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Sample records for ventral prefrontal cortex

  1. Task constraints modulate activation in right ventral lateral prefrontal cortex.

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    Vartanian, Oshin; Goel, Vinod

    2005-10-01

    Lesion data suggest that right prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a critical role in open-ended problem solving. To test this hypothesis, we scanned fifteen normal subjects with fMRI as they completed three types of anagram problems varying in the level of constraints placed on the search space. On unconstrained trials, they rearranged letters to generate solutions (e.g., Can you make a "Word with ZJAZ?"). On semantically constrained trials, they rearranged letters to generate solutions within particular semantic categories (e.g., Can you make a type of "Music with ZJAZ?"). On baseline trials, they rearranged letters to make specific words (e.g., Can you make the word "JAZZ with ZJAZ?"). As predicted, the critical comparison of unconstrained vs. semantically constrained trials revealed significant activation in right ventral lateral PFC, as well as left superior frontal gyrus, frontopolar cortex, right superior parietal lobe, right post central gyrus, and the occipital-parietal sulcus. Furthermore, activation in right ventral lateral PFC (BA 47) increased as the constraints placed on the anagram search space were reduced. We argue that the activation in right ventral lateral PFC is related to hypothesis generation in unconstrained settings, whereas activation in other structures is related to additional processes linked to anagram problems such as semantic retrieval, semantic categorization, and cognitive monitoring. These results extend the lesion data and imaging studies by demonstrating that a relative absence of constraints on the solution space is sufficient to engage right ventral lateral PFC in hypothesis generation tasks.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Stimulus selectivity in dorsal and ventral prefrontal cortex after training in working memory tasks

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    Meyer, Travis; Qi, Xue-Lian; Stanford, Terrence R.; Constantinidis, Christos

    2011-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex is known to represent different types of information in working memory. Contrasting theories propose that the dorsal and ventral regions of the lateral prefrontal cortex are innately specialized for the representation of spatial and non-spatial information respectively (Goldman-Rakic, 1996), or that the two regions are shaped by the demands of cognitive tasks imposed on them (Miller, 2000). To resolve this issue, we recorded from neurons in the two regions, prior to and at multiple stages of training monkeys on visual working memory tasks. Prior to training, substantial functional differences were present between the two regions. Dorsal prefrontal cortex exhibited higher overall responsiveness to visual stimuli and higher selectivity for spatial information. After training, stimulus selectivity generally decreased, though dorsal prefrontal cortex retained higher spatial selectivity regardless of task performed. Ventral prefrontal cortex appeared to be affected to a greater extent by the nature of task performed. Our results indicate that regional specialization for stimulus selectivity is present in the primate prefrontal cortex regardless of training. Dorsal areas of the prefrontal cortex are inherently organized to represent spatial information and training has little influence on this spatial bias. Ventral areas are biased toward non-spatial information although they are more influenced by training both in terms of activation and changes in stimulus selectivity. PMID:21525266

  5. Functional organization and visual representations of human ventral lateral prefrontal cortex

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    Chan, Annie W.-Y.

    2013-01-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies in both human and non-human primates have identified face selective activation in the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) even in the absence of working memory (WM) 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 VLPFC remain unclear. 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 VLPFC? What is the future direction for investigating visual representations in this cortex? This review focuses on the function, topography, and circuitry of the VLPFC to enhance our understanding of the evolution and development of this cortex. PMID:23847558

  6. Ventral medial prefrontal cortex neuronal ensembles mediate context-induced relapse to heroin.

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    Bossert, Jennifer M; Stern, Anna L; Theberge, Florence R M; Cifani, Carlo; Koya, Eisuke; Hope, Bruce T; Shaham, Yavin

    2011-04-01

    In a rat model of context-induced relapse to heroin, we identified sparsely distributed ventral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) neurons that were activated by the heroin-associated context. Selective pharmacogenetic inactivation of these neurons inhibited context-induced drug relapse. A small subset of ventral mPFC neurons formed neuronal ensembles that encode the learned associations between heroin reward and heroin-associated contexts; re-activation of these neuronal ensembles by drug-associated contexts during abstinence provoked drug relapse.

  7. Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Damage Is Associated with Decreased Ventral Striatum Volume and Response to Reward.

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    Pujara, Maia S; Philippi, Carissa L; Motzkin, Julian C; Baskaya, Mustafa K; Koenigs, Michael

    2016-05-04

    The ventral striatum and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) are two central nodes of the "reward circuit" of the brain. Human neuroimaging studies have demonstrated coincident activation and functional connectivity between these brain regions, and animal studies have demonstrated that the vmPFC modulates ventral striatum activity. However, there have been no comparable data in humans to address whether the vmPFC may be critical for the reward-related response properties of the ventral striatum. In this study, we used fMRI in five neurosurgical patients with focal vmPFC lesions to test the hypothesis that the vmPFC is necessary for enhancing ventral striatum responses to the anticipation of reward. In support of this hypothesis, we found that, compared with age- and gender-matched neurologically healthy subjects, the vmPFC-lesioned patients had reduced ventral striatal activity during the anticipation of reward. Furthermore, we observed that the vmPFC-lesioned patients had decreased volumes of the accumbens subregion of the ventral striatum. Together, these functional and structural neuroimaging data provide novel evidence for a critical role for the vmPFC in contributing to reward-related activity of the ventral striatum. These results offer new insight into the functional and structural interactions between key components of the brain circuitry underlying human affective function and decision-making. Maladaptive decision-making is a common problem across multiple mental health disorders. Developing new pathophysiologically based strategies for diagnosis and treatment thus requires a better understanding of the brain circuits responsible for adaptive decision-making and related psychological subprocesses (e.g., reward valuation, anticipation, and motivation). Animal studies provide evidence that these functions are mediated through direct interactions between two key nodes of a posited "reward circuit," the ventral striatum and the ventromedial prefrontal

  8. Sustained attentional states require distinct temporal involvement of the dorsal and ventral medial prefrontal cortex

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    Antonio Luchicchi

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Attending the sensory environment for cue detection is a cognitive operation that occurs on a time scale of seconds. The dorsal and ventral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC contribute to separate aspects of attentional processing. Pyramidal neurons in different parts of the mPFC are active during cognitive behavior, yet whether this activity is causally underlying attentional processing is not known. We aimed to determine the precise temporal requirements for activation of the mPFC subregions during the seconds prior to cue detection. To test this, we used optogenetic silencing of dorsal or ventral mPFC pyramidal neurons at defined time windows during a sustained attentional state. We find that the requirement of ventral mPFC pyramidal neuron activity is strictly time-locked to stimulus detection. Inhibiting the ventral mPFC two seconds before or during cue presentation reduces response accuracy and hampers behavioral inhibition. The requirement for dorsal mPFC activity on the other hand is temporally more loosely related to a preparatory attentional state, and short lapses in pyramidal neuron activity in dorsal mPFC do not affect performance. This only occurs when the dorsal mPFC is inhibited during the entire preparatory period. Together, our results reveal that a dissociable temporal recruitment of ventral and dorsal mPFC is required during attentional processing.

  9. Sustained Attentional States Require Distinct Temporal Involvement of the Dorsal and Ventral Medial Prefrontal Cortex.

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    Luchicchi, Antonio; Mnie-Filali, Ouissame; Terra, Huub; Bruinsma, Bastiaan; de Kloet, Sybren F; Obermayer, Joshua; Heistek, Tim S; de Haan, Roel; de Kock, Christiaan P J; Deisseroth, Karl; Pattij, Tommy; Mansvelder, Huibert D

    2016-01-01

    Attending the sensory environment for cue detection is a cognitive operation that occurs on a time scale of seconds. The dorsal and ventral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) contribute to separate aspects of attentional processing. Pyramidal neurons in different parts of the mPFC are active during cognitive behavior, yet whether this activity is causally underlying attentional processing is not known. We aimed to determine the precise temporal requirements for activation of the mPFC subregions during the seconds prior to cue detection. To test this, we used optogenetic silencing of dorsal or ventral mPFC pyramidal neurons at defined time windows during a sustained attentional state. We find that the requirement of ventral mPFC pyramidal neuron activity is strictly time-locked to stimulus detection. Inhibiting the ventral mPFC 2 s before or during cue presentation reduces response accuracy and hampers behavioral inhibition. The requirement for dorsal mPFC activity on the other hand is temporally more loosely related to a preparatory attentional state, and short lapses in pyramidal neuron activity in dorsal mPFC do not affect performance. This only occurs when the dorsal mPFC is inhibited during the entire preparatory period. Together, our results reveal that a dissociable temporal recruitment of ventral and dorsal mPFC is required during attentional processing.

  10. Role of ventral medial prefrontal cortex in incubation of cocaine craving

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    Koya, Eisuke; Uejima, Jamie L.; Wihbey, Kristina A.; Bossert, Jennifer M.; Hope, Bruce T.; Shaham, Yavin

    2009-01-01

    Cue-induced drug-seeking in rodents progressively increases after withdrawal from cocaine, suggesting that cue-induced cocaine craving incubates over time. Here, we explored the role of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC, a brain area previously implicated in cue-induced cocaine seeking) in this incubation. We trained rats to self-administer cocaine for 10 d (6 h/d, infusions were paired with a tone-light cue), and then assessed after 1 or 30 withdrawal days the effect of exposure to cocaine cues on lever presses in extinction tests. We found that cue-induced cocaine-seeking in the extinction tests was higher after 30 withdrawal days than after 1 day. The time-dependent increases in extinction responding were associated with large (ventral mPFC) or modest (dorsal mPFC) increases in ERK phosphorylation (a measure of ERK activity and an index of neuronal activation). After 30 withdrawal days, ventral but not dorsal injections of muscimol+baclofen (GABAa+GABAb receptor agonists that inhibit neuronal activity) decreased extinction responding. After 1 withdrawal day, ventral but not dorsal mPFC injections of bicuculline+saclofen (GABAa+GABAb receptor antagonists that increase neuronal activity) strongly increased extinction responding. Finally, muscimol+baclofen had minimal effect on extinction responding after 1 day, and in cocaine-experienced rats, ventral mPFC injections of muscimol+baclofen or bicuculline+saclofen had no effect on lever presses for an oral sucrose solution. The present results indicate that ventral mPFC neuronal activity plays an important role in the incubation of cocaine craving. PMID:18565549

  11. Ventral medial prefrontal cortex and emotional perseveration: the memory for prior extinction training.

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    Morgan, Maria A; Schulkin, Jay; LeDoux, Joseph E

    2003-11-30

    Several years ago, we found that lesions of ventral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFCv) disrupted performance during the extinction component of a classical fear conditioning task without affecting acquisition performance. We called this emotional perseveration, hypothesizing that mPFCv may normally act to inhibit fear responses to a conditioned stimulus (CS) when the CS no longer signals danger. Subsequent studies have supported this hypothesis, showing that mPFCv is crucial for the memory of prior extinction training. The present study examined the effects of mPFCv lesions made after training. Such lesions resulted in reduced freezing to contextual stimuli and normal responding to the CS presented alone during a retention test. Rats were then subjected to extinction trials (CS without US) over multiple days. In contrast to pre-training lesions, post-training lesions had little effect on extinction rate. All rats were given additional training. Lesioned rats expressed greater fear reactions than controls, indicating that prior extinction was less effective in them. Lesioned rats also showed resistance to extinction during reextinction trials, confirming our earlier finding that lesions made before training weaken the effectiveness of extinction trials. These results suggest three conclusions. First, an intact mPFCv during acquisition may protect the animal from prolonged responding during extinction trials following brain insult. Second, changes in mPFCv may predispose subjects toward enhanced fear reactions that are difficult to extinguish when reexposed to fearful stimuli, due to a diminished capacity to benefit from the fear-reducing impact of prior extinction experience. Third, contextual cues processed by mPFCv may influence extinction performance.

  12. Role of projections from ventral medial prefrontal cortex to nucleus accumbens shell in context-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking.

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    Bossert, Jennifer M; Stern, Anna L; Theberge, Florence R M; Marchant, Nathan J; Wang, Hui-Ling; Morales, Marisela; Shaham, Yavin

    2012-04-04

    In humans, exposure to contexts previously associated with heroin use can provoke relapse. In rats, exposure to heroin-paired contexts after extinction of drug-reinforced responding in different contexts reinstates heroin seeking. This effect is attenuated by inhibition of glutamate or dopamine transmission in nucleus accumbens shell, or inactivation of ventral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Here, we used an anatomical asymmetrical disconnection procedure to demonstrate that an interaction between glutamatergic projections from ventral mPFC to accumbens shell and local dopamine D(1) postsynaptic receptors contributes to context-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking. We also combined the marker of neuronal activity, Fos, with the retrograde tracer Fluoro-Gold to assess activation in this pathway during context-induced reinstatement. Rats were trained to self-administer heroin for 12 d; drug infusions were paired with a discrete tone-light cue. Lever pressing was subsequently extinguished in a nondrug-associated context in the presence of the discrete cue. Rats were then tested in the heroin- or extinction-associated contexts under extinction conditions. Injections of muscimol + baclofen into ventral mPFC in one hemisphere and D(1)-family receptor antagonist SCH 23390 into the contralateral or ipsilateral accumbens shell decreased context-induced reinstatement. Unilateral injections of muscimol + baclofen into ventral mPFC or SCH 23390 into the accumbens shell had no effect. Context-induced reinstatement was associated with increased Fos expression in ventral mPFC neurons, including those projecting to accumbens shell, with higher double-labeling in the ipsilateral projection than in the contralateral projection. Our results demonstrate that activation of glutamatergic projections from ventral mPFC to accumbens shell, previously implicated in inhibition of cocaine relapse, promotes heroin relapse.

  13. 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.

  14. Adults with high social anhedonia have altered neural connectivity with ventral lateral prefrontal cortex when processing positive social signals

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    Hong eYin

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Social anhedonia (SA is a debilitating characteristic of schizophrenia and a vulnerability for developing schizophrenia among people at risk. Prior work (Hooker et al, 2014 has revealed neural deficits in ventral lateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC during processing of positive emotion in a community sample of people with high social anhedonia. Deficits in VLPFC neural activity are related to worse self-reported schizophrenia-spectrum symptoms and worse mood and behavior after social stress. In the current study, psychophysiological interaction (PPI analysis was applied to investigate the neural mechanisms mediated by VLPFC during emotion processing. PPI analysis revealed that, compared to low SA controls, participants with high SA displayed reduced VLPFC integration, specifically reduced connectivity between VLPFC and premotor cortex, inferior parietal and posterior temporal regions when viewing positive relative to neutral emotion. Across all participants, connectivity between VLPFC and inferior parietal region when viewing positive (versus neutral emotion was significantly correlated with measures of emotion management and attentional control. Additionally connectivity between VLPFC and superior temporal sulcus was related to reward and pleasure anticipation, and connectivity between VLPFC and inferior temporal sulcus correlated with attentional control measure. Our results suggest that impairments to VLPFC mediated neural circuitry underlie the cognitive and emotional deficits.

  15. Ventral medial prefrontal cortex inactivation impairs impulse control but does not affect delay-discounting in rats.

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    Feja, Malte; Koch, Michael

    2014-05-01

    Maladaptive levels of impulsivity are found in several neuropsychiatric disorders, such as ADHD, addiction, aggression and schizophrenia. Intolerance to delay-of-gratification, or delay-discounting, and deficits in impulse control are dissociable forms of impulsivity top-down controlled by the prefrontal cortex, with the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) suggested to be critically involved. The present study used transient inactivation of the rats' vmPFC via bilateral microinfusion of the GABAA receptor agonist muscimol (0.05, 0.5 μg/0.3 μl) to analyse its relevance for impulse control in a 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) and delay-discounting in a Skinner box. Intra-vmPFC injection of low-dose muscimol impaired impulse control indicated by enhanced premature responding in the 5-CSRTT, while flattening the delay-dependent shift in the preference of the large reward in the delay-discounting task. Likewise, high-dose muscimol did not affect delay-discounting, though raising the rate of omissions. On the contrary, 5-CSRTT performance was characterised by deficits in impulse and attentional control. These data support the behavioural distinction of delay-discounting and impulse control on the level of the vmPFC in rats. Reversible inactivation with muscimol revealed an obvious implication of the vmPFC in the modulation of impulse control in the 5-CSRTT. By contrast, delay-discounting processes seem to be regulated by other neuronal pathways, with the vmPFC playing, if at all, a minor role. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. From attention to memory along the dorsal-ventral axis of the medial prefrontal cortex: Some methodological limitations

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    Helen J. Cassaday

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Distinctions along the dorsal-ventral axis of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC, between anterior cingulate (AC, prelimbic (PL and infralimbic (IL sub-regions, have been proposed on a variety of neuroanatomical and neurophysiological grounds. Conventional lesion approaches (as well as some electrophysiological studies have shown that these distinctions relate to function in that a number behavioural dissociations have been demonstrated, particularly using rodent models of attention, learning and memory. For example, there is evidence to suggest that AC has a relatively greater role in attention, whereas IL is more involved in executive function. However, the well-established methods of behavioral neuroscience have the limitation that neuromodulation is not addressed. The neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine has been used to deplete dopamine (DA in mPFC sub-regions, but these lesions are not selective anatomically and noradrenalin is typically also depleted. Microinfusion of drugs through indwelling cannulae provides an alternative approach, to address the role of neuromodulation and moreover that of specific receptor subtypes within mPFC sub-regions, but the effects of such treatments cannot be assumed to be anatomically restricted either. New methodological approaches to the functional delineation of the role of mPFC in attention, learning and memory will also be considered. Taken in isolation, the conventional lesion methods which have been a first line of approach may suggest that a particular mPFC sub-region is not necessary for a particular aspect of function. However, this does not exclude a neuromodulatory role and more neuropsychopharmacological approaches are needed to explain some of the apparent inconsistencies in the results.

  18. Dendritic morphology changes in neurons from the ventral hippocampus, amygdala and nucleus accumbens in rats with neonatal lesions into the prefrontal cortex.

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    Lazcano, Zayda; Solis, Oscar; Díaz, Alfonso; Brambila, Eduardo; Aguilar-Alonso, Patricia; Guevara, Jorge; Flores, Gonzalo

    2015-06-01

    Neonatal prefrontal cortex (nPFC) lesions in rats could be a potential animal model to study the early neurodevelopmental abnormalities associated with the behavioral and morphological brain changes observed in schizophrenia. Morphological alterations in pyramidal neurons from the ventral hippocampus (VH) have been observed in post-mortem schizophrenic brains, mainly because of decreased dendritic arbor and spine density. We assessed the effects of nPFC-lesions on the dendritic morphology of neurons from the VH, basolateral-amygdala (BLA) and the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) in rats. nPFC lesions were made on postnatal day 7 (PD7), after dendritic morphology was studied by the Golgi-Cox stain procedure followed by Sholl analysis at PD35 (prepubertal) and PD60 (adult) ages. We also evaluated the effects of PFC-lesions on locomotor activity caused by a novel environment. Adult animals with nPFC lesions showed a decreased spine density in pyramidal neurons from the VH and in medium spiny cells from the NAcc. An increased locomotion was observed in a novel environment for adult animals with a PFC-lesion. Our results indicate that PFC-lesions alter the neuronal dendrite morphology of the NAcc and the VH, suggesting a disconnection between these limbic structures. The locomotion paradigms suggest that dopaminergic transmission is altered in the PFC lesion model. This could help to understand the consequences of an earlier PFC dysfunction in schizophrenia. To evaluate possible dendritic changes in neonatal prefrontal cortex lesions in schizophrenia-related regions including nucleus accumbens, ventral hippocampus and basolateral amygdala, we used the Golgi-Cox stain samples at PD35 and PD70. Our results suggest that neonatal prefrontal cortex damage alters dendritic parameters in limbic regions, and this has potential implications for schizophrenia. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Reflected glory and failure: the role of the medial prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum in self vs other relevance during advice-giving outcomes.

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    Mobbs, Dean; Hagan, Cindy C; Yu, Rongjun; Takahashi, Hidehiko; FeldmanHall, Oriel; Calder, Andrew J; Dalgleish, Tim

    2015-10-01

    Despite the risks, people enjoy giving advice. One explanation is that giving beneficial advice can result in reflected glory, ego boosts or reputation enhancement. However, giving poor advice can be socially harmful (being perceived as incompetent or untrustworthy). In both circumstances, we have a vested interest in the advice follower's success or failure, especially when it reflects specifically on us compared with when it is diffused between multiple advisors. We examined these dynamics using an Advisor-Advisee Game, where subjects acted as an Advisor to a confederate Advisee who selected one of the three options when trying to win money: accept the subject's advice, accept the advice of a second confederate Advisor or accept both Advisors' advice. Results showed that having one's advice accepted, compared with being rejected, resulted in activity in the ventral striatum--a core reward area. Furthermore, the ventral striatum was only active when the subject's advice led to the advisee winning, and not when the advisee won based on the confederate's advice. Finally, the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) was more active when the Advisee won or lost money based solely on the subject's advice compared with when the second Advisor's advice was accepted. One explanation for these findings is that the MPFC monitors self-relevant social information, while the ventral striatum is active when others accept advice and when their success leads to reflected glory. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Regulating prefrontal cortex activation

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    Aznar, Susana; Klein, Anders Bue

    2013-01-01

    is highly expressed in the prefrontal cortex areas, playing an important role in modulating cortical activity and neural oscillations (brain waves). This makes it an interesting potential pharmacological target for the treatment of neuropsychiatric modes characterized by lack of inhibitory control...

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Antidepressant-like effect of cannabidiol injection into the ventral medial prefrontal cortex-Possible involvement of 5-HT1A and CB1 receptors.

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    Sartim, A G; Guimarães, F S; Joca, S R L

    2016-04-15

    Systemic administration of cannabidiol (CBD), the main non-psychotomimetic constituent of Cannabis sativa, induces antidepressant-like effects. The mechanism of action of CBD is thought to involve the activation of 5-HT1A receptors and the modulation of endocannabinoid levels with subsequent CB1 activation. The brain regions involved in CBD-induced antidepressant-like effects remain unknown. The ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), which includes the infralimbic (IL) and prelimbic (PL) subregions, receives dense serotonergic innervation and plays a significant role in stress responses. To test the hypothesis that the administration of CBD into the IL or PL would induce an antidepressant-like effect through 5-HT1A and CB1 activation. Rats received intra-IL or -PL microinjections of CBD (10-60 nmol/side), 8-OH-DPAT (5-HT1A agonist, 5-10 nmol/side), anandamide (AEA, 0.5 pmol/side) or vehicle (0.2 μl/side) and were submitted to the forced swimming (FST) or to the open field (OFT) tests. Independent CBD-treated groups were pre-treated with WAY100635 (10, 30 nmol/side, 5-HT1A antagonist) or AM251 (10 pmol/side, CB1 antagonist) and submitted to the same tests. An additional group was treated with WAY100635 followed by anandamide. CBD (PL: 10-60 nmol; IL:45-60 nmol) and 8-OH-DPAT (10 nmol) administration significantly reduced the immobility time in the FST, without changing locomotor activity in the OFT. WAY100635 (30 nmol) did not induce effect per se but blocked CBD, 8-OH-DPAT and AEA effects. Additionally, AM251 blocked CBD-effects. administration of CBD into the vmPFC induces antidepressant-like effects possibly through indirect activation of CB1 and 5-HT1A receptors. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Involvement of CB1 and TRPV1 receptors located in the ventral medial prefrontal cortex in the modulation of stress coping behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sartim, A G; Moreira, F A; Joca, S R L

    2017-01-06

    Cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) and transient receptor potential vanilloid type-1 (TRPV1) receptors may have opposite roles in modulating neural activity and, consequently, in regulating the stress response. These receptors are widely expressed in several brain structures, including the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). The functional consequences of the interaction between CB1 and TRPV1, however, have scarcely been explored. Therefore, we investigated if CB1 and TRPV1 receptors located in the vmPFC would be involved in the behavioral changes induced by the stress of the forced swim test (FST). Rats with cannulae implanted into the vmPFC were given the dual blocker of TRPV1 receptors and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), Arachidonyl serotonin (AA-5HT, 0.125/0.25/0.5nmol), TRPV1 antagonist, SB366791 (0.5/1/10nmol), FAAH inhibitor, URB597 (0.001/0.01/0.1/1nmol), or vehicle and were submitted to the FST, or to the open-field test. Another group received intra-vmPFC injection of SB366791 or vehicle, followed by a second injection of URB597 or vehicle, and was submitted to the FST. Lastly, a group received intra-vmPFC injection of a CB1 antagonist, in sub-effective dose or vehicle, followed by AA-5HT, SB366791 or vehicle. The results showed that AA-5HT, SB366791 and URB597 significantly reduced the immobility time without changing the locomotor activity. Furthermore, the co-administration of URB597 and SB366791 in sub-effective doses induced an antidepressant-like effect in the FST. Additionally, the antidepressant-like effect of AA-5HT was prevented by the CB1 antagonist. Together, these results suggest that both, CB1 and TRPV1 receptors located in the vmPFC are involved in the behavioral responses to stress, although in opposite ways. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. MRI volumetry of prefrontal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 patients with brain disorders such as depression and schizophrenia can be efficiently assessed using this method.

  6. Opposing roles for the ventral prefrontal cortex and the basolateral amygdala on the spontaneous recovery of cocaine-seeking in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Jamie; Vallone, Joseph; Laurendi, Kelly; Kalivas, Peter W

    2008-04-01

    The neural circuitry subserving cocaine-seeking after extinction vs abstinence alone requires different constituent brain structures. Spontaneous recovery of cocaine-seeking, a model, which incorporates both extinction and abstinence, depends on an unknown neural circuit. The present study examined the hypothesis that the spontaneous recovery of cocaine-seeking would require overlapping but distinct neural circuits compared to models that incorporate either extinction or abstinence alone. Rats were trained to self-administer cocaine (0.2 mg/inf), then responding on the cocaine-paired lever was extinguished, followed by an additional period of abstinence in the home cage. Finally, rats were returned to the self-administration context for a test of spontaneous recovery (SR TEST). Just before the SR TEST, discrete brain regions were inactivated with a GABA agonist cocktail (1 mM baclofen + 0.1mM muscimol) to determine the relative importance of these brain regions in the spontaneous recovery of cocaine-seeking. The inactivation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vPFC) enhanced cocaine-seeking, whereas the inactivation of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) attenuated spontaneous recovery. Inactivation of the nucleus accumbens core (Core) resembled the effects of BLA inactivation, but these results were confounded by an inhibitory effect of the vehicle treatment. Finally, the spontaneous recovery of cocaine-seeking was unaltered by manipulations of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dPFC) and the nucleus accumbens shell (Shell). The neural circuitry subserving cocaine-seeking behavior in a spontaneous recovery model requires the BLA and possibly the Core, like extinction models. In addition, this behavior is subject to regulation by vPFC, in a manner functionally opposite to that of the BLA.

  7. Alcohol and the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abernathy, Kenneth; Chandler, L Judson; Woodward, John J

    2010-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex occupies the anterior portion of the frontal lobes and is thought to be one of the most complex anatomical and functional structures of the mammalian brain. Its major role is to integrate and interpret inputs from cortical and sub-cortical structures and use this information to develop purposeful responses that reflect both present and future circumstances. This includes both action-oriented sequences involved in obtaining rewards and inhibition of behaviors that pose undue risk or harm to the individual. Given the central role in initiating and regulating these often complex cognitive and behavioral responses, it is no surprise that alcohol has profound effects on the function of the prefrontal cortex. In this chapter, we review the basic anatomy and physiology of the prefrontal cortex and discuss what is known about the actions of alcohol on the function of this brain region. This includes a review of both the human and animal literature including information on the electrophysiological and behavioral effects that follow acute and chronic exposure to alcohol. The chapter concludes with a discussion of unanswered questions and areas needing further investigation. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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

  9. Mapping Prefrontal Cortex Functions in Human Infancy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossmann, Tobias

    2013-01-01

    It has long been thought that the prefrontal cortex, as the seat of most higher brain functions, is functionally silent during most of infancy. This review highlights recent work concerned with the precise mapping (localization) of brain activation in human infants, providing evidence that prefrontal cortex exhibits functional activation much…

  10. The Role of the Prefrontal Cortex in Action Perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raos, Vassilis; Savaki, Helen E

    2017-10-01

    In an attempt to shed light on the role of the prefrontal cortex in action perception, we used the quantitative 14C-deoxyglucose method to reveal the effects elicited by reaching-to-grasp in the light or in the dark and by observation of the same action executed by an external agent. We analyzed the cortical areas in the principal sulcus, the superior and inferior lateral prefrontal convexities and the orbitofrontal cortex of monkeys. We found that execution in the light and observation activated in common most of the lateral prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortical areas, with the exception of 9/46-dorsal activated exclusively for observation and 9/46-ventral, 11 and 13 activated only for execution. Execution in the dark implicated only the ventral bank of the principal sulcus and its adjacent inferior convexity along with areas 47/12-dorsal and 13, whereas execution in the light activated both banks of the principal sulcus and both superior and inferior convexities along with areas 10 and 11. Our results demonstrate that the prefrontal cortex integrates information in the service of both action generation and action perception, and are discussed in relation to its contribution in movement suppression during action observation and in attribution of action to the correct agent. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Behavioral effects of chronically elevated corticosterone in subregions of the medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croteau, Joshua D; Schulkin, Jay; Shepard, Jack D

    2017-01-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex is a key mediator of behavioral aspects of the defense response. Since chronic exposure to elevated glucocorticoids alters the dendritic structure of neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex, such exposure may alter behavioral responses to danger as well. We examined the effects of chronically elevated corticosterone in discrete regions of the medial prefrontal cortex on exploration of the elevated plus-maze. Chronically elevated corticosterone in the prelimbic or infralimbic cortices reduced open arm exploration. This effect was specific to the ventral regions of the medial prefrontal cortex as corticosterone had no effect on plus-maze exploration when administered into the anterior cingulate cortex. Taken together, these findings demonstrate clear regional differences for the effects of corticosterone in the medial prefrontal cortex. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. 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

    2012-01-01

    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 also 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 corticocortical

  13. Finding prefrontal cortex in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard, Christiana M

    2016-08-15

    The prefrontal cortex of the rat. I. Cortical projection of the mediodorsal nucleus. II. Efferent connections The cortical projection field of the mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus (MD) was identified in the rat using the Fink-Heimer silver technique for tracing degenerating fibers. Small stereotaxic lesions confined to MD were followed by terminal degeneration in the dorsal bank of the rhinal sulcus (sulcal cortex) and the medial wall of the hemisphere anterior and dorsal to the genu of the corpus callosum (medial cortex). No degenerating fibers were traced to the convexity of the hemisphere. The cortical formation receiving a projection from MD is of a relatively undifferentiated type which had been previously classified as juxtallocortex. A study of the efferent fiber connections of the rat׳s MD-projection cortex demonstrated some similarities to those of monkey prefrontal cortex. A substantial projection to the pretectal area and deep layers of the superior colliculus originates in medial cortex, a connection previously reported for caudal prefrontal (area 8) cortex in the monkey. Sulcal cortex projects to basal olfactory structures and lateral hypothalamus, as does orbital frontal cortex in the monkey. The rat׳s MD-projection cortex differs from that in the monkey in that it lacks a granular layer and appears to have no prominent direct associations with temporal and juxtahippocampal areas. Furthermore, retrograde degeneration does not appear in the rat thalamus after damage to MD-projection areas, suggesting that the striatum or thalamus receives a proportionally larger share of the MD-projection in this animal than it does in the monkey. Comparative behavioral investigations are in progress to investigate functional differences between granular prefrontal cortex in the primate and the relatively primitive MD-projection cortex in the rat. © 1969. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI:50th Anniversary Issue. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B

  14. Dissociable contributions of the prefrontal cortex to hippocampus- and caudate nucleus-dependent virtual navigation strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahmani, Louisa; Bohbot, Véronique D

    2015-01-01

    The hippocampus and the caudate nucleus are critical to spatial- and stimulus-response-based navigation strategies, respectively. The hippocampus and caudate nucleus are also known to be anatomically connected to various areas of the prefrontal cortex. However, little is known about the involvement of the prefrontal cortex in these processes. In the current study, we sought to identify the prefrontal areas involved in spatial and response learning. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and voxel-based morphometry to compare the neural activity and grey matter density of spatial and response strategy users. Twenty-three healthy young adults were scanned in a 1.5 T MRI scanner while they engaged in the Concurrent Spatial Discrimination Learning Task, a virtual navigation task in which either a spatial or response strategy can be used. In addition to increased BOLD activity in the hippocampus, spatial strategy users showed increased BOLD activity and grey matter density in the ventral area of the medial prefrontal cortex, especially in the orbitofrontal cortex. On the other hand, response strategy users exhibited increased BOLD activity and grey matter density in the dorsal area of the medial prefrontal cortex. Given the prefrontal cortex's role in reward-guided decision-making, we discuss the possibility that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, including the orbitofrontal cortex, supports spatial learning by encoding stimulus-reward associations, while the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex supports response learning by encoding action-reward associations. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. [Prefrontal cortex in memory and attention processes].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allegri, R F; Harris, P

    The role of the prefrontal cortex still remains poorly understood. Only after 1970, the functions of the frontal lobes have been conceptualized from different points of view (behaviorism, cognitivism). Recently,different parallel circuits connecting discrete cortical and subcortical regions of the frontal lobes have been described. Three of these circuits are the most relevant to understanding of behavior: the dorsolateral prefrontal circuit, that mediates executive behavior; the orbitofrontal prefrontal circuit, mediating social behavior, and the medial frontal circuit, involved in motivation. Damage to the frontal cortex impairs planning, problem solving, reasoning, concept formation, temporal ordering of stimuli, estimation, attention, memory search, maintaining information in working memory, associative learning,certain forms of skilled motor activities, image generation and manipulation of the spatial properties of a stimulus, metacognitive thinking, and social cognition. Several theories have been proposed to explain the functions of the prefrontal cortex. Currently,the most influential cognitive models are: the Norman and Shallice supervisory attentional system, involved in non-routine selection; the Baddeley working memory model with the central executive as a supervisory controlling system, in which impairment leads to a 'dysexecutive syndrome'; and the Grafman's model of managerial knowledge units, stored as macrostructured information in the frontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is essential for attentional control, manipulation of stored knowledge and modulation of complex actions, cognition, emotion and behavior.

  16. Conceptual size representation in ventral visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabay, Shai; Kalanthroff, Eyal; Henik, Avishai; Gronau, Nurit

    2016-01-29

    Recent findings suggest that visual objects may be mapped along the ventral occipitotemporal cortex according to their real-world size (Konkle and Oliva, 2012). It has been argued that such mapping does not reflect an abstract, conceptual size representation, but rather the visual or functional properties associated with small versus big real-world objects. To determine whether a more abstract conceptual size representation may affect visual cortical activation we used meaningless geometrical shapes, devoid of semantic or functional associations, which were associated with specific size representations by virtue of extensive training. Following training, participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning while performing a conceptual size comparison task on the geometrical shapes. In addition, a size comparison task was conducted for numeral digits denoting small and big numbers. A region-of-interest analysis revealed larger blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) responses for conceptually 'big' than for conceptually 'small' shapes, as well as for big versus small numbers, within medial (parahippocampal place area, PPA) and lateral (occipital place area, OPA) place-selective regions. Processing of the 'big' visual shapes further elicited enhanced activation in early visual cortex, possibly reflecting top-down projections from PPA. By using arbitrary shapes and numbers we minimized visual, categorical, or functional influences on fMRI measurement, providing evidence for a possible neural mechanism underlying the representation of abstract conceptual size within the ventral visual stream. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Working Memory in the Prefrontal Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shintaro Funahashi

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  18. Working Memory in the Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funahashi, Shintaro

    2017-04-27

    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.

  19. Medial Prefrontal Cortex Updates Its Status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cikara, Mina; Gershman, Samuel J

    2016-12-07

    How does the brain infer social status? A new study by Kumaran et al. (2016) identifies a region of the medial prefrontal cortex that, in concert with the amygdala and hippocampus, subserves updating of probabilistic beliefs about the status of individuals in a social hierarchy. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Developmental Outcomes after Early Prefrontal Cortex Damage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eslinger, Paul J.; Flaherty-Craig, Claire V.; Benton, Arthur L.

    2004-01-01

    The neuropsychological bases of cognitive, social, and moral development are minimally understood, with a seemingly wide chasm between developmental theories and brain maturation models. As one approach to bridging ideas in these areas, we review 10 cases of early prefrontal cortex damage from the clinical literature, highlighting overall clinical…

  1. Sensitive Dependence of Mental Function on Prefrontal Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Alen J Salerian

    2015-01-01

    This study offers evidence to suggest that both normalcy and psychiatric illness are sensitively dependent upon prefrontal cortex function. In general, the emergence of psychiatric symptoms coincide with diminished influence of prefrontal cortex function. The mediating influence of prefrontal cortex may be independent of molecular and regional brain dysfunctions contributory to psychiatric illness.

  2. 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.

  3. Bilinearity, rules, and prefrontal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Dayan

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Humans can be instructed verbally to perform computationally complex cognitive tasks; their performance then improves relatively slowly over the course of practice. Many skills underlie these abilities; in this paper, we focus on the particular question of a uniform architecture for the instantiation of habitual performance and the storage, recall, and execution of simple rules. Our account builds on models of gated working memory, and involves a bilinear architecture for representing conditional input-output maps and for matching rules to the state of the input and working memory. We demonstrate the performance of our model on two paradigmatic tasks used to investigate prefrontal and basal ganglia function.

  4. Sexual experience enhances cognitive flexibility and dendritic spine density in the medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glasper, Erica R; LaMarca, Elizabeth A; Bocarsly, Miriam E; Fasolino, Maria; Opendak, Maya; Gould, Elizabeth

    2015-11-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex is important for cognitive flexibility, a capability that is affected by environmental conditions and specific experiences. Aversive experience, such as chronic restraint stress, is known to impair performance on a task of cognitive flexibility, specifically attentional set-shifting, in rats. Concomitant with this performance decrement, chronic stress reduces the number of dendritic spines on pyramidal neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex. No previous studies have examined whether a rewarding experience, namely mating, affects cognitive flexibility and dendritic spines in the medial prefrontal cortex of male rats. To test this possibility, we exposed adult male rats to sexual receptive females once daily for one week, assessed attentional set-shifting performance, and then analyzed their brains for changes in dendritic spines. We found that sexual experience improved performance on extradimensional set-shifting, which is known to require the medial prefrontal cortex. Additionally, we observed increased dendritic spine density on apical and basal dendrites of pyramidal neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex, but not the orbitofrontal cortex, after sexual experience. We also found that sexual experience enhanced dendritic spine density on granule neurons of the dentate gyrus. The ventral hippocampus sends a direct projection to the medial prefrontal cortex, raising the possibility that experience-dependent changes in the hippocampus are necessary for alterations in medial prefrontal cortex structure and function. As a first attempt at investigating this, we inactivated the ventral hippocampus with the GABA agonist muscimol, after each daily bout of sexual experience to observe whether the beneficial effects on cognitive flexibility were abolished. Contrary to our hypothesis, blocking hippocampal activity after sexual experience had no impact on enhanced cognitive flexibility. Taken together, these findings indicate that sexual

  5. Response perseveration and ventral prefrontal sensitivity to reward and punishment in male problem gamblers and smokers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Ruiter, Michiel B; Veltman, Dick J; Goudriaan, Anna E; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Sjoerds, Zsuzsika; van den Brink, Wim

    2009-03-01

    Pathological gambling (PG) is associated with maladaptive perseverative behavior, but the underlying mechanism and neural circuitry is not completely clear. Here, the hypothesis was tested that PG is characterized by response perseveration and abnormalities in reward and/or punishment sensitivity in the ventral frontostriatal circuit. Executive functioning was assessed to verify if these effects are independent of the dorsal frontostriatal circuit. A group of smokers was also included to examine whether impairments in PG generalize to substance use disorders. Response perseveration and reward/punishment sensitivity were measured with a probabilistic reversal-learning task, in which subjects could win and lose money. Executive functioning was measured with a planning task, the Tower of London. Performance and fMRI data were acquired in 19 problem gamblers, 19 smokers, and 19 healthy controls. Problem gamblers showed severe response perseveration, associated with reduced activation of right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex in response to both monetary gain and loss. Results did not fully generalize to smokers. Planning performance and related activation of the dorsal frontostriatal circuit were intact in both problem gamblers and smokers. PG is related to response perseveration and diminished reward and punishment sensitivity as indicated by hypoactivation of the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex when money is gained and lost. Moreover, intact planning abilities and normal dorsal frontostriatal responsiveness indicate that this deficit is not due to impaired executive functioning. Response perseveration and ventral prefrontal hyporesponsiveness to monetary loss may be markers for maladaptive behavior seen in chemical and nonchemical addictions.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Top-Down Control of Motor Cortex Ensembles by Dorsomedial Prefrontal Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Narayanan, Nandakumar S.; Laubach, Mark

    2006-01-01

    Dorsomedial prefrontal cortex is critical for the temporal control of behavior. Dorsomedial prefrontal cortex might alter neuronal activity in areas such as motor cortex to inhibit temporally inappropriate responses. We tested this hypothesis by recording from neuronal ensembles in rodent dorsomedial prefrontal cortex during a delayed-response task. One-third of dorsomedial prefrontal neurons were significantly modulated during the delay period. The activity of many of these neurons was predi...

  9. Mentalizing ability in patients with prefrontal cortex damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeh, Zai-Ting; Lo, Chiao-Yu; Tsai, Ming-Dar; Tsai, Ming-Cheng

    2015-01-01

    Mentalizing ability is the issue in the social cognition of patients with brain injury that has received the most attention. The present study investigated mentalization ability in patients with prefrontal cortex damage. The aims of this study were to investigate: (a) whether patients with prefrontal cortex damage are impaired in mentalizing ability, including theory of mind (ToM) and empathy; (b) whether patients with ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage are impaired in different aspects of ToM; (c) whether patients with ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage are impaired in different aspects of empathy; and (d) whether impairment of mentalizing ability in patients with prefrontal cortex damage can be explained by executive dysfunction. Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Matrix Reasoning subtest, working memory, executive function, theory of mind, and empathy assessments were conducted on eight patients with ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage, 15 patients with dorsolateral prefrontal cortex damage, and 19 normal comparisons matched for level of education and intelligence. The results showed that performance on affective and nonverbal theory of mind was significantly lower in patients with dorsolateral prefrontal cortex damage than in the comparison group. Performance on personal distress items of empathy was significantly lower in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage group than in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex damage group. In addition, further multiple regression analysis showed that affective theory of mind could be explained by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test-Modified (WCST-M), with an explained variance of up to 44%. The present study suggests that the impairment of mentalizing ability in patients with prefrontal cortex damage is partially the result of executive dysfunction.

  10. Comparison of the adolescent and adult mouse prefrontal cortex proteome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Small, Amanda T.; Spanos, Marina; Burrus, Brainard M.

    2017-01-01

    Adolescence is a developmental period characterized by unique behavioral phenotypes (increased novelty seeking, risk taking, sociability and impulsivity) and increased risk for destructive behaviors, impaired decision making and psychiatric illness. Adaptive and maladaptive adolescent traits have been associated with development of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a brain region that mediates regulatory control of behavior. However, the molecular changes that underlie brain development and behavioral vulnerability have not been fully characterized. Using high-throughput 2D DIGE spot profiling with identification by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, we identified 62 spots in the PFC that exhibited age-dependent differences in expression. Identified proteins were associated with diverse cellular functions, including intracellular signaling, synaptic plasticity, cellular organization and metabolism. Separate Western blot analyses confirmed age-related changes in DPYSL2, DNM1, STXBP1 and CFL1 in the mPFC and expanded these findings to the dorsal striatum, nucleus accumbens, motor cortex, amygdala and ventral tegmental area. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) identified functional interaction networks enriched with proteins identified in the proteomics screen, linking age-related alterations in protein expression to cellular assembly and development, cell signaling and behavior, and psychiatric illness. These results provide insight into potential molecular components of adolescent cortical development, implicating structural processes that begin during embryonic development as well as plastic adaptations in signaling that may work in concert to bring the cortex, and other brain regions, into maturity. PMID:28570644

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  14. Discourse Production Following Injury to the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho, Carl; Le, Karen; Mozeiko, Jennifer; Krueger, Frank; Grafman, Jordan

    2012-01-01

    Individuals with damage to the prefrontal cortex, and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in particular, often demonstrate difficulties with the formulation of complex language not attributable to aphasia. The present study employed a discourse analysis procedure to characterize the language of individuals with left (L) or right (R) DLPFC…

  15. Prefrontal Cortex: A Mystery of Belated Memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eichenbaum, Howard

    2017-06-05

    A recent study suggests that the prefrontal cortex gradually becomes critical as a storage site for remotely acquired memories. How do we interpret this observation in light of the well-known functional role of the prefrontal cortex in cognition and memory? Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Anatomical insights into the interaction of emotion and cognition in the prefrontal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Rebecca; Zald, David H.

    2011-01-01

    Ray, R. and D. Zald. Anatomical insights into the interaction of emotion and cognition in the prefrontal cortex. NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV REV 36(X) XXX-XXX, 2011. -Psychological research increasingly indicates that emotional processes interact with other aspects of cognition. Studies have demonstrated both the ability of emotional stimuli to influence a broad range of cognitive operations, and the ability of humans to use top-down cognitive control mechanisms to regulate emotional responses. Portions of the prefrontal cortex appear to play a significant role in these interactions. However, the manner in which these interactions are implemented remains only partially elucidated. In the present review we describe the anatomical connections between ventral and dorsal prefrontal areas as well as their connections with limbic regions. Only a subset of prefrontal areas are likely to directly influence amygdalar processing, and as such models of prefrontal control of emotions and models of emotional regulation should be constrained to plausible pathways of influence. We also focus on how the specific pattern of feedforward and feedback connections between these regions may dictate the nature of information flow between ventral and dorsal prefrontal areas and the amygdala. These patterns of connections are inconsistent with several commonly expressed assumptions about the nature of communications between emotion and cognition. PMID:21889953

  17. 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

  18. Task alters category representations in prefrontal but not high-level visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bugatus, Lior; Weiner, Kevin S; Grill-Spector, Kalanit

    2017-07-15

    A central question in neuroscience is how cognitive tasks affect category representations across the human brain. Regions in lateral occipito-temporal cortex (LOTC), ventral temporal cortex (VTC), and ventro-lateral prefrontal cortex (VLFPC) constitute the extended "what" pathway, which is considered instrumental for visual category processing. However, it is unknown (1) whether distributed responses across LOTC, VTC, and VLPFC explicitly represent category, task, or some combination of both, and (2) in what way representations across these subdivisions of the extended 'what' pathway may differ. To fill these gaps in knowledge, we scanned 12 participants using fMRI to test the effect of category and task on distributed responses across LOTC, VTC, and VLPFC. Results reveal that task and category modulate responses in both high-level visual regions, as well as prefrontal cortex. However, we found fundamentally different types of representations across the brain. Distributed responses in high-level visual regions are more strongly driven by category than task, and exhibit task-independent category representations. In contrast, distributed responses in prefrontal cortex are more strongly driven by task than category, and contain task-dependent category representations. Together, these findings of differential representations across the brain support a new idea that LOTC and VTC maintain stable category representations allowing efficient processing of visual information, while prefrontal cortex contains flexible representations in which category information may emerge only when relevant to the task. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Plasticity in the prefrontal cortex of adult rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolb, Bryan; Gibb, Robbin

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25691857

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    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...... 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......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...

  2. Is the prefrontal cortex necessary for establishing cognitive sets?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rowe, James B; Sakai, Katsuyuki; Lund, Torben E

    2007-01-01

    There is evidence from neuroimaging that the prefrontal cortex may be involved in establishing task set activity in advance of presentation of the task itself. To find out whether it plays an essential role, we examined patients with unilateral lesions of the rostral prefrontal cortex. They were...... regions, as evidenced by reduced correlations between them during instruction delays. The results suggest that the left rostral prefrontal cortex is indeed required for establishing a cognitive set but that the essential function is to support the functional connectivity among the task-related regions....

  3. Magnetoencephalographic signatures of right prefrontal cortex involvement in response inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hege, Maike A; Preissl, Hubert; Stingl, Krunoslav T

    2014-10-01

    The prefrontal cortex has a pivotal role in top-down control of cognitive and sensory functions. In complex go-nogo tasks, the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is considered to be important for guiding the response inhibition. However, little is known about the temporal dynamics and neurophysiological nature of this activity. To address this issue, we recorded magnetoencephalographic brain activity in 20 women during a visual go-nogo task. The right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex showed an increase for the amplitude of the event-related fields and an increase in induced alpha frequency band activity for nogo in comparison to go trials. The peak of this prefrontal activity preceded the mean reaction time of around 360 ms for go trials, and thus supports the proposed role of right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in gating the response inhibition and further suggests that right prefrontal alpha band activity might be involved in this gating. However, the results in right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were similar for both successful and unsuccessful response inhibition. In these conditions, we instead observed pre- and poststimulus differences in alpha band activity in occipital and central areas. Thus, successful response inhibition seemed to additionally depend on prestimulus anticipatory alpha desynchronization in sensory areas as it was reduced prior to unsuccessful response inhibition. In conclusion, we suggest a role for functional inhibition by alpha synchronization not only in sensory, but also in prefrontal areas. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Optogenetic dissection of medial prefrontal cortex circuitry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danai eRiga

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC is critically involved in numerous cognitive functions, including attention, inhibitory control, habit formation, working memory and long-term memory. Moreover, through its dense interconnectivity with subcortical regions (e.g. thalamus, striatum, amygdala and hippocampus, the mPFC is thought to exert top-down executive control over the processing of aversive and appetitive stimuli. Because the mPFC has been implicated in the processing of a wide range of cognitive and emotional stimuli, it is thought to function as a central hub in the brain circuitry mediating symptoms of psychiatric disorders. New optogenetics technology enables anatomical and functional dissection of mPFC circuitry with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. This provides important novel insights in the contribution of specific neuronal subpopulations and their connectivity to mPFC function in health and disease states. In this review, we present the current knowledge obtained with optogenetic methods concerning mPFC function and dysfunction and integrate this with findings from traditional intervention approaches used to investigate the mPFC circuitry in animal models of cognitive processing and psychiatric disorders.

  5. Dopaminergic Activity in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex Modulates Fear Conditioning

    OpenAIRE

    Parvin Babaei; Bahram Soltani Tehrani; Arsalan Alizadeh; Morteza Nakhostin

    2011-01-01

    "nThe purpose of the present study was to determine the role of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) dopaminergic system in fear conditioning response considering individual differences. Animals were initially counterbalanced and classified based on open field test, and then were given a single infusion of the dopamine agonist, amphetamine (AMPH) and antagonist, clozapine (CLZ) into the medial prefrontal cortex. Rats received tone-shock pairing in a classical fear conditioning test and then e...

  6. [The role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in the response to negative emotional events].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carretié, Luis; López-Martin, Sara; Albert, Jacobo

    This review presents data showing the key role of ventromedial prefrontal cortex (here defined as an extensive area that includes ventral and medial prefrontal cortices) in the neural circuitry in charge of responding to negative events (i.e., dangerous, painful or disgusting). Ventromedial prefrontal cortex has rapid access to visual information and, in consequence, is able to react to negative visual events at approximately 100-150 ms from the stimulus onset. Its response to this type of stimulation, even when it is unconsciously perceived, is more intense than to non-negative stimuli. The main connections of this prefrontal area with sensorial structures (both up, in order to get incoming sensory information, and down, modulating the activity of these areas), with regions in charge of cognitive processes relevant to take a decision on how to cope with the negative stimulus (e.g., memory, action planning), and with areas in charge of autonomic and motor execution, are described. An integrative schema of the role of ventromedial prefrontal cortex in the response to negative events is provided.

  7. Subdivisions and connectional networks of the lateral prefrontal cortex in the macaque monkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saleem, Kadharbatcha S; Miller, Brad; Price, Joseph L

    2014-05-01

    Neuroanatomical studies have long indicated that corticocortical connections are organized in networks that relate distinct sets of areas. Such networks have been emphasized by development of functional imaging methods for correlating activity across the cortex. Previously, two networks were recognized in the orbitomedial prefrontal cortex, the "orbital" and "medial" networks (OPFC and MPFC, respectively). In this study, three additional networks are proposed for the lateral prefrontal cortex: 1) a ventrolateral network (VLPFC) in and ventral to the principal sulcus; 2) a dorsal network (DPFC) in and dorsal to the principal sulcus and in the frontal pole; 3) a caudolateral network (CLPFC) in and rostral to the arcuate sulcus and the caudal principal sulcus. The connections of the first two networks are described here. Areas in each network are connected primarily with other areas in the same network, with overlaps around the principal sulcus. The VLPFC and DPFC are also connected with the OPFC and MPFC, respectively. Outside the prefrontal cortex, the VLPFC connects with specific areas related to somatic/visceral sensation and vision, in the frontoparietal operculum, insula, ventral bank/fundus of the superior temporal sulcus, inferior temporal gyrus, and inferior parietal cortex. In contrast, the DPFC connects with the rostral superior temporal gyrus, dorsal bank of the superior temporal sulcus, parahippocampal cortex, and posterior cingulate and retrosplenial cortex. Area 45a, in caudal VLPFC, is unique, having connections with all the networks. Its extrinsic connections resemble those of the DPFC. In addition, it has connections with both auditory belt/parabelt areas, and visual related areas. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Neurodynamics of the prefrontal cortex during conditional visuomotor associations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loh, Marco; Pasupathy, Anitha; Miller, Earl K; Deco, Gustavo

    2008-03-01

    The prefrontal cortex is believed to be important for cognitive control, working memory, and learning. It is known to play an important role in the learning and execution of conditional visuomotor associations, a cognitive task in which stimuli have to be associated with actions by trial-and-error learning. In our modeling study, we sought to integrate several hypotheses on the function of the prefrontal cortex using a computational model, and compare the results to experimental data. We constructed a module of prefrontal cortex neurons exposed to two different inputs, which we envision to originate from the inferotemporal cortex and the basal ganglia. We found that working memory properties do not describe the dominant dynamics in the prefrontal cortex, but the activation seems to be transient, probably progressing along a pathway from sensory to motor areas. During the presentation of the cue, the dynamics of the prefrontal cortex is bistable, yielding a distinct activation for correct and error trails. We find that a linear change in network parameters relates to the changes in neural activity in consecutive correct trials during learning, which is important evidence for the underlying learning mechanisms.

  11. Evidence for deficit in tasks of ventral, but not dorsal, prefrontal executive function as an endophenotypic marker for bipolar disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frangou, Sophia; Haldane, Morgan; Roddy, Darren; Kumari, Veena

    2005-11-15

    Trait functional abnormalities in BD patients have only been reported in the ventral prefrontal cortex (VPFC). We examined whether deficits in VPFC-related inhibitory processes, but not dorsal prefrontal (DPFC) based executive functions, represent an endophenotypic marker for bipolar disorder I (BDI). We used the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), commonly associated with DPFC function, and the Hayling Sentence Completion Task (HSCT) which engages the VPFC. Performance on these tests of 43 healthy participants was compared to that of 10 remitted BDI patients and 15 of their unaffected offspring. Compared to healthy participants, patients and their offspring made more errors in the HSCT but offspring achieved more categories and made fewer perseverative errors in the WCST. Impaired response inhibition, predominantly a VPFC related function, may reflect familial predisposition to BDI while deficits in rule attainment, a DPFC based function, may be associated only with the clinical phenotype.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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...... a locus in Brodmann's area 11 of the inferomedial prefrontal cortex (IMPC) at which these two separate measures had significant inverse correlation. Thus, under the specific circumstance of positron emission tomography (PET) of a pharmacological challenge, a key region of the inferomedial prefrontal...... 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....

  15. Specialization in the left prefrontal cortex for sentence comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashimoto, Ryuichiro; Sakai, Kuniyoshi L

    2002-08-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we examined cortical activation under syntactic decision tasks and a short-term memory task for sentences, focusing on essential properties of syntactic processing. By comparing activation in these tasks with a short-term memory task for word lists, we found that two regions in the left prefrontal cortex showed selective activation for syntactic processing: the dorsal prefrontal cortex (DPFC) and the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Moreover, the left DPFC showed more prominent activation under the short-term memory task for sentences than that for word lists, which cannot be explained by general cognitive factors such as task difficulty and verbal short-term memory. These results support the proposal of specialized systems for sentence comprehension in the left prefrontal cortex.

  16. 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.

  17. The alpha7 nicotinic receptor agonist SSR180711 increases activity regulated cytoskeleton protein (Arc) gene expression in the prefrontal cortex of the rat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Søren; Thomsen, Morten Skøtt; Hansen, Henrik H

    2007-01-01

    /kg) to adolescent rats, produced a dose- and time-dependent increase in the expression of Arc mRNA in the prefrontal cortex and the ventral orbital cortex. By contrast, no change in mRNA levels was detected in the parietal cortex and the CA1 of the hippocampus. These data show that alpha7 nAChR activates a subset...... of neurons in the rat prefrontal cortex and this activation likely is important for the attentional effects of this new class of drugs....

  18. Effects of prefrontal cortex damage on emotion understanding: EEG and behavioural evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Anat; Saunders, Samantha N; Stiso, Jennifer; Dewar, Callum; Lubell, Jamie; Meling, Torstein R; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin; Endestad, Tor; Knight, Robert T

    2017-04-01

    Humans are highly social beings that interact with each other on a daily basis. In these complex interactions, we get along by being able to identify others' actions and infer their intentions, thoughts and feelings. One of the major theories accounting for this critical ability assumes that the understanding of social signals is based on a primordial tendency to simulate observed actions by activating a mirror neuron system. If mirror neuron regions are important for action and emotion recognition, damage to regions in this network should lead to deficits in these domains. In the current behavioural and EEG study, we focused on the lateral prefrontal cortex including dorsal and ventral prefrontal cortex and utilized a series of task paradigms, each measuring a different aspect of recognizing others' actions or emotions from body cues. We examined 17 patients with lesions including (n = 8) or not including (n = 9) the inferior frontal gyrus, a core mirror neuron system region, and compared their performance to matched healthy control subjects (n = 18), in behavioural tasks and in an EEG observation-execution task measuring mu suppression. Our results provide support for the role of the lateral prefrontal cortex in understanding others' emotions, by showing that even unilateral lesions result in deficits in both accuracy and reaction time in tasks involving the recognition of others' emotions. In tasks involving the recognition of actions, patients showed a general increase in reaction time, but not a reduction in accuracy. Deficits in emotion recognition can be seen by either direct damage to the inferior frontal gyrus, or via damage to dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex regions, resulting in deteriorated performance and less EEG mu suppression over sensorimotor cortex. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Prior auditory information shapes visual category-selectivity in ventral occipito-temporal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam, Ruth; Noppeney, Uta

    2010-10-01

    Objects in our natural environment generate signals in multiple sensory modalities. This fMRI study investigated the influence of prior task-irrelevant auditory information on visually-evoked category-selective activations in the ventral occipito-temporal cortex. Subjects categorized pictures as landmarks or animal faces, while ignoring the preceding congruent or incongruent sound. Behaviorally, subjects responded slower to incongruent than congruent stimuli. At the neural level, the lateral and medial prefrontal cortices showed increased activations for incongruent relative to congruent stimuli consistent with their role in response selection. In contrast, the parahippocampal gyri combined visual and auditory information additively: activation was greater for visual landmarks than animal faces and landmark-related sounds than animal vocalizations resulting in increased parahippocampal selectivity for congruent audiovisual landmarks. Effective connectivity analyses showed that this amplification of visual landmark-selectivity was mediated by increased negative coupling of the parahippocampal gyrus with the superior temporal sulcus for congruent stimuli. Thus, task-irrelevant auditory information influences visual object categorization at two stages. In the ventral occipito-temporal cortex auditory and visual category information are combined additively to sharpen visual category-selective responses. In the left inferior frontal sulcus, as indexed by a significant incongruency effect, visual and auditory category information are integrated interactively for response selection. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. Evidence for inhibitory deficits in the prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radhu, Natasha; Garcia Dominguez, Luis; Farzan, Faranak; Richter, Margaret A; Semeralul, Mawahib O; Chen, Robert; Fitzgerald, Paul B; Daskalakis, Zafiris J

    2015-02-01

    Abnormal gamma-aminobutyric acid inhibitory neurotransmission is a key pathophysiological mechanism underlying schizophrenia. Transcranial magnetic stimulation can be combined with electroencephalography to index long-interval cortical inhibition, a measure of GABAergic receptor-mediated inhibitory neurotransmission from the frontal and motor cortex. In previous studies we have reported that schizophrenia is associated with inhibitory deficits in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex compared to healthy subjects and patients with bipolar disorder. The main objective of the current study was to replicate and extend these initial findings by evaluating long-interval cortical inhibition from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in patients with schizophrenia compared to patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. A total of 111 participants were assessed: 38 patients with schizophrenia (average age: 35.71 years, 25 males, 13 females), 27 patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (average age: 36.15 years, 11 males, 16 females) and 46 healthy subjects (average age: 33.63 years, 23 females, 23 males). Long-interval cortical inhibition was measured from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and motor cortex through combined transcranial magnetic stimulation and electroencephalography. In the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, long-interval cortical inhibition was significantly reduced in patients with schizophrenia compared to healthy subjects (P = 0.004) and not significantly different between patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder and healthy subjects (P = 0.5445). Long-interval cortical inhibition deficits in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were also significantly greater in patients with schizophrenia compared to patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (P = 0.0465). There were no significant differences in long-interval cortical inhibition across all three groups in the motor cortex. These results demonstrate that long-interval cortical inhibition deficits in the

  2. Histological evaluation of the prefrontal cortex of infantile Wistar rats ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Exposure to nicotine in utero is neuroteratogenic, predisposing the developing brain to cell injury and many forms of neurological and neurobehavioural problems that persist after birth. The current study examined some of the histological effects of prenatal nicotine exposure on the prefrontal cortex of infantile rats.

  3. 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

  4. Prefrontal Cortex Contributions to Episodic Retrieval Monitoring and Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruse, Damian; Wilding, Edward L.

    2009-01-01

    Although the prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays roles in episodic memory judgments, the specific processes it supports are not understood fully. Event-related potential (ERP) studies of episodic retrieval have revealed an electrophysiological modulation--the right-frontal ERP old/new effect--which is thought to reflect activity in PFC. The functional…

  5. 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…

  6. Phineas gauged: decision-making and the human prefrontal cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sanfey, A.G.; Hastie, R.; Colvin, M.K.; Grafman, J.

    2003-01-01

    Poor social judgment and decision-making abilities have often been attributed to people who have suffered injury to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC). However, few laboratory tests of decision-making have been conducted on these patients. The exception to this is the Iowa Gambling Task

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  12. Performance- and stimulus-dependent oscillations in monkey prefrontal cortex during short-term memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gordon Pipa

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Short-term memory requires the coordination of sub-processes like encoding, retention, retrieval and comparison of stored material to subsequent input. Neuronal oscillations have an inherent time structure, can effectively coordinate synaptic integration of large neuron populations and could therefore organize and integrate distributed sub-processes in time and space. We observed field potential oscillations (14-95Hz in ventral prefrontal cortex of monkeys performing a visual memory task. Stimulus-selective and performance-dependent oscillations occurred simultaneously at 65-95Hz and 14-50Hz, the latter being phase-locked throughout memory maintenance. We propose that prefrontal oscillatory activity may be instrumental for the dynamical integration of local and global neuronal processes underlying short-term memory.

  13. Longitudinal Changes in Prefrontal Cortex Activation Underlie Declines in Adolescent Risk Taking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Yang; Galvan, Adriana; Fuligni, Andrew J; Lieberman, Matthew D; Telzer, Eva H

    2015-08-12

    Adolescence is a critical developmental phase during which risk-taking behaviors increase across a variety of species, raising the importance of understanding how brain changes contribute to such behaviors. While the prefrontal cortex is thought to influence adolescent risk taking, the specific ways in which it functions are unclear. Using longitudinal functional magnetic resonance imaging in human adolescents, we found that ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) activation decreased during an experimental risk-taking task over time, with greater declines in VLPFC associated with greater declines in self-reported risky behavior. Furthermore, greater decreases in functional coupling between the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and ventral striatum over time were associated with decreases in self-reported risky behavior. Thus, disparate roles of the VLPFC and MPFC modulate longitudinal declines in adolescent risk taking. Adolescence is a developmental period marked by steep increases in risk-taking behavior coupled with dramatic brain changes. Although theories propose that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) may influence adolescent risk taking, the specific ways in which it functions remain unclear. We report the first longitudinal functional magnetic resonance imaging study to examine how neural activation during risk taking changes over time and contributes to adolescents' real-life risk-taking behavior. We find that longitudinal declines in activation of the ventrolateral PFC are linked to declines in adolescent risk taking, whereas the medial PFC influences adolescent risk taking via its functional neural coupling with reward-related regions. This is the first study to identify the mechanism by which different regions of the PFC disparately contribute to declines in risk taking. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3511308-07$15.00/0.

  14. Neurons controlling voluntary vocalization in the macaque ventral premotor cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gino Coudé

    Full Text Available The voluntary control of phonation is a crucial achievement in the evolution of speech. In humans, ventral premotor cortex (PMv and Broca's area are known to be involved in voluntary phonation. In contrast, no neurophysiological data are available about the role of the oro-facial sector of nonhuman primates PMv in this function. In order to address this issue, we recorded PMv neurons from two monkeys trained to emit coo-calls. Results showed that a population of motor neurons specifically fire during vocalization. About two thirds of them discharged before sound onset, while the remaining were time-locked with it. The response of vocalization-selective neurons was present only during conditioned (voluntary but not spontaneous (emotional sound emission. These data suggest that the control of vocal production exerted by PMv neurons constitutes a newly emerging property in the monkey lineage, shedding light on the evolution of phonation-based communication from a nonhuman primate species.

  15. Reward sensitivity modulates brain activity in the prefrontal cortex, ACC and striatum during task switching.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola Fuentes-Claramonte

    Full Text Available Current perspectives on cognitive control acknowledge that individual differences in motivational dispositions may modulate cognitive processes in the absence of reward contingencies. This work aimed to study the relationship between individual differences in Behavioral Activation System (BAS sensitivity and the neural underpinnings involved in processing a switching cue in a task-switching paradigm. BAS sensitivity was hypothesized to modulate brain activity in frontal regions, ACC and the striatum. Twenty-eight healthy participants underwent fMRI while performing a switching task, which elicited activity in fronto-striatal regions during the processing of the switch cue. BAS sensitivity was negatively associated with activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex and the ventral striatum. Combined with previous results, our data indicate that BAS sensitivity modulates the neurocognitive processes involved in task switching in a complex manner depending on task demands. Therefore, individual differences in motivational dispositions may influence cognitive processing in the absence of reward contingencies.

  16. Multisynaptic projections from the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex to the dorsal premotor cortex in macaques - anatomical substrate for conditional visuomotor behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahara, Daisuke; Inoue, Ken-Ichi; Hirata, Yoshihiro; Miyachi, Shigehiro; Nambu, Atsushi; Takada, Masahiko; Hoshi, Eiji

    2012-11-01

    Lines of evidence indicate that both the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC) (areas 45/12) and dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) (rostral F2 in area 6) are crucially involved in conditional visuomotor behavior, in which it is required to determine an action based on an associated visual object. However, virtually no direct projections appear to exist between the vlPFC and PMd. In the present study, to elucidate possible multisynaptic networks linking the vlPFC to the PMd, we performed a series of neuroanatomical tract-tracing experiments in macaque monkeys. First, we identified cortical areas that send projection fibers directly to the PMd by injecting Fast Blue into the PMd. Considerable retrograde labeling occurred in the dorsal prefrontal cortex (dPFC) (areas 46d/9/8B/8Ad), dorsomedial motor cortex (dmMC) (F7 and presupplementary motor area), rostral cingulate motor area, and ventral premotor cortex (F5 and area 44), whereas the vlPFC was virtually devoid of neuronal labeling. Second, we injected the rabies virus, a retrograde transneuronal tracer, into the PMd. At 3 days after the rabies injections, second-order neurons were labeled in the vlPFC (mainly area 45), indicating that the vlPFC disynaptically projects to the PMd. Finally, to determine areas that connect the vlPFC to the PMd indirectly, we carried out an anterograde/retrograde dual-labeling experiment in single monkeys. By examining the distribution of axon terminals labeled from the vlPFC and cell bodies labeled from the PMd, we found overlapping labels in the dPFC and dmMC. These results indicate that the vlPFC outflow is directed toward the PMd in a multisynaptic fashion through the dPFC and/or dmMC. © 2012 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2012 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  17. 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

    2017-09-20

    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.

  18. Dopaminergic Activity in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex Modulates Fear Conditioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parvin Babaei

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available "nThe purpose of the present study was to determine the role of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC dopaminergic system in fear conditioning response considering individual differences. Animals were initially counterbalanced and classified based on open field test, and then were given a single infusion of the dopamine agonist, amphetamine (AMPH and antagonist, clozapine (CLZ into the medial prefrontal cortex. Rats received tone-shock pairing in a classical fear conditioning test and then exposed to the tone alone. Freezing responses were measured as conditioned fear index. The results showed that both AMPH and CLZ infusion in mPFC reduced the expression of conditioned fear. This finding indicates that elevation or reduction in the dopaminergic activity is associated with the decrease of fear responses, despite preexisting individual-typological differences.

  19. Discourse production following injury to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho, Carl; Lê, Karen; Mozeiko, Jennifer; Krueger, Frank; Grafman, Jordan

    2012-12-01

    Individuals with damage to the prefrontal cortex, and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in particular, often demonstrate difficulties with the formulation of complex language not attributable to aphasia. The present study employed a discourse analysis procedure to characterize the language of individuals with left (L) or right (R) DLPFC lesions. All participants were 30-35 years post-onset of injury and presented with persistent discourse impairments. The discourse performance of the R DLPFC group was not significantly different from either the L DLPFC group or the non-injured comparison group. Individuals from the L DLPFC group demonstrated specific difficulties with narrative coherence and inclusion of critical story components. Both measures were significantly different from the comparison group. The discourse ability of the DLPFC groups was significantly correlated with measures of working memory. Findings support the use of discourse analysis for examining language impairments in individuals with PFC lesions. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. 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

  1. Prefrontal Cortex in Learning to Overcome Generalized Fear

    OpenAIRE

    Edward Korzus

    2015-01-01

    Normal brain functioning relies critically on the ability to control appropriate behavioral responses to fearful stimuli. Overgeneralized fear is the major symptom of anxiety disorders including posttraumatic stress disorder. This review describes recent data demonstrating that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) plays a critical role in the refining of cues that drive the acquisition of fear response. Recent studies on molecular mechanisms that underlie the role of mPFC in fear discriminatio...

  2. Damage to the prefrontal cortex increases utilitarian moral judgements

    OpenAIRE

    Koenigs, Michael; Young, Liane; Adolphs, Ralph; Tranel, Daniel; Cushman, Fiery; Hauser, Marc; Damasio, Antonio

    2007-01-01

    The psychological and neurobiological processes underlying moral judgement have been the focus of many recent empirical studies1–11. Of central interest is whether emotions play a causal role in moral judgement, and, in parallel, how emotion-related areas of the brain contribute to moral judgement. Here we show that six patients with focal bilateral damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPC), a brain region necessary for the normal generation of emotions and, in particular, social em...

  3. 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...... cognition enhancers. We have utilized an animal model in which the above distributed system is altered, during a sensitive period of development, by transiently inactivating the VH and its efferent projections. We determined the ability of NAc shell activation to evoke prefrontal glutamate release in adult......-sensitive microelectrode. There were no differences in basal glutamate levels among the groups tested (overall 1.41 ± 0.26 uM). However, the dose-related stimulation of prefrontal glutamate levels seen in control rats treated with saline on PD7 (4.31 ± 0.22 μM after 0.15 μg) was markedly attenuated in rats treated...

  4. Reading without the left ventral occipito-temporal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seghier, Mohamed L.; Neufeld, Nicholas H.; Zeidman, Peter; Leff, Alex P.; Mechelli, Andrea; Nagendran, Arjuna; Riddoch, Jane M.; Humphreys, Glyn W.; Price, Cathy J.

    2012-01-01

    The left ventral occipito-temporal cortex (LvOT) is thought to be essential for the rapid parallel letter processing that is required for skilled reading. Here we investigate whether rapid written word identification in skilled readers can be supported by neural pathways that do not involve LvOT. Hypotheses were derived from a stroke patient who acquired dyslexia following extensive LvOT damage. The patient followed a reading trajectory typical of that associated with pure alexia, re-gaining the ability to read aloud many words with declining performance as the length of words increased. Using functional MRI and dynamic causal modelling (DCM), we found that, when short (three to five letter) familiar words were read successfully, visual inputs to the patient’s occipital cortex were connected to left motor and premotor regions via activity in a central part of the left superior temporal sulcus (STS). The patient analysis therefore implied a left hemisphere “reading-without-LvOT” pathway that involved STS. We then investigated whether the same reading-without-LvOT pathway could be identified in 29 skilled readers and whether there was inter-subject variability in the degree to which skilled reading engaged LvOT. We found that functional connectivity in the reading-without-LvOT pathway was strongest in individuals who had the weakest functional connectivity in the LvOT pathway. This observation validates the findings of our patient’s case study. Our findings highlight the contribution of a left hemisphere reading pathway that is activated during the rapid identification of short familiar written words, particularly when LvOT is not involved. Preservation and use of this pathway may explain how patients are still able to read short words accurately when LvOT has been damaged. PMID:23017598

  5. Reading without the left ventral occipito-temporal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seghier, Mohamed L; Neufeld, Nicholas H; Zeidman, Peter; Leff, Alex P; Mechelli, Andrea; Nagendran, Arjuna; Riddoch, Jane M; Humphreys, Glyn W; Price, Cathy J

    2012-12-01

    The left ventral occipito-temporal cortex (LvOT) is thought to be essential for the rapid parallel letter processing that is required for skilled reading. Here we investigate whether rapid written word identification in skilled readers can be supported by neural pathways that do not involve LvOT. Hypotheses were derived from a stroke patient who acquired dyslexia following extensive LvOT damage. The patient followed a reading trajectory typical of that associated with pure alexia, re-gaining the ability to read aloud many words with declining performance as the length of words increased. Using functional MRI and dynamic causal modelling (DCM), we found that, when short (three to five letter) familiar words were read successfully, visual inputs to the patient's occipital cortex were connected to left motor and premotor regions via activity in a central part of the left superior temporal sulcus (STS). The patient analysis therefore implied a left hemisphere "reading-without-LvOT" pathway that involved STS. We then investigated whether the same reading-without-LvOT pathway could be identified in 29 skilled readers and whether there was inter-subject variability in the degree to which skilled reading engaged LvOT. We found that functional connectivity in the reading-without-LvOT pathway was strongest in individuals who had the weakest functional connectivity in the LvOT pathway. This observation validates the findings of our patient's case study. Our findings highlight the contribution of a left hemisphere reading pathway that is activated during the rapid identification of short familiar written words, particularly when LvOT is not involved. Preservation and use of this pathway may explain how patients are still able to read short words accurately when LvOT has been damaged. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Increased stress vulnerability after a prefrontal cortex lesion in female rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerrits, M; Westenbroek, C; Fokkema, DS; Jongsma, ME; Den Boer, JA; Ter Horst, GJ

    2003-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies in patients suffering from affective disorders have shown decreased volume and reduced regional cerebral blood flow in multiple areas of the prefrontal cortex, including the medial prefrontal cortex and the orbitofrontal cortex. This aberrant brain activity is among other things

  7. Role of the lateral prefrontal cortex in speech monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie K. Riès

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The role of lateral prefrontal cortex in speech monitoring has not been delineated. Recent work suggests that medial frontal cortex (MFC is involved in overt speech monitoring initiated before auditory feedback. This mechanism is reflected in an event-related potential (ERP, the error negativity (Ne, peaking within 100 ms after vocal-onset. Critically, in healthy individuals the Ne is sensitive to the accuracy of the response; it is larger for error than correct trials. By contrast, patients with lateral prefrontal cortex (lPFC damage are impaired in nonverbal monitoring tasks showing no amplitude difference between the Ne measured in correct vs. error trials. Interactions between the lPFC and the MFC are assumed to play a necessary role for normal action monitoring. We investigated whether the lPFC was involved in speech monitoring to the same extent as in non-linguistic actions by comparing performance and EEG activity in patients with lPFC damage and in aged-matched controls performing linguistic (Picture Naming and non-linguistic (Simon tasks. Controls did not produce enough errors to allow the comparison of the Ne or other ERP in error vs. correct trials. PFC patients had worse performance than controls in both tasks, but their Ne was larger for error than correct trials only in Naming. This task-dependent pattern can be explained by lPFC-dependent working-memory requirements present in non-linguistic tasks used to study action monitoring but absent in picture naming. This suggests that lPFC may not be necessary for speech monitoring as assessed by simple picture naming. In addition, bilateral temporal cortex activity starting before and peaking around vocal-onset was observed in lPFC and control groups in both tasks but was larger for error than correct trials only in Naming, suggesting the temporal cortex is associated with on-line monitoring of speech specifically when access to lexical representations is necessary.

  8. Is the prefrontal cortex especially enlarged in the human brain allometric relations and remapping factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passingham, Richard E; Smaers, Jeroen B

    2014-01-01

    There has been no agreement as to whether the prefrontal cortex is especially enlarged in the human brain. To answer this question, we analyzed the only two datasets that provide information on total prefrontal cortex volume based on cytoarchitectonic criteria. One delineated the prefrontal cortex proper on the basis of cytoarchitectonic criteria; the other used a proxy of the prefrontal cortex based on a cytoarchitectonic delineation of the frontal lobe. To investigate whether all cortical association areas, including the prefrontal cortex, are enlarged in the human brain, we scaled the different areas to a common reference, the primary visual cortex. To investigate whether the prefrontal cortex is more enlarged than other association areas, we scaled it relative to its inputs from and outputs to other nonprimary areas. We carried out separate regression analyses using different data samples as a predictive baseline group: data for monkeys alone informs us on whether great apes are different from monkeys; data for all non-human anthropoids, including great apes, informs us on whether humans are different from all other primates. The analyses show that the value for the human prefrontal cortex is greater than expected, and that this is true even when data for the great apes are included in the analysis. They also show that the chimpanzee prefrontal cortex is greater than expected for a monkey with a similar sized cortex. We discuss possible functional consequences.

  9. Complementary Patterns of Direct Amygdala and Hippocampal Projections to the Macaque Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aggleton, John P; Wright, Nicholas F; Rosene, Douglas L; Saunders, Richard C

    2015-11-01

    The projections from the amygdala and hippocampus (including subiculum and presubiculum) to prefrontal cortex were compared using anterograde tracers injected into macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis, Macaca mulatta). Almost all prefrontal areas were found to receive some amygdala inputs. These connections, which predominantly arose from the intermediate and magnocellular basal nucleus, were particularly dense in parts of the medial and orbital prefrontal cortex. Contralateral inputs were not, however, observed. The hippocampal projections to prefrontal areas were far more restricted, being confined to the ipsilateral medial and orbital prefrontal cortex (within areas 11, 13, 14, 24a, 32, and 25). These hippocampal projections principally arose from the subiculum, with the fornix providing the sole route. Thus, while the lateral prefrontal cortex essentially receives only amygdala inputs, the orbital prefrontal cortex receives both amygdala and hippocampal inputs, though these typically target different areas. Only in medial prefrontal cortex do direct inputs from both structures terminate in common sites. But, even when convergence occurs within an area, the projections predominantly terminate in different lamina (hippocampal inputs to layer III and amygdala inputs to layers I, II, and VI). The resulting segregation of prefrontal inputs could enable the parallel processing of different information types in prefrontal cortex. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press.

  10. Adrenergic Pharmacology and Cognition: Focus on the Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, Brian P.; Arnsten, Amy F.T.

    2007-01-01

    Norepinephrine (NE) has widespread projections throughout brain, and thus is ideally positioned to orchestrate neural functions based on arousal state. For example, NE can increase “signal/noise” ratio in the processing of sensory stimuli, and can enhance long-term memory consolidation in the amygdala and hippocampus through actions at α-1 and β adrenoceptors. Over the last 20 years, NE has also been shown to play a powerful role in regulating the working memory and attention functions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Moderate levels of NE released under control conditions strengthen prefrontal cortical functions via actions at post-synaptic α-2A adrenoceptors with high affinity for NE, while high levels of NE release during stress impair PFC cortical functions via α-1 and possibly β-1 receptors with lower affinity for NE. Thus, levels of NE determine whether prefrontal cortical or posterior cortical systems control our behavior and thought. Understanding these receptor mechanisms has led to new, intelligent treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders associated with PFC dysfunction. PMID:17303246

  11. 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.

  12. Reality monitoring impairment in schizophrenia reflects specific prefrontal cortex dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrison, Jane R; Fernandez-Egea, Emilio; Zaman, Rashid; Agius, Mark; Simons, Jon S

    2017-01-01

    Reality monitoring impairment is often reported in schizophrenia but the neural basis of this deficit is poorly understood. Difficulties with reality monitoring could be attributable to the same pattern of neural dysfunction as other cognitive deficits that characterize schizophrenia, or might instead represent a separable and dissociable impairment. This question was addressed through direct comparison of behavioral performance and neural activity associated with reality monitoring and working memory in patients with schizophrenia and matched healthy controls. Participants performed a word-pair reality monitoring task and a Sternberg working memory task while undergoing fMRI scanning. Distinct behavioral deficits were observed in the patients during performance of each task, which were associated with separable task- and region-specific dysfunction in the medial anterior prefrontal cortex for reality monitoring and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex for working memory. The results suggest that reality monitoring impairment is a distinct neurocognitive deficit in schizophrenia. The findings are consistent with the presence of a range of dissociable cognitive deficits in schizophrenia which may be associated with variable functional and structural dysconnectivity in underlying processing networks.

  13. Reality monitoring impairment in schizophrenia reflects specific prefrontal cortex dysfunction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane R. Garrison

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Reality monitoring impairment is often reported in schizophrenia but the neural basis of this deficit is poorly understood. Difficulties with reality monitoring could be attributable to the same pattern of neural dysfunction as other cognitive deficits that characterize schizophrenia, or might instead represent a separable and dissociable impairment. This question was addressed through direct comparison of behavioral performance and neural activity associated with reality monitoring and working memory in patients with schizophrenia and matched healthy controls. Participants performed a word-pair reality monitoring task and a Sternberg working memory task while undergoing fMRI scanning. Distinct behavioral deficits were observed in the patients during performance of each task, which were associated with separable task- and region-specific dysfunction in the medial anterior prefrontal cortex for reality monitoring and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex for working memory. The results suggest that reality monitoring impairment is a distinct neurocognitive deficit in schizophrenia. The findings are consistent with the presence of a range of dissociable cognitive deficits in schizophrenia which may be associated with variable functional and structural dysconnectivity in underlying processing networks.

  14. 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.

  15. Childhood emotional maltreatment severity is associated with dorsal medial prefrontal cortex responsivity to social exclusion in young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Harmelen, Anne-Laura; Hauber, Kirsten; Gunther Moor, Bregtje; Spinhoven, Philip; Boon, Albert E; Crone, Eveline A; Elzinga, Bernet M

    2014-01-01

    Children who have experienced chronic parental rejection and exclusion during childhood, as is the case in childhood emotional maltreatment, may become especially sensitive to social exclusion. This study investigated the neural and emotional responses to social exclusion (with the Cyberball task) in young adults reporting childhood emotional maltreatment. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated brain responses and self-reported distress to social exclusion in 46 young adult patients and healthy controls (mean age = 19.2±2.16) reporting low to extreme childhood emotional maltreatment. Consistent with prior studies, social exclusion was associated with activity in the ventral medial prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex. In addition, severity of childhood emotional maltreatment was positively associated with increased dorsal medial prefrontal cortex responsivity to social exclusion. The dorsal medial prefrontal cortex plays a crucial role in self-and other-referential processing, suggesting that the more individuals have been rejected and maltreated in childhood, the more self- and other- processing is elicited by social exclusion in adulthood. Negative self-referential thinking, in itself, enhances cognitive vulnerability for the development of psychiatric disorders. Therefore, our findings may underlie the emotional and behavioural difficulties that have been reported in adults reporting childhood emotional maltreatment.

  16. 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.

  17. Organization of cortico-cortical pathways supporting memory retrieval across subregions of the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barredo, Jennifer; Verstynen, Timothy D; Badre, David

    2016-09-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) evidence indicates that different subregions of ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) participate in distinct cortical networks. These networks have been shown to support separable cognitive functions: anterior VLPFC [inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) pars orbitalis] functionally correlates with a ventral fronto-temporal network associated with top-down influences on memory retrieval, while mid-VLPFC (IFG pars triangularis) functionally correlates with a dorsal fronto-parietal network associated with postretrieval control processes. However, it is not known to what extent subregional differences in network affiliation and function are driven by differences in the organization of underlying white matter pathways. We used high-angular-resolution diffusion spectrum imaging and functional connectivity analysis in unanesthetized humans to address whether the organization of white matter connectivity differs between subregions of VLPFC. Our results demonstrate a ventral-dorsal division within IFG. Ventral IFG as a whole connects broadly to lateral temporal cortex. Although several different individual white matter tracts form connections between ventral IFG and lateral temporal cortex, functional connectivity analysis of fMRI data indicates that these are part of the same ventral functional network. By contrast, across subdivisions, dorsal IFG was connected with the midfrontal gyrus and correlated as a separate dorsal functional network. These qualitative differences in white matter organization within larger macroanatomical subregions of VLPFC support prior functional distinctions among these regions observed in task-based and functional connectivity fMRI studies. These results are consistent with the proposal that anatomical connectivity is a crucial determinant of systems-level functional organization of frontal cortex and the brain in general. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. Close Interrelation of Motor Development and Cognitive Development and of the Cerebellum and Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diamond, Adele

    2000-01-01

    Argues that motor and cognitive development may be fundamentally interrelated. Summarizes evidence of close co-activation of the neocerebellum and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in functional neuroimaging, similarities in the cognitive sequelae of damage to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the neocerebellum, motor deficits in…

  2. 5-HT(1B) receptors, ventral orbitofrontal cortex, and aggressive behavior in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Almeida, R M M; Rosa, M M; Santos, D M; Saft, D M; Benini, Q; Miczek, K A

    2006-05-01

    Systemic injections of 5-HT(1B) receptor agonists have been shown to have specific anti-aggressive effects in aggressive individuals. One site of action for these drugs is the 5-HT(1B) receptors in the ventral orbitofrontal cortex (VO PFC), an area that has been implicated in the inhibitory control of behavior and is a terminal region for 5-HT projections. To assess the anti-aggressive effects of the 5-HT(1B) receptor agonist CP-94,253 when microinjected into the VO PFC (0.1, 0.56, and 1.0 microg/0.2 microl) or into the infralimbic prefrontal cortex (IL PFC; 1.0 microg/0.2 microl) in separate groups of aggressive resident male mice. To confirm the 5-HT(1B) receptor as the critical site of action for the anti-aggressive effects, the 5-HT(1B/D) antagonist GR-127,935 was microinjected at 10.0 microg/0.2 microl into the VO PFC. After recovery from surgery, the anti-aggressive effects of microinjected CP-94,253 were studied during 5-min resident-intruder confrontations that were recorded and analyzed. Microinjections of CP-94,253 (0.56 and 1.0 microg/0.2 microl) dose-dependently reduced the frequency of attack bites and sideways threats. This effect was behaviorally specific because non-aggressive motor activities were not significantly altered by the drug. In the IL vmPFC or in an area lateral to the VO PFC, CP-94,253 (1.0 microg/0.2 microl) did not have significant behavioral effects. The results highlight the 5-HT(1B) receptors in the VO PFC as a particularly important site for the inhibition of species-typical aggressive behavior in male mice.

  3. Differential Sampling of Visual Space in Ventral and Dorsal Early Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silson, Edward H; Reynolds, Richard C; Kravitz, Dwight J; Baker, Chris I

    2018-02-28

    A fundamental feature of cortical visual processing is the separation of visual processing for the upper and lower visual fields. In early visual cortex (EVC), the upper visual field is processed ventrally, with the lower visual field processed dorsally. This distinction persists into several category-selective regions of occipitotemporal cortex, with ventral and lateral scene-, face-, and object-selective regions biased for the upper and lower visual fields, respectively. Here, using an elliptical population receptive field (pRF) model, we systematically tested the sampling of visual space within ventral and dorsal divisions of human EVC in both male and female participants. We found that (1) pRFs tend to be elliptical and oriented toward the fovea with distinct angular distributions for ventral and dorsal divisions of EVC, potentially reflecting a radial bias; and (2) pRFs in ventral areas were larger (∼1.5×) and more elliptical (∼1.2×) than those in dorsal areas. These differences potentially reflect a tendency for receptive fields in ventral temporal cortex to overlap the fovea with less emphasis on precise localization and isotropic representation of space compared with dorsal areas. Collectively, these findings suggest that ventral and dorsal divisions of EVC sample visual space differently, likely contributing to and/or stemming from the functional differentiation of visual processing observed in higher-level regions of the ventral and dorsal cortical visual pathways. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The processing of visual information from the upper and lower visual fields is separated in visual cortex. Although ventral and dorsal divisions of early visual cortex (EVC) are commonly assumed to sample visual space equivalently, we demonstrate systematic differences using an elliptical population receptive field (pRF) model. Specifically, we demonstrate that (1) ventral and dorsal divisions of EVC exhibit diverging distributions of pRF angle, which are biased

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Response of dorsomedial prefrontal cortex predicts altruistic behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waytz, Adam; Zaki, Jamil; Mitchell, Jason P

    2012-05-30

    Human beings have an unusual proclivity for altruistic behavior, and recent commentators have suggested that these prosocial tendencies arise from our unique capacity to understand the minds of others (i.e., to mentalize). The current studies test this hypothesis by examining the relation between altruistic behavior and the reflexive engagement of a neural system reliably associated with mentalizing. Results indicated that activity in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex--a region consistently involved in understanding others' mental states--predicts both monetary donations to others and time spent helping others. These findings address long-standing questions about the proximate source of human altruism by suggesting that prosocial behavior results, in part, from our broader tendency for social-cognitive thought.

  7. 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.

  8. Maternal prefrontal cortex activation by newborn infant odors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishitani, Shota; Kuwamoto, Saori; Takahira, Asuka; Miyamura, Tsunetake; Shinohara, Kazuyuki

    2014-03-01

    Mothers are attracted by infant cues of a variety of different modalities. To clarify the possible neural mechanisms underlying maternal attraction to infant odor cues, we used near-infrared spectroscopy to examine prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity during odor detection tasks in which 19 mothers and 19 nulliparous females (nonmothers) were presented with infant or adult male odors. They were instructed to make a judgment about whether they smelled an odor during each task. We estimated the PFC activity by measuring the relative oxyhemoglobin (oxyHb) concentrations. The results showed that while detecting the infant odors, bilateral PFC activities were increased in mothers but not in nonmothers. In contrast, adult male odors activated the PFC similarly in mothers and nonmothers. These findings suggest that maternal activation of the PFC in response to infant odors explains a part of the neural mechanisms for maternal attraction to infant odors.

  9. Damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex reduces interpersonal disgust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciaramelli, Elisa; Sperotto, Rebecca G; Mattioli, Flavia; di Pellegrino, Giuseppe

    2013-02-01

    Disgust for contaminating objects (core disgust), immoral behaviors (moral disgust) and unsavory others (interpersonal disgust), have been assumed to be closely related. It is not clear, however, whether different forms of disgust are mediated by overlapping or specific neural substrates. We report that 10 patients with damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) avoided behaviors that normally elicit interpersonal disgust (e.g. using the scarf of a busker) less frequently than healthy and brain-damaged controls, whereas they avoided core and moral disgust elicitors at normal rates. These results indicate that different forms of disgust are dissociated neurally. We propose that the vmPFC is causally (and selectively) involved in mediating interpersonal disgust, shaping patterns of social avoidance and approach.

  10. Damage to the prefrontal cortex increases utilitarian moral judgements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenigs, Michael; Young, Liane; Adolphs, Ralph; Tranel, Daniel; Cushman, Fiery; Hauser, Marc; Damasio, Antonio

    2007-04-19

    The psychological and neurobiological processes underlying moral judgement have been the focus of many recent empirical studies. Of central interest is whether emotions play a causal role in moral judgement, and, in parallel, how emotion-related areas of the brain contribute to moral judgement. Here we show that six patients with focal bilateral damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPC), a brain region necessary for the normal generation of emotions and, in particular, social emotions, produce an abnormally 'utilitarian' pattern of judgements on moral dilemmas that pit compelling considerations of aggregate welfare against highly emotionally aversive behaviours (for example, having to sacrifice one person's life to save a number of other lives). In contrast, the VMPC patients' judgements were normal in other classes of moral dilemmas. These findings indicate that, for a selective set of moral dilemmas, the VMPC is critical for normal judgements of right and wrong. The findings support a necessary role for emotion in the generation of those judgements.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Libedinsky, Camilo; Smith, David V; Teng, Chieh Schen; Namburi, Praneeth; Chen, Vanessa W; Huettel, Scott A; Chee, Michael W L

    2011-01-01

    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 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.

  12. 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

  13. Role of the medial prefrontal cortex in coping and resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maier, Steven F; Watkins, Linda R

    2010-10-08

    The degree of behavioral control that an organism has over an aversive event is well known to modulate the behavioral and neurochemical consequences of exposure to the event. Here we review recent research that suggests that the experience of control over a potent stressor alters how the organism responds to future aversive events as well as to the stressor being controlled. More specifically, subjects that have experienced control show blunted behavioral and neurochemical responses to subsequent stressors occurring days to months later. Indeed, these subjects respond as if a later uncontrollable stressor is actually controllable. Further, we review research indicating that the stress resistance induced by control depends on control-induced activation of ventral medial prefrontal cortical (vmPFC) inhibitory control over brainstem and limbic structures. Furthermore, there appears to be plasticity in these circuits such that the experience of control alters the vmPFC in such a way that later uncontrollable stressors now activate the vmPFC circuitry, leading to inhibition of stress-responsive limbic and brainstem structures, i.e., stressor resistance. This controllability-induced proactive stressor resistance generalizes across very different stressors and may be involved in determining individual difference in reactions to traumatic events. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Effect of novel atypical antipsychotic, blonanserin, on extracellular neurotransmitter level in rat prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohoyama, Keiko; Yamamura, Satoshi; Hamaguchi, Tatsuya; Nakagawa, Masanori; Motomura, Eishi; Shiroyama, Takashi; Tanii, Hisashi; Okada, Motohiro

    2011-02-25

    To clarify the mechanisms of action of blonanserin, an atypical antipsychotic drug, we studied the effects of systemic administration of blonanserin and risperidone on extracellular levels of norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, GABA and glutamate in the medial prefrontal cortex using microdialysis, and neuronal firing in the ventral tegmental area, locus coeruleus, dorsal raphe nucleus and mediodorsal thalamic nucleus using radiotelemetry. The binding affinities of blonanserin to D(2) and 5-HT(2A) receptors in the rat brain were confirmed and found to be similar. Blonanserin transiently increased neuronal firing in locus coeruleus and ventral tegmental area but not in dorsal raphe nucleus or mediodorsal thalamic nucleus, whereas risperidone increased the firing in locus coeruleus, ventral tegmental area and dorsal raphe nucleus but not in mediodorsal thalamic nucleus. Blonanserin persistently increased frontal extracellular levels of norepinephrine and dopamine but not serotonin, GABA or glutamate, whereas risperidone persistently increased those of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin but not GABA or glutamate. These results suggest a pharmacological correlation between the stimulatory effects of these antipsychotics on frontal monoamine release and neuronal activity in monoaminergic nuclei. Inhibition of the α(2) adrenoceptor increased extracellular monoamine levels and enhanced blonanserin-induced increase in extracellular serotonin level. These results indicated that the combination of antagonism of D(2) and 5-HT(2A) receptors contribute to the rise in extracellular levels of norepinephrine and dopamine, and that α(2) adrenoceptors play important roles in frontal serotonin release. They also suggest that blonanserin-induced activation of monoaminergic transmission could be, at least partially, involved in atypical antipsychotic properties of blonanserin. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Anatomical substrates for direct interactions between hippocampus, medial prefrontal cortex, and the thalamic nucleus reuniens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varela, C.; Kumar, S.; Yang, J. Y.; Wilson, M. A.

    2014-01-01

    The reuniens nucleus in the midline thalamus projects to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the hippocampus, and has been suggested to modulate interactions between these regions, such as spindle–ripple correlations during sleep and theta band coherence during exploratory behavior. Feedback from the hippocampus to the nucleus reuniens has received less attention but has the potential to influence thalamocortical networks as a function of hippocampal activation. We used the retrograde tracer cholera toxin B conjugated to two fluorophores to study thalamic projections to the dorsal and ventral hippocampus and to the prelimbic and infralimbic subregions of mPFC. We also examined the feedback connections from the hippocampus to reuniens. The goal was to evaluate the anatomical basis for direct coordination between reuniens, mPFC, and hippocampus by looking for double-labeled cells in reuniens and hippocampus. In confirmation of previous reports, the nucleus reuniens was the origin of most thalamic afferents to the dorsal hippocampus, whereas both reuniens and the lateral dorsal nucleus projected to ventral hippocampus. Feedback from hippocampus to reuniens originated primarily in the dorsal and ventral subiculum. Thalamic cells with collaterals to mPFC and hippocampus were found in reuniens, across its anteroposterior axis, and represented, on average, about 8 % of the labeled cells in reuniens. Hippocampal cells with collaterals to mPFC and reuniens were less common (~1 % of the labeled subicular cells), and located in the molecular layer of the subiculum. The results indicate that a subset of reuniens cells can directly coordinate activity in mPFC and hippocampus. Cells with collaterals in the hippocampus–reuniens–mPFC network may be important for the systems consolidation of memory traces and for theta synchronization during exploratory behavior. PMID:23571778

  16. 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.

  17. Combined Social and Spatial Coding in a Descending Projection from the Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murugan, Malavika; Jang, Hee Jae; Park, Michelle; Miller, Ellia M; Cox, Julia; Taliaferro, Joshua P; Parker, Nathan F; Bhave, Varun; Hur, Hong; Liang, Yupu; Nectow, Alexander R; Pillow, Jonathan W; Witten, Ilana B

    2017-12-14

    Social behaviors are crucial to all mammals. Although the prelimbic cortex (PL, part of medial prefrontal cortex) has been implicated in social behavior, it is not clear which neurons are relevant or how they contribute. We found that PL contains anatomically and molecularly distinct subpopulations that target three downstream regions that have been implicated in social behavior: the nucleus accumbens (NAc), amygdala, and ventral tegmental area. Activation of NAc-projecting PL neurons (PL-NAc), but not the other subpopulations, decreased the preference for a social target. To determine what information PL-NAc neurons convey, we selectively recorded from them and found that individual neurons were active during social investigation, but only in specific spatial locations. Spatially specific manipulation of these neurons bidirectionally regulated the formation of a social-spatial association. Thus, the unexpected combination of social and spatial information within the PL-NAc may contribute to social behavior by supporting social-spatial learning. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Linking trait-based phenotypes to prefrontal cortex activation during inhibitory control.

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    Rodrigo, Achala H; Di Domenico, Stefano I; Graves, Bryanna; Lam, Jaeger; Ayaz, Hasan; Bagby, R Michael; Ruocco, Anthony C

    2016-01-01

    Inhibitory control is subserved in part by discrete regions of the prefrontal cortex whose functionality may be altered according to specific trait-based phenotypes. Using a unified model of normal range personality traits, we examined activation within lateral and medial aspects of the prefrontal cortex during a manual go/no-go task. Evoked hemodynamic oxygenation within the prefrontal cortex was measured in 106 adults using a 16-channel continuous-wave functional near-infrared spectroscopy system. Within lateral regions of the prefrontal cortex, greater activation was associated with higher trait levels of extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness, and lower neuroticism. Higher agreeableness was also related to more activation in the medial prefrontal cortex during inhibitory control. These results suggest that personality traits reflecting greater emotional stability, extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness may be associated with more efficient recruitment of control processes subserved by lateral regions of the prefrontal cortex. These findings highlight key links between trait-based phenotypes and neural activation patterns in the prefrontal cortex underlying inhibitory control. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Right prefrontal cortex transcranial direct current stimulation enhances multi-day savings in sensorimotor adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seidler, Rachael D; Gluskin, Brittany S; Greeley, Brian

    2017-01-01

    We have previously reported that visuospatial working memory performance and magnitude of activation in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex predict the rate of visuomotor adaptation. Recent behavioral studies suggest that sensorimotor savings, or faster relearning on second exposure to a task, are due to recall of these early, strategic components of adaptation. In the present study we applied anodal transcranial direct current stimulation to right or left prefrontal cortex or left motor cortex. We found that all groups adapted dart throwing movements while wearing prism lenses at the same rate as subjects receiving sham stimulation on day 1 On test day 2, which was conducted a few days later, the right prefrontal and left motor cortex groups adapted faster than the sham group. Moreover, only the right prefrontal group exhibited greater savings, expressed as a greater difference between day 1 and day 2 errors, compared with sham stimulation. These findings support the hypothesis that the right prefrontal cortex contributes to sensorimotor adaptation and savings. We have previously reported that visuospatial working memory performance and magnitude of activation in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex predict the rate of manual visuomotor adaptation. Sensorimotor savings, or faster adaptation to a previously experienced perturbation, has been recently linked to cognitive processes. We show that facilitating the right prefrontal cortex with anodal transcranial direct current stimulation enhances sensorimotor savings compared with sham stimulation. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  20. A Functional Gradient in the Rodent Prefrontal Cortex Supports Behavioral Inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardung, Stefanie; Epple, Robert; Jäckel, Zoe; Eriksson, David; Uran, Cem; Senn, Verena; Gibor, Lihi; Yizhar, Ofer; Diester, Ilka

    2017-02-20

    The ability to plan and execute appropriately timed responses to external stimuli is based on a well-orchestrated balance between movement initiation and inhibition. In impulse control disorders involving the prefrontal cortex (PFC) [1], this balance is disturbed, emphasizing the critical role that PFC plays in appropriately timing actions [2-4]. Here, we employed optogenetic and electrophysiological techniques to systematically analyze the functional role of five key subareas of the rat medial PFC (mPFC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in action control [5-9]. Inactivation of mPFC subareas induced drastic changes in performance, namely an increase (prelimbic cortex, PL) or decrease (infralimbic cortex, IL) of premature responses. Additionally, electrophysiology revealed a significant decrease in neuronal activity of a PL subpopulation prior to premature responses. In contrast, inhibition of OFC subareas (mainly the ventral OFC, i.e., VO) significantly impaired the ability to respond rapidly after external cues. Consistent with these findings, mPFC activity during response preparation predicted trial outcomes and reaction times significantly better than OFC activity. These data support the concept of opposing roles of IL and PL in directing proactive behavior and argue for an involvement of OFC in predominantly reactive movement control. By attributing defined roles to rodent PFC sections, this study contributes to a deeper understanding of the functional heterogeneity of this brain area and thus may guide medically relevant studies of PFC-associated impulse control disorders in this animal model for neural disorders [10-12]. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Differential expression of cytoskeletal regulatory factors in the adolescent prefrontal cortex: Implications for cortical development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapiro, Lauren P; Parsons, Ryan G; Koleske, Anthony J; Gourley, Shannon L

    2017-05-01

    The prevalence of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and drug and alcohol use disorders peaks during adolescence. Further, up to 50% of "adult" mental health disorders emerge in adolescence. During adolescence, the prefrontal cortex (PFC) undergoes dramatic structural reorganization, in which dendritic spines and synapses are refined, pruned, and stabilized. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie these processes should help to identify factors that influence the development of psychiatric illness. Here we briefly discuss the anatomical connections of the medial and orbital prefrontal cortex (mPFC and OFC, respectively). We then present original findings suggesting that dendritic spines on deep-layer excitatory neurons in the mouse mPFC and OFC prune at different adolescent ages, with later pruning in the OFC. In parallel, we used Western blotting to define levels of several cytoskeletal regulatory proteins during early, mid-, and late adolescence, focusing on tropomyosin-related kinase receptor B (TrkB) and β1-integrin-containing receptors and select signaling partners. We identified regional differences in the levels of several proteins in early and midadolescence that then converged in early adulthood. We also observed age-related differences in TrkB levels, both full-length and truncated isoforms, Rho-kinase 2, and synaptophysin in both PFC subregions. Finally, we identified changes in protein levels in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus that were distinct from those in the PFC. We conclude with a general review of the manner in which TrkB- and β1-integrin-mediated signaling influences neuronal structure in the postnatal brain. Elucidating the role of cytoskeletal regulatory factors throughout adolescence may identify critical mechanisms of PFC development. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Anxiolytic effects of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors agonist oxotremorine in chronically stressed rats and related changes in BDNF and FGF2 levels in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Liberto, Valentina; Frinchi, Monica; Verdi, Vincenzo; Vitale, Angela; Plescia, Fulvio; Cannizzaro, Carla; Massenti, Maria F; Belluardo, Natale; Mudò, Giuseppa

    2017-02-01

    In depressive disorders, one of the mechanisms proposed for antidepressant drugs is the enhancement of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex. Previously, we showed that the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) agonist oxotremorine (Oxo) increases neuronal plasticity in hippocampal neurons via FGFR1 transactivation. Here, we aimed to explore (a) whether Oxo exerts anxiolytic effect in the rat model of anxiety-depression-like behavior induced by chronic restraint stress (CRS), and (b) if the anxiolytic effect of Oxo is associated with the modulation of neurotrophic factors, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF2), and phosphorylated Erk1/2 (p-Erk1/2) levels in the dorsal or ventral hippocampus and in the medial prefrontal cortex. The rats were randomly divided into four groups: control unstressed, CRS group, CRS group treated with 0.2 mg/kg Oxo, and unstressed group treated with Oxo. After 21 days of CRS, the groups were treated for 10 days with Oxo or saline. The anxiolytic role of Oxo was tested by using the following: forced swimming test, novelty suppressed feeding test, elevated plus maze test, and light/dark box test. The hippocampi and prefrontal cortex were used to evaluate BDNF and FGF2 protein levels and p-Erk1/2 levels. Oxo treatment significantly attenuated anxiety induced by CRS. Moreover, Oxo treatment counteracted the CRS-induced reduction of BDNF and FGF2 levels in the ventral hippocampus and medial prefrontal cerebral cortex CONCLUSIONS: The present study showed that Oxo treatment ameliorates the stress-induced anxiety-like behavior and rescues FGF2 and BDNF levels in two brain regions involved in CRS-induced anxiety, ventral hippocampal formation, and medial prefrontal cortex.

  3. Prefrontal cortex white matter tracts in prodromal Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsui, Joy T; Vaidya, Jatin G; Wassermann, Demian; Kim, Regina Eunyoung; Magnotta, Vincent A; Johnson, Hans J; Paulsen, Jane S

    2015-10-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is most widely known for its selective degeneration of striatal neurons but there is also growing evidence for white matter (WM) deterioration. The primary objective of this research was to conduct a large-scale analysis using multisite diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) tractography data to quantify diffusivity properties along major prefrontal cortex WM tracts in prodromal HD. Fifteen international sites participating in the PREDICT-HD study collected imaging and neuropsychological data on gene-positive HD participants without a clinical diagnosis (i.e., prodromal) and gene-negative control participants. The anatomical prefrontal WM tracts of the corpus callosum (PFCC), anterior thalamic radiations (ATRs), inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi (IFO), and uncinate fasciculi (UNC) were identified using streamline tractography of DWI. Within each of these tracts, tensor scalars for fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity, radial diffusivity, and axial diffusivity coefficients were calculated. We divided prodromal HD subjects into three CAG-age product (CAP) groups having Low, Medium, or High probabilities of onset indexed by genetic exposure. We observed significant differences in WM properties for each of the four anatomical tracts for the High CAP group in comparison to controls. Additionally, the Medium CAP group presented differences in the ATR and IFO in comparison to controls. Furthermore, WM alterations in the PFCC, ATR, and IFO showed robust associations with neuropsychological measures of executive functioning. These results suggest long-range tracts essential for cross-region information transfer show early vulnerability in HD and may explain cognitive problems often present in the prodromal stage. Hum Brain Mapp 36:3717-3732, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Neuronal coding of auditory sensorimotor gating in medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tóth, Attila; Petykó, Zoltán; Gálosi, Rita; Szabó, Imre; Karádi, Kázmér; Feldmann, Ádám; Péczely, László; Kállai, Veronika; Karádi, Zoltán; Lénárd, László

    2017-05-30

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is thought to be an essential brain region for sensorimotor gating. The exact neuronal mechanisms, however, have not been extensively investigated yet by delicate single unit recording methods Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle response is a broadly used important tool to investigate the inhibitory processes of sensorimotor gating. The present study was designed to examine the neuronal mechanisms of sensorimotor gating in the mPFC in freely moving rats. In these experiments, the animals were subjected to both pulse alone and prepulse+pulse stimulations. Head acceleration and the neuronal activity of the mPFC were simultaneously recorded. To adequately measure the startle reflex, a new headstage with 3D-accelerometer was created. The duration of head acceleration was longer in pulse alone trials than in prepulse+pulse trial conditions, and the amplitude of head movements was significantly larger during the pulse alone than during the prepulse+pulse situations. Single unit activities in the mPFC were recorded by means of chronically implanted tetrodes during acoustic stimulation evoked startle response and PPI. High proportion of medial prefrontal cortical neurons responded to these stimulations by characteristic firing patterns: short duration equal and unequal excitatory, medium duration excitatory, and long duration excitatory and inhibitory responses were recorded. The present findings, first time in the literature, demonstrated the startle and PPI elicited neuronal activity changes of the mPFC, and thus, provided evidence for a key role of this limbic forebrain area in sensorimotor gating process. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. Representation of body identity and body actions in extrastriate body area and ventral premotor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urgesi, Cosimo; Candidi, Matteo; Ionta, Silvio; Aglioti, Salvatore M

    2007-01-01

    Although inherently linked, body form and body action may be represented in separate neural substrates. Using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in healthy individuals, we show that interference with the extrastriate body area impairs the discrimination of bodily forms, and interference with the ventral premotor cortex impairs the discrimination of bodily actions. This double dissociation suggests that whereas extrastriate body area mainly processes actors' body identity, premotor cortex is crucial for visual discriminations of actions.

  7. Prefrontal Cortex Activation and Young Driver Behaviour: A fNIRS Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah J Foy

    Full Text Available Road traffic accidents consistently show a significant over-representation for young, novice and particularly male drivers. This research examines the prefrontal cortex activation of young drivers and the changes in activation associated with manipulations of mental workload and inhibitory control. It also considers the explanation that a lack of prefrontal cortex maturation is a contributing factor to the higher accident risk in this young driver population. The prefrontal cortex is associated with a number of factors including mental workload and inhibitory control, both of which are also related to road traffic accidents. This experiment used functional near infrared spectroscopy to measure prefrontal cortex activity during five simulated driving tasks: one following task and four overtaking tasks at varying traffic densities which aimed to dissociate workload and inhibitory control. Age, experience and gender were controlled for throughout the experiment. The results showed that younger drivers had reduced prefrontal cortex activity compared to older drivers. When both mental workload and inhibitory control increased prefrontal cortex activity also increased, however when inhibitory control alone increased there were no changes in activity. Along with an increase in activity during overtaking manoeuvres, these results suggest that prefrontal cortex activation is more indicative of workload in the current task. There were no differences in the number of overtakes completed by younger and older drivers but males overtook significantly more than females. We conclude that prefrontal cortex activity is associated with the mental workload required for overtaking. We additionally suggest that the reduced activation in younger drivers may be related to a lack of prefrontal maturation which could contribute to the increased crash risk seen in this population.

  8. Prefrontal Cortex Activation and Young Driver Behaviour: A fNIRS Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foy, Hannah J; Runham, Patrick; Chapman, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Road traffic accidents consistently show a significant over-representation for young, novice and particularly male drivers. This research examines the prefrontal cortex activation of young drivers and the changes in activation associated with manipulations of mental workload and inhibitory control. It also considers the explanation that a lack of prefrontal cortex maturation is a contributing factor to the higher accident risk in this young driver population. The prefrontal cortex is associated with a number of factors including mental workload and inhibitory control, both of which are also related to road traffic accidents. This experiment used functional near infrared spectroscopy to measure prefrontal cortex activity during five simulated driving tasks: one following task and four overtaking tasks at varying traffic densities which aimed to dissociate workload and inhibitory control. Age, experience and gender were controlled for throughout the experiment. The results showed that younger drivers had reduced prefrontal cortex activity compared to older drivers. When both mental workload and inhibitory control increased prefrontal cortex activity also increased, however when inhibitory control alone increased there were no changes in activity. Along with an increase in activity during overtaking manoeuvres, these results suggest that prefrontal cortex activation is more indicative of workload in the current task. There were no differences in the number of overtakes completed by younger and older drivers but males overtook significantly more than females. We conclude that prefrontal cortex activity is associated with the mental workload required for overtaking. We additionally suggest that the reduced activation in younger drivers may be related to a lack of prefrontal maturation which could contribute to the increased crash risk seen in this population.

  9. Perception and Action Selection Dissociate Human Ventral and Dorsal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikkai, Akiko; Jerde, Trenton A.; Curtis, Clayton E.

    2011-01-01

    We test theories about the functional organization of the human cortex by correlating brain activity with demands on perception versus action selection. Subjects covertly searched for a target among an array of 4, 8, or 12 items (perceptual manipulation) and then, depending on the color of the array, made a saccade toward, away from, or at a right…

  10. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poorthuis, R.B.; Bloem, B.; 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

  12. Impact of anxiety on prefrontal cortex encoding of cognitive flexibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Junchol; Moghaddam, Bita

    2017-03-14

    Anxiety often is studied as a stand-alone construct in laboratory models. But in the context of coping with real-life anxiety, its negative impacts extend beyond aversive feelings and involve disruptions in ongoing goal-directed behaviors and cognitive functioning. Critical examples of cognitive constructs affected by anxiety are cognitive flexibility and decision making. In particular, anxiety impedes the ability to shift flexibly between strategies in response to changes in task demands, as well as the ability to maintain a strategy in the presence of distractors. The brain region most critically involved in behavioral flexibility is the prefrontal cortex (PFC), but little is known about how anxiety impacts PFC encoding of internal and external events that are critical for flexible behavior. Here we review animal and human neurophysiological and neuroimaging studies implicating PFC neural processing in anxiety-induced deficits in cognitive flexibility. We then suggest experimental and analytical approaches for future studies to gain a better mechanistic understanding of impaired cognitive inflexibility in anxiety and related disorders. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Proinflammatory cytokines in the prefrontal cortex of teenage suicide victims.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Ghanshyam N; Rizavi, Hooriyah S; Ren, Xinguo; Fareed, Jawed; Hoppensteadt, Debra A; Roberts, Rosalinda C; Conley, Robert R; Dwivedi, Yogesh

    2012-01-01

    Teenage suicide is a major public health concern, but its neurobiology is not well understood. Proinflammatory cytokines play an important role in stress and in the pathophysiology of depression-two major risk factors for suicide. Cytokines are increased in the serum of patients with depression and suicidal behavior; however, it is not clear if similar abnormality in cytokines occurs in brains of suicide victims. We therefore measured the gene and protein expression levels of proinflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tissue necrosis factor (TNF)-α in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of 24 teenage suicide victims and 24 matched normal control subjects. Our results show that the mRNA and protein expression levels of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α were significantly increased in Brodmann area 10 (BA-10) of suicide victims compared with normal control subjects. These results suggest an important role for IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α in the pathophysiology of suicidal behavior and that proinflammatory cytokines may be an appropriate target for developing therapeutic agents. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 5-Lipoxygenase in the Prefrontal Cortex of Suicide Victims

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uz, Tolga; Dwivedi, Yogesh; Pandey, Ghanshyam N.; Roberts, Rosalinda C.; Conley, Robert R.; Manev, Radmila; Manev, Hari

    2009-01-01

    5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX), an enzyme involved in leukotriene synthesis, is expressed in the brain and has been associated with Alzheimer's disease and depression. Recently, it has been suspected that leukotriene receptor antagonists might be associated with suicide. In this work, we investigated the 5-LOX protein in the brain samples from depressed suicide victims and matching controls. We used Western immunoblotting with an antibody against Ser523-phosphorylated 5-LOX (p5-LOX) to evaluate protein kinase A-mediated 5-LOX phosphorylation, and in addition, an antibody against the total 5-LOX protein. In the total homogenate of the prefrontal cortex samples, 5-LOX content did not differ in the control and suicide groups but p5-LOX was significantly elevated in the suicide samples. The 5-LOX protein content was reduced in the membrane fraction and increased in the cytosol fraction of suicide victims. We propose that further studies of brain 5-LOX are needed to elucidate the functional implications of the protein alterations observed in our present study, and to further explore a putative role of 5-LOX in depression and suicide. PMID:19890443

  16. Basic mathematical rules are encoded by primate prefrontal cortex neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bongard, Sylvia; Nieder, Andreas

    2010-02-02

    Mathematics is based on highly abstract principles, or rules, of how to structure, process, and evaluate numerical information. If and how mathematical rules can be represented by single neurons, however, has remained elusive. We therefore recorded the activity of individual prefrontal cortex (PFC) neurons in rhesus monkeys required to switch flexibly between "greater than" and "less than" rules. The monkeys performed this task with different numerical quantities and generalized to set sizes that had not been presented previously, indicating that they had learned an abstract mathematical principle. The most prevalent activity recorded from randomly selected PFC neurons reflected the mathematical rules; purely sensory- and memory-related activity was almost absent. These data show that single PFC neurons have the capacity to represent flexible operations on most abstract numerical quantities. Our findings support PFC network models implementing specific "rule-coding" units that control the flow of information between segregated input, memory, and output layers. We speculate that these neuronal circuits in the monkey lateral PFC could readily have been adopted in the course of primate evolution for syntactic processing of numbers in formalized mathematical systems.

  17. Gelastic seizures with dancing arising from the anterior prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neilson, John; Snyder, Tom; Pugh, Jeff; Wheatley, Matt; Tang-Wai, Richard

    2014-06-01

    This case report provides insight into the function of the anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC), specifically Brodmann Area 10 (BA10), and its interconnectivity. We present a 10-year-old patient with lesional epilepsy and ictal onset, localised to BA10 in the aPFC. Thirty-four seizures were recorded. All seizures involved a demonstration of elation with laughter that was associated with a variety of different patterns of complex motor behaviour that included performing specific celebratory movements and acting out a Michael Jackson dance move. Electrographically, the seizures were all stereotyped and arose from the right frontal region, followed by a distinct left temporal ictal rhythm that corresponded with the onset of the behaviours. The lesion in the right aPFC was identified as a mixed lesion with both dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumour cells and type II cortical dysplasia. The electrographic analysis and unique seizure semiology suggest a connection between the aPFC and the contralateral temporal lobe. This neural pathway appears to be involved in the activation of previously formed procedural memories, creating an intensely positive emotional experience.

  18. 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...... prefrontal cortex. Structural equation modelling (SEM) of fMRI data was used to test the hypothesis that although the same regions of prefrontal cortex may be active in tasks within different domains, there is task-dependent effective connectivity between prefrontal cortex and non-prefrontal cortex. The SEM...

  19. Comparison of strategy signals in the dorsolateral and orbital prefrontal cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Tsujimoto, Satoshi; Genovesio, Aldo; Wise, Steven P.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract behavior-guiding rules and strategies allow monkeys to avoid errors in rarely encountered situations. In the present study, we contrasted strategy-related neuronal activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFdl) and the orbital prefrontal cortex (PFo) of rhesus monkeys. On each trial of their behavioral task, the monkeys responded to a foveal visual cue by making a saccade to one of two spatial targets. One response required a leftward saccade; the other required a saccade of e...

  20. Effects of Physical Exercise on Working Memory and Prefrontal Cortex Function in Post-Stroke Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moriya, M; Aoki, C; Sakatani, K

    2016-01-01

    Physical exercise enhances prefrontal cortex activity and improves working memory performance in healthy older adults, but it is not clear whether this remains the case in post-stroke patients. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the acute effect of physical exercise on prefrontal cortex activity in post-stroke patients using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). We studied 11 post-stroke patients. The patients performed Sternberg-type working memory tasks before and after moderate intensity aerobic exercise (40 % of maximal oxygen uptake) with a cycling ergometer for 15 min. We measured the NIRS response at the prefrontal cortex during the working memory task. We evaluated behavioral performance (response time and accuracy) of the working memory task. It was found that physical exercise improved behavioral performance of the working memory task compared with the control condition (p prefrontal cortex activation, particularly in the right prefrontal cortex (p prefrontal cortex activity and improves working memory performance in post-stroke patients.

  1. Prelimbic prefrontal cortex mediates respiratory responses to mild and potent prolonged, but not brief, stressors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bondarenko, E; Hodgson, D M; Nalivaiko, E

    2014-12-01

    The prefrontal cortex is one of the key areas of the central mechanism of cardiovascular and respiratory control. Disinhibition of the prelimbic medial prefrontal cortex elicits tachypnoeic responses in anesthetized rats (Hassan et al., J. Physiol. 591: 6069-6088, 2013). The current study examines the effects of inhibition of the prelimbic prefrontal cortex during presentation of stressors of various lengths and intensities in conscious unrestrained rats. 8 Wistar rats were implanted with bilateral guide cannulas targeting the prelimbic prefrontal cortex and received microinjections of either saline of GABAA agonist muscimol prior to recording sessions. Inhibition of the prelimbic prefrontal cortex significantly attenuated respiratory responses to a novel environment stress, 30s light stimulus and restraint stress. It did not affect respiratory responses to 500 ms acoustic stimuli of varying intensities (40-90 dB). We conclude that the prelimbic prefrontal cortex contributes to generation of tachypnoeic responses to prolonged stressors, but does not contribute to respiratory arousal in response to brief stressors. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Increased perceived stress is related to decreased prefrontal cortex volumes among older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Georgina L; Bruss, Joel; Denburg, Natalie L

    2017-05-01

    Several of the brain regions vulnerable to increased levels of stress (i.e., hippocampus and prefrontal cortex) are also known to undergo disproportionate decline during normal aging. To date, surprisingly little research has examined the effects of stress on the brain among healthy human populations, much less in the elderly. The aim of the current study was to investigate the relationship between chronic stress and brain morphometry in regions known for their involvement in the stress response, namely the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala, in a sample of healthy older adults. The Perceived Stress Scale and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were collected in 28 older adult individuals aged 65 to 90 years. Gray and white matter volumes in various regions of interest in the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobes were calculated using semiautomated segmentation tools. Perceived stress was negatively correlated with overall prefrontal cortex (PFC) volume, specifically in overall white matter volume of the PFC. Additionally, perceived stress was negatively correlated with gray and white matter volumes in lateral regions of the PFC, specifically, in the ventrolateral and dorsolateral PFC. Perceived stress was not significantly related to medial temporal lobe volumes. These findings suggest that among healthy older adults, there is a salient relationship between prefrontal cortex volumes and levels of perceived stress. This research fills a critical gap in the current literature and provides initial groundwork for future studies investigating the relationship between perceived stress and the prefrontal cortex in the context of healthy aging.

  3. Synaptic plasticity-related neural oscillations on hippocampus-prefrontal cortex pathway in depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, C; Zhang, T

    2015-04-30

    It is believed that phase synchronization facilitates neural communication and neural plasticity throughout the hippocampal-cortical network, and further supports cognition and memory. The pathway from the ventral hippocampus to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is thought to play a significant role in emotional memory processing. Therefore, the information transmission on the pathway was hypothesized to be disrupted in the depressive state, which could be related to its impaired synaptic plasticity. In this study, local field potentials (LFPs) from both ventral CA1 (vCA1) and mPFC were recorded in both normal and chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) model rats under urethane anesthesia. LFPs of all rats were recorded before and after the long-term potentiation (LTP) induced on the vCA1-mPFC pathway in order to figure out the correlation of oscillatory synchronization of LFPs and synaptic plasticity. Our results showed the vCA1-to-mPFC unidirectional phase coupling of the theta rhythm, rather than the power of either region, was significantly enhanced by LTP induction, with less enhancement in the CUS model rats compared to that in the normal rats. In addition, theta phase coupling was positively correlated with synaptic plasticity on vCA1-mPFC pathway. Moreover, the theta-slow gamma phase-amplitude coupling in vCA1 was long-term enhanced after high frequency stimulation. These results suggest that the impaired synaptic plasticity in vCA1-mPFC pathway could be reflected by the attenuated theta phase coupling and theta-gamma cross frequency coupling of LFPs in the depression state. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Increased Firing Irregularity as an Emergent Property of Neural-State Transition in Monkey Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakamoto, Kazuhiro; Katori, Yuichi; Saito, Naohiro; Yoshida, Shun; Aihara, Kazuyuki; Mushiake, Hajime

    2013-01-01

    Flexible behaviors are organized by complex neural networks in the prefrontal cortex. Recent studies have suggested that such networks exhibit multiple dynamical states, and can switch rapidly from one state to another. In many complex systems such as the brain, the early-warning signals that may predict whether a critical threshold for state transitions is approaching are extremely difficult to detect. We hypothesized that increases in firing irregularity are a crucial measure for predicting state transitions in the underlying neuronal circuits of the prefrontal cortex. We used both experimental and theoretical approaches to test this hypothesis. Experimentally, we analyzed activities of neurons in the prefrontal cortex while monkeys performed a maze task that required them to perform actions to reach a goal. We observed increased firing irregularity before the activity changed to encode goal-to-action information. Theoretically, we constructed theoretical generic neural networks and demonstrated that changes in neuronal gain on functional connectivity resulted in a loss of stability and an altered state of the networks, accompanied by increased firing irregularity. These results suggest that assessing the temporal pattern of neuronal fluctuations provides important clues regarding the state stability of the prefrontal network. We also introduce a novel scheme that the prefrontal cortex functions in a metastable state near the critical point of bifurcation. According to this scheme, firing irregularity in the prefrontal cortex indicates that the system is about to change its state and the flow of information in a flexible manner, which is essential for executive functions. This metastable and/or critical dynamical state of the prefrontal cortex may account for distractibility and loss of flexibility in the prefrontal cortex in major mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. PMID:24349020

  5. Impairment in Delayed Non-Matching to Sample Following Lesions of Dorsal Prefrontal Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Moore, Tara L.; Schettler, Stephen P.; Killiany, Ronald J.; Rosene, Douglas L.; Moss, Mark B.

    2012-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex has been identified as essential for executive function, as well as for aspects of rule learning and recognition memory. As part of our studies to assess prefrontal cortical function in the monkey, we evaluated the effects of damage to the dorsal prefrontal cortex (DPFC) on the Category Set Shifting Task (CSST), a test of abstraction and set-shifting, and on the Delayed Non Matching-to-Sample (DNMS) task, a benchmark test of rule learning and recognition memory. The DPFC...

  6. 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.

  7. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage alters resting blood flow to the bed nucleus of stria terminalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motzkin, Julian C; Philippi, Carissa L; Oler, Jonathan A; Kalin, Ned H; Baskaya, Mustafa K; Koenigs, Michael

    2015-03-01

    The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) plays a key role in modulating emotional responses, yet the precise neural mechanisms underlying this function remain unclear. vmPFC interacts with a number of subcortical structures involved in affective processing, including the amygdala, hypothalamus, periaqueductal gray, ventral striatum, and bed nucleus of stria terminalis (BNST). While a previous study of non-human primates shows that vmPFC lesions reduce BNST activity and anxious behavior, no such causal evidence exists in humans. In this study, we used a novel application of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in neurosurgical patients with focal, bilateral vmPFC damage to determine whether vmPFC is indeed critical for modulating BNST function in humans. Relative to neurologically healthy subjects, who exhibited robust rest-state functional connectivity between vmPFC and BNST, the vmPFC lesion patients had significantly lower resting-state perfusion of the right BNST. No such perfusion differences were observed for the amygdala, striatum, hypothalamus, or periaqueductal gray. This study thus provides unique data on the relationship between vmPFC and BNST, suggesting that vmPFC serves to promote BNST activity in humans. This finding is relevant for neural circuitry models of mood and anxiety disorders. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. Structured Connectivity Shapes Microcircuit Function in the Prefrontal Cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanos Stefanou - Stamatiadis

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The application of new experimental techniques in vivo has shed light on the wiring diagram of cortical networks, revealing the highly non-random connectivity of pyramidal neurons. This structured connectivity is characterized by distance-dependent formation of neuronal clusters and over-represented structural ‘motifs’ (Perin 2011, Ko 2013. In the prefrontal cortex (PFC in particular, pyramidal neurons were shown to form hyper-clusters, compared to other sensory regions. Yet, very little is known about the functional properties of these microcircuits and their role in Persistent Activity (PA, a well known function of the PFC. PA is the spiking activity that persists beyond the stimulus presentation and is considered to be the cellular correlate of working memory. Although, PA was traditionally assumed to emerge in large scale networks, recent in vivo data in the PFC suggest that small microcircuits mediate its functional output (Durstwitz, 2010. Motivated by the above findings this work probes the role of realistic connectivity constraints in shaping the functional output of PFC, through simulations of biophysically and morphologically detailed PFC circuits. Towards this goal, we used a compartmental modeling approach, whereby layer 5 PFC pyramidal neurons are modeled with detailed morphological and biophysical properties. Three different types of interneurons were also implemented; the Fast-spiking (FS, Regular-spiking (RS, and Irregular-spiking (IS. These were biophysically detailed, yet morphologically simplified. Microcircuits consisted of 75 pyramidal neurons, 13 FS, 6 RS and 6 IS. Properties (location /number /amplitude /kinetics of both excitatory and inhibitory synapses were extensively validated against experimental data. The network model was used to investigate the effect of connectivity on the emergence of persistent activity. Two different connectivity profiles of pyramidal cells were implemented: one highly non

  10. Disconnection Between Amygdala and Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Psychotic Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, Prerona; Sabharwal, Amri; Kotov, Roman; Szekely, Akos; Parsey, Ramin; Barch, Deanna M; Mohanty, Aprajita

    2016-07-01

    Distracting emotional information impairs attention more in schizophrenia (SCZ) than in never-psychotic individuals. However, it is unclear whether this impairment and its neural circuitry is indicative generally of psychosis, or specifically of SCZ, and whether it is even more specific to certain SCZ symptoms (eg, deficit syndrome). It is also unclear if this abnormality contributes to impaired behavioral performance and real-world functioning. Functional imaging data were recorded while individuals with SCZ, bipolar disorder with psychosis (BDP) and no history of psychotic disorders (CON) attended to identity of faces while ignoring their emotional expressions. We examined group differences in functional connectivity between amygdala, involved in emotional evaluation, and sub-regions of medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), involved in emotion regulation and cognitive control. Additionally, we examined correlation of this connectivity with deficit syndrome and real-world functioning. Behaviorally, SCZ showed the worst accuracy when matching the identity of emotional vs neutral faces. Neurally, SCZ showed lower amygdala-MPFC connectivity than BDP and CON. BPD did not differ from CON, neurally or behaviorally. In patients, reduced amygdala-MPFC connectivity during emotional distractors was related to worse emotional vs neutral accuracy, greater deficit syndrome severity, and unemployment. Thus, reduced amygdala-MPFC functional connectivity during emotional distractors reflects a deficit that is specific to SCZ. This reduction in connectivity is associated with worse clinical and real-world functioning. Overall, these findings provide support for the specificity and clinical utility of amygdala-MPFC functional connectivity as a potential neural marker of SCZ. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guhn, Anne; Dresler, Thomas; Andreatta, Marta; Müller, Laura D; Hahn, Tim; Tupak, Sara V; Polak, Thomas; Deckert, Jürgen; Herrmann, Martin J

    2014-01-01

    The extinction of conditioned fear depends on an efficient interplay between the amygdala and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). In rats, high-frequency electrical mPFC stimulation has been shown to improve extinction by means of 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 2-day fear conditioning and extinction paradigm. Repetitive TMS 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 (CR) 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 and can thus be a basis for future studies investigating a complementation of mPFC stimulation to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Levodopa reinstates connectivity from prefrontal to premotor cortex during externally paced movement in Parkinson's disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herz, Damian M; Siebner, Hartwig R; Hulme, Oliver J

    2014-01-01

    to examine oscillatory coupling between prefrontal and premotor areas during respectively low and high levels of dopamine. In 10 patients and 12 control participants multiple source beamformer analysis yielded task-related activation of a contralateral cortical network comprising prefrontal cortex (PFC......), lateral premotor cortex (lPM), supplementary motor area (SMA) and primary motor cortex (M1). Dynamic causal modelling was used to characterize task-related oscillatory coupling between prefrontal and premotor cortical areas. Healthy participants showed task-induced coupling from PFC to SMA, which......Dopamine deficiency affects functional integration of activity in distributed neural regions. It has been suggested that lack of dopamine induces disruption of neural interactions between prefrontal and premotor areas, which might underlie impairment of motor control observed in patients...

  15. Training improves multitasking performance by increasing the speed of information processing in human prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dux, Paul E; Tombu, Michael N; Harrison, Stephenie; Rogers, Baxter P; Tong, Frank; Marois, René

    2009-07-16

    Our ability to multitask is severely limited: task performance deteriorates when we attempt to undertake two or more tasks simultaneously. Remarkably, extensive training can greatly reduce such multitasking costs. While it is not known how training alters the brain to solve the multitasking problem, it likely involves the prefrontal cortex given this brain region's purported role in limiting multitasking performance. Here, we show that the reduction of multitasking interference with training is not achieved by diverting the flow of information processing away from the prefrontal cortex or by segregating prefrontal cells into independent task-specific neuronal ensembles, but rather by increasing the speed of information processing in this brain region, thereby allowing multiple tasks to be processed in rapid succession. These results not only reveal how training leads to efficient multitasking, they also provide a mechanistic account of multitasking limitations, namely the poor speed of information processing in human prefrontal cortex.

  16. Lesions of either anterior orbitofrontal cortex or ventrolateral prefrontal cortex in marmoset monkeys heighten innate fear and attenuate active coping behaviors to predator threat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshiro eShiba

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The ventral prefrontal cortex is an integral part of the neural circuitry that is dysregulated in mood and anxiety disorders. However, the contribution of its distinct sub-regions to the regulation of negative emotion are poorly understood. Recently we implicated both the ventrolateral PFC (vlPFC and anterior orbitofrontal cortex (antOFC in the regulation of conditioned fear and anxiety responses to a social stimulus, i.e. human intruder, in the marmoset monkey. In the present study we extend our investigations to determine the role of these two regions in regulating innate responses and coping strategies to a predator stimulus, i.e. a model snake. Both the vlPFC and antOFC lesioned groups exhibited enhanced anxiety-related responses to the snake in comparison to controls. Both groups also showed a reduction in active coping behavior. These results indicate that the vlPFC and antOFC contribute independently to the regulation of both innate fear and, as previously reported, conditioned fear, and highlight the importance of these regions in producing stimulus-appropriate coping responses. The finding that dysregulation in two distinct prefrontal regions produces the apparently similar behavioral phenotype of heightened negative emotion provides insight into the varied aetiology that may underlie this symptom across a wide variety of neuropsychiatric conditions with implications for personalized treatment strategies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funahashi, Shintaro

    2015-01-01

    Working memory (WM) 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 WM 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 WM 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Anhedonia and general distress show dissociable ventromedial prefrontal cortex connectivity in major depressive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, C B; Chen, T; Nusslock, R; Keller, J; Schatzberg, A F; Menon, V

    2016-05-17

    Anhedonia, the reduced ability to experience pleasure in response to otherwise rewarding stimuli, is a core symptom of major depressive disorder (MDD). Although the posterior ventromedial prefrontal cortex (pVMPFC) and its functional connections have been consistently implicated in MDD, their roles in anhedonia remain poorly understood. Furthermore, it is unknown whether anhedonia is primarily associated with intrinsic 'resting-state' pVMPFC functional connectivity or an inability to modulate connectivity in a context-specific manner. To address these gaps, a pVMPFC region of interest was first identified using activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis. pVMPFC connectivity was then examined in relation to anhedonia and general distress symptoms of depression, using both resting-state and task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging involving pleasant music, in current MDD and healthy control groups. In MDD, pVMPFC connectivity was negatively correlated with anhedonia but not general distress during music listening in key reward- and emotion-processing regions, including nucleus accumbens, ventral tegmental area/substantia nigra, orbitofrontal cortex and insula, as well as fronto-temporal regions involved in tracking complex sound sequences, including middle temporal gyrus and inferior frontal gyrus. No such dissociations were observed in the healthy controls, and resting-state pVMPFC connectivity did not dissociate anhedonia from general distress in either group. Our findings demonstrate that anhedonia in MDD is associated with context-specific deficits in pVMPFC connectivity with the mesolimbic reward system when encountering pleasurable stimuli, rather than a static deficit in intrinsic resting-state connectivity. Critically, identification of functional circuits associated with anhedonia better characterizes MDD heterogeneity and may help track of one of its core symptoms.

  20. Representation of remembered stimuli and task information in the monkey dorsolateral prefrontal and posterior parietal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Xue-Lian; Elworthy, Anthony C; Lambert, Bryce C; Constantinidis, Christos

    2015-01-01

    Both dorsolateral prefrontal and posterior parietal cortex have been implicated in spatial working memory and representation of task information. Prior experiments training animals to recall the first of a sequence of stimuli and examining the effect of subsequent distractors have identified increased ability of the prefrontal cortex to represent remembered stimuli and filter distractors. It is unclear, however, if this prefrontal functional specialization extends to stimuli appearing earlier in a sequence, when subjects are cued to remember subsequent ones. It is also not known how task information interacts with persistent activity representing remembered stimuli and distractors in the two areas. To address these questions, we trained monkeys to remember either the first or second of two stimuli presented in sequence and recorded neuronal activity from the posterior parietal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex was better able to represent the actively remembered stimulus, whereas the posterior parietal cortex was more modulated by distractors; however, task effects interfered with this representation. As a result, large proportions of neurons with persistent activity and task effects exhibited a preference for a stimulus when it appeared as a distractor in both areas. Additionally, prefrontal neurons were modulated to a greater extent by task factors during the delay period of the task. The results indicate that the prefrontal cortex is better able than the posterior parietal cortex to differentiate between distractors and actively remembered stimuli and is more modulated by the task; however, this relative preference is highly context dependent and depends on the specific requirements of the task. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  1. Milnacipran remediates impulsive deficits in rats with lesions of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsutsui-Kimura, Iku; Yoshida, Takayuki; Ohmura, Yu; Izumi, Takeshi; Yoshioka, Mitsuhiro

    2014-12-08

    Deficits in impulse control are often observed in psychiatric disorders in which abnormalities of the prefrontal cortex are observed, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder. We recently found that milnacipran, a serotonin/noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, could suppress impulsive action in normal rats. However, whether milnacipran could suppress elevated impulsive action in rats with lesions of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which is functionally comparable with the human prefrontal cortex, remains unknown. Selective lesions of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex were made using quinolinic acid in rats previously trained on a 3-choice serial reaction time task. Sham rats received phosphate buffered saline. Following a period of recovery, milnacipran (0 or 10mg/kg/d × 14 days) was orally administered 60 minutes prior to testing on the 3-choice task. After 7 days of drug cessation, Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, electrophysiological analysis, and morphological analysis were conducted. Lesions of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex induced impulsive deficits, and repeated milnacipran ameliorated the impulsive deficit both during the dosing period and after the cessation of the drug. Repeated milnacipran remediated the protein levels of mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor and postsynaptic density-95, dendritic spine density, and excitatory currents in the few surviving neurons in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex of ventromedial prefrontal cortex-lesioned rats. The findings of this study suggest that milnacipran treatment could be a novel strategy for the treatment of psychiatric disorders that are associated with a lack of impulse control. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

  2. CB1 cannabinoid receptor stimulation during adolescence impairs the maturation of GABA function in the adult rat prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cass, D K; Flores-Barrera, E; Thomases, D R; Vital, W F; Caballero, A; Tseng, K Y

    2014-05-01

    Converging epidemiological studies indicate that cannabis abuse during adolescence increases the risk of developing psychosis and prefrontal cortex (PFC)-dependent cognitive impairments later in life. However, the mechanisms underlying the adolescent susceptibility to chronic cannabis exposure are poorly understood. Given that the psychoactive constituent of cannabis binds to the CB1 cannabinoid receptor, the present study was designed to determine the impact of a CB1 receptor agonist (WIN) during specific windows of adolescence on the functional maturation of the rat PFC. By means of local field potential recordings and ventral hippocampal stimulation in vivo, we found that a history of WIN exposure during early (postnatal days - P35-40) or mid-(P40-45) adolescence, but not in late adolescence (P50-55) or adulthood (P75-80), is sufficient to yield a state of frequency-dependent prefrontal disinhibition in adulthood comparable to that seen in the juvenile PFC. Remarkably, this prefrontal disinhibition could be normalized following a single acute local infusion of the GABA-Aα1 positive allosteric modulator Indiplon, suggesting that adolescent exposure to WIN causes a functional downregulation of GABAergic transmission in the PFC. Accordingly, in vitro recordings from adult rats exposed to WIN during adolescence demonstrate that local prefrontal GABAergic transmission onto layer V pyramidal neurons is markedly reduced to the level seen in the P30-35 PFC. Together, these results indicate that early and mid-adolescence constitute a critical period during which repeated CB1 receptor stimulation is sufficient to elicit an enduring state of PFC network disinhibition resulting from a developmental impairment of local prefrontal GABAergic transmission.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:22085449

  6. Exceptional Evolutionary Expansion of Prefrontal Cortex in Great Apes and Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smaers, Jeroen B; Gómez-Robles, Aida; Parks, Ashley N; Sherwood, Chet C

    2017-03-06

    One of the enduring questions that has driven neuroscientific enquiry in the last century has been the nature of differences in the prefrontal cortex of humans versus other animals [1]. The prefrontal cortex has drawn particular interest due to its role in a range of evolutionarily specialized cognitive capacities such as language [2], imagination [3], and complex decision making [4]. Both cytoarchitectonic [5] and comparative neuroimaging [6] studies have converged on the conclusion that the proportion of prefrontal cortex in the human brain is greatly increased relative to that of other primates. However, considering the tremendous overall expansion of the neocortex in human evolution, it has proven difficult to ascertain whether this extent of prefrontal enlargement follows general allometric growth patterns, or whether it is exceptional [1]. Species' adherence to a common allometric relationship suggests conservation through phenotypic integration, while species' deviations point toward the occurrence of shifts in genetic and/or developmental mechanisms. Here we investigate prefrontal cortex scaling across anthropoid primates and find that great ape and human prefrontal cortex expansion are non-allometrically derived features of cortical organization. This result aligns with evidence for a developmental heterochronic shift in human prefrontal growth [7, 8], suggesting an association between neurodevelopmental changes and cortical organization on a macroevolutionary scale. The evolutionary origin of non-allometric prefrontal enlargement is estimated to lie at the root of great apes (∼19-15 mya), indicating that selection for changes in executive cognitive functions characterized both great ape and human cortical organization. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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

    2018-02-15

    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. Antidepressant administration modulates stress-induced DNA methylation and DNA methyltransferase expression in rat prefrontal cortex and hippocampus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sales, Amanda J; Joca, Sâmia R L

    2018-01-01

    , we investigated the effects induced by acute and repeated antidepressant treatment on DNA methylation and DNMT expression (1, 3a and 3b isoforms) in different brain regions of rats exposed to a stress model of depression, the learned helplessness (LH). Therefore, rats were exposed to pretest......Stress and antidepressant treatment can modulate DNA methylation in promoter region of genes related to neuroplasticity and mood regulation, thus implicating this epigenetic mechanism in depression neurobiology and treatment. Accordingly, systemic administration of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT...... methylation and DNMT (1, 3a and 3b) levels were measured in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus (dHPC, vHPC) and in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of rats exposed to stress and treatment. Stress increased DNA methylation, DNMT3a and DNMT3b expression in the dHPC and PFC. Chronic, but not acute, imipramine...

  9. 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.

  10. [Reward information encoded by power of local field potentials in the primate prefrontal cortex and striatum].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yu-Ying; Pan, Xiao-Chuan; Wang, Ru-Bin; Sakagami, Masamichi

    2017-08-25

    Prefrontal cortex and striatum are two major areas in the brain. Some research reports suggest that both areas are involved in many advanced cognitive processes, such as learning and memory, reward processing, and behavioral decision. Single-unit recording experiments have found that neurons in the prefrontal cortex and striatum can represent reward information, but it remains elusive whether and how local field potentials (LFPs) in the two areas encode reward information. To investigate these issues, we recorded LFPs simultaneously in the prefrontal cortex and striatum of two monkeys by performing a reward prediction task (a large amount reward vs a small amount reward). Recorded LFP signals were transformed from the time domain to the time and frequency domain using the method of short-time Fourier transform (STFT). We calculated the power in each frequency and time, and examined whether they were different in the two reward conditions. The results showed that power of LFPs in both the prefrontal cortex and striatum distinguished one reward condition from the other one. And the power in small reward trials was greater than that in large reward trials. Furthermore, it was found that the LFPs better encoded reward information in the beta band (14-30 Hz) rather than other frequency bands. Our results suggest that the LFPs in the prefrontal cortex and striatum effectively represent reward information, which would help to further understand functional roles of LFPs in reward processing.

  11. The Role of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Hippocampus in Trace Fear Conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raybuck, J. D.; Gould, T. J.

    2010-01-01

    Acute nicotine enhances multiple types of learning including trace fear conditioning but the underlying neural substrates of these effects are not well understood. Trace fear conditioning critically involves the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, which both express nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Therefore, nicotine could act in either or both areas to enhance trace fear conditioning. To identify the underlying neural areas and nAChR subtypes, we examined the effects of infusion of nicotine, or nicotinic antagonists dihydro-beta-erythroidine (DHβE: high-affinity nAChRs) or methyllycaconitine (MLA: low-affinity nAChRs) into the dorsal hippocampus, ventral hippocampus, and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) on trace and contextual fear conditioning. We found that the effects of nicotine on trace and contextual fear conditioning vary by brain region and nAChR subtype. The dorsal hippocampus was involved in the effects of nicotine on both trace and contextual fear conditioning but each task was sensitive to different doses of nicotine. Additionally, dorsal hippocampal infusion of the antagonist DHβE produced deficits in trace but not contextual fear conditioning. Nicotine infusion into the ventral hippocampus produced deficits in both trace and contextual fear conditioning. In the mPFC, nicotine enhanced trace but not contextual fear conditioning. Interestingly, infusion of the antagonists MLA or DHβE in the mPFC also enhanced trace fear conditioning. These findings suggest that nicotine acts on different substrates to enhance trace versus contextual fear conditioning, and that nicotine-induced desensitization of nAChRs in the mPFC may contribute to the effects of nicotine on trace fear conditioning. PMID:20727979

  12. Damage to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex affects tradeoffs between honesty and self-interest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Lusha; Jenkins, Adrianna C; Set, Eric; Scabini, Donatella; Knight, Robert T; Chiu, Pearl H; King-Casas, Brooks; Hsu, Ming

    2014-10-01

    Substantial correlational evidence suggests that prefrontal regions are critical to honest and dishonest behavior, but causal evidence specifying the nature of this involvement remains absent. We found that lesions of the human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) decreased the effect of honesty concerns on behavior in economic games that pit honesty motives against self-interest, but did not affect decisions when honesty concerns were absent. These results point to a causal role for DLPFC in honest behavior.

  13. 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...... and the change of blood flow associated with the DBS. In subjects with a low emotional impact, activity measured as blood flow rose when the electrode was turned on, while in subjects of high impact, the activity at this site in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex declined when the electrode was turned on. We...... conclude that changes of neurotransmission in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex had an effect on the tissue that depends on changes of monoamine concentration interacting with specific combinations of inhibitory and excitatory monoamine receptors....

  14. 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...... significantly lowered blood flow (rCBF) in left IMPC, left and right insula, and right amygdala, and significantly raised blood flow in motor cortex and right precuneus. Restricted searches of rCBF changes by emotion, at coordinates of significant effect in previous studies of the medial prefrontal and temporal...... inputs from multiple brain regions, as predicted by the theory of a default mode of brain function. The absent emotional interference with the deactivation of the default state suggests that the inferior prefrontal cortex continued to serve the attention rather than submit to the distraction....

  15. Magnetic Field Homogenization of the Human Prefrontal Cortex with a Set of Localized Electrical Coils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juchem, Christoph; Nixon, Terence W.; McIntyre, Scott; Rothman, Douglas L.; de Graaf, Robin A.

    2011-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex is a common target brain structure in psychiatry and neuroscience due to its role in working memory and cognitive control. Large differences in magnetic susceptibility between the air-filled sinuses and the tissue/bone in the frontal part of the human head cause a strong and highly localized magnetic field focus in the prefrontal cortex. As a result, image distortion and signal dropout are observed in MR imaging. A set of external, electrical coils is presented that provides localized and high amplitude shim fields in the prefrontal cortex with minimum impact on the rest of the brain when combined with regular zero-to-second order spherical harmonics shimming. The experimental realization of the new shim method strongly minimized or even eliminated signal dropout in gradient-echo images acquired at settings typically used in functional magnetic resonance at 4 Tesla. PMID:19918909

  16. The prefrontal cortex and variants of sequential behaviour: indications of functional differentiation between subdivisions of the rat's prefrontal cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mogensen, Jesper; Holm, Søren

    1994-01-01

    Neurobiologi, præfrontal cortex, sekventiel adfærd, rotte, adfærdsprogrammering, informationsbearbejdning......Neurobiologi, præfrontal cortex, sekventiel adfærd, rotte, adfærdsprogrammering, informationsbearbejdning...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. The contribution of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to the preparation for deception and truth-telling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Ayahito; Abe, Nobuhito; Fujii, Toshikatsu; Hayashi, Akiko; Ueno, Aya; Mugikura, Shunji; Takahashi, Shoki; Mori, Etsuro

    2012-06-29

    Recent neuroimaging evidence suggests that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is associated with creating deceptive responses. However, the neural basis of the preparatory processes that create deception has yet to be explored. Previous neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that the preparation for a certain task activates brain areas relevant to the execution of that task, leading to the question of whether dorsolateral prefrontal activity is observed during the preparation for deception. In the present study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to determine whether dorsolateral prefrontal activity, which increases during the execution of deception compared with the execution of truth-telling, also increases during the preparation for deception compared with the preparation for truth-telling. Our data show that the execution of deception was associated with increased activity in several brain regions, including the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, compared with truth-telling, confirming the contribution of this region to the production of deceptive responses. The results also reveal that the preparations for both deception and truth-telling were associated with increased activity in certain brain regions, including the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. These findings suggest that the preparations for truth-telling and deception make similar demands on the brain and that the dorsolateral prefrontal activity identified in the preparation phase is associated with general preparatory processes, regardless of whether one is telling a lie or the truth. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Teasaponin improves leptin sensitivity in the prefrontal cortex of obese mice.

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    Yu, Yinghua; Wu, Yizhen; Szabo, Alexander; Wang, Sen; Yu, Shijia; Wang, Qing; Huang, Xu-Feng

    2015-12-01

    Obesity impairs cognition, and the leptin-induced increase of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurogenesis. Tea consumption improves cognition and increases brain activation in the prefrontal cortex. This study examined whether teasaponin, an active ingredient in tea, could improve memory and central leptin effects on neurogenesis in the prefrontal cortex of obese mice, and in vitro in cultured prefrontal cortical neurons. Teasaponin (10 mg/kg, intraperitoneal) for 21 days improved downstream leptin signaling (JAK2 and STAT3), and leptin's effect on BDNF, in the prefrontal cortex of high-fat diet (HFD) fed mice. Prefrontal cortical neurons were cultured with teasaponin and palmitic acid (the most abundant dietary saturated fatty acid) to examine their effects on neurogenesis and BDNF expression in response to leptin. Palmitic acid decreased leptin's effect on neurite outgrowth, postsynaptic density protein 95, and BDNF expression in cultured cortical neurons, which was reversed by teasaponin. Teasaponin improved the leptin sensitivity of prefrontal cortical neurons in obese mice or when treated by palmitic acid. This in turn increased BDNF expression and neurite growth. Therefore, teasaponin supplementation may be used to prevent obesity-associated neurodegeneration and improve cognitive function. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  1. Prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and basolateral amygdala plasticity in a rat model of autism spectrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosa-Díaz, Nuvia; Bringas, Maria Elena; Atzori, Marco; Flores, Gonzalo

    2014-10-01

    We aimed to investigate the effect of prenatal administration of valproic acid (VPA) (500 mg/kg) at embryonic day 12.5 on the anatomical properties of the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and basolateral amygdala, at three different ages: immediately after weaning (postnatal day 21 [PD21]), prepubertal (PD35), and postpubertal (PD70) ages in a rat model of autistic spectrum disorder. Quantitative analysis of the thickness of the prefrontal cortex revealed a reduced size at all study ages in the cingulate 1 area of the prefrontal cortex and CA1 of the dorsal hippocampus in prenatally exposed animals compared to controls. At the level of the basolateral amygdala, a reduction in the size was observed at PD35 and PD70 in the VPA group. In addition, a reduced thickness was observed in the prelimbic region of the prefrontal cortex in VPA animals at PD35. Interestingly, no differences in cortical thickness were observed between control and VPA animals in the infralimbic region of the prefrontal at any age. Our results suggest that prenatal exposure to VPA differentially alters cortical limbic regions anatomical parameters, with implication in the autistic spectrum disorder. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Language and Memory Improvements following tDCS of Left Lateral Prefrontal Cortex.

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    Erika K Hussey

    Full Text Available Recent research demonstrates that performance on executive-control measures can be enhanced through brain stimulation of lateral prefrontal regions. Separate psycholinguistic work emphasizes the importance of left lateral prefrontal cortex executive-control resources during sentence processing, especially when readers must override early, incorrect interpretations when faced with temporary ambiguity. Using transcranial direct current stimulation, we tested whether stimulation of left lateral prefrontal cortex had discriminate effects on language and memory conditions that rely on executive-control (versus cases with minimal executive-control demands, even in the face of task difficulty. Participants were randomly assigned to receive Anodal, Cathodal, or Sham stimulation of left lateral prefrontal cortex while they (1 processed ambiguous and unambiguous sentences in a word-by-word self-paced reading task and (2 performed an n-back memory task that, on some trials, contained interference lure items reputed to require executive-control. Across both tasks, we parametrically manipulated executive-control demands and task difficulty. Our results revealed that the Anodal group outperformed the remaining groups on (1 the sentence processing conditions requiring executive-control, and (2 only the most complex n-back conditions, regardless of executive-control demands. Together, these findings add to the mounting evidence for the selective causal role of left lateral prefrontal cortex for executive-control tasks in the language domain. Moreover, we provide the first evidence suggesting that brain stimulation is a promising method to mitigate processing demands encountered during online sentence processing.

  3. Prefrontal cortex markers of suicidal vulnerability in mood disorders: a model-based structural neuroimaging study with a translational perspective.

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    Ding, Y; Lawrence, N; Olié, E; Cyprien, F; le Bars, E; Bonafé, A; Phillips, M L; Courtet, P; Jollant, F

    2015-02-24

    The vulnerability to suicidal behavior has been modeled in deficits in both valuation and cognitive control processes, mediated by ventral and dorsal prefrontal cortices. To uncover potential markers of suicidality based on this model, we measured several brain morphometric parameters using 1.5T magnetic resonance imaging in a large sample and in a specifically designed study. We then tested their classificatory properties. Three groups were compared: euthymic suicide attempters with a past history of mood disorders and suicidal behavior (N=67); patient controls with a past history of mood disorders but not suicidal behavior (N=82); healthy controls without any history of mental disorder (N=82). A hypothesis-driven region-of-interest approach was applied targeting the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), ventrolateral (VLPFC), dorsal (DPFC) and medial (including anterior cingulate cortex; MPFC) prefrontal cortices. Both voxel-based (SPM8) and surface-based morphometry (Freesurfer) analyses were used to comprehensively evaluate cortical gray matter measure, volume, surface area and thickness. Reduced left VLPFC volume in attempters vs both patient groups was found (P=0.001, surviving multiple comparison correction, Cohen's d=0.65 95% (0.33-0.99) between attempters and healthy controls). In addition, reduced measures in OFC and DPFC, but not MPFC, were found with moderate effect sizes in suicide attempters vs healthy controls (Cohen's d between 0.34 and 0.52). Several of these measures were correlated with suicidal variables. When added to mood disorder history, left VLPFC volume increased within-sample specificity in identifying attempters in a significant but limited way. Our study, therefore, confirms structural prefrontal alterations in individuals with histories of suicide attempts. A future clinical application of these markers will, however, necessitate further research.

  4. Reward processing dysfunction in ventral striatum and orbitofrontal cortex in Parkinson's disease.

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    du Plessis, Stéfan; Bossert, Meija; Vink, Matthijs; van den Heuvel, Leigh; Bardien, Soraya; Emsley, Robin; Buckle, Chanelle; Seedat, Soraya; Carr, Jonathan

    2017-12-24

    Parkinson's disease is a growing concern as the longevity of the world's population steadily increases. Both ageing and Parkinson's disease have an impact on dopamine neurotransmission. It is therefore important to investigate their relative impact on the fronto-striatal reward system. There has been little investigation of reward processing in terms of anticipation and reward outcome in Parkinson's disease. Abnormal responses during reward processing have previously been demonstrated in whole-brain analysis of Parkinson's patients with mild lateralized disease, but the exact impact in regions specific to reward processing is still unknown. Here we aim to investigate the impact of Parkinson's disease on the orbitofrontal ventral striatal reward system in patients with moderate to severe clinical symptoms. We utilized a monetary incentive delay (MID) task in 17 Parkinson's patients who were compared to two control groups stratified by age. The MID paradigm reliably activates the ventral striatum during reward anticipation and the orbitofrontal cortex during reward outcome processing. Relative to the two control groups, Parkinson's disease patients had abnormal task related activity during both reward anticipation in the ventral striatum and reward outcome in the orbitofrontal cortex. There were no effects of ageing. These findings demonstrate abnormalities in anticipatory as well as reward outcome processing while treated primarily with levodopa. The orbitofrontal dysfunction during reward outcome processing may have specificity in Parkinson's disease, as it has been shown to be relatively unaffected by normal ageing. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Spinogenesis and pruning in the anterior ventral inferotemporal cortex of the macaque monkey: an intracellular injection study of layer III pyramidal cells

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    Guy N. Elston

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Cortical pyramidal cells grow and mature at different rates in visual, auditory and prefrontal cortex of the macaque monkey. In particular, differences across the areas have been reported in both the timing and magnitude of growth, branching, spinogenesis and pruning in the basal dendritic trees of cells in layer III. Presently available data suggest that these different growth profiles reflect the type of functions performed by these cells in the adult brain. However, to date, studies have focussed on only a relatively few cortical areas. In the present investigation we quantified the growth of the dendritic trees of layer III pyramidal cells in the anterior ventral portion of cytoarchitectonic area TE (TEav to better comprehend developmental trends in the cerebral cortex. We quantified the growth and branching of the dendrities, and spinogenesis and pruning of spines, from post-natal day 2 (PND2 to four and a half years of age. We found that the dendritic trees increase in size from PND2 to 7 months of age and thereafter become smaller. The dendritic trees became increasingly more branched from PND2 into adulthood. There was a 2-fold increase in the number of spines in the basal dendritic trees of pyramidal cells from PND2 to 3½ months of age and then a 10% net decrease in spine number into adulthood. Thus, the growth profile of layer III pyramidal cells in the anterior ventral portion of the inferotemporal cortex differs to that in other cortical areas associated with visual processing.

  6. 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

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

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    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

  8. Predeliberation activity in prefrontal cortex and striatum and the prediction of subsequent value judgment

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    Uri eMaoz

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Rational, value-based decision-making mandates selecting the option with highest subjective expected value after appropriate deliberation. We examined activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC and striatum of monkeys deciding between smaller, immediate rewards and larger, delayed ones. We previously found neurons that modulated their activity in this task according to the animal’s choice, while it deliberated (choice neurons. Here we found neurons whose spiking activities were predictive of the spatial location of the selected target (spatial-bias neurons or the size of the chosen reward (reward-bias neurons before the onset of the cue presenting the decision-alternatives, and thus before rational deliberation could begin. Their predictive power increased as the values the animals associated with the two decision alternatives became more similar. The ventral striatum (VS preferentially contained spatial-bias neurons; the caudate nucleus (CD preferentially contained choice neurons. In contrast, the DLPFC contained significant numbers of all three neuron types, but choice neurons were not preferentially also bias neurons of either kind there, nor were spatial-bias neurons preferentially also choice neurons, and vice versa. We suggest a simple winner-take-all circuit model to account for the dissociation of choice and bias neurons. The model reproduced our results and made additional predictions that were borne out empirically. Our data are compatible with the hypothesis that the DLPFC and striatum harbor dissociated neural populations that represent choices and predeliberation biases that are combined after cue onset; the bias neurons have a weaker effect on the ultimate decision than the choice neurons, so their influence is progressively apparent for trials where the values associated with the decision alternatives are increasingly similar.

  9. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex generates pre-stimulus theta coherence desynchronization: A schema instantiation hypothesis.

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    Gilboa, Asaf; Moscovitch, Morris

    2017-02-01

    The ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) has long been implicated in monitoring of memory veracity, and more recently also in memory schema functions. In our model of strategic retrieval the two are related. We have proposed that the vmPFC has two schema-dependent functions: (i) to establish context-relevant templates against which the output of memory systems can be compared; (ii) to mediate automatic decision monitoring processes to ensure that only those responses that meet the criterion are enacted. Electroencephalogram (EEG) data were used to provide evidence that vmPFC supports both functions, and that schema instantiation informs monitoring. Participants viewed pictures of acquaintances, along with those of famous and nonfamous people, and were asked to respond positively only to pictures of individuals they had met (personal familiarity). The Self serves as a super-ordinate cognitive schema, facilitating accurate endorsement of acquaintances and exclusion of non-personal but familiar faces. For the present report we focused on pre-cue tonic oscillatory activity. Controls demonstrated theta coherence desynchronization between medial prefrontal areas, inferotemporal and lateral temporal cortices. These oscillatory coherence patterns were significantly reduced in patients with vmPFC damage, especially in those with clinical histories of spontaneous confabulation. Importantly, these pre-stimulus cortico-cortical desynchronizations predicted post-cue automatic memory activation, as indexed by a familiarity modulation of the face-sensitive posterior cortical N170. Pre-cue desynchronization also predicted early post-cue frontal positive modulation (P230) and response accuracy. The data are consistent with a schema instantiation model that suggests the vmPFC biases posterior neocortical long-term memory representations that enhance automatic memory cue processing and informs frontally-mediated rapid memory monitoring (P230). Damage to these structures can lead

  10. 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

  11. Too Little and Too Much: Hypoactivation and Disinhibition of Medial Prefrontal Cortex Cause Attentional Deficits

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    McGarrity, Stephanie; Mason, Rob; Fone, Kevin C.

    2014-01-01

    Attentional deficits are core symptoms of schizophrenia, contributing strongly to disability. Prefrontal dysfunction has emerged as a candidate mechanism, with clinical evidence for prefrontal hypoactivation and disinhibition (reduced GABAergic inhibition), possibly reflecting different patient subpopulations. Here, we tested in rats whether imbalanced prefrontal neural activity impairs attention. To induce prefrontal hypoactivation or disinhibition, we microinfused the GABA-A receptor agonist muscimol (C4H6N2O2; 62.5, 125, 250 ng/side) or antagonist picrotoxin (C30H34O13; 75, 150, 300 ng/side), respectively, into the medial prefrontal cortex. Using the five-choice serial reaction time (5CSRT) test, we showed that both muscimol and picrotoxin impaired attention (reduced accuracy, increased omissions). Muscimol also impaired response control (increased premature responses). In addition, muscimol dose dependently reduced open-field locomotor activity, whereas 300 ng of picrotoxin caused locomotor hyperactivity; sensorimotor gating (startle prepulse inhibition) was unaffected. Therefore, infusion effects on the 5CSRT test can be dissociated from sensorimotor effects. Combining microinfusions with in vivo electrophysiology, we showed that muscimol inhibited prefrontal firing, whereas picrotoxin increased firing, mainly within bursts. Muscimol reduced and picrotoxin enhanced bursting and both drugs changed the temporal pattern of bursting. Picrotoxin also markedly enhanced prefrontal LFP power. Therefore, prefrontal hypoactivation and disinhibition both cause attentional deficits. Considering the electrophysiological findings, this suggests that attention requires appropriately tuned prefrontal activity. Apart from attentional deficits, prefrontal disinhibition caused additional neurobehavioral changes that may be relevant to schizophrenia pathophysiology, including enhanced prefrontal bursting and locomotor hyperactivity, which have been linked to psychosis

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Lesion evidence that two distinct regions within prefrontal cortex are critical for n-back performance in humans.

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    Tsuchida, Ami; Fellows, Lesley K

    2009-12-01

    Although prefrontal cortex is clearly important in executive function, the specific processes carried out by particular regions within human prefrontal cortex remain a matter of debate. A rapidly growing corpus of functional imaging work now implicates various areas within prefrontal cortex in a wide range of "executive" tasks. Loss-of-function studies can help constrain the interpretation of such evidence by testing to what extent particular brain areas are necessary for a given cognitive process. Here we apply a component process analysis to understand prefrontal contributions to the n-back task, a widely used test of working memory, in a cohort of patients with focal prefrontal damage. We investigated letter 2-back task performance in 27 patients with focal damage to various regions within prefrontal cortex, compared to 29 demographically matched control subjects. Both "behavior-defined" approaches, using qualitative lesion analyses and voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping methods, and more conventional "lesion-defined" groupwise comparisons were undertaken to determine the relationships between specific sites of damage within prefrontal cortex and particular aspects of n-back task performance. We confirmed a critical role for left lateral prefrontal cortex in letter 2-back performance. We also identified a critical role for medial prefrontal cortex in this task: Damage to dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and adjacent dorsal fronto-medial cortex led to a pattern of impairment marked by high false alarm rates, distinct from the impairment associated with lateral prefrontal damage. These findings provide converging support for regionally specific models of human prefrontal function.

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

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    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.

  15. Serotonin receptor expression in human prefrontal cortex: balancing excitation and inhibition across postnatal development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evelyn K Lambe

    Full Text Available Serotonin and its receptors (HTRs play critical roles in brain development and in the regulation of cognition, mood, and anxiety. HTRs are highly expressed in human prefrontal cortex and exert control over prefrontal excitability. The serotonin system is a key treatment target for several psychiatric disorders; however, the effectiveness of these drugs varies according to age. Despite strong evidence for developmental changes in prefrontal Htrs of rodents, the developmental regulation of HTR expression in human prefrontal cortex has not been examined. Using postmortem human prefrontal brain tissue from across postnatal life, we investigated the expression of key serotonin receptors with distinct inhibitory (HTR1A, HTR5A and excitatory (HTR2A, HTR2C, HTR4, HTR6 effects on cortical neurons, including two receptors which appear to be expressed to a greater degree in inhibitory interneurons of cerebral cortex (HTR2C, HTR6. We found distinct developmental patterns of expression for each of these six HTRs, with profound changes in expression occurring early in postnatal development and also into adulthood. However, a collective look at these HTRs in terms of their likely neurophysiological effects and major cellular localization leads to a model that suggests developmental changes in expression of these individual HTRs may not perturb an overall balance between inhibitory and excitatory effects. Examining and understanding the healthy balance is critical to appreciate how abnormal expression of an individual HTR may create a window of vulnerability for the emergence of psychiatric illness.

  16. Regional concentrations of noradrenaline and dopamine in the frontal cortex of the rat: dopaminergic innervation of the prefrontal subareas and lateralization of prefrontal dopamine

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slopsema, J.S.; Gugten, J. van der; Bruin, J.P.C. de

    1982-01-01

    Catecholamine levels in the two subareas of the prefrontal cortex and in one non-prefrontal region of the rat frontal lobe were measured radioenzymatically. In contrast with noradrenaline (NA), the distribution of dopamine (DA) in the frontal lobe is markedly heterogeneous. DA levels of the

  17. Nicotine self-administration remodels perineuronal nets in ventral tegmental area and orbitofrontal cortex in adult male rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vazquez-Sanroman, Dolores B; Monje, Reyna D; Bardo, Michael T

    2017-11-01

    Nicotine, a major psychoactive component of tobacco smoke, alters gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) modulation of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Changes in structural neuroplasticity can occur in GABAergic parvalbumin (PRV) positive neurons, which are enveloped by structures of the extracellular matrix called perineuronal nets (PNNs). In the current study, rats were trained to self-administer intravenous nicotine (0.03 mg/kg/infusion) for 21 days in 1-hour daily sessions with an incrementing fixed ratio requirement; a control group received saline infusions. At either 45 minutes or 72 hours after the last session, immunofluorescence measurements for PNNs, PRV and c-Fos were conducted. In VTA, nicotine self-administration reduced the number of PRV+ cells surrounded by PNNs at 45 minutes, as well as reducing the intensity of PNNs, suggesting a remodeling of GABA interneurons in this region; the number of PRV+ cells surrounded by PNNs was also reduced at 72 hours. A similar reduction of PNNs occurred in orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) but not in medial prefrontal cortex (prelimbic or infralimbic), 45 minutes after the last session; PNNs were not detected in nucleus accumbens (shell or core). The reduction of PNNs in VTA and OFC was unrelated to c-Fos + cells, as the percent of wisteria floribunda agglutinin + cells co-expressing c-Fos was decreased in OFC but not in VTA. Thus, nicotine self-administration remodeled PNNs surrounding GABA interneurons in VTA and its indirect connections to OFC, suggesting a new possible molecular target where nicotine-induced neuroplasticity takes place. PNN manipulations may prevent or reverse the different stages of tobacco addiction. © 2016 Society for the Study of Addiction.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Harmelen, Anne-Laura; van Tol, Marie-Jose; Dalgleish, Tim; van der Wee, Nic J. A.; Veltman, Dick J.; Aleman, André; Spinhoven, Philip; Penninx, Brenda W. J. H.; Elzinga, Bernet 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

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. Prefrontal cortex dysfunction during cognitive tests evidenced by functional near-infrared spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quaresima, Valentina; Giosuè, Patricia; Roncone, Rita; Casacchia, Massimo; Ferrari, Marco

    2009-03-31

    Prefrontal cortex oxygenation changes in response to a verbal fluency task and a visual spatial working memory task were investigated by functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) on nine patients with schizophrenia. Four patients were reactive to both tests; five reactive to only one of the two tests, suggesting the importance of reporting fNIRS results for each individual.

  2. 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…

  3. Noradrenaline and dopamine efflux in the prefrontal cortex in relation to appetitive classical conditioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mingote, Susana; de Bruin, Jan P. C.; Feenstra, Matthijs G. P.

    2004-01-01

    We trained rats to learn that an auditory stimulus predicted delivery of reward pellets in the Skinner box. After 2 d of training, we measured changes in efflux of noradrenaline (NA) and dopamine (DA) in the medial prefrontal cortex using microdialysis on the third day. Animals were subjected to a

  4. 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…

  5. Effect of a pharmacological stressor on glutamate efflux in the prefrontal cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Karreman, M; Moghaddam, B

    1996-01-01

    The anxiogenic beta-carboline, FG 7142 (20 mg/kg) significantly increased glutamate efflux in the prefrontal cortex of conscious rats as assessed by microdialysis. Pretreatment with the benzodiazepine receptor agonist, diazepam (5 mg/kg), abolished this effect. These findings indicate that

  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. 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…

  8. Prefrontal cortex and hippocampus in behavioural flexibility and posttraumatic functional recovery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rytter, Hana Malá; Andersen, Lykke Grønbech; Christensen, Rie Friis

    2015-01-01

    Within one experiment and one T-maze, we examined the consequences of (i) bilateral lesions of the anteromedial prefrontal cortex (PFC), (ii) bilateral transections of the fimbria-fornix (FF), or (iii) combined lesions of both PFC and FF (COMB) on rats' ability to perform reversal or set...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wout, M. van 't; Kahn, R.S.; Sanfey, A.G.; 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.

  10. The Anterior Prefrontal Cortex and the Hippocampus Are Negatively Correlated during False Memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeye, Brittany M; Karanian, Jessica M; Slotnick, Scott D

    2017-01-23

    False memories commonly activate the anterior/dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (A/DLPFC) and the hippocampus. These regions are assumed to work in concert during false memories, which would predict a positive correlation between the magnitudes of activity in these regions across participants. However, the A/DLPFC may also inhibit the hippocampus, which would predict a negative correlation between the magnitudes of activity in these regions. In the present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, during encoding, participants viewed abstract shapes in the left or right visual field. During retrieval, participants classified each old shape as previously in the "left" or "right" visual field followed by an "unsure"-"sure"-"very sure" confidence rating. The contrast of left-hits and left-misses produced two activations in the hippocampus and three activations in the left A/DLPFC. For each participant, activity associated with false memories (right-"left"-"very sure" responses) from the two hippocampal regions was plotted as a function of activity in each A/DLPFC region. Across participants, for one region in the left anterior prefrontal cortex, there was a negative correlation between the magnitudes of activity in this region and the hippocampus. This suggests that the anterior prefrontal cortex might inhibit the hippocampus during false memories and that participants engage either the anterior prefrontal cortex or the hippocampus during false memories.

  11. Prefrontal Cortex: Role in Acquisition of Overlapping Associations and Transitive Inference

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeVito, Loren M.; Lykken, Christine; Kanter, Benjamin R.; Eichenbaum, Howard

    2010-01-01

    "Transitive inference" refers to the ability to judge from memory the relationships between indirectly related items that compose a hierarchically organized series, and this capacity is considered a fundamental feature of relational memory. Here we explored the role of the prefrontal cortex in transitive inference by examining the performance of…

  12. Medial Prefrontal Cortex Is Selectively Involved in Response Selection Using Visual Context in the Background

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Inah; Shin, Ji Yun

    2012-01-01

    The exact roles of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in conditional choice behavior are unknown and a visual contextual response selection task was used for examining the issue. Inactivation of the mPFC severely disrupted performance in the task. mPFC inactivations, however, did not disrupt the capability of perceptual discrimination for visual…

  13. Prefrontal Cortex and Neostriatum Self-Stimulation In the Rat : Differential Effects Produced by Apomorphine

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mora, F.; Phillips, A.G.; Koolhaas, J.M.; Rolls, E.T.

    1976-01-01

    In a dose-response experiment, the effects of intraperitoneal injections of the dopamine receptor agonist, apomorphine (0.075, 0.15, 0.3, 0.6 and 1.2 mg/kg) were studied on self-stimulation elicited from electrodes implanted in the medial and sulcal prefrontal cortex and caudate-putamen in the rat.

  14. 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

    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...

  15. 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

  16. Attention, Emotion, and Deactivation of Default Activity in Inferior Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geday, Jacob; Gjedde, Albert

    2009-01-01

    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…

  17. 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…

  18. Hippocampus and Medial Prefrontal Cortex Contributions to Trace and Contextual Fear Memory Expression over Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beeman, Christopher L.; Bauer, Philip S.; Pierson, Jamie L.; Quinn, Jennifer J.

    2013-01-01

    Previous work has shown that damage to the dorsal hippocampus (DH) occurring at recent, but not remote, timepoints following acquisition produces a deficit in trace conditioned fear memory expression. The opposite pattern has been observed with lesions to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). The present studies address: (1) whether these lesion…

  19. The Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex in a Model of Traumatic Stress: Fear Inhibition or Contextual Processing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennington, Zachary T.; Anderson, Austin S.; Fanselow, Michael S.

    2017-01-01

    The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) has consistently appeared altered in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although the vmPFC is thought to support the extinction of learned fear responses, several findings support a broader role for this structure in the regulation of fear. To further characterize the relationship between vmPFC…

  20. Asymmetric activation in the prefrontal cortex by sound-induced affect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Wuon-Shik; Yoon, Young-Ro; Kim, Kyo-Heon; Jho, Moon-Jae; Lee, Sang-Tae

    2003-12-01

    This study is based on previous information regarding asymmetric activation in the prefrontal cortex by film-induced affects, as well as the inverse proportionality of prefrontal cortex activity to power in the alpha band of EEG. To search for a specific EEG band where the asymmetric activation in the prefrontal cortex by sound-induced affects is mainly reflected, we measured 32 college students' EEGs; 11 bands ranged from 6.5 to 35.0 Hz, at Fp1 and Fp2 sites. The power in the alpha band (8.0 to 13.0 Hz) at Fp2, especially in the alpha-2 band (9.0 to 11.0 Hz) increased while the students listened to music, during which participants reported positive affect. In contrast, the power at Fp1 increased while the students listened to noise, during which participants reported negative affect. These results imply that sound-induced positive affect increases relative left-sided activation in the prefrontal cortex, whereas induced negative affect elicits the opposite pattern of asymmetric activation.

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. Prefrontal Cortex Is Critical for Contextual Processing: Evidence from Brain Lesions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogelson, Noa; Shah, Mona; Scabini, Donatella; Knight, Robert T.

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the role of prefrontal cortex (PFC) in local contextual processing using a combined event-related potentials and lesion approach. Local context was defined as the occurrence of a short predictive series of visual stimuli occurring before delivery of a target event. Targets were preceded by either randomized sequences of standards…

  5. Emotion, Cognition, and Mental State Representation in Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salzman, C. Daniel; Fusi, Stefano

    2011-01-01

    Neuroscientists have often described cognition and emotion as separable processes implemented by different regions of the brain, such as the amygdala for emotion and the prefrontal cortex for cognition. In this framework, functional interactions between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex mediate emotional influences on cognitive processes such as decision-making, as well as the cognitive regulation of emotion. However, neurons in these structures often have entangled representations, whereby single neurons encode multiple cognitive and emotional variables. Here we review studies using anatomical, lesion, and neurophysiological approaches to investigate the representation and utilization of cognitive and emotional parameters. We propose that these mental state parameters are inextricably linked and represented in dynamic neural networks composed of interconnected prefrontal and limbic brain structures. Future theoretical and experimental work is required to understand how these mental state representations form and how shifts between mental states occur, a critical feature of adaptive cognitive and emotional behavior. PMID:20331363

  6. New Findings in the Relationship Between Pre-Frontal Cortex and Bipolar Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joana Alexandre

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In the article, some recent studies are discussed, that show the close relationship between pre-frontal cortex and the neurophysiology of bipolar disorder. The most frequent findings in imagiologic studies are hyperintensities in subcortical and periventricular white matter. In the pre-frontal cortex, at the subregional level, there is a loss of grey matter volume, and loss or atrophy of glial cells. One of the areas that is more affected is the subgenual area. Functional studies find less pre-frontal activation in specific tasks. Other studies relate some of the changes to medication. There is a great variability in results, which can be explained by factors such as variability in patients or in methods of research.

  7. Top-down spatial categorization signal from prefrontal to posterior parietal cortex in the primate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hugo eMerchant

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available In the present study we characterized the strength and time course of category-selective responses in prefrontal cortex and area 7a of the posterior parietal cortex during a match-to-sample spatial categorization task. A monkey was trained to categorize whether the height of a horizontal sample bar, presented in rectangular frame at one of three vertical locations, was "high" or "low", depending on whether its position was above or below the frame’s midline. After the display of this sample bar, and after a delay, choice bars were sequentially flashed in two locations: at the top and at the bottom of the frame (‘choice’ epoch. If the monkey timed its response to the display of the choice bar that matched the sample bar, he was rewarded. We found that cells in prefrontal cortex discriminated category early after the initial sample bar was shown, and continued to differentiate up from down trials throughout the delay and choice periods. In contrast, parietal cells did not differentiate category until the choice period. Therefore, our results support the notion of a top-down categorical signal that originates in prefrontal cortex and that is only represented in parietal cortex when it is necessary to express the categorical decision through a movement.

  8. 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.

  9. Is the self special in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex? An fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaoi, Ken; Osaka, Naoyuki; Osaka, Mariko

    2009-01-01

    In recent years, several neuroimaging studies have suggested that the neural basis of the self-referential process1 is special, especially in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC). However, it remains controversial whether activity of the MPFC (and other related brain regions) appears only during the self-referential process. We investigated the neural correlates during the processing of references to the self, close other (friend), and distant other (prime minister) using fMRI. In comparison with baseline findings, referential processing to the three kinds of persons defined above showed common activation patterns in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC), left middle temporal gyrus, left angular gyrus, posterior cingulate cortex and right cerebellum. Additionally, percent changes in BOLD signal in five regions of interest demonstrated the same findings. The result indicated that DMPFC was not special for the self-referential process, while there are common neural bases for evaluating the personalities of the self and others.

  10. Neural mechanisms of economic commitment in the human medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsetsos, Konstantinos; Wyart, Valentin; Shorkey, S Paul; Summerfield, Christopher

    2014-10-21

    Neurobiologists have studied decisions by offering successive, independent choices between goods or gambles. However, choices often have lasting consequences, as when investing in a house or choosing a partner. Here, humans decided whether to commit (by acceptance or rejection) to prospects that provided sustained financial return. BOLD signals in the rostral medial prefrontal cortex (rmPFC) encoded stimulus value only when acceptance or rejection was deferred into the future, suggesting a role in integrating value signals over time. By contrast, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) encoded stimulus value only when participants rejected (or deferred accepting) a prospect. dACC BOLD signals reflected two decision biases-to defer commitments to later, and to weight potential losses more heavily than gains-that (paradoxically) maximised reward in this task. These findings offer fresh insights into the pressures that shape economic decisions, and the computation of value in the medial prefrontal cortex.

  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. Dopaminergic dysregulation in prefrontal cortex of rhesus monkeys following cocaine self-administration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scot eMcIntosh

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Chronic cocaine administration regulates the expression of several proteins related to dopaminergic signaling and synaptic function in the mesocorticolimbic pathway, including the prefrontal cortex. Functional abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex are hypothesized to be due in part to the expression of proteins involved in dopamine signaling and plasticity. Adult male rhesus monkeys self-administered cocaine (i.v. under limited (n=4 and extended access conditions (n=6. The abundance of surrogate markers of dopamine signaling and plasticity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC, orbitofrontal cortex (OFC and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC were examined: glycosylated and non-glycosylated forms of the dopamine transporter (efficiency of dopamine transport, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH; marker of dopamine synthesis and phosphorylated TH at Serine 30 and 40 (markers of enzyme activity, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1 and ERK 2 and phosphorylated ERK1 and ERK2 (phosphorylates TH Serine 31; markers of synaptic plasticity, and markers of synaptic integrity, spinophilin and post-synaptic density protein 95 (roles in dopamine signaling and response to cocaine. Extended cocaine access increased non-glycosylated and glycosylated DAT in DLPFC and OFC. While no differences in TH expression were observed between groups for any of the regions, extended access induced significant elevations in pTHSer31 in all regions. In addition, a slight but significant reduction in phosphorylated pTHSer40 was found in the DLPFC. Phosphorylated ERK2 was increased in all regions; however, pERK1 was decreased in ACC and OFC but increased in DLPFC. PSD-95 was increased in the OFC but not in DLPFC or ACC. Furthermore, extended cocaine self-administration elicited significant increases in spinophilin protein expression in all regions. Results from the study provide insight into the biochemical alterations occurring in primate prefrontal cortex.

  13. Representation of Behavioral Tactics and Tactics-Action Transformation in the Primate Medial Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuzaka, Yoshiya; Tanji, Jun; Mushiake, Hajime

    2016-06-01

    To expedite the selection of action under a structured behavioral context, we develop an expedient to promote its efficiency: tactics for action selection. Setting up a behavioral condition for subhuman primates (Macaca fuscata) that induced the development of a behavioral tactics, we explored neuronal representation of tactics in the medial frontal cortex. Here we show that neurons in the posterior medial prefrontal cortex, but not much in the medial premotor cortex, exhibit activity representing the behavioral tactics, in advance of action-selective activity. Such activity appeared during behavioral epochs of its retrieval from instruction cues, maintenance in short-term memory, and its implementation for the achievement of action selection. At a population level, posterior medial prefrontal cortex neurons take part in transforming the tactics information into the information representing action selection. The tactics representation revealed an aspect of neural mechanisms for an adaptive behavioral control, taking place in the medial prefrontal cortex. We studied behavioral significance of neuronal activity in the posterior medial prefrontal cortex (pmPFC) and found the representation of behavioral tactics defined as specific and efficient ways to achieve objectives of actions. Neuronal activity appeared during behavioral epochs of its retrieval from instruction cues, maintenance in short-term memory, and its use preceding the achievement of action selection. We found further that pmPFC neurons take part in transforming the tactics information into the information representing action selection. A majority of individual neurons was recruited during a limited period in each behavioral epoch, constituting, as a whole, a temporal cascade of activity. Such dynamics found in behavioral-tactics specific activity characterize the participation of pmPFC neurons in executive control of purposeful behavior. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/365974-14$15.00/0.

  14. Transient inactivation of the neonatal ventral hippocampus impairs attentional set-shifting behavior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brooks, Julie M; Pershing, Michelle L; Thomsen, Morten Skøtt

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive deficits represent a core symptom cluster in schizophrenia that are thought to reflect developmental dysregulations within a neural system involving the ventral hippocampus (VH), nucleus accumbens (NAC), and prefrontal cortex (PFC). The present experiments determined the cognitive effects...

  15. Specific EEG sleep pattern in the prefrontal cortex in primary insomnia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joy Perrier

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To assess the specific prefrontal activity in comparison to those in the other main cortical areas in primary insomnia patients and in good sleepers. METHODS: Fourteen primary insomnia patients and 11 good sleepers were included in the analysis. Participants completed one night of polysomnography in the sleep lab. Power spectra were calculated during the NREM (Non-rapid eyes movements and the REM (Rapid eyes movements sleep periods at prefrontal, occipital, temporal and central electrode positions. RESULTS: During the NREM sleep, the power spectra did not differ between groups in the prefrontal cortex; while primary insomnia patients exhibited a higher beta power spectrum and a lower delta power spectrum compared to good sleepers in other areas. During the REM sleep, the beta1 power spectrum was lower in the prefrontal cortex in primary insomnia patients compared to good sleepers; while no significant difference between groups was obtained for the other areas. CONCLUSIONS: The present study shows a specific prefrontal sleep pattern during the whole sleep period. In addition, we suggest that primary insomnia patients displayed a dysfunction in the reactivation of the limbic system during the REM sleep and we give additional arguments in favor of a sleep-protection mechanism displayed by primary insomnia patients.

  16. Transcranial direct current stimulation over the left prefrontal cortex increases randomness of choice in instrumental learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turi, Zsolt; Mittner, Matthias; Opitz, Alexander; Popkes, Miriam; Paulus, Walter; Antal, Andrea

    2015-02-01

    There is growing evidence from neuro-computational studies that instrumental learning involves the dynamic interaction of a computationally rigid, low-level striatal and a more flexible, high-level prefrontal component. To evaluate the role of the prefrontal cortex in instrumental learning, we applied anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) optimized for the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, by using realistic MR-derived finite element model-based electric field simulations. In a study with a double-blind, sham-controlled, repeated-measures design, sixteen male participants performed a probabilistic learning task while receiving anodal and sham tDCS in a counterbalanced order. Compared to sham tDCS, anodal tDCS significantly increased the amount of maladaptive shifting behavior after optimal outcomes during learning when reward probabilities were highly dissociable. Derived parameters of the Q-learning computational model further revealed a significantly increased model parameter that was sensitive to random action selection in the anodal compared to the sham tDCS session, whereas the learning rate parameter was not influenced significantly by tDCS. These results congruently indicate that prefrontal tDCS during instrumental learning increased randomness of choice, possibly reflecting the influence of the cognitive prefrontal component. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Enhanced Neuronal Activity in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex during Social Approach Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Eunee; Rhim, Issac; Lee, Jong Won; Ghim, Jeong-Wook; Lee, Seungjoon; Kim, Eunjoon; Jung, Min Whan

    2016-06-29

    Although the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is known to play a crucial role in rodent social behavior, little is known about mPFC neural correlates of social behavior. In the present study, we examined single-neuron activity in the mPFC of mice performing a modified version of the three-chamber test. We found that a subset of mPFC neurons elevate discharge rates when approaching a stranger mouse but not when approaching an inanimate object or an empty chamber. Our results reveal mPFC neural activity that is correlated with social approach behavior in a widely used social-interaction paradigm. These findings might be helpful for future investigations of mPFC neural processes underlying social interaction in health and disease. Although the prefrontal cortex is known to play a crucial role in rodent social behavior, little is known about prefrontal neural correlates of social behavior. This study shows that the activity of a subset of prefrontal neurons increases in association with social approach behavior during a three-chamber test-a widely used behavioral paradigm. Such responses might be a signature of prefrontal neural processes underlying social approach behavior. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/366926-11$15.00/0.

  18. Impairment in Delayed Non-Matching to Sample Following Lesions of Dorsal Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Tara L; Schettler, Stephen P.; Killiany, Ronald J.; Rosene, Douglas L.; Moss, Mark B.

    2012-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex has been identified as essential for executive function, as well as for aspects of rule learning and recognition memory. As part of our studies to assess prefrontal cortical function in the monkey, we evaluated the effects of damage to the dorsal prefrontal cortex (DPFC) on the Category Set Shifting Task (CSST), a test of abstraction and set-shifting, and on the Delayed Non Matching-to-Sample (DNMS) task, a benchmark test of rule learning and recognition memory. The DPFC lesions in this study included dorsolateral and dorsomedial aspects of the PFC. In a previous report, we published evidence of an impairment on the CSST as a consequence of DPFC lesions (Moore et al, 2009). Here we report that monkeys with lesions of the DPFC were also markedly impaired relative to controls on both the acquisition (rule learning) and performance (recognition memory) conditions of trial-unique DNMS. The presence and extent of the deficits that we observed were of some surprise and support the possibility that the dorsal prefrontal cortex plays a more direct role in learning and recognition memory than had been previously thought. PMID:23088539

  19. Impairment in delayed nonmatching to sample following lesions of dorsal prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Tara L; Schettler, Stephen P; Killiany, Ronald J; Rosene, Douglas L; Moss, Mark B

    2012-12-01

    The prefrontal cortex has been identified as essential for executive function, as well as for aspects of rule learning and recognition memory. As part of our studies to assess prefrontal cortical function in the monkey, we evaluated the effects of damage to the dorsal prefrontal cortex (DPFC) on the Category Set Shifting Task (CSST), a test of abstraction and set-shifting, and on the Delayed Nonmatching to Sample (DNMS) task, a benchmark test of rule learning and recognition memory. The DPFC lesions in this study included dorsolateral and dorsomedial aspects of the PFC. In a previous report, we published evidence of an impairment on the CSST as a consequence of DPFC lesions (Moore, Schettler, Killiany, Rosene, & Moss, 2009). Here we report that monkeys with lesions of the DPFC were also markedly impaired relative to controls on both the acquisition (rule learning) and performance (recognition memory) conditions of trial-unique DNMS. The presence and extent of the deficits that we observed were of some surprise and support the possibility that the dorsal prefrontal cortex plays a more direct role in learning and recognition memory than had been previously thought.

  20. The detection of communicative signals directed at the self in infant prefrontal cortex

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    Tobias eGrossmann

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available A precondition for successful communication between people is the detection of signals indicating the intention to communicate, such as eye contact or calling a person’s name. In adults, establishing communication by eye contact or calling a person’s name results in overlapping activity in right prefrontal cortex, suggesting that, regardless of modality, the intention to communicate is detected by the same brain region. We measured prefrontal cortex responses in 5-month-olds using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS to examine the neural basis of detecting communicative signals across modalities in early development. Infants watched human faces that either signaled eye contact or directed their gaze away from the infant, and they also listened to voices that addressed them with their own name or another name. The results revealed that infants recruit adjacent but non-overlapping regions in the left dorsal prefrontal cortex when they process eye contact and own name. Moreover, infants that responded sensitively to eye contact in the one prefrontal region were also more likely to respond sensitively to their own name in the adjacent prefrontal region as revealed in a correlation analysis, suggesting that responding to communicative signals in these two regions might be functionally related. These NIRS results suggest that infants selectively process and attend to communicative signals directed at them. However, unlike adults, infants do not seem to recruit a common prefrontal region when processing communicative signals of different modalities. The implications of these findings for our understanding of infants’ developing communicative abilities are discussed.

  1. Impaired GABAergic Inhibition in the Prefrontal Cortex of Early Postnatal Phencyclidine (PCP)-Treated Rats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjaerby, Celia; Broberg, Brian V; Kristiansen, Uffe

    2014-01-01

    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...... 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...

  2. Impairment of social and moral behavior related to early damage in human prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, S W; Bechara, A; Damasio, H; Tranel, D; Damasio, A R

    1999-11-01

    The long-term consequences of early prefrontal cortex lesions occurring before 16 months were investigated in two adults. As is the case when such damage occurs in adulthood, the two early-onset patients had severely impaired social behavior despite normal basic cognitive abilities, and showed insensitivity to future consequences of decisions, defective autonomic responses to punishment contingencies and failure to respond to behavioral interventions. Unlike adult-onset patients, however, the two patients had defective social and moral reasoning, suggesting that the acquisition of complex social conventions and moral rules had been impaired. Thus early-onset prefrontal damage resulted in a syndrome resembling psychopathy.

  3. Different time courses of learning-related activity in the prefrontal cortex and striatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasupathy, Anitha; Miller, Earl K

    2005-02-24

    To navigate our complex world, our brains have evolved a sophisticated ability to quickly learn arbitrary rules such as 'stop at red'. Studies in monkeys using a laboratory test of this capacity--conditional association learning--have revealed that frontal lobe structures (including the prefrontal cortex) as well as subcortical nuclei of the basal ganglia are involved in such learning. Neural correlates of associative learning have been observed in both brain regions, but whether or not these regions have unique functions is unclear, as they have typically been studied separately using different tasks. Here we show that during associative learning in monkeys, neural activity in these areas changes at different rates: the striatum (an input structure of the basal ganglia) showed rapid, almost bistable, changes compared with a slower trend in the prefrontal cortex that was more in accordance with slow improvements in behavioural performance. Also, pre-saccadic activity began progressively earlier in the striatum but not in the prefrontal cortex as learning took place. These results support the hypothesis that rewarded associations are first identified by the basal ganglia, the output of which 'trains' slower learning mechanisms in the frontal cortex.

  4. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25450230

  5. Multi-echo EPI of human fear conditioning reveals improved BOLD detection in ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, Brice; Leuchs, Laura; Sämann, Philipp G; Czisch, Michael; Spoormaker, Victor I

    2017-08-01

    Standard T2(*) weighted functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) performed with echo-planar imaging (EPI) suffers from signal loss in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) due to macroscopic field inhomogeneity. However, this region is of special interest to affective neuroscience and psychiatry. The Multi-echo EPI (MEPI) approach has several advantages over EPI but its performance against EPI in the vmPFC has not yet been examined in a study with sufficient statistical power using a task specifically eliciting activity in this region. We used a fear conditioning task with MEPI to compare the performance of MEPI and EPI in vmPFC and control regions in 32 healthy young subjects. We analyzed activity associated with short (12ms), standard (29ms) and long (46ms) echo times, and a voxel-wise combination of these three echo times. Behavioral data revealed successful differentiation of the conditioned versus safety stimulus; activity in the vmPFC was shown by the contrast "safety stimulus > conditioned stimulus" as in previous research and proved significantly stronger with the combined MEPI than standard single-echo EPI. Then, we aimed to demonstrate that the additional cluster extent (ventral extension) detected in the vmPFC with MEPI reflects activation in a relevant cluster (i.e., not just non-neuronal noise). To do this, we used resting state data from the same subjects to show that the time-course of this region was both connected to bilateral amygdala and the default mode network. Overall, we demonstrate that MEPI (by means of the weighted sum combination approach) outperforms standard EPI in vmPFC; MEPI performs always at least as good as the best echo time for a given brain region but provides all necessary echo times for an optimal BOLD sensitivity for the whole brain. This is relevant for affective neuroscience and psychiatry given the critical role of the vmPFC in emotion regulation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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    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

  7. rTMS of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex modulates dopamine release in the ipsilateral anterior cingulate cortex and orbitofrontal cortex.

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    Sang Soo Cho

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Brain dopamine is implicated in the regulation of movement, attention, reward and learning and plays an important role in Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia and drug addiction. Animal experiments have demonstrated that brain stimulation is able to induce significant dopaminergic changes in extrastriatal areas. Given the up-growing interest of non-invasive brain stimulation as potential tool for treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders, it would be critical to investigate dopaminergic functional interactions in the prefrontal cortex and more in particular the effect of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC (areas 9/46 stimulation on prefrontal dopamine (DA. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Healthy volunteers were studied with a high-affinity DA D2-receptor radioligand, [(11C]FLB 457-PET following 10 Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS of the left and right DLPFC. rTMS on the left DLPFC induced a significant reduction in [(11C]FLB 457 binding potential (BP in the ipsilateral subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (ACC (BA 25/12, pregenual ACC (BA 32 and medial orbitofrontal cortex (BA 11. There were no significant changes in [(11C]FLB 457 BP following right DLPFC rTMS. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: To our knowledge, this is the first study to provide evidence of extrastriatal DA modulation following acute rTMS of DLPFC with its effect limited to the specific areas of medial prefrontal cortex. [(11C]FLB 457-PET combined with rTMS may allow to explore the neurochemical functions of specific cortical neural networks and help to identify the neurobiological effects of TMS for the treatment of different neurological and psychiatric diseases.

  8. Counteracting Implicit Conflicts by Electrical Inhibition of the Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Philipp Alexander; Pfister, Roland; Kunde, Wilfried; Nuerk, Hans-Christoph; Plewnia, Christian

    2016-11-01

    Cognitive conflicts and distractions by task-irrelevant information often counteract effective and goal-directed behaviors. In some cases, conflicting information can even emerge implicitly, without an overt distractor, by the automatic activation of mental representations. For instance, during number processing, magnitude information automatically elicits spatial associations resembling a mental number line. This spatial-numerical association of response codes (SNARC) effect can modulate cognitive-behavioral performance but is also highly flexible and context-dependent, which points toward a critical involvement of working memory functions. Transcranial direct current stimulation to the PFC, in turn, has been effective in modulating working memory-related cognitive performance. In a series of experiments, we here demonstrate that decreasing activity of the left PFC by cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation consistently and specifically eliminates implicit cognitive conflicts based on the SNARC effect, but explicit conflicts based on visuospatial distraction remain unaffected. This dissociation is polarity-specific and appears unrelated to functional magnitude processing as classified by regular numerical distance effects. These data demonstrate a causal involvement of the left PFC in implicit cognitive conflicts based on the automatic activation of spatial-numerical processing. Corroborating the critical interaction of brain stimulation and neurocognitive functions, our findings suggest that distraction from goal-directed behavior by automatic activation of implicit, task-irrelevant information can be blocked by the inhibition of prefrontal activity.

  9. Structural variations in prefrontal cortex mediate the relationship between early childhood stress and spatial working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson, Jamie L; Chung, Moo K; Avants, Brian B; Rudolph, Karen D; Shirtcliff, Elizabeth A; Gee, James C; Davidson, Richard J; Pollak, Seth D

    2012-06-06

    A large corpus of research indicates that exposure to stress impairs cognitive abilities, specifically executive functioning dependent on the prefrontal cortex (PFC). We collected structural MRI scans (n = 61), well-validated assessments of executive functioning, and detailed interviews assessing stress exposure in humans to examine whether cumulative life stress affected brain morphometry and one type of executive functioning, spatial working memory, during adolescence-a critical time of brain development and reorganization. Analysis of variations in brain structure revealed that cumulative life stress and spatial working memory were related to smaller volumes in the PFC, specifically prefrontal gray and white matter between the anterior cingulate and the frontal poles. Mediation analyses revealed that individual differences in prefrontal volumes accounted for the association between cumulative life stress and spatial working memory. These results suggest that structural changes in the PFC may serve as a mediating mechanism through which greater cumulative life stress engenders decrements in cognitive functioning.

  10. Cognitive Contributions of the Ventral Parietal Cortex: An Integrative Theoretical Account

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabeza, Roberto; Ciaramelli, Elisa; Moscovitch, Morris

    2012-01-01

    Although ventral parietal cortex (VPC) activations can be found in a variety of cognitive domains, these activations have been typically attributed to cognitive operations specific to each domain. In this article, we propose a hypothesis that can account for VPC activations across all the cognitive domains reviewed. We first review VPC activations in the domains of perceptual and motor reorienting, episodic memory retrieval, language and number processing, theory of mind, and episodic memory encoding. Then, we consider the localization of VPC activations across domains, and conclude that they are largely overlapping with some differences around the edges. Finally, we assess how well four different hypotheses of VPC function can explain findings in various domains, and conclude that a bottom-up attention hypothesis provides the most complete and parsimonious account. PMID:22609315

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

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    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. 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.

  13. ``Seeing'' electroencephalogram through the skull: imaging prefrontal cortex with fast optical signal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medvedev, Andrei V.; Kainerstorfer, Jana M.; Borisov, Sergey V.; Gandjbakhche, Amir H.; Vanmeter, John

    2010-11-01

    Near-infrared spectroscopy is a novel imaging technique potentially sensitive to both brain hemodynamics (slow signal) and neuronal activity (fast optical signal, FOS). The big challenge of measuring FOS noninvasively lies in the presumably low signal-to-noise ratio. Thus, detectability of the FOS has been controversially discussed. We present reliable detection of FOS from 11 individuals concurrently with electroencephalogram (EEG) during a Go-NoGo task. Probes were placed bilaterally over prefrontal cortex. Independent component analysis (ICA) was used for artifact removal. Correlation coefficient in the best correlated FOS-EEG ICA pairs was highly significant (p prefrontal cortex in rapid object recognition. EROS is highly localized and can provide cost-effective imaging tools for cortical mapping of cognitive processes.

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

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    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.

  15. Local but not long-range microstructural differences of the ventral temporal cortex in developmental prosopagnosia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Sunbin; Garrido, Lúcia; Nagy, Zoltan; Mohammadi, Siawoosh; Steel, Adam; Driver, Jon; Dolan, Ray J; Duchaine, Bradley; Furl, Nicholas

    2015-11-01

    Individuals with developmental prosopagnosia (DP) experience face recognition impairments despite normal intellect and low-level vision and no history of brain damage. Prior studies using diffusion tensor imaging in small samples of subjects with DP (n=6 or n=8) offer conflicting views on the neurobiological bases for DP, with one suggesting white matter differences in two major long-range tracts running through the temporal cortex, and another suggesting white matter differences confined to fibers local to ventral temporal face-specific functional regions of interest (fROIs) in the fusiform gyrus. Here, we address these inconsistent findings using a comprehensive set of analyzes in a sample of DP subjects larger than both prior studies combined (n=16). While we found no microstructural differences in long-range tracts between DP and age-matched control participants, we found differences local to face-specific fROIs, and relationships between these microstructural measures with face recognition ability. We conclude that subtle differences in local rather than long-range tracts in the ventral temporal lobe are more likely associated with developmental prosopagnosia. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Thomas C; Becker, Nadine; Apps, Richard; Jones, Matthew W

    2014-01-01

    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-anesthetized 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kostopoulos, Penelope; Petrides, Michael

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26831102

  19. Dopamine Development in the Mouse Orbital Prefrontal Cortex Is Protracted and Sensitive to Amphetamine in Adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoops, Daniel; Reynolds, Lauren M; Restrepo-Lozano, Jose-Maria; Flores, Cecilia

    2018-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is divided into subregions, including the medial and orbital prefrontal cortices. Dopamine connectivity in the medial PFC (mPFC) continues to be established throughout adolescence as the result of the continuous growth of axons that innervated the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) prior to adolescence. During this period, dopamine axons remain vulnerable to environmental influences, such as drugs used recreationally by humans. The developmental trajectory of the orbital prefrontal dopamine innervation remains almost completely unstudied. Nonetheless, the orbital PFC (oPFC) is critical for some of the most complex functions of the PFC and is disrupted by drugs of abuse, both in adolescent humans and rodents. Here, we use quantitative neuroanatomy, axon-initiated viral-vector recombination, and pharmacology in mice to determine the spatiotemporal development of the dopamine innervation to the oPFC and its vulnerability to amphetamine in adolescence. We find that dopamine innervation to the oPFC also continues to increase during adolescence and that this increase is due to the growth of new dopamine axons to this region. Furthermore, amphetamine in adolescence dramatically reduces the number of presynaptic sites on oPFC dopamine axons. In contrast, dopamine innervation to the piriform cortex is not protracted across adolescence and is not impacted by amphetamine exposure during adolescence, indicating that dopamine development during adolescence is a uniquely prefrontal phenomenon. This renders these fibers, and the PFC in general, particularly vulnerable to environmental risk factors during adolescence, such as recreational drug use.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asp, Erik; Manzel, Kenneth; Koestner, Bryan; Denburg, Natalie L.; Tranel, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23745103

  1. Inactivation of medial prefrontal cortex or acute stress impairs odor span in rats

    OpenAIRE

    Don A Davies; Molder, Joel J.; Greba, Quentin; Howland, John G.

    2013-01-01

    The capacity of working memory is limited and is altered in brain disorders including schizophrenia. In rodent working memory tasks, capacity is typically not measured (at least not explicitly). One task that does measure working memory capacity is the odor span task (OST) developed by Dudchenko and colleagues. In separate experiments, the effects of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) inactivation or acute stress on the OST were assessed in rats. Inactivation of the mPFC profoundly impaired odor...

  2. Characterization of Spontaneous, Transient Adenosine Release in the Caudate-Putamen and Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Michael D.; Lee, Scott T.; Ross, Ashley E.; Ryals, Matthew; Choudhry, Vishesh I.; Venton, B. Jill

    2014-01-01

    Adenosine is a neuroprotective agent that inhibits neuronal activity and modulates neurotransmission. Previous research has shown adenosine gradually accumulates during pathologies such as stroke and regulates neurotransmission on the minute-to-hour time scale. Our lab developed a method using carbon-fiber microelectrodes to directly measure adenosine changes on a sub-second time scale with fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV). Recently, adenosine release lasting a couple of seconds has been found in murine spinal cord slices. In this study, we characterized spontaneous, transient adenosine release in vivo, in the caudate-putamen and prefrontal cortex of anesthetized rats. The average concentration of adenosine release was 0.17±0.01 µM in the caudate and 0.19±0.01 µM in the prefrontal cortex, although the range was large, from 0.04 to 3.2 µM. The average duration of spontaneous adenosine release was 2.9±0.1 seconds and 2.8±0.1 seconds in the caudate and prefrontal cortex, respectively. The concentration and number of transients detected do not change over a four hour period, suggesting spontaneous events are not caused by electrode implantation. The frequency of adenosine transients was higher in the prefrontal cortex than the caudate-putamen and was modulated by A1 receptors. The A1 antagonist DPCPX (8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine, 6 mg/kg i.p.) increased the frequency of spontaneous adenosine release, while the A1 agonist CPA (N6-cyclopentyladenosine, 1 mg/kg i.p.) decreased the frequency. These findings are a paradigm shift for understanding the time course of adenosine signaling, demonstrating that there is a rapid mode of adenosine signaling that could cause transient, local neuromodulation. PMID:24494035

  3. Chronic ethanol alters network activity and endocannabinoid signaling in the prefrontal cortex

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    Matthew ePava

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Chronic use of alcohol is associated with structural and functional alterations in brain areas that subserve cognitive processes. Of particular importance is the prefrontal cortex (PFC that is involved in higher order behaviors such as decision making, risk assessment and judgment. Understanding the mechanisms that underlie alcohol’s effects on PFC function is important for developing strategies to overcome the cognitive deficits that may predispose individuals to relapse. Our previous studies showed that acutely applied ethanol inhibits network activity in slices of prefrontal cortex and that exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids modulate up-state dynamics. In the present study, we examined the effects of repeated alcohol exposure on cannabinoid regulation of up-states in slice cultures of the prefrontal cortex. Compared to controls, up-state duration, but not amplitude was enhanced when measured four days after a 10 day ethanol exposure (44 mM ethanol; equivalent to 0.2% blood ethanol. Administration of the CB1 agonist WIN 55,212-2 enhanced the amplitude of up-states in control cultures but not in those treated previously with ethanol. This lack of effect occurred in the absence of any noticeable change in CB1 receptor protein expression. Chronic ethanol treatment and withdrawal also blunted WIN’s inhibition of electrically evoked GABA IPSCs in layer II/III pyramidal neurons but not those in layer V/VI. WIN inhibited the amplitude of spontaneous GABA IPSCs in both layers and the magnitude of this effect was not altered by ethanol treatment. However, in layer V/VI neurons, WIN’s effect on sIPSC frequency was greater in ethanol treated cultures. WIN also inhibited electrically evoked NMDA EPSCs in both layer II/III and V/VI neurons but this action was unaffected by ethanol treatment and withdrawal. Overall, these results suggest that ethanol’s down-regulation of cannabinoid signaling results in altered network activity in the prefrontal

  4. Temperament Type Specific Metabolite Profiles of the Prefrontal Cortex and Serum in Cattle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brand, Bodo; Hadlich, Frieder; Brandt, Bettina; Schauer, Nicolas; Graunke, Katharina L.; Langbein, Jan; Repsilber, Dirk; Ponsuksili, Siriluk; Schwerin, Manfred

    2015-01-01

    In the past decade the number of studies investigating temperament in farm animals has increased greatly because temperament has been shown not only to affect handling but also reproduction, health and economically important production traits. However, molecular pathways underlying temperament and molecular pathways linking temperament to production traits, health and reproduction have yet to be studied in full detail. Here we report the results of metabolite profiling of the prefrontal cortex and serum of cattle with distinct temperament types that were performed to further explore their molecular divergence in the response to the slaughter procedure and to identify new targets for further research of cattle temperament. By performing an untargeted comprehensive metabolite profiling, 627 and 1097 metabolite features comprising 235 and 328 metabolites could be detected in the prefrontal cortex and serum, respectively. In total, 54 prefrontal cortex and 51 serum metabolite features were indicated to have a high relevance in the classification of temperament types by a sparse partial least square discriminant analysis. A clear discrimination between fearful/neophobic-alert, interested-stressed, subdued/uninterested-calm and outgoing/neophilic-alert temperament types could be observed based on the abundance of the identified relevant prefrontal cortex and serum metabolites. Metabolites with high relevance in the classification of temperament types revealed that the main differences between temperament types in the response to the slaughter procedure were related to the abundance of glycerophospholipids, fatty acyls and sterol lipids. Differences in the abundance of metabolites related to C21 steroid metabolism and oxidative stress indicated that the differences in the metabolite profiles of the four extreme temperament types could be the result of a temperament type specific regulation of molecular pathways that are known to be involved in the stress and fear response

  5. Relationship of Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor and Cholecystokinin Immunoreactivity in Monkey Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Eggan, Stephen M.; Melchitzky, Darlene S.; Sesack, Susan R.; Fish, Kenneth N.; Lewis, David A.

    2010-01-01

    Exposure to cannabis impairs cognitive functions reliant on the circuitry of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and increases the risk of schizophrenia. The actions of cannabis are mediated via the brain cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1R), which in rodents is heavily localized to the axon terminals of cortical GABA basket neurons that contain cholecystokinin (CCK). Differences in the laminar distribution of CB1R-immunoreactive (IR) axons have been reported between rodent and monkey neocort...

  6. 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-...

  7. Auditory inhibitory gating in medial prefrontal cortex: Single unit and local field potential analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mears, R P; Klein, A C; Cromwell, H C

    2006-08-11

    Medial prefrontal cortex is a crucial region involved in inhibitory processes. Damage to the medial prefrontal cortex can lead to loss of normal inhibitory control over motor, sensory, emotional and cognitive functions. The goal of the present study was to examine the basic properties of inhibitory gating in this brain region in rats. Inhibitory gating has recently been proposed as a neurophysiological assay for sensory filters in higher brain regions that potentially enable or disable information throughput. This perspective has important clinical relevance due to the findings that gating is dramatically impaired in individuals with emotional and cognitive impairments (i.e. schizophrenia). We used the standard inhibitory gating two-tone paradigm with a 500 ms interval between tones and a 10 s interval between tone pairs. We recorded both single unit and local field potentials from chronic microwire arrays implanted in the medial prefrontal cortex. We investigated short-term (within session) and long-term (between session) variability of auditory gating and additionally examined how altering the interval between the tones influenced the potency of the inhibition. The local field potentials displayed greater variability with a reduction in the amplitudes of the tone responses over both the short and long-term time windows. The decrease across sessions was most intense for the second tone response (test tone) leading to a more robust gating (lower T/C ratio). Surprisingly, single unit responses of different varieties retained similar levels of auditory responsiveness and inhibition in both the short and long-term analysis. Neural inhibition decreased monotonically related to the increase in intertone interval. This change in gating was most consistent in the local field potentials. Subsets of single unit responses did not show the lack of inhibition even for the longer intertone intervals tested (4 s interval). These findings support the idea that the medial

  8. Damage to the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Impairs Learning from Observed Outcomes

    OpenAIRE

    Kumaran, D.; Warren, D. E.; Tranel, D.

    2015-01-01

    Individuals learn both from the outcomes of their own internally generated actions ("experiential learning") and from the observation of the consequences of externally generated actions ("observational learning"). While neuroscience research has focused principally on the neural mechanisms by which brain structures such as the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) support experiential learning, relatively less is known regarding how learning proceeds through passive observation. We explored ...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    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 inf...

  10. Prefrontal Cortex HCN1 Channels Enable Intrinsic Persistent Neural Firing and Executive Memory Function

    OpenAIRE

    Thuault, Sébastien J.; Malleret, Gaël; Constantinople, Christine M.; Nicholls, Russell; Chen, Irene; Zhu, Judy; Panteleyev, Andrey; Vronskaya, Svetlana; Nolan, Matthew F.; Bruno, Randy; Siegelbaum, Steven A.; Kandel, Eric R.

    2013-01-01

    In many cortical neurons, HCN1 channels are the major contributors to I-h, the hyperpolarization-activated current, which regulates the intrinsic properties of neurons and shapes their integration of synaptic inputs, paces rhythmic activity, and regulates synaptic plasticity. Here, we examine the physiological role of I-h in deep layer pyramidal neurons in mouse prefrontal cortex (PFC), focusing on persistent activity, a form of sustained firing thought to be important for the behavioral func...

  11. Decisional role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in ocular motor behaviour

    OpenAIRE

    Pierrot‐Deseilligny, C.; Müri, R. M.; Ploner, C. J.; Gaymard, B; Demeret, S.; Rivaud‐Pechoux, S.

    2017-01-01

    Three patients with a unilateral cortical lesion affecting the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), i.e. Brodmann area 46, were tested using different paradigms of reflexive saccades (gap and overlap tasks), intentional saccades (antisaccades, memory‐guided and predictive saccades) and smooth pursuit movements. Visually guided saccades with gap and overlap, latency of correct antisaccades and memory‐guided saccades and the gain of smooth pursuit were normal, compared with controls. These r...

  12. 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.

  13. Age-related effect of serotonin transporter genotype on amygdala and prefrontal cortex function in adolescence

    OpenAIRE

    Wiggins, Jillian Lee; Bedoyan, Jirair K.; Carrasco, Melisa; Swartz, Johnna R.; Martin, Donna M.; Monk, Christopher S.

    2012-01-01

    The S and LG alleles of the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) lower serotonin transporter expression. These low expressing alleles are linked to increased risk for depression and brain activation patterns found in depression (increased amygdala activation and decreased amygdala-prefrontal cortex connectivity). Paradoxically, serotonin transporter blockade relieves depression symptoms. Rodent models suggest that decreased serotonin transporter in early life produces de...

  14. Activation of AMPA Receptors Mediates the Antidepressant Action of Deep Brain Stimulation of the Infralimbic Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Sánchez, Laura; Castañé, Anna; Pérez-Caballero, Laura; Grifoll-Escoda, Marc; López-Gil, Xavier; Campa, Leticia; Galofré, Mireia; Berrocoso, Esther; Adell, Albert

    2016-06-01

    Although deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been used with success in treatment-resistant depression, little is known about its mechanism of action. We examined the antidepressant-like activity of short (1 h) DBS applied to the infralimbic prefrontal cortex in the forced swim test (FST) and the novelty-suppressed feeding test (NSFT). We also used in vivo microdialysis to evaluate the release of glutamate, γ-aminobutyric acid, serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline in the prefrontal cortex and c-Fos immunohistochemistry to determine the brain regions activated by DBS. One hour of DBS of the infralimbic prefrontal cortex has antidepressant-like effects in FST and NSFT, and increases prefrontal efflux of glutamate, which would activate AMPA receptors (AMPARs). This effect is specific of the infralimbic area since it is not observed after DBS of the prelimbic subregion. The activation of prefrontal AMPARs would result in a stimulation of prefrontal output to the brainstem, thus increasing serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline in the prefrontal cortex. Further, the activation of prefrontal AMPARs is necessary and sufficient condition for the antidepressant response of 1 h DBS. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Prenatal restraint stress: an in vivo microdialysis study on catecholamine release in the rat prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carboni, E; Barros, V G; Ibba, M; Silvagni, A; Mura, C; Antonelli, M C

    2010-06-16

    There is substantial evidence that prenatal exposure to adverse environmental conditions might lead to the psychiatric disorders that can appear in adolescence or in adulthood; vulnerability to drug addiction may increase as well. It is currently accepted that the alteration of catecholamine transmission in the prefrontal cortex plays a prominent role in the etiology of psychiatric disorders. We assessed basal and stimulated dopamine and noradrenaline extracellular concentration in the medial prefrontal cortex by means of microdialysis in awake male adolescent and young adult offspring of rats exposed to restraint stress in the last week of pregnancy. Catecholamine stimulation was obtained by amphetamine or nicotine. We observed that prenatal stress (PNS) did not change dopamine but decreased noradrenaline basal output in both adolescents and adults. Moreover, it decreased amphetamine stimulated dopamine output and increased amphetamine stimulated noradrenaline output. PNS decreased nicotine stimulated noradrenaline (but not dopamine output) in adults, though not in adolescents. These data show that PNS stress modifies prefrontal cortex catecholamine transmission in a complex and age dependent manner. Our results support the view that prenatal stress may be a contributing factor for the development of psychiatric disorders and that its effect may augment drug addiction vulnerability. 2010 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Harmine and Imipramine Promote Antioxidant Activities in Prefrontal Cortex and Hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gislaine Z. Réus

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available A growing body of evidence has suggested that reactive oxygen species (ROS may play an important role in the physiopathology of depression. Evidence has pointed to the β-carboline harmine as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of depression. The present study we evaluated the effects of acute and chronic administration of harmine (5, 10 and 15 mg/kg and imipramine (10, 20 and 30 mg/kg or saline in lipid and protein oxidation levels and superoxide dismutase (SOD and catalase (CAT activities in rat prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Acute and chronic treatments with imipramine and harmine reduced lipid and protein oxidation, compared to control group in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. The SOD and CAT activities increased with acute and chronic treatments with imipramine and harmine, compared to control group in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. In conclusion, our results indicate positive effects of imipramine antidepressant and β-carboline harmine of oxidative stress parameters, increasing SOD and CAT activities and decreasing lipid and protein oxidation.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brincat, Scott L; Miller, Earl K

    2016-09-14

    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. 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. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/369739-16$15.00/0.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Stress induced a shift from dorsal hippocampus to prefrontal cortex-dependent memory retrieval: role of regional corticosterone.

    OpenAIRE

    Gaelle eDominguez; Pierre eFaucher; Nadia eHenkous; Ali eKrazem; Christophe ePierard; Daniel eBeracochea

    2014-01-01

    Most of the deleterious effects of stress on memory retrieval are due to a dysfunction of the hippocampo-prefrontal cortex interplay. The role of the stress-induced regional corticosterone increase in such dysfunction remains however unclear, since there is no published study as yet dedicated to measuring corticosterone concentrations simultaneously in both the prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the hippocampus (dHPC) in relation with memory impairments. To that aim, we first showed in Experiment 1...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fiebach, C.J.; Schubotz, R.I.

    2006-01-01

    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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Executive Control Over Cognition: Stronger and Earlier Rule-Based Modulation of Spatial Category Signals in Prefrontal Cortex Relative to Parietal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodwin, Shikha J.; Blackman, Rachael K.; Sakellaridi, Sofia

    2012-01-01

    Human cognition is characterized by flexibility, the ability to select not only which action but which cognitive process to engage to best achieve the current behavioral objective. The ability to tailor information processing in the brain to rules, goals, or context is typically referred to as executive control, and although there is consensus that prefrontal cortex is importantly involved, at present we have an incomplete understanding of how computational flexibility is implemented at the level of prefrontal neurons and networks. To better understand the neural mechanisms of computational flexibility, we simultaneously recorded the electrical activity of groups of single neurons within prefrontal and posterior parietal cortex of monkeys performing a task that required executive control of spatial cognitive processing. In this task, monkeys applied different spatial categorization rules to reassign the same set of visual stimuli to alternative categories on a trial-by-trial basis. We found that single neurons were activated to represent spatially defined categories in a manner that was rule dependent, providing a physiological signature of a cognitive process that was implemented under executive control. We found also that neural signals coding rule-dependent categories were distributed between the parietal and prefrontal cortex—however, not equally. Rule-dependent category signals were stronger, more powerfully modulated by the rule, and earlier to emerge in prefrontal cortex relative to parietal cortex. This suggests that prefrontal cortex may initiate the switch in neural representation at a network level that is important for computational flexibility. PMID:22399773

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

  9. Stable immediate early gene expression patterns in medial prefrontal cortex and striatum after long-term cocaine self-administration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Ping; Limpens, Jules H W; Spijker, Sabine; Vanderschuren, Louk J M J; Voorn, Pieter

    2017-03-01

    The transition from casual to compulsive drug use is thought to occur as a consequence of repeated drug taking leading to neuroadaptive changes in brain circuitry involved in emotion and cognition. At the basis of such neuroadaptations lie changes in the expression of immediate early genes (IEGs) implicated in transcriptional regulation, synaptic plasticity and intracellular signalling. However, little is known about how IEG expression patterns change during long-term drug self-administration. The present study, therefore, compares the effects of 10 and 60-day self-administration of cocaine and sucrose on the expression of 17 IEGs in brain regions implicated in addictive behaviour, i.e. dorsal striatum, ventral striatum and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Increased expression after cocaine self-administration was found for 6 IEGs in dorsal and ventral striatum (c-fos, Mkp1, Fosb/ΔFosb, Egr2, Egr4, and Arc) and 10 IEGs in mPFC (same 6 IEGs as in striatum, plus Bdnf, Homer1, Sgk1 and Rgs2). Five of these 10 IEGs (Egr2, Fosb/ΔFosb, Bdnf, Homer1 and Jun) and Trkb in mPFC were responsive to long-term sucrose self-administration. Importantly, no major differences were found between IEG expression patterns after 10 or 60 days of cocaine self-administration, except Fosb/ΔFosb in dorsal striatum and Egr2 in mPFC, whereas the amount of cocaine obtained per session was comparable for short-term and long-term self-administration. These steady changes in IEG expression are, therefore, associated with stable self-administration behaviour rather than the total amount of cocaine consumed. Thus, sustained impulses to IEG regulation during prolonged cocaine self-administration may evoke neuroplastic changes underlying compulsive drug use. © 2015 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  10. A Study on a Brain-Computer Interface for Motor Assist by Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misawa, Tadanobu; Takano, Shinya; Shimokawa, Tetsuya; Hirobayashi, Shigeki

    In recent times, considerable research has been conducted on the development of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). Although there have been several reports on BCIs that assist motor functions by measurement of brain activity in the motor cortex, only a few studies have reported on BCI that assist motor functions by measurement of activity in areas other than the motor cortex. In this study, we experimentally develop a BCI that assists motor functions on the basis of brain activity in the prefrontal cortex. In this BCI system, subjects are shown the labyrinth problem. Concretely, brain activity is measured using fNIRS and the data are acquired in real time. The signal processing module implements low pass filtering of these signals. Further, the pattern classification module used in this system currently is a support vector machine. 22 subjects, both male and female, volunteered to participate in this experiment. 8 of these 22 subjects were able to solve the labyrinth problem. In this experiment, we could not obtain a high distinction. However, these results show that it is possible to develop BCI systems that assist motor functions using information from the prefrontal cortex.

  11. Reduction in Phencyclidine Induced Sensorimotor Gating Deficits in the Rat Following Increased System xc− Activity in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutgen, Victoria; Qualmann, Krista; Resch, Jon; Kong, Linghai; Choi, SuJean; Baker, David A.

    2012-01-01

    Rationale Aspects of schizophrenia, including deficits in sensorimotor gating, have been linked to glutamate dysfunction and/or oxidative stress in the prefrontal cortex. System xc−, a cystine- glutamate antiporter, is a poorly understood mechanism that contributes to both cellular antioxidant capacity and glutamate homeostasis. Objectives Our goal was to determine whether increased system xc− activity within the prefrontal cortex would normalize a rodent measure of sensorimotor gating. Methods In situ hybridization was used to map mRNA expression of xCT, the active subunit of system xc−, in the prefrontal cortex. Prepulse inhibition was used to measure sensorimotor gating; deficits in prepulse inhibition were produced using phencyclidine (0.3–3 mg/kg, sc). N-acetylcysteine (10–100 μM) and the system xc− inhibitor (S)-4-carboxyphenylglycine (CPG, 0.5 μM) were used to increase and decrease system xc− activity, respectively. The uptake of 14C-cystine into tissue punches obtained from the prefrontal cortex was used to assay system xc− activity. Results The expression of xCT mRNA in the prefrontal cortex was most prominent in a lateral band spanning primarily the prelimbic cortex. Although phencyclidine did not alter the uptake of 14C-cystine in prefrontal cortical tissue punches, intra-prefrontal cortical infusion of N-acetylcysteine (10–100 μM) significantly reduced phencyclidine- (1.5 mg/kg, sc) induced deficits in prepulse inhibition. N-acetylcysteine was without effect when co-infused with CPG (0.5 μM), indicating an involvement of system xc−. Conclusions These results indicate that phencyclidine disrupts sensorimotor gating through system xc− independent mechanisms, but that increasing cystine-glutamate exchange in the prefrontal cortex is sufficient to reduce behavioral deficits produced by phencyclidine. PMID:23192314

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

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    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.

  13. Dissociating Value Representation and Inhibition of Inappropriate Affective Response during Reversal Learning in the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex123

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    Manson, Kirk F.; Schiller, Daniela

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Decision-making studies have implicated the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) in tracking the value of rewards and punishments. At the same time, fear-learning studies have pointed to a role of the same area in updating previously learned cue–outcome associations. To disentangle these accounts, we used a reward reversal-learning paradigm in a functional magnetic resonance imaging study in 18 human participants. Participants first learned that one of two colored squares (color A) was associated with monetary reward, whereas the other (color B) was not, and then had to learn that these contingencies reversed. Consistent with value representation, activity of a dorsal region of vmPFC was positively correlated with reward magnitude. Conversely, a more ventral region of vmPFC responded more to color A than to color B after contingency reversal, compatible with a role of inhibiting the previously learned response that was no longer appropriate. Moreover, the response strength was correlated with subjects’ behavioral learning strength. Our findings provide direct evidence for the spatial dissociation of value representation and affective response inhibition in the vmPFC. PMID:26730406

  14. Dissociating Value Representation and Inhibition of Inappropriate Affective Response during Reversal Learning in the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhihao; Mendelsohn, Avi; Manson, Kirk F; Schiller, Daniela; Levy, Ifat

    2015-01-01

    Decision-making studies have implicated the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) in tracking the value of rewards and punishments. At the same time, fear-learning studies have pointed to a role of the same area in updating previously learned cue-outcome associations. To disentangle these accounts, we used a reward reversal-learning paradigm in a functional magnetic resonance imaging study in 18 human participants. Participants first learned that one of two colored squares (color A) was associated with monetary reward, whereas the other (color B) was not, and then had to learn that these contingencies reversed. Consistent with value representation, activity of a dorsal region of vmPFC was positively correlated with reward magnitude. Conversely, a more ventral region of vmPFC responded more to color A than to color B after contingency reversal, compatible with a role of inhibiting the previously learned response that was no longer appropriate. Moreover, the response strength was correlated with subjects' behavioral learning strength. Our findings provide direct evidence for the spatial dissociation of value representation and affective response inhibition in the vmPFC.

  15. 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.

  16. Selective increase of intention-based economic decisions by noninvasive brain stimulation to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

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    Nihonsugi, Tsuyoshi; Ihara, Aya; Haruno, Masahiko

    2015-02-25

    The intention behind another's action and the impact of the outcome are major determinants of human economic behavior. It is poorly understood, however, whether the two systems share a core neural computation. Here, we investigated whether the two systems are causally dissociable in the brain by integrating computational modeling, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and transcranial direct current stimulation experiments in a newly developed trust game task. We show not only that right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) activity is correlated with intention-based economic decisions and that ventral striatum and amygdala activity are correlated with outcome-based decisions, but also that stimulation to the DLPFC selectively enhances intention-based decisions. These findings suggest that the right DLPFC is involved in the implementation of intention-based decisions in the processing of cooperative decisions. This causal dissociation of cortical and subcortical backgrounds may indicate evolutionary and developmental differences in the two decision systems. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/53412-08$15.00/0.

  17. Fast Left Prefrontal rTMS Acutely Suppresses Analgesic Effects of Perceived Controllability on the Emotional Component of Pain Experience

    OpenAIRE

    Borckardt, Jeffrey J.; Reeves, Scott T.; Frohman, Heather; Madan, Alok; Jensen, Mark P.; Patterson, David; Barth, Kelly; Smith, A. Richard; Gracely, Richard; George, Mark S.

    2010-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex may be a promising target for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the management of pain. It is not clear how prefrontal TMS affects pain perception, but previous findings suggest that ventral lateral and medial prefrontal circuits may comprise an important part of a circuit of ‘perceived controllability’ regarding pain, stress and learned helplessness. While the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is a common TMS target for treating clinical depression as well as...

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

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    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.

  19. Sleep Deprivation Impairs Object-Selective Attention: A View from the Ventral Visual Cortex

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

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20140099

  20. Making working memory work: a computational model of learning in the prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Reilly, Randall C; Frank, Michael J

    2006-02-01

    The prefrontal cortex has long been thought to subserve both working memory (the holding of information online for processing) and executive functions (deciding how to manipulate working memory and perform processing). Although many computational models of working memory have been developed, the mechanistic basis of executive function remains elusive, often amounting to a homunculus. This article presents an attempt to deconstruct this homunculus through powerful learning mechanisms that allow a computational model of the prefrontal cortex to control both itself and other brain areas in a strategic, task-appropriate manner. These learning mechanisms are based on subcortical structures in the midbrain, basal ganglia, and amygdala, which together form an actor-critic architecture. The critic system learns which prefrontal representations are task relevant and trains the actor, which in turn provides a dynamic gating mechanism for controlling working memory updating. Computationally, the learning mechanism is designed to simultaneously solve the temporal and structural credit assignment problems. The model's performance compares favorably with standard backpropagation-based temporal learning mechanisms on the challenging 1-2-AX working memory task and other benchmark working memory tasks.

  1. Dissociation of the rostral and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during sequence learning in saccades: a TMS investigation.

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    Burke, M R; Coats, R O

    2016-02-01

    This experiment sought to find whether differences exist between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the medial rostral prefrontal cortex (MRPFC) for performing stimulus-independent and stimulus-oriented tasks, respectively. To find a causal relationship in these areas, we employed the use of trans-cranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Prefrontal areas were stimulated whilst participants performed random or predictable sequence learning tasks at stimulus onset (1st presentation of the sequence only for both Random and Predictable), or during the inter-sequence interval. Overall, we found that during the predictable task a significant decrease in saccade latency, gain and duration was found when compared to the randomised conditions, as expected and observed previously. However, TMS stimulation in DLPFC during the delay in the predictive sequence learning task reduced this predictive ability by delaying the saccadic onset and generating abnormal reductions in saccadic gains during prediction. In contrast, we found that stimulation during a delay in MRPFC reversed the normal effects on peak velocity of the task with the predictive task revealing higher peak velocity than the randomised task. These findings provide causal evidence for independent functions of DLPFC and MRPFC in performing stimulus-independent processing during sequence learning in saccades.

  2. Treadmill exercise induces age and protocol-dependent epigenetic changes in prefrontal cortex of Wistar rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cechinel, Laura Reck; Basso, Carla Giovana; Bertoldi, Karine; Schallenberger, Bruna; de Meireles, Louisiana Carolina Ferreira; Siqueira, Ionara Rodrigues

    2016-10-15

    Some studies have linked age-related beneficial effects of exercise and epigenetic mechanisms. Although, the impact of treadmill exercise on histone acetylation, histone and DNA methylation marks in aged cortices yet remains poorly understood. Considering the role of frontal cortex on brain functions, we investigated the potential of different exercise protocols, single session and daily exercise, to modulate epigenetic marks, namely global H4 acetylation, histone methyltransferase activity (HMT H3K27) and levels of DNA methytransferase (DNMT1 and DNMT3b) in prefrontal cortices from 3 and 21-months aged Wistar rats. The animals were submitted to two treadmill exercise protocols, single session (20min) or daily moderate (20min/day during 14days). The daily exercise protocol induced an increased in histone H4 acetylation levels in prefrontal cortices of 21-months-old rats, without any effects in young adult group. DNMT3b levels were increased in aged cortices of animals submitted to single session of exercise. These results indicate that prefrontal cortex is susceptible to epigenetic changes in a protocol dependent-manner and that H4 acetylation levels and DNMT3b content changes might be linked at least in part to exercise-induced effects on brain functions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. The Emerging Neurobiology of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: The Key Role of the Prefrontal Association Cortex

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    Arnsten, Amy F.T.

    2009-01-01

    Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, and locomotor hyperactivity. Recent advances in neurobiology, imaging, and genetics have led to a greater understanding of the etiology and treatment of ADHD. Studies have found that ADHD is associated with weaker function and structure of prefrontal cortex (PFC) circuits, especially in the right hemisphere. The prefrontal association cortex plays a crucial role in regulating attention, behavior, and emotion, with the right hemisphere specialized for behavioral inhibition. The PFC is highly dependent on the correct neurochemical environment for proper function: noradrenergic stimulation of postsynaptic alpha-2A adrenoceptors and dopaminergic stimulation of D1 receptors is necessary for optimal prefrontal function. ADHD is associated with genetic changes that weaken catecholamine signaling and, in some patients, with slowed PFC maturation. Effective pharmacologic treatments for ADHD all enhance catecholamine signaling in the PFC and strengthen its regulation of attention and behavior. Recent animal studies show that therapeutic doses of stimulant medications preferentially increase norepinephrine and, to a lesser extent, dopamine, in the PFC. These doses reduce locomotor activity and improve PFC regulation of attention and behavior through enhanced catecholamine stimulation of alpha-2A and D1 receptors. These findings in animals are consistent with improved PFC function in normal human subjects and, more prominently, in patients with ADHD. Thus, a highly cohesive story is emerging regarding the etiology and treatment of ADHD. PMID:20596295

  4. Selective deficit in personal moral judgment following damage to ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciaramelli, Elisa; Muccioli, Michela; Làdavas, Elisabetta; di Pellegrino, Giuseppe

    2007-06-01

    Recent fMRI evidence has detected increased medial prefrontal activation during contemplation of personal moral dilemmas compared to impersonal ones, which suggests that this cortical region plays a role in personal moral judgment. However, functional imaging results cannot definitively establish that a brain area is necessary for a particular cognitive process. This requires evidence from lesion techniques, such as studies of human patients with focal brain damage. Here, we tested 7 patients with lesions in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and 12 healthy individuals in personal moral dilemmas, impersonal moral dilemmas and non-moral dilemmas. Compared to normal controls, patients were more willing to judge personal moral violations as acceptable behaviors in personal moral dilemmas, and they did so more quickly. In contrast, their performance in impersonal and non-moral dilemmas was comparable to that of controls. These results indicate that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex is necessary to oppose personal moral violations, possibly by mediating anticipatory, self-focused, emotional reactions that may exert strong influence on moral choice and behavior.

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

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    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. Working memory training is associated with lower prefrontal cortex activation in a divergent thinking task.

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    Vartanian, O; Jobidon, M-E; Bouak, F; Nakashima, A; Smith, I; Lam, Q; Cheung, B

    2013-04-16

    Working memory (WM) training has been shown to lead to improvements in WM capacity and fluid intelligence. Given that divergent thinking loads on WM and fluid intelligence, we tested the hypothesis that WM training would improve performance and moderate neural function in the Alternate Uses Task (AUT)-a classic test of divergent thinking. We tested this hypothesis by administering the AUT in the functional magnetic resonance imaging scanner following a short regimen of WM training (experimental condition), or engagement in a choice reaction time task not expected to engage WM (active control condition). Participants in the experimental group exhibited significant improvement in performance in the WM task as a function of training, as well as a significant gain in fluid intelligence. Although the two groups did not differ in their performance on the AUT, activation was significantly lower in the experimental group in ventrolateral prefrontal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices-two brain regions known to play dissociable and critical roles in divergent thinking. Furthermore, gain in fluid intelligence mediated the effect of training on brain activation in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. These results indicate that a short regimen of WM training is associated with lower prefrontal activation-a marker of neural efficiency-in divergent thinking. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Acetazolamide potentiates the afferent drive to prefrontal cortex in vivo.

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    Bueno-Junior, Lezio S; Ruggiero, Rafael N; Rossignoli, Matheus T; Del Bel, Elaine A; Leite, Joao P; Uchitel, Osvaldo D

    2017-01-01

    The knowledge on real-time neurophysiological effects of acetazolamide is still far behind the wide clinical use of this drug. Acetazolamide - a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor - has been shown to affect the neuromuscular transmission, implying a pH-mediated influence on the central synaptic transmission. To start filling such a gap, we chose a central substrate: hippocampal-prefrontal cortical projections; and a synaptic phenomenon: paired-pulse facilitation (a form of synaptic plasticity) to probe this drug's effects on interareal brain communication in chronically implanted rats. We observed that systemic acetazolamide potentiates the hippocampal-prefrontal paired-pulse facilitation. In addition to this field electrophysiology data, we found that acetazolamide exerts a net inhibitory effect on prefrontal cortical single-unit firing. We propose that systemic acetazolamide reduces the basal neuronal activity of the prefrontal cortex, whereas increasing the afferent drive it receives from the hippocampus. In addition to being relevant to the clinical and side effects of acetazolamide, these results suggest that exogenous pH regulation can have diverse impacts on afferent signaling across the neocortex. © 2017 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Physiological Society and the American Physiological Society.

  8. Is the prefrontal cortex important for fluid intelligence? A neuropsychological study using Matrix Reasoning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tranel, Daniel; Manzel, Kenneth; Anderson, Steven W

    2008-03-01

    Patients with prefrontal damage and severe defects in decision making and emotional regulation often have a remarkable absence of intellectual impairment, as measured by conventional IQ tests such as the WAIS/WAIS-R. This enigma might be explained by shortcomings in the tests, which tend to emphasize measures of "crystallized" (e.g., vocabulary, fund of information) more than "fluid" (e.g., novel problem solving) intelligence. The WAIS-III added the Matrix Reasoning subtest to enhance measurement of fluid reasoning. In a set of four studies, we investigated Matrix Reasoning performances in 80 patients with damage to various sectors of the prefrontal cortex, and contrasted these with the performances of 80 demographically matched patients with damage outside the frontal lobes. The results failed to support the hypothesis that prefrontal damage would disproportionately impair fluid intelligence, and every prefrontal subgroup we studied (dorsolateral, ventromedial, dorsolateral + ventromedial) had Matrix Reasoning scores (as well as IQ scores more generally) that were indistinguishable from those of the brain-damaged comparison groups. Our findings do not support a connection between fluid intelligence and the frontal lobes, although a viable alternative interpretation is that the Matrix Reasoning subtest lacks construct validity as a measure of fluid intelligence.

  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. Reduction in phencyclidine induced sensorimotor gating deficits in the rat following increased system xc⁻ activity in the medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutgen, Victoria; Qualmann, Krista; Resch, Jon; Kong, Linghai; Choi, Sujean; Baker, David A

    2013-04-01

    Aspects of schizophrenia, including deficits in sensorimotor gating, have been linked to glutamate dysfunction and/or oxidative stress in the prefrontal cortex. System xc(-), a cystine-glutamate antiporter, is a poorly understood mechanism that contributes to both cellular antioxidant capacity and glutamate homeostasis. Our goal was to determine whether increased system xc(-) activity within the prefrontal cortex would normalize a rodent measure of sensorimotor gating. In situ hybridization was used to map messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of xCT, the active subunit of system xc(-), in the prefrontal cortex. Prepulse inhibition was used to measure sensorimotor gating; deficits in prepulse inhibition were produced using phencyclidine (0.3-3 mg/kg, sc). N-Acetylcysteine (10-100 μM) and the system xc(-) inhibitor (S)-4-carboxyphenylglycine (CPG, 0.5 μM) were used to increase and decrease system xc(-) activity, respectively. The uptake of (14)C-cystine into tissue punches obtained from the prefrontal cortex was used to assay system xc(-) activity. The expression of xCT mRNA in the prefrontal cortex was most prominent in a lateral band spanning primarily the prelimbic cortex. Although phencyclidine did not alter the uptake of (14)C-cystine in prefrontal cortical tissue punches, intraprefrontal cortical infusion of N-acetylcysteine (10-100 μM) significantly reduced phencyclidine- (1.5 mg/kg, sc) induced deficits in prepulse inhibition. N-Acetylcysteine was without effect when coinfused with CPG (0.5 μM), indicating an involvement of system xc(-). These results indicate that phencyclidine disrupts sensorimotor gating through system xc(-) independent mechanisms, but that increasing cystine-glutamate exchange in the prefrontal cortex is sufficient to reduce behavioral deficits produced by phencyclidine.

  11. 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.

  12. Integrating Spatial Working Memory and Remote Memory: Interactions between the Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirt, Ryan A; Hyman, James M

    2017-04-18

    In recent years, two separate research streams have focused on information sharing between the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and hippocampus (HC). Research into spatial working memory has shown that successful execution of many types of behaviors requires synchronous activity in the theta range between the mPFC and HC, whereas studies of memory consolidation have shown that shifts in area dependency may be temporally modulated. While the nature of information that is being communicated is still unclear, spatial working memory and remote memory recall is reliant on interactions between these two areas. This review will present recent evidence that shows that these two processes are not as separate as they first appeared. We will also present a novel conceptualization of the nature of the medial prefrontal representation and how this might help explain this area's role in spatial working memory and remote memory recall.

  13. Coordination of actions and habits in the medial prefrontal cortex of rats.

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    Killcross, Simon; Coutureau, Etienne

    2003-04-01

    As animals learn novel behavioural responses, performance is maintained by two dissociable influences. Initial responding is goal-directed and under voluntary control, but overtraining of the same response routine leads to behavioural autonomy and the development of habits that are no longer voluntary or goal-directed. Rats normally show goal-directed performance after limited training, indexed by sensitivity to changes in the value of reward, but this sensitivity to goal value is lost with extended training. Rats with selective lesions of the prelimbic medial prefrontal cortex showed no sensitivity to goal value after either limited or extended training, whereas rats with lesions of the infralimbic region of the medial prefrontal cortex showed the opposite pattern of deficit, a marked sensitivity to goal value after both limited and extended training. This double-dissociation suggests that the prelimbic region is responsible for voluntary response performance and the infralimbic cortex mediates the incremental ability of extended training to override this goal-directed behaviour.

  14. Tractography Activation Patterns in Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Suggest Better Clinical Responses in OCD DBS.

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    Hartmann, Christian J; Lujan, J Luis; Chaturvedi, Ashutosh; Goodman, Wayne K; Okun, Michael S; McIntyre, Cameron C; Haq, Ihtsham U

    2015-01-01

    Medication resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) patients can be successfully treated with Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) which targets the anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC) and the nucleus accumbens (NA). Growing evidence suggests that in patients who respond to DBS, axonal fiber bundles surrounding the electrode are activated, but it is currently unknown which discrete pathways are critical for optimal benefit. Our aim was to identify axonal pathways mediating clinical effects of ALIC-NA DBS. We created computational models of ALIC-NA DBS to simulate the activation of fiber tracts and to identify connected cerebral regions. The pattern of activated axons and their cortical targets was investigated in six OCD patients who underwent ALIC-NA DBS. Modulation of the right anterior middle frontal gyrus (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) was associated with an excellent response. In contrast, non-responders showed high activation in the orbital part of the right inferior frontal gyrus (lateral orbitofrontal cortex/anterior ventrolateral prefrontal cortex). Factor analysis followed by step-wise linear regression indicated that YBOCS improvement was inversely associated with factors that were predominantly determined by gray matter activation results. Our findings support the hypothesis that optimal therapeutic results are associated with the activation of distinct fiber pathways. This suggests that in DBS for OCD, focused stimulation of specific fiber pathways, which would allow for stimulation with lower amplitudes, may be superior to activation of a wide array of pathways, typically associated with higher stimulation amplitudes.

  15. Tractography activation patterns in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex suggest better clinical responses in OCD DBS

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    Christian J. Hartmann

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Medication resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD patients can be successfully treated with Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS which targets the anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC and the nucleus accumbens (NA. Growing evidence suggests that in patients who respond to DBS, axonal fiber bundles surrounding the electrode are activated, but it is currently unknown which discrete pathways are critical for optimal benefit. Our aim was to identify axonal pathways mediating clinical effects of ALIC-NA DBS.Methods: We created computational models of ALIC-NA DBS to simulate the activation of fiber tracts and to identify connected cerebral regions. The pattern of activated axons and their cortical targets was investigated in six OCD patients who underwent ALIC-NA DBS. Results: Modulation of the right anterior middle frontal gyrus (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was associated with an excellent response. In contrast, non-responders showed high activation in the orbital part of the right inferior frontal gyrus (lateral orbitofrontal cortex/anterior ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. Factor analysis followed by step-wise linear regression indicated that YBOCS improvement was inversely associated with factors that were predominantly determined by gray matter activation results.Discussion: Our findings support the hypothesis that optimal therapeutic results are associated with the activation of distinct fiber pathways. This suggests that in DBS for OCD, focused stimulation of specific fiber pathways, which would allow for stimulation with lower amplitudes, may be superior to activation of a wide array of pathways, typically associated with higher stimulation amplitudes.

  16. Differences in reward processing between putative cell types in primate prefrontal cortex.

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    Hongwei Fan

    Full Text Available Single-unit studies in monkeys have demonstrated that neurons in the prefrontal cortex predict the reward type, reward amount or reward availability associated with a stimulus. To examine contributions of pyramidal cells and interneurons in reward processing, single-unit activity was extracellularly recorded in prefrontal cortices of four monkeys performing a reward prediction task. Based on their shapes of spike waveforms, prefrontal neurons were classified into broad-spike and narrow-spike units that represented putative pyramidal cells and interneurons, respectively. We mainly observed that narrow-spike neurons showed higher firing rates but less bursty discharges than did broad-spike neurons. Both narrow-spike and broad-spike cells selectively responded to the stimulus, reward and their interaction, and the proportions of each type of selective neurons were similar between the two cell classes. Moreover, the two types of cells displayed equal reliability of reward or stimulus discrimination. Furthermore, we found that broad-spike and narrow-spike cells showed distinct mechanisms for encoding reward or stimulus information. Broad-spike neurons raised their firing rate relative to the baseline rate to represent the preferred reward or stimulus information, whereas narrow-spike neurons inhibited their firing rate lower than the baseline rate to encode the non-preferred reward or stimulus information. Our results suggest that narrow-spike and broad-spike cells were equally involved in reward and stimulus processing in the prefrontal cortex. They utilized a binary strategy to complementarily represent reward or stimulus information, which was consistent with the task structure in which the monkeys were required to remember two reward conditions and two visual stimuli.

  17. Experience Shapes the Development of Neural Substrates of Face Processing in Human Ventral Temporal Cortex.

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    Golarai, Golijeh; Liberman, Alina; Grill-Spector, Kalanit

    2017-02-01

    In adult humans, the ventral temporal cortex (VTC) represents faces in a reproducible topology. However, it is unknown what role visual experience plays in the development of this topology. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging in children and adults, we found a sequential development, in which the topology of face-selective activations across the VTC was matured by age 7, but the spatial extent and degree of face selectivity continued to develop past age 7 into adulthood. Importantly, own- and other-age faces were differentially represented, both in the distributed multivoxel patterns across the VTC, and also in the magnitude of responses of face-selective regions. These results provide strong evidence that experience shapes cortical representations of faces during development from childhood to adulthood. Our findings have important implications for the role of experience and age in shaping the neural substrates of face processing in the human VTC. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Sustained happiness? Lack of repetition suppression in right-ventral visual cortex for happy faces.

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    Suzuki, Atsunobu; Goh, Joshua O S; Hebrank, Andrew; Sutton, Bradley P; Jenkins, Lucas; Flicker, Blair A; Park, Denise C

    2011-09-01

    Emotional stimuli have been shown to preferentially engage initial attention but their sustained effects on neural processing remain largely unknown. The present study evaluated whether emotional faces engage sustained neural processing by examining the attenuation of neural repetition suppression to repeated emotional faces. Repetition suppression of neural function refers to the general reduction of neural activity when processing a repeated stimulus. Preferential processing of emotional face stimuli, however, should elicit sustained neural processing such that repetition suppression to repeated emotional faces is attenuated relative to faces with no emotional content. We measured the reduction of functional magnetic resonance imaging signals associated with immediate repetition of neutral, angry and happy faces. Whereas neutral faces elicited the greatest suppression in ventral visual cortex, followed by angry faces, repetition suppression was the most attenuated for happy faces. Indeed, happy faces showed almost no repetition suppression in part of the right-inferior occipital and fusiform gyri, which play an important role in face-identity processing. Our findings suggest that happy faces are associated with sustained visual encoding of face identity and thereby assist in the formation of more elaborate representations of the faces, congruent with findings in the behavioral literature.

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

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    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.

  20. Turning visual shapes into sounds: early stages of reading acquisition revealed in the ventral occipitotemporal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrone-Bertolotti, M; Vidal, J R; de Palma, L; Hamamé, C M; Ossandon, T; Kahane, P; Minotti, L; Bertrand, O; Lachaux, J-P

    2014-04-15

    The exact role of the left ventral occipitotemporal cortex (VOTC) during the initial stages of reading acquisition is a hotly debated issue, especially regarding the comparative effect of learning on early stimulus-dependent vs. later task-dependent processes. We show that this controversy can be solved with high-temporal resolution intracerebral EEG recordings of the VOTC. We measured High-Frequency Activity (50-150 Hz) as a proxy of population-level spiking activity while participants learned Japanese Katakana symbols, and found that learning primarily affects top-down/task-dependent neural processing, after a few minutes only. In contrast, adaptation of early bottom-up/stimulus-dependent processing takes several days to adapt and provides the basis for fluent reading. Such evidence that two consecutive stages of neural processing, stimulus- and task-dependent are differentially affected by learning, can reconcile seemingly opposite hypotheses on the role of the VOTC during reading acquisition. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Hyper-influence of the orbitofrontal cortex over the ventral striatum in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe, Yoshinari; Sakai, Yuki; Nishida, Seiji; Nakamae, Takashi; Yamada, Kei; Fukui, Kenji; Narumoto, Jin

    2015-11-01

    Dysfunction of the fronto-striato-thalamic circuit routing through the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is thought to play the main role in the pathophysiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Repetitious stimulation of the OFC-ventral striatum (VS) projections in mice has been shown to increase the firing of the postsynaptic VS cells and the frequency of OCD-like symptoms. Moreover, increased functional connectivity (FC) between the OFC and the VS has been reported in patients with OCD. While FC is a synchronous, non-directed correlation, the directed influence between these brain regions remains unclear in patients with OCD. We obtained resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans from 37 non-medicated patients with OCD and 38 matched healthy volunteers, and calculated bivariative voxel-wise Granger Causality (GC) to and from three striatal regions of interest (ROI) using a blind deconvolution procedure. Additionally, we conducted multivariative GC analysis to determine if the effect revealed by the bivariative voxel-wise GCA is mediated by another seed ROI. We found a significant hyper-influence of the OFC over the VS of subjects with OCD (ploop in non-medicated patients with OCD. We confirmed the hyperactive connection from the OFC to the VS that is consistent with previous animal studies. These findings provide evidence for the more detailed pathophysiology of OCD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  2. Multimodal connectivity mapping of the human left anterior and posterior lateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Andrew T; Bzdok, Danilo; Langner, Robert; Fox, Peter T; Laird, Angela R; Amunts, Katrin; Eickhoff, Simon B; Eickhoff, Claudia R

    2016-06-01

    Working memory is essential for many of our distinctly human abilities, including reasoning, problem solving, and planning. Research spanning many decades has helped to refine our understanding of this high-level function as comprising several hierarchically organized components, some which maintain information in the conscious mind, and others which manipulate and reorganize this information in useful ways. In the neocortex, these processes are likely implemented by a distributed frontoparietal network, with more posterior regions serving to maintain volatile information, and more anterior regions subserving the manipulation of this information. Recent meta-analytic findings have identified the anterior lateral prefrontal cortex, in particular, as being generally engaged by working memory tasks, while the posterior lateral prefrontal cortex was more strongly associated with the cognitive load required by these tasks. These findings suggest specific roles for these regions in the cognitive control processes underlying working memory. To further characterize these regions, we applied three distinct seed-based methods for determining cortical connectivity. Specifically, we employed meta-analytic connectivity mapping across task-based fMRI experiments, resting-state BOLD correlations, and VBM-based structural covariance. We found a frontoparietal pattern of convergence which strongly resembled the working memory networks identified in previous research. A contrast between anterior and posterior parts of the lateral prefrontal cortex revealed distinct connectivity patterns consistent with the idea of a hierarchical organization of frontoparietal networks. Moreover, we found a distributed network that was anticorrelated with the anterior seed region, which included most of the default mode network and a subcomponent related to social and emotional processing. These findings fit well with the internal attention model of working memory, in which representation of

  3. Functional and structural remodeling of glutamate synapses in prefrontal and frontal cortex induced by behavioral stress

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    Laura eMusazzi

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Increasing evidence has shown that the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders, including mood disorders, is associated with abnormal function and regulation of the glutamatergic system. Consistently, preclinical studies on stress-based animal models of pathology showed that glucocorticoids and stress exert crucial effects on neuronal excitability and function, especially in cortical and limbic areas. In prefrontal and frontal cortex, acute stress was shown to induce enhancement of glutamate release/transmission dependent on activation of corticosterone receptors. Although the mechanisms whereby stress affects glutamate transmission have not yet been fully understood, it was shown that synaptic, non-genomic action of corticosterone is required to increase the readily releasable pool of glutamate vesicles but is not sufficient to enhance transmission in prefrontal and frontal cortex. Slower, partly genomic mechanisms are probably necessary for the enhancement of glutamate transmission induced by stress.Combined evidence has suggested that the changes in glutamate release and transmission are responsible for the dendritic remodeling and morphological changes induced by stress and it has been argued that sustained alterations of glutamate transmission may play a key role in the long-term structural/functional changes associated with mood disorders in patients. Intriguingly, modifications of the glutamatergic system induced by stress in the prefrontal cortex seem to be biphasic. Indeed, while the fast response to stress suggests an enhancement in the number of excitatory synapses, synaptic transmission and working memory, long-term adaptive changes -including those consequent to chronic stress- induce opposite effects. Better knowledge of the cellular effectors involved in this biphasic effect of stress may be useful to understand the pathophysiology of stress-related disorders, and open new paths for the development of therapeutic approaches.

  4. Clemastine Enhances Myelination in the Prefrontal Cortex and Rescues Behavioral Changes in Socially Isolated Mice.

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    Liu, Jia; Dupree, Jeffrey L; Gacias, Mar; Frawley, Rebecca; Sikder, Tamjeed; Naik, Payal; Casaccia, Patrizia

    2016-01-20

    Altered myelin structure and oligodendrocyte function have been shown to correlate with cognitive and motor dysfunction and deficits in social behavior. We and others have previously demonstrated that social isolation in mice induced behavioral, transcriptional, and ultrastructural changes in oligodendrocytes of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). However, whether enhancing myelination and oligodendrocyte differentiation could be beneficial in reversing such changes remains unexplored. To test this hypothesis, we orally administered clemastine, an antimuscarinic compound that has been shown to enhance oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination in vitro, for 2 weeks in adult mice following social isolation. Clemastine successfully reversed social avoidance behavior in mice undergoing prolonged social isolation. Impaired myelination was rescued by oral clemastine treatment, and was associated with enhanced oligodendrocyte progenitor differentiation and epigenetic changes. Clemastine induced higher levels of repressive histone methylation (H3K9me3), a marker for heterochromatin, in oligodendrocytes, but not neurons, of the PFC. This was consistent with the capability of clemastine in elevating H3K9 histone methyltransferases activity in cultured primary mouse oligodendrocytes, an effect that could be antagonized by cotreatment with muscarine. Our data suggest that promoting adult myelination is a potential strategy for reversing depressive-like social behavior. Significance statement: Oligodendrocyte development and myelination are highly dynamic processes influenced by experience and neuronal activity. However, whether enhancing myelination and oligodendrocyte differentiation is beneficial to treat depressive-like behavior has been unexplored. Mice undergoing prolonged social isolation display impaired myelination in the prefrontal cortex. Clemastine, a Food and Drug Administration-approved antimuscarinic compound that has been shown to enhance myelination under

  5. Timing of audiovisual inputs to the prefrontal cortex and multisensory integration.

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    Romanski, L M; Hwang, J

    2012-07-12

    A number of studies have demonstrated that the relative timing of audiovisual stimuli is especially important for multisensory integration of speech signals although the neuronal mechanisms underlying this complex behavior are unknown. Temporal coincidence and congruency are thought to underlie the successful merging of two intermodal stimuli into a coherent perceptual representation. It has been previously shown that single neurons in the non-human primate prefrontal cortex integrate face and vocalization information. However, these multisensory responses and the degree to which they depend on temporal coincidence have yet to be determined. In this study we analyzed the response latency of ventrolateral prefrontal (VLPFC) neurons to face, vocalization and combined face-vocalization stimuli and an offset (asynchronous) version of the face-vocalization stimulus. Our results indicate that for most prefrontal multisensory neurons, the response latency for the vocalization was the shortest, followed by the combined face-vocalization stimuli. The face stimulus had the longest onset response latency. When tested with a dynamic face-vocalization stimulus that had been temporally offset (asynchronous) one-third of multisensory cells in VLPFC demonstrated a change in response compared to the response to the natural, synchronous face-vocalization movie. Our results indicate that prefrontal neurons are sensitive to the temporal properties of audiovisual stimuli. A disruption in the temporal synchrony of an audiovisual signal which results in a change in the firing of communication related prefrontal neurons could underlie the loss in intelligibility which occurs with asynchronous speech stimuli. Copyright © 2012 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Scopolamine impairs appetitive but not aversive trace conditioning: role of the medial prefrontal cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Pezze, Marie A.; Marshall, Hayley J.; Cassaday, Helen J.

    2017-01-01

    The muscarinic acetylcholine receptor is an important modulator of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) functions, such as the working memory required to bridge a trace interval in associative leaning. Aversive and appetitive trace conditioning procedures were used to examine the effects of scopolamine (0.1 and 0.5 mg/kg, i.p.) in male rats. Follow-up experiments tested the effects of microinfusion of 0.15 ?g of scopolamine (0.075 ?g of in 0.5 ?l/side) in infralimbic (IL) versus prelimbic regions ...

  7. Structured event complexes in the medial prefrontal cortex support counterfactual representations for future planning.

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    Barbey, Aron K; Krueger, Frank; Grafman, Jordan

    2009-05-12

    We propose that counterfactual representations for reasoning about the past or predicting the future depend on structured event complexes (SECs) in the human prefrontal cortex (PFC; 'What would happen if X were performed in the past or enacted in the future?'). We identify three major categories of counterfactual thought (concerning action versus inaction, the self versus other and upward versus downward thinking) and propose that each form of inference recruits SEC representations in distinct regions of the medial PFC. We develop a process model of the regulatory functions these representations serve and draw conclusions about the importance of SECs for explaining the past and predicting the future.

  8. Attention to Multiple Objects Facilitates Their Integration in Prefrontal and Parietal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yee-Joon; Tsai, Jeffrey J; Ojemann, Jeffrey; Verghese, Preeti

    2017-05-10

    Selective attention is known to interact with perceptual organization. In visual scenes, individual objects that are distinct and discriminable may occur on their own, or in groups such as a stack of books. The main objective of this study is to probe the neural interaction that occurs between individual objects when attention is directed toward one or more objects. Here we record steady-state visual evoked potentials via electrocorticography to directly assess the responses to individual stimuli and to their interaction. When human participants attend to two adjacent stimuli, prefrontal and parietal cortex shows a selective enhancement of only the neural interaction between stimuli, but not the responses to individual stimuli. When only one stimulus is attended, the neural response to that stimulus is selectively enhanced in prefrontal and parietal cortex. In contrast, early visual areas generally manifest responses to individual stimuli and to their interaction regardless of attentional task, although a subset of the responses is modulated similarly to prefrontal and parietal cortex. Thus, the neural representation of the visual scene as one progresses up the cortical hierarchy becomes more highly task-specific and represents either individual stimuli or their interaction, depending on the behavioral goal. Attention to multiple objects facilitates an integration of objects akin to perceptual grouping. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Individual objects in a visual scene are seen as distinct entities or as parts of a whole. Here we examine how attention to multiple objects affects their neural representation. Previous studies measured single-cell or fMRI responses and obtained only aggregate measures that combined the activity to individual stimuli as well as their potential interaction. Here, we directly measure electrocorticographic steady-state responses corresponding to individual objects and to their interaction using a frequency-tagging technique. Attention to two

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Prefrontal cortical-ventral striatal interactions involved in affective modulation of attentional performance: implications for corticostriatal circuit function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christakou, Anastasia; Robbins, Trevor W; Everitt, Barry J

    2004-01-28

    Anatomically segregated systems linking the frontal cortex and the striatum are involved in various aspects of cognitive, affective, and motor processing. In this study, we examined the effects of combined unilateral lesions of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the core subregion of the nucleus accumbens (AcbC) in opposite hemispheres (disconnection) on a continuous performance, visual attention test [five-choice serial reaction-time task (5CSRTT)]. The disconnection lesion produced a set of specific changes in performance of the 5CSRTT, resembling changes that followed bilateral AcbC lesions while, in addition, comprising a subset of the behavioral changes after bilateral mPFC lesions previously reported using the same task. Specifically, both mPFC/AcbC disconnection and bilateral AcbC lesions markedly affected aspects of response control related to affective feedback, as indexed by perseverative responding in the 5CSRTT. These effects were comparable, although not identical, to those in animals with either bilateral AcbC or mPFC/AcbC disconnection lesions. The mPFC/AcbC disconnection resulted in a behavioral profile largely distinct from that produced by disconnection of a similar circuit described previously, between the mPFC and the dorsomedial striatum, which were shown to form a functional network underlying aspects of visual attention and attention to action. This distinction provides an insight into the functional specialization of corticostriatal circuits in similar behavioral contexts.

  13. Role of the prefrontal cortex in the control of express saccades. A transcranial magnetic stimulation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müri, R M; Rivaud, S; Gaymard, B; Ploner, C J; Vermersch, A I; Hess, C W; Pierrot-Deseilligny, C

    1999-02-01

    Single pulse transcranial magnet stimulation (TMS) was applied in five subjects during a saccadic gap task, i.e. with a temporal gap of 200 ms between the extinguishing of the central fixation point and the appearance of the lateral target. In all subjects, a significant increase of contralateral express saccades was found when TMS was applied over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DPFC) at the end of the gap of 200 ms. Earlier stimulation over the DPFC during the gap had no significant effect. Furthermore, stimulation over the posterior parietal cortex with the same time intervals, and stimulation during a no gap task had no significant influence on express saccades. These results suggest that TMS is capable of interfering specifically with the functioning of the DPFC, probably by inhibition of this region. Possibly such stimulation of the DPFC reduces the inhibition by this region onto the superior colliculus, which results in a facilitation of express saccades.

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Individual Differences in Human Path Integration Abilities Correlate with Gray Matter Volume in Retrosplenial Cortex, Hippocampus, and Medial Prefrontal Cortex.

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    Chrastil, Elizabeth R; Sherrill, Katherine R; Aselcioglu, Irem; Hasselmo, Michael E; Stern, Chantal E

    2017-01-01

    Humans differ in their individual navigational abilities. These individual differences may exist in part because successful navigation relies on several disparate abilities, which rely on different brain structures. One such navigational capability is path integration, the updating of position and orientation, in which navigators track distances, directions, and locations in space during movement. Although structural differences related to landmark-based navigation have been examined, gray matter volume related to path integration ability has not yet been tested. Here, we examined individual differences in two path integration paradigms: (1) a location tracking task and (2) a task tracking translational and rotational self-motion. Using voxel-based morphometry, we related differences in performance in these path integration tasks to variation in brain morphology in 26 healthy young adults. Performance in the location tracking task positively correlated with individual differences in gray matter volume in three areas critical for path integration: the hippocampus, the retrosplenial cortex, and the medial prefrontal cortex. These regions are consistent with the path integration system known from computational and animal models and provide novel evidence that morphological variability in retrosplenial and medial prefrontal cortices underlies individual differences in human path integration ability. The results for tracking rotational self-motion-but not translation or location-demonstrated that cerebellum gray matter volume correlated with individual performance. Our findings also suggest that these three aspects of path integration are largely independent. Together, the results of this study provide a link between individual abilities and the functional correlates, computational models, and animal models of path integration.

  20. Consequences of variations in genes that affect dopamine in prefrontal cortex.

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    Diamond, Adele

    2007-09-01

    Patricia Goldman-Rakic played a groundbreaking role in investigating the cognitive functions subserved by dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the key role of dopamine in that. The work discussed here builds on that including: 1) Studies of children predicted to have lower levels of prefrontal dopamine but otherwise basically normal brains (children treated for phenylketonuria [PKU]). Those studies changed medical guidelines, improving the children's lives. 2) Studies of visual impairments (in contrast sensitivity and motion perception) in PKU children due to reduced retinal dopamine and due to excessive phenylalanine during the first postnatal weeks. Those studies, too, changed medical guidelines. 3) Studies of working memory and inhibitory control differences in typically developing children due to differences in catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) genotype, which selectively affect prefrontal dopamine levels. 4) Studies of gender differences in the effect of COMT genotype on cognitive performance in older adults. 5) A hypothesis about fundamental differences between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that includes hyperactivity and ADHD of the inattentive type. Those disorders are hypothesized to differ in the affected neural system, underlying genetics, responsiveness to medication, comorbidities, and cognitive and behavioral profiles. These sound quite disparate but they all grew systematically out the base laid down by Patricia Goldman-Rakic.

  1. Reversal learning strategy in adolescence is associated with prefrontal cortex activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boehme, Rebecca; Lorenz, Robert C; Gleich, Tobias; Romund, Lydia; Pelz, Patricia; Golde, Sabrina; Flemming, Eva; Wold, Andrew; Deserno, Lorenz; Behr, Joachim; Raufelder, Diana; Heinz, Andreas; Beck, Anne

    2017-01-01

    Adolescence is a critical maturation period for human cognitive control and executive function. In this study, a large sample of adolescents (n = 85) performed a reversal learning task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. We analyzed behavioral data using a reinforcement learning model to provide individually fitted parameters and imaging data with regard to reward prediction errors (PE). Following a model-based approach, we formed two groups depending on whether individuals tended to update expectations predominantly for the chosen stimulus or also for the unchosen one. These groups significantly differed in their problem behavior score obtained using the child behavior checklist (CBCL) and in a measure of their developmental stage. Imaging results showed that dorsolateral striatal areas covaried with PE. Participants who relied less on learning based on task structure showed less prefrontal activation compared with participants who relied more on task structure. An exploratory analysis revealed that PE-related activity was associated with pubertal development in prefrontal areas, insula and anterior cingulate. These findings support the hypothesis that the prefrontal cortex is implicated in mediating flexible goal-directed behavioral control. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Cannabis use in early psychosis is associated with reduced glutamate levels in the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigucci, Silvia; Xin, Lijing; Klauser, Paul; Baumann, Philipp S; Alameda, Luis; Cleusix, Martine; Jenni, Raoul; Ferrari, Carina; Pompili, Maurizio; Gruetter, Rolf; Do, Kim Q; Conus, Philippe

    2018-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that cannabis may disrupt glutamate (Glu) signaling depressing Glu tone in frequent users. Current evidence have also consistently reported lower Glu-levels in various brain regions, particularly in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of chronic schizophrenia patients, while findings in early psychosis (EP) are not conclusive. Since cannabis may alter Glu synaptic plasticity and its use is a known risk factor for psychosis, studies focusing on Glu signaling in EP with or without a concomitant cannabis-usage seem crucial. We investigate the effect of cannabis use on prefrontal Glu-levels in EP users vs. both EP non-users and healthy controls (HC). Magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to measure [GlumPFC] of 35 EP subjects (18 of whom were cannabis users) and 33 HC. For correlative analysis, neuropsychological performances were scored by the MATRICS-consensus cognitive battery. [GlumPFC] was lower in EP users comparing to both HC and EP non-users (p working memory was the only domain that differentiates patients depending on their cannabis use, with users having poorer performances. Cannabis use is associated with reduced prefrontal [GlumPFC] and with a stronger Glu-levels decline with age. Glutamatergic abnormalities might influence the cognitive impairment observed in users and have some relevance for the progression of the disease.

  3. The methylazoxymethanol acetate rat model: molecular and epigenetic effect in the developing prefrontal cortex: An Editorial Highlight for 'Epigenetic mechanisms underlying NMDA receptor hypofunction in the prefrontal cortex of juvenile animals in the MAM model for schizophrenia' on page 320.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xiyu; Gomes, Felipe V; Grace, Anthony A

    2017-11-01

    This Editorial highlights an article by Gulchina and colleagues in the current issue of the Journal of Neurochemistry, in which the authors describe molecular and epigenetic changes in the developing prefrontal cortex of the rats exposed to methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM). They found an NMDAR hypofunction present in the prefrontal cortex of juvenile MAM rats which was associated with abnormal epigenetic regulation of the Grin2b gene. These changes may be related to early cognitive impairments observed in MAM rats and schizophrenia patients. © 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry.

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

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    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.

  5. 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.

  6. Stress-induced impairment of glutamatergic terminals ultrastructure: High vulnerability of medial prefrontal cortex and preventing action of desipramine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nava, N.; Popoli, M.; Musazzi, L.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Limbic structures where glutamatergic transmission is considered to be prevalent such as amygdala, hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, have shown a deep impairment in stress-related disorders [1]. A number of studies have highlighted the cumulative effects of stress and its major...... light on the consequences of an acute and shorttermed stressor on medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) ultrastructure. Effects of antidepressant desipramine administered chronically previous to stress was also assessed. Methods: Rats were treated chronically with either desipramine (DMI) or vehicle (2 weeks...... was observed on the volume of medial prefrontal cortex. Conclusions: In the present study we proved ultrastructural evidence that acute stress was able to deeply challenge the structure of glutamatergic terminals' in a matter of one hour. Previous treatment with chronic DMI seemed to only partially prevent...

  7. Reduced synapse and axon numbers in the prefrontal cortex of rats subjected to a chronic stress model for depression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

  8. Development of abstract thinking during childhood and adolescence: The role of rostrolateral prefrontal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iroise Dumontheil

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Rostral prefrontal cortex (RPFC has increased in size and changed in terms of its cellular organisation during primate evolution. In parallel emerged the ability to detach oneself from the immediate environment to process abstract thoughts and solve problems and to understand other individuals’ thoughts and intentions. Rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC is thought to play an important role in supporting the integration of abstract, often self-generated, thoughts. Thoughts can be temporally abstract and relate to long term goals, or past or future events, or relationally abstract and focus on the relationships between representations rather than simple stimulus features. Behavioural studies have provided evidence of a prolonged development of the cognitive functions associated with RLPFC, in particular logical and relational reasoning, but also episodic memory retrieval and prospective memory. Functional and structural neuroimaging studies provide further support for a prolonged development of RLPFC during adolescence, with some evidence of increased specialisation of RLPFC activation for relational integration and aspects of episodic memory retrieval. Topics for future research will be discussed, such as the role of medial RPFC in processing abstract thoughts in the social domain, the possibility of training abstract thinking in the domain of reasoning, and links to education.

  9. Development of abstract thinking during childhood and adolescence: the role of rostrolateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumontheil, Iroise

    2014-10-01

    Rostral prefrontal cortex (RPFC) has increased in size and changed in terms of its cellular organisation during primate evolution. In parallel emerged the ability to detach oneself from the immediate environment to process abstract thoughts and solve problems and to understand other individuals' thoughts and intentions. Rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC) is thought to play an important role in supporting the integration of abstract, often self-generated, thoughts. Thoughts can be temporally abstract and relate to long term goals, or past or future events, or relationally abstract and focus on the relationships between representations rather than simple stimulus features. Behavioural studies have provided evidence of a prolonged development of the cognitive functions associated with RLPFC, in particular logical and relational reasoning, but also episodic memory retrieval and prospective memory. Functional and structural neuroimaging studies provide further support for a prolonged development of RLPFC during adolescence, with some evidence of increased specialisation of RLPFC activation for relational integration and aspects of episodic memory retrieval. Topics for future research will be discussed, such as the role of medial RPFC in processing abstract thoughts in the social domain, the possibility of training abstract thinking in the domain of reasoning, and links to education. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. Cathodal tDCS over the left prefrontal cortex diminishes choice-induced preference change.

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    Mengarelli, Flavia; Spoglianti, Silvia; Avenanti, Alessio; di Pellegrino, Giuseppe

    2015-05-01

    In everyday life, people often find themselves facing difficult decisions between options that are equally attractive. Cognitive dissonance theory states that after making a difficult choice between 2 equally preferred options, individuals no longer find the alternatives similarly desirable. Rather, they often change their existing preferences to align more closely with the choice they have just made. Despite the relevance of cognitive dissonance in modulating behavior, little is known about the brain processes crucially involved in choice-induced preference change. In the present study, we applied cathodal transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) with the aim of downregulating the activity of the left or the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) during a revised version of Brehm's (in 1956. Post-decision changes in the desirability of alternatives. J Abnorm Soc Psychol. 52:384-389) free-choice paradigm. We found that cathodal tDCS over the left, but not over the right, DLPFC caused a reduction of the typical behavior-induced preference change relative to sham stimulation. Our findings highlight the role of prefrontal cortex in cognitive dissonance and provide evidence that left DLPFC plays a necessary role in the implementation of choice-induced preference change. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. The role of prefrontal cortex in visuo-spatial planning: A repetitive TMS study.

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    Basso, Demis; Lotze, Martin; Vitale, Lavinia; Ferreri, Florinda; Bisiacchi, Patrizia; Olivetti Belardinelli, Marta; Rossini, Paolo Maria; Birbaumer, Niels

    2006-05-01

    The visuo-spatial planning process is based on an "opportunistic" combination of heuristics and strategies, carried out in small units during the execution of plans. In order to investigate the functional role of the prefrontal cortex in heuristic switching, 42 healthy controls performed a labyrinth crossing task (the Maps Test). During this computerized version of the Travelling Salesperson Problem, subjects had to decide which order of locations optimizes total travel time and distance. This task was performed with and without 1 Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), which exerts an inhibitory action on the targeted area, applied during the task over bilateral frontal sites (active stimulation) and parieto-occipital site (sham stimulation). Only repetitive bilateral rTMS over F3 and F4 significantly decreased the number of strategies with changes of heuristics, and increased the number of movements required to solve the task. This behaviour contrasts with the performance of healthy subjects in the planning task, but is consistent with the performance of frontal traumatic brain injury patients. The results indicate that, in a visuo-spatial problem-solving task, the prefrontal cortex is involved in the switching between heuristics during the execution of a plan.

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

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    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.

  13. The plasticity of extinction: contribution of the prefrontal cortex in treating addiction though inhibitory learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lawrence Judson Chandler

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Theories of drug addiction that incorporate various concepts from the fields of learning and memory have led to the idea that classical and operant conditioning principles underlie the compulsiveness of addictive behaviors. Relapse often results from exposure to drug-associated cues, and the ability to extinguish these conditioned behaviors through inhibitory learning could serve as a potential therapeutic mechanism for those who suffer from addiction. This review will examine the evidence that extinction learning alters neuronal plasticity in specific brain regions and pathways. In particular, subregions of the prefrontal cortex and their projections to other brain regions have been shown to differentially modulate drug-seeking and extinction behavior. Additionally, there is a growing body of research demonstrating that manipulation of neuronal plasticity can alter extinction learning. Therefore, the ability to alter plasticity within areas of the prefrontal cortex through pharmacological manipulation could facilitate the acquisition of extinction and provide a novel intervention to aid in the extinction of drug-related memories.

  14. Mood Linked Responses in Medial Prefrontal Cortex Predict Relapse in Patients with Recurrent Unipolar Depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farb, Norman A. S.; Anderson, Adam K.; Bloch, Richard T.; Segal, Zindel V.

    2011-01-01

    Background Altered cognitive processing following mood challenge is associated with elevated relapse risk in remitted unipolar depressed patients, but little is known about the neural basis of this reactivity and its link to depressive relapse and prophylaxis. Methods Remitted unipolar depressed participants (n = 16) and healthy controls (n = 16) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while viewing sad and neutral film clips. Correlations were determined between emotional reactivity (neural responses to sad vs. neutral films) in remitted patients and subsequent relapse status over an 18 month follow-up period. An ROC analysis was used to determine signal cutoffs for predicting relapse. Emotional reactivity in relapse prognostic areas was compared between groups. Results Within the remitted group, relapse was predicted by medial prefrontal cortical activity (MPFC, BA 32), and contraindicated by visual cortical activity (BA 17). MPFC reactivity predicted rumination, whereas visual cortical reactivity predicted distress tolerance (acceptance). Compared to control participants, remitted depressed patients who sustained remission demonstrated a more pronounced tradeoff between MPFC and visual cortex reactivity. The difference score between MPFC and visual reactivity yielded excellent prediction of depressive relapse. Conclusions Medial prefrontal cortical reactivity to mood provocation in remitted unipolar depressed patients serves as a marker of relapse risk rather than successful emotion regulation. Enduring remission is characterized by a normalization of the MPFC to the level of healthy controls. Further, visual cortex reactivity predicts resilience against depressive relapse, indicating a prophylactic role for sensory rather than ruminative cognitive reactivity in the processing of negative emotion. PMID:21531382

  15. Comparison of strategy signals in the dorsolateral and orbital prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsujimoto, Satoshi; Genovesio, Aldo; Wise, Steven P

    2011-03-23

    Abstract behavior-guiding rules and strategies allow monkeys to avoid errors in rarely encountered situations. In the present study, we contrasted strategy-related neuronal activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFdl) and the orbital prefrontal cortex (PFo) of rhesus monkeys. On each trial of their behavioral task, the monkeys responded to a foveal visual cue by making a saccade to one of two spatial targets. One response required a leftward saccade, the other required a saccade of equal magnitude to the right. The cues instructed the monkeys to follow one of two response strategies: to stay with their most recent successful response or to shift to the alternative response. Neurons in both areas encoded the stay and shift strategies after the cue appeared, but there were three major differences between the PFo and the PFdl: (1) many strategy-encoding cells in PFdl also encoded the response (left or right), but few, if any, PFo cells did so; (2) strategy selectivity appeared earlier in PFo than in PFdl; and (3) on error trials, PFo neurons encoded the correct strategy-the one that had been cued but not implemented-whereas in PFdl the strategy signals were weak or absent on error trials. These findings indicate that PFo and PFdl both contribute to behaviors guided by abstract response strategies, but do so differently, with PFo encoding a strategy and PFdl encoding a response based on a strategy.

  16. Microstructural organization of corpus callosum projections to prefrontal cortex predicts bimanual motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sisti, Helene M; Geurts, Monique; Gooijers, Jolien; Heitger, Marcus H; Caeyenberghs, Karen; Beets, Iseult A M; Serbruyns, Leen; Leemans, Alexander; Swinnen, Stephan P

    2012-07-26

    The corpus callosum (CC) is the largest white matter tract in the brain. It enables interhemispheric communication, particularly with respect to bimanual coordination. Here, we use diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in healthy humans to determine the extent to which structural organization of subregions within the CC would predict how well subjects learn a novel bimanual task. A single DTI scan was taken prior to training. Participants then practiced a bimanual visuomotor task over the course of 2 wk, consisting of multiple coordination patterns. Findings revealed that the predictive power of fractional anisotropy (FA) was a function of CC subregion and practice. That is, FA of the anterior CC, which projects to the prefrontal cortex, predicted bimanual learning rather than the middle CC regions, which connect primary motor cortex. This correlation was specific in that FA correlated significantly with performance of the most difficult frequency ratios tested and not the innately preferred, isochronous frequency ratio. Moreover, the effect was only evident after training and not at initiation of practice. This is the first DTI study in healthy adults which demonstrates that white matter organization of the interhemispheric connections between the prefrontal structures is strongly correlated with motor learning capability.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  18. Medial prefrontal cortex and striatum mediate the influence of social comparison on the decision process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bault, Nadège; Joffily, Mateus; Rustichini, Aldo; Coricelli, Giorgio

    2011-09-20

    We compared private and social decision making to investigate the neural underpinnings of the effect of social comparison on risky choices. We measured brain activity using functional MRI while participants chose between two lotteries: in the private condition, they observed the outcome of the unchosen lottery, and in the social condition, the outcome of the lottery chosen by another person. The striatum, a reward-related brain structure, showed higher activity when participants won more than their counterpart (social gains) compared with winning in isolation and lower activity when they won less than their counterpart (social loss) compared with private loss. The medial prefrontal cortex, implicated in social reasoning, was more activated by social gains than all other events. Sensitivity to social gains influenced both brain activity and behavior during subsequent choices. Specifically, striatal activity associated with social gains predicted medial prefrontal cortex activity during social choices, and experienced social gains induced more risky and competitive behavior in later trials. These results show that interplay between reward and social reasoning networks mediates the influence of social comparison on the decision process.

  19. Prefrontal Thinning Affects Functional Connectivity and Regional Homogeneity of the Anterior Cingulate Cortex in Depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Späti, Jakub; Hänggi, Jürgen; Doerig, Nadja; Ernst, Jutta; Sambataro, Fabio; Brakowski, Janis; Jäncke, Lutz; grosse Holtforth, Martin; Seifritz, Erich; Spinelli, Simona

    2015-01-01

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with structural and functional alterations in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Enhanced ACC activity at rest (measured using various imaging methodologies) is found in treatment-responsive patients and is hypothesized to bolster treatment response by fostering adaptive rumination. However, whether structural changes influence functional coupling between fronto-cingulate regions and ACC regional homogeneity (ReHo) and whether these functional changes are related to levels of adaptive rumination and treatment response is still unclear. Cortical thickness and ReHo maps were calculated in 21 unmedicated depressed patients and 35 healthy controls. Regions with reduced cortical thickness defined the seeds for the subsequent functional connectivity (FC) analyses. Patients completed the Response Style Questionnaire, which provided a measure of adaptive rumination associated with better response to psychotherapy. Compared with controls, depressed patients showed thinning of the right anterior PFC, increased prefrontal connectivity with the supragenual ACC (suACC), and higher ReHo in the suACC. The suACC clusters of increased ReHo and FC spatially overlapped. In depressed patients, suACC ReHo scores positively correlated with PFC thickness and with FC strength. Moreover, stronger fronto-cingulate connectivity was related to higher levels of adaptive rumination. Greater suACC ReHo and connectivity with the right anterior PFC seem to foster adaptive forms of self-referential processing associated with better response to psychotherapy, whereas prefrontal thinning impairs the ability of depressed patients to engage the suACC during a major depressive episode. Bolstering the function of the suACC may represent a potential target for treatment. PMID:25598428

  20. Domain expertise insulates against judgment bias by monetary favors through a modulation of ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, Ulrich; Harvey, Ann; Montague, P Read

    2011-06-21

    Recent work using an art-viewing paradigm shows that monetary sponsorship of the experiment by a company (a favor) increases the valuation of paintings placed next to the sponsoring corporate logo, an effect that correlates with modulation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC). We used the same art-viewing paradigm to test a prevailing idea in the domain of conflict-of-interest: that expertise in a domain insulates against judgment bias even in the presence of a monetary favor. Using a cohort of art experts, we show that monetary favors do not bias the experts' valuation of art, an effect that correlates with a lack of modulation of the VMPFC across sponsorship conditions. The lack of sponsorship effect in the VMPFC suggests the hypothesis that their brains remove the behavioral sponsorship effect by censoring sponsorship-dependent modulation of VMPFC activity. We tested the hypothesis that prefrontal regions play a regulatory role in mediating the sponsorship effect. We show that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is recruited in the expert group. Furthermore, we tested the hypothesis in nonexpert controls by contrasting brain responses in controls who did not show a sponsorship effect to controls who did. Changes in effective connectivity between the DLPFC and VMPFC were greater in nonexpert controls, with an absence of the sponsorship effect relative to those with a presence of the sponsorship effect. The role of the DLPFC in cognitive control and emotion regulation suggests that it removes the influence of a monetary favor by controlling responses in known valuation regions of the brain including the the VMPFC.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Inhibitory modulation of medial prefrontal cortical activation on lateral orbitofrontal cortex-amygdala information flow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Chun-Hui; Ho, Ta-Wen

    2017-09-01

    The basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) receives input from the lateral orbitofrontal cortex (lOFC) for cue-outcome contingencies and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) for emotion control. Here we examined how the mPFC modulates lOFC-BLA information flow. We found that the majority of BLA neurons responsive to lOFC stimulation were also responsive to mPFC stimulation. Activation of the mPFC exerted an inhibitory modulation of the lOFC-BLA pathway, which was reversed with intra-amygdala blockade of GABAergic receptors. mPFC tetanus potentiated the lOFC-BLA pathway, but did not alter its inhibitory modulatory gating. These results show that the mPFC potently inhibits lOFC drive of the BLA in a GABA-dependent manner, which is informative in understanding the normal and potential pathophysiological state of emotion and contingency associations in regulating behaviour. Several neocortical projections converge onto the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA), including the lateral orbitofrontal cortex (lOFC) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Lateral orbitofrontal input to the BLA is important for cue-outcome contingencies, while medial prefrontal input is essential for emotion control. In this study, we examined how the mPFC, specifically the infralimbic division of the mPFC, modulates lOFC-BLA information flow, using combined in vivo extracellular single-unit recordings and pharmacological manipulations in anaesthetized rats. We found that the majority (over 95%) of BLA neurons that responded to lOFC stimulation also responded to mPFC stimulation. Compared to basal condition, pharmacological (N-methyl-d-aspartate) or electrical activation of the mPFC exerted an inhibitory modulation of the lOFC-BLA pathway, which was reversed with intra-amygdala blockade of GABAergic receptors with combined GABA A and GABA B antagonists (bicuculline and saclofen). Moreover, mPFC tetanus potentiated the lOFC-BLA pathway, but mPFC tetanus or low-frequency stimulation did

  5. Regional Prefrontal Cortex Gray Matter Volumes in Youth at Familial Risk for Schizophrenia from the Harvard Adolescent High Risk Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosso, Isabelle M.; Makris, Nikos; Thermenos, Heidi W.; Hodge, Steven M.; Brown, Ariel; Kennedy, David; Caviness, Verne S.; Faraone, Stephen V.; Tsuang, Ming T.; Seidman, Larry J.

    2010-01-01

    Background Regional prefrontal cortex gray matter reductions have been identified in schizophrenia, likely reflecting a combination of genetic vulnerability and disease effects. Few morphometric studies to date have examined regional prefrontal abnormalities in non-psychotic biological relatives who have not passed through the age range of peak risk for onset of psychosis. We conducted a region-of-interest morphometric study of prefrontal subregions in adolescent and young adult relatives of schizophrenia patients. Methods Twenty-seven familial high-risk (FHR) first-degree relatives of schizophrenia patients and forty-eight control subjects without a family history of psychosis (ages 13–28) underwent high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging at 1.5 Tesla. The prefrontal cortex was parcellated into polar, dorsolateral, ventrolateral, ventromedial and orbital subregions. The Chapman scales measured subpsychotic symptoms. General linear models examined associations of prefrontal subregion volumes with familial risk and subpsychotic symptoms. Results FHR subjects had significantly reduced bilateral ventromedial prefrontal and frontal pole gray matter volumes compared with controls. Ventromedial volume was significantly negatively correlated with magical ideation and anhedonia scores in FHR subjects. Conclusions Selective, regional prefrontal gray matter reductions may differentially mark genetic vulnerability and early symptom processes among non-psychotic young adults at familial risk for schizophrenia. PMID:20705433

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Increased low- and high-frequency oscillatory activity in the prefrontal cortex of fibromyalgia patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manyoel eLim

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Recent human neuroimaging studies have suggested that fibromyalgia (FM, a chronic widespread pain disorder, exhibits altered thalamic structure and function. Since the thalamus has extensive reciprocal connection with the cortex, structural and functional thalamic alterations in FM might be linked to aberrant thalamocortical oscillation. This study investigated the presence of abnormal brain rhythmicity in low- and high-frequency bands during resting state in patients with FM and their relationship to clinical pain symptom. Spontaneous magnetoencephalography activity was recorded in 18 females with FM and 18 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects. The most remarkable finding was that FM patients had general increases in theta, beta and gamma power along with a slowing of the dominant alpha peak. Increased spectral powers in the theta-band were primarily localized to the left dorsolateral prefrontal (DLPFC and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC. Beta and gamma over-activation were localized to insular, primary motor and primary and secondary somatosensory cortices, as well as the DLPFC and OFC. Furthermore, enhanced high-frequency oscillatory activities in the DLPFC and OFC were associated with higher affective pain scores in patients with FM. Our results demonstrate that FM patients feature enhanced low- and high-frequency oscillatory activity in the brain areas related to cognitive and emotional modulation of pain. Increased low- and high-frequency activity of the prefrontal cortex may contribute to persistent perception of pain in FM. Therapeutic intervention based on manipulating neural oscillation to restore normal thalamocortical rhythmicity may be beneficial to pain relief in FM.

  9. Dynamin1 concentration in the prefrontal cortex is associated with cognitive impairment in Lewy body dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallortigara, Julie; Rangarajan, Sindhoo; Whitfield, David; Alghamdi, Amani; Howlett, David; Hortobágyi, Tibor; Johnson, Mary; Attems, Johannes; Ballard, Clive; Thomas, Alan; O'Brien, John; Aarsland, Dag; Francis, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) and Parkinson's Disease Dementia (PDD) together, represent the second most common cause of dementia, after Alzheimer's disease (AD). The synaptic dysfunctions underlying the cognitive decline and psychiatric symptoms observed throughout the development of PDD and DLB are still under investigation. In this study we examined the expression level of Dynamin1 and phospho-CaMKII, key proteins of endocytosis and synaptic plasticity respectively, as potential markers of molecular processes specifically deregulated with DLB and/or PDD. In order to measure the levels of these proteins, we isolated grey matter from post-mortem prefrontal cortex area (BA9), anterior cingulated gyrus (BA24) and parietal cortex (BA40) from DLB and PDD patients in comparison to age-matched controls and a group of AD cases. Clinical and pathological data available included the MMSE score, neuropsychiatric history, and semi-quantitative scores for AD pathology (plaques - tangles) and for α-synuclein (Lewy bodies). Changes in the expression of the synaptic markers, and correlates with neuropathological features and cognitive decline were predominantly found in the prefrontal cortex. On one hand, levels of Dynamin1 were significantly reduced, and correlated with a higher rate of cognitive decline observed in cases from three dementia groups. On the other hand, the fraction of phospho-CaMKII was decreased, and correlated with a high score of plaques and tangles in BA9. Interestingly, the correlation between the rate of cognitive decline and the level of Dynamin1 remained when the analysis was restricted to the PDD and DLB cases, highlighting an association of Dynamin1 with cognitive decline in people with Lewy Body dementia.

  10. The role of the hippocampo-prefrontal cortex system in phencyclidine-induced psychosis: a model for schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jodo, Eiichi

    2013-12-01

    Phencyclidine (PCP) is a psychotomimetic drug that induces schizophrenia-like symptoms in healthy individuals and exacerbates pre-existing symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. PCP also induces behavioral and cognitive abnormalities in non-human animals, and PCP-treated animals are considered a reliable pharmacological model of schizophrenia. However, the exact neural mechanisms by which PCP modulates behavior are not known. During the last decade several studies have indicated that disturbed activity of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) may be closely related to PCP-induced psychosis. Systemic administration of PCP produces long-lasting activation of medial PFC (mPFC) neurons in rats, almost in parallel with augmentation of locomotor activity and behavioral stereotypies. Later studies have showed that such PCP-induced behavioral abnormalities are ameliorated by prior administration of drugs that normalize or inhibit excess excitability of PFC neurons. Similar activation of mPFC neurons is not induced by systemic injection of a typical psychostimulant such as methamphetamine, even though behavioral hyperactivity is induced to almost the same level. This suggests that the neural circuits mediating PCP-induced psychosis are different to those mediating methamphetamine-induced psychosis. Locally applied PCP does not induce excitation of mPFC neurons, indicating that PCP-induced tonic excitation of mPFC neurons is mediated by inputs from regions outside the mPFC. This hypothesis is strongly supported by experimental results showing that local perfusion of PCP in the ventral hippocampus, which has dense fiber projections to the mPFC, induces tonic activation of mPFC neurons with accompanying augmentation of behavioral abnormalities. In this review we summarize current knowledge on the neural mechanisms underlying PCP-induced psychosis and highlight a possible involvement of the PFC and the hippocampus in PCP-induced psychosis. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  11. Egocentric spatial orientation in a water maze by rats subjected to transection of the fimbria-fornix and/or ablation of the prefrontal cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mogensen, Jesper; Moustgaard, Anette; Khan, Usman

    2005-01-01

    prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, fimbria-fornix, egocentrisk spatial orientering, vandlabyrint, adfærdsstrategier, kognitive strategier, funktionel genopretning, rehabilitering, problemløsning, rotter......prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, fimbria-fornix, egocentrisk spatial orientering, vandlabyrint, adfærdsstrategier, kognitive strategier, funktionel genopretning, rehabilitering, problemløsning, rotter...

  12. Distinct behavioural and network correlates of two interneuron types in prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kvitsiani, D; Ranade, S; Hangya, B; Taniguchi, H; Huang, J Z; Kepecs, A

    2013-06-20

    Neurons in the prefrontal cortex exhibit diverse behavioural correlates, an observation that has been attributed to cell-type diversity. To link identified neuron types with network and behavioural functions, we recorded from the two largest genetically defined inhibitory interneuron classes, the perisomatically targeting parvalbumin (PV) and the dendritically targeting somatostatin (SOM) neurons in anterior cingulate cortex of mice performing a reward foraging task. Here we show that PV and a subtype of SOM neurons form functionally homogeneous populations showing a double dissociation between both their inhibitory effects and behavioural correlates. Out of several events pertaining to behaviour, a subtype of SOM neurons selectively responded at reward approach, whereas PV neurons responded at reward leaving and encoded preceding stay duration. These behavioural correlates of PV and SOM neurons defined a behavioural epoch and a decision variable important for foraging (whether to stay or to leave), a crucial function attributed to the anterior cingulate cortex. Furthermore, PV neurons could fire in millisecond synchrony, exerting fast and powerful inhibition on principal cell firing, whereas the inhibitory effect of SOM neurons on firing output was weak and more variable, consistent with the idea that they respectively control the outputs of, and inputs to, principal neurons. These results suggest a connection between the circuit-level function of different interneuron types in regulating the flow of information and the behavioural functions served by the cortical circuits. Moreover, these observations bolster the hope that functional response diversity during behaviour can in part be explained by cell-type diversity.

  13. 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.

  14. fMRI abnormalities in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during a working memory task in manic, euthymic and depressed bipolar subjects

    OpenAIRE

    Townsend, Jennifer; Bookheimer, Susan Y; Foland, Lara C.; Sugar, Catherine A.; Altshuler, Lori L.

    2010-01-01

    Neuropsychological studies of subjects with bipolar disorder suggest impairment of working memory not only in acute mood states, but also while subjects are euthymic. Using fMRI to probe working memory regions in bipolar subjects in different mood states, we sought to determine the functional neural basis for these impairments. Typical working memory areas in normal populations include dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (BA9/46) and the posterior parietal cortex (BA40). We evaluated the activatio...

  15. Ethanol regulation of serum glucocorticoid kinase 1 expression in DBA2/J mouse prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costin, Blair N; Dever, Seth M; Miles, Michael F

    2013-01-01

    We previously identified a group of glucocorticoid-responsive genes, including Serum Glucocorticoid kinase 1 (Sgk1), regulated by acute ethanol in prefrontal cortex of DBA2/J mice. Acute ethanol activates the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA) causing release of glucocorticoids. Chronic ethanol dysregulates the HPA response in both humans and rodents, possibly contributing to important interactions between stress and alcoholism. Because Sgk1 regulates ion channels and learning and memory, we hypothesized that Sgk1 contributes to HPA-dependent acute and adaptive neuronal responses to ethanol. These studies characterized acute and chronic ethanol regulation of Sgk1 mRNA and protein and their relationship with ethanol actions on the HPA axis. Acute ethanol increased Sgk1 mRNA expression in a dose and time dependent manner. Three separate results suggested that ethanol regulated Sgk1 via circulating glucocorticoids: acute ethanol increased glucocorticoid receptor binding to the Sgk1 promoter; adrenalectomy blocked ethanol induction of Sgk1 mRNA; and chronic ethanol exposure during locomotor sensitization down-regulated HPA axis activation and Sgk1 induction by acute ethanol. SGK1 protein had complex temporal responses to acute ethanol with rapid and transient increases in Ser422 phosphorylation at 15 min. following ethanol administration. This activating phosphorylation had functional consequences, as suggested by increased phosphorylation of the known SGK1 target, N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 (NDRG1). After repeated ethanol administration during locomotor sensitization, basal SGK1 protein phosphorylation increased despite blunting of Sgk1 mRNA induction by ethanol. These results suggest that HPA axis and glucocorticoid receptor signaling mediate acute ethanol induction of Sgk1 transcription in mouse prefrontal cortex. However, acute ethanol also causes complex changes in SGK1 protein expression and activity. Chronic ethanol modifies both SGK1 protein and

  16. Ethanol Regulation of Serum Glucocorticoid Kinase 1 Expression in DBA2/J Mouse Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costin, Blair N.; Dever, Seth M.; Miles, Michael F.

    2013-01-01

    Background We previously identified a group of glucocorticoid-responsive genes, including Serum Glucocorticoid kinase 1 (Sgk1), regulated by acute ethanol in prefrontal cortex of DBA2/J mice. Acute ethanol activates the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA) causing release of glucocorticoids. Chronic ethanol dysregulates the HPA response in both humans and rodents, possibly contributing to important interactions between stress and alcoholism. Because Sgk1 regulates ion channels and learning and memory, we hypothesized that Sgk1 contributes to HPA-dependent acute and adaptive neuronal responses to ethanol. These studies characterized acute and chronic ethanol regulation of Sgk1 mRNA and protein and their relationship with ethanol actions on the HPA axis. Results Acute ethanol increased Sgk1 mRNA expression in a dose and time dependent manner. Three separate results suggested that ethanol regulated Sgk1 via circulating glucocorticoids: acute ethanol increased glucocorticoid receptor binding to the Sgk1 promoter; adrenalectomy blocked ethanol induction of Sgk1 mRNA; and chronic ethanol exposure during locomotor sensitization down-regulated HPA axis activation and Sgk1 induction by acute ethanol. SGK1 protein had complex temporal responses to acute ethanol with rapid and transient increases in Ser422 phosphorylation at 15 min. following ethanol administration. This activating phosphorylation had functional consequences, as suggested by increased phosphorylation of the known SGK1 target, N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 (NDRG1). After repeated ethanol administration during locomotor sensitization, basal SGK1 protein phosphorylation increased despite blunting of Sgk1 mRNA induction by ethanol. Conclusions These results suggest that HPA axis and glucocorticoid receptor signaling mediate acute ethanol induction of Sgk1 transcription in mouse prefrontal cortex. However, acute ethanol also causes complex changes in SGK1 protein expression and activity. Chronic ethanol

  17. Enhanced dendritic spine number of neurons of the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and nucleus accumbens in old rats after chronic donepezil administration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcantara-Gonzalez, Faviola; Juarez, Ismael; Solis, Oscar; Martinez-Tellez, Isaura; Camacho-Abrego, Israel; Masliah, Eliezer; Mena, Raul; Flores, Gonzalo

    2010-01-01

    In Alzheimer's disease brains morphological changes in the dendrites of pyramidal neurons of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus have been observed. These changes are particularly reflected in the decrement of both the dendritic tree and spine number. Donepezil is a potent and selective acetylcholinesterase inhibitor used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. We have studied the effect of oral administration of this drug on the morphology of neuronal cells from the brain of aged rats. We examined dendrites of pyramidal neurons of the PFC, dorsal or ventral hippocampus and medium spiny neurons of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). Donepezil (1 mg/Kg, vo) was administrated every day for 60 days to rats aged 10 and 18 months. Dendritic morphology was studied by the Golgi-Cox stain procedure followed by Sholl analysis at 12 and 20 months ages, respectively. In all Donepezil treated-rats a significant increment of the dendritic spines number in pyramidal neurons of the PFC, dorsal hippocampus was observed. However, pyramidal neurons of the ventral hippocampus and medium spiny cells of the NAcc only showed an increase in the number of their spines in 12 months old-rats. Our results suggest that Donepezil prevents the alterations of the neuronal dendrite morphology caused by aging. PMID:20336627

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Effects of early adolescent environmental enrichment on cognitive dysfunction, prefrontal cortex development, and inflammatory cytokines after early life stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    do Prado, Carine H; Narahari, Tanya; Holland, Freedom H; Lee, Ha-Neul; Murthy, Shashi K; Brenhouse, Heather C

    2016-05-01

    Early postnatal stress such as maternal separation causes cognitive dysfunction later in life, including working memory deficits that are largely mediated by the prefrontal cortex. Maternal separation in male rats also yields a loss of parvalbumin-containing prefrontal cortex interneurons in adolescence, which may occur via inflammatory or oxidative stress mechanisms. Environmental enrichment can prevent several effects of maternal separation; however, effects of enrichment on prefrontal cortex development are not well understood. Here, we report that enrichment prevented cognitive dysfunction in maternally separated males and females, and prevented elevated circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines that was evident in maternally separated males, but not females. However, enrichment did not prevent parvalbumin loss or adolescent measures of oxidative stress. Significant correlations indicated that adolescents with higher oxidative damage and less prefrontal cortex parvalbumin in adolescence committed more errors on the win-shift task; therefore, maternal separation may affect cognitive dysfunction via aberrant interneuron development. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 58: 482-491, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Dopamine and noradrenaline efflux in the rat prefrontal cortex after classical aversive conditioning to an auditory cue

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Feenstra, M. G.; Vogel, M.; Botterblom, M. H.; Joosten, R. N.; de Bruin, J. P.

    2001-01-01

    We used bilateral microdialysis in the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) of awake, freely moving rats to study aversive conditioning to an auditory cue in the controlled environment of the Skinner box. The presentation of the explicit conditioned stimuli (CS), previously associated with foot shocks,

  4. Endocannabinoids produced upon action potential firing evoke a Cl− current via type-2 cannabinoid receptors in the medial prefrontal cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    den Boon, F.S.; Chameau, P.; Houthuijs, K.; Bolijn, S.; Mastrangelo, N.; Kruse, C.G.; Maccarrone, M.; Wadman, W.J.; Werkman, T.R.

    2014-01-01

    The functional presence of type-2 cannabinoid receptors (CB2Rs) in layer II/III pyramidal neurons of the rat medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) was recently demonstrated. In the present study, we show that the application of the endocannabinoids (eCBs) 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and methanandamide

  5. Evidence for activation of histamine H-3 autoreceptors during handling stress in the prefrontal cortex of the rat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Westerink, BHC; Cremers, TIFH; De Vries, JB; Liefers, H; Tran, N

    2002-01-01

    On-line microdialysis of histamine in 10-min samples of the prefrontal cortex of the conscious rat is described. The HPLC-fluorescent assay for histamine in dialysates has been significantly simplified by using only one postcolumn reagent line instead of the three reagent lines described in earlier

  6. Individual differences in moral judgment competence are related to activity of the prefrontal cortex when attributing blame to evil intention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaojing; Yang, Juan; Li, Peng; Li, Hong

    2016-01-01

    The weighing of intentions and consequences is inconsistent in adult's moral judgments, and this is particularly prominent when assigning blame to the immoral intentions in the absence of negative outcomes. The current study extends previous research by examining how individual differences in moral judgment competence are reflected in the cortical network when making judgments about immoral intentions. Twenty-four participants were scanned, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, while making judgments about three kinds of moral scenarios: a neutral condition, an immoral intention condition, and an immoral condition. The result showed that comparing with making judgments about the other two conditions, making judgments about the immoral intentions takes longer time and was associated with significantly elevated activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. Additionally, moral judgment competence scores were inversely correlated with activity in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex when assigning blame to the immoral intentions. Greater activity in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in participants with lower moral judgment competence possibly reflected increased recruitment of cognitive resource applied to control impulsive response and integrate competitive information in making judgments about the immoral intention.

  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 noradrenaline-dopamine interaction in the rat medial prefrontal cortex studied by multi-probe microdialysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kawahara, H; Kawahara, Y; Westerink, BHC

    2001-01-01

    Multi-probe microdialysis was used to investigate the interaction between the release of noradrenaline and dopamine in the medial prefrontal cortex. Retrograde microdialysis was used to stimulate or inhibit the activity of the locus coeruleus for a restricted period of time, and the response of

  9. Antipsychotic drugs classified by their effects on the release of dopamine and noradrenaline in the prefrontal cortex and striatum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Westerink, B.H.C.; Kawahara, Y; de Boer, P; Geels, C; de Vries, J.B; Wikström, H.V; van Kalkeren, A; van Vliet, B; Kruse, C.H; Long, S.K

    2001-01-01

    Dose-effect curves were established for the effects of the antipsychotic drugs haloperidol, clozapine, olanzapine, risperidone and ziprasidone on extracellular levels of dopamine and noradrenaline in the medial prefrontal cortex, and of dopamine in the striatum. Haloperidol was more effective in

  10. The role of catecholamine innervation in the medial prefrontal cortex on the regulation of body weight and food intake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gálosi, Rita; Hajnal, Andras; Petykó, Zoltán; Hartmann, Géza; Karádi, Zoltán; Lénárd, László

    2015-06-01

    Effects of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesions in the medial prefrontal cortex with or without protection of norepinephrine (NE) fibers were examined on basic regulatory processes of feeding. Daily body weight, food and water intake were measured. Locomotor activity, ingestion after food or water deprivation, and preference for 5% and 10% glucose solution were examined. Dopamine (DA) and NE content, as well as, tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity were assessed to confirm the neurotoxic effect of treatments. 6-OHDA lesions of the medial prefrontal cortex with or without NE fiber protection resulted in body weight loss. Diminished habituation in open field tests, i.e. a persistently high motor activity, was also observed. Application of 6-OHDA with NE fiber protection led to increased food consumption following food-deprivation and to enhanced glucose preference. Enhanced intake of 10% over 5% glucose solution was also detected. 6-OHDA lesion resulted in a decrease to 20% of NE tissue concentration and only to 75% of DA concentration. In case of lesion with NE protection the NE content decreased to 69% and DA level to 51% with significant loss of tyrosine hydroxylase positive fibers in the deeper layers of the medial prefrontal cortex. DA depletion in the medial prefrontal cortex resulted in increased behavioral responsiveness to hunger and glucose, as well as, to open field environment. Pronounced lesion of NE terminals caused increased reaction to the environment in open field but not to hunger or glucose solution. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Temporal Dynamics of Acute Stress-Induced Dendritic Remodeling in Medial Prefrontal Cortex and the Protective Effect of Desipramine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nava, Nicoletta; Treccani, Giulia; Alabsi, Abdelrahman

    2017-01-01

    Stressful events are associated with increased risk of mood disorders. Volumetric reductions have been reported in brain areas critical for the stress response, such as medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and dendritic remodeling has been proposed as an underlying factor. Here, we investigated...

  12. Sodium fluoride does not affect the working memory and number of pyramidal cells in rat medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulungan, Zulhaini Sartika A; Sofro, Zaenal Muttaqien; Partadiredja, Ginus

    2018-01-01

    Fluoride is a chemical compound known to bring about fluorosis. It is thought to disrupt the central nervous system because of its ability to induce excitotoxicity and oxidative stress. Any damage of pyramidal cells in the prefrontal cortex would result in cognitive function and working memory regulation disorders. The present study aimed at investigating the effects of sodium fluoride (NaF) on the working memory and estimated total number of medial prefrontal cortex pyramidal cells of adult male rats. Thirty-two male Wistar rats were assigned into four groups, namely control and three treated groups receiving 5, 10 and 20 mg/kg BW, respectively, of oral NaF solution for 30 days. The working memory test was carried out using a Y-maze. The number of pyramidal cells in the medial prefrontal cortex was estimated using an unbiased stereological method. There was no significant difference among groups in the working memory and number of pyramidal neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex cells.

  13. 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

    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...

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Carolina Gonzalez

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available 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-tem aversive memories requires dopamine D1/D5 receptors activation in mPFC immediately after training and, depending on the task, between 6 and 12 hour 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.

  19. Reward feedback stimuli elicit high-beta EEG oscillations in human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    HajiHosseini, Azadeh; Hosseini, Azadeh Haji; Holroyd, Clay B

    2015-08-17

    Reward-related feedback stimuli have been observed to elicit a burst of power in the beta frequency range over frontal areas of the human scalp. Recent discussions have suggested possible neural sources for this activity but there is a paucity of empirical evidence on the question. Here we recorded EEG from participants while they navigated a virtual T-maze to find monetary rewards. Consistent with previous studies, we found that the reward feedback stimuli elicited an increase in beta power (20-30 Hz) over a right-frontal area of the scalp. Source analysis indicated that this signal was produced in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). These findings align with previous observations of reward-related beta oscillations in the DLPFC in non-human primates. We speculate that increased power in the beta frequency range following reward receipt reflects the activation of task-related neural assemblies that encode the stimulus-response mapping in working memory.

  20. Generalisation benefits of output gating in a model of prefrontal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kriete, Trent; Noelle, David C.

    2011-06-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a central role in flexible cognitive control, including the suppression of habitual responding in favour of situation-appropriate behaviours that can be quite novel. PFC provides a kind of working memory, maintaining the rules, goals, and/or actions that are to control behaviour in the current context. For flexible control, these PFC representations must be sufficiently componential to support systematic generalisation to novel situations. The anatomical structure of PFC can be seen as implementing a componential 'slot-filler' structure, with different components encoded over isolated pools of neurons. Previous PFC models have highlighted the importance of a dynamic gating mechanism to selectively update individual 'slot' contents. In this article, we present simulation results that suggest that systematic generalisation also requires an 'output gating' mechanism that limits the influence of PFC on more posterior brain areas to reflect a small number of representational components at any one time.

  1. Brain On Stress: Vulnerability and Plasticity of the Prefrontal Cortex Over the Life Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEwen, Bruce S.; Morrison, John H.

    2013-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in working memory, self-regulatory and goal-directed behaviors and displays remarkable structural and functional plasticity over the life course. Neural circuitry, molecular profiles and neurochemistry can be changed by experiences, which influences behavior as well as neuroendocrine and autonomic function. Such effects have a particular impact during infancy and in adolescence. Behavioral stress affects both the structure and function of PFC, though such effects are not necessarily permanent, as young animals show remarkable neuronal resilience if the stress is discontinued. During aging, neurons within the PFC become less resilient to stress. There are also sex differences in the PFC response to stressors. While such stress- and sex-hormone related alterations occur in regions mediating the highest levels of cognitive function and self regulatory control, the fact that they are not necessarily permanent has implications for future behavior-based therapies that harness neural plasticity for recovery. PMID:23849196

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Amygdala inputs to prefrontal cortex guide behavior amid conflicting cues of reward and punishment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgos-Robles, Anthony; Kimchi, Eyal Y; Izadmehr, Ehsan M; Porzenheim, Mary Jane; Ramos-Guasp, William A; Nieh, Edward H; Felix-Ortiz, Ada C; Namburi, Praneeth; Leppla, Christopher A; Presbrey, Kara N; Anandalingam, Kavitha K; Pagan-Rivera, Pablo A; Anahtar, Melodi; Beyeler, Anna; Tye, Kay M

    2017-06-01

    Orchestrating appropriate behavioral responses in the face of competing signals that predict either rewards or threats in the environment is crucial for survival. The basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) and prelimbic (PL) medial prefrontal cortex have been implicated in reward-seeking and fear-related responses, but how information flows between these reciprocally connected structures to coordinate behavior is unknown. We recorded neuronal activity from the BLA and PL while rats performed a task wherein competing shock- and sucrose-predictive cues were simultaneously presented. The correlated firing primarily displayed a BLA→PL directionality during the shock-associated cue. Furthermore, BLA neurons optogenetically identified as projecting to PL more accurately predicted behavioral responses during competition than unidentified BLA neurons. Finally photostimulation of the BLA→PL projection increased freezing, whereas both chemogenetic and optogenetic inhibition reduced freezing. Therefore, the BLA→PL circuit is critical in governing the selection of behavioral responses in the face of competing signals.

  7. Strength and Diversity of Inhibitory Signaling Differentiates Primate Anterior Cingulate from Lateral Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medalla, Maria; Gilman, Joshua P; Wang, Jing-Yi; Luebke, Jennifer I

    2017-05-03

    The lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) of the primate play distinctive roles in the mediation of complex cognitive tasks. Compared with the LPFC, integration of information by the ACC can span longer timescales and requires stronger engagement of inhibitory processes. Here, we reveal the synaptic mechanism likely to underlie these differences using in vitro patch-clamp recordings of synaptic events and multiscale imaging of synaptic markers in rhesus monkeys. Although excitatory synaptic signaling does not differ, the level of synaptic inhibition is much higher in ACC than LPFC layer 3 pyramidal neurons, with a significantly higher frequency (∼6×) and longer duration of inhibitory synaptic currents. The number of inhibitory synapses and the ratio of cholecystokinin to parvalbumin-positive inhibitory inputs are also significantly higher in ACC compared with LPFC neurons. Therefore, inhibition is functionally and structurally more robust and diverse in ACC than in LPFC, resulting in a lower excitatory: inhibitory ratio and a greater dynamic range for signal integration and network oscillation by the ACC. These differences in inhibitory circuitry likely underlie the distinctive network dynamics in ACC and LPC during normal and pathological brain states. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) play temporally distinct roles during the execution of cognitive tasks (rapid working memory during ongoing tasks and long-term memory to guide future action, respectively). Compared with LPFC-mediated tasks, ACC-mediated tasks can span longer timescales and require stronger engagement of inhibition. This study shows that inhibitory signaling is much more robust and diverse in the ACC than in the LPFC. Therefore, there is a lower excitatory: inhibitory synaptic ratio and a greater dynamic range for signal integration and oscillatory behavior in the ACC. These significant differences in

  8. Effect of D-amphetamine on dopaminergic neurons of substantia nigra and expression of tyrosine hydroxylase in striatum and pre-frontal cortex of D-amphetamine treated Wistar rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarun Koirala

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Dopaminergic neurons of the midbrain are the main source of dopamine in the mammalian central nervous system. Dopamine is a chemical messenger active in mesolimbic and mesocortical reward pathways. Dopamine is manufactured in nerve cell bodies in the ventral tegmental area (VTA and is released in the nucleus accumbens and the prefrontal cortex. The objective was to compare dopaminergic neurons of substantia nigra and level of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH in the striatum and pre-frontal cortex of D-amphetamine treated wistar mice. 15 Wistar rats were injected subcutaneously with amphetamine 10 mg/kg body weight till 7 days while the controls groups (15 wistar rats were injected with normal saline in the same dose. One way-ANOVA test and Post-hoc tests was applied and decreased level of tyrosine hydroxylase was present in striatum (65% and pre-frontal cortex (71%. The percentage of tyrosine hydroxylase in all these areas were highly significant (p<0.001. D-AMPH affects the neuronal cell morphology and decreases expression level of Tyrosine hydroxylase. Degeneration of dopaminergic neurons and damaged synaptic connection in substantia nigra were observed leading to a reduction of stratial dopamine levels.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. Mental workload and neural efficiency quantified in the prefrontal cortex using fNIRS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Causse, Mickaël; Chua, Zarrin; Peysakhovich, Vsevolod; Del Campo, Natalia; Matton, Nadine

    2017-07-12

    An improved understanding of how the brain allocates mental resources as a function of task difficulty is critical for enhancing human performance. Functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a field-deployable optical brain monitoring technology that provides a direct measure of cerebral blood flow in response to cognitive activity. We found that fNIRS was sensitive to variations in task difficulty in both real-life (flight simulator) and laboratory settings (tests measuring executive functions), showing increased concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin (HbO2) and decreased concentration of deoxygenated hemoglobin (HHb) in the prefrontal cortex as the tasks became more complex. Intensity of prefrontal activation (HbO2 concentration) was not clearly correlated to task performance. Rather, activation intensity shed insight on the level of mental effort, i.e., how hard an individual was working to accomplish a task. When combined with performance, fNIRS provided an estimate of the participants' neural efficiency, and this efficiency was consistent across levels of difficulty of the same task. Overall, our data support the suitability of fNIRS to assess the mental effort related to human operations and represents a promising tool for the measurement of neural efficiency in other contexts such as training programs or the clinical setting.

  11. Music improves verbal memory encoding while decreasing prefrontal cortex activity: an fNIRS study

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:24339807

  12. Impaired GABAergic inhibition in the prefrontal cortex of early postnatal phencyclidine (PCP)-treated rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Dysfunctional amygdala activation and connectivity with the prefrontal cortex in current cocaine users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crunelle, Cleo L; Kaag, Anne Marije; van den Munkhof, Hanna E; Reneman, Liesbeth; Homberg, Judith R; Sabbe, Bernard; van den Brink, Wim; van Wingen, Guido

    2015-10-01

    Stimulant use is associated with increased anxiety and a single administration of dexamphetamine increases amygdala activation to biologically salient stimuli in healthy individuals. Here, we investigate how current cocaine use affects amygdala activity and amygdala connectivity with the prefrontal cortex in response to biologically salient stimuli in an emotional face matching task (EFMT). Amygdala activity and amygdala connectivity during the EFMT were assessed in 51 cocaine using males and 32 non-drug-using healthy males using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Within the cocaine use group, we explored whether amygdala activation was associated with age of first use of cocaine and duration of cocaine use to distinguish between amygdala activation alterations as a cause or a consequence of cocaine use. We observed hyperactivity of the amygdala, thalamus, and hippocampus and reduced amygdala connectivity with the anterior cingulate gyrus in response to angry and fearful facial expressions in current cocaine users compared to controls. Increased amygdala activation was independently associated with earlier age of first cocaine use and with longer exposure to cocaine. Our findings suggest that amygdala hyperactivity to biologically salient stimuli may represent a risk factor for an early onset of cocaine use and that prolonged cocaine use may further sensitize amygdala activation. High amygdala activation to emotional face processing in current cocaine users may result from low prefrontal control of the amygdala response to such stimuli. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Music improves verbal memory encoding while decreasing prefrontal cortex activity: an fNIRS study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Music improves verbal memory encoding while decreasing prefrontal cortex activity: an fNIRS study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. Acquired personality traits of autism following damage to the medial prefrontal cortex.

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    Umeda, Satoshi; Mimura, Masaru; Kato, Motoichiro

    2010-01-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies on "theory of mind" have demonstrated that the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved when subjects are engaged in various kinds of mentalising tasks. Although a large number of neuroimaging studies have been published, a relatively small amount of neuropsychological evidence supports involvement of the medial PFC in theory of mind reasoning. We recruited two neurological cases with damage to the medial PFC and initially performed the standard neuropsychological assessments for intelligence, memory, and executive functions. To examine theory of mind performance in these two cases, four kinds of standard and advanced tests for theory of mind were used, including first- and second-order false belief tests, the strange stories test, and the faux pas recognition test. Both patients were also requested to complete the questionnaire for the autism-spectrum quotient. Neither case showed impairment on standard theory of mind tests and only mild impairments were seen on advanced theory of mind tests. This pattern of results is basically consistent with previous studies. The most interesting finding was that both cases showed personality changes after surgical operations, leading to characteristics of autism showing a lack of social interaction in everyday life. We discuss herein the possible roles of the medial PFC and emphasize the importance of using multiple approaches to understand the mechanisms of theory of mind and medial prefrontal functions.

  17. 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.

    1988-07-01

    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.

  18. Multifractal dynamics of resting-state functional connectivity in the prefrontal cortex.

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    Racz, Frigyes Samuel; Mukli, Peter; Nagy, Zoltan; Eke, Andras

    2018-01-19

    Brain function is organized as a network of functional connections between different neuronal populations with connection strengths dynamically changing in time and space. Studies investigating functional connectivity (FC) usually follow a static approach when describing FC by considering the connectivity strengths constant, however a dynamic approach seems more reasonable, as this way the spatio-temporal dynamics of the underlying system can also be captured. Objective: The scale-free, i.e. fractal nature of neural dynamics is an inherent property of the nervous system. The aim of this study was to determine if dynamic functional connectivity (DFC) in the prefrontal cortex shows not only scale-free but indeed multifractal dynamics. Approach: Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) was used to monitor resting-state brain activity in young healthy volunteers. Sliding window correlation (SWC) analysis and graph theory approach were utilized to capture the functional connection networks for every time point, whose topology was subsequently characterized with three network metrics - Density, Culstering Coefficient and Efficiency -, each capturing a different aspect of the given network. The temporal structuring of the obtained network metric time series was then described by multifractal time series analysis. Main results: We found the DFC in the prefrontal cortex fluctuating according to scale-free, specifically multifractal dynamics. Moreover, different topological properties of the network showed different multifractal characteristics. All the results were reproducible in all window sizes used in the SWC analysis, however we found that the actual values of the given multifractal properties depended significantly on the window size. Significance: Our results may well be another indication of a self-organized critical state underlying resting-state brain activity. The proposed analysis of functional brain dynamics can also open new perspectives for future

  19. Cortex, cognition and the cell: new insights into the pyramidal neuron and prefrontal function.

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    Elston, Guy N

    2003-11-01

    Arguably the most complex cortical functions are seated in human cognition, the how and why of which have been debated for centuries by theologians, philosophers and scientists alike. In his best-selling book, An Astonishing Hypothesis: A Scientific Search for the Soul, Francis Crick refined the view that these qualities are determined solely by cortical cells and circuitry. Put simply, cognition is nothing more, or less, than a biological function. Accepting this to be the case, it should be possible to identify the mechanisms that subserve cognitive processing. Since the pioneering studies of Lorent de Nó and Hebb, and the more recent studies of Fuster, Miller and Goldman-Rakic, to mention but a few, much attention has been focused on the role of persistent neural activity in cognitive processes. Application of modern technologies and modelling techniques has led to new hypotheses about the mechanisms of persistent activity. Here I focus on how regional variations in the pyramidal cell phenotype may determine the complexity of cortical circuitry and, in turn, influence neural activity. Data obtained from thousands of individually injected pyramidal cells in sensory, motor, association and executive cortex reveal marked differences in the numbers of putative excitatory inputs received by these cells. Pyramidal cells in prefrontal cortex have, on average, up to 23 times more dendritic spines than those in the primary visual area. I propose that without these specializations in the structure of pyramidal cells, and the circuits they form, human cognitive processing would not have evolved to its present state. I also present data from both New World and Old World monkeys that show varying degrees of complexity in the pyramidal cell phenotype in their prefrontal cortices, suggesting that cortical circuitry and, thus, cognitive styles are evolving independently in different species.

  20. Strategy-effects in prefrontal cortex during learning of higher-order S-R rules.

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    Wolfensteller, Uta; von Cramon, D Yves

    2011-07-15

    All of us regularly face situations that require the integration of the available information at hand with the established rules that guide behavior in order to generate the most appropriate action. But where individuals differ from one another is most certainly in terms of the different strategies that are adopted during this process. A previous study revealed differential brain activation patterns for the implementation of well established higher-order stimulus-response (S-R) rules depending on inter-individual strategy differences (Wolfensteller and von Cramon, 2010). This raises the question of how these strategies evolve or which neurocognitive mechanisms underlie these inter-individual strategy differences. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the present study revealed striking strategy-effects across regions of the lateral prefrontal cortex during the implementation of higher-order S-R rules at an early stage of learning. The left rostrolateral prefrontal cortex displayed a quantitative strategy-effect, such that activation during rule integration based on a mismatch was related to the degree to which participants continued to rely on rule integration. A quantitative strategy ceiling effect was observed for the left inferior frontal junction area. Conversely, the right inferior frontal gyrus displayed a qualitative strategy-effect such that participants who at a later point relied on an item-based strategy showed stronger activations in this region compared to those who continued with the rule integration strategy. Together, the present findings suggest that a certain amount of rule integration is mandatory when participants start to learn higher-order rules. The more efficient item-based strategy that evolves later appears to initially require the recruitment of additional cognitive resources in order to shield the currently relevant S-R association from interfering information. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. Gene expression in the prefrontal cortex during adolescence: implications for the onset of schizophrenia

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    Weickert Cynthia

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many critical maturational processes take place in the human brain during postnatal development. In particular, the prefrontal cortex does not reach maturation until late adolescence and this stage is associated with substantial white matter volume increases. Patients with schizophrenia and other major psychiatric disorders tend to first present with overt symptoms during late adolescence/early adulthood and it has been proposed that this developmental stage represents a "window of vulnerability". Methods In this study we used whole genome microarrays to measure gene expression in post mortem prefrontal cortex tissue from human individuals ranging in age from 0 to 49 years. To identify genes specifically altered in the late adolescent period, we applied a template matching procedure. Genes were identified which showed a significant correlation to a template showing a peak of expression between ages 15 and 25. Results Approximately 2000 genes displayed an expression pattern that was significantly correlated (positively or negatively with the template. In the majority of cases, these genes in fact reached a plateau during adolescence with only subtle changes thereafter. These include a number of genes previously associated with schizophrenia including the susceptibility gene neuregulin 1 (NRG1. Functional profiling revealed peak expression in late adolescence for genes associated with energy metabolism and protein and lipid synthesis, together with decreases for genes involved in glutamate and neuropeptide signalling and neuronal development/plasticity. Strikingly, eight myelin-related genes previously found decreased in schizophrenia brain tissue showed a peak in their expression levels in late adolescence, while the single myelin gene reported increased in patients with schizophrenia was decreased in late adolescence. Conclusion The observed changes imply that molecular mechanisms critical for adolescent brain development are

  3. 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.

  4. Noninvasive stimulation of prefrontal cortex strengthens existing episodic memories and reduces forgetting in the elderly.

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    Marco eSandrini

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Memory consolidation is a dynamic process. Reactivation of consolidated memories by a reminder triggers reconsolidation, a time-limited period during which existing memories can be modified (i.e. weakened or strengthened. Episodic memory refers to our ability to recall specific past events about what happened, including where and when. Difficulties in this form of long-term memory commonly occur in healthy aging. Because episodic memory is critical for daily life functioning, the development of effective interventions to reduce memory loss in elderly individuals is of great importance. A previous study in young adults showed that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC plays a causal role in strengthening of verbal episodic memories through reconsolidation. The aim of the present study was to explore the extent to which facilitatory transcranial direct current stimulation (anodal tDCS over the left DLPFC would strengthen existing episodic memories through reconsolidation in elderly individuals. On Day 1, older adults learned a list of 20 words. On Day 2 (24h later, they received a reminder or not, and after 10 minutes tDCS was applied over the left DLPFC. Memory recall was tested on Day 3 (48h later and Day 30 (1 month later. Surprisingly, anodal tDCS over the left DLPFC (i.e. with or without the reminder strengthened existing verbal episodic memories and reduced forgetting compared to sham stimulation. These results provide a framework for testing the hypothesis that facilitatory tDCS of prefrontal cortex might strengthen existing episodic memories and reduce memory loss in older adults with amnesic mild cognitive impairment.

  5. 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.

  6. Modulation of the action of stress by ethanol on dopaminergic activity in the rat prefrontal cortex

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    Hegarty, A.A.; Vogel, W.H. (Thomas Jefferson Univ., Philadelphia, PA (United States))

    1992-02-26

    Both stress and ethanol, when administered individually, have been shown to affect dopamine (DA) and its metabolite (DOPAC) in the central nervous system. Stress can increase DA efflux in several areas of the brain, whereas ethanol has been shown to have variable effects on extracellular DA, either increasing DA or having no apparent effect. Furthermore, ethanol has been shown in microdissection studies to antagonize the effect of stress on the dopaminergic system, indicating an anxiety-reducing property of ethanol. However, the influence of the combination of stress and ethanol on the dopaminergic system has not been studied extensively with the newer technique of microdialysis. In this study, microdialysis was again used to characterize the interaction of immobilization stress and ethanol in the prefrontal cortex. Two groups of rats received either ethanol or saline in the resting state. A third group was immobilization stress and ethanol in the prefrontal cortex. Two groups of rats received either ethanol or saline in the resting state. A third group was immobilization Saline-treated animals showed essentially no changes in levels of DA or DOPAC. Ethanol had no effect on DA overflow in resting animals and caused only a small increase in DOPAC levels. Immobilization caused marked increases in DA levels and smaller increases in DOPAC. Ethanol pretreatment strongly reduced and antagonized the stress-induced increases in DA. However, ethanol potentiated the stress-induced increase in extracellular DOPAC. The authors data add biochemical evidence to the tension-reduction hypothesis of ethanol by perhaps implicating a reduction in the DA stress response by ethanol as a contributing factor in the development of alcoholism.

  7. 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.

  8. Behavioral, neurochemical and molecular changes after acute deep brain stimulation of the infralimbic prefrontal cortex.

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    Jiménez-Sánchez, Laura; Linge, Raquel; Campa, Leticia; Valdizán, Elsa M; Pazos, Ángel; Díaz, Álvaro; Adell, Albert

    2016-09-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a treatment that has shown some efficacy in treatment-resistant depression. In particular, DBS of the subcallosal cingulate gyrus (Brodmann's area 25, Cg25) has been successfully applied to treat refractory depression. In the rat, we have demonstrated that DBS applied to infralimbic (IL) cortex elevates the levels of glutamate and monoamines in the prefrontal cortex, and requires the stimulation of cortical α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) glutamate receptors for its antidepressant-like effects. However, the molecular targets of IL DBS are not fully known. To gain insight into these pathways, we have investigated whether IL DBS is able to reverse the behavioral, biochemical and molecular changes exhibited by the olfactory bulbectomized (OBX) rat. Our results revealed that 1 h IL DBS diminished hyperlocomotion, hyperemotionality and anhedonia, and increased social interaction shown by the OBX rats. Further, IL DBS increased prefrontal efflux of glutamate and serotonin in both sham-operated and OBX rats. With regard to molecular targets, IL DBS increases the synthesis of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and the GluA1 AMPA receptor subunit, and stimulates the Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) as well as the AMPA receptor/c-AMP response element binding (CREB) pathways. Temsirolimus, a known in vivo mTOR blocker, suppressed the antidepressant-like effect of IL DBS in naïve rats in the forced swim test, thus demonstrating for the first time that mTOR signaling is required for the antidepressant-like effects of IL DBS, which is in line with the antidepressant response of other rapid-acting antidepressant drugs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Organization of connections between the amygdala, medial prefrontal cortex, and lateral hypothalamus: a single and double retrograde tracing study in rats.

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    Reppucci, Christina J; Petrovich, Gorica D

    2016-07-01

    The amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are highly interconnected telencephalic areas critical for cognitive processes, including associative learning and decision making. Both structures strongly innervate the lateral hypothalamus (LHA), an important component of the networks underlying the control of feeding and other motivated behaviors. The amygdala-prefrontal-lateral hypothalamic system is therefore well positioned to exert cognitive control over behavior. However, the organization of this system is not well defined, particularly the topography of specific circuitries between distinct cell groups within these complex, heterogeneous regions. This study used two retrograde tracers to map the connections from the amygdala (central and basolateral area nuclei) and mPFC to the LHA in detail, and to determine whether amygdalar pathways to the mPFC and to LHA originate from the same or different neurons. One tracer was placed into a distinct mPFC area (dorsal anterior cingulate, prelimbic, infralimbic, or rostromedial orbital), and the other into dorsal or ventral LHA. We report that the central nucleus and basolateral area of the amygdala send projections to distinct LHA regions, dorsal and ventral, respectively. The basolateral area, but not central nucleus, also sends substantial projections to the mPFC, topographically organized rostrocaudal to dorsoventral. The entire mPFC, in turn, projects to the LHA, providing a separate route for potential amygdalar influence following mPFC processing. Nearly all amygdalar projections to the mPFC and to the LHA originated from different neurons suggesting amygdala and amygdala-mPFC processing influence the LHA independently, and the balance of these parallel pathways ultimately controls motivated behaviors.

  10. 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.

  11. Saccade-related activity in the prefrontal cortex: its role in eye movement control and cognitive functions

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    Funahashi, Shintaro

    2014-01-01

    Prefrontal neurons exhibit saccade-related activity and pre-saccadic memory-related activity often encodes the directions of forthcoming eye movements, in line with demonstrated prefrontal contribution to flexible control of voluntary eye movements. However, many prefrontal neurons exhibit post-saccadic activity that is initiated well after the initiation of eye movement. Although post-saccadic activity has been observed in the frontal eye field, this activity is thought to be a corollary discharge from oculomotor centers, because this activity shows no directional tuning and is observed whenever the monkeys perform eye movements regardless of goal-directed or not. However, prefrontal post-saccadic activities exhibit directional tunings similar as pre-saccadic activities and show context dependency, such that post-saccadic activity is observed only when monkeys perform goal-directed saccades. Context-dependency of prefrontal post-saccadic activity suggests that this activity is not a result of corollary signals from oculomotor centers, but contributes to other functions of the prefrontal cortex. One function might be the termination of memory-related activity after a behavioral response is done. This is supported by the observation that the termination of memory-related activity coincides with the initiation of post-saccadic activity in population analyses of prefrontal activities. The termination of memory-related activity at the end of the trial ensures that the subjects can prepare to receive new and updated information. Another function might be the monitoring of behavioral performance, since the termination of memory-related activity by post-saccadic activity could be associated with informing the correctness of the response and the termination of the trial. However, further studies are needed to examine the characteristics of saccade-related activities in the prefrontal cortex and their functions in eye movement control and a variety of cognitive functions

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. The rostral prefrontal cortex underlies individual differences in working memory capacity: An approach from the hierarchical model of the cognitive control.

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

    2015-10-01

    Neuroimaging and behavioral evidence has suggested that the lateral prefrontal cortex is involved in individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC). However, few studies have localized the neural structures that differentiate high and low WMC individuals, considering the functional architecture of the prefrontal cortex. The present study aimed to identify a frontal region that underlies individual differences from the perspective of the hierarchical architecture of the frontal cortex. By manipulating an episodic factor of cognitive control (control in selecting an appropriate task set according to a temporal context) and using a parametric modulation analysis, we found that both high- and low- WMC individuals have similar activation patterns in the premotor cortex (BA6, 8), caudal prefrontal cortex (BA44, 45), and frontopolar cortex (BA10, 11), but differed in the rostral part of the prefrontal cortex (BA46/47); high WMC individuals showed greater activation in the higher episodic control condition, whereas low WMC individuals showed reduced activation when episodic control was required. Similar patterns of activation were found in the right inferior parietal and middle/inferior temporal cortices. These results indicate that the rostral prefrontal cortex, which supports episodic cognitive control, possibly by sending a weighting signal toward the inferior parietal and middle/inferior temporal cortices that modulate saliency and sensory processing, underlies individual differences in WMC. Episodic control account, which considers the organization of the prefrontal cortex, fits well with previous findings of individual differences in WMC. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Human Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Is Not Necessary for Spatial Working Memory.

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    Mackey, Wayne E; Devinsky, Orrin; Doyle, Werner K; Meager, Michael R; Curtis, Clayton E

    2016-03-09

    A dominant theory, based on electrophysiological and lesion evidence from nonhuman primate studies, posits that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) stores and maintains working memory (WM) representations. Yet, neuroimaging studies have consistently failed to translate these results to humans; these studies normally find that neural activity persists in the human precentral sulcus (PCS) during WM delays. Here, we attempt to resolve this discrepancy. To test the degree to which dlPFC is necessary for WM, we compared the performance of patients with dlPFC lesions and neurologically healthy controls on a memory-guided saccade task that was used in the monkey studies to measure spatial WM. We found that dlPFC damage only impairs the accuracy of memory-guided saccades if the damage impacts the PCS; lesions to dorsolateral dlPFC that spare the PCS have no effect on WM. These results identify the necessary subregion of the frontal cortex for WM and specify how this influential animal model of human cognition must be revised. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/362847-10$15.00/0.

  16. 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.

  17. Neuronal representation of audio-place associations in the medial prefrontal cortex of rats.

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    Wang, Qi; Yang, Sheng-Tao; Li, Bao-Ming

    2015-09-22

    Stimulus-place associative task requires humans or animals to associate or map different stimuli with different locations. It is know that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in rats, also termed prelimbic cortex (PrL), is important for performing stimulus-place associations. However, little is known about how mPFC neurons encode stimulus-palce associations. To address this, the present study trained rats on an audio-place associative task, whereby the animals were required to associate two different tones with entering two different arms in a Y-shaped maze. Reversible inactivation of the mPFC by local infusion of the GABAA receptor agonist muscimol severely impaired the performance of rats on the associative task, again indicating an important role of mPFC in the task performance. Single-unit recording showed that a group of mPFC neurons (40/275, 14.5 %) fired preferentially for the audio-place associations, providing the first electrophysiological evidence for the involvement of mPFC cells in representing audio-place associations.

  18. Stress-protective neural circuits: not all roads lead through the prefrontal cortex.

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    Christianson, John P; Greenwood, Benjamin N

    2014-01-01

    Exposure to an uncontrollable stressor elicits a constellation of physiological and behavioral sequel in laboratory rats that often reflect aspects of anxiety and other emotional disruptions. We review evidence suggesting that plasticity within the serotonergic dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) is critical to the expression of uncontrollable stressor-induced anxiety. Specifically, after uncontrollable stressor exposure subsequent anxiogenic stimuli evoke greater 5-HT release in DRN terminal regions including the amygdala and striatum; and pharmacological blockade of postsynaptic 5-HT(2C) receptors in these regions prevents expression of stressor-induced anxiety. Importantly, the controllability of stress, the presence of safety signals, and a history of exercise mitigate the expression of stressor-induced anxiety. These stress-protective factors appear to involve distinct neural substrates; with stressor controllability requiring the medial prefrontal cortex, safety signals the insular cortex and exercise affecting the 5-HT system directly. Knowledge of the distinct yet converging mechanisms underlying these stress-protective factors could provide insight into novel strategies for the treatment and prevention of stress-related psychiatric disorders.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. The Dorsal Medial Prefrontal Cortex Responds Preferentially to Social Interactions during Natural Viewing

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    Kelley, William M.; Haxby, James V.; Heatherton, Todd F.

    2016-01-01

    Humans display a strong tendency to make spontaneous inferences concerning the thoughts and intentions of others. Although this ability relies upon the concerted effort of multiple brain regions, the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC) is most closely associated with the ability to reason about other people's mental states and form impressions of their character. Here, we investigated this region's putative social category preference using fMRI as 34 participants engaged in uninstructed viewing of a complex naturalistic stimulus. Using a data-driven “reverse correlation” approach, we characterize the DMPFC's stimulus response profile from ongoing neural responses to a dynamic movie stimulus. Results of this analysis demonstrate that the DMPFC's response profile is dominated by the presence of scenes involving social interactions between characters. Subsequent content analysis of video clips created from this response profile confirmed this finding. In contrast, regions of the inferotemporal and parietal cortex were selectively tuned to faces and actions, both features that often covary with social interaction but may be difficult to disentangle using standard event-related approaches. Together, these findings suggest that the DMPFC is finely tuned for processing social interaction above other categories and that this preference is maintained during unrestricted viewing of complex natural stimuli such as movies. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Recently, studies have brought into question whether the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC), a region long associated with social cognition, is specialized for the processing of social information. We examine the response profile of this region during natural viewing of a reasonably naturalistic stimulus (i.e., a Hollywood movie) using a data-driven reverse correlation technique. Our findings demonstrate that, during natural viewing, the DMPFC is strongly tuned to the social features of the stimulus above other categories