without PTSD and non-maltreated controls. Maltreated youth without PTSD demonstrated larger left amygdala and right hippocampal volumes compared with maltreated youth with PTSD and non-maltreated control youth. PTSD symptoms inversely correlated with right and left hippocampal and left amygdala volumes. Confirmatory masked voxel base morphometry analyses demonstrated greater medial orbitofrontal cortex gray matter intensity in controls than maltreated youth with PTSD. Volumetric results were not influenced by psychopathology or maltreatment variables. We identified volumetric differences in extinction-related structures between maltreated youth with PTSD from those without PTSD. Alterations of the vmPFC may be one mechanism that mediates the pathway from PTSD to comorbidity. Further longitudinal work is needed to determine neurobiological factors related to chronic and persistent PTSD, and to PTSD resilience despite maltreatment.

  12. Ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) as a target of the dorsolateral prefrontal modulation by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in drug addiction.

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    Nakamura-Palacios, Ester Miyuki; Lopes, Isabela Bittencourt Coutinho; Souza, Rodolpho Albuquerque; Klauss, Jaisa; Batista, Edson Kruger; Conti, Catarine Lima; Moscon, Janine Andrade; de Souza, Rodrigo Stênio Moll

    2016-10-01

    Here, we report some electrophysiologic and imaging effects of the transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) in drug addiction, notably in alcohol and crack-cocaine dependence. The low resolution electromagnetic tomography (LORETA) analysis obtained through event-related potentials (ERPs) under drug-related cues, more specifically in its P3 segment (300-500 ms) in both, alcoholics and crack-cocaine users, showed that the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) was the brain area with the largest change towards increasing activation under drug-related cues in those subjects that kept abstinence during and after the treatment with bilateral tDCS (2 mA, 35 cm(2), cathodal left and anodal right) over dlPFC, applied repetitively (five daily sessions). In an additional study in crack-cocaine, which showed craving decreases after repetitive bilateral tDCS, we examined data originating from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and we found increased DTI parameters in the left connection between vmPFC and nucleus accumbens (NAcc), such as the number of voxels, fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), in tDCS-treated crack-cocaine users when compared to the sham-tDCS group. This increasing of DTI parameters was significantly correlated with craving decreasing after the repetitive tDCS. The vmPFC relates to the control of drug seeking, possibly by extinguishing this behavior. In our studies, the bilateral dlPFC tDCS reduced relapses and craving to the drug use, and increased the vmPFC activation under drug cues, which may be of a great importance in the control of drug use in drug addiction.

  13. Interaction of basolateral amygdala, ventral hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex regulates the consolidation and extinction of social fear.

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    Qi, Chu-Chu; Wang, Qing-Jun; Ma, Xue-Zhu; Chen, Hai-Chao; Gao, Li-Ping; Yin, Jie; Jing, Yu-Hong

    2018-03-19

    Following a social defeat, the balanced establishment and extinction of aversive information is a beneficial strategy for individual survival. Abnormal establishment or extinction is implicated in the development of mental disorders. This study investigated the time course of the establishment and extinction of aversive information from acute social defeat and the temporal responsiveness of the basolateral amygdala (BLA), ventral hippocampus (vHIP) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in this process. Mouse models of acute social defeat were established by using the resident-intruder paradigm. To evaluate the engram of social defeat, the intruder mice were placed into the novel context at designated time to test the social behavior. Furthermore, responses of BLA, vHIP and mPFC were investigated by analyzing the expression of immediate early genes, such as zif268, arc, and c-fos. The results showed after an aggressive attack, aversive memory was maintained for approximately 7 days before gradually diminishing. The establishment and maintenance of aversive stimulation were consistently accompanied by BLA activity. By contrast, vHIP and mPFC response was inhibited from this process. Additionally, injecting muscimol (Mus), a GABA receptor agonist, into the BLA alleviated the freezing behavior and social fear and avoidance. Simultaneously, Mus treatment decreased the zif268 and arc expression in BLA, but it increased their expression in vHIP. Our data support and extend earlier findings that implicate BLA, vHIP and mPFC in social defeat. The time courses of the establishment and extinction of social defeat are particularly consistent with the contrasting BLA and vHIP responses involved in this process.

  14. Rostro-caudal and dorso-ventral gradients in medial and lateral prefrontal cortex during cognitive control of affective and cognitive interference.

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    Rahm, Christoffer; Liberg, Benny; Wiberg-Kristoffersen, Maria; Aspelin, Peter; Msghina, Mussie

    2013-04-01

    Characterizing the anatomical substrates of major brain functions such as cognition and emotion is of utmost importance to the ongoing efforts of understanding the nature of psychiatric ailments and their potential treatment. The aim of our study was to investigate how the brain handles affective and cognitive interferences on cognitive processes. Functional magnetic resonance imaging investigation was performed on healthy individuals, comparing the brain oxygenation level dependent activation patterns during affective and cognitive counting Stroop tasks. The affective Stroop task activated rostral parts of medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) and rostral and ventral parts of lateral PFC, while cognitive Stroop activated caudal parts of medial PFC and caudal and dorsal parts of lateral PFC. Our findings suggest that the brain may handle affective and cognitive interference on cognitive processes differentially, with affective interference preferentially activating rostral and ventral PFC networks and cognitive interference activating caudal and dorsal PFC networks. © 2013 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology © 2013 The Scandinavian Psychological Associations.

  15. Regional inactivations of primate ventral prefrontal cortex reveal two distinct mechanisms underlying negative bias in decision making.

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    Clarke, Hannah F; Horst, Nicole K; Roberts, Angela C

    2015-03-31

    Dysregulation of the orbitofrontal and ventrolateral prefrontal cortices is implicated in anxiety and mood disorders, but the specific contributions of each region are unknown, including how they gate the impact of threat on decision making. To address this, the effects of GABAergic inactivation of these regions were studied in marmoset monkeys performing an instrumental approach-avoidance decision-making task that is sensitive to changes in anxiety. Inactivation of either region induced a negative bias away from punishment that could be ameliorated with anxiolytic treatment. However, whereas the effects of ventrolateral prefrontal cortex inactivation on punishment avoidance were seen immediately, those of orbitofrontal cortex inactivation were delayed and their expression was dependent upon an amygdala-anterior hippocampal circuit. We propose that these negative biases result from deficits in attentional control and punishment prediction, respectively, and that they provide the basis for understanding how distinct regional prefrontal dysregulation contributes to the heterogeneity of anxiety disorders with implications for cognitive-behavioral treatment strategies.

  16. Greater preference consistency during the Willingness-to-Pay task is related to higher resting state connectivity between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the ventral striatum

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    Mackey, Scott; Olafsson, Valur; Aupperle, Robin; Lu, Kun; Fonzo, Greg; Parnass, Jason; Liu, Thomas; Paulus, Martin P.

    2015-01-01

    The significance of why a similar set of brain regions are associated with the default mode network and value-related neural processes remains to be clarified. Here, we examined i) whether brain regions exhibiting willingness-to-pay (WTP) task-related activity are intrinsically connected when the brain is at rest, ii) whether these regions overlap spatially with the default mode network, and iii) whether individual differences in choice behavior during the WTP task are reflected in functional brain connectivity at rest. Blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal was measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging while subjects performed the WTP task and at rest with eyes open. Brain regions that tracked the value of bids during the WTP task were used as seed regions in an analysis of functional connectivity in the resting state data. The seed in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex was functionally connected to core regions of the WTP task-related network. Brain regions within the WTP task-related network, namely the ventral precuneus, ventromedial prefrontal and posterior cingulate cortex overlapped spatially with publically available maps of the default mode network. Also, those individuals with higher functional connectivity during rest between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the ventral striatum showed greater preference consistency during the WTP task. Thus, WTP task-related regions are an intrinsic network of the brain that corresponds spatially with the default mode network, and individual differences in functional connectivity within the WTP network at rest may reveal a priori biases in choice behavior. PMID:26271206

  17. Neural activity in ventral medial prefrontal cortex is modulated more before approach than avoidance during reinforced and extinction trial blocks.

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    Gentry, Ronny N; Roesch, Matthew R

    2018-04-16

    Ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is thought to provide regulatory control over Pavlovian fear responses and has recently been implicated in appetitive approach behavior, but much less is known about its role in contexts where appetitive and aversive outcomes can be obtained and avoided, respectively. To address this issue, we recorded from single neurons in vmPFC while male rats performed our combined approach and avoidance task under reinforced and non-reinforced (extinction) conditions. Surprisingly, we found that cues predicting reward modulated cell firing in vmPFC more often and more robustly than cues preceding avoidable shock; additionally, firing of vmPFC neurons was both response (press or no-press) and outcome (reinforced or extinction) selective. These results suggest a complex role for vmPFC in regulating behavior and supports its role in appetitive contexts during both reinforced and non-reinforced conditions. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Selecting context-appropriate behaviors to gain reward or avoid punishment is critical for survival. While the role of ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) in mediating fear responses is well-established, vmPFC has also been implicated in the regulation of reward-guided approach and extinction. Many studies have used indirect methods and simple behavioral procedures to study vmPFC, which leaves the literature incomplete. We recorded vmFPC neural activity during a complex cue-driven combined approach and avoidance task and during extinction. Surprisingly, we found very little vmPFC modulation to cues predicting avoidable shock, while cues predicting reward approach robustly modulated vmPFC firing in a response- and outcome-selective manner. This suggests a more complex role for vmPFC than current theories suggest, specifically regarding context-specific behavioral optimization. Copyright © 2018 the authors.

  18. Early Adolescent MK-801 Exposure Impairs the Maturation of Ventral Hippocampal Control of Basolateral Amygdala Drive in the Adult Prefrontal Cortex

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    Thomases, Daniel R.; Cass, Daryn K.; Meyer, Jacqueline D.; Caballero, Adriana

    2014-01-01

    The adolescent susceptibility to the onset of psychiatric disorders is only beginning to be understood when factoring in the development of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). The functional maturation of the PFC is dependent upon proper integration of glutamatergic inputs from the ventral hippocampus (vHipp) and the basolateral amygdala (BLA). Here we assessed how transient NMDAR blockade during adolescence alters the functional interaction of vHipp–BLA inputs in regulating PFC plasticity. Local field potential recordings were used to determine changes in long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP) of PFC responses resulting from vHipp and BLA high-frequency stimulation in adult rats that received repeated injections of saline or the NMDAR antagonist MK-801 from postnatal day 35 (P35) to P40. We found that early adolescent MK-801 exposure elicited an age- and input-specific dysregulation of vHipp–PFC plasticity, characterized by a shift from LTD to LTP without altering the BLA-induced LTP. Data also showed that the vHipp normally resets the LTP state of BLA transmission; however, this inhibitory regulation is absent following early adolescent MK-801 treatment. This deficit was reminiscent of PFC responses seen in drug-naive juveniles. Notably, local prefrontal upregulation of GABAAα1 function completely restored vHipp functionality and its regulation of BLA plasticity in MK-801-treated rats. Thus, NMDAR signaling is critical for the periadolescent acquisition of a GABA-dependent hippocampal control of PFC plasticity, which enables the inhibitory control of the prefrontal output by the vHipp. A dysregulation of this pathway can alter PFC processing of other converging afferents such as those from the BLA. PMID:24990926

  19. Bidirectional Control of Anxiety-Related Behaviors in Mice: Role of Inputs Arising from the Ventral Hippocampus to the Lateral Septum and Medial Prefrontal Cortex.

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    Parfitt, Gustavo Morrone; Nguyen, Robin; Bang, Jee Yoon; Aqrabawi, Afif J; Tran, Matthew M; Seo, D Kanghoon; Richards, Blake A; Kim, Jun Chul

    2017-07-01

    Anxiety is an adaptive response to potentially threatening situations. Exaggerated and uncontrolled anxiety responses become maladaptive and lead to anxiety disorders. Anxiety is shaped by a network of forebrain structures, including the hippocampus, septum, and prefrontal cortex. In particular, neural inputs arising from the ventral hippocampus (vHPC) to the lateral septum (LS) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are thought to serve as principal components of the anxiety circuit. However, the role of vHPC-to-LS and vHPC-to-mPFC signals in anxiety is unclear, as no study has directly compared their behavioral contribution at circuit level. We targeted LS-projecting vHPC cells and mPFC-projecting vHPC cells by injecting the retrogradely propagating canine adenovirus encoding Cre recombinase into the LS or mPFC, and injecting a Cre-responsive AAV (AAV8-hSyn-FLEX-hM3D or hM4D) into the vHPC. Consequences of manipulating these neurons were examined in well-established tests of anxiety. Chemogenetic manipulation of LS-projecting vHPC cells led to bidirectional changes in anxiety: activation of LS-projecting vHPC cells decreased anxiety whereas inhibition of these cells produced opposite anxiety-promoting effects. The observed anxiety-reducing function of LS-projecting cells was in contrast with the function of mPFC-projecting cells, which promoted anxiety. In addition, double retrograde tracing demonstrated that LS- and mPFC-projecting cells represent two largely anatomically distinct cell groups. Altogether, our findings suggest that the vHPC houses discrete populations of cells that either promote or suppress anxiety through differences in their projection targets. Disruption of the intricate balance in the activity of these two neuron populations may drive inappropriate behavioral responses seen in anxiety disorders.

  20. Auditory Connections and Functions of Prefrontal Cortex

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    Bethany ePlakke

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The functional auditory system extends from the ears to the frontal lobes with successively more complex functions occurring as one ascends the hierarchy of the nervous system. Several areas of the frontal lobe receive afferents from both early and late auditory processing regions within the temporal lobe. Afferents from the early part of the cortical auditory system, the auditory belt cortex, which are presumed to carry information regarding auditory features of sounds, project to only a few prefrontal regions and are most dense in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC. In contrast, projections from the parabelt and the rostral superior temporal gyrus (STG most likely convey more complex information and target a larger, widespread region of the prefrontal cortex. Neuronal responses reflect these anatomical projections as some prefrontal neurons exhibit responses to features in acoustic stimuli, while other neurons display task-related responses. For example, recording studies in non-human primates indicate that VLPFC is responsive to complex sounds including vocalizations and that VLPFC neurons in area 12/47 respond to sounds with similar acoustic morphology. In contrast, neuronal responses during auditory working memory involve a wider region of the prefrontal cortex. In humans, the frontal lobe is involved in auditory detection, discrimination, and working memory. Past research suggests that dorsal and ventral subregions of the prefrontal cortex process different types of information with dorsal cortex processing spatial/visual information and ventral cortex processing non-spatial/auditory information. While this is apparent in the non-human primate and in some neuroimaging studies, most research in humans indicates that specific task conditions, stimuli or previous experience may bias the recruitment of specific prefrontal regions, suggesting a more flexible role for the frontal lobe during auditory cognition.

  1. Auditory connections and functions of prefrontal cortex

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    Plakke, Bethany; Romanski, Lizabeth M.

    2014-01-01

    The functional auditory system extends from the ears to the frontal lobes with successively more complex functions occurring as one ascends the hierarchy of the nervous system. Several areas of the frontal lobe receive afferents from both early and late auditory processing regions within the temporal lobe. Afferents from the early part of the cortical auditory system, the auditory belt cortex, which are presumed to carry information regarding auditory features of sounds, project to only a few prefrontal regions and are most dense in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC). In contrast, projections from the parabelt and the rostral superior temporal gyrus (STG) most likely convey more complex information and target a larger, widespread region of the prefrontal cortex. Neuronal responses reflect these anatomical projections as some prefrontal neurons exhibit responses to features in acoustic stimuli, while other neurons display task-related responses. For example, recording studies in non-human primates indicate that VLPFC is responsive to complex sounds including vocalizations and that VLPFC neurons in area 12/47 respond to sounds with similar acoustic morphology. In contrast, neuronal responses during auditory working memory involve a wider region of the prefrontal cortex. In humans, the frontal lobe is involved in auditory detection, discrimination, and working memory. Past research suggests that dorsal and ventral subregions of the prefrontal cortex process different types of information with dorsal cortex processing spatial/visual information and ventral cortex processing non-spatial/auditory information. While this is apparent in the non-human primate and in some neuroimaging studies, most research in humans indicates that specific task conditions, stimuli or previous experience may bias the recruitment of specific prefrontal regions, suggesting a more flexible role for the frontal lobe during auditory cognition. PMID:25100931

  2. Regulating prefrontal cortex activation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aznar, Susana; Klein, Anders Bue

    2013-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in mediating important higher-order cognitive processes such as decision making, prompting thereby our actions. At the same time, PFC activation is strongly influenced by emotional reactions through its functional interaction with the amygdala...... of emotion-based actions, such as addiction and other impulse-related behaviors. In this review, we give an overview of the 5-HT2A receptor distribution (neuronal, intracellular, and anatomical) along with its functional and physiological effect on PFC activation, and how that relates to more recent findings...... of a regulatory effect of the PFC on the emotional control of our actions....

  3. MRI volumetry of prefrontal cortex

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    Sheline, Yvette I.; Black, Kevin J.; Lin, Daniel Y.; Pimmel, Joseph; Wang, Po; Haller, John W.; Csernansky, John G.; Gado, Mokhtar; Walkup, Ronald K.; Brunsden, Barry S.; Vannier, Michael W.

    1995-05-01

    Prefrontal cortex volumetry by brain magnetic resonance (MR) is required to estimate changes postulated to occur in certain psychiatric and neurologic disorders. A semiautomated method with quantitative characterization of its performance is sought to reliably distinguish small prefrontal cortex volume changes within individuals and between groups. Stereological methods were tested by a blinded comparison of measurements applied to 3D MR scans obtained using an MPRAGE protocol. Fixed grid stereologic methods were used to estimate prefrontal cortex volumes on a graphic workstation, after the images are scaled from 16 to 8 bits using a histogram method. In addition images were resliced into coronal sections perpendicular to the bicommissural plane. Prefrontal cortex volumes were defined as all sections of the frontal lobe anterior to the anterior commissure. Ventricular volumes were excluded. Stereological measurement yielded high repeatability and precision, and was time efficient for the raters. The coefficient of error was volumetry by stereology can yield accurate and repeatable measurements. Small frontal lobe volume reductions in patients with brain disorders such as depression and schizophrenia can be efficiently assessed using this method.

  4. Differential contributions of dorso-ventral and rostro-caudal prefrontal white matter tracts to cognitive control in healthy older adults.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maren Strenziok

    Full Text Available Prefrontal cortex mediates cognitive control by means of circuitry organized along dorso-ventral and rostro-caudal axes. Along the dorso-ventral axis, ventrolateral PFC controls semantic information, whereas dorsolateral PFC encodes task rules. Along the rostro-caudal axis, anterior prefrontal cortex encodes complex rules and relationships between stimuli, whereas posterior prefrontal cortex encodes simple relationships between stimuli and behavior. Evidence of these gradients of prefrontal cortex organization has been well documented in fMRI studies, but their functional correlates have not been examined with regard to integrity of underlying white matter tracts. We hypothesized that (a the integrity of specific white matter tracts is related to cognitive functioning in a manner consistent with the dorso-ventral and rostro-caudal organization of the prefrontal cortex, and (b this would be particularly evident in healthy older adults. We assessed three cognitive processes that recruit the prefrontal cortex and can distinguish white matter tracts along the dorso-ventral and rostro-caudal dimensions -episodic memory, working memory, and reasoning. Correlations between cognition and fractional anisotropy as well as fiber tractography revealed: (a Episodic memory was related to ventral prefrontal cortex-thalamo-hippocampal fiber integrity; (b Working memory was related to integrity of corpus callosum body fibers subserving dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; and (c Reasoning was related to integrity of corpus callosum body fibers subserving rostral and caudal dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. These findings confirm the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex's role in semantic control and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex's role in rule-based processing, in accordance with the dorso-ventral prefrontal cortex gradient. Reasoning-related rostral and caudal superior frontal white matter may facilitate different levels of task rule complexity. This study is the

  5. Differential contributions of dorso-ventral and rostro-caudal prefrontal white matter tracts to cognitive control in healthy older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strenziok, Maren; Greenwood, Pamela M; Santa Cruz, Sophia A; Thompson, James C; Parasuraman, Raja

    2013-01-01

    Prefrontal cortex mediates cognitive control by means of circuitry organized along dorso-ventral and rostro-caudal axes. Along the dorso-ventral axis, ventrolateral PFC controls semantic information, whereas dorsolateral PFC encodes task rules. Along the rostro-caudal axis, anterior prefrontal cortex encodes complex rules and relationships between stimuli, whereas posterior prefrontal cortex encodes simple relationships between stimuli and behavior. Evidence of these gradients of prefrontal cortex organization has been well documented in fMRI studies, but their functional correlates have not been examined with regard to integrity of underlying white matter tracts. We hypothesized that (a) the integrity of specific white matter tracts is related to cognitive functioning in a manner consistent with the dorso-ventral and rostro-caudal organization of the prefrontal cortex, and (b) this would be particularly evident in healthy older adults. We assessed three cognitive processes that recruit the prefrontal cortex and can distinguish white matter tracts along the dorso-ventral and rostro-caudal dimensions -episodic memory, working memory, and reasoning. Correlations between cognition and fractional anisotropy as well as fiber tractography revealed: (a) Episodic memory was related to ventral prefrontal cortex-thalamo-hippocampal fiber integrity; (b) Working memory was related to integrity of corpus callosum body fibers subserving dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; and (c) Reasoning was related to integrity of corpus callosum body fibers subserving rostral and caudal dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. These findings confirm the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex's role in semantic control and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex's role in rule-based processing, in accordance with the dorso-ventral prefrontal cortex gradient. Reasoning-related rostral and caudal superior frontal white matter may facilitate different levels of task rule complexity. This study is the first to

  6. The Cortical Connectivity of the Prefrontal Cortex in the Monkey Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeterian, Edward H.; Pandya, Deepak N.; Tomaiuolo, Francesco; Petrides, Michael

    2011-01-01

    One dimension of understanding the functions of the prefrontal cortex is knowledge of cortical connectivity. We have surveyed three aspects of prefrontal cortical connections: local projections (within the frontal lobe), the termination patterns of long association (post-Rolandic) projections, and the trajectories of major fiber pathways. The local connections appear to be organized in relation to dorsal (hippocampal origin) and ventral (paleocortical origin) architectonic trends. According to the proposal of a dual origin of the cerebral cortex, cortical areas can be traced as originating from archicortex (hippocampus) on the one hand, and paleocortex, on the other hand, in a stepwise manner (e.g., Sanides, 1969; Pandya and Yeterian, 1985). Prefrontal areas within each trend are connected with less architectonically differentiated areas, and, on the other hand, with more differentiated areas. Such organization may allow for the systematic exchange of information within each architectonic trend. The long connections of the prefrontal cortex with post-Rolandic regions seem to be organized preferentially in relation to dorsal and ventral prefrontal architectonic trends. Prefrontal areas are connected with post-Rolandic auditory, visual and somatosensory association areas, and with multimodal and paralimbic regions. This long connectivity likely works in conjunction with local connections to serve prefrontal cortical functions. The afferent and efferent connections of the prefrontal cortex with post-Rolandic regions are conveyed by specific long association pathways. These pathways as well appear to be organized in relation to dorsal and ventral prefrontal architectonic trends. Finally, although prefrontal areas have preferential connections in relation to dual architectonic trends, it is clear that there are interconnections between and among areas in each trend, which may provide a substrate for the overall integrative function of the prefrontal cortex. Prefrontal

  7. Transient inactivation of the ventral hippocampus in neonatal rats impairs the mesolimbic regulation of prefrontal glutamate release in adulthood

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bortz, D M; Jørgensen, Christinna Vangsgaard; Mikkelsen, J D

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive deficits in schizophrenia (SZ) reflect maturational disruptions within a neural system that includes the ventral hippocampus (VH), nucleus accumbens (NAc), basal forebrain, and prefrontal cortex (PFC). A better understanding of these changes may reveal drug targets for more efficacious ...

  8. Higher Order Spike Synchrony in Prefrontal Cortex during visual memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gordon ePipa

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Precise temporal synchrony of spike firing has been postulated as an important neuronal mechanism for signal integration and the induction of plasticity in neocortex. As prefrontal cortex plays an important role in organizing memory and executive functions, the convergence of multiple visual pathways onto PFC predicts that neurons should preferentially synchronize their spiking when stimulus information is processed. Furthermore, synchronous spike firing should intensify if memory processes require the induction of neuronal plasticity, even if this is only for short-term. Here we show with multiple simultaneously recorded units in ventral prefrontal cortex that neurons participate in 3 ms precise synchronous discharges distributed across multiple sites separated by at least 500 µm. The frequency of synchronous firing is modulated by behavioral performance and is specific for the memorized visual stimuli. In particular, during the memory period in which activity is not stimulus driven, larger groups of up to 7 sites exhibit performance dependent modulation of their spike synchronization.

  9. Working Memory in the Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funahashi, Shintaro

    2017-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex participates in a variety of higher cognitive functions. The concept of working memory is now widely used to understand prefrontal functions. Neurophysiological studies have revealed that stimulus-selective delay-period activity is a neural correlate of the mechanism for temporarily maintaining information in working memory processes. The central executive, which is the master component of Baddeley’s working memory model and is thought to be a function of the prefrontal cortex, controls the performance of other components by allocating a limited capacity of memory resource to each component based on its demand. Recent neurophysiological studies have attempted to reveal how prefrontal neurons achieve the functions of the central executive. For example, the neural mechanisms of memory control have been examined using the interference effect in a dual-task paradigm. It has been shown that this interference effect is caused by the competitive and overloaded recruitment of overlapping neural populations in the prefrontal cortex by two concurrent tasks and that the information-processing capacity of a single neuron is limited to a fixed level, can be flexibly allocated or reallocated between two concurrent tasks based on their needs, and enhances behavioral performance when its allocation to one task is increased. Further, a metamemory task requiring spatial information has been used to understand the neural mechanism for monitoring its own operations, and it has been shown that monitoring the quality of spatial information represented by prefrontal activity is an important factor in the subject's choice and that the strength of spatially selective delay-period activity reflects confidence in decision-making. Although further studies are needed to elucidate how the prefrontal cortex controls memory resource and supervises other systems, some important mechanisms related to the central executive have been identified. PMID:28448453

  10. Segregation of the human medial prefrontal cortex in social cognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danilo eBzdok

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available While the human medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC is widely believed to be a key node of neural networks relevant for socio-emotional processing, its functional subspecialization is still poorly understood. We thus revisited the often assumed differentiation of the mPFC in social cognition along its ventral-dorsal axis. Our neuroinformatic analysis was based on a neuroimaging meta-analysis of perspective-taking that yielded two separate clusters in the ventral and dorsal mPFC, respectively. We determined each seed region’s brain-wide interaction pattern by two complementary measures of functional connectivity: co-activation across a wide range of neuroimaging studies archived in the BrainMap database and correlated signal fluctuations during unconstrained (resting cognition. Furthermore, we characterized the functions associated with these two regions using the BrainMap database. Across methods, the ventral mPFC was more strongly connected with the nucleus accumbens, hippocampus, posterior cingulate cortex, and retrosplenial cortex, while the dorsal mPFC was more strongly connected with the inferior frontal gyrus, temporo-parietal junction, and middle temporal gyrus. Further, the ventral mPFC was selectively associated with action execution, olfaction, and reward related tasks, while the dorsal mPFC was selectively associated with perspective-taking and episodic memory retrieval. The ventral mPFC is therefore predominantly involved in sensory-driven, approach/avoidance-modulating, and evaluation-related processing, whereas the dorsal mPFC is predominantly involved in internally driven, memory-informed, and metacognition-related processing in social cognition.

  11. A dorsolateral prefrontal cortex semi-automatic segmenter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Hakim, Ramsey; Fallon, James; Nain, Delphine; Melonakos, John; Tannenbaum, Allen

    2006-03-01

    Structural, functional, and clinical studies in schizophrenia have, for several decades, consistently implicated dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex in the etiology of the disease. Functional and structural imaging studies, combined with clinical, psychometric, and genetic analyses in schizophrenia have confirmed the key roles played by the prefrontal cortex and closely linked "prefrontal system" structures such as the striatum, amygdala, mediodorsal thalamus, substantia nigra-ventral tegmental area, and anterior cingulate cortices. The nodal structure of the prefrontal system circuit is the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), or Brodmann area 46, which also appears to be the most commonly studied and cited brain area with respect to schizophrenia. 1, 2, 3, 4 In 1986, Weinberger et. al. tied cerebral blood flow in the DLPFC to schizophrenia.1 In 2001, Perlstein et. al. demonstrated that DLPFC activation is essential for working memory tasks commonly deficient in schizophrenia. 2 More recently, groups have linked morphological changes due to gene deletion and increased DLPFC glutamate concentration to schizophrenia. 3, 4 Despite the experimental and clinical focus on the DLPFC in structural and functional imaging, the variability of the location of this area, differences in opinion on exactly what constitutes DLPFC, and inherent difficulties in segmenting this highly convoluted cortical region have contributed to a lack of widely used standards for manual or semi-automated segmentation programs. Given these implications, we developed a semi-automatic tool to segment the DLPFC from brain MRI scans in a reproducible way to conduct further morphological and statistical studies. The segmenter is based on expert neuroanatomist rules (Fallon-Kindermann rules), inspired by cytoarchitectonic data and reconstructions presented by Rajkowska and Goldman-Rakic. 5 It is semi-automated to provide essential user interactivity. We present our results and provide details on

  12. An integrative theory of prefrontal cortex function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, E K; Cohen, J D

    2001-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex has long been suspected to play an important role in cognitive control, in the ability to orchestrate thought and action in accordance with internal goals. Its neural basis, however, has remained a mystery. Here, we propose that cognitive control stems from the active maintenance of patterns of activity in the prefrontal cortex that represent goals and the means to achieve them. They provide bias signals to other brain structures whose net effect is to guide the flow of activity along neural pathways that establish the proper mappings between inputs, internal states, and outputs needed to perform a given task. We review neurophysiological, neurobiological, neuroimaging, and computational studies that support this theory and discuss its implications as well as further issues to be addressed

  13. The role of prefrontal cortex in psychopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenigs, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by remorseless and impulsive antisocial behavior. Given the significant societal costs of the recidivistic criminal activity associated with the disorder, there is a pressing need for more effective treatment strategies, and hence, a better understanding of the psychobiological mechanisms underlying the disorder. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is likely to play an important role in psychopathy. In particular, the ventromedial and anterior cingulate sectors of PFC are theorized to mediate a number of social and affective decision-making functions that appear to be disrupted in psychopathy. This article provides a critical summary of human neuroimaging data implicating prefrontal dysfunction in psychopathy. A growing body of evidence associates psychopathy with structural and functional abnormalities in ventromedial PFC and anterior cingulate cortex. Although this burgeoning field still faces a number of methodological challenges and outstanding questions that will need to be resolved by future studies, the research to date has established a link between psychopathy and PFC. PMID:22752782

  14. Ventral medial prefrontal functional connectivity and emotion regulation in chronic schizophrenia: A pilot study

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Feng-Mei Fan; Shu-Ping Tan; Fu-De Yang; Yun-Long Tan; Yan-Li Zhao; Nan Chen; Bin-Bin Li

    2013-01-01

    People with schizophrenia exhibit impaired social cognitive functions,particularly emotion regulation.Abnormal activations of the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vMPFC) during emotional tasks have been demonstrated in schizophrenia,suggesting its important role in emotion processing in patients.We used the resting-state functional connectivity approach,setting a functionally relevant region,the vMPFC,as a seed region to examine the intrinsic functional interactions and communication between the vMPFC and other brain regions in schizophrenic patients.We found hypo-connectivity between the vMPFC and the medial frontal cortex,right middle temporal lobe (MTL),right hippocampus,parahippocampal cortex (PHC) and amygdala.Further,there was a decreased strength of the negative connectivity (or anticorrelation) between the vMPFC and the bilateral dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and pre-supplementary motor areas.Among these connectivity alterations,reduced vMPFCDLPFC connectivity was positively correlated with positive symptoms on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale,while vMPFC-right MTL/PHC/amygdala functional connectivity was positively correlated with the performance of emotional regulation in patients.These findings imply that communication and coordination throughout the brain networks are disrupted in schizophrenia.The emotional correlates of vMPFC connectivity suggest a role of the hypo-connectivity between these regions in the neuropathology of abnormal social cognition in chronic schizophrenia.

  15. I find you more attractive … after (prefrontal cortex) stimulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ferrari, C.; Lega, C.; Tamietto, M.; Nadal, M.; Cattaneo, Z.

    2015-01-01

    Facial attractiveness seems to be perceived immediately. Neuroimaging evidence suggests that the appraisal of facial attractiveness is mediated by a network of cortical and subcortical regions, mainly encompassing the reward circuit, but also including prefrontal cortices. The prefrontal cortex is

  16. Amodal processing in human prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamber-Rosenau, Benjamin J; Dux, Paul E; Tombu, Michael N; Asplund, Christopher L; Marois, René

    2013-07-10

    Information enters the cortex via modality-specific sensory regions, whereas actions are produced by modality-specific motor regions. Intervening central stages of information processing map sensation to behavior. Humans perform this central processing in a flexible, abstract manner such that sensory information in any modality can lead to response via any motor system. Cognitive theories account for such flexible behavior by positing amodal central information processing (e.g., "central executive," Baddeley and Hitch, 1974; "supervisory attentional system," Norman and Shallice, 1986; "response selection bottleneck," Pashler, 1994). However, the extent to which brain regions embodying central mechanisms of information processing are amodal remains unclear. Here we apply multivariate pattern analysis to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data to compare response selection, a cognitive process widely believed to recruit an amodal central resource across sensory and motor modalities. We show that most frontal and parietal cortical areas known to activate across a wide variety of tasks code modality, casting doubt on the notion that these regions embody a central processor devoid of modality representation. Importantly, regions of anterior insula and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex consistently failed to code modality across four experiments. However, these areas code at least one other task dimension, process (instantiated as response selection vs response execution), ensuring that failure to find coding of modality is not driven by insensitivity of multivariate pattern analysis in these regions. We conclude that abstract encoding of information modality is primarily a property of subregions of the prefrontal cortex.

  17. Khat distorts the prefrontal cortex histology and function of adult ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Khat is a psychoactive herbal drug of pronounced ethno-pharmacological significance often abused due to its unregulated use. It affects many brain centers including the prefrontal cortex which is the anterior most part of the frontal lobe. The prefrontal cortex modulates working memory, planning complex cognitive ...

  18. Inactivation of Primate Prefrontal Cortex Impairs Auditory and Audiovisual Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plakke, Bethany; Hwang, Jaewon; Romanski, Lizabeth M

    2015-07-01

    The prefrontal cortex is associated with cognitive functions that include planning, reasoning, decision-making, working memory, and communication. Neurophysiology and neuropsychology studies have established that dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is essential in spatial working memory while the ventral frontal lobe processes language and communication signals. Single-unit recordings in nonhuman primates has shown that ventral prefrontal (VLPFC) neurons integrate face and vocal information and are active during audiovisual working memory. However, whether VLPFC is essential in remembering face and voice information is unknown. We therefore trained nonhuman primates in an audiovisual working memory paradigm using naturalistic face-vocalization movies as memoranda. We inactivated VLPFC, with reversible cortical cooling, and examined performance when faces, vocalizations or both faces and vocalization had to be remembered. We found that VLPFC inactivation impaired subjects' performance in audiovisual and auditory-alone versions of the task. In contrast, VLPFC inactivation did not disrupt visual working memory. Our studies demonstrate the importance of VLPFC in auditory and audiovisual working memory for social stimuli but suggest a different role for VLPFC in unimodal visual processing. The ventral frontal lobe, or inferior frontal gyrus, plays an important role in audiovisual communication in the human brain. Studies with nonhuman primates have found that neurons within ventral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) encode both faces and vocalizations and that VLPFC is active when animals need to remember these social stimuli. In the present study, we temporarily inactivated VLPFC by cooling the cortex while nonhuman primates performed a working memory task. This impaired the ability of subjects to remember a face and vocalization pair or just the vocalization alone. Our work highlights the importance of the primate VLPFC in the processing of faces and vocalizations in a manner that

  19. Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Drives Mesolimbic Dopaminergic Regions to Initiate Motivated Behavior

    OpenAIRE

    Ballard, Ian C.; Murty, Vishnu P.; Carter, R. McKell; MacInnes, Jeffrey J.; Huettel, Scott A.; Adcock, R. Alison

    2011-01-01

    How does the brain translate information signaling potential rewards into motivation to get them? Motivation to obtain reward is thought to depend on the midbrain, (particularly the ventral tegmental area, VTA), the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), but it is not clear how the interactions amongst these regions relate to reward-motivated behavior. To study the influence of motivation on these reward-responsive regions and on their interactions, we used ...

  20. Plasticity in the Prefrontal Cortex of Adult Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryan eKolb

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available We review the plastic changes of the prefrontal cortex of the rat in response to a wide range of experiences including sensory and motor experience, gonadal hormones, psychoactive drugs, learning tasks, stress, social experience, metaplastic experiences, and brain injury. Our focus is on synaptic changes (dendritic morphology and spine density in pyramidal neurons and the relationship to behavioral changes. The most general conclusion we can reach is that the prefrontal cortex is extremely plastic and that the medial and orbital prefrontal regions frequently respond very differently to the same experience in the same brain and the rules that govern prefrontal plasticity appear to differ for those of other cortical regions.

  1. The role of human ventral visual cortex in motion perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saygin, Ayse P.; Lorenzi, Lauren J.; Egan, Ryan; Rees, Geraint; Behrmann, Marlene

    2013-01-01

    Visual motion perception is fundamental to many aspects of visual perception. Visual motion perception has long been associated with the dorsal (parietal) pathway and the involvement of the ventral ‘form’ (temporal) visual pathway has not been considered critical for normal motion perception. Here, we evaluated this view by examining whether circumscribed damage to ventral visual cortex impaired motion perception. The perception of motion in basic, non-form tasks (motion coherence and motion detection) and complex structure-from-motion, for a wide range of motion speeds, all centrally displayed, was assessed in five patients with a circumscribed lesion to either the right or left ventral visual pathway. Patients with a right, but not with a left, ventral visual lesion displayed widespread impairments in central motion perception even for non-form motion, for both slow and for fast speeds, and this held true independent of the integrity of areas MT/V5, V3A or parietal regions. In contrast with the traditional view in which only the dorsal visual stream is critical for motion perception, these novel findings implicate a more distributed circuit in which the integrity of the right ventral visual pathway is also necessary even for the perception of non-form motion. PMID:23983030

  2. Gender moderates the association between dorsal medial prefrontal cortex volume and depressive symptoms in a subclinical sample.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Joshua M; Depetro, Emily; Maxwell, Joshua; Harmon-Jones, Eddie; Hajcak, Greg

    2015-08-30

    Major depressive disorder is associated with lower medial prefrontal cortex volumes. The role that gender might play in moderating this relationship and what particular medial prefrontal cortex subregion(s) might be implicated is unclear. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess dorsal, ventral, and anterior cingulate regions of the medial prefrontal cortex in a normative sample of male and female adults. The Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS) was used to measure these three variables. Voxel-based morphometry was used to test for correlations between medial prefrontal gray matter volume and depressive traits. The dorsal medial frontal cortex was correlated with greater levels of depression, but not anxiety and stress. Gender moderates this effect: in males greater levels of depression were associated with lower dorsal medial prefrontal volumes, but in females no relationship was observed. The results indicate that even within a non-clinical sample, male participants with higher levels of depressive traits tend to have lower levels of gray matter volume in the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex. Our finding is consistent with low dorsal medial prefrontal volume contributing to the development of depression in males. Future longitudinal work is needed to substantiate this possibility. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex mediates visual attention during facial emotion recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Richard C; Philippi, Carissa L; Motzkin, Julian C; Baskaya, Mustafa K; Koenigs, Michael

    2014-06-01

    The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is known to play a crucial role in regulating human social and emotional behaviour, yet the precise mechanisms by which it subserves this broad function remain unclear. Whereas previous neuropsychological studies have largely focused on the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in higher-order deliberative processes related to valuation and decision-making, here we test whether ventromedial prefrontal cortex may also be critical for more basic aspects of orienting attention to socially and emotionally meaningful stimuli. Using eye tracking during a test of facial emotion recognition in a sample of lesion patients, we show that bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage impairs visual attention to the eye regions of faces, particularly for fearful faces. This finding demonstrates a heretofore unrecognized function of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex-the basic attentional process of controlling eye movements to faces expressing emotion. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Phencyclidine administration during neurodevelopment alters network activity in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus in adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kjaerby, Celia; Hovelsø, Nanna; Dalby, Nils Ole; Sotty, Florence

    2017-08-01

    Symptoms of schizophrenia have been linked to insults during neurodevelopment such as NMDA receptor (NMDAR) antagonist exposure. In animal models, this leads to schizophrenia-like behavioral symptoms as well as molecular and functional changes within hippocampal and prefrontal regions. The aim of this study was to determine how administration of the NMDAR antagonist phencyclidine (PCP) during neurodevelopment affects functional network activity within the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). We recorded field potentials in vivo after electrical brain stem stimulation and observed a suppression of evoked theta power in ventral hippocampus, while evoked gamma power in mPFC was enhanced in rats administered with PCP neonatally. In addition, increased gamma synchrony elicited by acute administration of the NMDAR antagonist MK-801 was exaggerated in neonatal PCP animals. These data suggest that NMDAR antagonist exposure during brain development alters functional networks within hippocampus and mPFC possibly contributing to the reported behavioral symptoms of this animal model of schizophrenia. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We show that insults with a NMDA receptor antagonist during neurodevelopment lead to suppressed evoked theta oscillations in ventral hippocampus in adult rats, while evoked gamma oscillations are enhanced and hypersensitive to an acute challenge with a NMDA receptor antagonist in prefrontal cortex. These observations reveal the significance of neurodevelopmental disturbances in the evolvement of schizophrenia-like symptoms and contribute to the understanding of the functional deficits underlying aberrant behavior in this disease. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  5. Effects of prefrontal cortical inactivation on neural activity in the ventral tegmental area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jo, Yong Sang; Lee, Jane; Mizumori, Sheri J.Y.

    2013-01-01

    Dopamine (DA) cells have been suggested to signal discrepancies between expected and actual rewards in reinforcement learning. DA cells in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) receive direct projections from the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a structure that is known as one of the brain areas that represent expected future rewards. To investigate whether the mPFC contributes to generating reward prediction error signals of DA cells, we recorded VTA cells from rats foraging for different amounts of reward in a spatial working memory task. Our results showed that DA cells initially responded after the acquisition of rewards, but over training, they exhibited phasic responses when rats detected sensory cues originating from the rewards before obtaining them. We also observed two separate groups of non-DA cells that were activated in expectation of upcoming rewards or during reward consumption. Bilateral injections of muscimol, a GABAA agonist, into the mPFC significantly decreased the non-DA activity that encoded reward expectation. By contrast, the same manipulation of the mPFC elevated DA responses to reward-predicting cues. However, neither DA nor non-DA responses that were elicited after reward acquisition were affected by mPFC inactivation. These results suggest that the mPFC provides the information about expected rewards to the VTA, and its functional loss elevates DA responses to reward-predicting cues by altering expectations about forthcoming rewards. PMID:23658156

  6. Interplay of hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preston, Alison R.; Eichenbaum, Howard

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies on the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex have considerably advanced our understanding of the distinct roles of these brain areas in the encoding and retrieval of memories, and of how they interact in the prolonged process by which new memories are consolidated into our permanent storehouse of knowledge. These studies have led to a new model of how the hippocampus forms and replays memories and how the prefrontal cortex engages representations of the meaningful contexts in which related memories occur, as well as how these areas interact during memory retrieval. Furthermore, they have provided new insights into how interactions between the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex support the assimilation of new memories into pre-existing networks of knowledge, called schemas, and how schemas are modified in this process as the foundation of memory consolidation. PMID:24028960

  7. Increased functional connectivity between prefrontal cortex and reward system in pathological gambling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saskia Koehler

    Full Text Available Pathological gambling (PG shares clinical characteristics with substance-use disorders and is thus discussed as a behavioral addiction. Recent neuroimaging studies on PG report functional changes in prefrontal structures and the mesolimbic reward system. While an imbalance between these structures has been related to addictive behavior, whether their dysfunction in PG is reflected in the interaction between them remains unclear. We addressed this question using functional connectivity resting-state fMRI in male subjects with PG and controls. Seed-based functional connectivity was computed using two regions-of-interest, based on the results of a previous voxel-based morphometry study, located in the prefrontal cortex and the mesolimbic reward system (right middle frontal gyrus and right ventral striatum. PG patients demonstrated increased connectivity from the right middle frontal gyrus to the right striatum as compared to controls, which was also positively correlated with nonplanning aspect of impulsiveness, smoking and craving scores in the PG group. Moreover, PG patients demonstrated decreased connectivity from the right middle frontal gyrus to other prefrontal areas as compared to controls. The right ventral striatum demonstrated increased connectivity to the right superior and middle frontal gyrus and left cerebellum in PG patients as compared to controls. The increased connectivity to the cerebellum was positively correlated with smoking in the PG group. Our results provide further evidence for alterations in functional connectivity in PG with increased connectivity between prefrontal regions and the reward system, similar to connectivity changes reported in substance use disorder.

  8. The amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex in morality and psychopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, R J R

    2007-09-01

    Recent work has implicated the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex in morality and, when dysfunctional, psychopathy. This model proposes that the amygdala, through stimulus-reinforcement learning, enables the association of actions that harm others with the aversive reinforcement of the victims' distress. Consequent information on reinforcement expectancy, fed forward to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, can guide the healthy individual away from moral transgressions. In psychopathy, dysfunction in these structures means that care-based moral reasoning is compromised and the risk that antisocial behavior is used instrumentally to achieve goals is increased.

  9. Neural mechanisms of memory retrieval: role of the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasegawa, I

    2000-01-01

    In the primate brain, long-term memory is stored in the neocortical association area which is also engaged in sensory perception. The coded representation of memory is retrieved via interactions of hierarchically different cortical areas along bottom-up and top-down anatomical connections. The functional significance of the fronto-cortical top-down neuronal projections has been relevantly assessed in a new experimental paradigm using posterior-split-brain monkeys. When the splenium of the corpus callosum and the anterior commissure were selectively split, the bottom-up visual signal originating from the unilateral striate cortex could not reach the contralateral visual cortical areas. In this preparation, long-term memory acquired through visual stimulus-stimulus association learning was prevented from transferring across hemispheres. Nonetheless, following the presentation of a visual cue to one hemisphere, the prefrontal cortex could instruct the contralateral hemisphere to retrieve the correct stimulus specified by the cue. These results support the hypothesis that the prefrontal cortex can regulate memory recall in the absence of bottom-up sensory input. In humans, functional neuroimaging studies have revealed activation of a distributed neural network, including the prefrontal cortex, during memory retrieval tasks. Thus, the prefrontal cortex is consistently involved in retrieval of long-term memory in primates.

  10. Monetary reward activates human prefrontal cortex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thut, G.; Roelcke, U.; Nienhusmeier, M.; Missimer, J.; Maguire, R.P.; Leenders, K.L.; Schultz, W.

    1997-01-01

    We present a rCBF PET activation study, in which we demonstrated that reward processing in humans activates a cortical-subcortical network including dorsolateral prefrontal, orbital frontal, thalamic and midbrain regions. It is suggested that, as found for non-human primates, the basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical system is implicated in reward processing. (author) 1 fig., 3 refs

  11. Acute pharmacogenetic activation of medial prefrontal cortex ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Sthitapranjya Pati

    2018-01-24

    Jan 24, 2018 ... Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) have provided novel ... ad libitum access to food and water. ... testing. 2.3 Drug treatment and behavioural tests .... IL cortex (figure 3E, two-way ANOVA: interaction effect,.

  12. Capacity-speed relationships in prefrontal cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vivek Prabhakaran

    Full Text Available Working memory (WM capacity and WM processing speed are simple cognitive measures that underlie human performance in complex processes such as reasoning and language comprehension. These cognitive measures have shown to be interrelated in behavioral studies, yet the neural mechanism behind this interdependence has not been elucidated. We have carried out two functional MRI studies to separately identify brain regions involved in capacity and speed. Experiment 1, using a block-design WM verbal task, identified increased WM capacity with increased activity in right prefrontal regions, and Experiment 2, using a single-trial WM verbal task, identified increased WM processing speed with increased activity in similar regions. Our results suggest that right prefrontal areas may be a common region interlinking these two cognitive measures. Moreover, an overlap analysis with regions associated with binding or chunking suggest that this strategic memory consolidation process may be the mechanism interlinking WM capacity and WM speed.

  13. The role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in memory consolidation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nieuwenhuis, I.L.C.; Takashima, A.

    2011-01-01

    System-level memory consolidation theory posits that the hippocampus initially links the neocortical representations, followed by a shift to a hippocampus-independent neocortical network. With consolidation, an increase in activity in the human subgenual ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) has

  14. khat distorts the prefrontal cortex histology and function of adult

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2018-02-28

    Feb 28, 2018 ... It affects many brain centers including the prefrontal cortex which is the ... cognitive behaviors however; it is linked to many psychological ... by traumatic events while others experience ... scientific research in exposing the effects. ... between 3 to 5pm daily. ... needle attached a plastic tubing was connected.

  15. Comparison of (stereotactic) parcellations in mouse prefrontal cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Werd, H.J.J.M.; Uylings, H.B.M.

    2014-01-01

    This study compares the cytoarchitectonic parcellation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in the mouse as presented in publications that are commonly used for identifying brain areas. Agreement was found to be greater for boundaries in the medial PFC than in the lateral PFC and lowest for those in the

  16. Social cognition in patients following surgery to the prefrontal cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jenkins, L.M.; Andrewes, D.G.; Nicholas, C.L.; Drummond, K.J.; Moffat, B.A.; Phal, P.; Desmond, P.; Kessels, R.P.C.

    2014-01-01

    Impaired social cognition, including emotion recognition, may explain dysfunctional emotional and social behaviour in patients with lesions to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC). However, the VMPFC is a large, poorly defined area that can be sub-divided into orbital and medial sectors. We

  17. Development of Rostral Prefrontal Cortex and Cognitive and Behavioural Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumontheil, Iroise; Burgess, Paul W.; Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne

    2008-01-01

    Information on the development and functions of rostral prefrontal cortex (PFC), or Brodmann area 10, has been gathered from different fields, from anatomical development to functional neuroimaging in adults, and put forward in relation to three particular cognitive and behavioural disorders. Rostral PFC is larger and has a lower cell density in…

  18. Hippocampus-driven feed-forward inhibition of the prefrontal cortex mediates relapse of extinguished fear

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marek, Roger; Jin, Jingji; Goode, Travis D.

    2018-01-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been implicated in the extinction of emotional memories, including conditioned fear. We found that ventral hippocampal (vHPC) projections to the infralimbic (IL) cortex recruited parvalbumin-expressing interneurons to counter the expression of extinguished...... fear and promote fear relapse. Whole-cell recordings ex vivo revealed that optogenetic activation of vHPC input to amygdala-projecting pyramidal neurons in the IL was dominated by feed-forward inhibition. Selectively silencing parvalbumin-expressing, but not somatostatin-expressing, interneurons...... in the IL eliminated vHPC-mediated inhibition. In behaving rats, pharmacogenetic activation of vHPC→IL projections impaired extinction recall, whereas silencing IL projectors diminished fear renewal. Intra-IL infusion of GABA receptor agonists or antagonists, respectively, reproduced these effects. Together...

  19. Neuropeptide S overcomes short term memory deficit induced by sleep restriction by increasing prefrontal cortex activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomasson, Julien; Canini, Frédéric; Poly-Thomasson, Betty; Trousselard, Marion; Granon, Sylvie; Chauveau, Frédéric

    2017-12-01

    Sleep restriction (SR) impairs short term memory (STM) that might be related to different processes. Neuropeptide S (NPS), an endogenous neuropeptide that improves short term memory, activates arousal and decreases anxiety is likely to counteract the SR-induced impairment of STM. The objective of the present study was to find common cerebral pathways in sleep restriction and NPS action in order to ultimately antagonize SR effect on memory. The STM was assessed using a spontaneous spatial alternation task in a T-maze. C57-Bl/6J male mice were distributed in 4 groups according to treatment (0.1nmol of NPS or vehicle intracerebroventricular injection) and to 20h-SR. Immediately after behavioural testing, regional c-fos immunohistochemistry was performed and used as a neural activation marker for spatial short term memory (prefrontal cortex, dorsal hippocampus) and emotional reactivity (basolateral amygdala and ventral hippocampus). Anxiety-like behaviour was assessed using elevated-plus maze task. Results showed that SR impaired short term memory performance and decreased neuronal activation in cingular cortex.NPS injection overcame SR-induced STM deficits and increased neuronal activation in infralimbic cortex. SR spared anxiety-like behavior in the elevated-plus maze. Neural activation in basolateral nucleus of amygdala and ventral hippocampus were not changed after SR.In conclusion, the present study shows that NPS overcomes SR-induced STM deficits by increasing prefrontal cortex activation independently of anxiety-like behaviour. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Prefrontal Cortex, Emotion, and Approach/Withdrawal Motivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spielberg, Jeffrey M; Stewart, Jennifer L; Levin, Rebecca L; Miller, Gregory A; Heller, Wendy

    2008-01-01

    This article provides a selective review of the literature and current theories regarding the role of prefrontal cortex, along with some other critical brain regions, in emotion and motivation. Seemingly contradictory findings have often appeared in this literature. Research attempting to resolve these contradictions has been the basis of new areas of growth and has led to more sophisticated understandings of emotional and motivational processes as well as neural networks associated with these processes. Progress has, in part, depended on methodological advances that allow for increased resolution in brain imaging. A number of issues are currently in play, among them the role of prefrontal cortex in emotional or motivational processes. This debate fosters research that will likely lead to further refinement of conceptualizations of emotion, motivation, and the neural processes associated with them.

  1. Prefrontal Cortex and Social Cognition in Mouse and Man

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bicks, Lucy K.; Koike, Hiroyuki; Akbarian, Schahram; Morishita, Hirofumi

    2015-01-01

    Social cognition is a complex process that requires the integration of a wide variety of behaviors, including salience, reward-seeking, motivation, knowledge of self and others, and flexibly adjusting behavior in social groups. Not surprisingly, social cognition represents a sensitive domain commonly disrupted in the pathology of a variety of psychiatric disorders including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Schizophrenia (SCZ). Here, we discuss convergent research from animal models to human disease that implicates the prefrontal cortex (PFC) as a key regulator in social cognition, suggesting that disruptions in prefrontal microcircuitry play an essential role in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders with shared social deficits. We take a translational perspective of social cognition, and review three key behaviors that are essential to normal social processing in rodents and humans, including social motivation, social recognition, and dominance hierarchy. A shared prefrontal circuitry may underlie these behaviors. Social cognition deficits in animal models of neurodevelopmental disorders like ASD and SCZ have been linked to an altered balance of excitation and inhibition (E/I ratio) within the cortex generally, and PFC specifically. A clear picture of the mechanisms by which altered E/I ratio in the PFC might lead to disruptions of social cognition across a variety of behaviors is not well understood. Future studies should explore how disrupted developmental trajectory of prefrontal microcircuitry could lead to altered E/I balance and subsequent deficits in the social domain. PMID:26635701

  2. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex, adding value to autobiographical memories

    OpenAIRE

    Lin, W. J.; Horner, A. J.; Burgess, N.

    2016-01-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been consistently implicated in autobiographical memory recall and decision making. Its function in decision making tasks is believed to relate to value representation, but its function in autobiographical memory recall is not yet clear. We hypothesised that the mPFC represents the subjective value of elements during autobiographical memory retrieval. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging during an autobiographical memory recall task, we found tha...

  3. Prefrontal cortex activity during swallowing in dysphagia patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jun; Yamate, Chisato; Taira, Masato; Shinoda, Masamichi; Urata, Kentaro; Maruno, Mitsuru; Ito, Reio; Saito, Hiroto; Gionhaku, Nobuhito; Iinuma, Toshimitsu; Iwata, Koichi

    2018-05-24

    Prefrontal cortex activity is modulated by flavor and taste stimuli and changes during swallowing. We hypothesized that changes in the modulation of prefrontal cortex activity by flavor and taste were associated with swallowing movement and evaluated brain activity during swallowing in patients with dysphagia. To evaluate prefrontal cortex activity in dysphagia patients during swallowing, change in oxidized hemoglobin (z-score) was measured with near-infrared spectroscopy while dysphagia patients and healthy controls swallowed sweetened/unsweetened and flavored/unflavored jelly. Total z-scores were positive during swallowing of flavored/unsweetened jelly and negative during swallowing of unflavored/sweetened jelly in controls but negative during swallowing of sweetened/unsweetened and flavored/unflavored jelly in dysphagia patients. These findings suggest that taste and flavor during food swallowing are associated with positive and negative z-scores, respectively. Change in negative and positive z-scores may be useful in evaluating brain activity of dysphagia patients during swallowing of sweetened and unsweetened food.

  4. Neural correlates of memory retrieval in the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nácher, Verónica; Ojeda, Sabiela; Cadarso-Suárez, Carmen; Roca-Pardiñas, Javier; Acuña, Carlos

    2006-08-01

    Working memory includes short-term representations of information that were recently experienced or retrieved from long-term representations of sensory stimuli. Evidence is presented here that working memory activates the same dorsolateral prefrontal cortex neurons that: (a) maintained recently perceived visual stimuli; and (b) retrieved visual stimuli from long-term memory (LTM). Single neuron activity was recorded in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex while trained monkeys discriminated between two orientated lines shown sequentially, separated by a fixed interstimulus interval. This visual task required the monkey to compare the orientation of the second line with the memory trace of the first and to decide the relative orientation of the second. When the behavioural task required the monkey to maintain in working memory a first stimulus that continually changed from trial to trial, the discharge in these cells was related to the parameters--the orientation--of the memorized item. Then, what the monkey had to recall from memory was manipulated by switching to another task in which the first stimulus was not shown, and had to be retrieved from LTM. The discharge rates of the same neurons also varied depending on the parameters of the memorized stimuli, and their response was progressively delayed as the monkey performed the task. These results suggest that working memory activates dorsolateral prefrontal cortex neurons that maintain parametrical visual information in short-term and LTM, and that the contents of working memory cannot be limited to what has recently happened in the sensory environment.

  5. Glucose-monitoring neurons in the mediodorsal prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, Bernadett; Szabó, István; Papp, Szilárd; Takács, Gábor; Szalay, Csaba; Karádi, Zoltán

    2012-03-20

    The mediodorsal prefrontal cortex (mdPFC), a key structure of the limbic neural circuitry, plays important roles in the central regulation of feeding. As an integrant part of the forebrain dopamine (DA) system, it performs complex roles via interconnections with various brain areas where glucose-monitoring (GM) neurons have been identified. The main goal of the present experiments was to examine whether similar GM neurons exist in the mediodorsal prefrontal cortex. To search for such chemosensory cells here, and to estimate their involvement in the DA circuitry, extracellular single neuron activity of the mediodorsal prefrontal cortex of anesthetized Wistar and Sprague-Dawley rats was recorded by means of tungsten wire multibarreled glass microelectrodes during microelectrophoretic administration of d-glucose and DA. One fourth of the neurons tested changed in firing rate in response to glucose, thus, proved to be elements of the forebrain GM neural network. DA responsive neurons in the mdPFC were found to represent similar proportion of all cells; the glucose-excited units were shown to display excitatory whereas the glucose-inhibited neurons were demonstrated to exert mainly inhibitory responses to dopamine. The glucose-monitoring neurons of the mdPFC and their distinct DA sensitivity are suggested to be of particular significance in adaptive processes of the central feeding control. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Functional heterogeneity of conflict, error, task-switching, and unexpectedness effects within medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nee, Derek Evan; Kastner, Sabine; Brown, Joshua W

    2011-01-01

    The last decade has seen considerable discussion regarding a theoretical account of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) function with particular focus on the anterior cingulate cortex. The proposed theories have included conflict detection, error likelihood prediction, volatility monitoring, and several distinct theories of error detection. Arguments for and against particular theories often treat mPFC as functionally homogeneous, or at least nearly so, despite some evidence for distinct functional subregions. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to simultaneously contrast multiple effects of error, conflict, and task-switching that have been individually construed in support of various theories. We found overlapping yet functionally distinct subregions of mPFC, with activations related to dominant error, conflict, and task-switching effects successively found along a rostral-ventral to caudal-dorsal gradient within medial prefrontal cortex. Activations in the rostral cingulate zone (RCZ) were strongly correlated with the unexpectedness of outcomes suggesting a role in outcome prediction and preparing control systems to deal with anticipated outcomes. The results as a whole support a resolution of some ongoing debates in that distinct theories may each pertain to corresponding distinct yet overlapping subregions of mPFC. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Activation Is Associated with Memory Formation for Predictable Rewards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bialleck, Katharina A.; Schaal, Hans-Peter; Kranz, Thorsten A.; Fell, Juergen; Elger, Christian E.; Axmacher, Nikolai

    2011-01-01

    During reinforcement learning, dopamine release shifts from the moment of reward consumption to the time point when the reward can be predicted. Previous studies provide consistent evidence that reward-predicting cues enhance long-term memory (LTM) formation of these items via dopaminergic projections to the ventral striatum. However, it is less clear whether memory for items that do not precede a reward but are directly associated with reward consumption is also facilitated. Here, we investigated this question in an fMRI paradigm in which LTM for reward-predicting and neutral cues was compared to LTM for items presented during consumption of reliably predictable as compared to less predictable rewards. We observed activation of the ventral striatum and enhanced memory formation during reward anticipation. During processing of less predictable as compared to reliably predictable rewards, the ventral striatum was activated as well, but items associated with less predictable outcomes were remembered worse than items associated with reliably predictable outcomes. Processing of reliably predictable rewards activated the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), and vmPFC BOLD responses were associated with successful memory formation of these items. Taken together, these findings show that consumption of reliably predictable rewards facilitates LTM formation and is associated with activation of the vmPFC. PMID:21326612

  8. Monoaminergic modulation of emotional impact in the inferomedial prefrontal cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Geday, Jacob; Gjedde, Albert

    2009-01-01

    of the standard Empathy Picture System on a scale from +3 to -3. We then used regression analysis to identify sites in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex at which the two separately acquired measures, blood flow change and emotional impact of images, correlated significantly. The regression analysis identified......People assess the impact of emotionally loaded images differently. We define this impact as the average difference between individual ratings of standardized "pleasant" and "unpleasant" images. To determine the neuroanatomical correlate of a hypothetical interaction between emotional impact...... cortex underwent deactivation in proportion to a separately rated emotional impact of a stimulus. We propose a specific pharmacodynamic mechanism that explains the correlation between the emotional impact and the effect of a serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor on cerebral blood flow....

  9. Reduced dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex in treatment resistant schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zugman, André; Gadelha, Ary; Assunção, Idaiane; Sato, João; Ota, Vanessa K; Rocha, Deyvis L; Mari, Jair J; Belangero, Sintia I; Bressan, Rodrigo A; Brietzke, Elisa; Jackowski, Andrea P

    2013-08-01

    Treatment resistance affects up to one third of patients with schizophrenia (SCZ). A better understanding of its biological underlying processes could improve treatment. The aim of this study was to compare cortical thickness between non-resistant SCZ (NR-SCZ), treatment-resistant SCZ (TR-SCZ) patients and healthy controls (HC). Structural MRI scans were obtained from 3 groups of individuals: 61 treatment resistant SCZ individuals, 67 non-resistant SCZ and 80 healthy controls. Images were analyzed using cortical surface modelling (implemented in freesurfer package) to identify group differences in cortical thickness. Statistical significant differences were identified using Monte-Carlo simulation method with a corrected p-cluster<0.01. Patients in the TR-SCZ group showed a widespread reduction in cortical thickness in frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital regions bilaterally. NR-SCZ group had reduced cortex in two regions (left superior frontal cortex and left caudal middle frontal cortex). TR-SCZ group also showed decreased thickness in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) when compared with patients from NR-SCZ group. The reduction in cortical thickness in DLPFC indicates a more severe form of the disease or a specific finding for this group. Alterations in this region should be explored as a putative marker for treatment resistance. Prospective studies, with individuals being followed from first episode psychosis until refractoriness is diagnosed, are needed to clarify these hypotheses. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Medial prefrontal cortex role in recognition memory in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morici, Juan Facundo; Bekinschtein, Pedro; Weisstaub, Noelia V

    2015-10-01

    The study of the neurobiology of recognition memory, defined by the integration of the different components of experiences that support recollection of past experiences have been a challenge for memory researches for many years. In the last twenty years, with the development of the spontaneous novel object recognition task and all its variants this has started to change. The features of recognition memory include a particular object or person ("what"), the context in which the experience took place, which can be the arena itself or the location within a particular arena ("where") and the particular time at which the event occurred ("when"). This definition instead of the historical anthropocentric one allows the study of this type of episodic memory in animal models. Some forms of recognition memory that require integration of different features recruit the medial prefrontal cortex. Focusing on findings from spontaneous recognition memory tasks performed by rodents, this review concentrates on the description of previous works that have examined the role that the medial prefrontal cortex has on the different steps of recognition memory. We conclude that this structure, independently of the task used, is required at different memory stages when the task cannot be solved by a single item strategy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex, adding value to autobiographical memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Wen-Jing; Horner, Aidan J; Burgess, Neil

    2016-06-24

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been consistently implicated in autobiographical memory recall and decision making. Its function in decision making tasks is believed to relate to value representation, but its function in autobiographical memory recall is not yet clear. We hypothesised that the mPFC represents the subjective value of elements during autobiographical memory retrieval. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging during an autobiographical memory recall task, we found that the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) was parametrically modulated by the affective values of items in participants' memories when they were recalling and evaluating these items. An unrelated modulation by the participant's familiarity with the items was also observed. During retrieval of the event, the BOLD signal in the same region was modulated by the personal significance and emotional intensity of the memory, which was correlated with the values of the items within them. These results support the idea that vmPFC processes self-relevant information, and suggest that it is involved in representing the personal emotional values of the elements comprising autobiographical memories.

  12. Dopaminergic Modulation of Medial Prefrontal Cortex Deactivation in Parkinson Depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anders H. Andersen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Parkinson’s disease (PD is associated with emotional abnormalities. Dopaminergic medications ameliorate Parkinsonian motor symptoms, but less is known regarding the impact of dopaminergic agents on affective processing, particularly in depressed PD (dPD patients. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of dopaminergic pharmacotherapy on brain activation to emotional stimuli in depressed versus nondepressed Parkinson disease (ndPD patients. Participants included 18 ndPD patients (11 men, 7 women and 10 dPD patients (7 men, 3 women. Patients viewed photographs of emotional faces during functional MRI. Scans were performed while the patient was taking anti-Parkinson medication and the day after medication had been temporarily discontinued. Results indicate that dopaminergic medications have opposite effects in the prefrontal cortex depending upon depression status. DPD patients show greater deactivation in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC on dopaminergic medications than off, while ndPD patients show greater deactivation in this region off drugs. The VMPFC is in the default-mode network (DMN. DMN activity is negatively correlated with activity in brain systems used for external visual attention. Thus dopaminergic medications may promote increased attention to external visual stimuli among dPD patients but impede normal suppression of DMN activity during external stimulation among ndPD patients.

  13. What might have been? The role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and lateral orbitofrontal cortex in counterfactual emotions and choice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levens, Sara M; Larsen, Jeff T; Bruss, Joel; Tranel, Daniel; Bechara, Antoine; Mellers, Barbara A

    2014-02-01

    Counterfactual feelings of regret occur when people make comparisons between an actual outcome and a better outcome that would have occurred under a different choice. We investigated the choices of individuals with damage to the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) and the lateral orbital frontal cortex (LOFC) to see whether their emotional responses were sensitive to regret. Participants made choices between gambles, each with monetary outcomes. After every choice, subjects learned the consequences of both gambles and rated their emotional response to the outcome. Normal subjects and lesion control subjects tended to make better choices and reported post-decision emotions that were sensitive to regret comparisons. VMPFC patients tended to make worse choices, and, contrary to our predictions, they reported emotions that were sensitive to regret comparisons. In contrast, LOFC patients made better choices, but reported emotional reactions that were insensitive to regret comparisons. We suggest the VMPFC is involved in the association between choices and anticipated emotions that guide future choices, while the LOFC is involved in experienced emotions that follow choices, emotions that may signal the need for behavioral change. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Impulsive-antisocial psychopathic traits linked to increased volume and functional connectivity within prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korponay, Cole; Pujara, Maia; Deming, Philip; Philippi, Carissa; Decety, Jean; Kosson, David S; Kiehl, Kent A; Koenigs, Michael

    2017-07-01

    Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by callous lack of empathy, impulsive antisocial behavior, and criminal recidivism. Studies of brain structure and function in psychopathy have frequently identified abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex. However, findings have not yet converged to yield a clear relationship between specific subregions of prefrontal cortex and particular psychopathic traits. We performed a multimodal neuroimaging study of prefrontal cortex volume and functional connectivity in psychopathy, using a sample of adult male prison inmates (N = 124). We conducted volumetric analyses in prefrontal subregions, and subsequently assessed resting-state functional connectivity in areas where volume was related to psychopathy severity. We found that overall psychopathy severity and Factor 2 scores (which index the impulsive/antisocial traits of psychopathy) were associated with larger prefrontal subregion volumes, particularly in the medial orbitofrontal cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Furthermore, Factor 2 scores were also positively correlated with functional connectivity between several areas of the prefrontal cortex. The results were not attributable to age, race, IQ, substance use history, or brain volume. Collectively, these findings provide evidence for co-localized increases in prefrontal cortex volume and intra-prefrontal functional connectivity in relation to impulsive/antisocial psychopathic traits. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press.

  15. Williams Syndrome Hypersociability: A Neuropsychological Study of the Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex Hypotheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capitao, Liliana; Sampaio, Adriana; Fernandez, Montse; Sousa, Nuno; Pinheiro, Ana; Goncalves, Oscar F.

    2011-01-01

    Individuals with Williams syndrome display indiscriminate approach towards strangers. Neuroimaging studies conducted so far have linked this social profile to structural and/or functional abnormalities in WS amygdala and prefrontal cortex. In this study, the neuropsychological hypotheses of amygdala and prefrontal cortex involvement in WS…

  16. Considering healthiness promotes healthier choices but modulates medial prefrontal cortex differently in children compared with adults

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meer, van Floor; Laan, van der Laura N.; Viergever, Max A.; Adan, Roger A.H.; Smeets, Paul A.M.

    2017-01-01

    Childhood obesity is a rising problem worldwide mainly caused by overconsumption, which is driven by food choices. In adults, food choices are based on a value signal encoded in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). This signal is modulated by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), which is

  17. Prefrontal cortex and somatosensory cortex in tactile crossmodal association: an independent component analysis of ERP recordings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yixuan Ku

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Our previous studies on scalp-recorded event-related potentials (ERPs showed that somatosensory N140 evoked by a tactile vibration in working memory tasks was enhanced when human subjects expected a coming visual stimulus that had been paired with the tactile stimulus. The results suggested that such enhancement represented the cortical activities involved in tactile-visual crossmodal association. In the present study, we further hypothesized that the enhancement represented the neural activities in somatosensory and frontal cortices in the crossmodal association. By applying independent component analysis (ICA to the ERP data, we found independent components (ICs located in the medial prefrontal cortex (around the anterior cingulate cortex, ACC and the primary somatosensory cortex (SI. The activity represented by the IC in SI cortex showed enhancement in expectation of the visual stimulus. Such differential activity thus suggested the participation of SI cortex in the task-related crossmodal association. Further, the coherence analysis and the Granger causality spectral analysis of the ICs showed that SI cortex appeared to cooperate with ACC in attention and perception of the tactile stimulus in crossmodal association. The results of our study support with new evidence an important idea in cortical neurophysiology: higher cognitive operations develop from the modality-specific sensory cortices (in the present study, SI cortex that are involved in sensation and perception of various stimuli.

  18. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex affects strategic decision-making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van 't Wout, Mascha; Kahn, René S; Sanfey, Alan G; Aleman, André

    2005-11-07

    Although decision-making is typically seen as a rational process, emotions play a role in tasks that include unfairness. Recently, activation in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during offers experienced as unfair in the Ultimatum Game was suggested to subserve goal maintenance in this task. This is restricted to correlational evidence, however, and it remains unclear whether the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is crucial for strategic decision-making. The present study used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in order to investigate the causal role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in strategic decision-making in the Ultimatum Game. The results showed that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex resulted in an altered decision-making strategy compared with sham stimulation. We conclude that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is causally implicated in strategic decision-making in healthy human study participants.

  19. Behavioral effects of congenital ventromedial prefrontal cortex malformation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boes Aaron D

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A detailed behavioral profile associated with focal congenital malformation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC has not been reported previously. Here we describe a 14 year-old boy, B.W., with neurological and psychiatric sequelae stemming from focal cortical malformation of the left vmPFC. Case Presentation B.W.'s behavior has been characterized through extensive review Patience of clinical and personal records along with behavioral and neuropsychological testing. A central feature of the behavioral profile is severe antisocial behavior. He is aggressive, manipulative, and callous; features consistent with psychopathy. Other problems include: egocentricity, impulsivity, hyperactivity, lack of empathy, lack of respect for authority, impaired moral judgment, an inability to plan ahead, and poor frustration tolerance. Conclusions The vmPFC has a profound contribution to the development of human prosocial behavior. B.W. demonstrates how a congenital lesion to this cortical region severely disrupts this process.

  20. Sleep deprivation alters valuation signals in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camilo eLibedinsky

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Even a single night of total sleep-deprivation (SD can have dramatic effects on economic decision making. Here we tested the novel hypothesis that SD influences economic decisions by altering the valuation process. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI we identified value signals related to the anticipation and the experience of monetary and social rewards (attractive female faces. We then derived decision value signals that were predictive of each participant’s willingness to exchange money for brief views of attractive faces in an independent market task. Strikingly, SD altered decision value signals in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC in proportion to the corresponding change in economic preferences. These changes in preference were independent of the effects of SD on attention and vigilance. Our results provide novel evidence that signals in VMPFC track the current state of the individual, and thus reflect not static but constructed preferences.

  1. Levels of conflict in reasoning modulate right lateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stollstorff, Melanie; Vartanian, Oshin; Goel, Vinod

    2012-01-05

    Right lateral prefrontal cortex (rlPFC) has previously been implicated in logical reasoning under conditions of conflict. A functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was conducted to explore its role in conflict more precisely. Specifically, we distinguished between belief-logic conflict and belief-content conflict, and examined the role of rlPFC under each condition. The results demonstrated that a specific region of rlPFC is consistently activated under both types of conflict. Moreover, the results of a parametric analysis demonstrated that the same region was modulated by the level of conflict contained in reasoning arguments. This supports the idea that this specific region is engaged to resolve conflict, including during deductive reasoning. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "The Cognitive Neuroscience of Thought". Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Single neurons in prefrontal cortex encode abstract rules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallis, J D; Anderson, K C; Miller, E K

    2001-06-21

    The ability to abstract principles or rules from direct experience allows behaviour to extend beyond specific circumstances to general situations. For example, we learn the 'rules' for restaurant dining from specific experiences and can then apply them in new restaurants. The use of such rules is thought to depend on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) because its damage often results in difficulty in following rules. Here we explore its neural basis by recording from single neurons in the PFC of monkeys trained to use two abstract rules. They were required to indicate whether two successively presented pictures were the same or different depending on which rule was currently in effect. The monkeys performed this task with new pictures, thus showing that they had learned two general principles that could be applied to stimuli that they had not yet experienced. The most prevalent neuronal activity observed in the PFC reflected the coding of these abstract rules.

  3. Tangram solved? Prefrontal cortex activation analysis during geometric problem solving.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayaz, Hasan; Shewokis, Patricia A; Izzetoğlu, Meltem; Çakır, Murat P; Onaral, Banu

    2012-01-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies have implicated prefrontal and parietal cortices for mathematical problem solving. Mental arithmetic tasks have been used extensively to study neural correlates of mathematical reasoning. In the present study we used geometric problem sets (tangram tasks) that require executive planning and visuospatial reasoning without any linguistic representation interference. We used portable optical brain imaging (functional near infrared spectroscopy--fNIR) to monitor hemodynamic changes within anterior prefrontal cortex during tangram tasks. Twelve healthy subjects were asked to solve a series of computerized tangram puzzles and control tasks that required same geometric shape manipulation without problem solving. Total hemoglobin (HbT) concentration changes indicated a significant increase during tangram problem solving in the right hemisphere. Moreover, HbT changes during failed trials (when no solution found) were significantly higher compared to successful trials. These preliminary results suggest that fNIR can be used to assess cortical activation changes induced by geometric problem solving. Since fNIR is safe, wearable and can be used in ecologically valid environments such as classrooms, this neuroimaging tool may help to improve and optimize learning in educational settings.

  4. Inequality signals in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex inform social preference models.

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    Holper, Lisa; Burke, Christopher J; Fausch, Christoph; Seifritz, Erich; Tobler, Philippe N

    2018-05-01

    Humans typically display inequality aversion in social situations, which manifests itself as a preference for fairer distributions of resources. However, people differ in the degree to which they dislike being worse off [disadvantageous inequality (DI) aversion] or better off [advantageous inequality (AI) aversion] than others. Competing models explain such behavior by focusing on aversion to payoff differences, maximization of total payoff or reciprocity. Using functional near-infrared spectroscopy, we asked which of these theories could better explain dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) activity while participants accepted or punished fair vs unfair monetary transfers in an anonymous norm compliance task. We found that while all participants exhibited DI aversion, there were substantial differences in preferences for AI, which were strongly predicted by dlPFC activation. Model comparisons revealed that both punishment behavior and prefrontal activity were best explained by a model that allowed for AI seeking rather than imposing aversion. Moreover, enhancing this model by taking into account behavioral response times, as a proxy for choice difficulty, further improved model fits. Our data provide evidence that the dlPFC encodes subjective values of payoff inequality and that this representation is richer than envisaged by standard models of social preferences.

  5. Hippocampal and ventral medial prefrontal activation during retrieval-mediated learning supports novel inference.

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    Zeithamova, Dagmar; Dominick, April L; Preston, Alison R

    2012-07-12

    Memory enables flexible use of past experience to inform new behaviors. Although leading theories hypothesize that this fundamental flexibility results from the formation of integrated memory networks relating multiple experiences, the neural mechanisms that support memory integration are not well understood. Here, we demonstrate that retrieval-mediated learning, whereby prior event details are reinstated during encoding of related experiences, supports participants' ability to infer relationships between distinct events that share content. Furthermore, we show that activation changes in a functionally coupled hippocampal and ventral medial prefrontal cortical circuit track the formation of integrated memories and successful inferential memory performance. These findings characterize the respective roles of these regions in retrieval-mediated learning processes that support relational memory network formation and inferential memory in the human brain. More broadly, these data reveal fundamental mechanisms through which memory representations are constructed into prospectively useful formats. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Functional Connectivity Bias in the Prefrontal Cortex of Psychopaths.

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    Contreras-Rodríguez, Oren; Pujol, Jesus; Batalla, Iolanda; Harrison, Ben J; Soriano-Mas, Carles; Deus, Joan; López-Solà, Marina; Macià, Dídac; Pera, Vanessa; Hernández-Ribas, Rosa; Pifarré, Josep; Menchón, José M; Cardoner, Narcís

    2015-11-01

    Psychopathy is characterized by a distinctive interpersonal style that combines callous-unemotional traits with inflexible and antisocial behavior. Traditional emotion-based perspectives link emotional impairment mostly to alterations in amygdala-ventromedial frontal circuits. However, these models alone cannot explain why individuals with psychopathy can regularly benefit from emotional information when placed on their focus of attention and why they are more resistant to interference from nonaffective contextual cues. The present study aimed to identify abnormal or distinctive functional links between and within emotional and cognitive brain systems in the psychopathic brain to characterize further the neural bases of psychopathy. High-resolution anatomic magnetic resonance imaging with a functional sequence acquired in the resting state was used to assess 22 subjects with psychopathy and 22 control subjects. Anatomic and functional connectivity alterations were investigated first using a whole-brain analysis. Brain regions showing overlapping anatomic and functional changes were examined further using seed-based functional connectivity mapping. Subjects with psychopathy showed gray matter reduction involving prefrontal cortex, paralimbic, and limbic structures. Anatomic changes overlapped with areas showing increased degree of functional connectivity at the medial-dorsal frontal cortex. Subsequent functional seed-based connectivity mapping revealed a pattern of reduced functional connectivity of prefrontal areas with limbic-paralimbic structures and enhanced connectivity within the dorsal frontal lobe in subjects with psychopathy. Our results suggest that a weakened link between emotional and cognitive domains in the psychopathic brain may combine with enhanced functional connections within frontal executive areas. The identified functional alterations are discussed in the context of potential contributors to the inflexible behavior displayed by individuals with

  7. Medial prefrontal cortex involvement in the expression of extinction and ABA renewal of instrumental behavior for a food reinforcer.

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    Eddy, Meghan C; Todd, Travis P; Bouton, Mark E; Green, John T

    2016-02-01

    Instrumental renewal, the return of extinguished instrumental responding after removal from the extinction context, is an important model of behavioral relapse that is poorly understood at the neural level. In two experiments, we examined the role of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) in extinction and ABA renewal of instrumental responding for a sucrose reinforcer. Previous work, exclusively using drug reinforcers, has suggested that the roles of the dmPFC and vmPFC in expression of extinction and ABA renewal may depend at least in part on the type of drug reinforcer used. The current experiments used a food reinforcer because the behavioral mechanisms underlying the extinction and renewal of instrumental responding are especially well worked out in this paradigm. After instrumental conditioning in context A and extinction in context B, we inactivated dmPFC, vmPFC, or a more ventral medial prefrontal cortex region by infusing baclofen/muscimol (B/M) just prior to testing in both contexts. In rats with inactivated dmPFC, ABA renewal was still present (i.e., responding increased when returned to context A); however responding was lower (less renewal) than controls. Inactivation of vmPFC increased responding in context B (the extinction context) and decreased responding in context A, indicating no renewal in these animals. There was no effect of B/M infusion on rats with cannula placements ventral to the vmPFC. Fluorophore-conjugated muscimol was infused in a subset of rats following test to visualize infusion spread. Imaging suggested that the infusion spread was minimal and mainly constrained to the targeted area. Together, these experiments suggest that there is a region of medial prefrontal cortex encompassing both dmPFC and vmPFC that is important for ABA renewal of extinguished instrumental responding for a food reinforcer. In addition, vmPFC, but not dmPFC, is important for expression of extinction of

  8. Lateral prefrontal cortex subregions make dissociable contributions during fluid reasoning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hampshire, Adam; Thompson, Russell; Duncan, John; Owen, Adrian M

    2011-01-01

    Reasoning is a key component of adaptable "executive" behavior and is known to depend on a network of frontal and parietal brain regions. However, the mechanisms by which this network supports reasoning and adaptable behavior remain poorly defined. Here, we examine the relationship between reasoning, executive control, and frontoparietal function in a series of nonverbal reasoning experiments. Our results demonstrate that, in accordance with previous studies, a network of frontal and parietal brain regions is recruited during reasoning. Our results also reveal that this network can be fractionated according to how different subregions respond when distinct reasoning demands are manipulated. While increased rule complexity modulates activity within a right lateralized network including the middle frontal gyrus and the superior parietal cortex, analogical reasoning demand-or the requirement to remap rules on to novel features-recruits the left inferior rostrolateral prefrontal cortex and the lateral occipital complex. In contrast, the posterior extent of the inferior frontal gyrus, associated with simpler executive demands, is not differentially sensitive to rule complexity or analogical demand. These findings accord well with the hypothesis that different reasoning demands are supported by different frontal and parietal subregions.

  9. Lateral Prefrontal Cortex Subregions Make Dissociable Contributions during Fluid Reasoning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Russell; Duncan, John; Owen, Adrian M.

    2011-01-01

    Reasoning is a key component of adaptable “executive” behavior and is known to depend on a network of frontal and parietal brain regions. However, the mechanisms by which this network supports reasoning and adaptable behavior remain poorly defined. Here, we examine the relationship between reasoning, executive control, and frontoparietal function in a series of nonverbal reasoning experiments. Our results demonstrate that, in accordance with previous studies, a network of frontal and parietal brain regions is recruited during reasoning. Our results also reveal that this network can be fractionated according to how different subregions respond when distinct reasoning demands are manipulated. While increased rule complexity modulates activity within a right lateralized network including the middle frontal gyrus and the superior parietal cortex, analogical reasoning demand—or the requirement to remap rules on to novel features—recruits the left inferior rostrolateral prefrontal cortex and the lateral occipital complex. In contrast, the posterior extent of the inferior frontal gyrus, associated with simpler executive demands, is not differentially sensitive to rule complexity or analogical demand. These findings accord well with the hypothesis that different reasoning demands are supported by different frontal and parietal subregions. PMID:20483908

  10. Prefrontal cortex modulates desire and dread generated by nucleus accumbens glutamate disruption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, Jocelyn M; Berridge, Kent C

    2013-02-15

    Corticolimbic circuits, including direct projections from prefrontal cortex to nucleus accumbens (NAc), permit top-down control of intense motivations generated by subcortical circuits. In rats, localized disruptions of glutamate signaling within medial shell of NAc generate desire or dread, anatomically organized along a rostrocaudal gradient analogous to a limbic keyboard. At rostral locations in shell, these disruptions generate appetitive eating, but at caudal locations the disruptions generate progressively fearful behaviors (distress vocalizations, escape attempts, and antipredator reactions). Here, we asked whether medial prefrontal cortex can modulate intense motivations generated by subcortical NAc disruptions. We used simultaneous microinjections in medial prefrontal cortex regions and in NAc shell to examine whether the desire or dread generated by NAc shell disruptions is modulated by activation/inhibition of three specific regions of prefrontal cortex: medial orbitofrontal cortex, infralimbic cortex (homologous to area 25 or subgenual anterior cingulate in the human), or prelimbic cortex (midventral anterior cingulate). We found that activation of medial orbitofrontal cortex biased intense bivalent motivation in an appetitive direction by amplifying generation of eating behavior by middle to caudal NAc disruptions, without altering fear. In contrast, activation of infralimbic prefrontal cortex powerfully and generally suppressed both appetitive eating and fearful behaviors generated by NAc shell disruptions. These results suggest that corticolimbic projections from discrete prefrontal regions can either bias motivational valence or generally suppress subcortically generated intense motivations of desire or fear. Copyright © 2013 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Hippocampus-driven feed-forward inhibition of the prefrontal cortex mediates relapse of extinguished fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marek, Roger; Jin, Jingji; Goode, Travis D; Giustino, Thomas F; Wang, Qian; Acca, Gillian M; Holehonnur, Roopashri; Ploski, Jonathan E; Fitzgerald, Paul J; Lynagh, Timothy; Lynch, Joseph W; Maren, Stephen; Sah, Pankaj

    2018-03-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been implicated in the extinction of emotional memories, including conditioned fear. We found that ventral hippocampal (vHPC) projections to the infralimbic (IL) cortex recruited parvalbumin-expressing interneurons to counter the expression of extinguished fear and promote fear relapse. Whole-cell recordings ex vivo revealed that optogenetic activation of vHPC input to amygdala-projecting pyramidal neurons in the IL was dominated by feed-forward inhibition. Selectively silencing parvalbumin-expressing, but not somatostatin-expressing, interneurons in the IL eliminated vHPC-mediated inhibition. In behaving rats, pharmacogenetic activation of vHPC→IL projections impaired extinction recall, whereas silencing IL projectors diminished fear renewal. Intra-IL infusion of GABA receptor agonists or antagonists, respectively, reproduced these effects. Together, our findings describe a previously unknown circuit mechanism for the contextual control of fear, and indicate that vHPC-mediated inhibition of IL is an essential neural substrate for fear relapse.

  12. An increase in tobacco craving is associated with enhanced medial prefrontal cortex network coupling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy C Janes

    Full Text Available Craving is a key aspect of drug dependence that is thought to motivate continued drug use. Numerous brain regions have been associated with craving, suggesting that craving is mediated by a distributed brain network. Whether an increase in subjective craving is associated with enhanced interactions among brain regions was evaluated using resting state functional magnetic imaging (fMRI in nicotine dependent participants. We focused on craving-related changes in the orbital and medial prefrontal cortex (OMPFC network, which also included the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC extending into the ventral striatum. Brain regions in the OMPFC network are not only implicated in addiction and reward, but, due to their rich anatomic interconnections, may serve as the site of integration across craving-related brain regions. Subjective craving and resting state fMRI were evaluated twice with an ∼1 hour delay between the scans. Cigarette craving was significantly increased at the end, relative to the beginning of the scan session. Enhanced craving was associated with heightened coupling between the OMPFC network and other cortical, limbic, striatal, and visceromotor brain regions that are both anatomically interconnected with the OMPFC, and have been implicated in addiction and craving. This is the first demonstration confirming that an increase in craving is associated with enhanced brain region interactions, which may play a role in the experience of craving.

  13. Perceptual decision-making difficulty modulates feedforward effective connectivity to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bidhan eLamichhane

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Diverse cortical structures are known to coordinate activity as a network in relaying and processing of visual information to discriminate visual objects. However, how this discrimination is achieved is still largely unknown. To contribute to answering this question, we used face-house categorization tasks with three levels of noise in face and house images in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI experiments involving thirty-three participants. The behavioral performance error and response time (RT were correlated with noise in face-house images. We then built dynamical causal models (DCM of fMRI blood-oxygenation level dependent (BOLD signals from the face and house category-specific regions in ventral temporal cortex, the fusiform face area (FFA and parahippocampal place area (PPA, and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC. We found a strong feed-forward intrinsic connectivity pattern from FFA and PPA to dlPFC. Importantly, the feed-forward connectivity to dlPFC was significantly modulated by the perception of both faces and houses. The dlPFC-BOLD activity, the connectivity from FFA and PPA to the dlPFC all increased with noise level. These results suggest that the FFA-PPA-dlPFC network plays an important role for relaying and integrating competing sensory information to arrive at perceptual decisions.

  14. Continuous theta-burst stimulation (cTBS) over the lateral prefrontal cortex alters reinforcement learning bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ott, Derek V M; Ullsperger, Markus; Jocham, Gerhard; Neumann, Jane; Klein, Tilmann A

    2011-07-15

    The prefrontal cortex is known to play a key role in higher-order cognitive functions. Recently, we showed that this brain region is active in reinforcement learning, during which subjects constantly have to integrate trial outcomes in order to optimize performance. To further elucidate the role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in reinforcement learning, we applied continuous theta-burst stimulation (cTBS) either to the left or right DLPFC, or to the vertex as a control region, respectively, prior to the performance of a probabilistic learning task in an fMRI environment. While there was no influence of cTBS on learning performance per se, we observed a stimulation-dependent modulation of reward vs. punishment sensitivity: Left-hemispherical DLPFC stimulation led to a more reward-guided performance, while right-hemispherical cTBS induced a more avoidance-guided behavior. FMRI results showed enhanced prediction error coding in the ventral striatum in subjects stimulated over the left as compared to the right DLPFC. Both behavioral and imaging results are in line with recent findings that left, but not right-hemispherical stimulation can trigger a release of dopamine in the ventral striatum, which has been suggested to increase the relative impact of rewards rather than punishment on behavior. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Role of the ventrolateral orbital cortex and medial prefrontal cortex in incentive downshift situations.

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    Ortega, Leonardo A; Glueck, Amanda C; Uhelski, Megan; Fuchs, Perry N; Papini, Mauricio R

    2013-05-01

    The present research evaluated the role of two prefrontal cortex areas, the ventrolateral orbital cortex (VLO) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), on two situations involving incentive downshifts, consummatory successive negative contrast (cSNC) with sucrose solutions and Pavlovian autoshaping following continuous vs. partial reinforcement with food pellets. Animals received electrolytic lesions and then were tested on cSNC, autoshaping, open-field activity, and sucrose sensitivity. Lesions of the VLO reduced suppression of consummatory behavior after the incentive downshift, but only during the first downshift trial, and also eliminated the enhancement of anticipatory behavior during partial reinforcement, relative to continuous reinforcement, in autoshaping. There was no evidence of specific effects of mPFC lesions on incentive downshifts. Open-field activity was also reduced by VLO lesions, but only in the central area, whereas mPFC lesions had no observable effects on activity. Animals with mPFC lesions exhibited decreased consumption of the lowest sucrose concentration, whereas no effects were observed in animals with VLO lesions. These results suggest that the VLO may exert nonassociative (i.e., motivational, emotional) influences on behavior in situations involving incentive downshifts. No clear role on incentive downshift was revealed by mPFC lesions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Prefrontal cortex glutamate correlates with mental perspective-taking.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christiane Montag

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Dysfunctions in theory of mind and empathic abilities have been suggested as core symptoms in major psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia and autism. Since self monitoring, perspective taking and empathy have been linked to prefrontal (PFC and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC function, neurotransmitter variations in these areas may account for normal and pathological variations of these functions. Converging evidence indicates an essential role of glutamatergic neurotransmission in psychiatric diseases with pronounced deficits in empathy. However, the role of the glutamate system for different dimensions of empathy has not been investigated so far. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Absolute concentrations of cerebral glutamate in the ACC, left dorsolateral PFC and left hippocampus were determined by 3-tesla proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS in 17 healthy individuals. Three dimensions of empathy were estimated by a self-rating questionnaire, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI. Linear regression analysis showed that dorsolateral PFC glutamate concentration was predicted by IRI factor "perspective taking" (T = -2.710, p = 0.018; adjusted alpha-level of 0.017, Bonferroni but not by "empathic concern" or "personal distress". No significant relationship between IRI subscores and the glutamate levels in the ACC or left hippocampus was detected. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first study to investigate the role of the glutamate system for dimensions of theory of mind and empathy. Results are in line with recent concepts that executive top-down control of behavior is mediated by prefrontal glutamatergic projections. This is a preliminary finding that needs a replication in an independent sample.

  17. Coding of vocalizations by single neurons in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plakke, Bethany; Diltz, Mark D; Romanski, Lizabeth M

    2013-11-01

    Neuronal activity in single prefrontal neurons has been correlated with behavioral responses, rules, task variables and stimulus features. In the non-human primate, neurons recorded in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) have been found to respond to species-specific vocalizations. Previous studies have found multisensory neurons which respond to simultaneously presented faces and vocalizations in this region. Behavioral data suggests that face and vocal information are inextricably linked in animals and humans and therefore may also be tightly linked in the coding of communication calls in prefrontal neurons. In this study we therefore examined the role of VLPFC in encoding vocalization call type information. Specifically, we examined previously recorded single unit responses from the VLPFC in awake, behaving rhesus macaques in response to 3 types of species-specific vocalizations made by 3 individual callers. Analysis of responses by vocalization call type and caller identity showed that ∼19% of cells had a main effect of call type with fewer cells encoding caller. Classification performance of VLPFC neurons was ∼42% averaged across the population. When assessed at discrete time bins, classification performance reached 70 percent for coos in the first 300 ms and remained above chance for the duration of the response period, though performance was lower for other call types. In light of the sub-optimal classification performance of the majority of VLPFC neurons when only vocal information is present, and the recent evidence that most VLPFC neurons are multisensory, the potential enhancement of classification with the addition of accompanying face information is discussed and additional studies recommended. Behavioral and neuronal evidence has shown a considerable benefit in recognition and memory performance when faces and voices are presented simultaneously. In the natural environment both facial and vocalization information is present simultaneously and

  18. Inhibitory Gating of Basolateral Amygdala Inputs to the Prefrontal Cortex.

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    McGarry, Laura M; Carter, Adam G

    2016-09-07

    Interactions between the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and basolateral amygdala (BLA) regulate emotional behaviors. However, a circuit-level understanding of functional connections between these brain regions remains incomplete. The BLA sends prominent glutamatergic projections to the PFC, but the overall influence of these inputs is predominantly inhibitory. Here we combine targeted recordings and optogenetics to examine the synaptic underpinnings of this inhibition in the mouse infralimbic PFC. We find that BLA inputs preferentially target layer 2 corticoamygdala over neighboring corticostriatal neurons. However, these inputs make even stronger connections onto neighboring parvalbumin and somatostatin expressing interneurons. Inhibitory connections from these two populations of interneurons are also much stronger onto corticoamygdala neurons. Consequently, BLA inputs are able to drive robust feedforward inhibition via two parallel interneuron pathways. Moreover, the contributions of these interneurons shift during repetitive activity, due to differences in short-term synaptic dynamics. Thus, parvalbumin interneurons are activated at the start of stimulus trains, whereas somatostatin interneuron activation builds during these trains. Together, these results reveal how the BLA impacts the PFC through a complex interplay of direct excitation and feedforward inhibition. They also highlight the roles of targeted connections onto multiple projection neurons and interneurons in this cortical circuit. Our findings provide a mechanistic understanding for how the BLA can influence the PFC circuit, with important implications for how this circuit participates in the regulation of emotion. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) and basolateral amygdala (BLA) interact to control emotional behaviors. Here we show that BLA inputs elicit direct excitation and feedforward inhibition of layer 2 projection neurons in infralimbic PFC. BLA inputs are much stronger at corticoamygdala neurons compared

  19. Exon microarray analysis of human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzardo, Ann M; Gunewardena, Sumedha; Wang, Kun; Butler, Merlin G

    2014-06-01

    Alcohol abuse is associated with cellular and biochemical disturbances that impact upon protein and nucleic acid synthesis, brain development, function, and behavioral responses. To further characterize the genetic influences in alcoholism and the effects of alcohol consumption on gene expression, we used a highly sensitive exon microarray to examine mRNA expression in human frontal cortex of alcoholics and control males. Messenger RNA was isolated from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC; Brodmann area 9) of 7 adult alcoholic (6 males, 1 female, mean age 49 years) and 7 matched controls. Affymetrix Human Exon 1.0 ST array was performed according to standard procedures and the results analyzed at the gene level. Microarray findings were validated using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, and the ontology of disturbed genes characterized using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). Decreased mRNA expression was observed for genes involved in cellular adhesion (e.g., CTNNA3, ITGA2), transport (e.g., TF, ABCA8), nervous system development (e.g., LRP2, UGT8, GLDN), and signaling (e.g., RASGRP3, LGR5) with influence over lipid and myelin synthesis (e.g., ASPA, ENPP2, KLK6). IPA identified disturbances in network functions associated with neurological disease and development including cellular assembly and organization impacting on psychological disorders. Our data in alcoholism support a reduction in expression of dlPFC mRNA for genes involved with neuronal growth, differentiation, and signaling that targets white matter of the brain. Copyright © 2014 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

  20. A hierarchy for relational reasoning in the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krawczyk, Daniel C; Michelle McClelland, M; Donovan, Colin M

    2011-05-01

    The human brain possesses a unique capacity to reason about abstract relationships among items in our environment. The neural organization of reasoning abilities has remained elusive. Two approaches toward investigating human reasoning have involved studying visuo-spatial reasoning abilities and studying analogical reasoning. These approaches have both revealed anterior prefrontal cortex (PFC) involvement, but no prior studies have jointly investigated these two forms of reasoning to understand any potential convergence of activation within the PFC. Using fMRI, we tested the extent to which these two forms of reasoning (visuo-spatial and analogical) overlap in PFC activation. We conducted a visuo-spatial reasoning task that required processing multiple changes across three abstract pictures. This task activated a progressively anterior series of PFC regions when multiple relations had to be integrated. We also conducted a four-term analogy task in a stage-wise manner and compared results from this task to semantic and perceptual control conditions that did not require integrating relations across the problems. We found greater activation for analogical reasoning in the series of PFC regions that were sequentially involved in the visuo-spatial reasoning task. These findings indicate that stages of neural processing overlap for different domains within human reasoning. The pattern of differences across the analogy task suggests a hierarchical organization for relational reasoning across domains in which posterior frontal cortex is active across concrete reasoning tasks, while progressively more anterior regions are recruited to process increasingly abstract representations in reasoning. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Srl. All rights reserved.

  1. Emotion and the prefrontal cortex: An integrative review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixon, Matthew L; Thiruchselvam, Ravi; Todd, Rebecca; Christoff, Kalina

    2017-10-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a critical role in the generation and regulation of emotion. However, we lack an integrative framework for understanding how different emotion-related functions are organized across the entire expanse of the PFC, as prior reviews have generally focused on specific emotional processes (e.g., decision making) or specific anatomical regions (e.g., orbitofrontal cortex). Additionally, psychological theories and neuroscientific investigations have proceeded largely independently because of the lack of a common framework. Here, we provide a comprehensive review of functional neuroimaging, electrophysiological, lesion, and structural connectivity studies on the emotion-related functions of 8 subregions spanning the entire PFC. We introduce the appraisal-by-content model, which provides a new framework for integrating the diverse range of empirical findings. Within this framework, appraisal serves as a unifying principle for understanding the PFC's role in emotion, while relative content-specialization serves as a differentiating principle for understanding the role of each subregion. A synthesis of data from affective, social, and cognitive neuroscience studies suggests that different PFC subregions are preferentially involved in assigning value to specific types of inputs: exteroceptive sensations, episodic memories and imagined future events, viscero-sensory signals, viscero-motor signals, actions, others' mental states (e.g., intentions), self-related information, and ongoing emotions. We discuss the implications of this integrative framework for understanding emotion regulation, value-based decision making, emotional salience, and refining theoretical models of emotion. This framework provides a unified understanding of how emotional processes are organized across PFC subregions and generates new hypotheses about the mechanisms underlying adaptive and maladaptive emotional functioning. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all

  2. The Multifaceted Role of the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex in Emotion, Decision Making, Social Cognition, and Psychopathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiser, Jaryd; Koenigs, Michael

    2018-04-15

    The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) has been implicated in a variety of social, cognitive, and affective functions that are commonly disrupted in mental illness. In this review, we summarize data from a diverse array of human and animal studies demonstrating that the vmPFC is a key node of cortical and subcortical networks that subserve at least three broad domains of psychological function linked to psychopathology. One track of research indicates that the vmPFC is critical for the representation of reward- and value-based decision making, through interactions with the ventral striatum and amygdala. A second track of research demonstrates that the vmPFC is critical for the generation and regulation of negative emotion, through its interactions with the amygdala, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, periaqueductal gray, hippocampus, and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. A third track of research shows the importance of the vmPFC in multiple aspects of social cognition, such as facial emotion recognition, theory-of-mind ability, and processing self-relevant information, through its interactions with the posterior cingulate cortex, precuneus, dorsomedial PFC, and amygdala. We then present meta-analytic data revealing distinct subregions within the vmPFC that correspond to each of these three functions, as well as the associations between these subregions and specific psychiatric disorders (depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, addiction, social anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder). We conclude by describing several translational possibilities for clinical studies of vmPFC-based circuits, including neuropsychological assessment of transdiagnostic functions, anatomical targets for intervention, predictors of treatment response, markers of treatment efficacy, and subtyping within disorders. Copyright © 2017 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Encoding of Spatial Attention by Primate Prefrontal Cortex Neuronal Ensembles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treue, Stefan

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Single neurons in the primate lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) encode information about the allocation of visual attention and the features of visual stimuli. However, how this compares to the performance of neuronal ensembles at encoding the same information is poorly understood. Here, we recorded the responses of neuronal ensembles in the LPFC of two macaque monkeys while they performed a task that required attending to one of two moving random dot patterns positioned in different hemifields and ignoring the other pattern. We found single units selective for the location of the attended stimulus as well as for its motion direction. To determine the coding of both variables in the population of recorded units, we used a linear classifier and progressively built neuronal ensembles by iteratively adding units according to their individual performance (best single units), or by iteratively adding units based on their contribution to the ensemble performance (best ensemble). For both methods, ensembles of relatively small sizes (n decoding performance relative to individual single units. However, the decoder reached similar performance using fewer neurons with the best ensemble building method compared with the best single units method. Our results indicate that neuronal ensembles within the LPFC encode more information about the attended spatial and nonspatial features of visual stimuli than individual neurons. They further suggest that efficient coding of attention can be achieved by relatively small neuronal ensembles characterized by a certain relationship between signal and noise correlation structures. PMID:29568798

  4. Disrupting the right prefrontal cortex alters moral judgement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tassy, Sébastien; Oullier, Olivier; Duclos, Yann; Coulon, Olivier; Mancini, Julien; Deruelle, Christine; Attarian, Sharam; Felician, Olivier; Wicker, Bruno

    2012-03-01

    Humans daily face social situations involving conflicts between competing moral decision. Despite a substantial amount of studies published over the past 10 years, the respective role of emotions and reason, their possible interaction, and their behavioural expression during moral evaluation remains an unresolved issue. A dualistic approach to moral evaluation proposes that the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (rDLPFc) controls emotional impulses. However, recent findings raise the possibility that the right DLPFc processes emotional information during moral decision making. We used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to transiently disrupt rDLPFc activity before measuring decision making in the context of moral dilemmas. Results reveal an increase of the probability of utilitarian responses during objective evaluation of moral dilemmas in the rTMS group (compared to a SHAM one). This suggests that the right DLPFc function not only participates to a rational cognitive control process, but also integrates emotions generated by contextual information appraisal, which are decisive for response selection in moral judgements. © The Author (2011). Published by Oxford University Press.

  5. Susceptibility to social pressure following ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Kuan-Hua; Rusch, Michelle L; Dawson, Jeffrey D; Rizzo, Matthew; Anderson, Steven W

    2015-11-01

    Social pressure influences human behavior including risk taking, but the psychological and neural underpinnings of this process are not well understood. We used the human lesion method to probe the role of ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) in resisting adverse social pressure in the presence of risk. Thirty-seven participants (11 with vmPFC damage, 12 with brain damage outside the vmPFC and 14 without brain damage) were tested in driving simulator scenarios requiring left-turn decisions across oncoming traffic with varying time gaps between the oncoming vehicles. Social pressure was applied by a virtual driver who honked aggressively from behind. Participants with vmPFC damage were more likely to select smaller and potentially unsafe gaps under social pressure, while gap selection by the comparison groups did not change under social pressure. Participants with vmPFC damage also showed prolonged elevated skin conductance responses (SCR) under social pressure. Comparison groups showed similar initial elevated SCR, which then declined prior to making left-turn decisions. The findings suggest that the vmPFC plays an important role in resisting explicit and immediately present social pressure with potentially negative consequences. The vmPFC appears to contribute to the regulation of emotional responses and the modulation of decision making to optimize long-term outcomes. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Specialization of the Rostral Prefrontal Cortex for Distinct Analogy Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Sam J.; Benoit, Roland G.; Burgess, Paul W.

    2010-01-01

    Analogical reasoning is central to learning and abstract thinking. It involves using a more familiar situation (source) to make inferences about a less familiar situation (target). According to the predominant cognitive models, analogical reasoning includes 1) generation of structured mental representations and 2) mapping based on structural similarities between them. This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to specify the role of rostral prefrontal cortex (PFC) in these distinct processes. An experimental paradigm was designed that enabled differentiation between these processes, by temporal separation of the presentation of the source and the target. Within rostral PFC, a lateral subregion was activated by analogy task both during study of the source (before the source could be compared with a target) and when the target appeared. This may suggest that this subregion supports fundamental analogy processes such as generating structured representations of stimuli but is not specific to one particular processing stage. By contrast, a dorsomedial subregion of rostral PFC showed an interaction between task (analogy vs. control) and period (more activated when the target appeared). We propose that this region is involved in comparison or mapping processes. These results add to the growing evidence for functional differentiation between rostral PFC subregions. PMID:20156841

  7. Medial prefrontal cortex subserves diverse forms of self-reflection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Adrianna C; Mitchell, Jason P

    2011-01-01

    The ability to think about oneself--to self--reflect--is one of the defining features of the human mind. Recent research has suggested that this ability may be subserved by a particular brain region: the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC). However, although humans can contemplate a variety of different aspects of themselves, including their stable personality traits, current feelings, and physical attributes, no research has directly examined the extent to which these different forms of self-reflection are subserved by common mechanisms. To address this question, participants were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while making judgments about their own personality traits, current mental states, and physical attributes as well as those of another person. Whereas some brain regions responded preferentially during only one form of self-reflection, a robust region of MPFC was engaged preferentially during self-reflection across all three types of judgment. These results suggest that--although dissociable--diverse forms of self-referential thought draw on a shared cognitive process subserved by MPFC.

  8. Electrical stimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex improves memory monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chua, Elizabeth F; Ahmed, Rifat

    2016-05-01

    The ability to accurately monitor one's own memory is an important feature of normal memory function. Converging evidence from neuroimaging and lesion studies have implicated the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in memory monitoring. Here we used high definition transcranial direct stimulation (HD-tDCS), a non-invasive form of brain stimulation, to test whether the DLPFC has a causal role in memory monitoring, and the nature of that role. We used a metamemory monitoring task, in which participants first attempted to recall the answer to a general knowledge question, then gave a feeling-of-knowing (FOK) judgment, followed by a forced choice recognition task. When participants received DLPFC stimulation, their feeling-of-knowing judgments were better predictors of memory performance, i.e., they had better memory monitoring accuracy, compared to stimulation of a control site, the anterior temporal lobe (ATL). Effects of DLPFC stimulation were specific to monitoring accuracy, as there was no significant increase in memory performance, and if anything, there was poorer memory performance with DLPFC stimulation. Thus we have demonstrated a causal role for the DLPFC in memory monitoring, and showed that electrically stimulating the left DLPFC led people to more accurately monitor and judge their own memory. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Anterior medial prefrontal cortex implements social priming of mimicry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yin; Hamilton, Antonia F de C

    2015-04-01

    The neural and cognitive mechanisms by which primed constructs can impact on social behavior are poorly understood. In the present study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to explore how scrambled sentence priming can impact on mimicry behavior. Sentences involving pro/antisocial events from a first/third-person point of view were presented in short blocks, followed by a reaction-time assessment of mimicry. Behavioral results showed that both prosociality and viewpoint impact on mimicry, and fMRI analysis showed this effect is implemented by anterior medial prefrontal cortex (amPFC). We suggest that social primes may subtly modulate processing in amPFC in a manner linked to the later behavior, and that this same region also implements the top-down control of mimicry responses. This priming may be linked to processing of self-schemas in amPFC. Our findings demonstrate how social priming can be studied with fMRI, and have important implications for our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of prime-to-behavior effects as well as for current theories in social psychology. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Layer-specific interference with cholinergic signaling in the prefrontal cortex by smoking concentrations of nicotine

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poorthuis, R.B.; Bloem, B.R.; Verhoog, M.B.; Mansvelder, H.D.

    2013-01-01

    Adolescence is a period in which the developing prefrontal cortex (PFC) is sensitive to maladaptive changes when exposed to nicotine. Nicotine affects PFC function and repeated exposure to nicotine during adolescence impairs attention performance and impulse control during adulthood. Nicotine

  11. Increased contextual cue utilization with tDCS over the prefrontal cortex during a recognition task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pergolizzi, Denise; Chua, Elizabeth F.

    2016-01-01

    The precise role of the prefrontal and posterior parietal cortices in recognition performance remains controversial, with questions about whether these regions contribute to recognition via the availability of mnemonic evidence or via decision biases and retrieval orientation. Here we used an explicit memory cueing paradigm, whereby external cues probabilistically predict upcoming memoranda as old or new, in our case with 75% validity, and these cues affect recognition decision biases in the direction of the cue. The present study applied bilateral transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over prefrontal or posterior parietal cortex, or sham tDCS, to test the causal role of these regions in recognition accuracy or decision biasing. Participants who received tDCS over prefrontal cortex showed increased cue utilization compared to tDCS over posterior parietal cortex and sham tDCS, suggesting that the prefrontal cortex is involved in processes that contribute to decision biases in memory. PMID:27845032

  12. Prefrontal Cortex Cognitive Deficits in Children Treated Early and Continuously for PKU.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diamond, Adele; Prevor, Meredith B.; Druin, Donald P.; Callender, Glenda

    1997-01-01

    Hypothesized that elevated ratio of phenylalanine to tyrosine in blood of children with phenylketonuria uniquely affects cognitive functions dependent on prefrontal cortex because of the special sensitivity of prefrontally projecting dopamine neurons to small decreases in tyrosine. Found that children whose phenylalanine levels were three to five…

  13. Norepinephrine regulates cocaine-primed reinstatement via α1-adrenergic receptors in the medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Karl T; Schroeder, Jason P; Foster, Stephanie L; Squires, Katherine; Smith, Brilee M; Pitts, Elizabeth G; Epstein, Michael P; Weinshenker, David

    2017-06-01

    Drug-primed reinstatement of cocaine seeking in rats is thought to reflect relapse-like behavior and is mediated by the integration of signals from mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic projections and corticostriatal glutamatergic innervation. Cocaine-primed reinstatement can also be attenuated by systemic administration of dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH) inhibitors, which prevent norepinephrine (NE) synthesis, or by α1-adrenergic receptor (α1AR) antagonists, indicating functional modulation by the noradrenergic system. In the present study, we sought to further discern the role of NE in cocaine-seeking behavior by determining whether α1AR activation can induce reinstatement on its own or is sufficient to permit cocaine-primed reinstatement in the absence of all other AR signaling, and identifying the neuroanatomical substrate within the mesocorticolimbic reward system harboring the critical α1ARs. We found that while intracerebroventricular infusion of the α1AR agonist phenylephrine did not induce reinstatement on its own, it did overcome the blockade of cocaine-primed reinstatement by the DBH inhibitor nepicastat. Furthermore, administration of the α1AR antagonist terazosin in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), but not the ventral tegmental area (VTA) or nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell, attenuated cocaine-primed reinstatement. Combined, these data indicate that α1AR activation in the mPFC is required for cocaine-primed reinstatement, and suggest that α1AR antagonists merit further investigation as pharmacotherapies for cocaine dependence. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Neural correlates of auditory recognition memory in primate lateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plakke, B; Ng, C-W; Poremba, A

    2013-08-06

    The neural underpinnings of working and recognition memory have traditionally been studied in the visual domain and these studies pinpoint the lateral prefrontal cortex (lPFC) as a primary region for visual memory processing (Miller et al., 1996; Ranganath et al., 2004; Kennerley and Wallis, 2009). Herein, we utilize single-unit recordings for the same region in monkeys (Macaca mulatta) but investigate a second modality examining auditory working and recognition memory during delayed matching-to-sample (DMS) performance. A large portion of neurons in the dorsal and ventral banks of the principal sulcus (area 46, 46/9) show DMS event-related activity to one or more of the following task events: auditory cues, memory delay, decision wait time, response, and/or reward portions. Approximately 50% of the neurons show evidence of auditory-evoked activity during the task and population activity demonstrated encoding of recognition memory in the form of match enhancement. However, neither robust nor sustained delay activity was observed. The neuronal responses during the auditory DMS task are similar in many respects to those found within the visual working memory domain, which supports the hypothesis that the lPFC, particularly area 46, functionally represents key pieces of information for recognition memory inclusive of decision-making, but regardless of modality. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Social equality in the number of choice options is represented in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoki, Ryuta; Matsumoto, Madoka; Yomogida, Yukihito; Izuma, Keise; Murayama, Kou; Sugiura, Ayaka; Camerer, Colin F; Adolphs, Ralph; Matsumoto, Kenji

    2014-04-30

    A distinct aspect of the sense of fairness in humans is that we care not only about equality in material rewards but also about equality in nonmaterial values. One such value is the opportunity to choose freely among many options, often regarded as a fundamental right to economic freedom. In modern developed societies, equal opportunities in work, living, and lifestyle are enforced by antidiscrimination laws. Despite the widespread endorsement of equal opportunity, no studies have explored how people assign value to it. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify the neural substrates for subjective valuation of equality in choice opportunity. Participants performed a two-person choice task in which the number of choices available was varied across trials independently of choice outcomes. By using this procedure, we manipulated the degree of equality in choice opportunity between players and dissociated it from the value of reward outcomes and their equality. We found that activation in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) tracked the degree to which the number of options between the two players was equal. In contrast, activation in the ventral striatum tracked the number of options available to participants themselves but not the equality between players. Our results demonstrate that the vmPFC, a key brain region previously implicated in the processing of social values, is also involved in valuation of equality in choice opportunity between individuals. These findings may provide valuable insight into the human ability to value equal opportunity, a characteristic long emphasized in politics, economics, and philosophy.

  16. Contributions of the Hippocampus and Medial Prefrontal Cortex to Energy and Body Weight Regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, T. L.; Chan, Kinho; Jarrard, Leonard E.; Kanoski, Scott E.; Clegg, Deborah J.; Benoit, Stephen C.

    2008-01-01

    The effects of selective ibotenate lesions of the complete hippocampus (CHip), the hippocampal ventral pole (VP), or the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in male rats were assessed on several measures related to energy regulation (i.e., body weight gain, food intake, body adiposity, metabolic activity general behavioral activity, conditioned appetitive responding). The testing conditions were designed to minimize the nonspecific debilitating effects of these surgeries on intake and body weight. Rats with CHip and VP lesions exhibited significantly greater weight gain and food intake compared to controls. Furthermore, CHip-lesioned rats, but not rats with VP lesions, showed elevated metabolic activity, general activity in the dark phase of the light-dark cycle, and greater conditioned appetitive behavior, compared to control rats without these brain lesions. In contrast, rats with mPFC lesions were not different from controls on any of these measures. These results indicate that hippocampal damage interferes with energy and body weight regulation, perhaps by disrupting higher-order learning and memory processes that contribute to the control of appetitive and consummatory behavior. PMID:18831000

  17. TMS-induced neural noise in sensory cortex interferes with short-term memory storage in prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bancroft, Tyler D; Hogeveen, Jeremy; Hockley, William E; Servos, Philip

    2014-01-01

    In a previous study, Harris et al. (2002) found disruption of vibrotactile short-term memory after applying single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to primary somatosensory cortex (SI) early in the maintenance period, and suggested that this demonstrated a role for SI in vibrotactile memory storage. While such a role is compatible with recent suggestions that sensory cortex is the storage substrate for working memory, it stands in contrast to a relatively large body of evidence from human EEG and single-cell recording in primates that instead points to prefrontal cortex as the storage substrate for vibrotactile memory. In the present study, we use computational methods to demonstrate how Harris et al.'s results can be reproduced by TMS-induced activity in sensory cortex and subsequent feedforward interference with memory traces stored in prefrontal cortex, thereby reconciling discordant findings in the tactile memory literature.

  18. Medial prefrontal cortex stimulation modulates the processing of conditioned fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne eGuhn

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The extinction of conditioned fear is dependent on an efficient interplay between the amygdala and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC. In rats, high-frequency electrical mPFC stimulation was shown to improve extinction by a reduction of amygdala activity. However, so far it is unclear whether stimulation of homologues regions in humans might have similar beneficial effects.Healthy volunteers received one-session of either active or sham repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS covering the mPFC while undergoing a two-day fear conditioning and extinction paradigm. rTMS was applied offline after fear acquisition in which one of two faces (CS+ but not CS- was associated with an aversive scream (UCS. Immediate extinction learning (day 1 and extinction recall (day 2 were conducted without UCS delivery. Conditioned responses were assessed in a multimodal approach using fear-potentiated startle (FPS, skin conductance responses (SCR, functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS and self-report scales. Consistent with the hypothesis of a modulated processing of conditioned fear after high-frequency rTMS, the active group showed a reduced CS+/CS- discrimination during extinction learning as evident in FPS as well as in SCR and arousal ratings. FPS responses to CS+ further showed a linear decrement throughout both extinction sessions. This study describes the first experimental approach of influencing conditioned fear by using rTMS which can be a basis for future studies investigating a complementation of mPFC stimulation to cognitive behavioral therapy.

  19. Thinning of the lateral prefrontal cortex during adolescence predicts emotion regulation in females.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vijayakumar, Nandita; Whittle, Sarah; Yücel, Murat; Dennison, Meg; Simmons, Julian; Allen, Nicholas B

    2014-11-01

    Adolescence is a crucial period for the development of adaptive emotion regulation strategies. Despite the fact that structural maturation of the prefrontal cortex during adolescence is often assumed to underlie the maturation of emotion regulation strategies, no longitudinal studies have directly assessed this relationship. This study examined whether use of cognitive reappraisal strategies during late adolescence was predicted by (i) absolute prefrontal cortical thickness during early adolescence and (ii) structural maturation of the prefrontal cortex between early and mid-adolescence. Ninety-two adolescents underwent baseline and follow-up magnetic resonance imaging scans when they were aged approximately 12 and 16 years, respectively. FreeSurfer software was used to obtain cortical thickness estimates for three prefrontal regions [anterior cingulate cortex; dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC); ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC)]. The Emotion Regulation Questionnaire was completed when adolescents were aged approximately 19 years. Results showed that greater cortical thinning of the left dlPFC and left vlPFC during adolescence was significantly associated with greater use of cognitive reappraisal in females, though no such relationship was evident in males. Furthermore, baseline left dlPFC thickness predicted cognitive reappraisal at trend level. These findings suggest that cortical maturation may play a role in the development of adaptive emotion regulation strategies during adolescence. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Hyper-connectivity and hyper-plasticity in the medial prefrontal cortex in the valproic Acid animal model of autism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rinaldi, Tania; Perrodin, Catherine; Markram, Henry

    2008-01-01

    of synapses. The microcircuit alterations found in the prefrontal cortex are therefore similar to the alterations previously found in the somatosensory cortex. Hyper-connectivity and hyper-plasticity in the prefrontal cortex implies hyper-functionality of one of the highest order processing regions...

  1. Functions of delay-period activity in the prefrontal cortex and mnemonic scotomas revisited

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shintaro eFunahashi

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Working memory is one of key concepts to understand functions of the prefrontal cortex. Delay-period activity is an important neural correlate to understand the role of working memory in prefrontal functions. The importance of delay-period activity is that this activity can encode not only visuospatial information but also a variety of information including non-spatial visual features, auditory and tactile stimuli, task rules, expected reward, and numerical quantity. This activity also participates in a variety of information processing including sensory-to-motor information transformation. These mnemonic features of delay-period activity enable to perform various important operations that the prefrontal cortex participates in, such as executive controls, and therefore, support the notion that working memory is an important function to understand prefrontal functions. On the other hand, although experiments using manual versions of the delayed-response task had revealed many important findings, an oculomotor version of this task enabled us to use multiple cue positions, exclude postural orientation during the delay period, and further prove the importance of mnemonic functions of the prefrontal cortex. In addition, monkeys with unilateral lesions exhibited specific impairment only in the performance of memory-guided saccades directed toward visual cues in the visual field contralateral to the lesioned hemisphere. This result indicates that memories for visuospatial coordinates in each hemifield are processed primarily in the contralateral prefrontal cortex. This result further strengthened the idea of mnemonic functions of the prefrontal cortex. Thus, the mnemonic functions of the prefrontal cortex and delay-period activity may not need to be reconsidered, but should be emphasized.

  2. Implicit and Explicit Learning Mechanisms Meet in Monkey Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chafee, Matthew V; Crowe, David A

    2017-10-11

    In this issue, Loonis et al. (2017) provide the first description of unique synchrony patterns differentiating implicit and explicit forms of learning in monkey prefrontal networks. Their results have broad implications for how prefrontal networks integrate the two learning mechanisms to control behavior. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Partial genetic deletion of neuregulin 1 and adolescent stress interact to alter NMDA receptor binding in the medial prefrontal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tariq Waseem Chohan

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Schizophrenia is thought to arise due to a complex interaction between genetic and environmental factors during early neurodevelopment. We have recently shown that partial genetic deletion of the schizophrenia susceptibility gene neuregulin 1 (Nrg1 and adolescent stress interact to disturb sensorimotor gating, neuroendocrine activity and dendritic morphology in mice. Both stress and Nrg1 may have converging effects upon N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs which are implicated in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia, sensorimotor gating and dendritic spine plasticity. Using an identical repeated restraint stress paradigm to our previous study, here we determined NMDAR binding across various brain regions in adolescent Nrg1 heterozygous (HET and wild-type (WT mice using [3H] MK-801 autoradiography. Repeated restraint stress increased NMDAR binding in the ventral part of the lateral septum (LSV and the dentate gyrus (DG of the hippocampus irrespective of genotype. Partial genetic deletion of Nrg1 interacted with adolescent stress to promote an altered pattern of NMDAR binding in the infralimbic (IL subregion of the medial prefrontal cortex. In the IL, whilst stress tended to increase NMDAR binding in WT mice, it decreased binding in Nrg1 HET mice. However in the DG, stress selectively increased the expression of NMDAR binding in Nrg1 HET mice but not WT mice. These results demonstrate a Nrg1-stress interaction during adolescence on NMDAR binding in the medial prefrontal cortex.

  4. Amygdala-prefrontal pathways and the dopamine system affect nociceptive responses in the prefrontal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Onozawa Kitaro

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We previously demonstrated nociceptive discharges to be evoked by mechanical noxious stimulation in the prefrontal cortex (PFC. The nociceptive responses recorded in the PFC are conceivably involved in the affective rather than the sensory-discriminative dimension of pain. The PFC receives dense projection from the limbic system. Monosynaptic projections from the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA to the PFC are known to produce long-lasting synaptic plasticity. We examined effects of high frequency stimulation (HFS delivered to the BLA on nociceptive responses in the rat PFC. Results HFS induced long lasting suppression (LLS of the specific high threshold responses of nociceptive neurons in the PFC. Microinjection of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA receptor antagonists (2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV, dizocilpine (MK-801 and also metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR group antagonists (α-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine (MCPG, and 2-[(1S,2S-2-carboxycyclopropyl]-3-(9H-xanthen-9-yl-D-alanine (LY341495, prevented the induction of LLS of nociceptive responses. We also examined modulatory effects of dopamine (DA on the LLS of nociceptive responses. With depletion of DA in response to 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA injection into the ipsilateral forebrain bundle, LLS of nociceptive responses was decreased, while nociceptive responses were normally evoked. Antagonists of DA receptor subtypes D2 (sulpiride and D4 (3-{[4-(4-chlorophenyl piperazin-1-yl] methyl}-1H-pyrrolo [2, 3-b] pyridine (L-745,870, microinjected into the PFC, inhibited LLS of nociceptive responses. Conclusions Our results indicate that BLA-PFC pathways inhibited PFC nociceptive cell activities and that the DA system modifies the BLA-PFC regulatory function.

  5. Cognitive and behavioural deficits associated with the orbitomedial prefrontal cortex in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Sandra L; Charleston, Alison J; Tippett, Lynette J

    2010-11-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive disease affecting motor neurons, may variably affect cognition and behaviour. We tested the hypothesis that functions associated with orbitomedial prefrontal cortex are affected by evaluating the behavioural and cognitive performance of 18 participants with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis without dementia and 18 healthy, matched controls. We measured Theory of Mind (Faux Pas Task), emotional prosody recognition (Aprosodia Battery), reversal of behaviour in response to changes in reward (Probabilistic Reversal Learning Task), decision making without risk (Holiday Apartment Task) and aberrant behaviour (Neuropsychiatric Inventory). We also assessed dorsolateral prefrontal function, using verbal and written fluency and planning (One-touch Stockings of Cambridge), to determine whether impairments in tasks sensitive to these two prefrontal regions co-occur. The patient group was significantly impaired at identifying social faux pas, recognizing emotions and decision-making, indicating mild, but consistent impairment on most measures sensitive to orbitomedial prefrontal cortex. Significant levels of aberrant behaviour were present in 50% of patients. Patients were also impaired on verbal fluency and planning. Individual subject analyses involved computing classical dissociations between tasks sensitive to different prefrontal regions. These revealed heterogeneous patterns of impaired and spared cognitive abilities: 33% of participants had classical dissociations involving orbitomedial prefrontal tasks, 17% had classical dissociations involving dorsolateral prefrontal tasks, 22% had classical dissociations between tasks of both regions, and 28% had no classical dissociations. These data indicate subtle changes in behaviour, emotional processing, decision-making and altered social awareness, associated with orbitomedial prefrontal cortex, may be present in a significant proportion of individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

  6. Effective Connectivity between Ventral Occipito-Temporal and Ventral Inferior Frontal Cortex during Lexico-Semantic Processing. A Dynamic Causal Modeling Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcela Perrone-Bertolotti

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available It has been suggested that dorsal and ventral pathways support distinct aspects of language processing. Yet, the full extent of their involvement and their inter-regional connectivity in visual word recognition is still unknown. Studies suggest that they might reflect the dual-route model of reading, with the dorsal pathway more involved in grapho-phonological conversion during phonological tasks, and the ventral pathway performing lexico-semantic access during semantic tasks. Furthermore, this subdivision is also suggested at the level of the inferior frontal cortex, involving ventral and dorsal parts for lexico-semantic and phonological processing, respectively. In the present study, we assessed inter-regional brain connectivity and task-induced modulations of brain activity during a phoneme detection and semantic categorization tasks, using fMRI in healthy subject. We used a dynamic causal modeling approach to assess inter-regional connectivity and task demand modulation within the dorsal and ventral pathways, including the following network components: the ventral occipito-temporal cortex (vOTC; dorsal and ventral, the superior temporal gyrus (STG; dorsal, the dorsal inferior frontal gyrus (dIFG; dorsal, and the ventral IFG (vIFG; ventral. We report three distinct inter-regional interactions supporting orthographic information transfer from vOTC to other language regions (vOTC -> STG, vOTC -> vIFG and vOTC -> dIFG regardless of task demands. Moreover, we found that (a during semantic processing (direct ventral pathway the vOTC -> vIFG connection strength specifically increased and (b a lack of modulation of the vOTC -> dIFG connection strength by the task that could suggest a more general involvement of the dorsal pathway during visual word recognition. Results are discussed in terms of anatomo-functional connectivity of visual word recognition network.

  7. Prefrontal cortex activation during obstacle negotiation: What's the effect size and timing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maidan, Inbal; Shustak, Shiran; Sharon, Topaz; Bernad-Elazari, Hagar; Geffen, Nimrod; Giladi, Nir; Hausdorff, Jeffrey M; Mirelman, Anat

    2018-04-01

    Obstacle negotiation is a daily activity that requires the integration of sensorimotor and cognitive information. Recent studies provide evidence for the important role of prefrontal cortex during obstacle negotiation. We aimed to explore the effects of obstacle height and available response time on prefrontal activation. Twenty healthy young adults (age: 30.1 ± 1.0 years; 50% women) walked in an obstacle course while negotiating anticipated and unanticipated obstacles at heights of 50 mm and 100 mm. Prefrontal activation was measured using a functional near-infrared spectroscopy system. Kinect cameras measured the obstacle negotiation strategy. Prefrontal activation was defined based on mean level of HbO 2 before, during and after obstacle negotiation and the HbO 2 slope from gait initiation and throughout the task. Changes between types of obstacles were assessed using linear-mix models and partial correlation analyses evaluated the relationship between prefrontal activation and the distance between the feet as the subjects traversed the obstacles. Different obstacle heights showed similar changes in prefrontal activation measures (p > 0.210). However, during unanticipated obstacles, the slope of the HbO 2 response was steeper (p = 0.048), as compared to anticipated obstacles. These changes in prefrontal activation during negotiation of unanticipated obstacles were correlated with greater distance of the leading foot after the obstacles (r = 0.831, p = 0.041). These findings are the first to show that the pattern of prefrontal activation depends on the nature of the obstacle. More specifically, during unanticipated obstacles the recruitment of the prefrontal cortex is faster and greater than during negotiating anticipated obstacles. These results provide evidence of the important role of the prefrontal cortex and the ability of healthy young adults to tailor the activation pattern to different types of obstacles. Copyright © 2018

  8. Lesions to polar/orbital prefrontal cortex selectively impair reasoning about emotional material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goel, Vinod; Lam, Elaine; Smith, Kathleen W; Goel, Amit; Raymont, Vanessa; Krueger, Frank; Grafman, Jordan

    2017-05-01

    While it is widely accepted that lesions to orbital prefrontal cortex lead to emotion related disruptions and poor decision-making, there is very little patient data on this issue involving actual logical reasoning tasks. We tested patients with circumscribed, focal lesions largely confined to polar/orbital prefrontal cortex (BA 10 & 11) (N=17) on logical reasoning tasks involving neutral and emotional content, and compared their performance to that of an age and education-matched normal control group (N=22) and a posterior lesion control group (N=24). Our results revealed a significant group by content interaction driven by a selective impairment in the polar/orbital prefrontal cortex group compared to healthy normal controls and to the parietal patient group, in the emotional content reasoning trials. Subsequent analyses of congruent and incongruent reasoning trials indicated that this impairment was driven by the poor performance of patients with polar/orbital lesions in the incongruent trials. We conclude that the polar/orbital prefrontal cortex plays a critical role in filtering emotionally charged content from the material before it is passed on to the reasoning system in lateral/dorsal regions of prefrontal cortex. Where unfiltered content is passed to the reasoning engine, either as a result of pathology (as in the case of our patients) or as a result of individual differences, reasoning performance suffers. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Study the left prefrontal cortex activity of Chinese children with dyslexia in phonological processing by NIRS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhili; Li, Ting; Zheng, Yi; Luo, Qingming; Song, Ranran; Gong, Hui

    2006-02-01

    Developmental dyslexia, a kind of prevalent psychological disease, represents that dyslexic children have unexpected difficulties in phonological processing and recognition test of Chinese characters. Some functional imaging technologies, such as fMRI and PET, have been used to study the brain activities of the children with dyslexia whose first language is English. In this paper, a portable, 16-channel, continuous-wave (CW) NIRS instrument was used to monitor the concentration changes of each hemoglobin species when Chinese children did the task of phonological processing and recognition test. The NIRS recorded the hemodynamic changes in the left prefrontal cortex of the children. 20 dyslexia-reading children (10~12 years old) and 20 normal-reading children took part in the phonological processing of Chinese characters including the phonological awareness section and the phonological decoding section. During the phonological awareness section, the changed concentration of deoxy-hemoglobin in dyslexia-reading children were significantly higher (p<0.05) than normal-reading children in the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC). While in the phonological decoding section, both normal and dyslexic reading children had more activity in the left VLPFC, but only normal-reading children had activity in the left middorsal prefrontal cortex. In conclusion, both dyslexic and normal-reading children have activity in the left prefrontal cortex, but the degree and the areas of the prefrontal cortex activity are different between them when they did phonological processing.

  10. Adaptation to conflict via context-driven anticipatory signals in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horga, Guillermo; Maia, Tiago V; Wang, Pengwei; Wang, Zhishun; Marsh, Rachel; Peterson, Bradley S

    2011-11-09

    Behavioral interference elicited by competing response tendencies adapts to contextual changes. Recent nonhuman primate research suggests a key mnemonic role of distinct prefrontal cells in supporting such context-driven behavioral adjustments by maintaining conflict information across trials, but corresponding prefrontal functions have yet to be probed in humans. Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated the human neural substrates of contextual adaptations to conflict. We found that a neural system comprising the rostral dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and portions of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex specifically encodes the history of previously experienced conflict and influences subsequent adaptation to conflict on a trial-by-trial basis. This neural system became active in anticipation of stimulus onsets during preparatory periods and interacted with a second neural system engaged during the processing of conflict. Our findings suggest that a dynamic interaction between a system that represents conflict history and a system that resolves conflict underlies the contextual adaptation to conflict.

  11. Serial pathways from primate prefrontal cortex to autonomic areas may influence emotional expression

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    Saha Subhash

    2003-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Experiencing emotions engages high-order orbitofrontal and medial prefrontal areas, and expressing emotions involves low-level autonomic structures and peripheral organs. How is information from the cortex transmitted to the periphery? We used two parallel approaches to map simultaneously multiple pathways to determine if hypothalamic autonomic centres are a key link for orbitofrontal areas and medial prefrontal areas, which have been associated with emotional processes, as well as low-level spinal and brainstem autonomic structures. The latter innervate peripheral autonomic organs, whose activity is markedly increased during emotional arousal. Results We first determined if pathways linking the orbitofrontal cortex with the hypothalamus overlapped with projection neurons directed to the intermediolateral column of the spinal cord, with the aid of neural tracers injected in these disparate structures. We found that axons from orbitofrontal and medial prefrontal cortices converged in the hypothalamus with neurons projecting to brainstem and spinal autonomic centers, linking the highest with the lowest levels of the neuraxis. Using a parallel approach, we injected bidirectional tracers in the lateral hypothalamic area, an autonomic center, to label simultaneously cortical pathways leading to the hypothalamus, as well as hypothalamic axons projecting to low-level brainstem and spinal autonomic centers. We found densely distributed projection neurons in medial prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortices leading to the hypothalamus, as well as hypothalamic axonal terminations in several brainstem structures and the intermediolateral column of the spinal cord, which innervate peripheral autonomic organs. We then provided direct evidence that axons from medial prefrontal cortex synapse with hypothalamic neurons, terminating as large boutons, comparable in size to the highly efficient thalamocortical system. The interlinked orbitofrontal

  12. Unique and shared roles of the posterior parietal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in cognitive functions

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    Fumi eKatsuki

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The dorsolateral prefrontal and posterior parietal cortex are two parts of a broader brain network involved in the control of cognitive functions such as working memory, spatial attention, and decision making. The two areas share many functional properties and exhibit similar patterns of activation during the execution of mental operations. However, neurophysiological experiments in non-human primates have also documented subtle differences, revealing functional specialization within the fronto-parietal network. These differences include the ability of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to influence memory performance, attention allocation and motor responses to a greater extent, and to resist interference by distracting stimuli. In recent years, distinct cellular and anatomical differences have been identified, offering insights into how functional specialization is achieved. This article reviews the common functions and functional differences between the dorsolateral prefrontal and posterior parietal cortex, and their underlying mechanisms.

  13. The prefrontal cortex shows context-specific changes in effective connectivity to motor or visual cortex during the selection of action or colour

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rowe, James B.; Stephan, Klaas E.; Friston, Karl

    2005-01-01

    The role of the prefrontal cortex remains controversial. Neuroimaging studies support modality-specific and process-specific functions related to working memory and attention. Its role may also be defined by changes in its influence over other brain regions including sensory and motor cortex. We...... used functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) to study the free selection of actions and colours. Control conditions used externally specified actions and colours. The prefrontal cortex was activated during free selection, regardless of modality, in contrast to modality-specific activations outside...... included high-order interactions between modality, selection and regional activity. There was greater coupling between prefrontal cortex and motor cortex during free selection and action tasks, and between prefrontal cortex and visual cortex during free selection of colours. The results suggest...

  14. Mindful attention to breath regulates emotions via increased amygdala-prefrontal cortex connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doll, Anselm; Hölzel, Britta K; Mulej Bratec, Satja; Boucard, Christine C; Xie, Xiyao; Wohlschläger, Afra M; Sorg, Christian

    2016-07-01

    Mindfulness practice is beneficial for emotion regulation; however, the neural mechanisms underlying this effect are poorly understood. The current study focuses on effects of attention-to-breath (ATB) as a basic mindfulness practice on aversive emotions at behavioral and brain levels. A key finding across different emotion regulation strategies is the modulation of amygdala and prefrontal activity. It is unclear how ATB relevant brain areas in the prefrontal cortex integrate with amygdala activation during emotional stimulation. We proposed that, during emotional stimulation, ATB down-regulates activation in the amygdala and increases its integration with prefrontal regions. To address this hypothesis, 26 healthy controls were trained in mindfulness-based attention-to-breath meditation for two weeks and then stimulated with aversive pictures during both attention-to-breath and passive viewing while undergoing fMRI. Data were controlled for breathing frequency. Results indicate that (1) ATB was effective in regulating aversive emotions. (2) Left dorso-medial prefrontal cortex was associated with ATB in general. (3) A fronto-parietal network was additionally recruited during emotional stimulation. (4) ATB down regulated amygdala activation and increased amygdala-prefrontal integration, with such increased integration being associated with mindfulness ability. Results suggest amygdala-dorsal prefrontal cortex integration as a potential neural pathway of emotion regulation by mindfulness practice. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Neural sources of visual working memory maintenance in human parietal and ventral extrastriate visual cortex.

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    Becke, Andreas; Müller, Notger; Vellage, Anne; Schoenfeld, Mircea Ariel; Hopf, Jens-Max

    2015-04-15

    Maintaining information in visual working memory is reliably indexed by the contralateral delay activity (CDA) - a sustained modulation of the event-related potential (ERP) with a topographical maximum over posterior scalp regions contralateral to the memorized input. Based on scalp topography, it is hypothesized that the CDA reflects neural activity in the parietal cortex, but the precise cortical origin of underlying electric activity was never determined. Here we combine ERP recordings with magnetoencephalography based source localization to characterize the cortical current sources generating the CDA. Observers performed a cued delayed match to sample task where either the color or the relative position of colored dots had to be maintained in memory. A detailed source-localization analysis of the magnetic activity in the retention interval revealed that the magnetic analog of the CDA (mCDA) is generated by current sources in the parietal cortex. Importantly, we find that the mCDA also receives contribution from current sources in the ventral extrastriate cortex that display a time-course similar to the parietal sources. On the basis of the magnetic responses, forward modeling of ERP data reveals that the ventral sources have non-optimal projections and that these sources are therefore concealed in the ERP by overlapping fields with parietal projections. The present observations indicate that visual working memory maintenance, as indexed by the CDA, involves the parietal cortical regions as well as the ventral extrastriate regions, which code the sensory representation of the memorized content. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Role of prefrontal cortex and the midbrain dopamine system in working memory updating

    Science.gov (United States)

    D’Ardenne, Kimberlee; Eshel, Neir; Luka, Joseph; Lenartowicz, Agatha; Nystrom, Leigh E.; Cohen, Jonathan D.

    2012-01-01

    Humans are adept at switching between goal-directed behaviors quickly and effectively. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is thought to play a critical role by encoding, updating, and maintaining internal representations of task context in working memory. It has also been hypothesized that the encoding of context representations in PFC is regulated by phasic dopamine gating signals. Here we use multimodal methods to test these hypotheses. First we used functional MRI (fMRI) to identify regions of PFC associated with the representation of context in a working memory task. Next we used single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), guided spatially by our fMRI findings and temporally by previous event-related EEG recordings, to disrupt context encoding while participants performed the same working memory task. We found that TMS pulses to the right dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC) immediately after context presentation, and well in advance of the response, adversely impacted context-dependent relative to context-independent responses. This finding causally implicates right DLPFC function in context encoding. Finally, using the same paradigm, we conducted high-resolution fMRI measurements in brainstem dopaminergic nuclei (ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra) and found phasic responses after presentation of context stimuli relative to other stimuli, consistent with the timing of a gating signal that regulates the encoding of representations in PFC. Furthermore, these responses were positively correlated with behavior, as well as with responses in the same region of right DLPFC targeted in the TMS experiment, lending support to the hypothesis that dopamine phasic signals regulate encoding, and thereby the updating, of context representations in PFC. PMID:23086162

  17. Genetic dissection of acute ethanol responsive gene networks in prefrontal cortex: functional and mechanistic implications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron R Wolen

    Full Text Available Individual differences in initial sensitivity to ethanol are strongly related to the heritable risk of alcoholism in humans. To elucidate key molecular networks that modulate ethanol sensitivity we performed the first systems genetics analysis of ethanol-responsive gene expression in brain regions of the mesocorticolimbic reward circuit (prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, and ventral midbrain across a highly diverse family of 27 isogenic mouse strains (BXD panel before and after treatment with ethanol.Acute ethanol altered the expression of ~2,750 genes in one or more regions and 400 transcripts were jointly modulated in all three. Ethanol-responsive gene networks were extracted with a powerful graph theoretical method that efficiently summarized ethanol's effects. These networks correlated with acute behavioral responses to ethanol and other drugs of abuse. As predicted, networks were heavily populated by genes controlling synaptic transmission and neuroplasticity. Several of the most densely interconnected network hubs, including Kcnma1 and Gsk3β, are known to influence behavioral or physiological responses to ethanol, validating our overall approach. Other major hub genes like Grm3, Pten and Nrg3 represent novel targets of ethanol effects. Networks were under strong genetic control by variants that we mapped to a small number of chromosomal loci. Using a novel combination of genetic, bioinformatic and network-based approaches, we identified high priority cis-regulatory candidate genes, including Scn1b, Gria1, Sncb and Nell2.The ethanol-responsive gene networks identified here represent a previously uncharacterized intermediate phenotype between DNA variation and ethanol sensitivity in mice. Networks involved in synaptic transmission were strongly regulated by ethanol and could contribute to behavioral plasticity seen with chronic ethanol. Our novel finding that hub genes and a small number of loci exert major influence over the ethanol

  18. Affective and cognitive prefrontal cortex projections to the lateral habenula in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin eVadovičová

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Anterior insula (AI and dorsal ACC (dACC are known to process information about pain, loss, adversities, bad, harmful or suboptimal choices and consequences that threaten survival or well-being. Also pregenual ACC (pgACC is linked to loss and pain, being activated by sad thoughts and regrets. Lateral habenula (LHb is stimulated by predicted and received pain, discomfort, aversive outcome, loss. Its chronic stimulation makes us feel worse/low and gradually stops us choosing and moving for the suboptimal or punished choices, by direct and indirect (via rostromedial tegmental nucleus RMTg inhibition of DRN and VTA/SNc. The response selectivity of LHb neurons suggests their cortical input from affective and cognitive evaluative regions that make expectations about bad, unpleasant or suboptimal outcomes. Based on these facts we predicted direct dACC, pgACC and AI projections to LHb, which form part of an adversity processing circuit that learns to avoid bad outcomes by suppressing dopamine and serotonin signal. To test this connectivity we used Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI. We found dACC, pgACC, AI and caudolateral OFC projections to LHb. We predicted no corticohabenular projections from the reward processing regions: medial OFC (mOFC and ventral ACC (vACC because both respond most strongly to good, high valued stimuli and outcomes, inducing dopamine and serotonin release. This lack of LHb projections was confirmed for vACC and likely for mOFC. The surprising findings were the corticohabenular projections from the cognitive prefrontal cortex regions, known for flexible reasoning, planning and combining whatever information are relevant for reaching current goals. We propose that the prefrontohabenular projections provide a teaching signal for value-based choice behaviour, to learn to deselect, avoid or inhibit the potentially harmful, low valued or wrong choices, goals, strategies, predictions and ways of doing things, to prevent bad or suboptimal

  19. Differential dorsal and ventral medial prefrontal representations of the implicit self modulated by individualism and collectivism: An fMRI study.

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    Harada, Tokiko; Li, Zhang; Chiao, Joan Y

    2010-01-01

    Individualism and collectivism, or self-construal style, refer to cultural values that influence how people think about themselves and their relation to the social and physical environment. Recent neuroimaging evidence suggests that cultural values of individualism and collectivism dynamically modulate neural response within cortical midline structures, such as the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), during explicit self-evaluation. However, it remains unknown whether cultural priming modulates neural response during self-evaluation due to explicit task demands. Here we investigated how cultural priming of self-construal style affects neural activity within cortical midline structures during implicit self-evaluation in bicultural individuals. Results indicate that ventral MPFC showed relatively less deactivation during implicit evaluation of both self- and father-relevant information as compared to control condition (e.g., information of an unfamiliar person), irrespective of cultural priming. By contrast, dorsal MPFC showed relatively less deactivation during implicit evaluation of father-relevant information, but not self-relevant information, as compared to control condition, only when they were primed with individualism. Furthermore, dorsal MPFC showed relatively less deactivation during implicit evaluation of father-relevant information as compared to self-relevant condition only when they were primed with individualism. Hence, our results indicate that cultural priming modulates neural response within dorsal, but not ventral, portions of MPFC in a stimulus-driven rather than task-driven manner. More broadly, these findings suggest that cultural values dynamically shape neural representations during the evaluation, rather than the detection, of self-relevant information.

  20. Transcranial direct current stimulation over prefrontal cortex diminishes degree of risk aversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Hang; Chen, Shu; Huang, Daqiang; Wang, Siqi; Jia, Yongmin; Luo, Jun

    2015-06-26

    Previous studies have established that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a powerful technique for manipulating the activity of the human cerebral cortex. Many studies have found that weighing the risks and benefits in decision-making involves a complex neural network that includes the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). We studied whether participants change the balance of risky and safe responses after receiving tDCS applied over the right and left prefrontal cortex. A total of 60 healthy volunteers performed a risk task while they received either anodal tDCS over the right prefrontal cortex, with cathodal over the left; anodal tDCS over the left prefrontal cortex, with cathodal over the right; or sham stimulation. The participants tended to choose less risky options after receiving sham stimulation, demonstrating that the task might be highly influenced by the "wealth effect". There was no statistically significant change after either right anodal/left cathodal or left anodal/right cathodal tDCS, indicating that both types of tDCS impact the participants' degrees of risk aversion, and therefore, counteract the wealth effect. We also found gender differences in the participants' choices. These findings extend the notion that DLPFC activity is critical for risk decision-making. Application of tDCS to the right/left DLPFC may impact a person's attitude to taking risks. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Brain activation during fast driving in a driving simulator: the role of the lateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jäncke, Lutz; Brunner, Béatrice; Esslen, Michaela

    2008-07-16

    Little is currently known about the neural underpinnings of the cognitive control of driving behavior in realistic situations and of the driver's speeding behavior in particular. In this study, participants drove in realistic scenarios presented in a high-end driving simulator. Scalp-recorded EEG oscillations in the alpha-band (8-13 Hz) with a 30-electrode montage were recorded while the participants drove under different conditions: (i) excessively fast (Fast), (ii) in a controlled manner at a safe speed (Correct), and (iii) impatiently in the context of testing traffic conditions (Impatient). Intracerebral sources of alpha-band activation were estimated using low resolution electrical tomography. Given that previous studies have shown a strong negative correlation between the Bold response in the frontal cortex and the alpha-band power, we used alpha-band-related activity as an estimation of frontal activation. Statistical analysis revealed more alpha-band-related activity (i.e. less neuronal activation) in the right lateral prefrontal cortex, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, during fast driving. Those participants who speeded most and exhibited greater risk-taking behavior demonstrated stronger alpha-related activity (i.e. less neuronal activation) in the left anterior lateral prefrontal cortex. These findings are discussed in the context of current theories about the role of the lateral prefrontal cortex in controlling risk-taking behavior, task switching, and multitasking.

  2. Anatomical segmentation of the human medial prefrontal cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Corcoles-Parada, M.; Müller, N.C.J.; Ubero, M.; Serrano-Del-Pueblo, V.M.; Mansilla, F.; Marcos-Rabal, P.; Artacho-Perula, E.; Dresler, M.; Insausti, R.; Fernandez, G.; Munoz-Lopez, M.

    2017-01-01

    The medial prefrontal areas 32, 24, 14, and 25 (mPFC) form part of the limbic memory system, but little is known about their functional specialization in humans. To add anatomical precision to structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data, we aimed to identify these mPFC subareas

  3. Modulating Emotional Experience Using Electrical Stimulation of the Medial-Prefrontal Cortex: A Preliminary tDCS-fMRI Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abend, Rany; Sar-El, Roy; Gonen, Tal; Jalon, Itamar; Vaisvaser, Sharon; Bar-Haim, Yair; Hendler, Talma

    2018-05-09

    Implicit regulation of emotions involves medial-prefrontal cortex (mPFC) regions exerting regulatory control over limbic structures. Diminished regulation relates to aberrant mPFC functionality and psychopathology. Establishing means of modulating mPFC functionality could benefit research on emotion and its dysregulation. Here, we tested the capacity of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) targeting mPFC to modulate subjective emotional states by facilitating implicit emotion regulation. Stimulation was applied concurrently with functional magnetic resonance imaging to validate its neurobehavioral effect. Sixteen participants were each scanned twice, counterbalancing active and sham tDCS application, while undergoing negative mood induction (clips featuring negative vs. neutral contents). Effects of stimulation on emotional experience were assessed using subjective and neural measures. Subjectively, active stimulation led to significant reduction in reported intensity of experienced emotions to negatively valenced (p = 0.005) clips but not to neutral clips (p > 0.99). Active stimulation further mitigated a rise in stress levels from pre- to post-induction (sham: p = 0.004; active: p = 0.15). Neurally, stimulation increased activation in mPFC regions associated with implicit emotion regulation (ventromedial-prefrontal cortex; subgenual anterior-cingulate cortex, sgACC), and in ventral striatum, a core limbic structure (all ps  0.64, ps < 0.018), suggesting individual differences in stimulation responsivity. Results of this study indicate the potential capacity of tDCS to facilitate brain activation in mPFC regions underlying implicit regulation of emotion and accordingly modulate subjective emotional experiences. © 2018 International Neuromodulation Society.

  4. Basal ganglia impairments in autism spectrum disorder are related to abnormal signal gating to prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prat, Chantel S; Stocco, Andrea; Neuhaus, Emily; Kleinhans, Natalia M

    2016-10-01

    Research on the biological basis of autism spectrum disorder has yielded a list of brain abnormalities that are arguably as diverse as the set of behavioral symptoms that characterize the disorder. Among these are patterns of abnormal cortical connectivity and abnormal basal ganglia development. In attempts to integrate the existing literature, the current paper tests the hypothesis that impairments in the basal ganglia's function to flexibly select and route task-relevant neural signals to the prefrontal cortex underpins patterns of abnormal synchronization between the prefrontal cortex and other cortical processing centers observed in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We tested this hypothesis using a Dynamic Causal Modeling analysis of neuroimaging data collected from 16 individuals with ASD (mean age=25.3 years; 6 female) and 17 age- and IQ-matched neurotypical controls (mean age=25.6, 6 female), who performed a Go/No-Go test of executive functioning. Consistent with the hypothesis tested, a random-effects Bayesian model selection procedure determined that a model of network connectivity in which basal ganglia activation modulated connectivity between the prefrontal cortex and other key cortical processing centers best fit the data of both neurotypicals and individuals with ASD. Follow-up analyses suggested that the largest group differences were observed for modulation of connectivity between prefrontal cortex and the sensory input region in the occipital lobe [t(31)=2.03, p=0.025]. Specifically, basal ganglia activation was associated with a small decrease in synchronization between the occipital region and prefrontal cortical regions in controls; however, in individuals with ASD, basal ganglia activation resulted in increased synchronization between the occipital region and the prefrontal cortex. We propose that this increased synchronization may reflect a failure in basal ganglia signal gating mechanisms, resulting in a non-selective copying

  5. Localization of dysfunction in major depressive disorder: prefrontal cortex and amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Elisabeth A; Wise, Steven P; Drevets, Wayne C

    2011-06-15

    Despite considerable effort, the localization of dysfunction in major depressive disorder (MDD) remains poorly understood. We present a hypothesis about its localization that builds on recent findings from primate neuropsychology. The hypothesis has four key components: a deficit in the valuation of "self" underlies the core disorder in MDD; the medial frontal cortex represents "self"; interactions between the amygdala and cortical representations update their valuation; and inefficiency in using positive feedback by orbital prefrontal cortex contributes to MDD. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. Lateralized effect of rapid-rate transcranial magnetic stimulation of the prefrontal cortex on mood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascual-Leone, A; Catalá, M D; Pascual-Leone Pascual, A

    1996-02-01

    We studied the effects of rapid-rate transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of different scalp positions on mood. Ten normal volunteers rated themselves before and after rTMS on five analog scales labeled "Tristeza" (Sadness), "Ansiedad" (Anxiety), "Alegria" (Happiness), "Cansancio" (Tiredness), and "Dolor/Malestar" (Pain/Discomfort). rTMS was applied to the right lateral prefrontal, left prefrontal, or midline frontal cortex in trains of 5 seconds' duration at 10 Hz and 110% of the subject's motor threshold intensity. Each stimulation position received 10 trains separated by a 25-second pause. No clinically apparent mood changes were evoked by rTMS to any of the scalp positions in any subject. However, left prefrontal rTMS resulted in a significant increase in the Sadness ratings (Tristeza) and a significant decrease in the Happiness ratings ("Alegria") as compared with right prefrontal and midfrontal cortex stimulation. These results show differential effects of rTMS of left and right prefrontal cortex stimulation on mood and illustrate the lateralized control of mood in normal volunteers.

  7. GABAA receptor subunit gene expression in human prefrontal cortex: comparison of schizophrenics and controls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akbarian, S.; Huntsman, M. M.; Kim, J. J.; Tafazzoli, A.; Potkin, S. G.; Bunney, W. E. Jr; Jones, E. G.; Bloom, F. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1995-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics is hypoactive and displays changes related to inhibitory, GABAergic neurons, and GABAergic synapses. These changes include decreased levels of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), the enzyme for GABA synthesis, upregulation of muscimol binding, and downregulation of benzodiazepine binding to GABAA receptors. Studies in the visual cortex of nonhuman primates have demonstrated that gene expression for GAD and for several GABAA receptor subunit polypeptides is under control of neuronal activity, raising the possibility that similar mechanisms in the hypoactive prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics may explain the abnormalities in GAD and in GABAA receptor regulation. In the present study, which is the first of its type on human cerebral cortex, levels of mRNAs for six GABAA receptor subunits (alpha 1, alpha 2, alpha 5, beta 1, beta 2, gamma 2) and their laminar expression patterns were analyzed in the prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics and matched controls, using in situ hybridization histochemistry and densitometry. Three types of laminar expression pattern were observed: mRNAs for the alpha 1, beta 2, and gamma 2 subunits, which are the predominant receptor subunits expressed in the mature cortex, were expressed at comparatively high levels by cells of all six cortical layers, but most intensely by cells in lower layer III and layer IV. mRNAs for the alpha 2, alpha 5, and beta 1 subunits were expressed at lower levels; alpha 2 and beta 1 were expressed predominantly by cells in layers II, III, and IV; alpha 5 was expressed predominantly in layers IV, V, and VI. There were no significant changes in overall mRNA levels for any of the receptor subunits in the prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics, and the laminar expression pattern of all six receptor subunit mRNAs did not differ between schizophrenics and controls. Because gene expression for GABAA receptor subunits is not consistently altered in the prefrontal cortex of

  8. Abnormal retinoid and TrkB signaling in the prefrontal cortex in mood disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Qi, Xin-Rui; Zhao, Juan; Liu, Ji; Fang, Hui; Swaab, Dick F; Zhou, Jiang-Ning

    The prefrontal cortex shows structural and functional alterations in mood disorders. Retinoid signaling, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and its receptor TrkB are reported to be involved in depression. Here, we found that mRNA levels of key elements of retinoid signaling were significantly

  9. tDCS of medial prefrontal cortex does not enhance interpersonal trust

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Colzato, L.S.; Sellaro, R.; van den Wildenberg, W.P.M.; Hommel, B.

    2015-01-01

    Interpersonal trust is an essential ingredient of many social relationships. Previous research has suggested that the medial Prefrontal Cortex (mPFC) may be a critical component in mediating the degree to which people trust others. Here we assessed the role of the mPFC in modulating interpersonal

  10. Noradrenergic Action in Prefrontal Cortex in the Late Stage of Memory Consolidation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tronel, Sophie; Feenstra, Matthijs G. P.; Sara, Susan J.

    2004-01-01

    These experiments investigated the role of the noradrenergic system in the late stage of memory consolidation and in particular its action at beta receptors in the prelimbic region (PL) of the prefrontal cortex in the hours after training. Rats were trained in a rapidly acquired, appetitively motivated foraging task based on olfactory…

  11. The Medial Prefrontal Cortex Is Critical for Memory Retrieval and Resolving Interference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Gregory J.; David, Christopher N.; Marcus, Madison D.; Smith, David M.

    2013-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is known to be critically involved in strategy switching, attentional set shifting, and inhibition of prepotent responses. A central feature of this kind of behavioral flexibility is the ability to resolve conflicting response tendencies, suggesting a general role of the PFC in resolving interference. If so, the PFC…

  12. Noradrenergic action in prefrontal cortex in the late stage of memory consolidation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tronel, Sophie; Feenstra, Matthijs G. P.; Sara, Susan J.

    2004-01-01

    These experiments investigated the role of the noradrenergic system in the late stage of memory consolidation and in particular its action at beta receptors in the prelimbic region (PL) of the prefrontal cortex in the hours after training. Rats were trained in a rapidly acquired, appetitively

  13. Oscillations in the prefrontal cortex: a gateway to memory and attention.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benchenane, K.; Tiesinga, P.H.; Battaglia, F.P.

    2011-01-01

    We consider the potential role of oscillations in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in mediating attention, working memory and memory consolidation. Activity in the theta, beta, and gamma bands is related to communication between PFC and different brain areas. While gamma/beta oscillations mediate

  14. Prefrontal Cortex Lesions and Sex Differences in Fear Extinction and Perseveration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baran, Sarah E.; Armstrong, Charles E.; Niren, Danielle C.; Conrad, Cheryl D.

    2010-01-01

    Electrolytic lesions of the medial prefrontal cortex (PFCX) were examined using fear conditioning to assess the recall of fear extinction and performance in the Y-maze, open field, and object location/recognition in male and female Sprague-Dawley rats. Rats were conditioned to seven tone/footshocks, followed by extinction after 1-h and 24-h…

  15. Hypoactive medial prefrontal cortex functioning in adults reporting childhood emotional maltreatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Harmelen, A.L.; van Tol, M.J.; Dalgleish, T.; van der Wee, N.J.A.; Veltman, D.J.; Aleman, A.; Spinhoven, P.; Penninx, B.W.J.H.; Elzinga, B.M.

    2014-01-01

    Childhood emotional maltreatment (CEM) has adverse effects on medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) morphology, a structure that is crucial for cognitive functioning and (emotional) memory and which modulates the limbic system. In addition, CEM has been linked to amygdala hyperactivity during emotional

  16. Hemodynamic Responses on Prefrontal Cortex Related to Meditation and Attentional Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Singh eDeepeshwar

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Recent neuroimaging studies state that meditation increases regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF in the prefrontal cortex (PFC. The present study employed functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS to evaluate the relative hemodynamic changes in prefrontal cortex during a cognitive task. Twenty-two healthy male volunteers with ages between 18 and 30 years (group mean age ± SD; 22.9 ± 4.6 years performed a color-word stroop task before and after 20 minutes of meditation and random thinking. Repeated measures ANOVA was performed followed by a post-hoc analysis with Bonferroni adjustment for multiple comparisons between the mean values of ‘During’ and ‘Post’ with ‘Pre’ state. During meditation there was an increased in oxy-hemoglobin (∆HbO and total hemoglobin (∆THC concentration with reduced deoxy-hemoglobin (∆HbR concentration over the right prefrontal cortex (rPFC, whereas in random thinking there was increased ∆HbR with reduced total hemoglobin concentration on the rPFC. The mean reaction time was shorter in stroop color word task with reduced ∆THC after meditation, suggestive of improved performance and efficiency in task related to attention. Our findings demonstrated that meditation increased cerebral oxygenation and enhanced performance, which was associated with prefrontal cortex activation.

  17. Mapping the Hierarchical Layout of the Structural Network of the Macaque Prefrontal Cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goulas, A.; Uylings, H.B.M.; Stiers, P.

    2014-01-01

    A consensus on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) holds that it is pivotal for flexible behavior and the integration of the cognitive, affective, and motivational domains. Certain models have been put forth and a dominant model postulates a hierarchical anterior-posterior gradient. The structural

  18. Lateral, Not Medial, Prefrontal Cortex Contributes to Punishment and Aversive Instrumental Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jean-Richard-dit-Bressel , Philip; McNally, Gavan P.

    2016-01-01

    Aversive outcomes punish behaviors that cause their occurrence. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been implicated in punishment learning and behavior, although the exact roles for different PFC regions in instrumental aversive learning and decision-making remain poorly understood. Here, we assessed the role of the orbitofrontal (OFC), rostral…

  19. Disruption of the Perineuronal Net in the Hippocampus or Medial Prefrontal Cortex Impairs Fear Conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hylin, Michael J.; Orsi, Sara A.; Moore, Anthony N.; Dash, Pramod K.

    2013-01-01

    The perineuronal net (PNN) surrounds neurons in the central nervous system and is thought to regulate developmental plasticity. A few studies have shown an involvement of the PNN in hippocampal plasticity and memory storage in adult animals. In addition to the hippocampus, plasticity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been demonstrated to…

  20. Layer-specific modulation of the prefrontal cortex by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poorthuis, R.B.; Bloem, B.; Schak, B.; Wester, J.; de Kock, C.P.J.; Mansvelder, H.D.

    2013-01-01

    Acetylcholine signaling through nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is crucial for attention. Nicotinic AChRs are expressed on glutamatergic inputs to layer V (LV) cells and on LV interneurons and LVI pyramidal neurons. Whether PFC layers are activated by nAChRs to a similar

  1. Social and Nonsocial Functions of Rostral Prefrontal Cortex: Implications for Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Sam J.; Burgess, Paul W.

    2008-01-01

    In this article, we discuss the role of rostral prefrontal cortex (approximating Brodmann Area 10) in two domains relevant to education: executive function (particularly prospective memory, our ability to realize delayed intentions) and social cognition (particularly our ability to reflect on our own mental states and the mental states of others).…

  2. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor β2-subunits in the medial prefrontal cortex control attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guillem, K.; Bloem, B.; Poorthuis, R.B.; Loos, M.; Smit, A.B.; Maskos, U.; Spijker, S.; Mansvelder, H.D.

    2011-01-01

    More than one-third of all people are estimated to experience mild to severe cognitive impairment as they age. Acetylcholine (ACh) levels in the brain diminish with aging, and nicotinic ACh receptor (nAChR) stimulation is known to enhance cognitive performance. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is

  3. Anticipatory activity in rat medial prefrontal cortex during a working memory task

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wenwen Bai; Tiaotiao Liu; Hu Yi; Shuangyan Li; Xin Tian

    2012-01-01

    Objective Working memory is a key cognitive function in which the prefrontal cortex plays a crucial role.This study aimed to show the firing patterns of a neuronal population in the prefrontal cortex of the rat in a working memory task and to explore how a neuronal ensemble encodes a working memory event.Methods Sprague-Dawley rats were trained in a Y-maze until they reached an 80% correct rate in a working memory task.Then a 16-channel microelectrode array was implanted in the prefrontal cortex.After recovery,neuronal population activity was recorded during the task,using the Cerebus data-acquisition system.Spatio-temporal trains of action potentials were obtained from the original neuronal population signals.Results During the Y-maze working memory task,some neurons showed significantly increased firing rates and evident neuronal ensemble activity.Moreover,the anticipatory activity was associated with the delayed alternate choice of the upcoming movement.In correct trials,the averaged pre-event firing rate (10.86 ± 1.82 spikes/bin) was higher than the post-event rate (8.17 ± 1.15 spikes/bin) (P <0.05).However,in incorrect trials,the rates did not differ.Conclusion The results indicate that the anticipatory activity of a neuronal ensemble in the prefrontal cortex may play a role in encoding working memory events.

  4. Sleep restriction in rats leads to changes in operant behaviour indicative of reduced prefrontal cortex function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kamphuis, Jeanine; Baichel, Swetlana; Lancel, Marike; De Boer, Sietse F.; Koolhaas, Jaap M.; Meerlo, Peter

    Sleep deprivation has profound effects on cognitive performance, and some of these effects may be mediated by impaired prefrontal cortex function. In search of an animal model to investigate this relationship we studied the influence of restricted sleep on operant conditioning in rats, particularly

  5. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex affects strategic decision-making

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van't Wout, M; Kahn, RS; Sanfey, AG; Aleman, A

    2005-01-01

    Although decision-making is typically seen as a rational process, emotions play a role in tasks that include unfairness. Recently, activation in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during offers experienced as unfair in the Ultimatum Game was suggested to subserve goal maintenance in this task.

  6. Role of Medial Prefrontal Cortex Narp in the Extinction of Morphine Conditioned Place Preference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blouin, Ashley M.; Han, Sungho; Pearce, Anne M.; Cheng, KaiLun; Lee, JongAh J.; Johnson, Alexander W.; Wang, Chuansong; During, Matthew J.; Holland, Peter C.; Shaham, Yavin; Baraban, Jay M.; Reti, Irving M.

    2013-01-01

    Narp knockout (KO) mice demonstrate an impaired extinction of morphine conditioned place preference (CPP). Because the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been implicated in extinction learning, we tested whether Narp cells in this region play a role in the extinction of morphine CPP. We found that intracranial injections of adenoassociated virus…

  7. Orbital and Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Functioning in Parkinson's Disease: Neuropsychological Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poletti, Michele; Bonuccelli, Ubaldo

    2012-01-01

    A recent paper (Zald & Andreotti, 2010) reviewed neuropsychological tasks that assess the function of the orbital and ventromedial portions of the prefrontal cortex (OMPFC). Neuropathological studies have shown that the function of the OMPFC should be preserved in the early stages of Parkinson's disease (PD) but becomes affected in the advanced…

  8. Abnormal Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex Activation to Facial Expressions in Pediatric Bipolar Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrett, Amy S.; Reiss, Allan L.; Howe, Meghan E.; Kelley, Ryan G.; Singh, Manpreet K.; Adleman, Nancy E.; Karchemskiy, Asya; Chang, Kiki D.

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies in pediatric bipolar disorder (BD) have reported greater amygdala and less dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) activation to facial expressions compared to healthy controls. The current study investigates whether these differences are associated with the early or late…

  9. Prefrontal cortex volume reductions and tic inhibition are unrelated in uncomplicated GTS adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganos, Christos; Kühn, Simone; Kahl, Ursula; Schunke, Odette; Brandt, Valerie; Bäumer, Tobias; Thomalla, Götz; Haggard, Patrick; Münchau, Alexander

    2014-01-01

    Tics in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS) are repetitive patterned movements, resembling spontaneous motor behaviour, but escaping voluntary control. Previous studies hypothesised relations between structural alterations in prefrontal cortex of GTS adults and tic severity using voxel-based morphometry (VBM), but could not demonstrate a significant association. The relation between prefrontal cortex structure and tic inhibition has not been investigated. Here, we used VBM to examine 14 GTS adults without associated comorbidities, and 15 healthy controls. We related structural alterations in GTS to clinical measures of tic severity and tic control. Grey matter volumes in the right inferior frontal gyrus and the left frontal pole were reduced in patients relative to healthy controls. These changes were not related to tic severity and tic inhibition. Prefrontal grey matter volume reductions in GTS adults are not related to state measures of tic phenomenology. © 2013.

  10. Decision-making in the ventral premotor cortex harbinger of action

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José L. ePardo-Vázquez

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Although the premotor cortex (PM was once viewed as the substrate of pure motor functions, soon it was realized that it was involved in higher brain functions. By this it is meant that the PM cortex functions would better be explained as motor set, preparation for limb movement or sensory guidance of movement rather than solely by a fixed link to motor performance. These findings, together with a better knowledge of the PM cortex histology and hodology in human and non-human primates prompted quantitative studies of this area combining behavioral tasks with electrophysiological recordings. In addition, the exploration of the PM cortex neurons with qualitative methods also suggested its participation in higher functions. Behavioral choices frequently depend on temporal cues, which together with knowledge of previous outcomes and expectancies are combined to decide and choose a behavioral action. In decision-making the knowledge about the consequences of decisions, either correct or incorrect, is fundamental because they can be used to adapt future behavior. The neuronal correlates of a decision process have been described in several cortical areas of primates. Among them, there is evidence that the monkey ventral premotor cortex (PMv, an anatomical and physiological well-differentiated area of the PM cortex, supports both perceptual decisions and performance monitoring. Here we review the evidence that the steps in a decision making process are encoded in the firing rate of the PMv neurons. This provides compelling evidence suggesting that the PMv is involved in the use of recent and long-term sensory memory to decide, execute and evaluate the outcomes of the subjects’ choices.

  11. Decision-Making in the Ventral Premotor Cortex Harbinger of Action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardo-Vazquez, Jose L.; Padron, Isabel; Fernandez-Rey, Jose; Acuña, Carlos

    2011-01-01

    Although the premotor (PM) cortex was once viewed as the substrate of pure motor functions, soon it was realized that it was involved in higher brain functions. By this it is meant that the PM cortex functions would better be explained as motor set, preparation for limb movement, or sensory guidance of movement rather than solely by a fixed link to motor performance. These findings, together with a better knowledge of the PM cortex histology and hodology in human and non-human primates prompted quantitative studies of this area combining behavioral tasks with electrophysiological recordings. In addition, the exploration of the PM cortex neurons with qualitative methods also suggested its participation in higher functions. Behavioral choices frequently depend on temporal cues, which together with knowledge of previous outcomes and expectancies are combined to decide and choose a behavioral action. In decision-making the knowledge about the consequences of decisions, either correct or incorrect, is fundamental because they can be used to adapt future behavior. The neuronal correlates of a decision process have been described in several cortical areas of primates. Among them, there is evidence that the monkey ventral premotor (PMv) cortex, an anatomical and physiological well-differentiated area of the PM cortex, supports both perceptual decisions and performance monitoring. Here we review the evidence that the steps in a decision-making process are encoded in the firing rate of the PMv neurons. This provides compelling evidence suggesting that the PMv is involved in the use of recent and long-term sensory memory to decide, execute, and evaluate the outcomes of the subjects’ choices. PMID:21991249

  12. Orbital prefrontal cortex is required for object-in-place scene memory but not performance of a strategy implementation task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baxter, Mark G; Gaffan, David; Kyriazis, Diana A; Mitchell, Anna S

    2007-10-17

    The orbital prefrontal cortex is thought to be involved in behavioral flexibility in primates, and human neuroimaging studies have identified orbital prefrontal activation during episodic memory encoding. The goal of the present study was to ascertain whether deficits in strategy implementation and episodic memory that occur after ablation of the entire prefrontal cortex can be ascribed to damage to the orbital prefrontal cortex. Rhesus monkeys were preoperatively trained on two behavioral tasks, the performance of both of which is severely impaired by the disconnection of frontal cortex from inferotemporal cortex. In the strategy implementation task, monkeys were required to learn about two categories of objects, each associated with a different strategy that had to be performed to obtain food reward. The different strategies had to be applied flexibly to optimize the rate of reward delivery. In the scene memory task, monkeys learned 20 new object-in-place discrimination problems in each session. Monkeys were tested on both tasks before and after bilateral ablation of orbital prefrontal cortex. These lesions impaired new scene learning but had no effect on strategy implementation. This finding supports a role for the orbital prefrontal cortex in memory but places limits on the involvement of orbital prefrontal cortex in the representation and implementation of behavioral goals and strategies.

  13. Using imaging to target the prefrontal cortex for transcranial magnetic stimulation studies in treatment-resistant depression

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, Kevin A.; Ramsey, Dave; Kozel, Frank A.; Bohning, Daryl E.; Anderson, Berry; Nahas, Ziad; Sacke?m, Harold A.; George, Mark S.

    2006-01-01

    Structural imaging studies of the brains of patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) have found several abnormalities, including smaller hippocampus, orbitofrontal cortex, or pre?frontal cortex. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive means of modulating brain activity, and has shown antidepressant treatment efficacy. 1 The initial methods used for targeting the prefrontal cortex are most likely insufficient. Herwig et al found that a common rule-based approach (the...

  14. Impaired Wnt Signaling in the Prefrontal Cortex of Alzheimer's Disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Folke, Jonas; Pakkenberg, Bente; Brudek, Tomasz

    2018-01-01

    Wnt pathway is involved in synaptic plasticity and neuronal survival, and alterations in Wnt signaling have previously been reported both in aging and neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). This study sought to evaluate Wnt signaling pathway interplay integrity across......, in addition to downstream effects associated with disease progression and cognitive decline. This study is the first that comprehensively evaluates Wnt signaling pathway in the prefrontal cortical lobe structures of AD brains, in relation to age-related coordinated Wnt signaling changes. Our findings further...

  15. Semantic strategy training increases memory performance and brain activity in patients with prefrontal cortex lesions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miotto, Eliane C; Savage, Cary R; Evans, Jonathan J; Wilson, Barbara A; Martin, Maria G M; Balardin, Joana B; Barros, Fabio G; Garrido, Griselda; Teixeira, Manoel J; Amaro Junior, Edson

    2013-03-01

    Memory deficit is a frequent cognitive disorder following acquired prefrontal cortex lesions. In the present study, we investigated the brain correlates of a short semantic strategy training and memory performance of patients with distinct prefrontal cortex lesions using fMRI and cognitive tests. Twenty-one adult patients with post-acute prefrontal cortex (PFC) lesions, twelve with left dorsolateral PFC (LPFC) and nine with bilateral orbitofrontal cortex (BOFC) were assessed before and after a short cognitive semantic training using a verbal memory encoding paradigm during scanning and neuropsychological tests outside the scanner. After the semantic strategy training both groups of patients showed significant behavioral improvement in verbal memory recall and use of semantic strategies. In the LPFC group, greater activity in left inferior and medial frontal gyrus, precentral gyrus and insula was found after training. For the BOFC group, a greater activation was found in the left parietal cortex, right cingulated and precuneus after training. The activation of these specific areas in the memory and executive networks following cognitive training was associated to compensatory brain mechanisms and application of the semantic strategy. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Opposing Cholinergic and Serotonergic Modulation of Layer 6 in Prefrontal Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel W. Sparks

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Prefrontal cortex is a hub for attention processing and receives abundant innervation from cholinergic and serotonergic afferents. A growing body of evidence suggests that acetylcholine (ACh and serotonin (5-HT have opposing influences on tasks requiring attention, but the underlying neurophysiology of their opposition is unclear. One candidate target population is medial prefrontal layer 6 pyramidal neurons, which provide feedback modulation of the thalamus, as well as feed-forward excitation of cortical interneurons. Here, we assess the response of these neurons to ACh and 5-HT using whole cell recordings in acute brain slices from mouse cortex. With application of exogenous agonists, we show that individual layer 6 pyramidal neurons are bidirectionally-modulated, with ACh and 5-HT exerting opposite effects on excitability across a number of concentrations. Next, we tested the responses of layer 6 pyramidal neurons to optogenetic release of endogenous ACh or 5-HT. These experiments were performed in brain slices from transgenic mice expressing channelrhodopsin in either ChAT-expressing cholinergic neurons or Pet1-expressing serotonergic neurons. Light-evoked endogenous neuromodulation recapitulated the effects of exogenous neurotransmitters, showing opposing modulation of layer 6 pyramidal neurons by ACh and 5-HT. Lastly, the addition of 5-HT to either endogenous or exogenous ACh significantly suppressed the excitation of pyramidal neurons in prefrontal layer 6. Taken together, this work suggests that the major corticothalamic layer of prefrontal cortex is a substrate for opposing modulatory influences on neuronal activity that could have implications for regulation of attention.

  17. Opposing Cholinergic and Serotonergic Modulation of Layer 6 in Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparks, Daniel W; Tian, Michael K; Sargin, Derya; Venkatesan, Sridevi; Intson, Katheron; Lambe, Evelyn K

    2017-01-01

    Prefrontal cortex is a hub for attention processing and receives abundant innervation from cholinergic and serotonergic afferents. A growing body of evidence suggests that acetylcholine (ACh) and serotonin (5-HT) have opposing influences on tasks requiring attention, but the underlying neurophysiology of their opposition is unclear. One candidate target population is medial prefrontal layer 6 pyramidal neurons, which provide feedback modulation of the thalamus, as well as feed-forward excitation of cortical interneurons. Here, we assess the response of these neurons to ACh and 5-HT using whole cell recordings in acute brain slices from mouse cortex. With application of exogenous agonists, we show that individual layer 6 pyramidal neurons are bidirectionally-modulated, with ACh and 5-HT exerting opposite effects on excitability across a number of concentrations. Next, we tested the responses of layer 6 pyramidal neurons to optogenetic release of endogenous ACh or 5-HT. These experiments were performed in brain slices from transgenic mice expressing channelrhodopsin in either ChAT-expressing cholinergic neurons or Pet1-expressing serotonergic neurons. Light-evoked endogenous neuromodulation recapitulated the effects of exogenous neurotransmitters, showing opposing modulation of layer 6 pyramidal neurons by ACh and 5-HT. Lastly, the addition of 5-HT to either endogenous or exogenous ACh significantly suppressed the excitation of pyramidal neurons in prefrontal layer 6. Taken together, this work suggests that the major corticothalamic layer of prefrontal cortex is a substrate for opposing modulatory influences on neuronal activity that could have implications for regulation of attention.

  18. Intracerebral stimulation of left and right ventral temporal cortex during object naming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bédos Ulvin, Line; Jonas, Jacques; Brissart, Hélène; Colnat-Coulbois, Sophie; Thiriaux, Anne; Vignal, Jean-Pierre; Maillard, Louis

    2017-12-01

    While object naming is traditionally considered asa left hemisphere function, neuroimaging studies have reported activations related to naming in the ventral temporal cortex (VTC) bilaterally. Our aim was to use intracerebral electrical stimulation to specifically compare left and right VTC in naming. In twenty-three epileptic patients tested for visual object naming during stimulation, the proportion of naming impairments was significantly higher in the left than in the right VTC (31.3% vs 13.6%). The highest proportions of positive naming sites were found in the left fusiform gyrus and occipito-temporal sulcus (47.5% and 31.8%). For 17 positive left naming sites, an additional semantic picture matching was carried out, always successfully performed. Our results showed the enhanced role of the left compared to the right VTC in naming and suggest that it may be involved in lexical retrieval rather than in semantic processing. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Molecular underpinnings of prefrontal cortex development in rodents provide insights into the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, D; Martens, G J M; Kolk, S M

    2015-07-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC), seat of the highest-order cognitive functions, constitutes a conglomerate of highly specialized brain areas and has been implicated to have a role in the onset and installation of various neurodevelopmental disorders. The development of a properly functioning PFC is directed by transcription factors, guidance cues and other regulatory molecules and requires the intricate and temporal orchestration of a number of developmental processes. Disturbance or failure of any of these processes causing neurodevelopmental abnormalities within the PFC may contribute to several of the cognitive deficits seen in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders. In this review, we elaborate on the specific processes underlying prefrontal development, such as induction and patterning of the prefrontal area, proliferation, migration and axonal guidance of medial prefrontal progenitors, and their eventual efferent and afferent connections. We furthermore integrate for the first time the available knowledge from genome-wide studies that have revealed genes linked to neurodevelopmental disorders with experimental molecular evidence in rodents. The integrated data suggest that the pathogenic variants in the neurodevelopmental disorder-associated genes induce prefrontal cytoarchitectonical impairments. This enhances our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of prefrontal (mis)development underlying the four major neurodevelopmental disorders in humans, that is, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and schizophrenia, and may thus provide clues for the development of novel therapies.

  20. A General Role for Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Event Prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-07-11

    al., 2001; Nee and Brown, 2013; Mian et al., 2014) and known to project reciprocally to mPFC (Barbas and Pandya, 1989). Another possible substrate of...A. J., and Li , C. R. (2013). Bayesian prediction and evaluation in the anterior cingulate cortex. J. Neurosci. 33, 2039–2047. doi: 10. 1523/JNEUROSCI...prediction in mPFC Mian , M. K., Sheth, S. A., Patel, S. R., Spiliopoulos, K., Eskandar, E. N., and Williams, Z. M. (2014). Encoding of rules by neurons in the

  1. Laminar and Cellular Distribution of Monoamine Receptors in Rat Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noemí Santana

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The prefrontal cortex (PFC is deeply involved in higher brain functions, many of which are altered in psychiatric conditions. The PFC exerts a top-down control of most cortical and subcortical areas through descending pathways and is densely innervated by axons emerging from the brainstem monoamine cell groups, namely, the dorsal and median raphe nuclei (DR and MnR, respectively, the ventral tegmental area and the locus coeruleus (LC. In turn, the activity of these cell groups is tightly controlled by afferent pathways arising from layer V PFC pyramidal neurons. The reciprocal connectivity between PFC and monoamine cell groups is of interest to study the pathophysiology and treatment of severe psychiatric disorders, such as major depression and schizophrenia, inasmuch as antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs target monoamine receptors/transporters expressed in these areas. Here we review previous reports examining the presence of monoamine receptors in pyramidal and GABAergic neurons of the PFC using double in situ hybridization. Additionally, we present new data on the quantitative layer distribution (layers I, II–III, V, and VI of monoamine receptor-expressing cells in the cingulate (Cg, prelimbic (PrL and infralimbic (IL subfields of the medial PFC (mPFC. The receptors examined include serotonin 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A, 5-HT2C, and 5-HT3, dopamine D1 and D2 receptors, and α1A-, α1B-, and α1D-adrenoceptors. With the exception of 5-HT3 receptors, selectively expressed by layers I–III GABA interneurons, the rest of monoamine receptors are widely expressed by pyramidal and GABAergic neurons in intermediate and deep layers of mPFC (5-HT2C receptors are also expressed in layer I. This complex distribution suggests that monoamines may modulate the communications between PFC and cortical/subcortical areas through the activation of receptors expressed by neurons in intermediate (e.g., 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A, α1D-adrenoceptors, dopamine D1 receptors and deep

  2. Differential involvement of left prefrontal cortex in inductive and deductive reasoning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goel, Vinod; Dolan, Raymond J

    2004-10-01

    While inductive and deductive reasoning are considered distinct logical and psychological processes, little is known about their respective neural basis. To address this issue we scanned 16 subjects with fMRI, using an event-related design, while they engaged in inductive and deductive reasoning tasks. Both types of reasoning were characterized by activation of left lateral prefrontal and bilateral dorsal frontal, parietal, and occipital cortices. Neural responses unique to each type of reasoning determined from the Reasoning Type (deduction and induction) by Task (reasoning and baseline) interaction indicated greater involvement of left inferior frontal gyrus (BA 44) in deduction than induction, while left dorsolateral (BA 8/9) prefrontal gyrus showed greater activity during induction than deduction. This pattern suggests a dissociation within prefrontal cortex for deductive and inductive reasoning.

  3. The prefrontal cortex: insights from functional neuroimaging using cognitive activation tasks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goethals, Ingeborg; Van de Wiele, Christophe; Dierckx, Rudi [Division of Nuclear Medicine, Polikliniek 7, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, 9000, Ghent (Belgium); Audenaert, Kurt [Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent (Belgium)

    2004-03-01

    This review presents neuroimaging studies which have explored the functional anatomy of a variety of cognitive processes represented by the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Overall, these studies have demonstrated that standard prefrontal neuroactivation tasks recruit a widely distributed network within the brain of which the PFC consistently forms a part. As such, these results are in keeping with the notion that executive functions within the PFC rely not only on anterior (mainly prefrontal) brain areas, but also on posterior (mainly parietal) brain regions. Moreover, intervention of similar brain regions in a large number of different executive tasks suggests that higher-level cognitive functions may best be understood in terms of an interactive network of specialised anterior as well as posterior brain regions. (orig.)

  4. The prefrontal cortex: insights from functional neuroimaging using cognitive activation tasks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goethals, Ingeborg; Van de Wiele, Christophe; Dierckx, Rudi; Audenaert, Kurt

    2004-01-01

    This review presents neuroimaging studies which have explored the functional anatomy of a variety of cognitive processes represented by the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Overall, these studies have demonstrated that standard prefrontal neuroactivation tasks recruit a widely distributed network within the brain of which the PFC consistently forms a part. As such, these results are in keeping with the notion that executive functions within the PFC rely not only on anterior (mainly prefrontal) brain areas, but also on posterior (mainly parietal) brain regions. Moreover, intervention of similar brain regions in a large number of different executive tasks suggests that higher-level cognitive functions may best be understood in terms of an interactive network of specialised anterior as well as posterior brain regions. (orig.)

  5. Bupropion Administration Increases Resting-State Functional Connectivity in Dorso-Medial Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rzepa, Ewelina; Dean, Zola; McCabe, Ciara

    2017-06-01

    Patients on the selective serotonergic reuptake inhibitors like citalopram report emotional blunting. We showed previously that citalopram reduces resting-state functional connectivity in healthy volunteers in a number of brain regions, including the dorso-medial prefrontal cortex, which may be related to its clinical effects. Bupropion is a dopaminergic and noradrenergic reuptake inhibitor and is not reported to cause emotional blunting. However, how bupropion affects resting-state functional connectivity in healthy controls remains unknown. Using a within-subjects, repeated-measures, double-blind, crossover design, we examined 17 healthy volunteers (9 female, 8 male). Volunteers received 7 days of bupropion (150 mg/d) and 7 days of placebo treatment and underwent resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. We selected seed regions in the salience network (amygdala and pregenual anterior cingulate cortex) and the central executive network (dorsal medial prefrontal cortex). Mood and anhedonia measures were also recorded and examined in relation to resting-state functional connectivity. Relative to placebo, bupropion increased resting-state functional connectivity in healthy volunteers between the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex seed region and the posterior cingulate cortex and the precuneus cortex, key parts of the default mode network. These results are opposite to that which we found with 7 days treatment of citalopram in healthy volunteers. These results reflect a different mechanism of action of bupropion compared with selective serotonergic reuptake inhibitors. These results help explain the apparent lack of emotional blunting caused by bupropion in depressed patients. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

  6. Prenatal cocaine exposure decreases parvalbumin-immunoreactive neurons and GABA-to-projection neuron ratio in the medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarthy, Deirdre M; Bhide, Pradeep G

    2012-01-01

    Cocaine abuse during pregnancy produces harmful effects not only on the mother but also on the unborn child. The neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin are known as the principal targets of the action of cocaine in the fetal and postnatal brain. However, recent evidence suggests that cocaine can impair cerebral cortical GABA neuron development and function. We sought to analyze the effects of prenatal cocaine exposure on the number and distribution of GABA and projection neurons (inhibitory interneurons and excitatory output neurons, respectively) in the mouse cerebral cortex. We found that the prenatal cocaine exposure decreased GABA neuron numbers and GABA-to-projection neuron ratio in the medial prefrontal cortex of 60-day-old mice. The neighboring prefrontal cortex did not show significant changes in either of these measures. However, there was a significant increase in projection neuron numbers in the prefrontal cortex but not in the medial prefrontal cortex. Thus, the effects of cocaine on GABA and projection neurons appear to be cortical region specific. The population of parvalbumin-immunoreactive GABA neurons was decreased in the medial prefrontal cortex following the prenatal cocaine exposure. The cocaine exposure also delayed the developmental decline in the volume of the medial prefrontal cortex. Thus, prenatal cocaine exposure produced persisting and region-specific effects on cortical cytoarchitecture and impaired the physiological balance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission. These structural changes may underlie the electrophysiological and behavioral effects of prenatal cocaine exposure observed in animal models and human subjects. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  7. Identification of prefrontal cortex (BA10) activation while performing Stroop test using diffuse optical tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khadka, Sabin; Chityala, Srujan R.; Tian, Fenghua; Liu, Hanli

    2011-03-01

    Stroop test is commonly used as a behavior-testing tool for psychological examinations that are related to attention and cognitive control of the human brain. Studies have shown activations in Broadmann area 10 (BA10) of prefrontal cortex (PFC) during attention and cognitive process. The use of diffuse optical tomography (DOT) for human brain mapping is becoming more prevalent. In this study we expect to find neural correlates between the performed cognitive tasks and hemodynamic signals detected by a DOT system. Our initial observation showed activation of oxy-hemoglobin concentration in BA 10, which is consistent with some results seen by positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Our study demonstrates the possibility of combining DOT with Stroop test to quantitatively investigate cognitive functions of the human brain at the prefrontal cortex.

  8. Pedophilia is linked to reduced activation in hypothalamus and lateral prefrontal cortex during visual erotic stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, Martin; Witzel, Joachim; Wiebking, Christine; Gubka, Udo; Rotte, Michael; Schiltz, Kolja; Bermpohl, Felix; Tempelmann, Claus; Bogerts, Bernhard; Heinze, Hans Jochen; Northoff, Georg

    2007-09-15

    Although pedophilia is of high public concern, little is known about underlying neural mechanisms. Although pedophilic patients are sexually attracted to prepubescent children, they show no sexual interest toward adults. This study aimed to investigate the neural correlates of deficits of sexual and emotional arousal in pedophiles. Thirteen pedophilic patients and 14 healthy control subjects were tested for differential neural activity during visual stimulation with emotional and erotic pictures with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Regions showing differential activations during the erotic condition comprised the hypothalamus, the periaqueductal gray, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the latter correlating with a clinical measure. Alterations of emotional processing concerned the amygdala-hippocampus and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. Hypothesized regions relevant for processing of erotic stimuli in healthy individuals showed reduced activations during visual erotic stimulation in pedophilic patients. This suggests an impaired recruitment of key structures that might contribute to an altered sexual interest of these patients toward adults.

  9. Theta coupling between V4 and prefrontal cortex predicts visual short-term memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liebe, Stefanie; Hoerzer, Gregor M; Logothetis, Nikos K; Rainer, Gregor

    2012-01-29

    Short-term memory requires communication between multiple brain regions that collectively mediate the encoding and maintenance of sensory information. It has been suggested that oscillatory synchronization underlies intercortical communication. Yet, whether and how distant cortical areas cooperate during visual memory remains elusive. We examined neural interactions between visual area V4 and the lateral prefrontal cortex using simultaneous local field potential (LFP) recordings and single-unit activity (SUA) in monkeys performing a visual short-term memory task. During the memory period, we observed enhanced between-area phase synchronization in theta frequencies (3-9 Hz) of LFPs together with elevated phase locking of SUA to theta oscillations across regions. In addition, we found that the strength of intercortical locking was predictive of the animals' behavioral performance. This suggests that theta-band synchronization coordinates action potential communication between V4 and prefrontal cortex that may contribute to the maintenance of visual short-term memories.

  10. The Interplay of Hippocampus and Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex in Memory-Based Decision Making

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Regina A. Weilbächer

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Episodic memory and value-based decision making are two central and intensively studied research domains in cognitive neuroscience, but we are just beginning to understand how they interact to enable memory-based decisions. The two brain regions that have been associated with episodic memory and value-based decision making are the hippocampus and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, respectively. In this review article, we first give an overview of these brain–behavior associations and then focus on the mechanisms of potential interactions between the hippocampus and ventromedial prefrontal cortex that have been proposed and tested in recent neuroimaging studies. Based on those possible interactions, we discuss several directions for future research on the neural and cognitive foundations of memory-based decision making.

  11. Distinct contributions of the dorsolateral prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortex during emotion regulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armita Golkar

    Full Text Available The lateral prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortices have both been implicated in emotion regulation, but their distinct roles in regulation of negative emotion remain poorly understood. To address this issue we enrolled 58 participants in an fMRI study in which participants were instructed to reappraise both negative and neutral stimuli. This design allowed us to separately study activations reflecting cognitive processes associated with reappraisal in general and activations specifically related to reappraisal of negative emotion. Our results confirmed that both the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC and the lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC contribute to emotion regulation through reappraisal. However, activity in the DLPFC was related to reappraisal independently of whether negative or neutral stimuli were reappraised, whereas the lateral OFC was uniquely related to reappraisal of negative stimuli. We suggest that relative to the lateral OFC, the DLPFC serves a more general role in emotion regulation, perhaps by reflecting the cognitive demand that is inherent to the regulation task.

  12. Involvement of serotonin 2A receptor activation in modulating medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala neuronal activation during novelty-exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hervig, Mona El-Sayed; Jensen, Nadja Cecilie Hvid; Rasmussen, Nadja Bredo; Rydbirk, Rasmus; Olesen, Mikkel Vestergaard; Hay-Schmidt, Anders; Pakkenberg, Bente; Aznar, Susana

    2017-05-30

    The medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a major role in executive function by exerting a top-down control onto subcortical areas. Novelty-induced frontal cortex activation is 5-HT 2A receptor (5-HT 2A R) dependent. Here, we further investigated how blockade of 5-HT 2A Rs in mice exposed to a novel open-field arena affects medial PFC activation and basolateral amygdala (BLA) reactivity. We used c-Fos immunoreactivity (IR) as a marker of neuronal activation and stereological quantification for obtaining the total number of c-Fos-IR neurons as a measure of regional activation. We further examined the impact of 5-HT 2A R blockade on the striatal-projecting BLA neurons. Systemic administration of ketanserin (0.5mg/kg) prior to novel open-field exposure resulted in reduced total numbers of c-Fos-IR cells in dorsomedial PFC areas and the BLA. Moreover, there was a positive correlation between the relative time spent in the centre of the open-field and BLA c-Fos-IR in the ketanserin-treated animals. Unilateral medial PFC lesions blocked this effect, ascertaining an involvement of this frontal cortex area. On the other hand, medial PFC lesioning exacerbated the more anxiogenic-like behaviour of the ketanserin-treated animals, upholding its involvement in modulating averseness. Ketanserin did not affect the number of activated striatal-projecting BLA neurons (measured by number of Cholera Toxin b (CTb) retrograde labelled neurons also being c-Fos-IR) following CTb injection in the ventral striatum. These results support a role of 5-HT 2A R activation in modulating mPFC and BLA activation during exposure to a novel environment, which may be interrelated. Conversely, 5-HT 2A R blockade does not seem to affect the amygdala-striatal projection. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Selective memory retrieval of auditory what and auditory where involves the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kostopoulos, Penelope; Petrides, Michael

    2016-02-16

    There is evidence from the visual, verbal, and tactile memory domains that the midventrolateral prefrontal cortex plays a critical role in the top-down modulation of activity within posterior cortical areas for the selective retrieval of specific aspects of a memorized experience, a functional process often referred to as active controlled retrieval. In the present functional neuroimaging study, we explore the neural bases of active retrieval for auditory nonverbal information, about which almost nothing is known. Human participants were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a task in which they were presented with short melodies from different locations in a simulated virtual acoustic environment within the scanner and were then instructed to retrieve selectively either the particular melody presented or its location. There were significant activity increases specifically within the midventrolateral prefrontal region during the selective retrieval of nonverbal auditory information. During the selective retrieval of information from auditory memory, the right midventrolateral prefrontal region increased its interaction with the auditory temporal region and the inferior parietal lobule in the right hemisphere. These findings provide evidence that the midventrolateral prefrontal cortical region interacts with specific posterior cortical areas in the human cerebral cortex for the selective retrieval of object and location features of an auditory memory experience.

  14. Back to front: cerebellar connections and interactions with the prefrontal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas C Watson

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Although recent neuroanatomical evidence has demonstrated closed-loop connectivity between prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum, the physiology of cerebello-cerebral circuits and the extent to which cerebellar output modulates neuronal activity in neocortex during behavior remain relatively unexplored. We show that electrical stimulation of the contralateral cerebellar fastigial nucleus (FN in awake, behaving rats evokes distinct local field potential (LFP responses (onset latency ~13 ms in the prelimbic (PrL subdivision of the medial prefrontal cortex. Trains of FN stimulation evoke heterogeneous patterns of response in putative pyramidal cells in frontal and prefrontal regions in both urethane-anaesthetized and awake, behaving rats. However, the majority of cells showed decreased firing rates during stimulation and subsequent rebound increases; more than 90% of cells showed significant changes in response. Simultaneous recording of on-going LFP activity from FN and PrL while rats were at rest or actively exploring an open field arena revealed significant network coherence restricted to the theta frequency range (5-10 Hz. Granger causality analysis indicated that this coherence was significantly directed from cerebellum to PrL during active locomotion. Our results demonstrate the presence of a cerebello-prefrontal pathway in rat and reveal behaviorally dependent coordinated network activity between the two structures, which could facilitate transfer of sensorimotor information into ongoing neocortical processing during goal directed behaviors.

  15. The amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex: functional contributions and dysfunction in psychopathy

    OpenAIRE

    Blair, R.J.R

    2008-01-01

    The current paper examines the functional contributions of the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and the evidence that the functioning of these systems is compromised in individuals with psychopathy. The amygdala is critical for the formation of stimulus–reinforcement associations, both punishment and reward based, and the processing of emotional expressions. vmPFC is critical for the representation of reinforcement expectancies and, owing to this, decision making. Neuropsyc...

  16. Impaired Facilitatory Mechanisms of Auditory Attention After Damage of the Lateral Prefrontal Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Bidet-Caulet, Aurélie; Buchanan, Kelly G.; Viswanath, Humsini; Black, Jessica; Scabini, Donatella; Bonnet-Brilhault, Frédérique; Knight, Robert T.

    2014-01-01

    There is growing evidence that auditory selective attention operates via distinct facilitatory and inhibitory mechanisms enabling selective enhancement and suppression of sound processing, respectively. The lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) plays a crucial role in the top-down control of selective attention. However, whether the LPFC controls facilitatory, inhibitory, or both attentional mechanisms is unclear. Facilitatory and inhibitory mechanisms were assessed, in patients with LPFC damage, ...

  17. Interactive effects of music and prefrontal cortex stimulation in modulating response inhibition

    OpenAIRE

    Mansouri, Farshad Alizadeh; Acevedo, Nicola; Illipparampil, Rosin; Fehring, Daniel J.; Fitzgerald, Paul B.; Jaberzadeh, Shapour

    2017-01-01

    Influential hypotheses propose that alterations in emotional state influence decision processes and executive control of behavior. Both music and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of prefrontal cortex affect emotional state, however interactive effects of music and tDCS on executive functions remain unknown. Learning to inhibit inappropriate responses is an important aspect of executive control which is guided by assessing the decision outcomes such as errors. We found that high-...

  18. Co-activation-based parcellation of the lateral prefrontal cortex delineates the inferior frontal junction area

    OpenAIRE

    Muhle-Karbe, Paul Simon; Derrfuss, Jan; Lynn, Maggie; Neubert, Franz Xaver; Fox, Peter; Brass, Marcel; Eickhoff, Simon

    2016-01-01

    The inferior frontal junction (IFJ) area, a small region in the posterior lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), has received increasing interest in recent years due to its central involvement in the control of action, attention, and memory. Yet, both its function and anatomy remain controversial. Here, we employed a meta-analytic parcellation of the left LPFC to show that the IFJ can be isolated based on its specific functional connections. A seed region, oriented along the left inferior frontal ...

  19. Minocycline restores cognitive-relative altered proteins in young bile duct-ligated rat prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shih-Wen; Chen, Yu-Chieh; Sheen, Jiunn-Ming; Hsu, Mei-Hsin; Tain, You-Lin; Chang, Kow-Aung; Huang, Li-Tung

    2017-07-01

    Bile duct ligation (BDL) model is used to study hepatic encephalopathy accompanied by cognitive impairment. We employed the proteomic analysis approach to evaluate cognition-related proteins in the prefrontal cortex of young BDL rats and analyzed the effect of minocycline on these proteins and spatial memory. BDL was induced in young rats at postnatal day 17. Minocycline as a slow-release pellet was implanted into the peritoneum. Morris water maze test and two-dimensional liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry were used to evaluate spatial memory and prefrontal cortex protein expression, respectively. We used 2D/LC-MS/MS to analyze for affected proteins in the prefrontal cortex of young BDL rats. Results were verified with Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, and quantitative real-time PCR. The effect of minocycline in BDL rats was assessed. BDL induced spatial deficits, while minocycline rescued it. Collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) and manganese-dependent superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) were upregulated and nucleoside diphosphate kinase B (NME2) was downregulated in young BDL rats. BDL rats exhibited decreased levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA as compared with those by the control. However, minocycline treatment restored CRMP2 and NME2 protein expression, BDNF mRNA level, and MnSOD activity to control levels. We demonstrated that BDL altered the expression of CRMP2, NME2, MnSOD, and BDNF in the prefrontal cortex of young BDL rats. However, minocycline treatment restored the expression of the affected mediators that are implicated in cognition. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Differences between Neural Activity in Prefrontal Cortex and Striatum during Learning of Novel Abstract Categories

    OpenAIRE

    Antzoulatos, Evan G.; Miller, Earl K.

    2011-01-01

    Learning to classify diverse experiences into meaningful groups, like categories, is fundamental to normal cognition. To understand its neural basis, we simultaneously recorded from multiple electrodes in the lateral prefrontal cortex and dorsal striatum, two interconnected brain structures critical for learning. Each day, monkeys learned to associate novel, abstract dot-based categories with a right vs. left saccade. Early on, when they could acquire specific stimulus-response associations, ...

  1. The Role of Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Memory and Decision Making

    OpenAIRE

    Euston, David R.; Gruber, Aaron J.; McNaughton, Bruce L.

    2012-01-01

    Some have claimed that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) mediates decision making. Others suggest mPFC is selectively involved in the retrieval of remote long-term memory. Yet others suggests mPFC supports memory and consolidation on time-scales ranging from seconds to days. How can all these roles be reconciled? We propose that the function of the mPFC is to learn associations between context, locations, events, and corresponding adaptive responses, particularly emotional responses. Thus, ...

  2. Alterations in GABA-related transcriptome in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of subjects with schizophrenia

    OpenAIRE

    Hashimoto, T; Arion, D; Unger, T; Maldonado-Avilés, JG; Morris, HM; Volk, DW; Mirnics, K; Lewis, DA

    2007-01-01

    In subjects with schizophrenia, impairments in working memory are associated with dysfunction of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). This dysfunction appears to be due, at least in part, to abnormalities in γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-mediated inhibitory circuitry. To test the hypothesis that altered GABA-mediated circuitry in the DLPFC of subjects with schizophrenia reflects expression changes of genes that encode selective presynaptic and postsynaptic components of GABA neurotransmis...

  3. Benefit of the doubt: a new view of the role of the prefrontal cortex in executive functioning and decision making

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erik William Asp

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The False Tagging Theory (FTT is a neuroanatomical model of belief and doubt processes that proposes a single, unique function for the prefrontal cortex. Here, we review evidence pertaining to the FTT, the implications of the FTT regarding fractionation of the prefrontal cortex, and the potential benefits of the FTT for new neuroanatomical conceptualizations of executive functions. The FTT provides a parsimonious account that may help overcome theoretical problems with prefrontal cortex mediated executive control such as the homunculus critique. Control in the FTT is examined via the heuristics and biases psychological framework for human judgment. The evidence indicates that prefrontal cortex mediated doubting is at the core of executive functioning and may explain some biases of intuitive judgments

  4. Adolescent exposure to THC in female rats disrupts developmental changes in the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubino, Tiziana; Prini, Pamela; Piscitelli, Fabiana; Zamberletti, Erica; Trusel, Massimo; Melis, Miriam; Sagheddu, Claudia; Ligresti, Alessia; Tonini, Raffaella; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Parolaro, Daniela

    2015-01-01

    Current concepts suggest that exposure to THC during adolescence may act as a risk factor for the development of psychiatric disorders later in life. However, the molecular underpinnings of this vulnerability are still poorly understood. To analyze this, we investigated whether and how THC exposure in female rats interferes with different maturational events occurring in the prefrontal cortex during adolescence through biochemical, pharmacological and electrophysiological means. We found that the endocannabinoid system undergoes maturational processes during adolescence and that THC exposure disrupts them, leading to impairment of both endocannabinoid signaling and endocannabinoid-mediated LTD in the adult prefrontal cortex. THC also altered the maturational fluctuations of NMDA subunits, leading to larger amounts of gluN2B at adulthood. Adult animals exposed to THC during adolescence also showed increased AMPA gluA1 with no changes in gluA2 subunits. Finally, adolescent THC exposure altered cognition at adulthood. All these effects seem to be triggered by the disruption of the physiological role played by the endocannabinoid system during adolescence. Indeed, blockade of CB1 receptors from early to late adolescence seems to prevent the occurrence of pruning at glutamatergic synapses. These results suggest that vulnerability of adolescent female rats to long-lasting THC adverse effects might partly reside in disruption of the pivotal role played by the endocannabinoid system in the prefrontal cortex maturation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Emotion regulation in spider phobia: role of the medial prefrontal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schäfer, Axel; Walter, Bertram; Stark, Rudolf; Vaitl, Dieter; Schienle, Anne

    2009-01-01

    Phobic responses are strong emotional reactions towards phobic objects, which can be described as a deficit in the automatic regulation of emotions. Difficulties in the voluntary cognitive control of these emotions suggest a further phobia-specific deficit in effortful emotion regulation mechanisms. The actual study is based on this emotion regulation conceptualization of specific phobias. The aim is to investigate the neural correlates of these two emotion regulation deficits in spider phobics. Sixteen spider phobic females participated in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study in which they were asked to voluntarily up- and down-regulate their emotions elicited by spider and generally aversive pictures with a reappraisal strategy. In line with the hypothesis concerning an automatic emotion regulation deficit, increased activity in the insula and reduced activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex was observed. Furthermore, phobia-specific effortful regulation within phobics was associated with altered activity in medial prefrontal cortex areas. Altogether, these results suggest that spider phobic subjects are indeed characterized by a deficit in the automatic as well as the effortful regulation of emotions elicited by phobic compared with aversive stimuli. These two forms of phobic emotion regulation deficits are associated with altered activity in different medial prefrontal cortex subregions. PMID:19398537

  6. Prefrontal Cortex Networks Shift from External to Internal Modes during Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brincat, Scott L.

    2016-01-01

    As we learn about items in our environment, their neural representations become increasingly enriched with our acquired knowledge. But there is little understanding of how network dynamics and neural processing related to external information changes as it becomes laden with “internal” memories. We sampled spiking and local field potential activity simultaneously from multiple sites in the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the hippocampus (HPC)—regions critical for sensory associations—of monkeys performing an object paired-associate learning task. We found that in the PFC, evoked potentials to, and neural information about, external sensory stimulation decreased while induced beta-band (∼11–27 Hz) oscillatory power and synchrony associated with “top-down” or internal processing increased. By contrast, the HPC showed little evidence of learning-related changes in either spiking activity or network dynamics. The results suggest that during associative learning, PFC networks shift their resources from external to internal processing. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT As we learn about items in our environment, their representations in our brain become increasingly enriched with our acquired “top-down” knowledge. We found that in the prefrontal cortex, but not the hippocampus, processing of external sensory inputs decreased while internal network dynamics related to top-down processing increased. The results suggest that during learning, prefrontal cortex networks shift their resources from external (sensory) to internal (memory) processing. PMID:27629722

  7. The role of the medial prefrontal cortex in the conditioning and extinction of fear

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Francis Giustino

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Once acquired, a fearful memory can persist for a lifetime. Although learned fear can be extinguished, extinction memories are fragile. The resilience of fear memories to extinction may contribute to the maintenance of disorders of fear and anxiety, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. As such, considerable effort has been placed on understanding the neural circuitry underlying the acquisition, expression, and extinction of emotional memories in rodent models as well as in humans. A triad of brain regions, including the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala, form an essential brain circuit involved in fear conditioning and extinction. Within this circuit, the prefrontal cortex is thought to exert top-down control over subcortical structures to regulate appropriate behavioral responses. Importantly, a division of labor has been proposed in which the prelimbic (PL and infralimbic (IL subdivisions of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC regulate the expression and suppression of fear in rodents, respectively. Here we critically review the anatomical and physiological evidence that has led to this proposed dichotomy of function within mPFC. We propose that under some conditions, the PL and IL act in concert, exhibiting similar patterns of neural activity in response to aversive conditioned stimuli and during the expression or inhibition of conditioned fear. This may stem from common synaptic inputs, parallel downstream outputs, or cortico-cortical interactions. Despite this functional covariation, these mPFC subdivisions may still be coding for largely opposing behavioral outcomes, with PL biased towards fear expression and IL towards suppression.

  8. The role of the prefrontal cortex in controlling gender-stereotypical associations: a TMS investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cattaneo, Zaira; Mattavelli, Giulia; Platania, Elisa; Papagno, Costanza

    2011-06-01

    Stereotypes associated with gender, race, ethnicity and religion are powerful forces in human social interactions. Previous neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies point to a role of the prefrontal cortex in controlling stereotypical responses. Here we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in combination with an Implicit Association Test (IAT) to highlight the possible causal role of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the right anterior dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (aDMPFC) in controlling gender-stereotypical responses. Young male and female participants were tested. Our results showed that applying TMS over the left DLPFC and the right aDMPFC increased the gender-stereotypical bias in male participants compared to when TMS was applied to a control site (vertex). This suggests that both the left DLPFC and the right aDMPFC play a direct role in stereotyping. Females did not show a significant gender bias on the IAT; correspondingly their responses were unaffected by TMS. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. HIV Distal Neuropathic Pain Is Associated with Smaller Ventral Posterior Cingulate Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keltner, John R; Connolly, Colm G; Vaida, Florin; Jenkinson, Mark; Fennema-Notestine, Christine; Archibald, Sarah; Akkari, Cherine; Schlein, Alexandra; Lee, Jisu; Wang, Dongzhe; Kim, Sung; Li, Han; Rennels, Austin; Miller, David J; Kesidis, George; Franklin, Donald R; Sanders, Chelsea; Corkran, Stephanie; Grant, Igor; Brown, Gregory G; Atkinson, J Hampton; Ellis, Ronald J

    2017-03-01

    . Despite modern antiretroviral therapy, HIV-associated neuropathy is one of the most prevalent, disabling and treatment-resistant complications of HIV disease. The presence and intensity of distal neuropathic pain is not fully explained by the degree of peripheral nerve damage. A better understanding of brain structure in HIV distal neuropathic pain may help explain why some patients with HIV neuropathy report pain while the majority does not. Previously, we reported that more intense distal neuropathic pain was associated with smaller total cerebral cortical gray matter volumes. The objective of this study was to determine which parts of the cortex are smaller. . HIV positive individuals with and without distal neuropathic pain enrolled in the multisite (N = 233) CNS HIV Antiretroviral Treatment Effects (CHARTER) study underwent structural brain magnetic resonance imaging. Voxel-based morphometry was used to investigate regional brain volumes in these structural brain images. . Left ventral posterior cingulate cortex was smaller for HIV positive individuals with versus without distal neuropathic pain (peak P  = 0.017; peak t = 5.15; MNI coordinates x = -6, y = -54, z = 20). Regional brain volumes within cortical gray matter structures typically associated with pain processing were also smaller for HIV positive individuals having higher intensity ratings of distal neuropathic pain. . The posterior cingulate is thought to be involved in inhibiting the perception of painful stimuli. Mechanistically a smaller posterior cingulate cortex structure may be related to reduced anti-nociception contributing to increased distal neuropathic pain. © 2016 American Academy of Pain Medicine. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

  10. Hyper-Connectivity and Hyper-Plasticity in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex in the Valproic Acid Animal Model of Autism

    OpenAIRE

    Rinaldi, Tania; Perrodin, Catherine; Markram, Henry

    2008-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex has been extensively implicated in autism to explain deficits in executive and other higher-order functions related to cognition, language, sociability and emotion. The possible changes at the level of the neuronal microcircuit are however not known. We studied microcircuit alterations in the prefrontal cortex in the valproic acid rat model of autism and found that the layer 5 pyramidal neurons are connected to significantly more neighbouring neurons than in controls. Th...

  11. Norepinephrine versus dopamine and their interaction in modulating synaptic function in the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Bo; Li, Yan-Chun; Gao, Wen-Jun

    2016-06-15

    Among the neuromodulators that regulate prefrontal cortical circuit function, the catecholamine transmitters norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA) stand out as powerful players in working memory and attention. Perturbation of either NE or DA signaling is implicated in the pathogenesis of several neuropsychiatric disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, and drug addiction. Although the precise mechanisms employed by NE and DA to cooperatively control prefrontal functions are not fully understood, emerging research indicates that both transmitters regulate electrical and biochemical aspects of neuronal function by modulating convergent ionic and synaptic signaling in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). This review summarizes previous studies that investigated the effects of both NE and DA on excitatory and inhibitory transmissions in the prefrontal cortical circuitry. Specifically, we focus on the functional interaction between NE and DA in prefrontal cortical local circuitry, synaptic integration, signaling pathways, and receptor properties. Although it is clear that both NE and DA innervate the PFC extensively and modulate synaptic function by activating distinctly different receptor subtypes and signaling pathways, it remains unclear how these two systems coordinate their actions to optimize PFC function for appropriate behavior. Throughout this review, we provide perspectives and highlight several critical topics for future studies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Noradrenergic System. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Prefrontal cortex and drug abuse vulnerability: translation to prevention and treatment interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Jennifer L; Joseph, Jane E; Jiang, Yang; Zimmerman, Rick S; Kelly, Thomas H; Darna, Mahesh; Huettl, Peter; Dwoskin, Linda P; Bardo, Michael T

    2011-01-01

    Vulnerability to drug abuse is related to both reward seeking and impulsivity, two constructs thought to have a biological basis in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). This review addresses similarities and differences in neuroanatomy, neurochemistry and behavior associated with PFC function in rodents and humans. Emphasis is placed on monoamine and amino acid neurotransmitter systems located in anatomically distinct subregions: medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC); lateral prefrontal cortex (lPFC); anterior cingulate cortex (ACC); and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). While there are complex interconnections and overlapping functions among these regions, each is thought to be involved in various functions related to health-related risk behaviors and drug abuse vulnerability. Among the various functions implicated, evidence suggests that mPFC is involved in reward processing, attention and drug reinstatement; lPFC is involved in decision-making, behavioral inhibition and attentional gating; ACC is involved in attention, emotional processing and self-monitoring; and OFC is involved in behavioral inhibition, signaling of expected outcomes and reward/punishment sensitivity. Individual differences (e.g., age and sex) influence functioning of these regions, which, in turn, impacts drug abuse vulnerability. Implications for the development of drug abuse prevention and treatment strategies aimed at engaging PFC inhibitory processes that may reduce risk-related behaviors are discussed, including the design of effective public service announcements, cognitive exercises, physical activity, direct current stimulation, feedback control training and pharmacotherapies. A major challenge in drug abuse prevention and treatment rests with improving intervention strategies aimed at strengthening PFC inhibitory systems among at-risk individuals. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Sleep deprivation impairs object-selective attention: a view from the ventral visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Julian; Tan, Jiat Chow; Parimal, Sarayu; Dinges, David F; Chee, Michael W L

    2010-02-05

    Most prior studies on selective attention in the setting of total sleep deprivation (SD) have focused on behavior or activation within fronto-parietal cognitive control areas. Here, we evaluated the effects of SD on the top-down biasing of activation of ventral visual cortex and on functional connectivity between cognitive control and other brain regions. Twenty-three healthy young adult volunteers underwent fMRI after a normal night of sleep (RW) and after sleep deprivation in a counterbalanced manner while performing a selective attention task. During this task, pictures of houses or faces were randomly interleaved among scrambled images. Across different blocks, volunteers responded to house but not face pictures, face but not house pictures, or passively viewed pictures without responding. The appearance of task-relevant pictures was unpredictable in this paradigm. SD resulted in less accurate detection of target pictures without affecting the mean false alarm rate or response time. In addition to a reduction of fronto-parietal activation, attending to houses strongly modulated parahippocampal place area (PPA) activation during RW, but this attention-driven biasing of PPA activation was abolished following SD. Additionally, SD resulted in a significant decrement in functional connectivity between the PPA and two cognitive control areas, the left intraparietal sulcus and the left inferior frontal lobe. SD impairs selective attention as evidenced by reduced selectivity in PPA activation. Further, reduction in fronto-parietal and ventral visual task-related activation suggests that it also affects sustained attention. Reductions in functional connectivity may be an important additional imaging parameter to consider in characterizing the effects of sleep deprivation on cognition.

  14. Sleep deprivation impairs object-selective attention: a view from the ventral visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julian Lim

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Most prior studies on selective attention in the setting of total sleep deprivation (SD have focused on behavior or activation within fronto-parietal cognitive control areas. Here, we evaluated the effects of SD on the top-down biasing of activation of ventral visual cortex and on functional connectivity between cognitive control and other brain regions. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Twenty-three healthy young adult volunteers underwent fMRI after a normal night of sleep (RW and after sleep deprivation in a counterbalanced manner while performing a selective attention task. During this task, pictures of houses or faces were randomly interleaved among scrambled images. Across different blocks, volunteers responded to house but not face pictures, face but not house pictures, or passively viewed pictures without responding. The appearance of task-relevant pictures was unpredictable in this paradigm. SD resulted in less accurate detection of target pictures without affecting the mean false alarm rate or response time. In addition to a reduction of fronto-parietal activation, attending to houses strongly modulated parahippocampal place area (PPA activation during RW, but this attention-driven biasing of PPA activation was abolished following SD. Additionally, SD resulted in a significant decrement in functional connectivity between the PPA and two cognitive control areas, the left intraparietal sulcus and the left inferior frontal lobe. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: SD impairs selective attention as evidenced by reduced selectivity in PPA activation. Further, reduction in fronto-parietal and ventral visual task-related activation suggests that it also affects sustained attention. Reductions in functional connectivity may be an important additional imaging parameter to consider in characterizing the effects of sleep deprivation on cognition.

  15. Dopamine release in human striatum induced by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over dorsolateral prefrontal cortex

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cho, Sang Soo; Yoon, Eun Jin; Kim, Yu Kyeong; Lee, Won Woo; Kim, Sang Eun [Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2005-07-01

    Animal study suggests that prefrontal cortex plays an important Animal studies suggest that prefrontal cortex plays an important role in the modulation of dopamine (DA) release in subcortical areas. However, little is known about the relationship between DA release and prefrontal activation in human. We investigated whether repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) influences DA release in human striatum with SPECT measurements of striatal binding of [123I)iodobenzamide (IBZM), a DA D2 receptor radioligand that is sensitive to endogenous DA. Five healthy male volunteers (age, 25{+-}2 yr) were studied with brain [123I]IBZM SPECT under three conditions (resting, Sham stimulation, and active rTMS over left DLPFC), while receiving a bolus plus constant infusion of [123I]IBZM DLPFC was defined as a 6 cm anterior and 1cm lateral from the primary motor cortex. rTMS session consisted of three blocks, in each block, 15 trains of 2 see duration were delivered with 10 Hz stimulation frequency, 100% motor threshold, and between-train intervals of 10 sec. Striatal V3', calculated as (striatal - occipital) / occipital activity ratio, was measured under equilibrium condition, at baseline and after sham and active rTMS. Sham stimulation did not affect striatal V3'. rTMS over DLPFC induced reduction of V3' in the ipsilateral and contralateral striatum by 9.7% {+-} 1.3% and 10.6% {+-} 3.2%, respectively, compared with sham procedures (P < 0.01 and P < 0.01, respectively), indicating striatal DA release elicited by rTMS over DLPFC. V3' reduction in the ipsilateral caudate nucleus was greater than that in the contralateral caudate nucleus (9.9% {+-} 4.5% vs. 6.6% {+-} 3.1%, P < 0.05). These data demonstrate DA release in human striatum induced by rTMS over DLPFC, supporting that cortico-striatal fibers originating in prefrontal cortex are involved in local DA release.

  16. Dopamine release in human striatum induced by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over dorsolateral prefrontal cortex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cho, Sang Soo; Yoon, Eun Jin; Kim, Yu Kyeong; Lee, Won Woo; Kim, Sang Eun

    2005-01-01

    Animal study suggests that prefrontal cortex plays an important Animal studies suggest that prefrontal cortex plays an important role in the modulation of dopamine (DA) release in subcortical areas. However, little is known about the relationship between DA release and prefrontal activation in human. We investigated whether repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) influences DA release in human striatum with SPECT measurements of striatal binding of [123I)iodobenzamide (IBZM), a DA D2 receptor radioligand that is sensitive to endogenous DA. Five healthy male volunteers (age, 25±2 yr) were studied with brain [123I]IBZM SPECT under three conditions (resting, Sham stimulation, and active rTMS over left DLPFC), while receiving a bolus plus constant infusion of [123I]IBZM DLPFC was defined as a 6 cm anterior and 1cm lateral from the primary motor cortex. rTMS session consisted of three blocks, in each block, 15 trains of 2 see duration were delivered with 10 Hz stimulation frequency, 100% motor threshold, and between-train intervals of 10 sec. Striatal V3', calculated as (striatal - occipital) / occipital activity ratio, was measured under equilibrium condition, at baseline and after sham and active rTMS. Sham stimulation did not affect striatal V3'. rTMS over DLPFC induced reduction of V3' in the ipsilateral and contralateral striatum by 9.7% ± 1.3% and 10.6% ± 3.2%, respectively, compared with sham procedures (P < 0.01 and P < 0.01, respectively), indicating striatal DA release elicited by rTMS over DLPFC. V3' reduction in the ipsilateral caudate nucleus was greater than that in the contralateral caudate nucleus (9.9% ± 4.5% vs. 6.6% ± 3.1%, P < 0.05). These data demonstrate DA release in human striatum induced by rTMS over DLPFC, supporting that cortico-striatal fibers originating in prefrontal cortex are involved in local DA release

  17. The flexible use of multiple cue relationships in spatial navigation : A comparison of water maze performance following hippocampal, medial septal, prefrontal cortex, or posterior parietal cortex lesions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Compton, DM; Griffith, HR; McDaniel, WF; Foster, RA; Davis, BK

    Rats prepared with lesions of the prefrontal cortex, posterior parietal cortex, hippocampus, or medial septal area were tested for acquisition of a number of variations of the open-field water maze using a version of place learning assessment described by Eichenbaum, Stewart, and Morris (1991).

  18. The Effects of a Single Night of Sleep Deprivation on Fluency and Prefrontal Cortex Function during Divergent Thinking

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    Oshin eVartanian

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The dorsal and ventral aspects of the prefrontal cortex (PFC are the two regions most consistently recruited in divergent thinking tasks. Given that frontal tasks have been shown to be vulnerable to sleep loss, we explored the impact of a single night of sleep deprivation on fluency (i.e., number of generated responses and PFC function during divergent thinking. Participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI scanning twice while engaged in the Alternate Uses Task (AUT—once following a single night of sleep deprivation and once following a night of normal sleep. They also wore wrist activity monitors, which enabled us to quantify daily sleep and model cognitive effectiveness. The intervention was effective, producing greater levels of fatigue and sleepiness. Modelled cognitive effectiveness and fluency were impaired following sleep deprivation, and sleep deprivation was associated with greater activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus during AUT. The results suggest that an intervention known to temporarily compromise frontal function can impair fluency, and that this effect is instantiated in the form of an increased haemodynamic response in the left inferior frontal gyrus.

  19. A neuropsychological test of belief and doubt: Damage to ventromedial prefrontal cortex increases credulity for misleading advertising

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erik eAsp

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available We have proposed the False Tagging Theory as a neurobiological model of belief and doubt processes. The theory posits that the prefrontal cortex is critical for normative doubt toward properly comprehended ideas or cognitions. Such doubt is important for advantageous decisions, for example in the financial and consumer purchasing realms. Here, using a neuropsychological approach, we put the False Tagging Theory to an empirical test, hypothesizing that focal damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex would cause a doubt deficit that would result in higher credulity and purchase intention for consumer products featured in misleading advertisements. We presented 8 consumer ads to 18 patients with focal brain damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, 21 patients with focal brain damage outside the prefrontal cortex, and 10 demographically similar healthy comparison participants. Patients with ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage were (1 more credulous to misleading ads; and (2 showed the highest intention to purchase the products in the misleading advertisements, relative to patients with brain damage outside the prefrontal cortex and healthy comparison participants. The pattern of findings was obtained even for ads in which the misleading bent was corrected by a disclaimer. The evidence is consistent with our proposal that damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex disrupts a false tagging mechanism which normally produces doubt and skepticism for cognitive representations. We suggest that the disruption increases credulity for misleading information, even when the misleading information is corrected for by a disclaimer. This mechanism could help explain poor financial decision-making when persons with ventromedial prefrontal dysfunction (e.g., caused by neurological injury or aging are exposed to persuasive information.

  20. Anterior cingulate cortex instigates adaptive switches in choice by integrating immediate and delayed components of value in ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Economides, Marcos; Guitart-Masip, Marc; Kurth-Nelson, Zeb; Dolan, Raymond J

    2014-02-26

    Actions can lead to an immediate reward or punishment and a complex set of delayed outcomes. Adaptive choice necessitates the brain track and integrate both of these potential consequences. Here, we designed a sequential task whereby the decision to exploit or forego an available offer was contingent on comparing immediate value and a state-dependent future cost of expending a limited resource. Crucially, the dynamics of the task demanded frequent switches in policy based on an online computation of changing delayed consequences. We found that human subjects choose on the basis of a near-optimal integration of immediate reward and delayed consequences, with the latter computed in a prefrontal network. Within this network, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) was dynamically coupled to ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) when adaptive switches in choice were required. Our results suggest a choice architecture whereby interactions between ACC and vmPFC underpin an integration of immediate and delayed components of value to support flexible policy switching that accommodates the potential delayed consequences of an action.

  1. Abnormal ventral tegmental area-anterior cingulate cortex connectivity in Parkinson's disease with depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Luqing; Hu, Xiao; Yuan, Yonggui; Liu, Weiguo; Chen, Hong

    2018-07-16

    Neuropathology suggests that Parkinson's disease (PD) with depression may involve a progressive degeneration of the nigrostriatal and mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic systems. Previous positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) studies have shown that dopamine changes in individual brain regions constituting the nigrostriatal and mesocorticolimbic circuits are associated with depression in PD. However, few studies have been conducted on the circuit-level alterations in this disease. The present study used resting-state fMRI and seed-based functional connectivity of putative dopaminergic midbrain regions (i.e., substantia nigra (SN) and ventral tegmental area (VTA)) to investigate the circuit-related abnormalities in PD with depression. The results showed that depressed PD (DPD) patients relative to healthy controls (HC) and non-depressed PD (NDPD) patients had increased functional connectivity between VTA and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), demonstrating that dysfunctional mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic neurotransmission may be associated with depression in PD. Compared with HC, DPD and NDPD patients showed increased functional connectivity from SN to sensorimotor cortex, validating that alterations in the nigrostriatal circuitry could be responsible for cardinal motor features in PD. In addition, aberrant connectivity between VTA and ACC was correlated with the severity of depression in PD patients, further supporting that abnormal mesocorticolimbic system may account for depressive symptoms in PD. These results have provided potential circuit-level biomarkers of depression in PD, and suggested that resting state functional connectivity of midbrain dopaminergic nuclei may be useful for understanding the underlying pathology in PD with depression. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Decoding Speech With Integrated Hybrid Signals Recorded From the Human Ventral Motor Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenji Ibayashi

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Restoration of speech communication for locked-in patients by means of brain computer interfaces (BCIs is currently an important area of active research. Among the neural signals obtained from intracranial recordings, single/multi-unit activity (SUA/MUA, local field potential (LFP, and electrocorticography (ECoG are good candidates for an input signal for BCIs. However, the question of which signal or which combination of the three signal modalities is best suited for decoding speech production remains unverified. In order to record SUA, LFP, and ECoG simultaneously from a highly localized area of human ventral sensorimotor cortex (vSMC, we fabricated an electrode the size of which was 7 by 13 mm containing sparsely arranged microneedle and conventional macro contacts. We determined which signal modality is the most capable of decoding speech production, and tested if the combination of these signals could improve the decoding accuracy of spoken phonemes. Feature vectors were constructed from spike frequency obtained from SUAs and event-related spectral perturbation derived from ECoG and LFP signals, then input to the decoder. The results showed that the decoding accuracy for five spoken vowels was highest when features from multiple signals were combined and optimized for each subject, and reached 59% when averaged across all six subjects. This result suggests that multi-scale signals convey complementary information for speech articulation. The current study demonstrated that simultaneous recording of multi-scale neuronal activities could raise decoding accuracy even though the recording area is limited to a small portion of cortex, which is advantageous for future implementation of speech-assisting BCIs.

  3. Postnatal Developmental Trajectories of Neural Circuits in the Primate Prefrontal Cortex: Identifying Sensitive Periods for Vulnerability to Schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoftman, Gil D.; Lewis, David A.

    2011-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a disorder of cognitive neurodevelopment with characteristic abnormalities in working memory attributed, at least in part, to alterations in the circuitry of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Various environmental exposures from conception through adolescence increase risk for the illness, possibly by altering the developmental trajectories of prefrontal cortical circuits. Macaque monkeys provide an excellent model system for studying the maturation of prefrontal cortical circuits. Here, we review the development of glutamatergic and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic circuits in macaque monkey prefrontal cortex and discuss how these trajectories may help to identify sensitive periods during which environmental exposures, such as those associated with increased risk for schizophrenia, might lead to the types of abnormalities in prefrontal cortical function present in schizophrenia. PMID:21505116

  4. Distinct regions of prefrontal cortex are associated with the controlled retrieval and selection of social information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satpute, Ajay B; Badre, David; Ochsner, Kevin N

    2014-05-01

    Research in social neuroscience has uncovered a social knowledge network that is particularly attuned to making social judgments. However, the processes that are being performed by both regions within this network and those outside of this network that are nevertheless engaged in the service of making a social judgment remain unclear. To help address this, we drew upon research in semantic memory, which suggests that making a semantic judgment engages 2 distinct control processes: A controlled retrieval process, which aids in bringing goal-relevant information to mind from long-term stores, and a selection process, which aids in selecting the information that is goal-relevant from the information retrieved. In a neuroimaging study, we investigated whether controlled retrieval and selection for social information engage distinct portions of both the social knowledge network and regions outside this network. Controlled retrieval for social information engaged an anterior ventrolateral portion of the prefrontal cortex, whereas selection engaged both the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and temporoparietal junction within the social knowledge network. These results suggest that the social knowledge network may be more involved with the selection of social information than the controlled retrieval of it and incorporates lateral prefrontal regions in accessing memory for making social judgments.

  5. Neurons responsive to face-view in the primate ventrolateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanski, L M; Diehl, M M

    2011-08-25

    Studies have indicated that temporal and prefrontal brain regions process face and vocal information. Face-selective and vocalization-responsive neurons have been demonstrated in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) and some prefrontal cells preferentially respond to combinations of face and corresponding vocalizations. These studies suggest VLPFC in nonhuman primates may play a role in communication that is similar to the role of inferior frontal regions in human language processing. If VLPFC is involved in communication, information about a speaker's face including identity, face-view, gaze, and emotional expression might be encoded by prefrontal neurons. In the following study, we examined the effect of face-view in ventrolateral prefrontal neurons by testing cells with auditory, visual, and a set of human and monkey faces rotated through 0°, 30°, 60°, 90°, and -30°. Prefrontal neurons responded selectively to either the identity of the face presented (human or monkey) or to the specific view of the face/head, or to both identity and face-view. Neurons which were affected by the identity of the face most often showed an increase in firing in the second part of the stimulus period. Neurons that were selective for face-view typically preferred forward face-view stimuli (0° and 30° rotation). The neurons which were selective for forward face-view were also auditory responsive compared to other neurons which responded to other views or were unselective which were not auditory responsive. Our analysis showed that the human forward face (0°) was decoded better and also contained the most information relative to other face-views. Our findings confirm a role for VLPFC in the processing and integration of face and vocalization information and add to the growing body of evidence that the primate ventrolateral prefrontal cortex plays a prominent role in social communication and is an important model in understanding the cellular mechanisms of communication

  6. Functional specialization of the left ventral parietal cortex in working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Lou Langel

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The function of the ventral parietal cortex (VPC is subject to much debate. Many studies suggest a lateralization of function in the VPC, with the left hemisphere facilitating verbal working memory and the right subserving stimulus-driven attention. However, many attentional tasks elicit activity in the VPC bilaterally. To elucidate the potential divides across the VPC in function, we assessed the pattern of activity in the VPC bilaterally across two tasks that require different demands, an oddball attentional task with low working memory demands and a working memory task. An anterior region of the VPC was bilaterally active during novel targets in the oddball task and during retrieval in WM, while more posterior regions of the VPC displayed dissociable functions in the left and right hemisphere, with the left being active during the encoding and retrieval of WM, but not during the oddball task and the right showing the reverse pattern. These results suggest that bilateral regions of the anterior VPC subserve non-mnemonic processes, such as stimulus-driven attention during WM retrieval and oddball detection. The left posterior VPC may be important for speech-related processing important for both working memory and perception, while the right hemisphere is more lateralized for attention.

  7. Mapping face categorization in the human ventral occipitotemporal cortex with direct neural intracranial recordings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossion, Bruno; Jacques, Corentin; Jonas, Jacques

    2018-02-26

    The neural basis of face categorization has been widely investigated with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), identifying a set of face-selective local regions in the ventral occipitotemporal cortex (VOTC). However, indirect recording of neural activity with fMRI is associated with large fluctuations of signal across regions, often underestimating face-selective responses in the anterior VOTC. While direct recording of neural activity with subdural grids of electrodes (electrocorticography, ECoG) or depth electrodes (stereotactic electroencephalography, SEEG) offers a unique opportunity to fill this gap in knowledge, these studies rather reveal widely distributed face-selective responses. Moreover, intracranial recordings are complicated by interindividual variability in neuroanatomy, ambiguity in definition, and quantification of responses of interest, as well as limited access to sulci with ECoG. Here, we propose to combine SEEG in large samples of individuals with fast periodic visual stimulation to objectively define, quantify, and characterize face categorization across the whole VOTC. This approach reconciles the wide distribution of neural face categorization responses with their (right) hemispheric and regional specialization, and reveals several face-selective regions in anterior VOTC sulci. We outline the challenges of this research program to understand the neural basis of face categorization and high-level visual recognition in general. © 2018 New York Academy of Sciences.

  8. Muscarinic receptor blockade in ventral hippocampus and prelimbic cortex impairs memory for socially transmitted food preference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carballo-Márquez, Anna; Vale-Martínez, Anna; Guillazo-Blanch, Gemma; Martí-Nicolovius, Margarita

    2009-05-01

    Acetylcholine is involved in learning and memory and, particularly, in olfactory tasks, but reports on its specific role in consolidation processes are somewhat controversial. The present experiment sought to determine the effects of blocking muscarinic cholinergic receptors in the ventral hippocampus (vHPC) and the prelimbic cortex (PLC) on the consolidation of social transmission of food preference, an odor-guided relational task that depends on such brain areas. Adult male Wistar rats were bilaterally infused with scopolamine (20 microg/site) immediately after social training and showed impairment, relative to vehicle-injected controls, in the expression of the task measured 24 h after learning. Results indicated that scopolamine in the PLC completely abolished memory, suggesting that muscarinic transmission in this cortical region is crucial for consolidation of recent socially acquired information. Muscarinic receptors in the vHPC contribute in some way to task consolidation, as the rats injected with scopolamine in the vHPC showed significantly lower trained food preference than control rats, but higher than both chance level and that of the PLC-injected rats. Behavioral measures such as social interaction, motivation to eat, neophobia, or exploration did not differ between rats infused with scopolamine or vehicle. Such data suggest a possible differential role of muscarinic receptors in the PLC and the vHPC in the initial consolidation of a naturalistic form of nonspatial relational memory. Copyright 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  9. Hyper-connectivity and hyper-plasticity in the medial prefrontal cortex in the valproic acid animal model of autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tania Rinaldi

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available The prefrontal cortex has been extensively implicated in autism to explain deficits in executive and other higher-order functions related to cognition, language, sociability and emotion. The possible changes at the level of the neuronal microcircuit are however not known. We studied microcircuit alterations in the prefrontal cortex in the valproic acid rat model of autism and found that the layer 5 pyramidal neurons are connected to significantly more neighbouring neurons than in controls. These excitatory connections are more plastic displaying enhanced long-term potentiation of the strength of synapses. The microcircuit alterations found in the prefrontal cortex are therefore similar to the alterations previously found in the somatosensory cortex. Hyper-connectivity and hyper-plasticity in the prefrontal cortex implies hyper-functionality of one of the highest order processing regions in the brain, and stands in contrast to the hypo-functionality that is normally proposed in this region to explain some of the autistic symptoms. We propose that a number of deficits in autism such as sociability, attention, multi-tasking and repetitive behaviours, should be re-interpreted in the light of a hyper-functional prefrontal cortex.

  10. Integration of auditory and visual communication information in the primate ventrolateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugihara, Tadashi; Diltz, Mark D; Averbeck, Bruno B; Romanski, Lizabeth M

    2006-10-25

    The integration of auditory and visual stimuli is crucial for recognizing objects, communicating effectively, and navigating through our complex world. Although the frontal lobes are involved in memory, communication, and language, there has been no evidence that the integration of communication information occurs at the single-cell level in the frontal lobes. Here, we show that neurons in the macaque ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) integrate audiovisual communication stimuli. The multisensory interactions included both enhancement and suppression of a predominantly auditory or a predominantly visual response, although multisensory suppression was the more common mode of response. The multisensory neurons were distributed across the VLPFC and within previously identified unimodal auditory and visual regions (O'Scalaidhe et al., 1997; Romanski and Goldman-Rakic, 2002). Thus, our study demonstrates, for the first time, that single prefrontal neurons integrate communication information from the auditory and visual domains, suggesting that these neurons are an important node in the cortical network responsible for communication.

  11. Causal role of prefrontal cortex in the threshold for access to consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Cul, A; Dehaene, S; Reyes, P; Bravo, E; Slachevsky, A

    2009-09-01

    What neural mechanisms support our conscious perception of briefly presented stimuli? Some theories of conscious access postulate a key role of top-down amplification loops involving prefrontal cortex (PFC). To test this issue, we measured the visual backward masking threshold in patients with focal prefrontal lesions, using both objective and subjective measures while controlling for putative attention deficits. In all conditions of temporal or spatial attention cueing, the threshold for access to consciousness was systematically shifted in patients, particular after a lesion of the left anterior PFC. The deficit affected subjective reports more than objective performance, and objective performance conditioned on subjective visibility was essentially normal. We conclude that PFC makes a causal contribution to conscious visual perception of masked stimuli, and outline a dual-route signal detection theory of objective and subjective decision making.

  12. Stress-induced cognitive dysfunction: hormone-neurotransmitter interactions in the prefrontal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca M Shansky

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The mechanisms and neural circuits that drive emotion and cognition are inextricably linked. Activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA axis as a result of stress or other causes of arousal initiates a flood of hormone and neurotransmitter release throughout the brain, affecting the way we think, decide, and behave. This review will focus on factors that influence the function of the prefrontal cortex (PFC, a brain region that governs higher-level cognitive processes and executive function. The PFC becomes markedly impaired by stress, producing measurable deficits in working memory. These deficits arise from the interaction of multiple neuromodulators, including glucocorticoids, catecholamines, and gonadal hormones; here we will discuss the non- human primate and rodent literature that has furthered our understanding of the circuitry, receptors, and signaling cascades responsible for stress-induced prefrontal dysfunction.

  13. Functional connection between posterior superior temporal gyrus and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex in human.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garell, P C; Bakken, H; Greenlee, J D W; Volkov, I; Reale, R A; Oya, H; Kawasaki, H; Howard, M A; Brugge, J F

    2013-10-01

    The connection between auditory fields of the temporal lobe and prefrontal cortex has been well characterized in nonhuman primates. Little is known of temporofrontal connectivity in humans, however, due largely to the fact that invasive experimental approaches used so successfully to trace anatomical pathways in laboratory animals cannot be used in humans. Instead, we used a functional tract-tracing method in 12 neurosurgical patients with multicontact electrode arrays chronically implanted over the left (n = 7) or right (n = 5) perisylvian temporal auditory cortex (area PLST) and the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) for diagnosis and treatment of medically intractable epilepsy. Area PLST was identified by the distribution of average auditory-evoked potentials obtained in response to simple and complex sounds. The same sounds evoked little if there is any activity in VLPFC. A single bipolar electrical pulse (0.2 ms, charge-balanced) applied between contacts within physiologically identified PLST resulted in polyphasic evoked potentials clustered in VLPFC, with greatest activation being in pars triangularis of the IFG. The average peak latency of the earliest negative deflection of the evoked potential on VLPFC was 13.48 ms (range: 9.0-18.5 ms), providing evidence for a rapidly conducting pathway between area PLST and VLPFC.

  14. Differential effects of insular and ventromedial prefrontal cortex lesions on risky decision-making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, L; Bechara, A; Damasio, H; Aitken, M R F; Sahakian, B J; Robbins, T W

    2008-05-01

    The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and insular cortex are implicated in distributed neural circuitry that supports emotional decision-making. Previous studies of patients with vmPFC lesions have focused primarily on decision-making under uncertainty, when outcome probabilities are ambiguous (e.g. the Iowa Gambling Task). It remains unclear whether vmPFC is also necessary for decision-making under risk, when outcome probabilities are explicit. It is not known whether the effect of insular damage is analogous to the effect of vmPFC damage, or whether these regions contribute differentially to choice behaviour. Four groups of participants were compared on the Cambridge Gamble Task, a well-characterized measure of risky decision-making where outcome probabilities are presented explicitly, thus minimizing additional learning and working memory demands. Patients with focal, stable lesions to the vmPFC (n = 20) and the insular cortex (n = 13) were compared against healthy subjects (n = 41) and a group of lesion controls (n = 12) with damage predominantly affecting the dorsal and lateral frontal cortex. The vmPFC and insular cortex patients showed selective and distinctive disruptions of betting behaviour. VmPFC damage was associated with increased betting regardless of the odds of winning, consistent with a role of vmPFC in biasing healthy individuals towards conservative options under risk. In contrast, patients with insular cortex lesions failed to adjust their bets by the odds of winning, consistent with a role of the insular cortex in signalling the probability of aversive outcomes. The insular group attained a lower point score on the task and experienced more 'bankruptcies'. There were no group differences in probability judgement. These data confirm the necessary role of the vmPFC and insular regions in decision-making under risk. Poor decision-making in clinical populations can arise via multiple routes, with functionally dissociable effects of vmPFC and

  15. THC alters alters morphology of neurons in medial prefrontal cortex, orbital prefrontal cortex, and nucleus accumbens and alters the ability of later experience to promote structural plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolb, Bryan; Li, Yilin; Robinson, Terry; Parker, Linda A

    2018-03-01

    Psychoactive drugs have the ability to alter the morphology of neuronal dendrites and spines and to influence later experience-dependent structural plasticity. If rats are given repeated injections of psychomotor stimulants (amphetamine, cocaine, nicotine) prior to being placed in complex environments, the drug experience interferes with the ability of the environment to increase dendritic arborization and spine density. Repeated exposure to Delta 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) changes the morphology of dendrites in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAcc). To determine if drugs other than psychomotor stimulants will also interfere with later experience-dependent structural plasticity we gave Long-Evans rats THC (0.5 mg/kg) or saline for 11 days before placing them in complex environments or standard laboratory caging for 90 days. Brains were subsequently processed for Golgi-Cox staining and analysis of dendritic morphology and spine density mPFC, orbital frontal cortex (OFC), and NAcc. THC altered both dendritic arborization and spine density in all three regions, and, like psychomotor stimulants, THC influenced the effect of later experience in complex environments to shape the structure of neurons in these three regions. We conclude that THC may therefore contribute to persistent behavioral and cognitive deficits associated with prolonged use of the drug. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Dynamic anticipatory processing of hierarchical sequential events: a common role for Broca's area and ventral premotor cortex across domains?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiebach, Christian J; Schubotz, Ricarda I

    2006-05-01

    This paper proposes a domain-general model for the functional contribution of ventral premotor cortex (PMv) and adjacent Broca's area to perceptual, cognitive, and motor processing. We propose to understand this frontal region as a highly flexible sequence processor, with the PMv mapping sequential events onto stored structural templates and Broca's Area involved in more complex, hierarchical or hypersequential processing. This proposal is supported by reference to previous functional neuroimaging studies investigating abstract sequence processing and syntactic processing.

  17. The role of the medial prefrontal cortex in trace fear extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwapis, Janine L.; Jarome, Timothy J.

    2015-01-01

    The extinction of delay fear conditioning relies on a neural circuit that has received much attention and is relatively well defined. Whether this established circuit also supports the extinction of more complex associations, however, is unclear. Trace fear conditioning is a better model of complex relational learning, yet the circuit that supports extinction of this memory has received very little attention. Recent research has indicated that trace fear extinction requires a different neural circuit than delay extinction; trace extinction requires the participation of the retrosplenial cortex, but not the amygdala, as noted in a previous study. Here, we tested the roles of the prelimbic and infralimbic regions of the medial prefrontal cortex in trace and delay fear extinction by blocking NMDA receptors during extinction learning. We found that the prelimbic cortex is necessary for trace, but not for delay fear extinction, whereas the infralimbic cortex is involved in both types of extinction. These results are consistent with the idea that trace fear associations require plasticity in multiple cortical areas for successful extinction. Further, the infralimbic cortex appears to play a role in extinction regardless of whether the animal was initially trained in trace or delay conditioning. Together, our results provide new information about how the neural circuits supporting trace and delay fear extinction differ. PMID:25512576

  18. A probabilistic map of the human ventral sensorimotor cortex using electrical stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breshears, Jonathan D; Molinaro, Annette M; Chang, Edward F

    2015-08-01

    The human ventral sensorimotor cortex (vSMC) is involved in facial expression, mastication, and swallowing, as well as the dynamic and highly coordinated movements of human speech production. However, vSMC organization remains poorly understood, and previously published population-driven maps of its somatotopy do not accurately reflect the variability across individuals in a quantitative, probabilistic fashion. The goal of this study was to describe the responses to electrical stimulation of the vSMC, generate probabilistic maps of function in the vSMC, and quantify the variability across individuals. Photographic, video, and stereotactic MRI data of intraoperative electrical stimulation of the vSMC were collected for 33 patients undergoing awake craniotomy. Stimulation sites were converted to a 2D coordinate system based on anatomical landmarks. Motor, sensory, and speech stimulation responses were reviewed and classified. Probabilistic maps of stimulation responses were generated, and spatial variance was quantified. In 33 patients, the authors identified 194 motor, 212 sensory, 61 speech-arrest, and 27 mixed responses. Responses were complex, stereotyped, and mostly nonphysiological movements, involving hand, orofacial, and laryngeal musculature. Within individuals, the presence of oral movement representations varied; however, the dorsal-ventral order was always preserved. The most robust motor responses were jaw (probability 0.85), tongue (0.64), lips (0.58), and throat (0.52). Vocalizations were seen in 6 patients (0.18), more dorsally near lip and dorsal throat areas. Sensory responses were spatially dispersed; however, patients' subjective reports were highly precise in localization within the mouth. The most robust responses included tongue (0.82) and lips (0.42). The probability of speech arrest was 0.85, highest 15-20 mm anterior to the central sulcus and just dorsal to the sylvian fissure, in the anterior precentral gyrus or pars opercularis. The

  19. Medial Prefrontal Cortex Activation Is Commonly Invoked by Reputation of Self and Romantic Partners

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    Kawamichi, Hiroaki; Sasaki, Akihiro T.; Matsunaga, Masahiro; Yoshihara, Kazufumi; Takahashi, Haruka K.; Tanabe, Hiroki C.; Sadato, Norihiro

    2013-01-01

    The reputation of others influences partner selection in human cooperative behaviors through verbal reputation representation. Although the way in which humans represent the verbal reputations of others is a pivotal issue for social neuroscience, the neural correlates underlying the representation of verbal reputations of others are unclear. Humans primarily depend on self-evaluation when assessing reputation of self. Likewise, humans might primarily depend on self-evaluation of others when representing their reputation. As interaction promotes the formation of more nuanced, individualized impressions of an interaction partner, humans tend to form self-evaluations of persons with whom they are intimate in their daily life. Thus, we hypothesized that the representation of reputation of others is modulated by intimacy due to one’s own evaluation formation of that person. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment with 11 pairs of romantic partners while they viewed an evaluation of a target person (self, partner [intimate other], or stranger [non-intimate other]), made by other evaluators. When compared with strangers, viewing evaluations of self and partner activated overlapping regions in the medial prefrontal cortex. Verbal reputation of self-specific activation was found in the precuneus, which represents self-related processing. The data suggest that midline structures represent reputation of self. In addition, intimacy-modulated activation in the medial prefrontal cortex suggests that the verbal reputation of intimate others is represented similarly to reputation of self. These results suggest that the reputation representation in the medial prefrontal cortex is engaged by verbal reputation of self and intimate others stemming from both own and other evaluators’ judgments. PMID:24086409

  20. Transcranial Electrical Stimulation over Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Modulates Processing of Social Cognitive and Affective Information.

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    Massimiliano Conson

    Full Text Available Recent neurofunctional studies suggested that lateral prefrontal cortex is a domain-general cognitive control area modulating computation of social information. Neuropsychological evidence reported dissociations between cognitive and affective components of social cognition. Here, we tested whether performance on social cognitive and affective tasks can be modulated by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS over dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC. To this aim, we compared the effects of tDCS on explicit recognition of emotional facial expressions (affective task, and on one cognitive task assessing the ability to adopt another person's visual perspective. In a randomized, cross-over design, male and female healthy participants performed the two experimental tasks after bi-hemispheric tDCS (sham, left anodal/right cathodal, and right anodal/left cathodal applied over DLPFC. Results showed that only in male participants explicit recognition of fearful facial expressions was significantly faster after anodal right/cathodal left stimulation with respect to anodal left/cathodal right and sham stimulations. In the visual perspective taking task, instead, anodal right/cathodal left stimulation negatively affected both male and female participants' tendency to adopt another's point of view. These findings demonstrated that concurrent facilitation of right and inhibition of left lateral prefrontal cortex can speed-up males' responses to threatening faces whereas it interferes with the ability to adopt another's viewpoint independently from gender. Thus, stimulation of cognitive control areas can lead to different effects on social cognitive skills depending on the affective vs. cognitive nature of the task, and on the gender-related differences in neural organization of emotion processing.

  1. Locus coeruleus phasic discharge is essential for stimulus-induced gamma oscillations in the prefrontal cortex.

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    Neves, Ricardo M; van Keulen, Silvia; Yang, Mingyu; Logothetis, Nikos K; Eschenko, Oxana

    2018-03-01

    The locus coeruleus (LC) noradrenergic (NE) neuromodulatory system is critically involved in regulation of neural excitability via its diffuse ascending projections. Tonic NE release in the forebrain is essential for maintenance of vigilant states and increases the signal-to-noise ratio of cortical sensory responses. The impact of phasic NE release on cortical activity and sensory processing is less explored. We previously reported that LC microstimulation caused a transient desynchronization of population activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), similar to noxious somatosensory stimuli. The LC receives nociceptive information from the medulla and therefore may mediate sensory signaling to its forebrain targets. Here we performed extracellular recordings in LC and mPFC while presenting noxious stimuli in urethane-anesthetized rats. A brief train of foot shocks produced a robust phasic response in the LC and a transient change in the mPFC power spectrum, with the strongest modulation in the gamma (30-90 Hz) range. The LC phasic response preceded prefrontal gamma power increase, and cortical modulation was proportional to the LC excitation. We also quantitatively characterized distinct cortical states and showed that sensory responses in both LC and mPFC depend on the ongoing cortical state. Finally, cessation of the LC firing by bilateral local iontophoretic injection of clonidine, an α 2 -adrenoreceptor agonist, completely eliminated sensory responses in the mPFC without shifting cortex to a less excitable state. Together, our results suggest that the LC phasic response induces gamma power increase in the PFC and is essential for mediating sensory information along an ascending noxious pathway. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Our study shows linear relationships between locus coeruleus phasic excitation and the amplitude of gamma oscillations in the prefrontal cortex. Results suggest that the locus coeruleus phasic response is essential for mediating sensory information

  2. Prioritising the relevant information for learning and decision making within orbital and ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

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    Walton, Mark E; Chau, Bolton K H; Kennerley, Steven W

    2015-02-01

    Our environment and internal states are frequently complex, ambiguous and dynamic, meaning we need to have selection mechanisms to ensure we are basing our decisions on currently relevant information. Here, we review evidence that orbitofrontal (OFC) and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) play conserved, critical but distinct roles in this process. While OFC may use specific sensory associations to enhance task-relevant information, particularly in the context of learning, VMPFC plays a role in ensuring irrelevant information does not impinge on the decision in hand.

  3. Prefrontal cortex and sensory cortices during working memory: quantity and quality.

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    Ku, Yixuan; Bodner, Mark; Zhou, Yong-Di

    2015-04-01

    The activity in sensory cortices and the prefrontal cortex (PFC) throughout the delay interval of working memory (WM) tasks reflect two aspects of WM-quality and quantity, respectively. The delay activity in sensory cortices is fine-tuned to sensory information and forms the neural basis of the precision of WM storage, while the delay activity in the PFC appears to represent behavioral goals and filters out irrelevant distractions, forming the neural basis of the quantity of task-relevant information in WM. The PFC and sensory cortices interact through different frequency bands of neuronal oscillation (theta, alpha, and gamma) to fulfill goal-directed behaviors.

  4. Listen, learn, like! Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex involved in the mere exposure effect in music

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Green, Anders Christian; Bærentsen, Klaus B.; Stødkilde-Jørgensen, Hans

    2012-01-01

    , participants rated liking for each melody and, later, their recognition of them. Participants showed learning effects, better recognising melodies heard more often. Melodies heard most often were most liked, consistent with the mere exposure effect. We found neural activations as a function of previous...... exposure in bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal and inferior parietal cortex, probably reflecting retrieval and working memory-related processes. This was despite the fact that the task during scanning was to judge liking, not recognition, thus suggesting that appreciation of music relies strongly on memory...

  5. Deep brain stimulation reveals emotional impact processing in ventromedial prefrontal cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gjedde, Albert; Geday, Jacob

    2009-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis that modulation of monoaminergic tone with deep-brain stimulation (DBS) of subthalamic nucleus would reveal a site of reactivity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex that we previously identified by modulating serotonergic and noradrenergic mechanisms by blocking serotonin......-noradrenaline reuptake sites. We tested the hypothesis in patients with Parkinson's disease in whom we had measured the changes of blood flow everywhere in the brain associated with the deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus. We determined the emotional reactivity of the patients as the average impact...

  6. The Importance of the Lateral Prefrontal Cortex for Strategic Decision Making in the Prisoner's Dilemma.

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    Soutschek, Alexander; Sauter, Marian; Schubert, Torsten

    2015-12-01

    Previous functional imaging studies investigating the neural basis of strategic decision making in the prisoner's dilemma reported a correlation between cooperative behavior and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) activity; however, the precise function of the DLPFC in establishing cooperation remains unclear so far. The present study investigated the causal role of the DLPFC in an iterative prisoner's dilemma game with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). We discovered that disrupting the DLPFC with TMS decreased cooperation rates in comparison to control conditions, with this effect being most pronounced when the partner had defected previously. Thus, the current results suggest that the DLPFC contributes to strategic decision making in the prisoner's dilemma game.

  7. The Analgesic and Anxiolytic Effect of Souvenaid, a Novel Nutraceutical, Is Mediated by Alox15 Activity in the Prefrontal Cortex.

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    Shalini, Suku-Maran; Herr, Deron R; Ong, Wei-Yi

    2017-10-01

    Pain and anxiety have a complex relationship and pain is known to share neurobiological pathways and neurotransmitters with anxiety. Top-down modulatory pathways of pain have been shown to originate from cortical and subcortical regions, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. In this study, a novel docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-containing nutraceutical, Souvenaid, was administered to mice with infraorbital nerve ligation-induced neuropathic pain and behavioral responses recorded. Infraorbital nerve ligation resulted in increased face wash strokes of the face upon von Frey hair stimulation, indicating increased nociception. Part of this response involves general pain sensitization that is dependent on the CNS, since increased nociception was also found in the paws during the hot plate test. Mice receiving oral gavage of Souvenaid, a nutraceutical containing DHA; choline; and other cell membrane components, showed significantly reduced pain sensitization. The mechanism of Souvenaid's activity involves supraspinal antinociception, originating in the prefrontal cortex, since inhibition of the DHA-metabolizing enzyme 15-lipoxygenase (Alox15) in the prefrontal cortex attenuated the antinociceptive effect of Souvenaid. Alox15 inhibition also modulated anxiety behavior associated with pain after infraorbital nerve ligation. The effects of Souvenaid components and Alox15 on reducing central sensitization of pain may be due to strengthening of a known supraspinal antinociceptive pathway from the prefrontal cortex to the periaqueductal gray. Together, results indicate the importance of the prefrontal cortex and DHA/Alox15 in central antinociceptive pathways and suggest that Souvenaid may be a novel therapeutic for neuropathic pain.

  8. Predicting Treatment Outcomes from Prefrontal Cortex Activation for Self-Harming Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder: A Preliminary Study

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    Anthony Charles Ruocco

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Self-harm is a potentially lethal symptom of borderline personality disorder (BPD that often improves with dialectical behavior therapy (DBT. While DBT is effective for reducing self-harm in many patients with BPD, a small but significant number of patients either does not improve in treatment or ends treatment prematurely. Accordingly, it is crucial to identify factors that may prospectively predict which patients are most likely to benefit from and remain in treatment. In the present preliminary study, twenty-nine actively self-harming patients with BPD completed brain-imaging procedures probing activation of the prefrontal cortex during impulse control prior to beginning DBT and after seven months of treatment. Patients that reduced their frequency of self-harm the most over treatment displayed lower levels of neural activation in the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex prior to beginning treatment, and they showed the greatest increases in activity within this region after seven months of treatment. Prior to starting DBT, treatment non-completers demonstrated greater activation than treatment-completers in the medial prefrontal cortex and right inferior frontal gyrus. Reductions in self-harm over the treatment period were associated with increases in activity in right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex even after accounting for improvements in depression, mania, and BPD symptom severity. These findings suggest that pre-treatment patterns of activation in the prefrontal cortex underlying impulse control may be prospectively associated with improvements in self-harm and treatment attrition for patients with BPD treated with DBT.

  9. Effects of decreased inhibition on synaptic plasticity and dendritic morphology in the juvenile prefrontal cortex

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    Xanthippi Konstantoudaki

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Excitation-inhibition balance is critical for maintaining proper functioning of the cerebral cortex, as evident from electrophysiological and modeling studies, and it is also important for animal behavior (Yizhar et al., 2011. In the cerebral cortex, excitation is provided by glutamate release from pyramidal neurons, while inhibition is provided by GABA release from several types of interneurons. Many neuropsychiatric disorders, such as epilepsy, anxiety, schizophrenia and autism exhibit an imbalance between the excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms of cortical circuits within key brain regions as prefrontal cortex or hippocampus, primarily through dysfunctions in the inhibitory system (Lewis, Volk, & Hashimoto, 2003; Marín, 2012 Given the significant role of GABAergic inhibition in shaping proper function of the cerebral cortex, we used a mouse model of developmentally decreased GABAergic inhibition in order to examine its effects in network properties, namely basal synaptic transmission, synaptic plasticity and dendritic morphology of pyramidal neurons. For our study, we used mice (postnatal day 20-30 in which the Rac1 protein was deleted from Nkx2.1-expressing neurons (Vidaki et al., 2012, (Rac1fl/flNkx2.1 +/cre referred as Rac1 KO mice, and heterozygous (Rac1+/flNkx2.1 +/cre or control (Rac1+/flNkx2.1 +/+ mice. The specific ablation of Rac1 protein from NKx2.1-expressing MGE-derived progenitors leads to a perturbation of their cell cycle exit resulting in decreased number of interneurons in the cortex(Vidaki et al, 2012. We prepared brain slices from the prefrontal cortex and recorded field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs from layer II neurons while stimulating axons in layer II. We find that the evoked fEPSPs are decreased in Rac1 KO mice compared to Rac1 heterozygous or control mice. This could suggest that the decreased GABAergic inhibition causes network alterations that result in reduced glutamatergic function. Furthermore

  10. Activity in ventral premotor cortex is modulated by vision of own hand in action

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    Luciano Fadiga

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Parietal and premotor cortices of the macaque monkey contain distinct populations of neurons which, in addition to their motor discharge, are also activated by visual stimulation. Among these visuomotor neurons, a population of grasping neurons located in the anterior intraparietal area (AIP shows discharge modulation when the own hand is visible during object grasping. Given the dense connections between AIP and inferior frontal regions, we aimed at investigating whether two hand-related frontal areas, ventral premotor area F5 and primary motor cortex (area F1, contain neurons with similar properties. Two macaques were involved in a grasping task executed in various light/dark conditions in which the to-be-grasped object was kept visible by a dim retro-illumination. Approximately 62% of F5 and 55% of F1 motor neurons showed light/dark modulations. To better isolate the effect of hand-related visual input, we introduced two further conditions characterized by kinematic features similar to the dark condition. The scene was briefly illuminated (i during hand preshaping (pre-touch flash, PT-flash and (ii at hand-object contact (touch flash, T-flash. Approximately 48% of F5 and 44% of F1 motor neurons showed a flash-related modulation. Considering flash-modulated neurons in the two flash conditions, ∼40% from F5 and ∼52% from F1 showed stronger activity in PT- than T-flash (PT-flash-dominant, whereas ∼60% from F5 and ∼48% from F1 showed stronger activity in T- than PT-flash (T-flash-dominant. Furthermore, F5, but not F1, flash-dominant neurons were characterized by a higher peak and mean discharge in the preferred flash condition as compared to light and dark conditions. Still considering F5, the distribution of the time of peak discharge was similar in light and preferred flash conditions. This study shows that the frontal cortex contains neurons, previously classified as motor neurons, which are sensitive to the observation of meaningful

  11. Accessing orthographic representations from speech: the role of left ventral occipitotemporal cortex in spelling.

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    Ludersdorfer, Philipp; Kronbichler, Martin; Wimmer, Heinz

    2015-04-01

    The present fMRI study used a spelling task to investigate the hypothesis that the left ventral occipitotemporal cortex (vOT) hosts neuronal representations of whole written words. Such an orthographic word lexicon is posited by cognitive dual-route theories of reading and spelling. In the scanner, participants performed a spelling task in which they had to indicate if a visually presented letter is present in the written form of an auditorily presented word. The main experimental manipulation distinguished between an orthographic word spelling condition in which correct spelling decisions had to be based on orthographic whole-word representations, a word spelling condition in which reliance on orthographic whole-word representations was optional and a phonological pseudoword spelling condition in which no reliance on such representations was possible. To evaluate spelling-specific activations the spelling conditions were contrasted with control conditions that also presented auditory words and pseudowords, but participants had to indicate if a visually presented letter corresponded to the gender of the speaker. We identified a left vOT cluster activated for the critical orthographic word spelling condition relative to both the control condition and the phonological pseudoword spelling condition. Our results suggest that activation of left vOT during spelling can be attributed to the retrieval of orthographic whole-word representations and, thus, support the position that the left vOT potentially represents the neuronal equivalent of the cognitive orthographic word lexicon. © 2014 The Authors Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Inhibitory stimulation of the ventral premotor cortex temporarily interferes with musical beat rate preference.

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    Kornysheva, Katja; von Anshelm-Schiffer, Anne-Marike; Schubotz, Ricarda I

    2011-08-01

    Behavioral studies suggest that preference for a beat rate (tempo) in auditory sequences is tightly linked to the motor system. However, from a neuroscientific perspective the contribution of motor-related brain regions to tempo preference in the auditory domain remains unclear. A recent fMRI study (Kornysheva et al. [2010]: Hum Brain Mapp 31:48-64) revealed that the activity increase in the left ventral premotor cortex (PMv) is associated with the preference for a tempo of a musical rhythm. The activity increase correlated with how strongly the subjects preferred a tempo. Despite this evidence, it remains uncertain whether an interference with activity in the left PMv affects tempo preference strength. Consequently, we conducted an offline repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) study, in which the cortical excitability in the left PMv was temporarily reduced. As hypothesized, 0.9 Hz rTMS over the left PMv temporarily affected individual tempo preference strength depending on the individual strength of tempo preference in the control session. Moreover, PMv stimulation temporarily interfered with the stability of individual tempo preference strength within and across sessions. These effects were specific to the preference for tempo in contrast to the preference for timbre, bound to the first half of the experiment following PMv stimulation and could not be explained by an impairment of tempo recognition. Our results corroborate preceding fMRI findings and suggest that activity in the left PMv is part of a network that affects the strength of beat rate preference. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  13. Human left ventral premotor cortex mediates matching of hand posture to object use.

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    Guy Vingerhoets

    Full Text Available Visuomotor transformations for grasping have been associated with a fronto-parietal network in the monkey brain. The human homologue of the parietal monkey region (AIP has been identified as the anterior part of the intraparietal sulcus (aIPS, whereas the putative human equivalent of the monkey frontal region (F5 is located in the ventral part of the premotor cortex (vPMC. Results from animal studies suggest that monkey F5 is involved in the selection of appropriate hand postures relative to the constraints of the task. In humans, the functional roles of aIPS and vPMC appear to be more complex and the relative contribution of each region to grasp selection remains uncertain. The present study aimed to identify modulation in brain areas sensitive to the difficulty level of tool object - hand posture matching. Seventeen healthy right handed participants underwent fMRI while observing pictures of familiar tool objects followed by pictures of hand postures. The task was to decide whether the hand posture matched the functional use of the previously shown object. Conditions were manipulated for level of difficulty. Compared to a picture matching control task, the tool object - hand posture matching conditions conjointly showed increased modulation in several left hemispheric regions of the superior and inferior parietal lobules (including aIPS, the middle occipital gyrus, and the inferior temporal gyrus. Comparison of hard versus easy conditions selectively modulated the left inferior frontal gyrus with peak activity located in its opercular part (Brodmann area (BA 44. We suggest that in the human brain, vPMC/BA44 is involved in the matching of hand posture configurations in accordance with visual and functional demands.

  14. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type I Affects Brain Structure in Prefrontal and Motor Cortex

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    Pleger, Burkhard; Draganski, Bogdan; Schwenkreis, Peter; Lenz, Melanie; Nicolas, Volkmar; Maier, Christoph; Tegenthoff, Martin

    2014-01-01

    The complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a rare but debilitating pain disorder that mostly occurs after injuries to the upper limb. A number of studies indicated altered brain function in CRPS, whereas possible influences on brain structure remain poorly investigated. We acquired structural magnetic resonance imaging data from CRPS type I patients and applied voxel-by-voxel statistics to compare white and gray matter brain segments of CRPS patients with matched controls. Patients and controls were statistically compared in two different ways: First, we applied a 2-sample ttest to compare whole brain white and gray matter structure between patients and controls. Second, we aimed to assess structural alterations specifically of the primary somatosensory (S1) and motor cortex (M1) contralateral to the CRPS affected side. To this end, MRI scans of patients with left-sided CRPS (and matched controls) were horizontally flipped before preprocessing and region-of-interest-based group comparison. The unpaired ttest of the “non-flipped” data revealed that CRPS patients presented increased gray matter density in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. The same test applied to the “flipped” data showed further increases in gray matter density, not in the S1, but in the M1 contralateral to the CRPS-affected limb which were inversely related to decreased white matter density of the internal capsule within the ipsilateral brain hemisphere. The gray-white matter interaction between motor cortex and internal capsule suggests compensatory mechanisms within the central motor system possibly due to motor dysfunction. Altered gray matter structure in dorsomedial prefrontal cortex may occur in response to emotional processes such as pain-related suffering or elevated analgesic top-down control. PMID:24416397

  15. Complex regional pain syndrome type I affects brain structure in prefrontal and motor cortex.

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    Burkhard Pleger

    Full Text Available The complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS is a rare but debilitating pain disorder that mostly occurs after injuries to the upper limb. A number of studies indicated altered brain function in CRPS, whereas possible influences on brain structure remain poorly investigated. We acquired structural magnetic resonance imaging data from CRPS type I patients and applied voxel-by-voxel statistics to compare white and gray matter brain segments of CRPS patients with matched controls. Patients and controls were statistically compared in two different ways: First, we applied a 2-sample ttest to compare whole brain white and gray matter structure between patients and controls. Second, we aimed to assess structural alterations specifically of the primary somatosensory (S1 and motor cortex (M1 contralateral to the CRPS affected side. To this end, MRI scans of patients with left-sided CRPS (and matched controls were horizontally flipped before preprocessing and region-of-interest-based group comparison. The unpaired ttest of the "non-flipped" data revealed that CRPS patients presented increased gray matter density in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. The same test applied to the "flipped" data showed further increases in gray matter density, not in the S1, but in the M1 contralateral to the CRPS-affected limb which were inversely related to decreased white matter density of the internal capsule within the ipsilateral brain hemisphere. The gray-white matter interaction between motor cortex and internal capsule suggests compensatory mechanisms within the central motor system possibly due to motor dysfunction. Altered gray matter structure in dorsomedial prefrontal cortex may occur in response to emotional processes such as pain-related suffering or elevated analgesic top-down control.

  16. Abnormal prefrontal cortex resting state functional connectivity and severity of internet gaming disorder.

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    Jin, Chenwang; Zhang, Ting; Cai, Chenxi; Bi, Yanzhi; Li, Yangding; Yu, Dahua; Zhang, Ming; Yuan, Kai

    2016-09-01

    Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) among adolescents has become an important public concern and gained more and more attention internationally. Recent studies focused on IGD and revealed brain abnormalities in the IGD group, especially the prefrontal cortex (PFC). However, the role of PFC-striatal circuits in pathology of IGD remains unknown. Twenty-five adolescents with IGD and 21 age- and gender-matched healthy controls were recruited in our study. Voxel-based morphometric (VBM) and functional connectivity analysis were employed to investigate the abnormal structural and resting-state properties of several frontal regions in individuals with online gaming addiction. Relative to healthy comparison subjects, IGD subjects showed significant decreased gray matter volume in PFC regions including the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the right supplementary motor area (SMA) after controlling for age and gender effects. We chose these regions as the seeding areas for the resting-state analysis and found that IGD subjects showed decreased functional connectivity between several cortical regions and our seeds, including the insula, and temporal and occipital cortices. Moreover, significant decreased functional connectivity between some important subcortical regions, i.e., dorsal striatum, pallidum, and thalamus, and our seeds were found in the IGD group and some of those changes were associated with the severity of IGD. Our results revealed the involvement of several PFC regions and related PFC-striatal circuits in the process of IGD and suggested IGD may share similar neural mechanisms with substance dependence at the circuit level.

  17. Recruitment of the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum in Parkinsonian rats following skilled aerobic exercise.

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    Wang, Zhuo; Guo, Yumei; Myers, Kalisa G; Heintz, Ryan; Holschneider, Daniel P

    2015-05-01

    Exercise modality and complexity play a key role in determining neurorehabilitative outcome in Parkinson's disease (PD). Exercise training (ET) that incorporates both motor skill training and aerobic exercise has been proposed to synergistically improve cognitive and automatic components of motor control in PD patients. Here we introduced such a skilled aerobic ET paradigm in a rat model of dopaminergic deafferentation. Rats with bilateral, intra-striatal 6-hydroxydopamine lesions were exposed to forced ET for 4weeks, either on a simple running wheel (non-skilled aerobic exercise, NSAE) or on a complex wheel with irregularly spaced rungs (skilled aerobic exercise, SAE). Cerebral perfusion was mapped during horizontal treadmill walking or at rest using [(14)C]-iodoantipyrine 1week after the completion of ET. Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was quantified by autoradiography and analyzed in 3-dimensionally reconstructed brains by statistical parametric mapping. SAE compared to NSAE resulted in equal or greater recovery in motor deficits, as well as greater increases in rCBF during walking in the prelimbic area of the prefrontal cortex, broad areas of the somatosensory cortex, and the cerebellum. NSAE compared to SAE animals showed greater activation in the dorsal caudate-putamen and dorsal hippocampus. Seed correlation analysis revealed enhanced functional connectivity in SAE compared to NSAE animals between the prelimbic cortex and motor areas, as well as altered functional connectivity between midline cerebellum and sensorimotor regions. Our study provides the first evidence for functional brain reorganization following skilled aerobic exercise in Parkinsonian rats, and suggests that SAE compared to NSAE results in enhancement of prefrontal cortex- and cerebellum-mediated control of motor function. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. The neural dynamics of competition resolution for language production in the prefrontal cortex.

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    Bourguignon, Nicolas J; Ohashi, Hiroki; Nguyen, Don; Gracco, Vincent L

    2018-03-01

    Previous research suggests a pivotal role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in word selection during tasks of confrontation naming (CN) and verb generation (VG), both of which feature varying degrees of competition between candidate responses. However, discrepancies in prefrontal activity have also been reported between the two tasks, in particular more widespread and intense activation in VG extending into (left) ventrolateral PFC, the functional significance of which remains unclear. We propose that these variations reflect differences in competition resolution processes tied to distinct underlying lexico-semantic operations: Although CN involves selecting lexical entries out of limited sets of alternatives, VG requires exploration of possible semantic relations not readily evident from the object itself, requiring prefrontal areas previously shown to be recruited in top-down retrieval of information from lexico-semantic memory. We tested this hypothesis through combined independent component analysis of functional imaging data and information-theoretic measurements of variations in selection competition associated with participants' performance in overt CN and VG tasks. Selection competition during CN engaged the anterior insula and surrounding opercular tissue, while competition during VG recruited additional activity of left ventrolateral PFC. These patterns remained after controlling for participants' speech onset latencies indicative of possible task differences in mental effort. These findings have implications for understanding the neural-computational dynamics of cognitive control in language production and how it relates to the functional architecture of adaptive behavior. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. The role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in purchase intent among older adults

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    Bryan P Koestner

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Older adults are frequently the targets of scams and deception, with millions of individuals being affected each year in the United States alone. Previous research has shown that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex may play a role in vulnerability to fraud. The current study examined brain activation patterns in relation to susceptibility to scams and fraud using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Twenty-eight healthy, community-dwelling older adults were subdivided into groups of impaired and unimpaired decision makers as determined by their performance on the Iowa Gambling Task. While in the scanner, the participants viewed advertisements that were created directly from cases deemed deceptive by the Federal Trade Commission. We then obtained behavioral measures involving comprehension of claims and purchase intentions of the product in each advertisement. Contrasts show brain activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex was less correlated with purchase intention in impaired versus unimpaired older adult decision makers. Our results have important implications for both future research and recognizing the possible causes of fraud susceptibility among older adults.

  20. Cortical thickness of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex predicts strategic choices in economic games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamagishi, Toshio; Takagishi, Haruto; Fermin, Alan de Souza Rodrigues; Kanai, Ryota; Li, Yang; Matsumoto, Yoshie

    2016-05-17

    Human prosociality has been traditionally explained in the social sciences in terms of internalized social norms. Recent neuroscientific studies extended this traditional view of human prosociality by providing evidence that prosocial choices in economic games require cognitive control of the impulsive pursuit of self-interest. However, this view is challenged by an intuitive prosociality view emphasizing the spontaneous and heuristic basis of prosocial choices in economic games. We assessed the brain structure of 411 players of an ultimatum game (UG) and a dictator game (DG) and measured the strategic reasoning ability of 386. According to the reflective norm-enforcement view of prosociality, only those capable of strategically controlling their selfish impulses give a fair share in the UG, but cognitive control capability should not affect behavior in the DG. Conversely, we support the intuitive prosociality view by showing for the first time, to our knowledge, that strategic reasoning and cortical thickness of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were not related to giving in the UG but were negatively related to giving in the DG. This implies that the uncontrolled choice in the DG is prosocial rather than selfish, and those who have a thicker dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and are capable of strategic reasoning (goal-directed use of the theory of mind) control this intuitive drive for prosociality as a means to maximize reward when there are no future implications of choices.

  1. Responses of medial and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex to interpersonal conflict for resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koban, Leonie; Pichon, Swann; Vuilleumier, Patrik

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about brain mechanisms recruited during the monitoring and appraisal of social conflicts—for instance, when individuals compete with each other for the same resources. We designed a novel experimental task inducing resource conflicts between two individuals. In an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) design, participants played with another human participant or against a computer, who across trials chose either different (no-conflict) or the same tokens (conflict trials) in order to obtain monetary gains. In conflict trials, the participants could decide whether they would share the token, and the resulting gain, with the other person or instead keep all points for themselves. Behaviorally, participants shared much more often when playing with a human partner than with a computer. fMRI results demonstrated that the dorsal mediofrontal cortex was selectively activated during human conflicts. This region might play a key role in detecting situations in which self- and social interest are incompatible and require behavioral adjustment. In addition, we found a conflict-related response in the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex that correlated with measures of social relationship and individual sharing behavior. Taken together, these findings reveal a key role of these prefrontal areas for the appraisal and resolution of interpersonal resource conflicts. PMID:23460073

  2. Interactive effects of music and prefrontal cortex stimulation in modulating response inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansouri, Farshad Alizadeh; Acevedo, Nicola; Illipparampil, Rosin; Fehring, Daniel J; Fitzgerald, Paul B; Jaberzadeh, Shapour

    2017-12-22

    Influential hypotheses propose that alterations in emotional state influence decision processes and executive control of behavior. Both music and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of prefrontal cortex affect emotional state, however interactive effects of music and tDCS on executive functions remain unknown. Learning to inhibit inappropriate responses is an important aspect of executive control which is guided by assessing the decision outcomes such as errors. We found that high-tempo music, but not low-tempo music or low-level noise, significantly influenced learning and implementation of inhibitory control. In addition, a brief period of tDCS over prefrontal cortex specifically interacted with high-tempo music and altered its effects on executive functions. Measuring event-related autonomic and arousal response of participants indicated that exposure to task demands and practice led to a decline in arousal response to the decision outcome and high-tempo music enhanced such practice-related processes. However, tDCS specifically moderated the high-tempo music effect on the arousal response to errors and concomitantly restored learning and improvement in executive functions. Here, we show that tDCS and music interactively influence the learning and implementation of inhibitory control. Our findings indicate that alterations in the arousal-emotional response to the decision outcome might underlie these interactive effects.

  3. Dampened dopamine-mediated neuromodulation in prefrontal cortex of fragile X mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Kush; Venkitaramani, Deepa V; Cox, Charles L

    2013-02-15

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common form of inheritable mental retardation caused by transcriptional silencing of the Fmr1 gene resulting in the absence of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). The role of this protein in neurons is complex and its absence gives rise to diverse alterations in neuronal function leading to neurological disorders including mental retardation, hyperactivity, cognitive impairment, obsessive-compulsive behaviour, seizure activity and autism. FMRP regulates mRNA translation at dendritic spines where synapses are formed, and thus the lack of FMRP can lead to disruptions in synaptic transmission and plasticity. Many of these neurological deficits in FXS probably involve the prefrontal cortex, and in this study, we have focused on modulatory actions of dopamine in the medial prefrontal cortex. Our data indicate that dopamine produces a long-lasting enhancement of evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) mediated by D1-type receptors seen in wild-type mice; however, such enhancement is absent in the Fmr1 knock-out (Fmr1 KO) mice. The facilitation of IPSCs produced by direct cAMP stimulation was unaffected in Fmr1 KO, but D1 receptor levels were reduced in these animals. Our results show significant disruption of dopaminergic modulation of synaptic transmission in the Fmr1 KO mice and this alteration in inhibitory activity may provide insight into potential targets for the rescue of deficits associated with FXS.

  4. Responses of medial and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex to interpersonal conflict for resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koban, Leonie; Pichon, Swann; Vuilleumier, Patrik

    2014-05-01

    Little is known about brain mechanisms recruited during the monitoring and appraisal of social conflicts--for instance, when individuals compete with each other for the same resources. We designed a novel experimental task inducing resource conflicts between two individuals. In an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) design, participants played with another human participant or against a computer, who across trials chose either different (no-conflict) or the same tokens (conflict trials) in order to obtain monetary gains. In conflict trials, the participants could decide whether they would share the token, and the resulting gain, with the other person or instead keep all points for themselves. Behaviorally, participants shared much more often when playing with a human partner than with a computer. fMRI results demonstrated that the dorsal mediofrontal cortex was selectively activated during human conflicts. This region might play a key role in detecting situations in which self- and social interest are incompatible and require behavioral adjustment. In addition, we found a conflict-related response in the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex that correlated with measures of social relationship and individual sharing behavior. Taken together, these findings reveal a key role of these prefrontal areas for the appraisal and resolution of interpersonal resource conflicts.

  5. Hope, coping skills, and the prefrontal cortex in alcohol use disorder recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradshaw, Spencer D; Shumway, Sterling T; Dsauza, Cynthia M; Morris, Neli; Hayes, Nicholas D

    2017-09-01

    Alcohol use disorders adversely affect individual and societal health. These disorders are a chronic brain disease, and protective factors against relapse should be studied. Prefrontal cortex (PFC) dysfunction is evident in alcohol use disorders, and research that explores recovery of the PFC in alcohol use disorders is needed, specifically in regard to how psychological and behavioral factors can augment medicalized treatments and protect against relapse. For example, hope or a belief that recovery is possible is an important cognitive construct-thought to precede behavioral action-that has been associated with relapse. In this study, associations between healthy coping skills and hope (psychological/behavioral factors) and PFC regional activation in response to alcohol cue exposure were examined. It was also examined whether such associations were unique to alcohol cues. Forty-two participants, 32 males and nine females in recovery from an alcohol use disorder (AUD), were administered a subjective hope and coping in recovery measure. They also viewed alcohol, positive, negative, and neutral cues during functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIR) PFC assessment. Levels of healthy coping skills positively correlated with activation in the right dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC) in response to alcohol cues. This finding was unique to alcohol cues. The association between coping skills and activation of the right DMPFC in response to alcohol cues may reflect greater action restraint and top-down PFC control processing that may protect against relapse.

  6. Motivation and Affective Judgments Differentially Recruit Neurons in the Primate Dorsolateral Prefrontal and Anterior Cingulate Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amemori, Ken-ichi; Amemori, Satoko

    2015-01-01

    The judgment of whether to accept or to reject an offer is determined by positive and negative affect related to the offer, but affect also induces motivational responses. Rewarding and aversive cues influence the firing rates of many neurons in primate prefrontal and cingulate neocortical regions, but it still is unclear whether neurons in these regions are related to affective judgment or to motivation. To address this issue, we recorded simultaneously the neuronal spike activities of single units in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) of macaque monkeys as they performed approach–avoidance (Ap–Av) and approach–approach (Ap–Ap) decision-making tasks that can behaviorally dissociate affective judgment and motivation. Notably, neurons having activity correlated with motivational condition could be distinguished from neurons having activity related to affective judgment, especially in the Ap–Av task. Although many neurons in both regions exhibited similar, selective patterns of task-related activity, we found a larger proportion of neurons activated in low motivational conditions in the dlPFC than in the ACC, and the onset of this activity was significantly earlier in the dlPFC than in the ACC. Furthermore, the temporal onsets of affective judgment represented by neuronal activities were significantly slower in the low motivational conditions than in the other conditions. These findings suggest that motivation and affective judgment both recruit dlPFC and ACC neurons but with differential degrees of involvement and timing. PMID:25653353

  7. Multiple functional attributes of glucose-monitoring neurons in the medial orbitofrontal (ventrolateral prefrontal) cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, István; Hormay, Edina; Csetényi, Bettina; Nagy, Bernadett; Lénárd, László; Karádi, Zoltán

    2018-02-01

    Multiple functional attributes of glucose-monitoring neurons in the medial orbitofrontal (ventrolateral prefrontal) cortex. NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV REV 73(1) XXX-XXX, 2017.- Special chemosensory cells, the glucose-monitoring (GM) neurons, reportedly involved in the central feeding control, exist in the medial orbitofrontal (ventrolateral prefrontal) cortex (mVLPFC). Electrophysiological, metabolic and behavioral studies reveal complex functional attributes of these cells and raise their homeostatic significance. Single neuron recordings, by means of the multibarreled microelectrophoretic technique, elucidate differential sensitivities of limbic forebrain neurons in the rat and the rhesus monkey to glucose and other chemicals, whereas gustatory stimulations demonstrate their distinct taste responsiveness. Metabolic examinations provide evidence for alteration of blood glucose level in glucose tolerance test and elevation of plasma triglyceride concentration after destruction of the local GM cells by streptozotocin (STZ). In behavioral studies, STZ microinjection into the mVLPFC fails to interfere with the acquisition of saccharin conditioned taste avoidance, does cause, however, taste perception deficit in taste reactivity tests. Multiple functional attributes of GM neurons in the mVLPFC, within the frame of the hierarchically organized central GM neuronal network, appear to play important role in the maintenance of the homeostatic balance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Extrapunitive and intropunitive individuals activate different parts of the prefrontal cortex under an ego-blocking frustration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takehiro Minamoto

    Full Text Available Different people make different responses when they face a frustrating situation: some punish others (extrapunitive, while others punish themselves (intropunitive. Few studies have investigated the neural structures that differentiate extrapunitive and intropunitive individuals. The present fMRI study explored these neural structures using two different frustrating situations: an ego-blocking situation which blocks a desire or goal, and a superego-blocking situation which blocks self-esteem. In the ego-blocking condition, the extrapunitive group (n = 9 showed greater activation in the bilateral ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, indicating that these individuals prefer emotional processing. On the other hand, the intropunitive group (n = 9 showed greater activation in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, possibly reflecting an effortful control for anger reduction. Such patterns were not observed in the superego-blocking condition. These results indicate that the prefrontal cortex is the source of individual differences in aggression direction in the ego-blocking situation.

  9. Extrapunitive and intropunitive individuals activate different parts of the prefrontal cortex under an ego-blocking frustration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minamoto, Takehiro; Osaka, Mariko; Yaoi, Ken; Osaka, Naoyuki

    2014-01-01

    Different people make different responses when they face a frustrating situation: some punish others (extrapunitive), while others punish themselves (intropunitive). Few studies have investigated the neural structures that differentiate extrapunitive and intropunitive individuals. The present fMRI study explored these neural structures using two different frustrating situations: an ego-blocking situation which blocks a desire or goal, and a superego-blocking situation which blocks self-esteem. In the ego-blocking condition, the extrapunitive group (n = 9) showed greater activation in the bilateral ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, indicating that these individuals prefer emotional processing. On the other hand, the intropunitive group (n = 9) showed greater activation in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, possibly reflecting an effortful control for anger reduction. Such patterns were not observed in the superego-blocking condition. These results indicate that the prefrontal cortex is the source of individual differences in aggression direction in the ego-blocking situation.

  10. Shared and distinct contributions of rostrolateral prefrontal cortex to analogical reasoning and episodic memory retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westphal, Andrew J; Reggente, Nicco; Ito, Kaori L; Rissman, Jesse

    2016-03-01

    Rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC) is widely appreciated to support higher cognitive functions, including analogical reasoning and episodic memory retrieval. However, these tasks have typically been studied in isolation, and thus it is unclear whether they involve common or distinct RLPFC mechanisms. Here, we introduce a novel functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) task paradigm to compare brain activity during reasoning and memory tasks while holding bottom-up perceptual stimulation and response demands constant. Univariate analyses on fMRI data from twenty participants identified a large swath of left lateral prefrontal cortex, including RLPFC, that showed common engagement on reasoning trials with valid analogies and memory trials with accurately retrieved source details. Despite broadly overlapping recruitment, multi-voxel activity patterns within left RLPFC reliably differentiated these two trial types, highlighting the presence of at least partially distinct information processing modes. Functional connectivity analyses demonstrated that while left RLPFC showed consistent coupling with the fronto-parietal control network across tasks, its coupling with other cortical areas varied in a task-dependent manner. During the memory task, this region strengthened its connectivity with the default mode and memory retrieval networks, whereas during the reasoning task it coupled more strongly with a nearby left prefrontal region (BA 45) associated with semantic processing, as well as with a superior parietal region associated with visuospatial processing. Taken together, these data suggest a domain-general role for left RLPFC in monitoring and/or integrating task-relevant knowledge representations and showcase how its function cannot solely be attributed to episodic memory or analogical reasoning computations. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. The Role of the Rat Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Adapting to Changes in Instrumental Contingency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coutureau, Etienne; Esclassan, Frederic; Di Scala, Georges; Marchand, Alain R.

    2012-01-01

    In order to select actions appropriate to current needs, a subject must identify relationships between actions and events. Control over the environment is determined by the degree to which action consequences can be predicted, as described by action-outcome contingencies – i.e. performing an action should affect the probability of the outcome. We evaluated in a first experiment adaptation to contingency changes in rats with neurotoxic lesions of the medial prefrontal cortex. Results indicate that this brain region is not critical to adjust instrumental responding to a negative contingency where the rats must refrain from pressing a lever, as this action prevents reward delivery. By contrast, this brain region is required to reduce responding in a non-contingent situation where the same number of rewards is freely delivered and actions do not affect the outcome any more. In a second experiment, we determined that this effect does not result from a different perception of temporal relationships between actions and outcomes since lesioned rats adapted normally to gradually increasing delays in reward delivery. These data indicate that the medial prefrontal cortex is not directly involved in evaluating the correlation between action-and reward-rates or in the perception of reward delays. The deficit in lesioned rats appears to consist of an abnormal response to the balance between contingent and non-contingent rewards. By highlighting the role of prefrontal regions in adapting to the causal status of actions, these data contribute to our understanding of the neural basis of choice tasks. PMID:22496747

  12. Guanfacine modulates the influence of emotional cues on prefrontal cortex activation for cognitive control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, Kurt P; Clerkin, Suzanne M; Fan, Jin; Halperin, Jeffrey M; Newcorn, Jeffrey H

    2013-03-01

    Functional interactions between limbic regions that process emotions and frontal networks that guide response functions provide a substrate for emotional cues to influence behavior. Stimulation of postsynaptic α₂ adrenoceptors enhances the function of prefrontal regions in these networks. However, the impact of this stimulation on the emotional biasing of behavior has not been established. This study tested the effect of the postsynaptic α₂ adrenoceptor agonist guanfacine on the emotional biasing of response execution and inhibition in prefrontal cortex. Fifteen healthy young adults were scanned twice with functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing a face emotion go/no-go task following counterbalanced administration of single doses of oral guanfacine (1 mg) and placebo in a double-blind, cross-over design. Lower perceptual sensitivity and less response bias for sad faces resulted in fewer correct responses compared to happy and neutral faces but had no effect on correct inhibitions. Guanfacine increased the sensitivity and bias selectively for sad faces, resulting in response accuracy comparable to happy and neutral faces, and reversed the valence-dependent variation in response-related activation in left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), resulting in enhanced activation for response execution cued by sad faces relative to happy and neutral faces, in line with other frontoparietal regions. These results provide evidence that guanfacine stimulation of postsynaptic α₂ adrenoceptors moderates DLPFC activation associated with the emotional biasing of response execution processes. The findings have implications for the α₂ adrenoceptor agonist treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

  13. Reversal of Cocaine-Associated Synaptic Plasticity in Medial Prefrontal Cortex Parallels Elimination of Memory Retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otis, James M; Mueller, Devin

    2017-09-01

    Addiction is characterized by abnormalities in prefrontal cortex that are thought to allow drug-associated cues to drive compulsive drug seeking and taking. Identification and reversal of these pathologic neuroadaptations are therefore critical for treatment of addiction. Previous studies using rodents reveal that drugs of abuse cause dendritic spine plasticity in prelimbic medial prefrontal cortex (PL-mPFC) pyramidal neurons, a phenomenon that correlates with the strength of drug-associated memories in vivo. Thus, we hypothesized that cocaine-evoked plasticity in PL-mPFC may underlie cocaine-associated memory retrieval, and therefore disruption of this plasticity would prevent retrieval. Indeed, using patch clamp electrophysiology we find that cocaine place conditioning increases excitatory presynaptic and postsynaptic transmission in rat PL-mPFC pyramidal neurons. This was accounted for by increases in excitatory presynaptic release, paired-pulse facilitation, and increased AMPA receptor transmission. Noradrenergic signaling is known to maintain glutamatergic plasticity upon reactivation of modified circuits, and we therefore next determined whether inhibition of noradrenergic signaling during memory reactivation would reverse the cocaine-evoked plasticity and/or disrupt the cocaine-associated memory. We find that administration of the β-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol before memory retrieval, but not after (during memory reconsolidation), reverses the cocaine-evoked presynaptic and postsynaptic modifications in PL-mPFC and causes long-lasting memory impairments. Taken together, these data reveal that cocaine-evoked synaptic plasticity in PL-mPFC is reversible in vivo, and suggest a novel strategy that would allow normalization of prefrontal circuitry in addiction.

  14. Activation of 5-HT2 receptors enhances the release of acetylcholine in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nair, Sunila G; Gudelsky, Gary A

    2004-09-15

    The role of 5-HT2 receptors in the regulation of acetylcholine (ACh) release was examined in the medial prefrontal cortex and dorsal hippocampus using in vivo microdialysis. The 5-HT(2A/2C) agonist +/-1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl) -2- aminopropane hydrochloride (DOI) (1 and 2 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly increased the extracellular concentration of ACh in both brain regions, and this response was attenuated in rats treated with the 5-HT(2A/2B/2C) antagonist LY-53,857 (3 mg/kg, i.p.). Treatment with LY-53,857 alone did not significantly alter ACh release in either brain region The 5-HT(2C) agonist 6-chloro-2-(1-piperazinyl)-pyrazine) (MK-212) (5 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly enhanced the release of ACh in both the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, whereas the 5-HT2 agonist mescaline (10 mg/kg, i.p.) produced a 2-fold increase in ACh release only in the prefrontal cortex. Intracortical, but not intrahippocampal, infusion of DOI (100 microM) significantly enhanced the release of ACh, and intracortical infusion of LY-53,857 (100 microM) significantly attenuated this response. These results suggest that the release of ACh in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus is influenced by 5-HT2 receptor mechanisms. The increase in release of ACh induced by DOI in the prefrontal cortex, but not in the hippocampus, appears to be due to 5-HT2 receptor mechanisms localized within this brain region. Furthermore, it appears that the prefrontal cortex is more sensitive than the dorsal hippocampus to the stimulatory effect of 5-HT2 agonists on ACh release.

  15. The time course of activity in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex during top-down attentional control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silton, Rebecca Levin; Heller, Wendy; Towers, David N; Engels, Anna S; Spielberg, Jeffrey M; Edgar, J Christopher; Sass, Sarah M; Stewart, Jennifer L; Sutton, Bradley P; Banich, Marie T; Miller, Gregory A

    2010-04-15

    A network of brain regions has been implicated in top-down attentional control, including left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (LDLPFC) and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC). The present experiment evaluated predictions of the cascade-of-control model (Banich, 2009), which predicts that during attentionally-demanding tasks, LDLPFC imposes a top-down attentional set which precedes late-stage selection performed by dACC. Furthermore, the cascade-of-control model argues that dACC must increase its activity to compensate when top-down control by LDLPFC is poor. The present study tested these hypotheses using fMRI and dense-array ERP data collected from the same 80 participants in separate sessions. fMRI results guided ERP source modeling to characterize the time course of activity in LDLPFC and dACC. As predicted, dACC activity subsequent to LDLPFC activity distinguished congruent and incongruent conditions on the Stroop task. Furthermore, when LDLPFC activity was low, the level of dACC activity was related to performance outcome. These results demonstrate that dACC responds to attentional demand in a flexible manner that is dependent on the level of LDLPFC activity earlier in a trial. Overall, results were consistent with the temporal course of regional brain function proposed by the cascade-of-control model. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Shifting brain inhibitory balance and connectivity of the prefrontal cortex of adults with autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ajram, L A; Horder, J; Mendez, M A; Galanopoulos, A; Brennan, L P; Wichers, R H; Robertson, D M; Murphy, C M; Zinkstok, J; Ivin, G; Heasman, M; Meek, D; Tricklebank, M D; Barker, G J; Lythgoe, D J; Edden, R A E; Williams, S C; Murphy, D G M; McAlonan, G M

    2017-05-23

    Currently, there are no effective pharmacologic treatments for the core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). There is, nevertheless, potential for progress. For example, recent evidence suggests that the excitatory (E) glutamate and inhibitory (I) GABA systems may be altered in ASD. However, no prior studies of ASD have examined the 'responsivity' of the E-I system to pharmacologic challenge; or whether E-I modulation alters abnormalities in functional connectivity of brain regions implicated in the disorder. Therefore, we used magnetic resonance spectroscopy ([1H]MRS) to measure prefrontal E-I flux in response to the glutamate and GABA acting drug riluzole in adult men with and without ASD. We compared the change in prefrontal 'Inhibitory Index'-the GABA fraction within the pool of glutamate plus GABA metabolites-post riluzole challenge; and the impact of riluzole on differences in resting-state functional connectivity. Despite no baseline differences in E-I balance, there was a significant group difference in response to pharmacologic challenge. Riluzole increased the prefrontal cortex inhibitory index in ASD but decreased it in controls. There was also a significant group difference in prefrontal functional connectivity at baseline, which was abolished by riluzole within the ASD group. Our results also show, for we believe the first time in ASD, that E-I flux can be 'shifted' with a pharmacologic challenge, but that responsivity is significantly different from controls. Further, our initial evidence suggests that abnormalities in functional connectivity can be 'normalised' by targeting E-I, even in adults.

  17. Increases in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and decreases the rostral prefrontal cortex activation after-8 weeks of focused attention based mindfulness meditation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasino, Barbara; Fabbro, Franco

    2016-02-01

    Mindfulness meditation is a form of attention control training. The training exercises the ability to repeatedly focus attention. We addressed the activation changes related to an 8-weeks mindfulness-oriented focused attention meditation training on an initially naïve subject cohort. Before and after training participants underwent an fMRI experiment, thus, although not strictly a cross over design, they served as their internal own control. During fMRI they exercised focused attention on breathing and body scan as compared to resting. We found increased and decreased activation in different parts of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) by comparing pre- vs. post-mindfulness training (MT) during breathing and body scan meditation exercises that were compared against their own resting state. In the post-MT (vs. pre-MT) meditation increased activation in the right dorsolateral PFC and in the left caudate/anterior insula and decreased activation in the rostral PFC and right parietal area 3b. Thus a brief mindfulness training caused increased activation in areas involved in sustaining and monitoring the focus of attention (dorsolateral PFC), consistent with the aim of mindfulness that is exercising focused attention mechanisms, and in the left caudate/anterior insula involved in attention and corporeal awareness and decreased activation in areas part of the "default mode" network and is involved in mentalizing (rostral PFC), consistent with the ability trained by mindfulness of reducing spontaneous mind wandering. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Fatty acid composition of the postmortem prefrontal cortex of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamazaki, Kei; Maekawa, Motoko; Toyota, Tomoko; Dean, Brian; Hamazaki, Tomohito; Yoshikawa, Takeo

    2015-06-30

    Postmortem brain studies have shown abnormal levels of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), especially docosahexaenoic acid, in the frontal cortex (particularly the orbitofrontal cortex) of patients with depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder. However, the results from regions in the frontal cortex other than the orbitofrontal cortex are inconsistent. In this study we investigated whether patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depressive disorder have abnormalities in PUFA levels in the prefrontal cortex [Brodmann area (BA) 8]. In postmortem studies, fatty acids in the phospholipids of the prefrontal cortex (BA8) were evaluated by thin layer chromatography and gas chromatography. Specimens were evaluated for patients with schizophrenia (n=15), bipolar disorder (n=15), or major depressive disorder (n=15) and compared with unaffected controls (n=15). In contrast to previous studies, we found no significant differences in the levels of PUFAs or other fatty acids in the prefrontal cortex (BA8) between patients and controls. Subanalysis by sex also showed no significant differences. No significant differences were found in any individual fatty acids between suicide and non-suicide cases. These psychiatric disorders might be characterized by very specific fatty acid compositions in certain areas of the brain, and BA8 might not be involved in abnormalities of PUFA metabolism. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Behavioral control blunts reactions to contemporaneous and future adverse events: Medial prefrontal cortex plasticity and a corticostriatal network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven F. Maier

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available It has been known for many years that the ability to exert behavioral control over an adverse event blunts the behavioral and neurochemical impact of the event. More recently, it has become clear that the experience of behavioral control over adverse events also produces enduring changes that reduce the effects of subsequent negative events, even if they are uncontrollable and quite different from the original event controlled. This review focuses on the mechanism by which control both limits the impact of the stressor being experienced and produces enduring, trans-situational “immunization”. The evidence will suggest that control is detected by a corticostriatal circuit involving the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC and the posterior dorsomedial striatum (DMS. Once control is detected, other mPFC neurons that project to stress-responsive brainstem (dorsal raphe nucleus, DRN and limbic (amygdala structures exert top–down inhibitory control over the activation of these structures that is produced by the adverse event. These structures, such as the DRN and amygdala, in turn regulate the proximate mediators of the behavioral and physiological responses produced by adverse events, and so control blunts these responses. Importantly, the joint occurrence of control and adverse events seems to produce enduring plastic changes in the top–down inhibitory mPFC system such that this system is now activated by later adverse events even if they are uncontrollable, thereby reducing the impact of these events. Other issues are discussed that include a whether other processes such as safety signals and exercise, that lead to resistance/resilience, also use the mPFC circuitry or do so in other ways; b whether control has similar effects and neural mediation in humans, and c the relationship of this work to clinical phenomena.

  20. A functional difference in information processing between orbitofrontal cortex and ventral striatum during decision-making behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stott, Jeffrey J; Redish, A David

    2014-11-05

    Both orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and ventral striatum (vStr) have been identified as key structures that represent information about value in decision-making tasks. However, the dynamics of how this information is processed are not yet understood. We recorded ensembles of cells from OFC and vStr in rats engaged in the spatial adjusting delay-discounting task, a decision-making task that involves a trade-off between delay to and magnitude of reward. Ventral striatal neural activity signalled information about reward before the rat's decision, whereas such reward-related signals were absent in OFC until after the animal had committed to its decision. These data support models in which vStr is directly involved in action selection, but OFC processes decision-related information afterwards that can be used to compare the predicted and actual consequences of behaviour. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  1. Lateralized Contribution of Prefrontal Cortex in Controlling Task-Irrelevant Information during Verbal and Spatial Working Memory Tasks: rTMS Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandrini, Marco; Rossini, Paolo Maria; Miniussi, Carlo

    2008-01-01

    The functional organization of working memory (WM) in the human prefrontal cortex remains unclear. The present study used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to clarify the role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) both in the types of information (verbal vs. spatial), and the types of processes (maintenance vs.…

  2. Levels of integration in cognitive control and sequence processing in the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahlmann, Jörg; Korb, Franziska M; Gratton, Caterina; Friederici, Angela D

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive control is necessary to flexibly act in changing environments. Sequence processing is needed in language comprehension to build the syntactic structure in sentences. Functional imaging studies suggest that sequence processing engages the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC). In contrast, cognitive control processes additionally recruit bilateral rostral lateral PFC regions. The present study aimed to investigate these two types of processes in one experimental paradigm. Sequence processing was manipulated using two different sequencing rules varying in complexity. Cognitive control was varied with different cue-sets that determined the choice of a sequencing rule. Univariate analyses revealed distinct PFC regions for the two types of processing (i.e. sequence processing: left ventrolateral PFC and cognitive control processing: bilateral dorsolateral and rostral PFC). Moreover, in a common brain network (including left lateral PFC and intraparietal sulcus) no interaction between sequence and cognitive control processing was observed. In contrast, a multivariate pattern analysis revealed an interaction of sequence and cognitive control processing, such that voxels in left lateral PFC and parietal cortex showed different tuning functions for tasks involving different sequencing and cognitive control demands. These results suggest that the difference between the process of rule selection (i.e. cognitive control) and the process of rule-based sequencing (i.e. sequence processing) find their neuronal underpinnings in distinct activation patterns in lateral PFC. Moreover, the combination of rule selection and rule sequencing can shape the response of neurons in lateral PFC and parietal cortex.

  3. The role of the medial prefrontal cortex in the play fighting of rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Heather C; McCaffrey, David R; Forgie, Margaret L; Kolb, Bryan; Pellis, Sergio M

    2009-12-01

    Although decorticated rats are able to engage in play, their play is abnormal in three ways. First, decorticates do not display the normal, age-related shifts in defensive strategies during development. Second, decorticates do not modify their defensive tactics in response to the social identity of their partners. Third, decorticates display a global shift in defensive tactics from more complex to less complex strategies. It has been shown that lesions of the motor cortex (MC) selectively produce the abnormal developmental effects on play, and that lesions of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) selectively produce the deficits in behavioral discrimination between social partners. In the current set of experiments, we demonstrate that lesions of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) produce the shift from more complex to less complex defensive tactics, while leaving intact the age-related and partner-related modulation of defensive strategies. Thus, we have evidence for a triple dissociation of function between the MC, the OFC, and the mPFC with respect to social play behavior.

  4. Initiation and slow propagation of epileptiform activity from ventral to dorsal medial entorhinal cortex is constrained by an inhibitory gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridler, Thomas; Matthews, Peter; Phillips, Keith G; Randall, Andrew D; Brown, Jonathan T

    2018-03-31

    The medial entorhinal cortex (mEC) has an important role in initiation and propagation of seizure activity. Several anatomical relationships exist in neurophysiological properties of mEC neurons; however, in the context of hyperexcitability, previous studies often considered it as a homogeneous structure. Using multi-site extracellular recording techniques, ictal-like activity was observed along the dorso-ventral axis of the mEC in vitro in response to various ictogenic stimuli. This originated predominantly from ventral areas, spreading to dorsal mEC with a surprisingly slow velocity. Modulation of inhibitory tone was capable of changing the slope of ictal initiation, suggesting seizure propagation behaviours are highly dependent on levels of GABAergic function in this region. A distinct disinhibition model also showed, in the absence of inhibition, a prevalence for interictal-like initiation in ventral mEC, reflecting the intrinsic differences in mEC neurons. These findings suggest the ventral mEC is more prone to hyperexcitable discharge than the dorsal mEC, which may be relevant under pathological conditions. The medial entorhinal cortex (mEC) has an important role in the generation and propagation of seizure activity. The organization of the mEC is such that a number of dorso-ventral relationships exist in neurophysiological properties of neurons. These range from intrinsic and synaptic properties to density of inhibitory connectivity. We examined the influence of these gradients on generation and propagation of epileptiform activity in the mEC. Using a 16-shank silicon probe array to record along the dorso-ventral axis of the mEC in vitro, we found 4-aminopyridine application produces ictal-like activity originating predominantly in ventral areas. This activity spreads to dorsal mEC at a surprisingly slow velocity (138 μm s -1 ), while cross-site interictal-like activity appeared relatively synchronous. We propose that ictal propagation is constrained by

  5. The transition from childhood to adolescence is marked by a general decrease in amygdala reactivity and an affect-specific ventral-to-dorsal shift in medial prefrontal recruitment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer A. Silvers

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Understanding how and why affective responses change with age is central to characterizing typical and atypical emotional development. Prior work has emphasized the role of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex (PFC, which show age-related changes in function and connectivity. However, developmental neuroimaging research has only recently begun to unpack whether age effects in the amygdala and PFC are specific to affective stimuli or may be found for neutral stimuli as well, a possibility that would support a general, rather than affect-specific, account of amygdala-PFC development. To examine this, 112 individuals ranging from 6 to 23 years of age viewed aversive and neutral images while undergoing fMRI scanning. Across age, participants reported more negative affect and showed greater amygdala responses for aversive than neutral stimuli. However, children were generally more sensitive to both neutral and aversive stimuli, as indexed by affective reports and amygdala responses. At the same time, the transition from childhood to adolescence was marked by a ventral-to-dorsal shift in medial prefrontal responses to aversive, but not neutral, stimuli. Given the role that dmPFC plays in executive control and higher-level representations of emotion, these results suggest that adolescence is characterized by a shift towards representing emotional events in increasingly cognitive terms.

  6. The transition from childhood to adolescence is marked by a general decrease in amygdala reactivity and an affect-specific ventral-to-dorsal shift in medial prefrontal recruitment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvers, Jennifer A; Insel, Catherine; Powers, Alisa; Franz, Peter; Helion, Chelsea; Martin, Rebecca; Weber, Jochen; Mischel, Walter; Casey, B J; Ochsner, Kevin N

    2017-06-01

    Understanding how and why affective responses change with age is central to characterizing typical and atypical emotional development. Prior work has emphasized the role of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex (PFC), which show age-related changes in function and connectivity. However, developmental neuroimaging research has only recently begun to unpack whether age effects in the amygdala and PFC are specific to affective stimuli or may be found for neutral stimuli as well, a possibility that would support a general, rather than affect-specific, account of amygdala-PFC development. To examine this, 112 individuals ranging from 6 to 23 years of age viewed aversive and neutral images while undergoing fMRI scanning. Across age, participants reported more negative affect and showed greater amygdala responses for aversive than neutral stimuli. However, children were generally more sensitive to both neutral and aversive stimuli, as indexed by affective reports and amygdala responses. At the same time, the transition from childhood to adolescence was marked by a ventral-to-dorsal shift in medial prefrontal responses to aversive, but not neutral, stimuli. Given the role that dmPFC plays in executive control and higher-level representations of emotion, these results suggest that adolescence is characterized by a shift towards representing emotional events in increasingly cognitive terms. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  7. The role of rostral prefrontal cortex in prospective memory: a voxel-based lesion study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volle, Emmanuelle; Gonen-Yaacovi, Gil; Costello, Angela de Lacy; Gilbert, Sam J; Burgess, Paul W

    2011-07-01

    Patients with lesions in rostral prefrontal cortex (PFC) often experience problems in everyday-life situations requiring multitasking. A key cognitive component that is critical in multitasking situations is prospective memory, defined as the ability to carry out an intended action after a delay period filled with unrelated activity. The few functional imaging studies investigating prospective memory have shown consistent activation in both medial and lateral rostral PFC but also in more posterior prefrontal regions and non-frontal regions. The aim of this study was to determine regions that are necessary for prospective memory performance, using the human lesion approach. We designed an experimental paradigm allowing us to assess time-based (remembering to do something at a particular time) and event-based (remembering to do something in a particular situation) prospective memory, using two types of material, words and pictures. Time estimation tasks and tasks controlling for basic attention, inhibition and multiple instructions processing were also administered. We examined brain-behaviour relationships with a voxelwise lesion method in 45 patients with focal brain lesions and 107 control subjects using this paradigm. The results showed that lesions in the right polar prefrontal region (in Brodmann area 10) were specifically associated with a deficit in time-based prospective memory tasks for both words and pictures. This deficit could not be explained by impairments in basic attention, detection, inhibition or multiple instruction processing, and there was also no deficit in event-based prospective memory conditions. In addition to their prospective memory difficulties, these polar prefrontal patients were significantly impaired in time estimation ability compared to other patients. The same region was found to be involved using both words and pictures, suggesting that right rostral PFC plays a material nonspecific role in prospective memory. This is the first

  8. INCREASES IN FUNCTIONAL CONNECTIVITY BETWEEN PREFRONTAL CORTEX AND STRIATUM DURING CATEGORY LEARNING

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antzoulatos, Evan G.; Miller, Earl K.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Functional connectivity between the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and striatum (STR) is thought critical for cognition, and has been linked to conditions like autism and schizophrenia. We recorded from multiple electrodes in PFC and STR while monkeys acquired new categories. Category learning was accompanied by an increase in beta-band synchronization of LFPs between, but not within, the PFC and STR. After learning, different pairs of PFC-STR electrodes showed stronger synchrony for one or the other category, suggesting category-specific functional circuits. This category-specific synchrony was also seen between PFC spikes and STR LFPs, but not the reverse, reflecting the direct monosynaptic connections from the PFC to STR. However, causal connectivity analyses suggested that the polysynaptic connections from STR to the PFC exerted a stronger overall influence. This supports models positing that the basal ganglia “train” the PFC. Category learning may depend on the formation of functional circuits between the PFC and STR. PMID:24930701

  9. Dorsal medial prefrontal cortex contributes to conditioned taste aversion memory consolidation and retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, Maria Carolina; Villar, Maria Eugenia; Igaz, Lionel M; Viola, Haydée; Medina, Jorge H

    2015-12-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is known for its role in decision making and memory processing, including the participation in the formation of extinction memories. However, little is known regarding its contribution to aversive memory consolidation. Here we demonstrate that neural activity and protein synthesis are required in the dorsal mPFC for memory formation of a conditioned taste aversion (CTA) task and that this region is involved in the retrieval of recent and remote long-term CTA memory. In addition, both NMDA receptor and CaMKII activity in dorsal mPFC are needed for CTA memory consolidation, highlighting the complexity of mPFC functions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. The amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex: functional contributions and dysfunction in psychopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, R J R

    2008-08-12

    The current paper examines the functional contributions of the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and the evidence that the functioning of these systems is compromised in individuals with psychopathy. The amygdala is critical for the formation of stimulus-reinforcement associations, both punishment and reward based, and the processing of emotional expressions. vmPFC is critical for the representation of reinforcement expectancies and, owing to this, decision making. Neuropsychological and neuroimaging data from individuals with psychopathy are examined. It is concluded that these critical functions of the amygdala and vmPFC, and their interaction, are compromised in individuals with the disorder. It is argued that these impairments lead to the development of psychopathy.

  11. Medial prefrontal cortex dopamine controls the persistent storage of aversive memories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, María C.; Kramar, Cecilia P.; Tomaiuolo, Micol; Katche, Cynthia; Weisstaub, Noelia; Cammarota, Martín; Medina, Jorge H.

    2014-01-01

    Medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is essential for initial memory processing and expression but its involvement in persistent memory storage has seldom been studied. Using the hippocampus dependent inhibitory avoidance learning task and the hippocampus-independent conditioned taste aversion paradigm together with specific dopamine receptor agonists and antagonists we found that persistence but not formation of long-term aversive memories requires dopamine D1/D5 receptors activation in mPFC immediately after training and, depending on the task, between 6 and 12 h later. Our results indicate that besides its well-known participation in retrieval and early consolidation, mPFC also modulates the endurance of long-lasting aversive memories regardless of whether formation of the aversive mnemonic trace requires the participation of the hippocampus. PMID:25506318

  12. Impaired Functional Connectivity in the Prefrontal Cortex: A Mechanism for Chronic Stress-Induced Neuropsychiatric Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ignacio Negrón-Oyarzo

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Chronic stress-related psychiatric diseases, such as major depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia, are characterized by a maladaptive organization of behavioral responses that strongly affect the well-being of patients. Current evidence suggests that a functional impairment of the prefrontal cortex (PFC is implicated in the pathophysiology of these diseases. Therefore, chronic stress may impair PFC functions required for the adaptive orchestration of behavioral responses. In the present review, we integrate evidence obtained from cognitive neuroscience with neurophysiological research with animal models, to put forward a hypothesis that addresses stress-induced behavioral dysfunctions observed in stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders. We propose that chronic stress impairs mechanisms involved in neuronal functional connectivity in the PFC that are required for the formation of adaptive representations for the execution of adaptive behavioral responses. These considerations could be particularly relevant for understanding the pathophysiology of chronic stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders.

  13. Neuroanatomical Substrates of Rodent Social Behavior: The Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Its Projection Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ko, Jaewon

    2017-01-01

    Social behavior encompasses a number of distinctive and complex constructs that form the core elements of human imitative culture, mainly represented as either affiliative or antagonistic interactions with conspecifics. Traditionally considered in the realm of psychology, social behavior research has benefited from recent advancements in neuroscience that have accelerated identification of the neural systems, circuits, causative genes and molecular mechanisms that underlie distinct social cognitive traits. In this review article, I summarize recent findings regarding the neuroanatomical substrates of key social behaviors, focusing on results from experiments conducted in rodent models. In particular, I will review the role of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and downstream subcortical structures in controlling social behavior, and discuss pertinent future research perspectives. PMID:28659766

  14. Bidirectional control of social hierarchy by synaptic efficacy in medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Fei; Zhu, Jun; Zhu, Hong; Zhang, Qi; Lin, Zhanmin; Hu, Hailan

    2011-11-04

    Dominance hierarchy has a profound impact on animals' survival, health, and reproductive success, but its neural circuit mechanism is virtually unknown. We found that dominance ranking in mice is transitive, relatively stable, and highly correlates among multiple behavior measures. Recording from layer V pyramidal neurons of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) showed higher strength of excitatory synaptic inputs in mice with higher ranking, as compared with their subordinate cage mates. Furthermore, molecular manipulations that resulted in an increase and decrease in the synaptic efficacy in dorsal mPFC neurons caused an upward and downward movement in the social rank, respectively. These results provide direct evidence for mPFC's involvement in social hierarchy and suggest that social rank is plastic and can be tuned by altering synaptic strength in mPFC pyramidal cells.

  15. Neural correlates of depth of strategic reasoning in medial prefrontal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coricelli, Giorgio; Nagel, Rosemarie

    2009-01-01

    We used functional MRI (fMRI) to investigate human mental processes in a competitive interactive setting—the “beauty contest” game. This game is well-suited for investigating whether and how a player's mental processing incorporates the thinking process of others in strategic reasoning. We apply a cognitive hierarchy model to classify subject's choices in the experimental game according to the degree of strategic reasoning so that we can identify the neural substrates of different levels of strategizing. According to this model, high-level reasoners expect the others to behave strategically, whereas low-level reasoners choose based on the expectation that others will choose randomly. The data show that high-level reasoning and a measure of strategic IQ (related to winning in the game) correlate with the neural activity in the medial prefrontal cortex, demonstrating its crucial role in successful mentalizing. This supports a cognitive hierarchy model of human brain and behavior. PMID:19470476

  16. Attention, emotion, and deactivation of default activity in inferior medial prefrontal cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Geday, Jacob; Gjedde, Albert

    2008-01-01

    Attention deactivates the inferior medial prefrontal cortex (IMPC), but it is uncertain if emotions can attenuate this deactivation. To test the extent to which common emotions interfere with attention, we measured changes of a blood flow index of brain activity in key areas of the IMPC...... with positron emission tomography (PET) of labeled water (H(15)2O) uptake in brain of 14 healthy subjects. The subjects performed either a less demanding or a more demanding task of attention while they watched neutral and emotive images of people in realistic indoor or outdoor situations. In the less demanding...... cortices, revealed significant activation in the fusiform gyrus, independently of the task. In contrast, we found no effect of emotional content in the IMPC, where emotions failed to override the effect of the task. The results are consistent with a role of the IMPC in the selection among competitive...

  17. Chronic stress from adolescence to aging in the prefrontal cortex: A neuroimmune perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macht, Victoria A; Reagan, Lawrence P

    2018-04-01

    The development of the organism is a critical variable which influences the magnitude, duration, and reversibility of the effects of chronic stress. Such factors are relevant to the prefrontal cortex (PFC), as this brain region is the last to mature, the first to decline, and is highly stress-sensitive. Therefore, this review will examine the intersection between the nervous system and immune system at glutamatergic synapses in the PFC across three developmental periods: adolescence, adulthood, and aging. Glutamatergic synapses are tightly juxtaposed with microglia and astrocytes, and each of these cell types exhibits their own developmental trajectory. Not only does chronic stress differentially impact each of these cell types across development, but chronic stress also alters intercellular communication within this quad-partite synapse. These observations suggest that developmental shifts in both neural and immune function across neurons, microglia, and astrocytes mediate shifting effects of chronic stress on glutamatergic transmission. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Neonatal isolation augments social dominance by altering actin dynamics in the medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tada, Hirobumi; Miyazaki, Tomoyuki; Takemoto, Kiwamu; Takase, Kenkichi; Jitsuki, Susumu; Nakajima, Waki; Koide, Mayu; Yamamoto, Naoko; Komiya, Kasane; Suyama, Kumiko; Sano, Akane; Taguchi, Akiko; Takahashi, Takuya

    2016-10-25

    Social separation early in life can lead to the development of impaired interpersonal relationships and profound social disorders. However, the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms involved are largely unknown. Here, we found that isolation of neonatal rats induced glucocorticoid-dependent social dominance over nonisolated control rats in juveniles from the same litter. Furthermore, neonatal isolation inactivated the actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin in the juvenile medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Isolation-induced inactivation of ADF/cofilin increased stable actin fractions at dendritic spines in the juvenile mPFC, decreasing glutamate synaptic AMPA receptors. Expression of constitutively active ADF/cofilin in the mPFC rescued the effect of isolation on social dominance. Thus, neonatal isolation affects spines in the mPFC by reducing actin dynamics, leading to altered social behavior later in life.

  19. Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, working memory and episodic memory processes: insight through transcranial magnetic stimulation techniques

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Michela Balconi

    2013-01-01

    The ability to recall and recognize facts we experienced in the past is based on a complex mechanism in which several cerebral regions are implicated.Neuroimaging and lesion studies agree in identifying the frontal lobe as a crucial structure for memory processes,and in particular for working memory and episodic memory and their relationships.Furthermore,with the introduction of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) a new way was proposed to investigate the relationships between brain correlates,memory functions and behavior.The aim of this review is to present the main findings that have emerged from experiments which used the TMS technique for memory analysis.They mainly focused on the role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in memory process.Furthermore,we present state-of-the-art evidence supporting a possible use of TMS in the clinic.Specifically we focus on the treatment of memory deficits in depression and anxiety disorders.

  20. Listen, Learn, Like! Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Involved in the Mere Exposure Effect in Music

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anders C. Green

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the neural basis of the mere exposure effect in music listening, which links previous exposure to liking. Prior to scanning, participants underwent a learning phase, where exposure to melodies was systematically varied. During scanning, participants rated liking for each melody and, later, their recognition of them. Participants showed learning effects, better recognising melodies heard more often. Melodies heard most often were most liked, consistent with the mere exposure effect. We found neural activations as a function of previous exposure in bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal and inferior parietal cortex, probably reflecting retrieval and working memory-related processes. This was despite the fact that the task during scanning was to judge liking, not recognition, thus suggesting that appreciation of music relies strongly on memory processes. Subjective liking per se caused differential activation in the left hemisphere, of the anterior insula, the caudate nucleus, and the putamen.

  1. Listen, learn, like! Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex involved in the mere exposure effect in music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Anders C; Bærentsen, Klaus B; Stødkilde-Jørgensen, Hans; Roepstorff, Andreas; Vuust, Peter

    2012-01-01

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the neural basis of the mere exposure effect in music listening, which links previous exposure to liking. Prior to scanning, participants underwent a learning phase, where exposure to melodies was systematically varied. During scanning, participants rated liking for each melody and, later, their recognition of them. Participants showed learning effects, better recognising melodies heard more often. Melodies heard most often were most liked, consistent with the mere exposure effect. We found neural activations as a function of previous exposure in bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal and inferior parietal cortex, probably reflecting retrieval and working memory-related processes. This was despite the fact that the task during scanning was to judge liking, not recognition, thus suggesting that appreciation of music relies strongly on memory processes. Subjective liking per se caused differential activation in the left hemisphere, of the anterior insula, the caudate nucleus, and the putamen.

  2. Prenatal Protein Malnutrition Decreases KCNJ3 and 2DG Activity in Rat Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amaral, A.C.; Jakovcevski, M.; McGaughy, J.A.; Calderwood, S.K.; Mokler, D.J.; Rushmore, R.J.; Galler, J.R.; Akbarian, S.A.; Rosene, D.L.

    2014-01-01

    Prenatal protein malnutrition (PPM) in rats causes enduring changes in brain and behavior including increased cognitive rigidity and decreased inhibitory control. A preliminary gene microarray screen of PPM rat prefrontal cortex (PFC) identified alterations in KCNJ3 (GIRK1/Kir3.1), a gene important for regulating neuronal excitability. Follow-up with polymerase chain reaction and Western blot showed decreased KCNJ3 expression in PFC, but not hippocampus or brainstem. To verify localization of the effect to the PFC, baseline regional brain activity was assessed with 14C-2-deoxyglucose. Results showed decreased activation in PFC but not hippocampus. Together these findings point to the unique vulnerability of the PFC to the nutritional insult during early brain development, with enduring effects in adulthood on KCNJ3 expression and baseline metabolic activity. PMID:25446346

  3. Dissecting contributions of prefrontal cortex and fusiform face area to face working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Druzgal, T Jason; D'Esposito, Mark

    2003-08-15

    Interactions between prefrontal cortex (PFC) and stimulus-specific visual cortical association areas are hypothesized to mediate visual working memory in behaving monkeys. To clarify the roles for homologous regions in humans, event-related fMRI was used to assess neural activity in PFC and fusiform face area (FFA) of subjects performing a delay-recognition task for faces. In both PFC and FFA, activity increased parametrically with memory load during encoding and maintenance of face stimuli, despite quantitative differences in the magnitude of activation. Moreover, timing differences in PFC and FFA activation during memory encoding and retrieval implied a context dependence in the flow of neural information. These results support existing neurophysiological models of visual working memory developed in the nonhuman primate.

  4. Neonatal isolation augments social dominance by altering actin dynamics in the medial prefrontal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tada, Hirobumi; Miyazaki, Tomoyuki; Takemoto, Kiwamu; Takase, Kenkichi; Jitsuki, Susumu; Nakajima, Waki; Koide, Mayu; Yamamoto, Naoko; Komiya, Kasane; Suyama, Kumiko; Sano, Akane; Taguchi, Akiko; Takahashi, Takuya

    2016-01-01

    Social separation early in life can lead to the development of impaired interpersonal relationships and profound social disorders. However, the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms involved are largely unknown. Here, we found that isolation of neonatal rats induced glucocorticoid-dependent social dominance over nonisolated control rats in juveniles from the same litter. Furthermore, neonatal isolation inactivated the actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin in the juvenile medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Isolation-induced inactivation of ADF/cofilin increased stable actin fractions at dendritic spines in the juvenile mPFC, decreasing glutamate synaptic AMPA receptors. Expression of constitutively active ADF/cofilin in the mPFC rescued the effect of isolation on social dominance. Thus, neonatal isolation affects spines in the mPFC by reducing actin dynamics, leading to altered social behavior later in life. PMID:27791080

  5. Negative emotion modulates prefrontal cortex activity during a working memory task: A NIRS study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sachiyo eOzawa

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the neural processing underlying the cognitive control of emotions induced by the presentation of task-irrelevant emotional pictures before a working memory task. Previous studies have suggested that the cognitive control of emotion involves the prefrontal regions. Therefore, we measured the hemodynamic responses that occurred in the prefrontal region with a 16-channel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS system. In our experiment, participants observed two negative or two neutral pictures in succession immediately before a 1-back or 3-back task. Pictures were selected from the International Affective Picture System. We measured the changes in the concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin (oxyHb during picture presentation and during the n-back task. The emotional valence of the picture affected the oxyHb changes in anterior parts of the medial prefrontal cortex (located in the left and right superior frontal gyrus and left inferior frontal gyrus during the n-back task; the oxyHb changes during the task were significantly greater following negative rather than neutral stimulation. As indicated in a number of previous studies, and the time courses of the oxyHb changes in our study, activation in these locations is possibly led by cognitive control of emotion, though we cannot deny it may simply be emotional responses. There were no effects of emotion on oxyHb changes during picture presentation or on n-back task performance. Although further studies are necessary to confirm this interpretation, our findings suggest that NIRS can be used to investigate neural processing during emotional control.

  6. Comparison of Hemodynamic Responses in the Prefrontal Cortex According to Differences in Self-Efficacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirao, Kazuki

    2017-07-01

    Although self-efficacy has been used extensively in the field of nursing (e.g., as an outcome measure of nursing interventions), its underlying nature is poorly understood. Investigation of the relationship between self-efficacy and brain activation will help explain the fundamental nature of self-efficacy. In this study, we compared prefrontal activation measured with near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) across 89 undergraduate students categorized into three groups based on their General Self-Efficacy Scale scores: low self-efficacy ( n = 59), moderate self-efficacy ( n = 17), and high self-efficacy ( n = 13). Changes in the hemoglobin levels of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) during a verbal fluency task were assessed using two-channel NIRS. Significant differences in the oxygenated hemoglobin (oxy-Hb) level of the left PFC (LPFC) were observed via analysis of variance. Post hoc Tukey's test showed a significant difference only between low self-efficacy and moderate self-efficacy groups. We found a medium between-group effect size in the moderate self-efficacy group versus the low self-efficacy group for the changes in oxy-Hb levels of the LPFC ( d = .78; 95% confidence interval for effect size [0.22, 1.33]). No significant between-group differences were observed with respect to changes in the oxy-Hb in the right PFC. The results indicate less left prefrontal activation in the low self-efficacy group than in the moderate self-efficacy group. These findings provide evidence to support the fundamental nature of self-efficacy.

  7. Infralimbic Prefrontal Cortex Interacts with Nucleus Accumbens Shell to Unmask Expression of Outcome-Selective Pavlovianto- Instrumental Transfer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keistler, Colby; Barker, Jacqueline M.; Taylor, Jane R.

    2015-01-01

    Although several studies have examined the subcortical circuitry underlying Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer (PIT), the role of medial prefrontal cortex in this behavior is largely unknown. Elucidating the cortical contributions to PIT will be key for understanding how reward-paired cues control behavior in both adaptive and maladaptive context…

  8. The release of noradrenaline in the locus coeruleus and prefrontal cortex studied with dual-probe microdialysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pudovkina, O; Kawahara, Y; de Vries, J.B; Westerink, B.H.C.

    2001-01-01

    The present study was undertaken to investigate and compare the properties of noradrenaline release in the locus coeruleus (LC) and prefrontal cortex (PFC). For that aim the dual-probe microdialysis technique was applied for simultaneous detection of noradrenaline levels in the LC and PFC in

  9. Tramadol Pretreatment Enhances Ketamine-Induced Antidepressant Effects and Increases Mammalian Target of Rapamycin in Rat Hippocampus and Prefrontal Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun Yang

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Several lines of evidence have demonstrated that acute administration of ketamine elicits fast-acting antidepressant effects. Moreover, tramadol also has potential antidepressant effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of pretreatment with tramadol on ketamine-induced antidepressant activity and was to determine the expression of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR in rat hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Rats were intraperitoneally administrated with ketamine at the dose of 10 mg/kg or saline 1 h before the second episode of the forced swimming test (FST. Tramadol or saline was intraperitoneally pretreated 30 min before the former administration of ketamine or saline. The locomotor activity and the immobility time of FST were both measured. After that, rats were sacrificed to determine the expression of mTOR in hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Tramadol at the dose of 5 mg/kg administrated alone did not elicit the antidepressant effects. More importantly, pretreatment with tramadol enhanced the ketamine-induced antidepressant effects and upregulated the expression of mTOR in rat hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Pretreatment with tramadol enhances the ketamine-induced antidepressant effects, which is associated with the increased expression of mTOR in rat hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.

  10. Loss of lateral prefrontal cortex control in food-directed attention and goal-directed food choice in obesity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssen, Lieneke K.; Duif, Iris; Loon, van Ilke; Wegman, Joost; Vries, de Jeanne H.M.; Cools, Roshan; Aarts, Esther

    2017-01-01

    Loss of lateral prefrontal cortex (lPFC)-mediated attentional control may explain the automatic tendency to eat in the face of food. Here, we investigate the neurocognitive mechanism underlying attentional bias to food words and its association with obesity using a food Stroop task. We tested 76

  11. Continuous theta-burst stimulation (cTBS) over the lateral prefrontal cortex alters reinforcement learning bias

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ott, D.V.M.; Ullsperger, M.; Jocham, G.; Neumann, J.; Klein, T.A.

    2011-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex is known to play a key role in higher-order cognitive functions. Recently, we showed that this brain region is active in reinforcement learning, during which subjects constantly have to integrate trial outcomes in order to optimize performance. To further elucidate the role of

  12. Blockade of IP[subscript 3]-Mediated SK Channel Signaling in the Rat Medial Prefrontal Cortex Improves Spatial Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brennan, Avis R.; Dolinsky, Beth; Vu, Mai-Anh T.; Stanley, Marion; Yeckel, Mark F.; Arnsten, Amy F. T.

    2008-01-01

    Planning and directing thought and behavior require the working memory (WM) functions of prefrontal cortex. WM is compromised by stress, which activates phosphatidylinositol (PI)-mediated IP[subscript 3]-PKC intracellular signaling. PKC overactivation impairs WM operations and in vitro studies indicate that IP[subscript 3] receptor (IP[subscript…

  13. Nonlinear responses within the medial prefrontal cortex reveal when specific implicit information influences economic decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deppe, Michael; Schwindt, Wolfram; Kugel, Harald; Plassmann, Hilke; Kenning, Peter

    2005-04-01

    The authors used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate how individual economic decisions are influenced by implicit memory contributions. Twenty-two participants were asked to make binary decisions between different brands of sensorily nearly undistinguishable consumer goods. Changes of brain activity comparing decisions in the presence or absence of a specific target brand were detected by fMRI. Only when the tar get brand was the participant's favorite one did the authors find reduced activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal, posterior parietal, and occipital cortices and the left premotor area (Brodmann areas [BA] 9, 46, 7/19, and 6). Simultaneously, activity was increased in the inferior precuneus and posterior cingulate (BA 7), right superior frontal gyrus (BA 10), right supramarginal gyrus (BA 40), and, most pronounced, in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (BA 10). For products mainly distinguishable by brand information, the authors revealed a nonlinear winner-take-all effect for a participant's favorite brand characterized, on one hand, by reduced activation in brain areas associated with working memory and reasoning and, on the other hand, increased activation in areas involved in processing of emotions and self-reflections during decision making.

  14. Similar or different? The role of the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex in similarity detection.

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    Béatrice Garcin

    Full Text Available Patients with frontal lobe syndrome can exhibit two types of abnormal behaviour when asked to place a banana and an orange in a single category: some patients categorize them at a concrete level (e.g., "both have peel", while others continue to look for differences between these objects (e.g., "one is yellow, the other is orange". These observations raise the question of whether abstraction and similarity detection are distinct processes involved in abstract categorization, and that depend on separate areas of the prefrontal cortex (PFC. We designed an original experimental paradigm for a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI study involving healthy subjects, confirming the existence of two distinct processes relying on different prefrontal areas, and thus explaining the behavioural dissociation in frontal lesion patients. We showed that: 1 Similarity detection involves the anterior ventrolateral PFC bilaterally with a right-left asymmetry: the right anterior ventrolateral PFC is only engaged in detecting physical similarities; 2 Abstraction per se activates the left dorsolateral PFC.

  15. Involvement of the Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex in Learning Others' Bad Reputations and Indelible Distrust.

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    Suzuki, Atsunobu; Ito, Yuichi; Kiyama, Sachiko; Kunimi, Mitsunobu; Ohira, Hideki; Kawaguchi, Jun; Tanabe, Hiroki C; Nakai, Toshiharu

    2016-01-01

    A bad reputation can persistently affect judgments of an individual even when it turns out to be invalid and ought to be disregarded. Such indelible distrust may reflect that the negative evaluation elicited by a bad reputation transfers to a person. Consequently, the person him/herself may come to activate this negative evaluation irrespective of the accuracy of the reputation. If this theoretical model is correct, an evaluation-related brain region will be activated when witnessing a person whose bad reputation one has learned about, regardless of whether the reputation is deemed valid or not. Here, we tested this neural hypothesis with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants memorized faces paired with either a good or a bad reputation. Next, they viewed the faces alone and inferred whether each person was likely to cooperate, first while retrieving the reputations, and then while trying to disregard them as false. A region of the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC), which may be involved in negative evaluation, was activated by faces previously paired with bad reputations, irrespective of whether participants attempted to retrieve or disregard these reputations. Furthermore, participants showing greater activity of the left ventrolateral prefrontal region in response to the faces with bad reputations were more likely to infer that these individuals would not cooperate. Thus, once associated with a bad reputation, a person may elicit evaluation-related brain responses on their own, thereby evoking distrust independently of their reputation.

  16. Physiological dysfunction of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia. IV. Further evidence for regional and behavioral specificity

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    Berman, K.F.; Illowsky, B.P.; Weinberger, D.R.

    1988-01-01

    In previous studies we found that patients with chronic schizophrenia had lower regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) than did normal subjects during performance of the Wisconsin Card Sort Test, an abstract reasoning task linked to DLPFC function. This was not the case during less complex tasks. To examine further whether this finding represented regionally circumscribed pathophysiology or a more general correlate of abstract cognition, 24 medication-free patients and 25 age- and sex-matched normal control subjects underwent rCBF measurements with the xenon 133 technique while they performed two tasks: Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM) and an active baseline control task. While performing RPM, normal subjects activated posterior cortical areas over baseline, but did not activate DLPFC, as had been seen during the Wisconsin Card Sort Test. Like normal subjects, patients showed maximal rCBF elevations posteriorly and, moreover, they had no significant DLPFC or other cortical deficit while performing RPM. These results suggest that DLPFC dysfunction in schizophrenia is linked to pathophysiology of a regionally specific neural system rather than to global cortical dysfunction, and that this pathophysiology is most apparent under prefrontally specific cognitive demand

  17. Impaired GABAergic inhibition in the prefrontal cortex of early postnatal phencyclidine (PCP)-treated rats.

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    Kjaerby, Celia; Broberg, Brian V; Kristiansen, Uffe; Dalby, Nils Ole

    2014-09-01

    A compromised γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic system is hypothesized to be part of the underlying pathophysiology of schizophrenia. N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor hypofunction during neurodevelopment is proposed to disrupt maturation of interneurons causing an impaired GABAergic transmission in adulthood. The present study examines prefrontal GABAergic transmission in adult rats administered with the NMDA receptor channel blocker, phencyclidine (PCP), for 3 days during the second postnatal week. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from pyramidal cells in PCP-treated rats showed a 22% reduction in the frequency of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents in layer II/III, but not in layer V pyramidal neurons of the prefrontal cortex. Furthermore, early postnatal PCP treatment caused insensitivity toward effects of the GABA transporter 1 (GAT-1) inhibitor, 1,2,5,6-tetrahydro-1-[2-[[(diphenyl-methylene)amino]oxy]ethyl]-3-pyridinecarboxylic acid, and also diminished currents passed by δ-subunit-containing GABAA receptors in layer II/III pyramidal neurons. The observed impairments in GABAergic function are compatible with the alteration of GABAergic markers as well as cognitive dysfunction observed in early postnatal PCP-treated rats and support the hypothesis that PCP administration during neurodevelopment affects the functionality of interneurons in later life. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Altering risky decision-making: Influence of impulsivity on the neuromodulation of prefrontal cortex.

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    Cheng, Gordon L F; Lee, Tatia M C

    2016-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) subserves complex cognitive abilities, including risky decision-making; the modulation of this brain area is shown to alter the way people take risks. Yet, neuromodulation of the PFC in relation to risk-taking behavior remains relatively less well-studied. Moreover, the psychological variables that influence such neuromodulation remain poorly understood. To address these issues, 16 participants took part in 3 experimental sessions on separate days. They received: (i) left anodal-right cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS); (ii) left cathodal-right anodal stimulation; or (iii) sham stimulation while they completed two risk-taking tasks. They also measured on several cognitive-affective abilities and personality traits. It was revealed that left cathodal-right anodal stimulation led to significantly reduced risk-taking under a context of haste. The reduction of risk-taking (relative to sham) correlated with state and trait impulsivity, such that the effect was larger in more impulsive individuals. For these individuals, the tDCS effect size was considered to be large (generalized partial η(2) > .17). The effect of prefrontal-neuromodulation in reducing risk-taking was influenced by baseline impulsivity, reflecting a state-dependent effect of neuromodulation on the PFC. The results of this study carry important insights into the use of neuromodulation to alter higher cognition.

  19. GAD1 mRNA expression and DNA methylation in prefrontal cortex of subjects with schizophrenia.

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    Hsien-Sung Huang

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Dysfunction of prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia includes changes in GABAergic mRNAs, including decreased expression of GAD1, encoding the 67 kDa glutamate decarboxylase (GAD67 GABA synthesis enzyme. The underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Alterations in DNA methylation as an epigenetic regulator of gene expression are thought to play a role but this hypothesis is difficult to test because no techniques are available to extract DNA from GAD1 expressing neurons efficiently from human postmortem brain. Here, we present an alternative approach that is based on immunoprecipitation of mononucleosomes with anti-methyl-histone antibodies differentiating between sites of potential gene expression as opposed to repressive or silenced chromatin. Methylation patterns of CpG dinucleotides at the GAD1 proximal promoter and intron 2 were determined for each of the two chromatin fractions separately, using a case-control design for 14 schizophrenia subjects affected by a decrease in prefrontal GAD1 mRNA levels. In controls, the methylation frequencies at CpG dinucleotides, while overall higher in repressive as compared to open chromatin, did not exceed 5% at the proximal GAD1 promoter and 30% within intron 2. Subjects with schizophrenia showed a significant, on average 8-fold deficit in repressive chromatin-associated DNA methylation at the promoter. These results suggest that chromatin remodeling mechanisms are involved in dysregulated GABAergic gene expression in schizophrenia.

  20. Music improves verbal memory encoding while decreasing prefrontal cortex activity: an fNIRS study.

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    Ferreri, Laura; Aucouturier, Jean-Julien; Muthalib, Makii; Bigand, Emmanuel; Bugaiska, Aurelia

    2013-01-01

    Listening to music engages the whole brain, thus stimulating cognitive performance in a range of non-purely musical activities such as language and memory tasks. This article addresses an ongoing debate on the link between music and memory for words. While evidence on healthy and clinical populations suggests that music listening can improve verbal memory in a variety of situations, it is still unclear what specific memory process is affected and how. This study was designed to explore the hypothesis that music specifically benefits the encoding part of verbal memory tasks, by providing a richer context for encoding and therefore less demand on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Twenty-two healthy young adults were subjected to functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) imaging of their bilateral DLPFC while encoding words in the presence of either a music or a silent background. Behavioral data confirmed the facilitating effect of music background during encoding on subsequent item recognition. fNIRS results revealed significantly greater activation of the left hemisphere during encoding (in line with the HERA model of memory lateralization) and a sustained, bilateral decrease of activity in the DLPFC in the music condition compared to silence. These findings suggest that music modulates the role played by the DLPFC during verbal encoding, and open perspectives for applications to clinical populations with prefrontal impairments, such as elderly adults or Alzheimer's patients.

  1. Music improves verbal memory encoding while decreasing prefrontal cortex activity: an fNIRS study

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    Laura eFerreri

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Listening to music engages the whole brain, thus stimulating cognitive performance in a range of non purely musical activities such as language and memory tasks. This article addresses an ongoing debate on the link between music and memory for words. While evidence on healthy and clinical populations suggests that music listening can improve verbal memory in a variety of situations, it is still unclear what specific memory process is affected and how. This study was designed to explore the hypothesis that music specifically benefits the encoding part of verbal memory tasks, by providing a richer context for encoding and therefore less demand on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC. 22 healthy young adults were subjected to functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS imaging of their bilateral DLPFC while encoding words in the presence of either a music or a silent background. Behavioral data confirmed the facilitating effect of music background during encoding on subsequent item recognition. fNIRS results revealed significantly greater activation of the left hemisphere during encoding (in line with the HERA model of memory lateralization and a sustained, bilateral decrease of activity in the DLPFC in the music condition compared to silence. These findings suggest that music modulates the role played by the DLPFC during verbal encoding, and open perspectives for applications to clinical populations with prefrontal impairments, such as elderly adults or Alzheimer's patients.

  2. Gene expression changes in the prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex and nucleus accumbens of mood disorders subjects that committed suicide.

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    Adolfo Sequeira

    Full Text Available Suicidal behaviors are frequent in mood disorders patients but only a subset of them ever complete suicide. Understanding predisposing factors for suicidal behaviors in high risk populations is of major importance for the prevention and treatment of suicidal behaviors. The objective of this project was to investigate gene expression changes associated with suicide in brains of mood disorder patients by microarrays (Affymetrix HG-U133 Plus2.0 in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC: 6 Non-suicides, 15 suicides, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC: 6NS, 9S and the nucleus accumbens (NAcc: 8NS, 13S. ANCOVA was used to control for age, gender, pH and RNA degradation, with P ≤ 0.01 and fold change ± 1.25 as criteria for significance. Pathway analysis revealed serotonergic signaling alterations in the DLPFC and glucocorticoid signaling alterations in the ACC and NAcc. The gene with the lowest p-value in the DLPFC was the 5-HT2A gene, previously associated both with suicide and mood disorders. In the ACC 6 metallothionein genes were down-regulated in suicide (MT1E, MT1F, MT1G, MT1H, MT1X, MT2A and three were down-regulated in the NAcc (MT1F, MT1G, MT1H. Differential expression of selected genes was confirmed by qPCR, we confirmed the 5-HT2A alterations and the global down-regulation of members of the metallothionein subfamilies MT 1 and 2 in suicide completers. MTs 1 and 2 are neuro-protective following stress and glucocorticoid stimulations, suggesting that in suicide victims neuroprotective response to stress and cortisol may be diminished. Our results thus suggest that suicide-specific expression changes in mood disorders involve both glucocorticoids regulated metallothioneins and serotonergic signaling in different regions of the brain.

  3. Gene expression changes in the prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex and nucleus accumbens of mood disorders subjects that committed suicide.

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    Sequeira, Adolfo; Morgan, Ling; Walsh, David M; Cartagena, Preston M; Choudary, Prabhakara; Li, Jun; Schatzberg, Alan F; Watson, Stanley J; Akil, Huda; Myers, Richard M; Jones, Edward G; Bunney, William E; Vawter, Marquis P

    2012-01-01

    Suicidal behaviors are frequent in mood disorders patients but only a subset of them ever complete suicide. Understanding predisposing factors for suicidal behaviors in high risk populations is of major importance for the prevention and treatment of suicidal behaviors. The objective of this project was to investigate gene expression changes associated with suicide in brains of mood disorder patients by microarrays (Affymetrix HG-U133 Plus2.0) in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC: 6 Non-suicides, 15 suicides), the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC: 6NS, 9S) and the nucleus accumbens (NAcc: 8NS, 13S). ANCOVA was used to control for age, gender, pH and RNA degradation, with P ≤ 0.01 and fold change ± 1.25 as criteria for significance. Pathway analysis revealed serotonergic signaling alterations in the DLPFC and glucocorticoid signaling alterations in the ACC and NAcc. The gene with the lowest p-value in the DLPFC was the 5-HT2A gene, previously associated both with suicide and mood disorders. In the ACC 6 metallothionein genes were down-regulated in suicide (MT1E, MT1F, MT1G, MT1H, MT1X, MT2A) and three were down-regulated in the NAcc (MT1F, MT1G, MT1H). Differential expression of selected genes was confirmed by qPCR, we confirmed the 5-HT2A alterations and the global down-regulation of members of the metallothionein subfamilies MT 1 and 2 in suicide completers. MTs 1 and 2 are neuro-protective following stress and glucocorticoid stimulations, suggesting that in suicide victims neuroprotective response to stress and cortisol may be diminished. Our results thus suggest that suicide-specific expression changes in mood disorders involve both glucocorticoids regulated metallothioneins and serotonergic signaling in different regions of the brain.

  4. Theory of mind difficulties in patients with alcohol dependence: beyond the prefrontal cortex dysfunction hypothesis.

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    Maurage, François; de Timary, Philippe; Tecco, Juan Martin; Lechantre, Stéphane; Samson, Dana

    2015-06-01

    Previous studies have shown that alcohol-dependent (AD) individuals have difficulties inferring other people's emotion, understanding humor, and detecting a faux pas. This study aimed at further understanding the nature of such "Theory of Mind" (ToM) difficulties. A total of 34 recently detoxified AD and 34 paired controls were compared based on 2 nonverbal and video-based false belief tasks. These tasks were designed to identify 3 different types of deficits: (i) a deficit in dealing with the general task demands, (ii) a selective deficit in self-perspective inhibition, and (iii) a deficit in tracking the other person's mental state. (i) and (ii) are compatible with the hypothesis of a prefrontal cortex dysfunction being at the origin of AD individuals' social difficulties, while (iii) would suggest the possible contribution of a dysfunction of the temporo-parietal junction in explaining the social difficulties. Group analyses highlighted that AD individuals performed worse on the 2 false belief tasks than controls. Individual analyses showed, however, that just under half of the AD individuals were impaired compared to controls. Moreover, most of the AD individuals who were impaired showed a deficit in tracking the other person's belief. This deficit was linked to disease-related factors such as illness duration, average alcohol consumption, and craving but not to general reasoning abilities, depression, anxiety, or demographic variables. Just under half of the AD individuals tested showed a ToM deficit, and in most cases, the deficit concerned the tracking of other people's mental states. Such a type of deficit has previously been associated with lesions to the temporo-parietal brain areas, indicating that a prefrontal cortex dysfunction may not be the sole origin of the social cognition deficits observed in alcohol dependence. Copyright © 2015 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

  5. Adaptive Encoding of Outcome Prediction by Prefrontal Cortex Ensembles Supports Behavioral Flexibility.

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    Del Arco, Alberto; Park, Junchol; Wood, Jesse; Kim, Yunbok; Moghaddam, Bita

    2017-08-30

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is thought to play a critical role in behavioral flexibility by monitoring action-outcome contingencies. How PFC ensembles represent shifts in behavior in response to changes in these contingencies remains unclear. We recorded single-unit activity and local field potentials in the dorsomedial PFC (dmPFC) of male rats during a set-shifting task that required them to update their behavior, among competing options, in response to changes in action-outcome contingencies. As behavior was updated, a subset of PFC ensembles encoded the current trial outcome before the outcome was presented. This novel outcome-prediction encoding was absent in a control task, in which actions were rewarded pseudorandomly, indicating that PFC neurons are not merely providing an expectancy signal. In both control and set-shifting tasks, dmPFC neurons displayed postoutcome discrimination activity, indicating that these neurons also monitor whether a behavior is successful in generating rewards. Gamma-power oscillatory activity increased before the outcome in both tasks but did not differentiate between expected outcomes, suggesting that this measure is not related to set-shifting behavior but reflects expectation of an outcome after action execution. These results demonstrate that PFC neurons support flexible rule-based action selection by predicting outcomes that follow a particular action. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Tracking action-outcome contingencies and modifying behavior when those contingencies change is critical to behavioral flexibility. We find that ensembles of dorsomedial prefrontal cortex neurons differentiate between expected outcomes when action-outcome contingencies change. This predictive mode of signaling may be used to promote a new response strategy at the service of behavioral flexibility. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/378363-11$15.00/0.

  6. Altered gene expression profiles in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of type 2 diabetic rats

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    Abdul-Rahman Omar

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There has been an increasing body of epidemiologic and biochemical evidence implying the role of cerebral insulin resistance in Alzheimer-type dementia. For a better understanding of the insulin effect on the central nervous system, we performed microarray-based global gene expression profiling in the hippocampus, striatum and prefrontal cortex of streptozotocin-induced and spontaneously diabetic Goto-Kakizaki rats as model animals for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, respectively. Results Following pathway analysis and validation of gene lists by real-time polymerase chain reaction, 30 genes from the hippocampus, such as the inhibitory neuropeptide galanin, synuclein gamma and uncoupling protein 2, and 22 genes from the prefrontal cortex, e.g. galanin receptor 2, protein kinase C gamma and epsilon, ABCA1 (ATP-Binding Cassette A1, CD47 (Cluster of Differentiation 47 and the RET (Rearranged During Transfection protooncogene, were found to exhibit altered expression levels in type 2 diabetic model animals in comparison to non-diabetic control animals. These gene lists proved to be partly overlapping and encompassed genes related to neurotransmission, lipid metabolism, neuronal development, insulin secretion, oxidative damage and DNA repair. On the other hand, no significant alterations were found in the transcriptomes of the corpus striatum in the same animals. Changes in the cerebral gene expression profiles seemed to be specific for the type 2 diabetic model, as no such alterations were found in streptozotocin-treated animals. Conclusions According to our knowledge this is the first characterization of the whole-genome expression changes of specific brain regions in a diabetic model. Our findings shed light on the complex role of insulin signaling in fine-tuning brain functions, and provide further experimental evidence in support of the recently elaborated theory of type 3 diabetes.

  7. Right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex mediates individual differences in conflict-driven cognitive control

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    Egner, Tobias

    2013-01-01

    Conflict adaptation – a conflict-triggered improvement in the resolution of conflicting stimulus or response representations – has become a widely used probe of cognitive control processes in both healthy and clinical populations. Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have localized activation foci associated with conflict resolution to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). The traditional group-analysis approach employed in these studies highlights regions that are, on average, activated during conflict resolution, but does not necessarily reveal areas mediating individual differences in conflict resolution, because between-subject variance is treated as noise. Here, we employed a complementary approach in order to elucidate the neural bases of variability in the proficiency of conflict-driven cognitive control. We analyzed two independent fMRI data sets of face-word Stroop tasks by using individual variability in the behavioral expression of conflict adaptation as the metric against which brain activation was regressed, while controlling for individual differences in mean reaction time and Stroop interference. Across the two experiments, a replicable neural substrate of individual variation in conflict adaptation was found in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC), specifically, in the right inferior frontal gyrus, pars orbitalis (BA 47). Unbiased regression estimates showed that variability in activity in this region accounted for ~40% of the variance in behavioral expression of conflict adaptation across subjects, thus documenting a heretofore unsuspected key role for vlPFC in mediating conflict-driven adjustments in cognitive control. We speculate that vlPFC plays a primary role in conflict control that is supplemented by dlPFC recruitment under conditions of suboptimal performance. PMID:21568631

  8. Prefrontal Cortex Structure Predicts Training-Induced Improvements in Multitasking Performance.

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    Verghese, Ashika; Garner, K G; Mattingley, Jason B; Dux, Paul E

    2016-03-02

    The ability to perform multiple, concurrent tasks efficiently is a much-desired cognitive skill, but one that remains elusive due to the brain's inherent information-processing limitations. Multitasking performance can, however, be greatly improved through cognitive training (Van Selst et al., 1999, Dux et al., 2009). Previous studies have examined how patterns of brain activity change following training (for review, see Kelly and Garavan, 2005). Here, in a large-scale human behavioral and imaging study of 100 healthy adults, we tested whether multitasking training benefits, assessed using a standard dual-task paradigm, are associated with variability in brain structure. We found that the volume of the rostral part of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) predicted an individual's response to training. Critically, this association was observed exclusively in a task-specific training group, and not in an active-training control group. Our findings reveal a link between DLPFC structure and an individual's propensity to gain from training on a task that taps the limits of cognitive control. Cognitive "brain" training is a rapidly growing, multibillion dollar industry (Hayden, 2012) that has been touted as the panacea for a variety of disorders that result in cognitive decline. A key process targeted by such training is "cognitive control." Here, we combined an established cognitive control measure, multitasking ability, with structural brain imaging in a sample of 100 participants. Our goal was to determine whether individual differences in brain structure predict the extent to which people derive measurable benefits from a cognitive training regime. Ours is the first study to identify a structural brain marker-volume of left hemisphere dorsolateral prefrontal cortex-associated with the magnitude of multitasking performance benefits induced by training at an individual level. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/362638-08$15.00/0.

  9. Delayed enhancement of multitasking performance: Effects of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation on the prefrontal cortex.

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    Hsu, Wan-Yu; Zanto, Theodore P; Anguera, Joaquin A; Lin, Yung-Yang; Gazzaley, Adam

    2015-08-01

    The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has been proposed to play an important role in neural processes that underlie multitasking performance. However, this claim is underexplored in terms of direct causal evidence. The current study aimed to delineate the causal involvement of the DLPFC during multitasking by modulating neural activity with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) prior to engagement in a demanding multitasking paradigm. The study is a single-blind, crossover, sham-controlled experiment. Anodal tDCS or sham tDCS was applied over left DLPFC in forty-one healthy young adults (aged 18-35 years) immediately before they engaged in a 3-D video game designed to assess multitasking performance. Participants were separated into three subgroups: real-sham (i.e., real tDCS in the first session, followed by sham tDCS in the second session 1 h later), sham-real (sham tDCS first session, real tDCS second session), and sham-sham (sham tDCS in both sessions). The real-sham group showed enhanced multitasking performance and decreased multitasking cost during the second session, compared to first session, suggesting delayed cognitive benefits of tDCS. Interestingly, performance benefits were observed only for multitasking and not on a single-task version of the game. No significant changes were found between the first and second sessions for either the sham-real or the sham-sham groups. These results suggest a causal role of left prefrontal cortex in facilitating the simultaneous performance of more than one task, or multitasking. Moreover, these findings reveal that anodal tDCS may have delayed benefits that reflect an enhanced rate of learning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Neuron density is decreased in the prefrontal cortex in Williams syndrome.

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    Lew, Caroline Horton; Brown, Chelsea; Bellugi, Ursula; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2017-01-01

    Williams Syndrome (WS) is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder associated with a hemideletion in chromosome 7, which manifests a distinct behavioral phenotype characterized by a hyperaffiliative social drive, in striking contrast to the social avoidance behaviors that are common in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). MRI studies have observed structural and functional abnormalities in WS cortex, including the prefrontal cortex (PFC), a region implicated in social cognition. This study utilizes the Bellugi Williams Syndrome Brain Collection, a unique resource that comprises the largest WS postmortem brain collection in existence, and is the first to quantitatively examine WS PFC cytoarchitecture. We measured neuron density in layers II/III and V/VI of five cortical areas: PFC areas BA 10 and BA 11, primary motor BA 4, primary somatosensory BA 3, and visual area BA 18 in six matched pairs of WS and typically developing (TD) controls. Neuron density in PFC was lower in WS relative to TD, with layers V/VI demonstrating the largest decrease in density, reaching statistical significance in BA 10. In contrast, BA 3 and BA 18 demonstrated a higher density in WS compared to TD, although this difference was not statistically significant. Neuron density in BA 4 was similar in WS and TD. While other cortical areas were altered in WS, prefrontal areas appeared to be most affected. Neuron density is also altered in the PFC of individuals with ASD. Together these findings suggest that the PFC is targeted in neurodevelopmental disorders associated with sociobehavioral alterations. Autism Res 2017, 10: 99-112. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Guanfacine potentiates the activation of prefrontal cortex evoked by warning signals.

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    Clerkin, Suzanne M; Schulz, Kurt P; Halperin, Jeffrey M; Newcorn, Jeffrey H; Ivanov, Iliyan; Tang, Cheuk Y; Fan, Jin

    2009-08-15

    Warning signals evoke an alert state of readiness that prepares for a rapid response by priming a thalamo-frontal-striatal network that includes the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Animal models indicate that noradrenergic input is essential for this stimulus-driven activation of DLPFC, but the precise mechanisms involved have not been determined. We tested the role that postsynaptic alpha(2A) adrenoceptors play in the activation of DLPFC evoked by warning cues using a placebo-controlled challenge with the alpha(2A) agonist guanfacine. Sixteen healthy young adults were scanned twice with event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), while performing a simple cued reaction time (RT) task following administration of a single dose of oral guanfacine (1 mg) and placebo in counterbalanced order. The RT task temporally segregates the neural effects of warning cues and motor responses and minimizes mnemonic demands. Warning cues produced a marked reduction in RT accompanied by significant activation in a distributed thalamo-frontal-striatal network, including bilateral DLPFC. Guanfacine selectively increased the cue-evoked activation of the left DLPFC and right anterior cerebellum, although this increase was not accompanied by further reductions in RT. The effects of guanfacine on DLPFC activation were specifically associated with the warning cue and were not seen for visual- or target-related activation. Guanfacine produced marked increases in the cue-evoked activation of DLPFC that correspond to the well-described actions of postsynaptic alpha(2) adrenoceptor stimulation. The current procedures provide an opportunity to test postsynaptic alpha(2A) adrenoceptor function in the prefrontal cortex in the pathophysiology of several psychiatric disorders.

  12. Centella asiatica increases B-cell lymphoma 2 expression in rat prefrontal cortex

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    Kuswati

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Background Stress is one of the factors that cause apoptosis in neuronal cells. Centella asiatica has a neuroprotective effect that can inhibit apoptosis. This study aimed to examine the effect of Centella asiatica ethanol extract on B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2 protein expression in the prefrontal cortex of rats. Methods An experimental study was conducted on 34 brain tissue samples from male Sprague Dawley rats exposed to chronic restraint stress for 21 days. The samples were taken from following groups: non-stress group K, negative control group P1 (stress + arabic gum powder, P2 (stress + C.asiatica at 150 mg/kgBW, P3 (stress + C.asiatica at 300 mg/kg BW, P4 (stress + C.asiatica at 600 mg/kg body weight and positive control group P5 (stress + fluoxetine at 10 mg/kgBW. The samples were made into sections that were stained immunohistochemically using Bcl-2 antibody to determine the percentage of cells expressing Bcl-2. Data were analyzed using one way ANOVA test followed by a post - hoc test. Results There were significant differences in mean Bcl-2 expression between the groups receiving Centella asiatica compared with the non-stress group and stress-only group (negative control group (p<0.05. The results were comparable to those of the fluoxetine treatment group. Conclusion The Centella asiatica ethanol extract was able to increase Bcl-2 expression in the prefrontal cortex of Sprague Dawley rats exposed to restraint stress. This study suggests that Centella asiatica may be useful in the treatment of cerebral stress.

  13. A study of 1H-MR spectroscopy in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala of heroine abusers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Lanying; Wang Yarong; Li Qiang; Xiong Xiaoshuang; Wang Wei; Zhao Wei; Bai Yunliang

    2009-01-01

    Objective: To explore the characteristic findings of 1 H-MR spectroscopy ( 1 H-MRS) in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala of patients with heroine dependence (HD), and the relationship to total cumulative dose of inhaled heroine. Methods: Fourteen male HD patients and 12 healthy controls (HC) underwent 1 H-MRS at the prefrontal cortex and amygdala regions. The total cumulative in haled heroin dose was (852±341) g in HD. Ratios of N-acetylaspartate/creatine(NAA/Cr) and choline/creatine (Cho/Cr) were respectively measured in the prefrontal cortex and bilateral amygdale regions. The student's t test and the linear correlation were employed for statistical analysis. Results: Compared to HC group, HD patients had a significant lower ratio of NAA/Cr in the prefrontal cortex (1.44±0.46 vs 1.50±0.75, t=1.77, P< 0.05), left amygdala region (1.32±0.08 vs 1.42±0.08, t=3.41, P<0.05), and right amygdala region (1.34±0.09 vs 1.44±0.10, t=2.63, P<0.05), the HD patients had a significant increased ratio of Cho/Cr in the prefrontal cortex (0.92±0.06 vs 0.86±0.08, t=2.31, P<0.05), left amygdala region (1.20±0.12 vs 1.07±0.04, t=3.60, P<0.05) and right amygdala region(1.26±0.15 vs 1.12±0.11, t=2.60, P<0.05). There was a negative linear correlation between the total cumulative inhaled heroine dose and the ratio of NAA/Cr in the prefrontal cortex (r=-0.9159, P<0.01), left amygdala region( r= -0.8756, P<0.01), and right amygdala region (r=-0.9399, P<0.01) respectively. Conclusions: The study indicates that neuronal damage and glial proliferation may occur in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala region, which suggests the abnormalities of executive function and emotion in patients with HD. A relationship exists between the heroin-induced metabolic abnormality and the total cumulative dose of inhaled heroine. (authors)

  14. Prenatal alcohol exposure modifies glucocorticoid receptor subcellular distribution in the medial prefrontal cortex and impairs frontal cortex-dependent learning.

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    Andrea M Allan

    Full Text Available Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE has been shown to impair learning, memory and executive functioning in children. Perseveration, or the failure to respond adaptively to changing contingencies, is a hallmark on neurobehavioral assessment tasks for human fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD. Adaptive responding is predominantly a product of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC and is regulated by corticosteroids. In our mouse model of PAE we recently reported deficits in hippocampal formation-dependent learning and memory and a dysregulation of hippocampal formation glucocorticoid receptor (GR subcellular distribution. Here, we examined the effect of PAE on frontal cortical-dependent behavior, as well as mPFC GR subcellular distribution and the levels of regulators of intracellular GR transport. PAE mice displayed significantly reduced response flexibility in a Y-maze reversal learning task. While the levels of total nuclear GR were reduced in PAE mPFC, levels of GR phosphorylated at serines 203, 211 and 226 were not significantly changed. Cytosolic, but not nuclear, MR levels were elevated in the PAE mPFC. The levels of critical GR trafficking proteins, FKBP51, Hsp90, cyclophilin 40, dynamitin and dynein intermediate chain, were altered in PAE mice, in favor of the exclusion of GR from the nucleus, indicating dysregulation of GR trafficking. Our findings suggest that there may be a link between a deficit in GR nuclear localization and frontal cortical learning deficits in prenatal alcohol-exposed mice.

  15. Cognitive Functions and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Involving the Prefrontal Cortex and Mediodorsal Thalamus

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    Zakaria Ouhaz

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus (MD has been implicated in executive functions (such as planning, cognitive control, working memory, and decision-making because of its significant interconnectivity with the prefrontal cortex (PFC. Yet, whilst the roles of the PFC have been extensively studied, how the MD contributes to these cognitive functions remains relatively unclear. Recently, causal evidence in monkeys has demonstrated that in everyday tasks involving rapid updating (e.g., while learning something new, making decisions, or planning the next move, the MD and frontal cortex are working in close partnership. Furthermore, researchers studying the MD in rodents have been able to probe the underlying mechanisms of this relationship to give greater insights into how the frontal cortex and MD might interact during the performance of these essential tasks. This review summarizes the circuitry and known neuromodulators of the MD, and considers the most recent behavioral, cognitive, and neurophysiological studies conducted in monkeys and rodents; in total, this evidence demonstrates that MD makes a critical contribution to cognitive functions. We propose that communication occurs between the MD and the frontal cortex in an ongoing, fluid manner during rapid cognitive operations, via the means of efference copies of messages passed through transthalamic routes; the conductance of these messages may be modulated by other brain structures interconnected to the MD. This is similar to the way in which other thalamic structures have been suggested to carry out forward modeling associated with rapid motor responding and visual processing. Given this, and the marked thalamic pathophysiology now identified in many neuropsychiatric disorders, we suggest that changes in the different subdivisions of the MD and their interconnections with the cortex could plausibly give rise to a number of the otherwise disparate symptoms (including changes to olfaction

  16. Basal Dendritic Morphology of Cortical Pyramidal Neurons in Williams Syndrome: Prefrontal Cortex and Beyond.

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    Hrvoj-Mihic, Branka; Hanson, Kari L; Lew, Caroline H; Stefanacci, Lisa; Jacobs, Bob; Bellugi, Ursula; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2017-01-01

    Williams syndrome (WS) is a unique neurodevelopmental disorder with a specific behavioral and cognitive profile, which includes hyperaffiliative behavior, poor social judgment, and lack of social inhibition. Here we examined the morphology of basal dendrites on pyramidal neurons in the cortex of two rare adult subjects with WS. Specifically, we examined two areas in the prefrontal cortex (PFC)-the frontal pole (Brodmann area 10) and the orbitofrontal cortex (Brodmann area 11)-and three areas in the motor, sensory, and visual cortex (BA 4, BA 3-1-2, BA 18). The findings suggest that the morphology of basal dendrites on the pyramidal neurons is altered in the cortex of WS, with differences that were layer-specific, more prominent in PFC areas, and displayed an overall pattern of dendritic organization that differentiates WS from other disorders. In particular, and unlike what was expected based on typically developing brains, basal dendrites in the two PFC areas did not display longer and more branched dendrites compared to motor, sensory and visual areas. Moreover, dendritic branching, dendritic length, and the number of dendritic spines differed little within PFC and between the central executive region (BA 10) and BA 11 that is part of the orbitofrontal region involved into emotional processing. In contrast, the relationship between the degree of neuronal branching in supra- versus infra-granular layers was spared in WS. Although this study utilized tissue held in formalin for a prolonged period of time and the number of neurons available for analysis was limited, our findings indicate that WS cortex, similar to that in other neurodevelopmental disorders such as Down syndrome, Rett syndrome, Fragile X, and idiopathic autism, has altered morphology of basal dendrites on pyramidal neurons, which appears more prominent in selected areas of the PFC. Results were examined from developmental perspectives and discussed in the context of other neurodevelopmental disorders

  17. Basal Dendritic Morphology of Cortical Pyramidal Neurons in Williams Syndrome: Prefrontal Cortex and Beyond

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    Branka Hrvoj-Mihic

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Williams syndrome (WS is a unique neurodevelopmental disorder with a specific behavioral and cognitive profile, which includes hyperaffiliative behavior, poor social judgment, and lack of social inhibition. Here we examined the morphology of basal dendrites on pyramidal neurons in the cortex of two rare adult subjects with WS. Specifically, we examined two areas in the prefrontal cortex (PFC—the frontal pole (Brodmann area 10 and the orbitofrontal cortex (Brodmann area 11—and three areas in the motor, sensory, and visual cortex (BA 4, BA 3-1-2, BA 18. The findings suggest that the morphology of basal dendrites on the pyramidal neurons is altered in the cortex of WS, with differences that were layer-specific, more prominent in PFC areas, and displayed an overall pattern of dendritic organization that differentiates WS from other disorders. In particular, and unlike what was expected based on typically developing brains, basal dendrites in the two PFC areas did not display longer and more branched dendrites compared to motor, sensory and visual areas. Moreover, dendritic branching, dendritic length, and the number of dendritic spines differed little within PFC and between the central executive region (BA 10 and BA 11 that is part of the orbitofrontal region involved into emotional processing. In contrast, the relationship between the degree of neuronal branching in supra- versus infra-granular layers was spared in WS. Although this study utilized tissue held in formalin for a prolonged period of time and the number of neurons available for analysis was limited, our findings indicate that WS cortex, similar to that in other neurodevelopmental disorders such as Down syndrome, Rett syndrome, Fragile X, and idiopathic autism, has altered morphology of basal dendrites on pyramidal neurons, which appears more prominent in selected areas of the PFC. Results were examined from developmental perspectives and discussed in the context of other

  18. Cocaine Promotes Coincidence Detection and Lowers Induction Threshold during Hebbian Associative Synaptic Potentiation in Prefrontal Cortex.

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    Ruan, Hongyu; Yao, Wei-Dong

    2017-01-25

    Addictive drugs usurp neural plasticity mechanisms that normally serve reward-related learning and memory, primarily by evoking changes in glutamatergic synaptic strength in the mesocorticolimbic dopamine circuitry. Here, we show that repeated cocaine exposure in vivo does not alter synaptic strength in the mouse prefrontal cortex during an early period of withdrawal, but instead modifies a Hebbian quantitative synaptic learning rule by broadening the temporal window and lowers the induction threshold for spike-timing-dependent LTP (t-LTP). After repeated, but not single, daily cocaine injections, t-LTP in layer V pyramidal neurons is induced at +30 ms, a normally ineffective timing interval for t-LTP induction in saline-exposed mice. This cocaine-induced, extended-timing t-LTP lasts for ∼1 week after terminating cocaine and is accompanied by an increased susceptibility to potentiation by fewer pre-post spike pairs, indicating a reduced t-LTP induction threshold. Basal synaptic strength and the maximal attainable t-LTP magnitude remain unchanged after cocaine exposure. We further show that the cocaine facilitation of t-LTP induction is caused by sensitized D1-cAMP/protein kinase A dopamine signaling in pyramidal neurons, which then pathologically recruits voltage-gated l-type Ca 2+ channels that synergize with GluN2A-containing NMDA receptors to drive t-LTP at extended timing. Our results illustrate a mechanism by which cocaine, acting on a key neuromodulation pathway, modifies the coincidence detection window during Hebbian plasticity to facilitate associative synaptic potentiation in prefrontal excitatory circuits. By modifying rules that govern activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, addictive drugs can derail the experience-driven neural circuit remodeling process important for executive control of reward and addiction. It is believed that addictive drugs often render an addict's brain reward system hypersensitive, leaving the individual more susceptible to

  19. Medial prefrontal cortex and the adaptive regulation of reinforcement learning parameters.

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    Khamassi, Mehdi; Enel, Pierre; Dominey, Peter Ford; Procyk, Emmanuel

    2013-01-01

    Converging evidence suggest that the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) is involved in feedback categorization, performance monitoring, and task monitoring, and may contribute to the online regulation of reinforcement learning (RL) parameters that would affect decision-making processes in the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC). Previous neurophysiological experiments have shown MPFC activities encoding error likelihood, uncertainty, reward volatility, as well as neural responses categorizing different types of feedback, for instance, distinguishing between choice errors and execution errors. Rushworth and colleagues have proposed that the involvement of MPFC in tracking the volatility of the task could contribute to the regulation of one of RL parameters called the learning rate. We extend this hypothesis by proposing that MPFC could contribute to the regulation of other RL parameters such as the exploration rate and default action values in case of task shifts. Here, we analyze the sensitivity to RL parameters of behavioral performance in two monkey decision-making tasks, one with a deterministic reward schedule and the other with a stochastic one. We show that there exist optimal parameter values specific to each of these tasks, that need to be found for optimal performance and that are usually hand-tuned in computational models. In contrast, automatic online regulation of these parameters using some heuristics can help producing a good, although non-optimal, behavioral performance in each task. We finally describe our computational model of MPFC-LPFC interaction used for online regulation of the exploration rate and its application to a human-robot interaction scenario. There, unexpected uncertainties are produced by the human introducing cued task changes or by cheating. The model enables the robot to autonomously learn to reset exploration in response to such uncertain cues and events. The combined results provide concrete evidence specifying how prefrontal

  20. Functional connectivity with ventromedial prefrontal cortex reflects subjective value for social rewards.

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    Smith, David V; Clithero, John A; Boltuck, Sarah E; Huettel, Scott A

    2014-12-01

    According to many studies, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) encodes the subjective value of disparate rewards on a common scale. Yet, a host of other reward factors-likely represented outside of VMPFC-must be integrated to construct such signals for valuation. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we tested whether the interactions between posterior VMPFC and functionally connected brain regions predict subjective value. During fMRI scanning, participants rated the attractiveness of unfamiliar faces. We found that activation in dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, anterior VMPFC and caudate increased with higher attractiveness ratings. Using data from a post-scan task in which participants spent money to view attractive faces, we quantified each individual's subjective value for attractiveness. We found that connectivity between posterior VMPFC and regions frequently modulated by social information-including the temporal-parietal junction (TPJ) and middle temporal gyrus-was correlated with individual differences in subjective value. Crucially, these additional regions explained unique variation in subjective value beyond that extracted from value regions alone. These findings indicate not only that posterior VMPFC interacts with additional brain regions during valuation, but also that these additional regions carry information employed to construct the subjective value for social reward. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Normal Metabolic Levels in Prefrontal Cortex in Euthymic Bipolar I Patients with and without Suicide Attempts

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    Marlos Vasconcelos Rocha

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction/Objective. Evidence suggests that the prefrontal cortex has been implicated in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder (BD, but few neurochemical studies have evaluated this region in bipolar patients and there is no information from BD suicide attempters using Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (H+MRS. The objective was to evaluate the metabolic function of the medial orbital frontal cortex in euthymic BD type I suicide and nonsuicide attempters compared to healthy subjects by H+MRS. Methods. 40 euthymic bipolar I outpatients, 19 without and 21 with history of suicide attempt, and 22 healthy subjects were interviewed using the Structured Clinical Interview with the DSM-IV axis I, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, the Young Mania Rating Scale, and the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11 and underwent H+MRS. Results. We did not find any metabolic abnormality in medial orbital frontal regions of suicide and nonsuicide BD patients and BD patients as a group compared to healthy subjects. Conclusions. The combined chronic use of psychotropic drugs with neuroprotective or neurotrophic effects leading to a euthymic state for longer periods of time may improve neurometabolic function, at least measured by H+MRS, even in suicide attempters. Besides, these results may implicate mood dependent alterations in brain metabolic activity. However, more studies with larger sample sizes of this heterogeneous disorder are warranted to clarify these data.

  2. Reversible online control of habitual behavior by optogenetic perturbation of medial prefrontal cortex

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    Smith, Kyle S.; Virkud, Arti; Deisseroth, Karl; Graybiel, Ann M.

    2012-01-01

    Habits tend to form slowly but, once formed, can have great stability. We probed these temporal characteristics of habitual behaviors by intervening optogenetically in forebrain habit circuits as rats performed well-ingrained habitual runs in a T-maze. We trained rats to perform a maze habit, confirmed the habitual behavior by devaluation tests, and then, during the maze runs (ca. 3 s), we disrupted population activity in a small region in the medial prefrontal cortex, the infralimbic cortex. In accordance with evidence that this region is necessary for the expression of habits, we found that this cortical disruption blocked habitual behavior. Notably, however, this blockade of habitual performance occurred on line, within an average of three trials (ca. 9 s of inhibition), and as soon as during the first trial (habit, and, simultaneously, the more recently acquired habit was blocked. These online changes occurred within an average of two trials (ca. 6 s of infralimbic inhibition). Measured changes in generalized performance ability and motivation to consume reward were unaffected. This immediate toggling between breaking old habits and returning to them demonstrates that even semiautomatic behaviors are under cortical control and that this control occurs online, second by second. These temporal characteristics define a framework for uncovering cellular transitions between fixed and flexible behaviors, and corresponding disturbances in pathologies. PMID:23112197

  3. Anticipation of a mentally effortful task recruits Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex: An fNIRS validation study.

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    Vassena, Eliana; Gerrits, Robin; Demanet, Jelle; Verguts, Tom; Siugzdaite, Roma

    2018-04-26

    Preparing for a mentally demanding task calls upon cognitive and motivational resources. The underlying neural implementation of these mechanisms is receiving growing attention because of its implications for professional, social, and medical contexts. While several fMRI studies converge in assigning a crucial role to a cortico-subcortical network including Anterior Cigulate Cortex (ACC) and striatum, the involvement of Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex (DLPFC) during mental effort anticipation has yet to be replicated. This study was designed to target DLPFC contribution to anticipation of a difficult task using functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), as a more cost-effective tool measuring cortical hemodynamics. We adapted a validated mental effort task, where participants performed easy and difficult mental calculation, and measured DLPFC activity during the anticipation phase. As hypothesized, DLPFC activity increased during anticipation of a hard task as compared to an easy task. Besides replicating previous fMRI work, these results establish fNIRS as an effective tool to investigate cortical contributions to anticipation of effortful behavior. This is especially useful if one requires testing large samples (e.g., to target individual differences), populations with contraindication for functional MRI (e.g., infants or patients with metal implants), or subjects in more naturalistic environments (e.g., work or sport). Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  4. Analogical reasoning and prefrontal cortex: evidence for separable retrieval and integration mechanisms.

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    Bunge, Silvia A; Wendelken, Carter; Badre, David; Wagner, Anthony D

    2005-03-01

    The present study examined the contributions of prefrontal cortex (PFC) subregions to two component processes underlying verbal analogical reasoning: semantic retrieval and integration. Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired while subjects performed propositional analogy and semantic decision tasks. On each trial, subjects viewed a pair of words (pair 1), followed by an instructional cue and a second word pair (pair 2). On analogy trials, subjects evaluated whether pair 2 was semantically analogous to pair 1. On semantic trials, subjects indicated whether the pair 2 words were semantically related to each other. Thus, analogy--but not semantic--trials required integration across multiple retrieved relations. To identify regions involved in semantic retrieval, we manipulated the associative strength of pair 1 words in both tasks. Anterior left inferior PFC (aLIPC) was modulated by associative strength, consistent with a role in controlled semantic retrieval. Left frontopolar cortex was insensitive to associative strength, but was more sensitive to integration demands than was aLIPC, consistent with a role in integrating the products of semantic retrieval to evaluate whether distinct representations are analogous. Right dorsolateral PFC exhibited a profile consistent with a role in response selection rather than retrieval or integration. These findings indicate that verbal analogical reasoning depends on multiple, PFC-mediated computations.

  5. Maintenance of non-consciously presented information engages the prefrontal cortex

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    Fredrik eBergström

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Conscious processing is generally seen as required for flexible and willful actions, as well as for tasks that require durable information maintenance. Here we present research that questions the assumption that only consciously perceived information is durable (> 500 ms. Using the attentional blink phenomenon, we rendered otherwise relatively clearly perceived letters non-conscious. In a first experiment we systematically manipulated the delay between stimulus presentation and response, for the purpose of estimating the durability of non-conscious perceptual representations. For items reported not seen, we found that behavioral performance was better than chance across intervals up to 15 seconds. In a second experiment we used fMRI to investigate the neural correlates underlying the maintenance of non-conscious perceptual representations. Critically, the relatively long delay period demonstrated in experiment 1 enabled isolation of the signal change specifically related to the maintenance period, separate from stimulus presentation and response. We found sustained BOLD signal change in the right mid-lateral prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, and crus II of the cerebellum during maintenance of non-consciously perceived information. These findings are consistent with the controversial claim that working-memory mechanisms are involved in the short-term maintenance of non-conscious perceptual representations.

  6. From rule to response: neuronal processes in the premotor and prefrontal cortex.

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    Wallis, Jonathan D; Miller, Earl K

    2003-09-01

    The ability to use abstract rules or principles allows behavior to generalize from specific circumstances (e.g., rules learned in a specific restaurant can subsequently be applied to any dining experience). Neurons in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) encode such rules. However, to guide behavior, rules must be linked to motor responses. We investigated the neuronal mechanisms underlying this process by recording from the PFC and the premotor cortex (PMC) of monkeys trained to use two abstract rules: "same" or "different." The monkeys had to either hold or release a lever, depending on whether two successively presented pictures were the same or different, and depending on which rule was in effect. The abstract rules were represented in both regions, although they were more prevalent and were encoded earlier and more strongly in the PMC. There was a perceptual bias in the PFC, relative to the PMC, with more PFC neurons encoding the presented pictures. In contrast, neurons encoding the behavioral response were more prevalent in the PMC, and the selectivity was stronger and appeared earlier in the PMC than in the PFC.

  7. Activation of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in a dual neuropsychological screening test: An fMRI approach

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    Tachibana Atsumichi

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Kana Pick-out Test (KPT, which uses Kana or Japanese symbols that represent syllables, requires parallel processing of discrete (pick-out and continuous (reading dual tasks. As a dual task, the KPT is thought to test working memory and executive function, particularly in the prefrontal cortex (PFC, and is widely used in Japan as a clinical screen for dementia. Nevertheless, there has been little neurological investigation into PFC activity during this test. Methods We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to evaluate changes in the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD signal in young healthy adults during performance of a computerized KPT dual task (comprised of reading comprehension and picking out vowels and compared it to its single task components (reading or vowel pick-out alone. Results Behavioral performance of the KPT degraded compared to its single task components. Performance of the KPT markedly increased BOLD signal intensity in the PFC, and also activated sensorimotor, parietal association, and visual cortex areas. In conjunction analyses, bilateral BOLD signal in the dorsolateral PFC (Brodmann's areas 45, 46 was present only in the KPT. Conclusions Our results support the central bottleneck theory and suggest that the dorsolateral PFC is an important mediator of neural activity for both short-term storage and executive processes. Quantitative evaluation of the KPT with fMRI in healthy adults is the first step towards understanding the effects of aging or cognitive impairment on KPT performance.

  8. Activation of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in a dual neuropsychological screening test: an fMRI approach.

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    Tachibana, Atsumichi; Noah, J Adam; Bronner, Shaw; Ono, Yumie; Hirano, Yoshiyuki; Niwa, Masami; Watanabe, Kazuko; Onozuka, Minoru

    2012-05-28

    The Kana Pick-out Test (KPT), which uses Kana or Japanese symbols that represent syllables, requires parallel processing of discrete (pick-out) and continuous (reading) dual tasks. As a dual task, the KPT is thought to test working memory and executive function, particularly in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), and is widely used in Japan as a clinical screen for dementia. Nevertheless, there has been little neurological investigation into PFC activity during this test. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to evaluate changes in the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal in young healthy adults during performance of a computerized KPT dual task (comprised of reading comprehension and picking out vowels) and compared it to its single task components (reading or vowel pick-out alone). Behavioral performance of the KPT degraded compared to its single task components. Performance of the KPT markedly increased BOLD signal intensity in the PFC, and also activated sensorimotor, parietal association, and visual cortex areas. In conjunction analyses, bilateral BOLD signal in the dorsolateral PFC (Brodmann's areas 45, 46) was present only in the KPT. Our results support the central bottleneck theory and suggest that the dorsolateral PFC is an important mediator of neural activity for both short-term storage and executive processes. Quantitative evaluation of the KPT with fMRI in healthy adults is the first step towards understanding the effects of aging or cognitive impairment on KPT performance.

  9. The default modes of reading: Modulation of posterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex connectivity associated with subjective and objective differences in reading experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan eSmallwood

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Reading is a fundamental human capacity and yet it can easily be derailed by the simple act of mind-wandering. A large-scale brain network, referred to as the default mode network (DMN, has been shown to be involved in both mind-wandering and reading, raising the question as to how the same neural system could be implicated in processes with both costs and benefits to narrative comprehension. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI was used to explore whether the intrinsic functional connectivity of the two key midline hubs of the DMN — the posterior cingulate (PCC and medial prefrontal cortex (aMPFC — was predictive of individual differences in reading effectiveness (better comprehension, superior and task focus recorded outside of the scanner. Worse comprehension was associated with greater functional connectivity between the PCC and a region of the ventral striatum. By contrast reports of increasing task focus were associated with functional connectivity from the aMPFC to clusters in the PCC, the left parietal and temporal cortex, and the cerebellum. Our results suggest that the DMN has both costs (such as poor comprehension and benefits to reading (such as an on-task focus because its midline core can couple its activity with other regions to form distinct functional communities that allow seemingly opposing mental states to occur. This flexible coupling allows the DMN to participate in cognitive states that complement the act of reading as well as others that do not.

  10. The medial prefrontal cortex-lateral entorhinal cortex circuit is essential for episodic-like memory and associative object-recognition.

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    Chao, Owen Y; Huston, Joseph P; Li, Jay-Shake; Wang, An-Li; de Souza Silva, Maria A

    2016-05-01

    The prefrontal cortex directly projects to the lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC), an important substrate for engaging item-associated information and relaying the information to the hippocampus. Here we ask to what extent the communication between the prefrontal cortex and LEC is critically involved in the processing of episodic-like memory. We applied a disconnection procedure to test whether the interaction between the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and LEC is essential for the expression of recognition memory. It was found that male rats that received unilateral NMDA lesions of the mPFC and LEC in the same hemisphere, exhibited intact episodic-like (what-where-when) and object-recognition memories. When these lesions were placed in the opposite hemispheres (disconnection), episodic-like and associative memories for object identity, location and context were impaired. However, the disconnection did not impair the components of episodic memory, namely memory for novel object (what), object place (where) and temporal order (when), per se. Thus, the present findings suggest that the mPFC and LEC are a critical part of a neural circuit that underlies episodic-like and associative object-recognition memory. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Representation of Gravity-Aligned Scene Structure in Ventral Pathway Visual Cortex.

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    Vaziri, Siavash; Connor, Charles E

    2016-03-21

    The ventral visual pathway in humans and non-human primates is known to represent object information, including shape and identity [1]. Here, we show the ventral pathway also represents scene structure aligned with the gravitational reference frame in which objects move and interact. We analyzed shape tuning of recently described macaque monkey ventral pathway neurons that prefer scene-like stimuli to objects [2]. Individual neurons did not respond to a single shape class, but to a variety of scene elements that are typically aligned with gravity: large planes in the orientation range of ground surfaces under natural viewing conditions, planes in the orientation range of ceilings, and extended convex and concave edges in the orientation range of wall/floor/ceiling junctions. For a given neuron, these elements tended to share a common alignment in eye-centered coordinates. Thus, each neuron integrated information about multiple gravity-aligned structures as they would be seen from a specific eye and head orientation. This eclectic coding strategy provides only ambiguous information about individual structures but explicit information about the environmental reference frame and the orientation of gravity in egocentric coordinates. In the ventral pathway, this could support perceiving and/or predicting physical events involving objects subject to gravity, recognizing object attributes like animacy based on movement not caused by gravity, and/or stabilizing perception of the world against changes in head orientation [3-5]. Our results, like the recent discovery of object weight representation [6], imply that the ventral pathway is involved not just in recognition, but also in physical understanding of objects and scenes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The neural system of metacognition accompanying decision-making in the prefrontal cortex

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    Qiu, Lirong; Su, Jie; Ni, Yinmei; Bai, Yang; Zhang, Xuesong; Li, Xiaoli

    2018-01-01

    Decision-making is usually accompanied by metacognition, through which a decision maker monitors uncertainty regarding a decision and may then consequently revise the decision. These metacognitive processes can occur prior to or in the absence of feedback. However, the neural mechanisms of metacognition remain controversial. One theory proposes an independent neural system for metacognition in the prefrontal cortex (PFC); the other, that metacognitive processes coincide and overlap with the systems used for the decision-making process per se. In this study, we devised a novel “decision–redecision” paradigm to investigate the neural metacognitive processes involved in redecision as compared to the initial decision-making process. The participants underwent a perceptual decision-making task and a rule-based decision-making task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We found that the anterior PFC, including the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and lateral frontopolar cortex (lFPC), were more extensively activated after the initial decision. The dACC activity in redecision positively scaled with decision uncertainty and correlated with individual metacognitive uncertainty monitoring abilities—commonly occurring in both tasks—indicating that the dACC was specifically involved in decision uncertainty monitoring. In contrast, the lFPC activity seen in redecision processing was scaled with decision uncertainty reduction and correlated with individual accuracy changes—positively in the rule-based decision-making task and negatively in the perceptual decision-making task. Our results show that the lFPC was specifically involved in metacognitive control of decision adjustment and was subject to different control demands of the tasks. Therefore, our findings support that a separate neural system in the PFC is essentially involved in metacognition and further, that functions of the PFC in metacognition are dissociable. PMID:29684004

  13. Changes in cue-induced, prefrontal cortex activity with video-game play.

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    Han, Doug Hyun; Kim, Yang Soo; Lee, Yong Sik; Min, Kyung Joon; Renshaw, Perry F

    2010-12-01

    Brain responses, particularly within the orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices, to Internet video-game cues in college students are similar to those observed in patients with substance dependence in response to the substance-related cues. In this study, we report changes in brain activity between baseline and following 6 weeks of Internet video-game play. We hypothesized that subjects with high levels of self-reported craving for Internet video-game play would be associated with increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, particularly the orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortex. Twenty-one healthy university students were recruited. At baseline and after a 6-week period of Internet video-game play, brain activity during presentation of video-game cues was assessed using 3T blood oxygen level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging. Craving for Internet video-game play was assessed by self-report on a 7-point visual analogue scale following cue presentation. During a standardized 6-week video-game play period, brain activity in the anterior cingulate and orbitofrontal cortex of the excessive Internet game-playing group (EIGP) increased in response to Internet video-game cues. In contrast, activity observed in the general player group (GP) was not changed or decreased. In addition, the change of craving for Internet video games was positively correlated with the change in activity of the anterior cingulate in all subjects. These changes in frontal-lobe activity with extended video-game play may be similar to those observed during the early stages of addiction.

  14. Modulation of the Left Prefrontal Cortex with High Frequency Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Facilitates Gait in Multiple Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amer M. Burhan

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Multiple Sclerosis (MS is a chronic central nervous system (CNS demyelinating disease. Gait abnormalities are common and disabling in patients with MS with limited treatment options available. Emerging evidence suggests a role of prefrontal attention networks in modulating gait. High-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS is known to enhance cortical excitability in stimulated cortex and its correlates. We investigated the effect of high-frequency left prefrontal rTMS on gait parameters in a 51-year-old Caucasian male with chronic relapsing/remitting MS with residual disabling attention and gait symptoms. Patient received 6 Hz, rTMS at 90% motor threshold using figure of eight coil centered on F3 location (using 10-20 electroencephalography (EEG lead localization system. GAITRite gait analysis system was used to collect objective gait measures before and after one session and in another occasion three consecutive daily sessions of rTMS. Two-tailed within subject repeated measure t-test showed significant enhancement in ambulation time, gait velocity, and cadence after three consecutive daily sessions of rTMS. Modulating left prefrontal cortex excitability using rTMS resulted in significant change in gait parameters after three sessions. To our knowledge, this is the first report that demonstrates the effect of rTMS applied to the prefrontal cortex on gait in MS patients.

  15. Lateral Orbitofrontal Cortical Modulation on the Medial Prefrontal Cortex-Amygdala Pathway: Differential Regulation of Intra-Amygdala GABAA and GABAB Receptors.

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    Chang, Chun-Hui

    2017-07-01

    The basolateral complex of the amygdala receives inputs from neocortical areas, including the medial prefrontal cortex and lateral orbitofrontal cortex. Earlier studies have shown that lateral orbitofrontal cortex activation exerts an inhibitory gating on medial prefrontal cortex-amygdala information flow. Here we examined the individual role of GABAA and GABAB receptors in this process. In vivo extracellular single-unit recordings were done in anesthetized rats. We searched amygdala neurons that fire in response to medial prefrontal cortex activation, tested lateral orbitofrontal cortex gating at different delays (lateral orbitofrontal cortex-medial prefrontal cortex delays: 25, 50, 100, 250, 500, and 1000 milliseconds), and examined differential contribution of GABAA and GABAB receptors with iontophoresis. Relative to baseline, lateral orbitofrontal cortex stimulation exerted an inhibitory modulatory gating on the medial prefrontal cortex-amygdala pathway and was effective up to a long delay of 500 ms (long-delay latencies at 100, 250, and 500 milliseconds). Moreover, blockade of intra-amygdala GABAA receptors with bicuculline abolished the lateral orbitofrontal cortex inhibitory gating at both short- (25 milliseconds) and long-delay (100 milliseconds) intervals, while blockade of GABAB receptors with saclofen reversed the inhibitory gating at long delay (100 milliseconds) only. Among the majority of the neurons examined (8 of 9), inactivation of either GABAA or GABAB receptors during baseline did not change evoked probability per se, suggesting that local feed-forward inhibitory mechanism is pathway specific. Our results suggest that the effect of lateral orbitofrontal cortex inhibitory modulatory gating was effective up to 500 milliseconds and that intra-amygdala GABAA and GABAB receptors differentially modulate the short- and long-delay lateral orbitofrontal cortex inhibitory gating on the medial prefrontal cortex-amygdala pathway. © The Author 2017

  16. Effect of stimulation by foliage plant display images on prefrontal cortex activity: a comparison with stimulation using actual foliage plants.

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    Igarashi, Miho; Song, Chorong; Ikei, Harumi; Miyazaki, Yoshifumi

    2015-01-01

    Natural scenes like forests and flowers evoke neurophysiological responses that can suppress anxiety and relieve stress. We examined whether images of natural objects can elicit neural responses similar to those evoked by real objects by comparing the activation of the prefrontal cortex during presentation of real foliage plants with a projected image of the same foliage plants. Oxy-hemoglobin concentrations in the prefrontal cortex were measured using time-resolved near-infrared spectroscopy while the subjects viewed the real plants or a projected image of the same plants. Compared with a projected image of foliage plants, viewing the actual foliage plants significantly increased oxy-hemoglobin concentrations in the prefrontal cortex. However, using the modified semantic differential method, subjective emotional response ratings ("comfortable vs. uncomfortable" and "relaxed vs. awakening") were similar for both stimuli. The frontal cortex responded differently to presentation of actual plants compared with images of these plants even when the subjective emotional response was similar. These results may help explain the physical and mental health benefits of urban, domestic, and workplace foliage. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Neuroimaging published by the American Society of Neuroimaging.

  17. Short-term environmental enrichment exposure induces proliferation and maturation of doublecortin-positive cells in the prefrontal cortex

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    Fan, Chunling; Zhang, Mengqi; Shang, Lei; Cynthia, Ngobe Akume; Li, Zhi; Yang, Zhenyu; Chen, Dan; Huang, Jufang; Xiong, Kun

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that doublecortin-positive immature neurons exist predominantly in the superficial layer of the cerebral cortex of adult mammals such as guinea pigs, and these neurons exhibit very weak properties of self-proliferation during adulthood under physiological conditions. To verify whether environmental enrichment has an impact on the proliferation and maturation of these immature neurons in the prefrontal cortex of adult guinea pigs, healthy adult guinea pigs were subjected to short-term environmental enrichment. Animals were allowed to play with various cognitive and physical stimulating objects over a period of 2 weeks, twice per day, for 60 minutes each. Immunofluorescence staining results indicated that the number of doublecortin-positive cells in layer II of the prefrontal cortex was significantly increased after short-term environmental enrichment exposure. In addition, these doublecortin-positive cells co-expressed 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (a marker of cell proliferation), c-Fos (a marker of cell viability) and NeuN (a marker of mature neurons). Experimental findings showed that short-term environmental enrichment can induce proliferation, activation and maturation of doublecortin-positive cells in layer II of the prefrontal cortex of adult guinea pigs. PMID:25206818

  18. An integrative theory of the phasic and tonic modes of dopamine modulation in the prefrontal cortex.

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    Dreher, Jean-Claude; Burnod, Yves

    2002-01-01

    This paper presents a model of both tonic and phasic dopamine (DA) effects on maintenance of working memory representations in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). The central hypothesis is that DA modulates the efficacy of inputs to prefrontal pyramidal neurons to prevent interferences for active maintenance. Phasic DA release, due to DA neurons discharges, acts at a short time-scale (a few seconds), while the tonic mode of DA release, independent of DA neurons firing, acts at a long time-scale (a few minutes). The overall effect of DA modulation is modeled as a threshold restricting incoming inputs arriving on PFC neurons. Phasic DA release temporary increases this threshold while tonic DA release progressively increases the basal level of this threshold. Thus, unlike the previous gating theory of phasic DA release, proposing that it facilitates incoming inputs at the time of their arrival, the effect of phasic DA release is supposed to restrict incoming inputs during a period of time after DA neuron discharges. The model links the cellular and behavioral levels during performance of a working memory task. It allows us to understand why a critical range of DA D1 receptors stimulation is required for optimal working memory performance and how D1 receptor agonists (respectively antagonists) increase perseverations (respectively distractability). Finally, the model leads to several testable predictions, including that the PFC regulates DA neurons firing rate to adapt to the delay of the task and that increase in tonic DA release may either improve or decrease performance, depending on the level of DA receptors stimulation at the beginning of the task.

  19. Motor learning and modulation of prefrontal cortex: an fNIRS assessment

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    Ono, Yumie; Noah, Jack Adam; Zhang, Xian; Nomoto, Yasunori; Suzuki, Tatsuya; Shimada, Sotaro; Tachibana, Atsumichi; Bronner, Shaw; Hirsch, Joy

    2015-12-01

    Objective. Prefrontal hemodynamic responses are observed during performance of motor tasks. Using a dance video game (DVG), a complex motor task that requires temporally accurate footsteps with given visual and auditory cues, we investigated whether 20 h of DVG training modified hemodynamic responses of the prefrontal cortex in six healthy young adults. Approach. Fronto-temporal activity during actual DVG play was measured using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) pre- and post-training. To evaluate the training-induced changes in the time-courses of fNIRS signals, we employed a regression analysis using the task-specific template fNIRS signals that were generated from alternate well-trained and/or novice DVG players. The HRF was also separately incorporated as a template to construct an alternate regression model. Change in coefficients for template functions at pre- and post- training were determined and compared among different models. Main results. Training significantly increased the motor performance using the number of temporally accurate steps in the DVG as criteria. The mean oxygenated hemoglobin (ΔoxyHb) waveform changed from an activation above baseline pattern to that of a below baseline pattern. Participants showed significantly decreased coefficients for regressors of the ΔoxyHb response of novice players and HRF. The model using ΔoxyHb responses from both well-trained and novice players of DVG as templates showed the best fit for the ΔoxyHb responses of the participants at both pre- and post-training when analyzed with Akaike information criteria. Significance. These results suggest that the coefficients for the template ΔoxyHb responses of the novice players are sensitive indicators of motor learning during the initial stage of training and thus clinically useful to determine the improvement in motor performance when patients are engaged in a specific rehabilitation program.

  20. Hemispheric asymmetry in stress processing in rat prefrontal cortex and the role of mesocortical dopamine.

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    Sullivan, R M

    2004-06-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is known to play an important role not only in the regulation of emotion, but in the integration of affective states with appropriate modulation of autonomic and neuroendocrine stress regulatory systems. The present review highlights findings in the rat which helps to elucidate the complex nature of prefrontal involvement in emotion and stress regulation. The medial PFC is particularly important in this regard and while dorsomedial regions appear to play a suppressive role in such regulation, the ventromedial (particularly infralimbic) region appears to activate behavioral, neuroendocrine and sympathetic autonomic systems in response to stressful situations. This may be especially true of spontaneous stress-related behavior or physiological responses to relatively acute stressors. The role of the medial PFC is somewhat more complex in conditions involving learned adjustments to stressful situations, such as the extinction of conditioned fear responses, but it is clear that the medial PFC is important in incorporating stressful experience for future adaptive behavior. It is also suggested that mesocortical dopamine plays an important adaptive role in this region by preventing excessive behavioral and physiological stress reactivity. The rat brain shows substantial hemispheric specialization in many respects, and while the right PFC is normally dominant in the activation of stress-related systems, the left may play a role in countering this activation through processes of interhemispheric inhibition. This proposed basic template for the lateralization of stress regulatory systems is suggested to be associated with efficient stress and emotional self-regulation, and also to be shaped by both early postnatal experience and gender differences.

  1. Mirror trends of plasticity and stability indicators in primate prefrontal cortex.

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    García-Cabezas, Miguel Á; Joyce, Mary Kate P; John, Yohan J; Zikopoulos, Basilis; Barbas, Helen

    2017-10-01

    Research on plasticity markers in the cerebral cortex has largely focused on their timing of expression and role in shaping circuits during critical and normal periods. By contrast, little attention has been focused on the spatial dimension of plasticity-stability across cortical areas. The rationale for this analysis is based on the systematic variation in cortical structure that parallels functional specialization and raises the possibility of varying levels of plasticity. Here, we investigated in adult rhesus monkeys the expression of markers related to synaptic plasticity or stability in prefrontal limbic and eulaminate areas that vary in laminar structure. Our findings revealed that limbic areas are impoverished in three markers of stability: intracortical myelin, the lectin Wisteria floribunda agglutinin, which labels perineuronal nets, and parvalbumin, which is expressed in a class of strong inhibitory neurons. By contrast, prefrontal limbic areas were enriched in the enzyme calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), known to enhance plasticity. Eulaminate areas have more elaborate laminar architecture than limbic areas and showed the opposite trend: they were enriched in markers of stability and had lower expression of the plasticity-related marker CaMKII. The expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), a marker of activated astrocytes, was also higher in limbic areas, suggesting that cellular stress correlates with the rate of circuit reshaping. Elevated markers of plasticity may endow limbic areas with flexibility necessary for learning and memory within an affective context, but may also render them vulnerable to abnormal structural changes, as seen in neurologic and psychiatric diseases. © 2017 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. tDCS over the left prefrontal cortex enhances cognitive control for positive affective stimuli.

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    Vanderhasselt, Marie-Anne; De Raedt, Rudi; Brunoni, Andre R; Campanhã, Camila; Baeken, Chris; Remue, Jonathan; Boggio, Paulo S

    2013-01-01

    Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) is a neuromodulation technique with promising results for enhancing cognitive information processes. So far, however, research has mainly focused on the effects of tDCS on cognitive control operations for non-emotional material. Therefore, our aim was to investigate the effects on cognitive control considering negative versus positive material. For this sham-controlled, within-subjects study, we selected a homogeneous sample of twenty-five healthy participants. By using behavioral measures and event related potentials (ERP) as indexes, we aimed to investigate whether a single session of anodal tDCS of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) would have specific effects in enhancing cognitive control for positive and negative valenced stimuli. After tDCS over the left DLPFC (and not sham control stimulation), we observed more negative N450 amplitudes along with faster reaction times when inhibiting a habitual response to happy compared to sad facial expressions. Gender did not influence the effects of tDCS on cognitive control for emotional information. In line with the Valence Theory of side-lateralized activity, this stimulation protocol might have led to a left dominant (relative to right) prefrontal cortical activity, resulting in augmented cognitive control specifically for positive relative to negative stimuli. To verify that tDCS induces effects that are in line with all aspects of the well known Valence Theory, future research should investigate the effects of tDCS over the left vs. right DLPFC on cognitive control for emotional information.

  3. tDCS over the left prefrontal cortex enhances cognitive control for positive affective stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Anne Vanderhasselt

    Full Text Available Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS is a neuromodulation technique with promising results for enhancing cognitive information processes. So far, however, research has mainly focused on the effects of tDCS on cognitive control operations for non-emotional material. Therefore, our aim was to investigate the effects on cognitive control considering negative versus positive material. For this sham-controlled, within-subjects study, we selected a homogeneous sample of twenty-five healthy participants. By using behavioral measures and event related potentials (ERP as indexes, we aimed to investigate whether a single session of anodal tDCS of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC would have specific effects in enhancing cognitive control for positive and negative valenced stimuli. After tDCS over the left DLPFC (and not sham control stimulation, we observed more negative N450 amplitudes along with faster reaction times when inhibiting a habitual response to happy compared to sad facial expressions. Gender did not influence the effects of tDCS on cognitive control for emotional information. In line with the Valence Theory of side-lateralized activity, this stimulation protocol might have led to a left dominant (relative to right prefrontal cortical activity, resulting in augmented cognitive control specifically for positive relative to negative stimuli. To verify that tDCS induces effects that are in line with all aspects of the well known Valence Theory, future research should investigate the effects of tDCS over the left vs. right DLPFC on cognitive control for emotional information.

  4. Disrupting the ventral premotor cortex interferes with the contribution of action observation to use-dependent plasticity.

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    Cantarero, Gabriela; Galea, Joseph M; Ajagbe, Loni; Salas, Rachel; Willis, Jeff; Celnik, Pablo

    2011-12-01

    Action observation (AO), observing another individual perform an action, has been implicated in several higher cognitive processes including forming basic motor memories. Previous work has shown that physical practice (PP) results in cortical motor representational changes, referred to as use-dependent plasticity (UDP), and that AO combined with PP potentiates UDP in both healthy adults and stroke patients. In humans, AO results in activation of the ventral premotor cortex (PMv), however, whether this PMv activation has a functional contribution to UDP is not known. Here, we studied the effects disruption of PMv has on UDP when subjects performed PP combined with AO (PP + AO). Subjects participated in two randomized crossover sessions measuring the amount of UDP resulting from PP + AO while receiving disruptive (1 Hz) TMS over the fMRI-activated PMv or over frontal cortex (Sham). We found that, unlike the sham session, disruptive TMS over PMv reduced the beneficial contribution of AO to UDP. To ensure that disruption of PMv was specifically interfering with the contribution of AO and not PP, subjects completed two more control sessions where they performed only PP while receiving disruptive TMS over PMv or frontal cortex. We found that the magnitude of UDP for both control sessions was similar to PP + AO with TMS over PMv. These findings suggest that the fMRI activation found in PMv during AO studies is functionally relevant to task performance, at least for the beneficial effects that AO exerts over motor training.

  5. Hebbian Learning in a Random Network Captures Selectivity Properties of the Prefrontal Cortex

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    Lindsay, Grace W.

    2017-01-01

    Complex cognitive behaviors, such as context-switching and rule-following, are thought to be supported by the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Neural activity in the PFC must thus be specialized to specific tasks while retaining flexibility. Nonlinear “mixed” selectivity is an important neurophysiological trait for enabling complex and context-dependent behaviors. Here we investigate (1) the extent to which the PFC exhibits computationally relevant properties, such as mixed selectivity, and (2) how such properties could arise via circuit mechanisms. We show that PFC cells recorded from male and female rhesus macaques during a complex task show a moderate level of specialization and structure that is not replicated by a model wherein cells receive random feedforward inputs. While random connectivity can be effective at generating mixed selectivity, the data show significantly more mixed selectivity than predicted by a model with otherwise matched parameters. A simple Hebbian learning rule applied to the random connectivity, however, increases mixed selectivity and enables the model to match the data more accurately. To explain how learning achieves this, we provide analysis along with a clear geometric interpretation of the impact of learning on selectivity. After learning, the model also matches the data on measures of noise, response density, clustering, and the distribution of selectivities. Of two styles of Hebbian learning tested, the simpler and more biologically plausible option better matches the data. These modeling results provide clues about how neural properties important for cognition can arise in a circuit and make clear experimental predictions regarding how various measures of selectivity would evolve during animal training. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The prefrontal cortex is a brain region believed to support the ability of animals to engage in complex behavior. How neurons in this area respond to stimuli—and in particular, to combinations of stimuli (

  6. Functional coupling networks inferred from prefrontal cortex activity show experience-related effective plasticity

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    Gaia Tavoni

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Functional coupling networks are widely used to characterize collective patterns of activity in neural populations. Here, we ask whether functional couplings reflect the subtle changes, such as in physiological interactions, believed to take place during learning. We infer functional network models reproducing the spiking activity of simultaneously recorded neurons in prefrontal cortex (PFC of rats, during the performance of a cross-modal rule shift task (task epoch, and during preceding and following sleep epochs. A large-scale study of the 96 recorded sessions allows us to detect, in about 20% of sessions, effective plasticity between the sleep epochs. These coupling modifications are correlated with the coupling values in the task epoch, and are supported by a small subset of the recorded neurons, which we identify by means of an automatized procedure. These potentiated groups increase their coativation frequency in the spiking data between the two sleep epochs, and, hence, participate to putative experience-related cell assemblies. Study of the reactivation dynamics of the potentiated groups suggests a possible connection with behavioral learning. Reactivation is largely driven by hippocampal ripple events when the rule is not yet learned, and may be much more autonomous, and presumably sustained by the potentiated PFC network, when learning is consolidated. Cell assemblies coding for memories are widely believed to emerge through synaptic modification resulting from learning, yet their identification from activity is very arduous. We propose a functional-connectivity-based approach to identify experience-related cell assemblies from multielectrode recordings in vivo, and apply it to the prefrontal cortex activity of rats recorded during a task epoch and the preceding and following sleep epochs. We infer functional couplings between the recorded cells in each epoch. Comparisons of the functional coupling networks across the epochs allow us

  7. Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex GABA Concentration in Humans Predicts Working Memory Load Processing Capacity.

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    Yoon, Jong H; Grandelis, Anthony; Maddock, Richard J

    2016-11-16

    The discovery of neural mechanisms of working memory (WM) would significantly enhance our understanding of complex human behaviors and guide treatment development for WM-related impairments found in neuropsychiatric conditions and aging. Although the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has long been considered critical for WM, we still know little about the neural elements and pathways within the DLPFC that support WM in humans. In this study, we tested whether an individual's DLPFC gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA) content predicts individual differences in WM task performance using a novel behavioral approach. Twenty-three healthy adults completed a task that measured the unique contribution of major WM components (memory load, maintenance, and distraction resistance) to performance. This was done to address the possibility that components have differing GABA dependencies and the failure to parse WM into components would lead to missing true associations with GABA. The subjects then had their DLPFC GABA content measured by single-voxel proton magnetic spectroscopy. We found that individuals with lower DLPFC GABA showed greater performance degradation with higher load, accounting for 31% of variance, p (corrected) = 0.015. This relationship was component, neurochemical, and brain region specific. DLPFC GABA content did not predict performance sensitivity to other components tested; DLPFC glutamate + glutamine and visual cortical GABA content did not predict load sensitivity. These results confirm the involvement of DLPFC GABA in WM load processing in humans and implicate factors controlling DLPFC GABA content in the neural mechanisms of WM and its impairments. This study demonstrated for the first time that the amount of gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter of the brain, in an individual's prefrontal cortex predicts working memory (WM) task performance. Given that WM is required for many of the most characteristic cognitive and

  8. Role of Prefrontal Cortex in Learning and Generalizing Hierarchical Rules in 8-Month-Old Infants.

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    Werchan, Denise M; Collins, Anne G E; Frank, Michael J; Amso, Dima

    2016-10-05

    Recent research indicates that adults and infants spontaneously create and generalize hierarchical rule sets during incidental learning. Computational models and empirical data suggest that, in adults, this process is supported by circuits linking prefrontal cortex (PFC) with striatum and their modulation by dopamine, but the neural circuits supporting this form of learning in infants are largely unknown. We used near-infrared spectroscopy to record PFC activity in 8-month-old human infants during a simple audiovisual hierarchical-rule-learning task. Behavioral results confirmed that infants adopted hierarchical rule sets to learn and generalize spoken object-label mappings across different speaker contexts. Infants had increased activity over right dorsal lateral PFC when rule sets switched from one trial to the next, a neural marker related to updating rule sets into working memory in the adult literature. Infants' eye blink rate, a possible physiological correlate of striatal dopamine activity, also increased when rule sets switched from one trial to the next. Moreover, the increase in right dorsolateral PFC activity in conjunction with eye blink rate also predicted infants' generalization ability, providing exploratory evidence for frontostriatal involvement during learning. These findings provide evidence that PFC is involved in rudimentary hierarchical rule learning in 8-month-old infants, an ability that was previously thought to emerge later in life in concert with PFC maturation. Hierarchical rule learning is a powerful learning mechanism that allows rules to be selected in a context-appropriate fashion and transferred or reused in novel contexts. Data from computational models and adults suggests that this learning mechanism is supported by dopamine-innervated interactions between prefrontal cortex (PFC) and striatum. Here, we provide evidence that PFC also supports hierarchical rule learning during infancy, challenging the current dogma that PFC is an

  9. Abstract memory representations in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus support concept generalization.

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    Bowman, Caitlin R; Zeithamova, Dagmar

    2018-02-07

    Memory function involves both the ability to remember details of individual experiences and the ability to link information across events to create new knowledge. Prior research has identified the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) and the hippocampus as important for integrating across events in service of generalization in episodic memory. The degree to which these memory integration mechanisms contribute to other forms of generalization, such as concept learning, is unclear. The present study used a concept-learning task in humans (both sexes) coupled with model-based fMRI to test whether VMPFC and hippocampus contribute to concept generalization, and whether they do so by maintaining specific category exemplars or abstract category representations. Two formal categorization models were fit to individual subject data: a prototype model that posits abstract category representations and an exemplar model that posits category representations based on individual category members. Latent variables from each of these models were entered into neuroimaging analyses to determine whether VMPFC and the hippocampus track prototype or exemplar information during concept generalization. Behavioral model fits indicated that almost three quarters of the subjects relied on prototype information when making judgments about new category members. Paralleling prototype dominance in behavior, correlates of the prototype model were identified in VMPFC and the anterior hippocampus with no significant exemplar correlates. These results indicate that the VMPFC and portions of the hippocampus play a broad role in memory generalization and that they do so by representing abstract information integrated from multiple events. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Whether people represent concepts as a set of individual category members or by deriving generalized concept representations abstracted across exemplars has been debated. In episodic memory, generalized memory representations have been shown

  10. Transcranial Stimulation of the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Prevents Stress-Induced Working Memory Deficits.

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    Bogdanov, Mario; Schwabe, Lars

    2016-01-27

    Stress is known to impair working memory performance. This disruptive effect of stress on working memory has been linked to a decrease in the activity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). In the present experiment, we tested whether transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the dlPFC can prevent stress-induced working memory impairments. We tested 120 healthy participants in a 2 d, sham-controlled, double-blind between-subjects design. Participants completed a test of their individual baseline working memory capacity on day 1. On day 2, participants were exposed to either a stressor or a control manipulation before they performed a visuospatial and a verbal working memory task. While participants completed the tasks, anodal, cathodal, or sham tDCS was applied over the right dlPFC. Stress impaired working memory performance in both tasks, albeit to a lesser extent in the verbal compared with the visuospatial working memory task. This stress-induced working memory impairment was prevented by anodal, but not sham or cathodal, stimulation of the dlPFC. Compared with sham or cathodal stimulation, anodal tDCS led to significantly better working memory performance in both tasks after stress. Our findings indicate a causal role of the dlPFC in working memory impairments after acute stress and point to anodal tDCS as a promising tool to reduce cognitive deficits related to working memory in stress-related mental disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Working memory deficits are prominent in stress-related mental disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Similar working memory impairments have been observed in healthy individuals exposed to acute stress. So far, attempts to prevent such stress-induced working memory deficits focused mainly on pharmacological interventions. Here, we tested the idea that transcranial direct current stimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal

  11. Enhancement Of Motor Recovery Through Left Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Stimulation After Acute Ischemic Stroke

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    Shahram Oveisgharan

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Background: Two previous studies, which investigated transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS use in motor recovery after acute ischemic stroke, did not show tDCS to be effective in this regard. We speculated that additional left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex ‎(DLPFC ‎stimulation may enhance post stroke motor recovery.  ‎ Methods: In the present randomized clinical trial, 20 acute ischemic stroke patients were recruited. Patients received real motor cortex (M1 stimulation in both arms of the trial. The two arms differed in terms of real vs. sham stimulation over the left DLPFC‎. Motor component of the Fugl-Meyer upper extremity assessment (FM and Action Research Arm Test (ARAT scores were used to assess primary outcomes, and non-linear mixed effects models were used for data analyses. Results: Primary outcome measures improved more and faster among the real stimulation group. During the first days of stimulations, sham group’s FM scores increased 1.2 scores per day, while real group’s scores increased 1.7 scores per day (P = 0.003. In the following days, FM improvement decelerated in both groups. Based on the derived models, a hypothetical stroke patient with baseline FM score of 15 improves to 32 in the sham stimulation group and to 41 in the real stimulation group within the first month after stroke. Models with ARAT scores yielded nearly similar results. Conclusion: The current study results showed that left DLPFC‎ stimulation in conjunction with M1 stimulation resulted in better motor recovery than M1 stimulation alone.

  12. Transcranial magnetic stimulation of the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex inhibits medial orbitofrontal activity in smokers.

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    Li, Xingbao; Sahlem, Gregory L; Badran, Bashar W; McTeague, Lisa M; Hanlon, Colleen A; Hartwell, Karen J; Henderson, Scott; George, Mark S

    2017-12-01

    Several studies have shown that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), applied to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), can reduce cue-elicited craving in smokers. Currently, the mechanism of this effect is unknown. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to explore the effect of a single treatment of rTMS on cortical and sub-cortical neural activity in non-treatment seeking nicotine-dependent participants. We conducted a randomized, counterbalanced, crossover trial in which participants attended two experimental visits separated by at least 1 week. On the first visit, participants received either active, or sham rTMS (10 Hz, 5 s-on, 10 s-off, 100% motor threshold, 3,000 pulses) over the left DLPFC, and on the second visit they received the opposite condition (active or sham). Cue craving fMRI scans were completed before and after each rTMS session. A total of 11 non-treatment seeking nicotine-dependent cigarette smokers were enrolled in the study [six female, average age 39.7 ± 13.2, average cigarettes per day 17.3 ± 5.9]. Active rTMS decreased activity in the contralateral medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC) and ipsilateral nucleus accumbens (NAc) compared to sham rTMS. This preliminary data suggests that one session of rTMS applied to the DLPFC decreases brain activity in the NAc and mOFC in smokers. rTMS may exert its anti-craving effect by decreasing activity in the NAc and mOFC in smokers. Despite a small sample size, these findings warrant future rTMS/fMRI studies in addictions. (Am J Addict 2017;26:788-794). © 2017 American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.

  13. Transcranial magnetic stimulation of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex reduces cocaine use: A pilot study.

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    Terraneo, Alberto; Leggio, Lorenzo; Saladini, Marina; Ermani, Mario; Bonci, Antonello; Gallimberti, Luigi

    2016-01-01

    Recent animal studies demonstrate that compulsive cocaine seeking strongly reduces prelimbic frontal cortex activity, while optogenetic stimulation of this brain area significantly inhibits compulsive cocaine seeking, providing a strong rationale for applying brain stimulation to reduce cocaine consumption. Thus, we employed repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), to test if dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) stimulation might prevent cocaine use in humans. Thirty-two cocaine-addicted patients were randomly assigned to either the experimental group (rTMS) on the left DLPFC, or to a control group (pharmacological agents) during a 29-day study (Stage 1). This was followed by a 63-day follow-up (Stage 2), during which all participants were offered rTMS treatment. Amongst the patients who completed Stage 1, 16 were in the rTMS group (100%) and 13 in the control group (81%). No significant adverse events were noted. During Stage 1, there were a significantly higher number of cocaine-free urine drug tests in the rTMS group compared to control (p=0.004). Craving for cocaine was also significantly lower in the rTMS group compared to the controls (p=0.038). Out of 13 patients who completed Stage 1 in the control group, 10 patients received rTMS treatment during Stage 2 and showed significant improvement with favorable outcomes becoming comparable to those of the rTMS group. The present preliminary findings support the safety of rTMS in cocaine-addicted patients, and suggest its potential therapeutic role for rTMS-driven PFC stimulation in reducing cocaine use, providing a strong rationale for developing larger placebo-controlled studies. Trial name: Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in cocaine abusers, URL:〈http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN15823943?q=&filters=&sort=&offset=8&totalResults=13530&page=1&pageSize=10&searchType=basic-search〉, ISRCTN15823943. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  14. Chronic ketamine reduces the peak frequency of gamma oscillations in mouse prefrontal cortex ex vivo

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    James M. McNally

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Abnormalities in EEG gamma band oscillations (GBO, 30-80 Hz serve as a prominent biomarker of schizophrenia (Sz, associated with positive, negative and cognitive symptoms. Chronic, subanesthetic administration of antagonists of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR, such as ketamine, elicits behavioral effects and alterations in cortical interneurons similar to those observed in Sz. However, the chronic effects of ketamine on neocortical GBO are poorly understood. Thus, here we examine the effects of chronic (5 daily i.p. injections application of ketamine (5 and 30 mg/kg and the more specific NMDAR antagonist, MK-801 (0.02, 0.5, and 2 mg/kg, on neocortical GBO ex vivo. Oscillations were generated by focal application of the glutamate receptor agonist, kainate, in coronal brain slices containing the prelimbic cortex. This region constitutes the rodent analogue of the human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a brain region strongly implicated in Sz-pathophysiology. Here we report the novel finding that chronic ketamine elicits a reduction in the peak oscillatory frequency of kainate-elicited oscillations (from 47 to 40 Hz at 30 mg/kg. Moreover, the power of GBO in the 40-50 Hz band was reduced. These findings are reminiscent of both the reduced resonance frequency and power of cortical oscillations observed in Sz clinical studies. Surprisingly, MK-801 had no significant effect, suggesting care is needed when equating Sz-like behavioral effects elicited by different NMDAR antagonists to alterations in GBO activity. We conclude that chronic ketamine in the mouse mimics GBO abnormalities observed in Sz patients. Use of this ex vivo slice model may be useful in testing therapeutic compounds which rescue these GBO abnormalities.

  15. Increased neuronal firing in resting and sleep in areas of the macaque medial prefrontal cortex.

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    Gabbott, Paul L; Rolls, Edmund T

    2013-06-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of humans and macaques is an integral part of the default mode network and is a brain region that shows increased activation in the resting state. A previous paper from our laboratory reported significantly increased firing rates of neurons in the macaque subgenual cingulate cortex, Brodmann area (BA) 25, during disengagement from a task and also during slow wave sleep [E.T. Rolls et al. (2003) J. Neurophysiology, 90, 134-142]. Here we report the finding that there are neurons in other areas of mPFC that also increase their firing rates during disengagement from a task, drowsiness and eye-closure. During the neurophysiological recording of single mPFC cells (n = 249) in BAs 9, 10, 13 m, 14c, 24b and especially pregenual area 32, populations of neurons were identified whose firing rates altered significantly with eye-closure compared with eye-opening. Three types of neuron were identified: Type 1 cells (28.1% of the total population) significantly increased (mean + 329%; P ≪ 0.01) their average firing rate with eye-closure, from 3.1 spikes/s when awake to 10.2 spikes/s when asleep; Type 2 cells (6.0%) significantly decreased (mean -68%; P areas of mPFC, implicated in the anterior default mode network, there is a substantial population of neurons that significantly increase their firing rates during periods of eye-closure. Such neurons may be part of an interconnected network of distributed brain regions that are more active during periods of relaxed wakefulness than during attention-demanding tasks. © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  16. The prefrontal cortex in the Göttingen minipig brain defined by neural projection criteria and cytoarchitecture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jelsing, J; Hay-Schmidt, Anders; Dyrby, Tim

    2006-01-01

    In an attempt to delineate the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in the Gottingen minipig brain the distribution of reciprocal thalamocortical projections was investigated using anterograde and retrograde tracing techniques and evaluated in relation to the specific cytoarchitectonic organization. Tracers...... the medial and rostral pole of the frontal lobe as well as the anterior cingulate, anterior insular and dorsomedial frontal cortices. Subsequently, the reciprocity and specificity of these connections were tested from injections into the traced frontal cortices indicating that the PFC has cortical...... connections to different parts of the MD nucleus. Although the granular layer IV, characteristic of primate PFC could not be identified, both cytoarchitectonic and connectional data suggests that the Gottingen minipig has a structurally divided prefrontal cortex. Stereological estimates of PFC volume showed...

  17. Reduced Synapse and Axon Numbers in the Prefrontal Cortex of Rats Subjected to a Chronic Stress Model for Depression

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    Csabai, Dávid; Wiborg, Ove; Czéh, Boldizsár

    2018-01-01

    Stressful experiences can induce structural changes in neurons of the limbic system. These cellular changes contribute to the development of stress-induced psychopathologies like depressive disorders. In the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals, reduced dendritic length and spine loss have been reported. This loss of dendritic material should consequently result in synapse loss as well, because of the reduced dendritic surface. But so far, no one studied synapse numbers in the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals. Here, we examined synaptic contacts in rats subjected to an animal model for depression, where animals are exposed to a chronic stress protocol. Our hypothesis was that long term stress should reduce the number of axo-spinous synapses in the medial prefrontal cortex. Adult male rats were exposed to daily stress for 9 weeks and afterward we did a post mortem quantitative electron microscopic analysis to quantify the number and morphology of synapses in the infralimbic cortex. We analyzed asymmetric (Type I) and symmetric (Type II) synapses in all cortical layers in control and stressed rats. We also quantified axon numbers and measured the volume of the infralimbic cortex. In our systematic unbiased analysis, we examined 21,000 axon terminals in total. We found the following numbers in the infralimbic cortex of control rats: 1.15 × 109 asymmetric synapses, 1.06 × 108 symmetric synapses and 1.00 × 108 myelinated axons. The density of asymmetric synapses was 5.5/μm3 and the density of symmetric synapses was 0.5/μm3. Average synapse membrane length was 207 nm and the average axon terminal membrane length was 489 nm. Stress reduced the number of synapses and myelinated axons in the deeper cortical layers, while synapse membrane lengths were increased. These stress-induced ultrastructural changes indicate that neurons of the infralimbic cortex have reduced cortical network connectivity. Such reduced network connectivity is likely

  18. Reduced Synapse and Axon Numbers in the Prefrontal Cortex of Rats Subjected to a Chronic Stress Model for Depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dávid Csabai

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Stressful experiences can induce structural changes in neurons of the limbic system. These cellular changes contribute to the development of stress-induced psychopathologies like depressive disorders. In the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals, reduced dendritic length and spine loss have been reported. This loss of dendritic material should consequently result in synapse loss as well, because of the reduced dendritic surface. But so far, no one studied synapse numbers in the prefrontal cortex of chronically stressed animals. Here, we examined synaptic contacts in rats subjected to an animal model for depression, where animals are exposed to a chronic stress protocol. Our hypothesis was that long term stress should reduce the number of axo-spinous synapses in the medial prefrontal cortex. Adult male rats were exposed to daily stress for 9 weeks and afterward we did a post mortem quantitative electron microscopic analysis to quantify the number and morphology of synapses in the infralimbic cortex. We analyzed asymmetric (Type I and symmetric (Type II synapses in all cortical layers in control and stressed rats. We also quantified axon numbers and measured the volume of the infralimbic cortex. In our systematic unbiased analysis, we examined 21,000 axon terminals in total. We found the following numbers in the infralimbic cortex of control rats: 1.15 × 109 asymmetric synapses, 1.06 × 108 symmetric synapses and 1.00 × 108 myelinated axons. The density of asymmetric synapses was 5.5/μm3 and the density of symmetric synapses was 0.5/μm3. Average synapse membrane length was 207 nm and the average axon terminal membrane length was 489 nm. Stress reduced the number of synapses and myelinated axons in the deeper cortical layers, while synapse membrane lengths were increased. These stress-induced ultrastructural changes indicate that neurons of the infralimbic cortex have reduced cortical network connectivity. Such reduced network

  19. Prefrontal cortex stimulation does not affect emotional bias, but may slow emotion identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nord, Camilla L; Forster, Sophie; Halahakoon, D Chamith; Penton-Voak, Ian S; Munafò, Marcus R; Roiser, Jonathan P

    2017-05-01

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has recently garnered attention as a putative depression treatment. However, the cognitive mechanisms by which it exerts an antidepressant effect are unclear: tDCS may directly alter 'hot' emotional processing biases, or alleviate depression through changes in 'cold' (non-emotional) cognitive function. Here, 75 healthy participants performed a facial emotion identification task during 20 minutes of anodal or sham tDCS over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in a double-blind, within-subject crossover design. A subset of 31 participants additionally completed a task measuring attentional distraction during stimulation. Compared to sham stimulation, anodal tDCS of the left DLPFC resulted in an increase in response latency across all emotional conditions. Bayesian analysis showed definitively that tDCS exerted no emotion-dependent effect on behaviour. Thus, we demonstrate that anodal tDCS produces a general, rather than an emotion-specific, effect. We also report a preliminary finding in the subset of participants who completed the distractibility task: increased distractibility during active stimulation correlated significantly with the degree to which tDCS slowed emotion identification. Our results provide insight into the possible mechanisms by which DLPFC tDCS may treat symptoms of depression, suggesting that it may not alter emotional biases, but instead may affect 'cold' cognitive processes. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press.

  20. Economic games quantify diminished sense of guilt in patients with damage to the prefrontal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krajbich, Ian; Adolphs, Ralph; Tranel, Daniel; Denburg, Natalie L.; Camerer, Colin F.

    2009-01-01

    Damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) impairs concern for other people, as reflected in the dysfunctional real-life social behavior of patients with such damage, as well as their abnormal performances on tasks ranging from moral judgment to economic games. Despite these convergent data, we lack a formal model of how, and to what degree, VMPFC lesions affect an individual’s social decision-making. Here we provide a quantification of these effects using a formal economic model of choice that incorporates terms for the disutility of unequal payoffs, with parameters that index behaviors normally evoked by guilt and envy. Six patients with focal VMPFC lesions participated in a battery of economic games that measured concern about payoffs to themselves and to others: dictator, ultimatum, and trust games. We analyzed each task individually, but also derived estimates of the guilt and envy parameters from aggregate behavior across all of the tasks. Compared to control subjects, the patients donated significantly less and were less trustworthy, and overall our model found a significant insensitivity to guilt. Despite these abnormalities, the patients had normal expectations about what other people would do, and they also did not simply generate behavior that was more noisy. Instead, the findings argue for a specific insensitivity to guilt, an abnormality that we suggest characterizes a key contribution made by the VMPFC to social behavior. PMID:19228971

  1. Economic games quantify diminished sense of guilt in patients with damage to the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krajbich, Ian; Adolphs, Ralph; Tranel, Daniel; Denburg, Natalie L; Camerer, Colin F

    2009-02-18

    Damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) impairs concern for other people, as reflected in the dysfunctional real-life social behavior of patients with such damage, as well as their abnormal performances on tasks ranging from moral judgment to economic games. Despite these convergent data, we lack a formal model of how, and to what degree, VMPFC lesions affect an individual's social decision-making. Here we provide a quantification of these effects using a formal economic model of choice that incorporates terms for the disutility of unequal payoffs, with parameters that index behaviors normally evoked by guilt and envy. Six patients with focal VMPFC lesions participated in a battery of economic games that measured concern about payoffs to themselves and to others: dictator, ultimatum, and trust games. We analyzed each task individually, but also derived estimates of the guilt and envy parameters from aggregate behavior across all of the tasks. Compared with control subjects, the patients donated significantly less and were less trustworthy, and overall our model found a significant insensitivity to guilt. Despite these abnormalities, the patients had normal expectations about what other people would do, and they also did not simply generate behavior that was more noisy. Instead, the findings argue for a specific insensitivity to guilt, an abnormality that we suggest characterizes a key contribution made by the VMPFC to social behavior.

  2. Reward-dependent modulation of working memory in lateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennerley, Steven W; Wallis, Jonathan D

    2009-03-11

    Although research implicates lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) in executive control and goal-directed behavior, it remains unclear how goals influence executive processes. One possibility is that goal-relevant information, such as expected rewards, could modulate the representation of information relating to executive control, thereby ensuring the efficient allocation of cognitive resources. To investigate this, we examined how reward modulated spatial working memory. Past studies investigating spatial working memory have focused on dorsolateral PFC, but this area only weakly connects with areas processing reward. Ventrolateral PFC has better connections in this regard. Thus, we contrasted the functional properties of single neurons in ventrolateral and dorsolateral PFC as two subjects performed a task that required them to hold spatial information in working memory under different expectancies of reward for correct performance. We balanced the order of presentation of spatial and reward information so we could assess the neuronal encoding of the two pieces of information independently and conjointly. Neurons in ventrolateral PFC encoded both spatial and reward information earlier, stronger and in a more sustained manner than neurons in dorsolateral PFC. Within ventrolateral PFC, spatial selectivity was more prevalent on the inferior convexity than within the principal sulcus. Finally, when reward increased spatial selectivity, behavioral performance improved, whereas when reward decreased spatial selectivity, behavioral performance deteriorated. These results suggest that ventrolateral PFC may be a locus whereby information about expected rewards can modulate information in working memory. The pattern of results is consistent with a role for ventrolateral PFC in attentional control.

  3. Neuroticism and extraversion mediate the association between loneliness and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

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    Kong, Xia; Wei, Dongtao; Li, Wenfu; Cun, Lingli; Xue, Song; Zhang, Qinglin; Qiu, Jiang

    2015-01-01

    Loneliness is an unpleasant and distressing feeling that a person experiences when he/she perceives that his/her social relationships are lacking in someway, either quantitatively or qualitatively; this can be linked to anxiety, depression, and suicide risk. Previous studies have found that certain personality traits (which are temporally stable and heritable) are predictors of loneliness. However, little empirical evidence is available on the brain structures associated with loneliness, as well as how personality traits impact the relationship between loneliness and brain structure. Thus, the current study used voxel-based morphometry to identify the brain structures underlying individual differences in loneliness (as measured by the UCLA Loneliness Scale) in a large sample, and then, applied multiple mediation analyses to explore the nature of the influence of personality traits on the relationship between loneliness and brain structure. The results showed that lonely individuals had greater regional gray matter volume in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which might reflect immature functioning in terms of emotional regulation. More importantly, we found that neuroticism and extraversion partially mediated the relationship between the left DLPFC and loneliness. In summary, through morphometric and multiple mediation analyses, this paper further validates the influence of both neuroticism and extraversion on loneliness.

  4. Coordinated Expression of Phosphoinositide Metabolic Genes during Development and Aging of Human Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanley I Rapoport

    Full Text Available Phosphoinositides, lipid-signaling molecules, participate in diverse brain processes within a wide metabolic cascade.Gene transcriptional networks coordinately regulate the phosphoinositide cascade during human brain Development and Aging.We used the public BrainCloud database for human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to examine age-related expression levels of 49 phosphoinositide metabolic genes during Development (0 to 20+ years and Aging (21+ years.We identified three groups of partially overlapping genes in each of the two intervals, with similar intergroup correlations despite marked phenotypic differences between Aging and Development. In each interval, ITPKB, PLCD1, PIK3R3, ISYNA1, IMPA2, INPPL1, PI4KB, and AKT1 are in Group 1, PIK3CB, PTEN, PIK3CA, and IMPA1 in Group 2, and SACM1L, PI3KR4, INPP5A, SYNJ1, and PLCB1 in Group 3. Ten of the genes change expression nonlinearly during Development, suggesting involvement in rapidly changing neuronal, glial and myelination events. Correlated transcription for some gene pairs likely is facilitated by colocalization on the same chromosome band.Stable coordinated gene transcriptional networks regulate brain phosphoinositide metabolic pathways during human Development and Aging.

  5. Dynamic changes in prefrontal cortex gene expression following lysergic acid diethylamide administration.

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    Nichols, Charles D; Garcia, Efrain E; Sanders-Bush, Elaine

    2003-03-17

    Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a psychoactive drug that transiently alters human perception, behavior, and mood at extremely low doses. Certain aspects of the behavior elicited by acute doses of LSD closely resemble symptoms of mental disorders such as schizophrenia. Characterizing gene expression profiles after LSD will be important for understanding how it alters behavior, and will lead to novel insights into disorders, such as schizophrenia, whose behavioral symptoms resemble the temporary effects of hallucinogenic drugs. We previously identified a small collection of genes within the rat prefrontal cortex that respond to LSD. Many of the products of these genes are involved in the process of synaptic plasticity. In the current report, we present a detailed analysis of the expression of these genes within the brain using RNase protection analysis. We find that the gene response to LSD is quite dynamic. The expression of some genes increases rapidly and decreases rapidly, while other genes change more gradually. Dose-response studies show two classes of expression; gene expression maximally stimulated at lower doses, versus gene expression that continues to rise at the higher doses. The role of the 5-HT(1A) and 5-HT(2A) receptor in mediating the increases in gene expression was examined in a series of experiments using receptor specific antagonists. Most expression increases were due to activation of the 5-HT(2A) receptor, however expression of two genes had neither a 5-HT(1A) nor a 5-HT(2A) receptor component.

  6. Dysfunctional GABAergic inhibition in the prefrontal cortex leading to "psychotic" hyperactivation

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    Tanaka Shoji

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The GABAergic system in the brain seems to be dysfunctional in various psychiatric disorders. Many studies have suggested so far that, in schizophrenia patients, GABAergic inhibition is selectively but consistently reduced in the prefrontal cortex (PFC. Results This study used a computational model of the PFC to investigate the dynamics of the PFC circuit with and without chandelier cells and other GABAergic interneurons. The inhibition by GABAergic interneurons other than chandelier cells effectively regulated the PFC activity with rather low or modest levels of dopaminergic neurotransmission. This activity of the PFC is associated with normal cognitive functions and has an inverted-U shaped profile of dopaminergic modulation. In contrast, the chandelier cell-type inhibition affected only the PFC circuit dynamics in hyperdopaminergic conditions. Reduction of chandelier cell-type inhibition resulted in bistable dynamics of the PFC circuit, in which the upper stable state is associated with a hyperactive mode. When both types of inhibition were reduced, this hyperactive mode and the conventional inverted-U mode merged. Conclusion The results of our simulation suggest that, in schizophrenia, a reduction of GABAergic inhibition increases vulnerability to psychosis by (i producing the hyperactive mode of the PFC with hyperdopaminergic neurotransmission by dysfunctional chandelier cells and (ii increasing the probability of the transition to the hyperactive mode from the conventional inverted-U mode by dysfunctional GABAergic interneurons.

  7. Interplay of prefrontal cortex and amygdala during extinction of drug seeking.

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    Oliva, Valeria; Cartoni, Emilio; Latagliata, Emanuele Claudio; Puglisi-Allegra, Stefano; Baldassarre, Gianluca

    2018-04-01

    Extinction of Pavlovian conditioning is a complex process that involves brain regions such as the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), the amygdala and the locus coeruleus. In particular, noradrenaline (NA) coming from the locus coeruleus has been recently shown to play a different role in two subregions of the mPFC, the prelimbic (PL) and the infralimbic (IL) regions. How these regions interact in conditioning and subsequent extinction is an open issue. We studied these processes using two approaches: computational modelling and NA manipulation in a conditioned place preference paradigm (CPP) in mice. In the computational model, NA in PL and IL causes inputs arriving to these regions to be amplified, thus allowing them to modulate learning processes in amygdala. The model reproduces results from studies involving depletion of NA from PL, IL, or both in CPP. In addition, we simulated new experiments of NA manipulations in mPFC, making predictions on the possible results. We searched the parameters of the model and tested the robustness of the predictions by performing a sensitivity analysis. We also present an empirical experiment where, in accord with the model, a double depletion of NA from both PL and IL in CPP with amphetamine impairs extinction. Overall the proposed model, supported by anatomical, physiological, and behavioural data, explains the differential role of NA in PL and IL and opens up the possibility to understand extinction mechanisms more in depth and hence to aid the development of treatments for disorders such as addiction.

  8. Glutamine/glutamate (Glx) concentration in prefrontal cortex predicts reversal learning performance in the marmoset.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacreuse, Agnès; Moore, Constance M; LaClair, Matthew; Payne, Laurellee; King, Jean A

    2018-07-02

    This study used Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) to identify potential neurometabolitic markers of cognitive performance in male (n = 7) and female (n = 8) middle-aged (∼5 years old) common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). Anesthetized marmosets were scanned with a 4.7 T/40 cm horizontal magnet equipped with 450 mT/m magnetic field gradients and a 20 G/cm magnetic field gradient insert, within 3 months of completing the CANTAB serial Reversal Learning task. Neurometabolite concentrations of N-Acetyl Asparate, Myo-Inositol, Choline, Phosphocreatine + creatine, Glutamate and Glutamine were acquired from a 3 mm 3 voxel positioned in the Prefrontal Cortex (PFC). Males acquired the reversals (but not simple discriminations) faster than the females. Higher PFC Glx (glutamate + glutamine) concentration was associated with faster acquisition of the reversals. Interestingly, the correlation between cognitive performance and Glx was significant in males, but not in females. These results suggest that MRS is a useful tool to identify biochemical markers of cognitive performance in the healthy nonhuman primate brain and that biological sex modulates the relationship between neurochemical composition and cognition. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Lesions to the left lateral prefrontal cortex impair decision threshold adjustment for lexical selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anders, Royce; Riès, Stéphanie; Van Maanen, Leendert; Alario, F-Xavier

    Patients with lesions in the left prefrontal cortex (PFC) have been shown to be impaired in lexical selection, especially when interference between semantically related alternatives is increased. To more deeply investigate which computational mechanisms may be impaired following left PFC damage due to stroke, a psychometric modelling approach is employed in which we assess the cognitive parameters of the patients from an evidence accumulation (sequential information sampling) modelling of their response data. We also compare the results to healthy speakers. Analysis of the cognitive parameters indicates an impairment of the PFC patients to appropriately adjust their decision threshold, in order to handle the increased item difficulty that is introduced by semantic interference. Also, the modelling contributes to other topics in psycholinguistic theory, in which specific effects are observed on the cognitive parameters according to item familiarization, and the opposing effects of priming (lower threshold) and semantic interference (lower drift) which are found to depend on repetition. These results are developed for the blocked-cyclic picture naming paradigm, in which pictures are presented within semantically homogeneous (HOM) or heterogeneous (HET) blocks, and are repeated several times per block. Overall, the results are in agreement with a role of the left PFC in adjusting the decision threshold for lexical selection in language production.

  10. Posttraumatic stress disorder: the role of medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenigs, Michael; Grafman, Jordan

    2009-10-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by recurrent distressing memories of an emotionally traumatic event. In this review, the authors present neuroscientific data highlighting the function of two brain areas--the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC)--in PTSD and related emotional processes. A convergent body of human and nonhuman studies suggests that the amygdala mediates the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear and the enhancement of emotional memory, whereas the vmPFC mediates the extinction of conditioned fear and the volitional regulation of negative emotion. It has been theorized that the vmPFC exerts inhibition on the amygdala, and that a defect in this inhibition could account for the symptoms of PTSD. This theory is supported by functional imaging studies of PTSD patients, who exhibit hypoactivity in the vmPFC but hyperactivity in the amygdala. A recent study of brain-injured and trauma-exposed combat veterans confirms that amygdala damage reduces the likelihood of developing PTSD. But contrary to the prediction of the top-down inhibition model, vmPFC damage also reduces the likelihood of developing PTSD. The putative roles of the amygdala and the vmPFC in the pathophysiology of PTSD, as well as implications for potential treatments, are discussed in light of these results.

  11. Prefrontal cortex damage abolishes brand-cued changes in cola preference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenigs, Michael; Tranel, Daniel

    2008-03-01

    Human decision-making is remarkably susceptible to commercial advertising, yet the neurobiological basis of this phenomenon remains largely unexplored. With a series of Coke and Pepsi taste tests we show that patients with damage specifically involving ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPC), an area important for emotion, did not demonstrate the normal preference bias when exposed to brand information. Both comparison groups (neurologically normal adults and lesion patients with intact VMPC) preferred Pepsi in a blind taste test, but in subsequent taste tests that featured brand information ('semi-blind' taste tests), both comparison groups' preferences were skewed toward Coke, illustrating the so-called 'Pepsi paradox'. Like comparison groups, the VMPC patients preferred Pepsi in the blind taste test, but unlike comparison groups, the VMPC patients maintained their Pepsi preference in the semi-blind test. The result that VMPC damage abolishes the 'Pepsi paradox' suggests that the VMPC is an important part of the neural substrate for translating commercial images into brand preferences.

  12. The Influence of Televised Food Commercials on Children's Food Choices: Evidence from Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Activations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, Amanda S; Pruitt, Stephen W; Ha, Oh-Ryeong; Cherry, J Bradley C; Smith, Timothy R; Bruce, Jared M; Lim, Seung-Lark

    2016-10-01

    To investigate how food commercials influence children's food choices. Twenty-three children ages 8-14 years provided taste and health ratings for 60 food items. Subsequently, these children were scanned with the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging while making food choices (ie, "eat" or "not eat") after watching food and nonfood television commercials. Our results show that watching food commercials changes the way children consider the importance of taste when making food choices. Children did not use health values for their food choices, indicating children's decisions were largely driven by hedonic, immediate rewards (ie, "tastiness"); however, children placed significantly more importance on taste after watching food commercials compared with nonfood commercials. This change was accompanied by faster decision times during food commercial trials. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex, a reward valuation brain region, showed increased activity during food choices after watching food commercials compared with after watching nonfood commercials. Overall, our results suggest watching food commercials before making food choices may bias children's decisions based solely on taste, and that food marketing may systematically alter the psychological and neurobiologic mechanisms of children's food decisions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. The Role of the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex in Purchase Intent Among Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koestner, Bryan P; Hedgcock, William; Halfmann, Kameko; Denburg, Natalie L

    2016-01-01

    Older adults are frequently the targets of scams and deception, with millions of individuals being affected each year in the United States alone. Previous research has shown that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) may play a role in vulnerability to fraud. The current study examined brain activation patterns in relation to susceptibility to scams and fraud using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Twenty-eight healthy, community-dwelling older adults were subdivided into groups of impaired and unimpaired decision makers as determined by their performance on the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT). While in the scanner, the participants viewed advertisements that were created directly from cases deemed deceptive by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). We then obtained behavioral measures involving comprehension of claims and purchase intention of the product in each advertisement. Contrasts show brain activity in the vmPFC was less correlated with purchase intention in impaired vs. unimpaired older adult decision makers. Our results have important implications for both future research and recognizing the possible causes of fraud susceptibility among older adults.

  14. Efficient learning mechanisms hold in the social domain and are implemented in the medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seid-Fatemi, Azade; Tobler, Philippe N

    2015-05-01

    When we are learning to associate novel cues with outcomes, learning is more efficient if we take advantage of previously learned associations and thereby avoid redundant learning. The blocking effect represents this sort of efficiency mechanism and refers to the phenomenon in which a novel stimulus is blocked from learning when it is associated with a fully predicted outcome. Although there is sufficient evidence that this effect manifests itself when individuals learn about their own rewards, it remains unclear whether it also does when they learn about others' rewards. We employed behavioral and neuroimaging methods to address this question. We demonstrate that blocking does indeed occur in the social domain and it does so to a similar degree as observed in the individual domain. On the neural level, activations in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) show a specific contribution to blocking and learning-related prediction errors in the social domain. These findings suggest that the efficiency principle that applies to reward learning in the individual domain also applies to that in the social domain, with the mPFC playing a central role in implementing it. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Theta–gamma coordination between anterior cingulate and prefrontal cortex indexes correct attention shifts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voloh, Benjamin; Valiante, Taufik A.; Everling, Stefan; Womelsdorf, Thilo

    2015-01-01

    Anterior cingulate and lateral prefrontal cortex (ACC/PFC) are believed to coordinate activity to flexibly prioritize the processing of goal-relevant over irrelevant information. This between-area coordination may be realized by common low-frequency excitability changes synchronizing segregated high-frequency activations. We tested this coordination hypothesis by recording in macaque ACC/PFC during the covert utilization of attention cues. We found robust increases of 5–10 Hz (theta) to 35–55 Hz (gamma) phase–amplitude correlation between ACC and PFC during successful attention shifts but not before errors. Cortical sites providing theta phases (i) showed a prominent cue-induced phase reset, (ii) were more likely in ACC than PFC, and (iii) hosted neurons with burst firing events that synchronized to distant gamma activity. These findings suggest that interareal theta–gamma correlations could follow mechanistically from a cue-triggered reactivation of rule memory that synchronizes theta across ACC/PFC. PMID:26100868

  16. Self-esteem modulates amygdala-ventrolateral prefrontal cortex connectivity in response to mortality threats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanagisawa, Kuniaki; Abe, Nobuhito; Kashima, Emiko S; Nomura, Michio

    2016-03-01

    Reminders of death often elicit defensive responses in individuals, especially among those with low self-esteem. Although empirical evidence indicates that self-esteem serves as a buffer against mortality threats, the precise neural mechanism underlying this effect remains unknown. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to test the hypothesis that self-esteem modulates neural responses to death-related stimuli, especially functional connectivity within the limbic-frontal circuitry, thereby affecting subsequent defensive reactions. As predicted, individuals with high self-esteem subjected to a mortality threat exhibited increased amygdala-ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) connectivity during the processing of death-related stimuli compared with individuals who have low self-esteem. Further analysis revealed that stronger functional connectivity between the amygdala and the VLPFC predicted a subsequent decline in responding defensively to those who threaten one's beliefs. These results suggest that the amygdala-VLPFC interaction, which is modulated by self-esteem, can reduce the defensiveness caused by death-related stimuli, thereby providing a neural explanation for why individuals with high self-esteem exhibit less defensive reactions to mortality threats. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. An Excitatory Neural Assembly Encodes Short-Term Memory in the Prefrontal Cortex

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    Yonglu Tian

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Short-term memory (STM is crucial for animals to hold information for a small period of time. Persistent or recurrent neural activity, together with neural oscillations, is known to encode the STM at the cellular level. However, the coding mechanisms at the microcircuitry level remain a mystery. Here, we performed two-photon imaging on behaving mice to monitor the activity of neuronal microcircuitry. We discovered a neuronal subpopulation in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC that exhibited emergent properties in a context-dependent manner underlying a STM-like behavior paradigm. These neuronal subpopulations exclusively comprise excitatory neurons and mainly represent a group of neurons with stronger functional connections. Microcircuitry plasticity was maintained for minutes and was absent in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD. Thus, these results point to a functional coding mechanism that relies on the emergent behavior of a functionally defined neuronal assembly to encode STM.

  18. Investigating the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in the assessment of brands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, José Paulo; Seixas, Daniela; Brandão, Sofia; Moutinho, Luiz

    2011-01-01

    The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is believed to be important in everyday preference judgments, processing emotions during decision-making. However, there is still controversy in the literature regarding the participation of the vmPFC. To further elucidate the contribution of the vmPFC in brand preference, we designed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study where 18 subjects assessed positive, indifferent, and fictitious brands. Also, both the period during and after the decision process were analyzed, hoping to unravel temporally the role of the vmPFC, using modeled and model-free fMRI analysis. Considering together the period before and after decision-making, there was activation of the vmPFC when comparing positive with indifferent or fictitious brands. However, when the decision-making period was separated from the moment after the response, and especially for positive brands, the vmPFC was more active after the choice than during the decision process itself, challenging some of the existing literature. The results of the present study support the notion that the vmPFC may be unimportant in the decision stage of brand preference, questioning theories that postulate that the vmPFC is in the origin of such a choice. Further studies are needed to investigate in detail why the vmPFC seems to be involved in brand preference only after the decision process.

  19. Investigating the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC in the assessment of brands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Paulo eSantos

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC is believed to be important in everyday preference judgments, processing emotions during decision-making. However, there is still controversy in the literature regarding the participation of the vmPFC. To further elucidate the contribution of the vmPFC in brand preference, we designed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI study where 18 subjects assessed positive, indifferent and fictitious brands. Also, both the period during and after the decision process were analyzed, hoping to unravel temporally the role of the vmPFC, using modeled and model-free fMRI analysis. Considering together the period before and after decision-making, there was activation of the vmPFC when comparing positive with indifferent or fictitious brands. However, when the decision-making period was separated from the moment after the response, and especially for positive brands, the vmPFC was more active after the choice than during the decision process itself, challenging some of the existing literature. The results of the present study support the notion that the vmPFC may be unimportant in the decision stage of brand preference, questioning theories that postulate that the vmPFC is in the origin of such a choice. Further studies are needed to investigate in detail why the vmPFC seems to be involved in brand preference only after the decision process.

  20. Dopamine Modulates Delta-Gamma Phase-Amplitude Coupling in the Prefrontal Cortex of Behaving Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andino-Pavlovsky, Victoria; Souza, Annie C.; Scheffer-Teixeira, Robson; Tort, Adriano B. L.; Etchenique, Roberto; Ribeiro, Sidarta

    2017-01-01

    Dopamine release and phase-amplitude cross-frequency coupling (CFC) have independently been implicated in prefrontal cortex (PFC) functioning. To causally investigate whether dopamine release affects phase-amplitude comodulation between different frequencies in local field potentials (LFP) recorded from the medial PFC (mPFC) of behaving rats, we used RuBiDopa, a light-sensitive caged compound that releases the neurotransmitter dopamine when irradiated with visible light. LFP power did not change in any frequency band after the application of light-uncaged dopamine, but significantly strengthened phase-amplitude comodulation between delta and gamma oscillations. Saline did not exert significant changes, while injections of dopamine and RuBiDopa produced a slow increase in comodulation for several minutes after the injection. The results show that dopamine release in the medial PFC shifts phase-amplitude comodulation from theta-gamma to delta-gamma. Although being preliminary results due to the limitation of the low number of animals present in this study, our findings suggest that dopamine-mediated modification of the frequencies involved in comodulation could be a mechanism by which this neurotransmitter regulates functioning in mPFC. PMID:28536507

  1. The world according to me: Personal relevance and the medial prefrontal cortex

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    Anna eAbraham

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available More than a decade of neuroimaging research has established that anterior and posterior cortical midline regions are consistently recruited during self-referential thinking. These regions are engaged under conditions of directed cognition, such as during explicit self-reference tasks, as well as during spontaneous cognition, such as under conditions of rest. One of the many issues that remain to be clarified regarding the relationship between self-referential thinking and cortical midline activity is the functional specificity of these regions with regard to the nature of self-representation and processing. The functional profile associated with the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC is the focus of the current article. What is specifically explored is the idea that personal relevance or personal significance is a central factor that impacts how brain activity is modulated within this cortical midline region. The proactive, imaginative and predictive nature of function in the mPFC is examined by evaluating studies of spontaneously-directed cognition, which is triggered by stimulus associated personal relevance.

  2. Learned stressor resistance requires extracellular signal-regulated kinase in the prefrontal cortex

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    John Paul Christianson

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Behaviorally controllable stressors confer protection from the neurochemical and behavioral consequences of future uncontrollable stressors, a phenomenon termed behavioral immunization. Recent data implicate neuroplasticity within the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (mPFC as critical to behavioral immunization. Adult, male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to a series of controllable tailshocks and one week later to uncontrollable tailshocks, followed 24h later by social exploration and shuttlebox escape tests. To test the involvement of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR and the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK cascade in behavioral immunization, either D-AP5 or the MEK inhibitor U0126 was injected to the prelimbic (PL or infralimbic (IL mPFC prior to controllable stress exposure. Phosphorylated ERK and P70S6K, regulators of transcription and translation, were quantified by Western blot or immunohistochemistry after controllable or uncontrollable tailshocks. Prior controllable stress prevented the social exploration and shuttlebox performance deficits caused by the later uncontrollable stressor, and this effect was blocked by injections of D-AP5 into mPFC. A significant increase in phosphorylated ERK1 and ERK2, but not P70S6K, occurred within the PL and IL in rats exposed to controllable stress, but not to uncontrollable stress. However, U0126 only prevented behavioral immunization when injected to the PL. We provide evidence that NMDAR and ERK dependent plasticity within the PL region is required for behavioral immunization, a learned form of stressor resistance.

  3. Synaptic Modifications in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Susceptibility and Resilience to Stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Minghui; Perova, Zinaida; Arenkiel, Benjamin R.

    2014-01-01

    When facing stress, most individuals are resilient whereas others are prone to developing mood disorders. The brain mechanisms underlying such divergent behavioral responses remain unclear. Here we used the learned helplessness procedure in mice to examine the role of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a brain region highly implicated in both clinical and animal models of depression, in adaptive and maladaptive behavioral responses to stress. We found that uncontrollable and inescapable stress induced behavioral state-dependent changes in the excitatory synapses onto a subset of mPFC neurons: those that were activated during behavioral responses as indicated by their expression of the activity reporter c-Fos. Whereas synaptic potentiation was linked to learned helplessness, a depression-like behavior, synaptic weakening, was associated with resilience to stress. Notably, enhancing the activity of mPFC neurons using a chemical–genetic method was sufficient to convert the resilient behavior into helplessness. Our results provide direct evidence that mPFC dysfunction is linked to maladaptive behavioral responses to stress, and suggest that enhanced excitatory synaptic drive onto mPFC neurons may underlie the previously reported hyperactivity of this brain region in depression. PMID:24872553

  4. The medial prefrontal cortex: coordinator of autonomic, neuroendocrine and behavioural responses to stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKlveen, J M; Myers, B; Herman, J P

    2015-06-01

    Responding to real or potential threats in the environment requires the coordination of autonomic, neuroendocrine and behavioural processes to promote adaptation and survival. These diverging systems necessitate input from the limbic forebrain to integrate and modulate functional output in accordance with contextual demand. In the present review, we discuss the potential role of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) as a coordinator of behavioural and physiological stress responses across multiple temporal and contextual domains. Furthermore, we highlight converging evidence from rodent and human research indicating the necessity of the mPFC for modulating physiological energetic systems to mobilise or limit energetic resources as needed to ultimately promote behavioural adaptation in the face of stress. We review the literature indicating that glucocorticoids act as one of the primary messengers in the reallocation of energetic resources having profound effects locally within the mPFC, as well as shaping how the mPFC acts within a network of brain structures to modulate responses to stress. Finally, we discuss how both rodent and human studies point toward a critical role of the mPFC in the coordination of anticipatory responses to stress and why this distinction is an important one to make in stress neurobiology. © 2015 British Society for Neuroendocrinology.

  5. Cytokine profiling in the prefrontal cortex of Parkinson's Disease and Multiple System Atrophy patients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rydbirk, Rasmus; Elfving, Betina; Andersen, Mille Dahl

    2017-01-01

    . Cytokines, which are the main inflammatory signalling molecules, have been identified in blood and cerebrospinal fluid of PD patients, but studies investigating the human brain levels are scarce. It is documented that neurotrophins, necessary for survival of brain cells and known to interact with cytokines......, are altered in the basal ganglia of PD patients. In regards to MSA, no major study has investigated brain cytokine or neurotrophin protein expression. Here, we measured protein levels of 18 cytokines (IL-2, 4-8, 10, 12, 13, 17, G-CSF, GM-CSF, IFN-γ, MCP-1, MIP-1α and 1β, TNF-α) and 5 neurotrophins (BDNF, GDNF......, bFGF, PDGF-BB, VEGF) in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in brains of MSA and PD patients and control subjects. We found altered expression of IL-2, IL-13, and G-CSF, but no differences in neurotrophin levels. Further, in MSA patients we identified increased mRNA levels of GSK3β that is involved...

  6. From Blame to Punishment: Disrupting Prefrontal Cortex Activity Reveals Norm Enforcement Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckholtz, Joshua W; Martin, Justin W; Treadway, Michael T; Jan, Katherine; Zald, David H; Jones, Owen; Marois, René

    2015-09-23

    The social welfare provided by cooperation depends on the enforcement of social norms. Determining blameworthiness and assigning a deserved punishment are two cognitive cornerstones of norm enforcement. Although prior work has implicated the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in norm-based judgments, the relative contribution of this region to blameworthiness and punishment decisions remains poorly understood. Here, we used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and fMRI to determine the specific role of DLPFC function in norm-enforcement behavior. DLPFC rTMS reduced punishment for wrongful acts without affecting blameworthiness ratings, and fMRI revealed punishment-selective DLPFC recruitment, suggesting that these two facets of norm-based decision making are neurobiologically dissociable. Finally, we show that DLPFC rTMS affects punishment decision making by altering the integration of information about culpability and harm. Together, these findings reveal a selective, causal role for DLPFC in norm enforcement: representational integration of the distinct information streams used to make punishment decisions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Prenatal phencyclidine treatment induces behavioral deficits through impairment of GABAergic interneurons in the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toriumi, Kazuya; Oki, Mika; Muto, Eriko; Tanaka, Junko; Mouri, Akihiro; Mamiya, Takayoshi; Kim, Hyoung-Chun; Nabeshima, Toshitaka

    2016-06-01

    We previously reported that prenatal treatment with phencyclidine (PCP) induces glutamatergic dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), leading to schizophrenia-like behavioral deficits in adult mice. However, little is known about the prenatal effect of PCP treatment on other types of neurons. We focused on γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic interneurons and evaluated the effect of prenatal PCP exposure on the neurodevelopment of GABAergic interneurons in the PFC. PCP was administered at the dose of 10 mg/kg/day to pregnant dams from embryonic day 6.5 to 18.5. After the pups were reared to adult, we analyzed their GABAergic system in the PFC using immunohistological, biochemical, and behavioral analyses in adulthood. The prenatal PCP treatment decreased the density of parvalbumin-positive cells and reduced the expression level of glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD67) and GABA content of the PFC in adults. Additionally, prenatal PCP treatment induced behavioral deficits in adult mice, such as hypersensitivity to PCP and prepulse inhibition (PPI) deficits. These behavioral deficits were ameliorated by pretreatment with the GABAB receptor agonist baclofen. Furthermore, the density of c-Fos-positive cells was decreased after the PPI test in the PFC of mice treated with PCP prenatally, and this effect was ameliorated by pretreatment with baclofen. These findings suggest that prenatal treatment with PCP induced GABAergic dysfunction in the PFC, which caused behavioral deficits.

  8. Transcranial direct current stimulation of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex shifts preference of moral judgments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Kuehne

    Full Text Available Attitude to morality, reflecting cultural norms and values, is considered unique to human social behavior. Resulting moral behavior in a social environment is controlled by a widespread neural network including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC, which plays an important role in decision making. In the present study we investigate the influence of neurophysiological modulation of DLPFC reactivity by means of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS on moral reasoning. For that purpose we administered anodal, cathodal, and sham stimulation of the left DLPFC while subjects judged the appropriateness of hard moral personal dilemmas. In contrast to sham and cathodal stimulation, anodal stimulation induced a shift in judgment of personal moral dilemmas towards more non-utilitarian actions. Our results demonstrate that alterations of left DLPFC activity can change moral judgments and, in consequence, provide a causal link between left DLPFC activity and moral reasoning. Most important, the observed shift towards non-utilitarian actions suggests that moral decision making is not a permanent individual trait but can be manipulated; consequently individuals with boundless, uncontrollable, and maladaptive moral behavior, such as found in psychopathy, might benefit from neuromodulation-based approaches.

  9. The neurobiology of thalamic amnesia: Contributions of medial thalamus and prefrontal cortex to delayed conditional discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mair, Robert G; Miller, Rikki L A; Wormwood, Benjamin A; Francoeur, Miranda J; Onos, Kristen D; Gibson, Brett M

    2015-07-01

    Although medial thalamus is well established as a site of pathology associated with global amnesia, there is uncertainty about which structures are critical and how they affect memory function. Evidence from human and animal research suggests that damage to the mammillothalamic tract and the anterior, mediodorsal (MD), midline (M), and intralaminar (IL) nuclei contribute to different signs of thalamic amnesia. Here we focus on MD and the adjacent M and IL nuclei, structures identified in animal studies as critical nodes in prefrontal cortex (PFC)-related pathways that are necessary for delayed conditional discrimination. Recordings of PFC neurons in rats performing a dynamic delayed non-matching-to position (DNMTP) task revealed discrete populations encoding information related to planning, execution, and outcome of DNMTP-related actions and delay-related activity signaling previous reinforcement. Parallel studies recording the activity of MD and IL neurons and examining the effects of unilateral thalamic inactivation on the responses of PFC neurons demonstrated a close coupling of central thalamic and PFC neurons responding to diverse aspects of DNMTP and provide evidence that thalamus interacts with PFC neurons to give rise to complex goal-directed behavior exemplified by the DNMTP task. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Older adults get episodic memory boosting from noninvasive stimulation of prefrontal cortex during learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandrini, Marco; Manenti, Rosa; Brambilla, Michela; Cobelli, Chiara; Cohen, Leonardo G; Cotelli, Maria

    2016-03-01

    Episodic memory displays the largest degree of age-related decline, a process that is accelerated in pathological conditions such as amnestic mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. Previous studies have shown that the left lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) contributes to the encoding of episodic memories along the life span. The aim of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was to test the hypothesis that anodal trascranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the left lateral PFC during the learning phase would enhance delayed recall of verbal episodic memories in elderly individuals. Older adults learned a list of words while receiving anodal or placebo (sham) tDCS. Memory recall was tested 48 hours and 1 month later. The results showed that anodal tDCS strengthened episodic memories, an effect indicated by enhanced delayed recall (48 hours) compared to placebo stimulation (Cohen's d effect size = 1.01). The observation that PFC-tDCS during learning can boost verbal episodic memory in the elderly opens up the possibility to design-specific neurorehabilitation protocols targeted to conditions that affect episodic memory such as mild cognitive impairment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Contributions of the Medial Prefrontal Cortex to Social Influence in Economic Decision-Making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apps, M A J; Ramnani, N

    2017-09-01

    Economic decisions are guided by highly subjective reward valuations (SVs). Often these SVs are over-ridden when individuals conform to social norms. Yet, the neural mechanisms that underpin the distinct processing of such normative reward valuations (NVs) are poorly understood. The dorsomedial and ventromedial portions of the prefrontal cortex (dmPFC/vmPFC) are putatively key regions for processing social and economic information respectively. However, the contribution of these regions to economic decisions guided by social norms is unclear. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and computational modeling we examine the neural mechanisms underlying the processing of SVs and NVs. Subjects (n = 15) indicated either their own economic preferences or made similar choices based on a social norm-learnt during a training session. We found that that the vmPFC and dmPFC make dissociable contributions to the processing of SV and NV. Regions of the dmPFC processed "only" the value of rewards when making normative choices. In contrast, we identify a novel mechanism in the vmPFC for the coding of value. This region signaled both subjective and normative valuations, but activity was scaled positively for SV and negatively for NV. These results highlight some of the key mechanisms that underpin conformity and social influence in economic decision-making. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

  12. Structural Variation within the Amygdala and Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Predict Memory for Impressions in Older Adults

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    Brittany Shane Cassidy

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Research has shown that lesions to regions involved in social and emotional cognition disrupt socioemotional processing and memory. We investigated how structural variation of regions involved in socioemotional memory (ventromedial prefrontal cortex [vmPFC], amygdala, as opposed to a region implicated in explicit memory (hippocampus, affected memory for impressions in young and older adults. Anatomical MRI scans for fifteen young and fifteen older adults were obtained and reconstructed to gather information about cortical thickness and subcortical volume. Young adults had greater amygdala and hippocampus volumes than old, and thicker left vmPFC than old, although right vmPFC thickness did not differ across the age groups. Participants formed behavior-based impressions and responded to interpersonally meaningful, social but interpersonally irrelevant, or non-social prompts, and completed a memory test. Results showed that greater left amygdala volume predicted enhanced overall memory for impressions in older but not younger adults. Increased right vmPFC thickness in older, but not younger, adults correlated with enhanced memory for impressions formed in the interpersonally meaningful context. Hippocampal volume was not predictive of social memory in young or older adults. These findings demonstrate the importance of structural variation in regions linked to socioemotional processing in the retention of impressions with age, and suggest that the amygdala and vmPFC play an integral role when encoding and retrieving social information.

  13. Impaired kynurenine pathway metabolism in the prefrontal cortex of individuals with schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sathyasaikumar, Korrapati V; Stachowski, Erin K; Wonodi, Ikwunga; Roberts, Rosalinda C; Rassoulpour, Arash; McMahon, Robert P; Schwarcz, Robert

    2011-11-01

    The levels of kynurenic acid (KYNA), an astrocyte-derived metabolite of the branched kynurenine pathway (KP) of tryptophan degradation and antagonist of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, are elevated in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of individuals with schizophrenia (SZ). Because endogenous KYNA modulates extracellular glutamate and acetylcholine levels in the PFC, these increases may be pathophysiologically significant. Using brain tissue from SZ patients and matched controls, we now measured the activity of several KP enzymes (kynurenine 3-monooxygenase [KMO], kynureninase, 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid dioxygenase [3-HAO], quinolinic acid phosphoribosyltransferase [QPRT], and kynurenine aminotransferase II [KAT II]) in the PFC, ie, Brodmann areas (BA) 9 and 10. Compared with controls, the activities of KMO (in BA 9 and 10) and 3-HAO (in BA 9) were significantly reduced in SZ, though there were no significant differences between patients and controls in kynureninase, QPRT, and KAT II. In the same samples, we also confirmed the increase in the tissue levels of KYNA in SZ. As examined in rats treated chronically with the antipsychotic drug risperidone, the observed biochemical changes were not secondary to medication. A persistent reduction in KMO activity may have a particular bearing on pathology because it may signify a shift of KP metabolism toward enhanced KYNA synthesis. The present results further support the hypothesis that the normalization of cortical KP metabolism may constitute an effective new treatment strategy in SZ.

  14. Maternal Sevoflurane Exposure Causes Abnormal Development of Fetal Prefrontal Cortex and Induces Cognitive Dysfunction in Offspring

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    Ruixue Song

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Maternal sevoflurane exposure during pregnancy is associated with increased risk for behavioral deficits in offspring. Several studies indicated that neurogenesis abnormality may be responsible for the sevoflurane-induced neurotoxicity, but the concrete impact of sevoflurane on fetal brain development remains poorly understood. We aimed to investigate whether maternal sevoflurane exposure caused learning and memory impairment in offspring through inducing abnormal development of the fetal prefrontal cortex (PFC. Pregnant mice at gestational day 15.5 received 2.5% sevoflurane for 6 h. Learning function of the offspring was evaluated with the Morris water maze test at postnatal day 30. Brain tissues of fetal mice were subjected to immunofluorescence staining to assess differentiation, proliferation, and cell cycle dynamics of the fetal PFC. We found that maternal sevoflurane anesthesia impaired learning ability in offspring through inhibiting deep-layer immature neuron output and neuronal progenitor replication. With the assessment of cell cycle dynamics, we established that these effects were mediated through cell cycle arrest in neural progenitors. Our research has provided insights into the cell cycle-related mechanisms by which maternal sevoflurane exposure can induce neurodevelopmental abnormalities and learning dysfunction and appeals people to consider the neurotoxicity of anesthetics when considering the benefits and risks of nonobstetric surgical procedures.

  15. Categorization is modulated by transcranial direct current stimulation over left prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupyan, Gary; Mirman, Daniel; Hamilton, Roy; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L

    2012-07-01

    Humans have an unparalleled ability to represent objects as members of multiple categories. A given object, such as a pillow may be-depending on current task demands-represented as an instance of something that is soft, as something that contains feathers, as something that is found in bedrooms, or something that is larger than a toaster. This type of processing requires the individual to dynamically highlight task-relevant properties and abstract over or suppress object properties that, although salient, are not relevant to the task at hand. Neuroimaging and neuropsychological evidence suggests that this ability may depend on cognitive control processes associated with the left inferior prefrontal gyrus. Here, we show that stimulating the left inferior frontal cortex using transcranial direct current stimulation alters performance of healthy subjects on a simple categorization task. Our task required subjects to select pictures matching a description, e.g., "click on all the round things." Cathodal stimulation led to poorer performance on classification trials requiring attention to specific dimensions such as color or shape as opposed to trials that required selecting items belonging to a more thematic category such as objects that hold water. A polarity reversal (anodal stimulation) lowered the threshold for selecting items that were more weakly associated with the target category. These results illustrate the role of frontally-mediated control processes in categorization and suggest potential interactions between categorization, cognitive control, and language. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Categorization is modulated by transcranical direct current stimulation over left prefrontal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupyan, Gary; Mirman, Daniel; Hamilton, Roy; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L.

    2013-01-01

    Humans have an unparalleled ability to represent objects as members of multiple categories. A given object, such as a pillow may be—depending on current task demands—represented as an instance of something that is soft, as something that contains feathers, as something that is found in bedrooms, or something that is larger than a toaster. This type of processing requires the individual to dynamically highlight task-relevant properties and abstract over or suppress object properties that, although salient, are not relevant to the task at hand. Neuroimaging and neuropsychological evidence suggests that this ability may depend on cognitive control processes associated with the left inferior prefrontal gyrus. Here, we show that stimulating the left inferior frontal cortex using transcranial direct current stimulation alters performance of healthy subjects on a simple categorization task. Our task required subjects to select pictures matching a description, e.g., “click on all the round things.“ Cathodal stimulation led to poorer performance on classification trials requiring attention to specific dimensions such as color or shape as opposed to trials that required selecting items belonging to a more thematic category such as objects that hold water. A polarity reversal (anodal stimulation) lowered the threshold for selecting items that were more weakly associated with the target category. These results illustrate the role of frontally-mediated control processes in categorization and suggest potential interactions between categorization, cognitive control, and language. PMID:22578885

  17. Spike-timing-dependent plasticity in the human dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casula, Elias Paolo; Pellicciari, Maria Concetta; Picazio, Silvia; Caltagirone, Carlo; Koch, Giacomo

    2016-12-01

    Changes in the synaptic strength of neural connections are induced by repeated coupling of activity of interconnected neurons with precise timing, a phenomenon known as spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). It is debated if this mechanism exists in large-scale cortical networks in humans. We combined transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with concurrent electroencephalography (EEG) to directly investigate the effects of two paired associative stimulation (PAS) protocols (fronto-parietal and parieto-frontal) of pre and post-synaptic inputs within the human fronto-parietal network. We found evidence that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has the potential to form robust STDP. Long-term potentiation/depression of TMS-evoked cortical activity is prompted after that DLPFC stimulation is followed/preceded by posterior parietal stimulation. Such bidirectional changes are paralleled by sustained increase/decrease of high-frequency oscillatory activity, likely reflecting STDP responsivity. The current findings could be important to drive plasticity of damaged cortical circuits in patients with cognitive or psychiatric disorders. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Controllability modulates the anticipatory response in the human ventromedial prefrontal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deborah Lucille Kerr

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Research has consistently shown that control is critical to psychological functioning, with perceived lack of control considered to play a crucial role in the manifestation of symptoms in psychiatric disorders. In a model of behavioral control based on nonhuman animal work, Maier and colleagues posited that the presence of control activates areas of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC, which in turn inhibit the normative stress response in the dorsal raphe nucleus and amygdala. To test Maier’s model in humans, we investigated the effects of control over potent aversive stimuli by presenting video clips of snakes to 21 snake phobics who were otherwise healthy with no comorbid psychopathologies. Based on prior research documenting that disrupted neural processing during the anticipation of adverse events can be influenced by different forms of cognitive processing such as perceptions of control, analyses focused on the anticipatory activity preceding the videos. We found that phobics exhibited greater vmPFC activity during the anticipation of snake videos when they had control over whether the videos were presented as compared to when they had no control over the presentation of the videos. In addition, observed functional connectivity between the vmPFC and the amygdala is consistent with previous work documenting vmPFC inhibition of the amygdala. Our results provide evidence to support the extension of Maier’s model of behavioral control to include anticipatory function in humans.

  19. Perceived stress predicts altered reward and loss feedback processing in medial prefrontal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael T Treadway

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Stress is significant risk factor for the development of psychopathology, particularly symptoms related to reward processing. Importantly, individuals display marked variation in how they perceive and cope with stressful events, and such differences are strongly linked to risk for developing psychiatric symptoms following stress exposure. However, many questions remain regarding the neural architecture that underlies inter-subject variability in perceptions of stressors. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI during a monetary incentive delay paradigm, we examined the effects of self-reported perceived stress levels on neural activity during reward anticipation and feedback in a sample of healthy individuals. We found that subjects reporting more uncontrollable and overwhelming stressors displayed blunted neural responses in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC following feedback related to monetary gains as well monetary losses. This is consistent with preclinical models that implicate the mPFC as a key site of vulnerability to the noxious effects of uncontrollable stressors. Our data help translate these findings to humans, and elucidate some of the neural mechanisms that may underlie stress-linked risk for developing reward-related psychiatric symptoms.

  20. Testing the involvement of the prefrontal cortex in lucid dreaming: a tDCS study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stumbrys, Tadas; Erlacher, Daniel; Schredl, Michael

    2013-12-01

    Recent studies suggest that lucid dreaming (awareness of dreaming while dreaming) might be associated with increased brain activity over frontal regions during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. By applying transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), we aimed to manipulate the activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) during REM sleep to increase dream lucidity. Nineteen participants spent three consecutive nights in a sleep laboratory. On the second and third nights they randomly received either 1 mA tDCS for 10 min or sham stimulation during each REM period starting with the second one. According to the participants' self-ratings, tDCS over the DLPFC during REM sleep increased lucidity in dreams. The effects, however, were not strong and found only in frequent lucid dreamers. While this indicates some preliminary support for the involvement of the DLPFC in lucid dreaming, further research, controlling for indirect effects of stimulation and including other brain regions, is needed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. The role of prefrontal cortex in working memory: a mini review

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    Antonio Homero Lara

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available A prominent account of prefrontal cortex (PFC function is that single neurons within the PFC maintain representations of task-relevant stimuli in working memory. Evidence for this view comes from studies in which subjects hold a stimulus across a delay lasting up to several seconds. Persistent elevated activity in the PFC has been observed in animal models as well as in humans performing these tasks. This persistent activity has been interpreted as evidence for the encoding of the stimulus itself in working memory. However, recent findings have posed a challenge to this notion. A number of recent studies have examined neural data from the PFC and posterior sensory areas, both at the single neuron level in primates, and at a larger scale in humans, and have failed to find encoding of stimulus information in the PFC during tasks with a substantial working memory component. Strong stimulus related information, however, was seen in posterior sensory areas. These results suggest that delay period activity in the PFC might be better understood not as a signature of memory storage per se, but as a top down signal that influences posterior sensory areas where the actual working memory representations are maintained.

  2. Involvement of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and superior temporal sulcus in impaired social perception in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Jung Eun; Choi, Soo-Hee; Lee, Hyeongrae; Shin, Young Seok; Jang, Dong-Pyo; Kim, Jae-Jin

    2015-04-03

    Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by impairments in diverse thinking and emotional responses, which are related to social perception dysfunction. This fMRI study was designed to investigate a neurobiological basis of social perception deficits of patients with schizophrenia in various social situations of daily life and their relationship with clinical symptoms and social dysfunction. Seventeen patients and 19 controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging, during which participants performed a virtual social perception task, containing an avatar's speech with positive, negative or neutral emotion in a virtual reality space. Participants were asked to determine whether or not the avatar's speech was appropriate to each situation. The significant group×appropriateness interaction was seen in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), resulting from lower activity in patients in the inappropriate condition, and left DLPFC activity was negatively correlated with the severity of negative symptoms and positively correlated with the level of social functioning. The significant appropriateness×emotion interaction observed in the left superior temporal sulcus (STS) was present in controls, but absent in patients, resulting from the existence and absence of a difference between the inappropriate positive and negative conditions, respectively. These findings indicate that dysfunction of the DLPFC-STS network may underlie patients' abnormal social perception in various social situations of daily life. Abnormal functioning of this network may contribute to increases of negative symptoms and decreases of social functioning. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Brain cells in the avian 'prefrontal cortex' code for features of slot-machine-like gambling.

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    Damian Scarf

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Slot machines are the most common and addictive form of gambling. In the current study, we recorded from single neurons in the 'prefrontal cortex' of pigeons while they played a slot-machine-like task. We identified four categories of neurons that coded for different aspects of our slot-machine-like task. Reward-Proximity neurons showed a linear increase in activity as the opportunity for a reward drew near. I-Won neurons fired only when the fourth stimulus of a winning (four-of-a-kind combination was displayed. I-Lost neurons changed their firing rate at the presentation of the first nonidentical stimulus, that is, when it was apparent that no reward was forthcoming. Finally, Near-Miss neurons also changed their activity the moment it was recognized that a reward was no longer available, but more importantly, the activity level was related to whether the trial contained one, two, or three identical stimuli prior to the display of the nonidentical stimulus. These findings not only add to recent neurophysiological research employing simulated gambling paradigms, but also add to research addressing the functional correspondence between the avian NCL and primate PFC.

  4. Protective role of curcumin against sulfite-induced structural changes in rats' medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noorafshan, Ali; Asadi-Golshan, Reza; Abdollahifar, Mohammad-Amin; Karbalay-Doust, Saied

    2015-08-01

    Sodium metabisulfite as a food preservative can affect the central nervous system. Curcumin, the main ingredient of turmeric has neuroprotective activity. This study was designed to evaluate the effects of sulfite and curcumin on the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) using stereological methods. Thirty rats were randomly divided into five groups. The rats in groups I-V received distilled water, olive oil, curcumin (100 mg/kg/day), sodium metabisulfite (25 mg/kg/day), and sulfite + curcumin, respectively, for 8 weeks. The brains were subjected to the stereological methods. Cavalieri and optical disector techniques were used to estimate the total volume of mPFC and the number of neurons and glial cells. Intersections counting were applied on the thick vertical uniform random sections to estimate the dendrites length, and classify the spines. Non-parametric tests were used to analyze the data. The mean mPFC volume, neurons number, glia number, dendritic length, and total spines per neuron were 3.7 mm(3), 365,000, 180,000, 1820 µm, and 1700 in distilled water group, respectively. A reduction was observed in the volume of mPFC (∼8%), number of neurons (∼15%), and number of glia (∼14%) in mPFC of the sulfite group compared to the control groups (P curcumin had a protective role against the changes in the rats.

  5. Adaptive Value Normalization in the Prefrontal Cortex Is Reduced by Memory Load

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, C. J.; Seifritz, E.; Tobler, P. N.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Adaptation facilitates neural representation of a wide range of diverse inputs, including reward values. Adaptive value coding typically relies on contextual information either obtained from the environment or retrieved from and maintained in memory. However, it is unknown whether having to retrieve and maintain context information modulates the brain’s capacity for value adaptation. To address this issue, we measured hemodynamic responses of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in two studies on risky decision-making. In each trial, healthy human subjects chose between a risky and a safe alternative; half of the participants had to remember the risky alternatives, whereas for the other half they were presented visually. The value of safe alternatives varied across trials. PFC responses adapted to contextual risk information, with steeper coding of safe alternative value in lower-risk contexts. Importantly, this adaptation depended on working memory load, such that response functions relating PFC activity to safe values were steeper with presented versus remembered risk. An independent second study replicated the findings of the first study and showed that similar slope reductions also arose when memory maintenance demands were increased with a secondary working memory task. Formal model comparison showed that a divisive normalization model fitted effects of both risk context and working memory demands on PFC activity better than alternative models of value adaptation, and revealed that reduced suppression of background activity was the critical parameter impairing normalization with increased memory maintenance demand. Our findings suggest that mnemonic processes can constrain normalization of neural value representations. PMID:28462394

  6. Effects on executive function following damage to the prefrontal cortex in the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Tara L; Schettler, Stephen P; Killiany, Ronald J; Rosene, Douglas L; Moss, Mark B

    2009-04-01

    Executive function is a term used to describe the cognitive processes subserved by the prefrontal cortex (PFC). An extensive body of work has characterized the effects of damage to the PFC in nonhuman primates, but it has focused primarily on the capacity of recognition and working memory. One limitation in studies of the functional parcellation of the PFC has been the absence of tests that assess executive function or its functional components. The current study used an adaptation of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, a classic test of frontal lobe and executive function in humans, to assess the effects of bilateral lesions in the dorsolateral PFC on executive function in the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta). The authors used the category set-shifting task, which requires the monkey to establish a pattern of responding to a specific category (color or shape) based on reward contingency, maintain that pattern of responding, and then shift to responding to a different category when the reward contingency changes. Rhesus monkeys with lesions of the dorsolateral PFC were impaired in abstraction, establishing a response pattern to a specific category and maintaining and shifting that response pattern on the category set-shifting task. (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved.

  7. Converging models of schizophrenia - Network alterations of prefrontal cortex underlying cognitive impairments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakurai, Takeshi; Gamo, Nao J; Hikida, Takatoshi; Kim, Sun-Hong; Murai, Toshiya; Tomoda, Toshifumi; Sawa, Akira

    2015-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) and its connections with other brain areas are crucial for cognitive function. Cognitive impairments are one of the core symptoms associated with schizophrenia, and manifest even before the onset of the disorder. Altered neural networks involving PFC contribute to cognitive impairments in schizophrenia. Both genetic and environmental risk factors affect the development of the local circuitry within PFC as well as development of broader brain networks, and make the system vulnerable to further insults during adolescence, leading to the onset of the disorder in young adulthood. Since spared cognitive functions correlate with functional outcome and prognosis, a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying cognitive impairments will have important implications for novel therapeutics for schizophrenia focusing on cognitive functions. Multidisciplinary approaches, from basic neuroscience to clinical studies, are required to link molecules, circuitry, networks, and behavioral phenotypes. Close interactions among such fields by sharing a common language on connectomes, behavioral readouts, and other concepts are crucial for this goal. PMID:26408506

  8. The role of medial prefrontal cortex in memory and decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euston, David R; Gruber, Aaron J; McNaughton, Bruce L

    2012-12-20

    Some have claimed that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) mediates decision making. Others suggest mPFC is selectively involved in the retrieval of remote long-term memory. Yet others suggests mPFC supports memory and consolidation on time scales ranging from seconds to days. How can all these roles be reconciled? We propose that the function of the mPFC is to learn associations between context, locations, events, and corresponding adaptive responses, particularly emotional responses. Thus, the ubiquitous involvement of mPFC in both memory and decision making may be due to the fact that almost all such tasks entail the ability to recall the best action or emotional response to specific events in a particular place and time. An interaction between multiple memory systems may explain the changing importance of mPFC to different types of memories over time. In particular, mPFC likely relies on the hippocampus to support rapid learning and memory consolidation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Is Critical for Helping Others Who Are Suffering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janelle N. Beadle

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Neurological patients with damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC are reported to display reduced empathy toward others in their daily lives in clinical case studies. However, the empathic behavior of patients with damage to the vmPFC has not been measured experimentally in response to an empathy-eliciting event. This is important because characterizing the degree to which patients with damage to the vmPFC have lower empathic behavior will allow for the development of targeted interventions to improve patients’ social skills and in turn will help family members to better understand their impairments so they can provide appropriate supports. For the first time, we induced empathy using an ecologically-valid empathy induction in neurological patients with damage to the vmPFC and measured their empathic emotional responses and behavior in real time. Eight neurological patients with focal damage to the vmPFC were compared to demographically-matched brain-damaged and healthy comparison participants. Patients with damage to the vmPFC gave less money in the empathy condition to a person who was suffering (a confederate than comparison participants. This provides the first direct experimental evidence that the vmPFC is critical for empathic behavior toward individuals who are suffering.

  10. Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Is Critical for Helping Others Who Are Suffering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beadle, Janelle N; Paradiso, Sergio; Tranel, Daniel

    2018-01-01

    Neurological patients with damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) are reported to display reduced empathy toward others in their daily lives in clinical case studies. However, the empathic behavior of patients with damage to the vmPFC has not been measured experimentally in response to an empathy-eliciting event. This is important because characterizing the degree to which patients with damage to the vmPFC have lower empathic behavior will allow for the development of targeted interventions to improve patients' social skills and in turn will help family members to better understand their impairments so they can provide appropriate supports. For the first time, we induced empathy using an ecologically-valid empathy induction in neurological patients with damage to the vmPFC and measured their empathic emotional responses and behavior in real time. Eight neurological patients with focal damage to the vmPFC were compared to demographically-matched brain-damaged and healthy comparison participants. Patients with damage to the vmPFC gave less money in the empathy condition to a person who was suffering (a confederate) than comparison participants. This provides the first direct experimental evidence that the vmPFC is critical for empathic behavior toward individuals who are suffering.

  11. Laser technique for anatomical-functional study of the medial prefrontal cortex of the brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Huerta, Laura; Hernandez, Adan; Ayala, Griselda; Marroquin, Javier; Silva, Adriana B.; Khotiaintsev, Konstantin S.; Svirid, Vladimir A.; Flores, Gonzalo; Khotiaintsev, Sergei N.

    1999-05-01

    The brain represents one of the most complex systems that we know yet. In its study, non-destructive methods -- in particular, behavioral studies play an important role. By alteration of brain functioning (e.g. by pharmacological means) and observation of consequent behavior changes an important information on brain organization and functioning is obtained. For inducing local alterations, permanent brain lesions are employed. However, for correct results this technique has to be quasi-non-destructive, i.e. not to affect the normal brain function. Hence, the lesions should be very small, accurate and applied precisely over the structure (e.g. the brain nucleus) of interest. These specifications are difficult to meet with the existing techniques for brain lesions -- specifically, neurotoxical, mechanical and electrical means because they result in too extensive damage. In this paper, we present new laser technique for quasi-non- destructive anatomical-functional mapping in vivo of the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) of the rat. The technique is based on producing of small-size, well-controlled laser- induced lesions over some areas of the MPFC. The anesthetized animals are subjected to stereotactic surgery and certain points of the MPFC are exposed the confined radiation of the 10 W cw CO2 laser. Subsequent behavioral changes observed in neonatal and adult animals as well as histological data prove effectiveness of this technology for anatomical- functional studies of the brain by areas, and as a treatment method for some pathologies.

  12. The interaction of process and domain in prefrontal cortex during inductive reasoning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babcock, Laura; Vallesi, Antonino

    2015-01-01

    Inductive reasoning is an everyday process that allows us to make sense of the world by creating rules from a series of instances. Consistent with accounts of process-based fractionations of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) along the left-right axis, inductive reasoning has been reliably localized to left PFC. However, these results may be confounded by the task domain, which is typically verbal. Indeed, some studies show that right PFC activation is seen with spatial tasks. This study used fMRI to examine the effects of process and domain on the brain regions recruited during a novel pattern discovery task. Twenty healthy young adult participants were asked to discover the rule underlying the presentation of a series of letters in varied spatial locations. The rules were either verbal (pertaining to a single semantic category) or spatial (geometric figures). Bilateral ventrolateral PFC activations were seen for the spatial domain, while the verbal domain showed only left ventrolateral PFC. A conjunction analysis revealed that the two domains recruited a common region of left ventrolateral PFC. The data support a central role of left PFC in inductive reasoning. Importantly, they also suggest that both process and domain shape the localization of reasoning in the brain. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  13. Humor Appreciation Involves Parametric and Synchronized Activity in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iidaka, Tetsuya

    2017-12-01

    Humor perception is a ubiquitous phenomenon in human societies. In theories of humor perception, three factors, non-seriousness, social context, and incongruity, have been implicated in humor. In another theory, however, elaboration and reinterpretation of contexts are considered to play a role in eliciting humor. Although the neural correlates of humor appreciation have been investigated using neuroimaging methods, only a few studies have conducted such experiments under natural conditions. In the present study, two functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments, using a comedy movie as a stimulus, were conducted to investigate the neural correlates of humor under natural conditions. The subjects' brain activity was measured while watching and enjoying a movie. In experiment 1, a parametric analysis showed that the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and hippocampus/amygdala had a positive relationship with the subjective rating of funniness. In experiment 2, intersubject correlation was analyzed to investigate synchronized activity across all participants. Signal synchronization that paralleled increased funniness ratings was observed in the MPFC and hippocampus. Thus, it appears that both parametric and synchronized activity in the MPFC and hippocampus are important during humor appreciation. The present study has revealed the brain regions that are predominantly involved in humor sensation under natural condition. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Benefits of physical exercise on the aging brain: the role of the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berchicci, Marika; Lucci, Giuliana; Di Russo, Francesco

    2013-11-01

    Motor planning in older adults likely relies on the overengagement of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and is associated with slowness of movement and responses. Does a physically active lifestyle counteract the overrecruitment of the PFC during action preparation? This study used high-resolution electroencephalography to measure the effect of physical exercise on the executive functions of the PFC preceding a visuomotor discriminative task. A total of 130 participants aged 15-86 were divided into two groups based on physical exercise participation. The response times and accuracy and the premotor activity of the PFC were separately correlated with age for the two groups. The data were first fit with a linear function and then a higher order polynomial function. We observed that after 35-40 years of age, physically active individuals have faster response times than their less active peers and showed no signs of PFC hyperactivity during motor planning. The present findings show that physical exercise could speed up the response of older people and reveal that also in middle-aged people, moderate-to-high levels of physical exercise benefits the planning/execution of a response and the executive functions mediated by the PFC, counteracting the neural overactivity often observed in the elderly adults.

  15. Brain structural network topological alterations of the left prefrontal and limbic cortex in psychogenic erectile dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jianhuai; Chen, Yun; Gao, Qingqiang; Chen, Guotao; Dai, Yutian; Yao, Zhijian; Lu, Qing

    2018-05-01

    Despite increasing understanding of the cerebral functional changes and structural abnormalities in erectile dysfunction, alterations in the topological organization of brain networks underlying psychogenic erectile dysfunction remain unclear. Here, based on the diffusion tensor image data of 25 patients and 26 healthy controls, we investigated the topological organization of brain structural networks and its correlations with the clinical variables using the graph theoretical analysis. Patients displayed a preserved overall small-world organization and exhibited a less connectivity strength in the left inferior frontal gyrus, amygdale and the right inferior temporal gyrus. Moreover, an abnormal hub pattern was observed in patients, which might disturb the information interactions of the remaining brain network. Additionally, the clustering coefficient of the left hippocampus was positively correlated with the duration of patients and the normalized betweenness centrality of the right anterior cingulate gyrus and the left calcarine fissure were negatively correlated with the sum scores of the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. These findings suggested that the damaged white matter and the abnormal hub distribution of the left prefrontal and limbic cortex might contribute to the pathogenesis of psychogenic erectile dysfunction and provided new insights into the understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms of psychogenic erectile dysfunction.

  16. Lateral prefrontal cortex activity during cognitive control of emotion predicts response to social stress in schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura M. Tully, PhD

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available LPFC dysfunction is a well-established neural impairment in schizophrenia and is associated with worse symptoms. However, how LPFC activation influences symptoms is unclear. Previous findings in healthy individuals demonstrate that lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC activation during cognitive control of emotional information predicts mood and behavior in response to interpersonal conflict, thus impairments in these processes may contribute to symptom exacerbation in schizophrenia. We investigated whether schizophrenia participants show LPFC deficits during cognitive control of emotional information, and whether these LPFC deficits prospectively predict changes in mood and symptoms following real-world interpersonal conflict. During fMRI, 23 individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and 24 healthy controls completed the Multi-Source Interference Task superimposed on neutral and negative pictures. Afterwards, schizophrenia participants completed a 21-day online daily-diary in which they rated the extent to which they experienced mood and schizophrenia-spectrum symptoms, as well as the occurrence and response to interpersonal conflict. Schizophrenia participants had lower dorsal LPFC activity (BA9 during cognitive control of task-irrelevant negative emotional information. Within schizophrenia participants, DLPFC activity during cognitive control of emotional information predicted changes in positive and negative mood on days following highly distressing interpersonal conflicts. Results have implications for understanding the specific role of LPFC in response to social stress in schizophrenia, and suggest that treatments targeting LPFC-mediated cognitive control of emotion could promote adaptive response to social stress in schizophrenia.

  17. Sensory Deprivation during Early Postnatal Period Alters the Density of Interneurons in the Mouse Prefrontal Cortex

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    Hiroshi Ueno

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Early loss of one sensory system can cause improved function of other sensory systems. However, both the time course and neuronal mechanism of cross-modal plasticity remain elusive. Recent study using functional MRI in humans suggests a role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC in cross-modal plasticity. Since this phenomenon is assumed to be associated with altered GABAergic inhibition in the PFC, we have tested the hypothesis that early postnatal sensory deprivation causes the changes of inhibitory neuronal circuit in different regions of the PFC of the mice. We determined the effects of sensory deprivation from birth to postnatal day 28 (P28 or P58 on the density of parvalbumin (PV, calbindin (CB, and calretinin (CR neurons in the prelimbic, infralimbic, and dorsal anterior cingulate cortices. The density of PV and CB neurons was significantly increased in layer 5/6 (L5/6. Moreover, the density of CR neurons was higher in L2/3 in sensory deprived mice compared to intact mice. These changes were more prominent at P56 than at P28. These results suggest that long-term sensory deprivation causes the changes of intracortical inhibitory networks in the PFC and the changes of inhibitory networks in the PFC may contribute to cross-modal plasticity.

  18. Changes in ventromedial prefrontal and insular cortex support the development of metamemory from childhood into adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fandakova, Yana; Selmeczy, Diana; Leckey, Sarah; Grimm, Kevin J; Wendelken, Carter; Bunge, Silvia A; Ghetti, Simona

    2017-07-18

    Metamemory monitoring, or the ability to introspect on the accuracy of one's memories, improves considerably during childhood, but the underlying neural changes and implications for intellectual development are largely unknown. The present study examined whether cortical changes in key brain areas hypothesized to support metacognition contribute to the development of metamemory monitoring from late childhood into early adolescence. Metamemory monitoring was assessed among 7- to 12-y-old children ( n = 145) and adults ( n = 31). Children returned for up to two additional assessments at 8 to 14 y of age ( n = 120) and at 9 to 15 y of age ( n = 107) ( n = 347 longitudinal scans). Results showed that metamemory monitoring continues to improve from childhood into adolescence. More pronounced cortical thinning in the anterior insula and a greater increase in the thickness of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex over the three assessment points predicted these improvements. Thus, performance benefits are linked to the unique patterns of regional cortical change during development. Metamemory monitoring at the first time point predicted intelligence at the third time point and vice versa, suggesting parallel development of these abilities and their reciprocal influence. Together, these results provide insights into the neuroanatomical correlates supporting the development of the capacity to self-reflect, and highlight the role of this capacity for general intellectual development.

  19. Prefrontal cortex activity is associated with biobehavioral components of the stress response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muriah D Wheelock

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Contemporary theory suggests that prefrontal cortex (PFC function is associated with individual variability in the psychobiology of the stress response. Advancing our understanding of this complex biobehavioral pathway has potential to provide insight into processes that determine individual differences in stress susceptibility. The present study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to examine brain activity during a variation of the Montreal Imaging Stress Task (MIST in fifty-three young adults. Salivary cortisol was assessed as an index of the stress response, trait anxiety was assessed as an index of an individual’s disposition towards negative affectivity, and self-reported stress was assessed as an index of an individual’s subjective psychological experience. Heart rate and skin conductance responses were also assessed as additional measures of physiological reactivity. Dorsomedial PFC, dorsolateral PFC, and inferior parietal lobule demonstrated differential activity during the MIST. Further, differences in salivary cortisol reactivity to the MIST were associated with ventromedial PFC and posterior cingulate activity, while trait anxiety and self-reported stress were associated with dorsomedial and ventromedial PFC activity respectively. These findings underscore that PFC activity regulates behavioral and psychobiological components of the stress response.

  20. Dopamine D1 sensitivity in the prefrontal cortex predicts general cognitive abilities and is modulated by working memory training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wass, Christopher; Pizzo, Alessandro; Sauce, Bruno; Kawasumi, Yushi; Sturzoiu, Tudor; Ree, Fred; Otto, Tim; Matzel, Louis D

    2013-10-15

    A common source of variance (i.e., "general intelligence") underlies an individual's performance across diverse tests of cognitive ability, and evidence indicates that the processing efficacy of working memory may serve as one such source of common variance. One component of working memory, selective attention, has been reported to co-vary with general intelligence, and dopamine D1 signaling in prefrontal cortex can modulate attentional abilities. Based on their aggregate performance across five diverse tests of learning, here we characterized the general cognitive ability (GCA) of CD-1 outbred mice. In response to a D1 agonist (SKF82958, 1 mg/kg), we then assessed the relationship between GCA and activation of D1 receptor (D1R)-containing neurons in the prelimbic region of the medial prefrontal cortex, the agranular insular cortex, and the dorsomedial striatum. Increased activation of D1R-containing neurons in the prelimbic cortex (but not the agranular insular cortex or dorsomedial striatum) was observed in animals of high GCA relative to those of low GCA (quantified by c-Fos activation in response to the D1 agonist). However, a Western blot analysis revealed no differences in the density of D1Rs in the prelimbic cortex between animals of high and low GCA. Last, it was observed that working memory training promoted an increase in animals' GCA and enhanced D1R-mediated neuronal activation in the prelimbic cortex. These results suggest that the sensitivity (but not density) of D1Rs in the prelimbic cortex may both regulate GCA and be a target for working memory training.

  1. Impaired mixed emotion processing in the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, Ádám György; Farkas, Kinga; Marosi, Csilla; Kozák, Lajos R; Rudas, Gábor; Réthelyi, János; Csukly, Gábor

    2017-12-08

    Schizophrenia has a negative effect on the activity of the temporal and prefrontal cortices in the processing of emotional facial expressions. However no previous research focused on the evaluation of mixed emotions in schizophrenia, albeit they are frequently expressed in everyday situations and negative emotions are frequently expressed by mixed facial expressions. Altogether 37 subjects, 19 patients with schizophrenia and 18 healthy control subjects were enrolled in the study. The two study groups did not differ in age and education. The stimulus set consisted of 10 fearful (100%), 10 happy (100%), 10 mixed fear (70% fear and 30% happy) and 10 mixed happy facial expressions. During the fMRI acquisition pictures were presented in a randomized order and subjects had to categorize expressions by button press. A decreased activation was found in the patient group during fear, mixed fear and mixed happy processing in the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) and the right anterior insula (RAI) at voxel and cluster level after familywise error correction. No difference was found between study groups in activations to happy facial condition. Patients with schizophrenia did not show a differential activation between mixed happy and happy facial expression similar to controls in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Patients with schizophrenia showed decreased functioning in right prefrontal regions responsible for salience signaling and valence evaluation during emotion recognition. Our results indicate that fear and mixed happy/fear processing are impaired in schizophrenia, while happy facial expression processing is relatively intact.

  2. Astrocytic cytoskeletal atrophy in the medial prefrontal cortex of a triple transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kulijewicz-Nawrot, Magdaléna; Verkhratsky, Alexei; Chvátal, Alexandr; Syková, Eva; Rodríguez Arellano, Jose Julio

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 221, č. 3 (2012), s. 252-262 ISSN 0021-8782 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA305/08/1384; GA ČR GA309/09/1696; GA ČR GAP304/11/0184 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50390703 Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : Alzheimer’s disease,, * astroglia * medial prefrontal cortex Subject RIV: FH - Neurology Impact factor: 2.357, year: 2012

  3. Cell and Receptor Type-Specific Alterations in Markers of GABA Neurotransmission in the Prefrontal Cortex of Subjects with Schizophrenia

    OpenAIRE

    Lewis, David A.; Hashimoto, Takanori; Morris, Harvey M.

    2008-01-01

    Impairments in cognitive control, such as those involved in working memory, are associated with dysfunction of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in individuals with schizophrenia. This dysfunction appears to result, at least in part, from abnormalities in GABA-mediated neurotransmission. In this paper, we review recent findings indicating that the altered DLPFC circuitry in subjects with schizophrenia reflects changes in the expression of genes that encode selective presynaptic and p...

  4. Emotional and Utilitarian Appraisals of Moral Dilemmas Are Encoded in Separate Areas and Integrated in Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montaser-Kouhsari, Leila; Woodward, James; Rangel, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Moral judgment often requires making difficult tradeoffs (e.g., is it appropriate to torture to save the lives of innocents at risk?). Previous research suggests that both emotional appraisals and more deliberative utilitarian appraisals influence such judgments and that these appraisals often conflict. However, it is unclear how these different types of appraisals are represented in the brain, or how they are integrated into an overall moral judgment. We addressed these questions using an fMRI paradigm in which human subjects provide separate emotional and utilitarian appraisals for different potential actions, and then make difficult moral judgments constructed from combinations of these actions. We found that anterior cingulate, insula, and superior temporal gyrus correlated with emotional appraisals, whereas temporoparietal junction and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex correlated with utilitarian appraisals. Overall moral value judgments were represented in an anterior portion of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Critically, the pattern of responses and functional interactions between these three sets of regions are consistent with a model in which emotional and utilitarian appraisals are computed independently and in parallel, and passed to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex where they are integrated into an overall moral value judgment. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Popular accounts of moral judgment often describe it as a battle for control between two systems, one intuitive and emotional, the other rational and utilitarian, engaged in winner-take-all inhibitory competition. Using a novel fMRI paradigm, we identified distinct neural signatures of emotional and utilitarian appraisals and used them to test different models of how they compete for the control of moral behavior. Importantly, we find little support for competitive inhibition accounts. Instead, moral judgments resembled the architecture of simple economic choices: distinct regions represented emotional

  5. Emotional and Utilitarian Appraisals of Moral Dilemmas Are Encoded in Separate Areas and Integrated in Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutcherson, Cendri A; Montaser-Kouhsari, Leila; Woodward, James; Rangel, Antonio

    2015-09-09

    Moral judgment often requires making difficult tradeoffs (e.g., is it appropriate to torture to save the lives of innocents at risk?). Previous research suggests that both emotional appraisals and more deliberative utilitarian appraisals influence such judgments and that these appraisals often conflict. However, it is unclear how these different types of appraisals are represented in the brain, or how they are integrated into an overall moral judgment. We addressed these questions using an fMRI paradigm in which human subjects provide separate emotional and utilitarian appraisals for different potential actions, and then make difficult moral judgments constructed from combinations of these actions. We found that anterior cingulate, insula, and superior temporal gyrus correlated with emotional appraisals, whereas temporoparietal junction and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex correlated with utilitarian appraisals. Overall moral value judgments were represented in an anterior portion of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Critically, the pattern of responses and functional interactions between these three sets of regions are consistent with a model in which emotional and utilitarian appraisals are computed independently and in parallel, and passed to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex where they are integrated into an overall moral value judgment. Significance statement: Popular accounts of moral judgment often describe it as a battle for control between two systems, one intuitive and emotional, the other rational and utilitarian, engaged in winner-take-all inhibitory competition. Using a novel fMRI paradigm, we identified distinct neural signatures of emotional and utilitarian appraisals and used them to test different models of how they compete for the control of moral behavior. Importantly, we find little support for competitive inhibition accounts. Instead, moral judgments resembled the architecture of simple economic choices: distinct regions represented emotional

  6. Deactivation of medial prefrontal and posterior cingulate cortex in anxiety disorders

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao Xiaohu; Wang Peijun; Dong Ningxin; Li Chunbo; Wu Wenyuan; Hu Zhenghui; Tang Xiaowei

    2007-01-01

    Objective: We used blood oxygenation level dependent-functional MR imaging (BOLD- fMRI) to explore the characteristics of deactivation patterns in patients with anxiety disorders and the underlying neural mechanism of this disease. Methods: Ten patients and ten healthy controls participated the experiments. All subjects performed the trait portion of the State-Trait anxiety Inventory (STAI-T) prior to the fMRI scans. The subjects underwent noninvasive functional magnetic resonance imaging while listening actively to emotionally neutral words alternating with no words (experiment 1) and threat related-words alternating with emotionally neutral words (experiment2). During fMRI scanning, subjects were instructed to closely listen to each stimuli word and to silently make a judgment of the word's valence. Data were analyzed with statistical parametric mapping (SPM 99). Individual and group analysis were conducted. Results: Mean STAI-T score was significantly higher for patients group than that of controls (58 ± 8 for patients group and 33 ± 5 for controls, t=8.3, P<0.01). Our fMRI data revealed sets of deactivation brain regions in Experiment for patients and healthy controls, however, the deactivation can be found in experiment 2 only for patients. Interestingly, all the observed deactivation patterns were similar. The related areas compromise medial prefrontal cortex(BA 10, BA 24/32), posterior cingulate (BA 31/30) and Bilateral inferior parietal cortex (MPFC) (BA 39/40), which nearly overlapping with the organized default model network. Further more, the mean t values in the MPFC area (BA 24/32) was significantly higher for control group than that of patient (5.1 controls and 4.2 for patients, t=4.8, P=0.006), conversely, the mean t values in the posterior cingulate cortex(PCC) area was significantly higher for patients l than that of controls (4.9 controls and 5.8 for patients, t=2.4, P=0.026). Conclusion: Our observations suggest that the default model network

  7. Effects of medial prefrontal cortex lesions in rats on the what-where-when memory of a fear conditioning event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jay-Shake; Hsiao, Kun-Yuan; Chen, Wei-Min

    2011-03-17

    Previous animal studies have defined the ability to remember the details of what, where, and when of an event as an episodic-like memory to be used to model episodic memory in humans. Numerous findings indicate that the hippocampal-frontal cortical circuitry plays a major part in its neural mechanism. Researchers have intensively studied roles of diverse hippocampus sub-regions using animal models. By contrast, the impact of prefrontal cortex lesions on episodic-like memory in animals is still unknown. Here we show that Wistar rats with bilateral medial prefrontal cortex lesions failed to use the temporal-contextual information to retrieve memory of a fear-conditioning event, indicating impairments in their episodic-like memory. Subsequent experiments excluded alternative interpretations that the manipulation impaired the fear-conditioning per se, or interfered with the sensory preconditioning process. We concluded that damages in this area might impair temporal information processing, or interfere with integrating temporal and contextual elements of fear-conditioning events to form a conjunctive entity. These findings can help understand how the medial prefrontal cortex contributes to episodic-like memory. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Understanding the Dorsal and Ventral Systems of the Human Cerebral Cortex: Beyond Dichotomies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borst, Gregoire; Thompson, William L.; Kosslyn, Stephen M.

    2011-01-01

    Traditionally, characterizations of the macrolevel functional organization of the human cerebral cortex have focused on the left and right cerebral hemispheres. However, the idea of left brain versus right brain functions has been shown to be an oversimplification. We argue here that a top-bottom divide, rather than a left-right divide, is a more…

  9. Analyzing prefrontal cortex hemoglobin concentration exchange spectrum in patients with major depressive disorder combined with anxiety and obsession through near-infrared spectroscopy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘晓敏

    2014-01-01

    Objective Exploring the characteristics of prefrontal cortex activation in patients of major depressive disorder(MDD)combined with anxiety and obsession through functional near-infrared spectroscopy(fN IRS).Methods Prefrontal cortex hemoglobin concentration exchange of30 MDD patients combined with anxiety and obsession was detected by fN IRS under voice fluency task(VFT),then psychological assessment was made using Hanmilton Depression Scale(HAMD),Hamilton Anxiety Scale

  10. Differential expression of molecular markers of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and amygdala in response to spatial learning, predator exposure, and stress-induced amnesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoladz, Phillip R; Park, Collin R; Halonen, Joshua D; Salim, Samina; Alzoubi, Karem H; Srivareerat, Marisa; Fleshner, Monika; Alkadhi, Karim A; Diamond, David M

    2012-03-01

    We have studied the effects of spatial learning and predator stress-induced amnesia on the expression of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and calcineurin in the hippocampus, basolateral amygdala (BLA), and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Adult male rats were given a single training session in the radial-arm water maze (RAWM) composed of 12 trials followed by a 30-min delay period, during which rats were either returned to their home cages or given inescapable exposure to a cat. Immediately following the 30-min delay period, the rats were given a single test trial in the RAWM to assess their memory for the hidden platform location. Under control (no stress) conditions, rats exhibited intact spatial memory and an increase in phosphorylated CaMKII (p-CaMKII), total CaMKII, and BDNF in dorsal CA1. Under stress conditions, rats exhibited impaired spatial memory and a suppression of all measured markers of molecular plasticity in dorsal CA1. The molecular profiles observed in the BLA, mPFC, and ventral CA1 were markedly different from those observed in dorsal CA1. Stress exposure increased p-CaMKII in the BLA, decreased p-CaMKII in the mPFC, and had no effect on any of the markers of molecular plasticity in ventral CA1. These findings provide novel observations regarding rapidly induced changes in the expression of molecular plasticity in response to spatial learning, predator exposure, and stress-induced amnesia in brainregions involved in different aspects of memory processing. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Striatal dopamine release induced by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over dorsolateral prefrontal cortex: effect of aging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bang, Seong Ae; Cho, Sang Soo; Yoon, Eun Jin; Kim, Ji Sun; Lee, Byung Chul; Kim, Yu Kyeong; Kim, Sang Eun

    2007-01-01

    We previously demonstrated dopamine (DA) release in the bilateral striatal regions following prefrontal repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in young subjects. Several lines of evidence support substantial age-related changes in human dopaminergic neurotransmission. One possible explanation is alteration of cortico striatal neural connection with aging. Therefore, we investigated how frontal activation by rTMS influences striatal DA release in the elderly with SPECT measurements of striatal binding of [123I]iodobenzamide (lBZM), a DA D2 receptor radioligand that is sensitive to endogenous DA. Five healthy elderly male subjects (age, 64 3 y) were studied with brain [123I]IBZM SPECT under three conditions (resting, sham stimulation, and active rTMS over left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC)), while receiving a bolus plus constant infusion of [123I]IBZM. rTMS session consisted of three blocks. In each block, 15 trains of 2 sec duration were delivered with 10 Hz stimulation frequency and 100% motor threshold. Striatal V3', calculated as (striatal - occipital)/occipital radioactivity, was measured under equilibrium condition at baseline and after sham and active rTMS. Sham stimulation did not affect striatal V3'. rTMS over left DLPFC induced no significant change in V3' in the right striatum compared with baseline condition (0.91 0.25 vs. 0.96 0.25, P = NS). Interestingly, left striatal V3' showed a significant increase after rTMS over left DLPFC compared with sham condition (1.09 0.33 vs. 0.93 0.27, P < 0.05; 17.0 11.1% increase). These results are discrepant from previous ones from young subjects, who showed frontal rTMS-induced reduction of striatal V3', indicating rTMS-induced striatal DA release. We found no significant striatal DA release induced by rTMS over DLPFC in healthy elderly subjects using in vivo binding competition techniques. These results may support an altered cortico striatal circuit in normal aging

  12. Striatal dopamine release induced by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over dorsolateral prefrontal cortex: effect of aging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bang, Seong Ae; Cho, Sang Soo; Yoon, Eun Jin; Kim, Ji Sun; Lee, Byung Chul; Kim, Yu Kyeong; Kim, Sang Eun [Seoul National Univ. College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2007-07-01

    We previously demonstrated dopamine (DA) release in the bilateral striatal regions following prefrontal repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in young subjects. Several lines of evidence support substantial age-related changes in human dopaminergic neurotransmission. One possible explanation is alteration of cortico striatal neural connection with aging. Therefore, we investigated how frontal activation by rTMS influences striatal DA release in the elderly with SPECT measurements of striatal binding of [123I]iodobenzamide (lBZM), a DA D2 receptor radioligand that is sensitive to endogenous DA. Five healthy elderly male subjects (age, 64 3 y) were studied with brain [123I]IBZM SPECT under three conditions (resting, sham stimulation, and active rTMS over left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC)), while receiving a bolus plus constant infusion of [123I]IBZM. rTMS session consisted of three blocks. In each block, 15 trains of 2 sec duration were delivered with 10 Hz stimulation frequency and 100% motor threshold. Striatal V3', calculated as (striatal - occipital)/occipital radioactivity, was measured under equilibrium condition at baseline and after sham and active rTMS. Sham stimulation did not affect striatal V3'. rTMS over left DLPFC induced no significant change in V3' in the right striatum compared with baseline condition (0.91 0.25 vs. 0.96 0.25, P = NS). Interestingly, left striatal V3' showed a significant increase after rTMS over left DLPFC compared with sham condition (1.09 0.33 vs. 0.93 0.27, P < 0.05; 17.0 11.1% increase). These results are discrepant from previous ones from young subjects, who showed frontal rTMS-induced reduction of striatal V3', indicating rTMS-induced striatal DA release. We found no significant striatal DA release induced by rTMS over DLPFC in healthy elderly subjects using in vivo binding competition techniques. These results may support an altered cortico striatal circuit in normal aging.

  13. Activation of the mouse primary visual cortex by medial prefrontal subregion stimulation is not mediated by cholinergic basalo-cortical projections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hoang Nam eNguyen

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC exerts top-down control of primary visual cortex (V1 activity. As there is no direct neuronal projection from mPFC to V1, this functional connection may use an indirect route, i.e., via basalo-cortical cholinergic projections. The cholinergic projections to V1 originate from neurons in the horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca (HDB, which receive neuronal projections from the ventral part of the mPFC, composed of prelimbic (PrL and infralimbic cortices (IL. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine whether electrical stimulation of mice mPFC subregions activate 1 V1 neurons and 2 HDB cholinergic neurons, suggesting that the HDB serves as a relay point in the mPFC-V1 interaction. Neuronal activation was quantified using c-Fos immunocytochemistry or thallium autometallography for each V1 layer using automated particle analysis tools and optical density measurement. Stimulation of IL and PrL induced significantly higher c-Fos expression or thallium labelling in layers II/III and V of V1 in the stimulated hemisphere only. A HDB cholinergic neuron-specific lesion by saporin administration reduced IL-induced c-Fos expression in layers II/III of V1 but not in layer V. However, there was no c-Fos expression or thallium labelling in the HDB neurons, suggesting that this area was not activated by IL stimulation. Stimulation of another mPFC subarea, the anterior cingulate cortex (AC, which is involved in attention and receives input from V1, activated neither V1 nor HDB. The present results indicate that IL and PrL, but not AC, stimulation activates V1 with the minor involvement of the HDB cholinergic projections. These results suggest a functional link between the ventral mPFC and V1, but this function is only marginally supported by HDB cholinergic neurons and may involve other brain regions.

  14. Basic level category structure emerges gradually across human ventral visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iordan, Marius Cătălin; Greene, Michelle R; Beck, Diane M; Fei-Fei, Li

    2015-07-01

    Objects can be simultaneously categorized at multiple levels of specificity ranging from very broad ("natural object") to very distinct ("Mr. Woof"), with a mid-level of generality (basic level: "dog") often providing the most cognitively useful distinction between categories. It is unknown, however, how this hierarchical representation is achieved in the brain. Using multivoxel pattern analyses, we examined how well each taxonomic level (superordinate, basic, and subordinate) of real-world object categories is represented across occipitotemporal cortex. We found that, although in early visual cortex objects are best represented at the subordinate level (an effect mostly driven by low-level feature overlap between objects in the same category), this advantage diminishes compared to the basic level as we move up the visual hierarchy, disappearing in object-selective regions of occipitotemporal cortex. This pattern stems from a combined increase in within-category similarity (category cohesion) and between-category dissimilarity (category distinctiveness) of neural activity patterns at the basic level, relative to both subordinate and superordinate levels, suggesting that successive visual areas may be optimizing basic level representations.

  15. Cyto-, myelo- and chemoarchitecture of the prefrontal cortex of the Cebus monkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background According to several lines of evidence, the great expansion observed in the primate prefrontal cortex (PfC) was accompanied by the emergence of new cortical areas during phylogenetic development. As a consequence, the structural heterogeneity noted in this region of the primate frontal lobe has been associated with diverse behavioral and cognitive functions described in human and non-human primates. A substantial part of this evidence was obtained using Old World monkeys as experimental model; while the PfC of New World monkeys has been poorly studied. In this study, the architecture of the PfC in five capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) was analyzed based on four different architectonic tools, Nissl and myelin staining, histochemistry using the lectin Wisteria floribunda agglutinin and immunohistochemistry using SMI-32 antibody. Results Twenty-two architectonic areas in the Cebus PfC were distinguished: areas 8v, 8d, 9d, 12l, 45, 46v, 46d, 46vr and 46dr in the lateral PfC; areas 11l, 11m, 12o, 13l, 13m, 13i, 14r and 14c in the orbitofrontal cortex, with areas 14r and 14c occupying the ventromedial corner; areas 32r, 32c, 25 and 9m in the medial PfC, and area 10 in the frontal pole. This number is significantly higher than the four cytoarchitectonic areas previously recognized in the same species. However, the number and distribution of these areas in Cebus were to a large extent similar to those described in Old World monkeys PfC in more recent studies. Conclusions The present parcellation of the Cebus PfC considerably modifies the scheme initially proposed for this species but is in line with previous studies on Old World monkeys. Thus, it was observed that the remarkable anatomical similarity between the brains of genera Macaca and Cebus may extend to architectonic aspects. Since monkeys of both genera evolved independently over a long period of time facing different environmental pressures, the similarities in the architectonic maps of PfC in both genera

  16. Prefrontal cortex NG2 glia undergo a developmental switch in their responsiveness to exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomlinson, Lyl; Huang, Po Hsuan; Colognato, Holly

    2018-03-22

    Aerobic exercise is known to influence brain function, e.g., enhancing executive function in both children and adults, with many of these influences being attributed to alterations in neurogenesis and neuronal function. Yet oligodendroglia in adult brains have also been reported to be highly responsive to exercise, including in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), a late myelinating region implicated in working memory. However, whether exercise affects oligodendroglia or myelination in juveniles, either in the PFC or in other brain regions, remains unknown. To address this, both juvenile and young adult mice were provided free access to running wheels for four weeks followed by an analysis of oligodendrocyte development and myelination in the PFC and the corpus callosum, a major white matter tract. Working memory and PFC NG2+ cell development were both affected by exercise in juvenile mice, yet surprisingly these exercise-mediated effects were distinct in juveniles and young adults. In the PFC, NG2+ cell proliferation was increased in exercising juveniles, but not young adults, whereas newly-born oligodendrocyte production was increased in exercising young adults, but not juveniles. Although no overall changes in myelin genes were found, elevated levels of Monocarboxylate Transporter 1, a glial lactate transporter important during active myelination, were found in the PFC of exercising young adults. Overall our findings reveal that long-term exercise modulates PFC glial development and does so differentially in juvenile and young adult mice, providing insight into the cellular responses that may underlie cognitive benefits to teenagers and young adults in response to exercise. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol, 2018. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Loss of control over the ethanol consumption: differential transcriptional regulation in prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Paiva Lima, Carolina; da Silva E Silva, Daniel Almeida; Damasceno, Samara; Ribeiro, Andrea Frozino; Rocha, Cristiane S; Berenguer de Matos, Alexandre H; Correia, Diego; Boerngen-Lacerda, Roseli; Brunialti Godard, Ana Lúcia

    2017-09-01

    Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a complex multifactorial disease with heritability of ∼50% and corresponds to the state in which the body triggers a reinforcement or reward compulsive behavior due to ethanol consumption, even when faced with negative consequences. Although several studies have shown the impact of high ethanol intake on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) gene expression, few have addressed the relationship between the patterns of gene expression underlying the compulsive behaviour associated with relapsing. In this study, we used a chronic three-bottle free-choice mouse model to investigate the PFC transcriptome in three different groups of mice drinkers: 'Light drinkers' (preference for water throughout the experiment); 'Heavy drinkers' (preference for ethanol with a non-compulsive intake), and 'Inflexible drinkers' (preference for ethanol with a compulsive drinking component). Our aim was to correlate the intake patterns observed in this model with gene expression changes in the PFC, a brain region critical for the development and maintenance of alcohol addiction. We found that the Camk2a gene showed a downregulated profile only in the Inflexible when compared to the Light drinkers group, the Camk2n1 and Pkp2 genes showed an upregulated profile only in the Inflexible drinkers when compared to the Control group, and the Gja1 gene showed an upregulated profile in the Light and Inflexible drinkers when compared to the Control group. These different transcription patterns have been associated to the presence of alcohol, in the Camk2n1 and Gja1 genes; to the amount of ethanol consumed, in the Camk2a gene; and to the loss of control in the alcohol consumption, in the Pkp2 gene. Here, we provide, for the first time, the potential involvement of the Pkp2 gene in the compulsivity and loss of control over the voluntary ethanol consumption.

  18. Functional compensation in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex improves memory-dependent decisions in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lighthall, Nichole R; Huettel, Scott A; Cabeza, Roberto

    2014-11-19

    Everyday consumer choices frequently involve memory, as when we retrieve information about consumer products when making purchasing decisions. In this context, poor memory may affect decision quality, particularly in individuals with memory decline, such as older adults. However, age differences in choice behavior may be reduced if older adults can recruit additional neural resources that support task performance. Although such functional compensation is well documented in other cognitive domains, it is presently unclear whether it can support memory-guided decision making and, if so, which brain regions play a role in compensation. The current study engaged younger and older humans in a memory-dependent choice task in which pairs of consumer products from a popular online-shopping site were evaluated with different delays between the first and second product. Using functional imaging (fMRI), we found that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) supports compensation as defined by three a priori criteria: (1) increased vmPFC activation was observed in older versus younger adults; (2) age-related increases in vmPFC activity were associated with increased retrieval demands; and (3) increased vmPFC activity was positively associated with performance in older adults-evidence of successful compensation. Extending these results, we observed evidence for compensation in connectivity between vmPFC and the dorsolateral PFC during memory-dependent choice. In contrast, we found no evidence for age differences in value-related processing or age-related compensation for choices without delayed retrieval. Together, these results converge on the conclusion that age-related decline in memory-dependent choice performance can be minimized via functional compensation in vmPFC. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3415648-10$15.00/0.

  19. Integrative moral judgment: dissociating the roles of the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenhav, Amitai; Greene, Joshua D

    2014-03-26

    A decade's research highlights a critical dissociation between automatic and controlled influences on moral judgment, which is subserved by distinct neural structures. Specifically, negative automatic emotional responses to prototypically harmful actions (e.g., pushing someone off of a footbridge) compete with controlled responses favoring the best consequences (e.g., saving five lives instead of one). It is unknown how such competitions are resolved to yield "all things considered" judgments. Here, we examine such integrative moral judgments. Drawing on insights from research on self-interested, value-based decision-making in humans and animals, we test a theory concerning the respective contributions of the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) to moral judgment. Participants undergoing fMRI responded to moral dilemmas, separately evaluating options for their utility (Which does the most good?), emotional aversiveness (Which feels worse?), and overall moral acceptability. Behavioral data indicate that emotional aversiveness and utility jointly predict "all things considered" integrative judgments. Amygdala response tracks the emotional aversiveness of harmful utilitarian actions and overall disapproval of such actions. During such integrative moral judgments, the vmPFC is preferentially engaged relative to utilitarian and emotional assessments. Amygdala-vmPFC connectivity varies with the role played by emotional input in the task, being the lowest for pure utilitarian assessments and the highest for pure emotional assessments. These findings, which parallel those of research on self-interested economic decision-making, support the hypothesis that the amygdala provides an affective assessment of the action in question, whereas the vmPFC integrates that signal with a utilitarian assessment of expected outcomes to yield "all things considered" moral judgments.

  20. Chronic Stress Impairs Prefrontal Cortex-Dependent Response Inhibition and Spatial Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mika, Agnieszka; Mazur, Gabriel J.; Hoffman, Ann N.; Talboom, Joshua S.; Bimonte-Nelson, Heather A.; Sanabria, Federico; Conrad, Cheryl D.

    2012-01-01

    Chronic stress leads to neurochemical and structural alterations in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) that correspond to deficits in PFC-mediated behaviors. The present study examined the effects of chronic restraint stress on response inhibition (using a response-withholding task, fixed-minimum interval schedule of reinforcement, or FMI), and working memory (using a radial arm water maze, RAWM). Adult male Sprague Dawley rats were first trained on the RAWM and subsequently trained on FMI. Following acquisition of FMI, rats were assigned to a restraint stress (6h/d/28d in wire mesh restrainers) or control condition. Immediately after chronic stress, rats were tested on FMI and subsequently on RAWM. FMI results suggest that chronic stress reduces response inhibition capacity and motivation to initiate the task on selective conditions when food reward was not obtained on the preceding trial. RAWM results suggest that chronic stress produces transient deficits in working memory without altering previously consolidated reference memory. Behavioral measures from FMI failed to correlate with metrics from RAWM except for one in which changes in FMI timing precision negatively correlated with changes in RAWM working memory errors for the controls, a finding that was not observed following chronic stress. Fisher’s r to z transformation revealed no significant differences between control and stress with correlation coefficients. These findings are the first to show that chronic stress impairs both response inhibition and working memory, two behaviors that have never been direct compared within the same animals following chronic stress, using FMI, an appetitive task, and RAWM, a non-appetitive task.