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Sample records for prefrontal cortex inhibition

  1. Reward value comparison via mutual inhibition in ventromedial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Strait, Caleb E.; Blanchard, Tommy C.; Hayden, Benjamin Y.

    2014-01-01

    Recent theories suggest that reward-based choice reflects competition between value signals in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). We tested this idea by recording vmPFC neurons while macaques performed a gambling task with asynchronous offer presentation. We found that neuronal activity shows four patterns consistent with selection via mutual inhibition. (1) Correlated tuning for probability and reward size, suggesting that vmPFC carries an integrated value signal, (2) anti-correlated tuning curves for the two options, suggesting mutual inhibition, (3) neurons rapidly come to signal the value of the chosen offer, suggesting the circuit serves to produce a choice, (4) after regressing out the effects of option values, firing rates still could predict choice – a choice probability signal. In addition, neurons signaled gamble outcomes, suggesting that vmPFC contributes to both monitoring and choice processes. These data suggest a possible mechanism for reward-based choice and endorse the centrality of vmPFC in that process. PMID:24881835

  2. Reward value comparison via mutual inhibition in ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Strait, Caleb E; Blanchard, Tommy C; Hayden, Benjamin Y

    2014-06-18

    Recent theories suggest that reward-based choice reflects competition between value signals in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). We tested this idea by recording vmPFC neurons while macaques performed a gambling task with asynchronous offer presentation. We found that neuronal activity shows four patterns consistent with selection via mutual inhibition: (1) correlated tuning for probability and reward size, suggesting that vmPFC carries an integrated value signal; (2) anti-correlated tuning curves for the two options, suggesting mutual inhibition; (3) neurons rapidly come to signal the value of the chosen offer, suggesting the circuit serves to produce a choice; and (4) after regressing out the effects of option values, firing rates still could predict choice-a choice probability signal. In addition, neurons signaled gamble outcomes, suggesting that vmPFC contributes to both monitoring and choice processes. These data suggest a possible mechanism for reward-based choice and endorse the centrality of vmPFC in that process. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Inhibition processes are dissociable and lateralized in human prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Cipolotti, Lisa; Spanò, Barbara; Healy, Colm; Tudor-Sfetea, Carina; Chan, Edgar; White, Mark; Biondo, Francesca; Duncan, John; Shallice, Tim; Bozzali, Marco

    2016-12-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is known to make fundamental contributions to executive functions. However, the precise nature of these contributions is incompletely understood. We focused on a specific executive function, inhibition, the ability to suppress a pre-potent response. Functional imaging and animal studies have studied inhibition. However, there are only few lesion studies, typically reporting discrepant findings. For the first time, we conducted cognitive and neuroimaging investigations on patients with focal unilateral PFC lesions across two widely used inhibitory tasks requiring a verbal response: The Hayling Part 2 and Stroop Colour-Word Tests. We systematically explored the relationship between inhibition, fluid intelligence and lesion location using voxel-based lesion symptom mapping (VLSM). We found that PFC patients were significantly impaired compared with healthy comparison group (HC) on both suppression measures of the Hayling and on the Stroop, even when performance on a fluid intelligence test was covaried. No significant relationship was found between patients' performance on each Hayling suppression measure and the Stroop, once fluid intelligence was partialled out, suggesting that the two tests may involve different kinds of inhibition. After accounting for fluid intelligence, we found a significant interaction between tests, Hayling or Stroop, and site, left or right, of PFC damage. This finding suggesting lateralized functional organization was complemented and extended by our VLSM results. We found that performance on both Hayling suppression measures significantly relied on the integrity of a similar and relatively circumscribed region within the right lateral PFC, in the right lateral superior and middle frontal gyri. In stark contrast, performance on the Stroop relies on the integrity of left lateral superior and middle frontal gyri. Thus, lesion location, right or left PFC, is critical in producing impairments on two inhibitory tasks

  4. Infralimbic Prefrontal Cortex is Responsible for Inhibiting Cocaine Seeking in Extinguished Rats

    PubMed Central

    Peters, Jamie; LaLumiere, Ryan T.; Kalivas, Peter W.

    2008-01-01

    The rat prelimbic prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens core are critical for initiating cocaine seeking. In contrast, the neural circuitry responsible for inhibiting cocaine seeking during extinction is unknown. The present findings using inhibition of selected brain nuclei with GABA agonists show that the suppression of cocaine seeking produced by prior extinction training required activity in the rat infralimbic cortex. Conversely, the reinstatement of drug seeking by a cocaine injection in extinguished animals was suppressed by increasing neuronal activity in infralimbic cortex with the glutamate agonist AMPA. The cocaine seeking induced by inactivating infralimbic cortex resembled other forms of reinstated drug seeking by depending on activity in prelimbic cortex and the basolateral amygdala. A primary efferent projection from the infralimbic cortex is to the nucleus accumbens shell. Akin to infralimbic cortex, inhibition of the accumbens shell induced cocaine seeking in extinguished rats. However, bilateral inhibition of the shell also elicited increased locomotor activity. Nonetheless, unilateral inhibition of the accumbens shell did not increase motor activity, and simultaneous unilateral inactivation of the infralimbic cortex and shell induced cocaine seeking, suggesting that an interaction between these two structures is necessary for extinction training to inhibit cocaine seeking. The infralimbic cortex and accumbens shell appear to be recruited by extinction learning because inactivation of these structures prior to extinction training did not alter cocaine seeking. Together, these findings suggest that a neuronal network involving the infralimbic cortex and accumbens shell is recruited by extinction training to suppress cocaine seeking. PMID:18524910

  5. Infralimbic prefrontal cortex is responsible for inhibiting cocaine seeking in extinguished rats.

    PubMed

    Peters, Jamie; LaLumiere, Ryan T; Kalivas, Peter W

    2008-06-04

    The rat prelimbic prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens core are critical for initiating cocaine seeking. In contrast, the neural circuitry responsible for inhibiting cocaine seeking during extinction is unknown. The present findings using inhibition of selected brain nuclei with GABA agonists show that the suppression of cocaine seeking produced by previous extinction training required activity in the rat infralimbic cortex. Conversely, the reinstatement of drug seeking by a cocaine injection in extinguished animals was suppressed by increasing neuronal activity in infralimbic cortex with the glutamate agonist AMPA. The cocaine seeking induced by inactivating infralimbic cortex resembled other forms of reinstated drug seeking by depending on activity in prelimbic cortex and the basolateral amygdala. A primary efferent projection from the infralimbic cortex is to the nucleus accumbens shell. Akin to infralimbic cortex, inhibition of the accumbens shell induced cocaine seeking in extinguished rats. However, bilateral inhibition of the shell also elicited increased locomotor activity. Nonetheless, unilateral inhibition of the accumbens shell did not increase motor activity, and simultaneous unilateral inactivation of the infralimbic cortex and shell induced cocaine seeking, suggesting that an interaction between these two structures is necessary for extinction training to inhibit cocaine seeking. The infralimbic cortex and accumbens shell appear to be recruited by extinction learning because inactivation of these structures before extinction training did not alter cocaine seeking. Together, these findings suggest that a neuronal network involving the infralimbic cortex and accumbens shell is recruited by extinction training to suppress cocaine seeking.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Altered Markers of Tonic Inhibition in the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex of Subjects With Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Maldonado-Avilés, Jaime G.; Curley, Allison A.; Hashimoto, Takanori; Morrow, A. Leslie; Ramsey, Amy J.; O’Donnell, Patricio; Volk, David W.; Lewis, David A.

    2010-01-01

    Objective Cognitive impairments in schizophrenia are associated with lower expression of markers of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) synthesis in the prefrontal cortex. The effects of GABA are mediated by GABAA receptors that mediate either phasic or tonic inhibition. The authors assessed the expression of GABAA receptor α4 and δ subunits, which coassemble to form receptors mediating tonic inhibition, in schizophrenia. Method The authors used in situ hybridization to quantify expression patterns of GABAA receptor α4 and δ subunits in pre-frontal cortex from 23 matched pairs of schizophrenia and comparison subjects. Results Levels of δ mRNA were significantly lower in schizophrenia subjects regardless of medication use, whereas α4 mRNA levels were lower only in subjects with schizophrenia receiving certain medications at the time of death. To understand the nature of this unexpected dissociation between α 4 and δ subunit expression in schizophrenia, the authors used similar methods to quantify α4 and δ mRNA levels in multiple animal models. During postnatal development of monkey prefrontal cortex, levels of α4 mRNA decreased, whereas δ mRNA levels increased. In addition, δ mRNA levels, but not α4 mRNA levels, were lower in the medial frontal cortex of mice with a genetic deletion of the GABAA receptor α1 subunit, and neither δ nor α4 mRNA levels were altered in rodent models of altered excitatory neurotransmission. Conclusions Since GABAA receptor α1 subunits also have lower mRNA levels in schizophrenia, show increased expression with age in monkey prefrontal cortex, and can coassemble with δ subunits to form functional GABAA receptors, lower δ mRNA levels in schizophrenia might reflect a reduced number of α1βxδ GABAA receptors that could contribute to deficient tonic inhibition and prefrontal cortical dysfunction in schizophrenia. PMID:19289452

  8. Cognitive control and right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex: reflexive reorienting, motor inhibition, and action updating

    PubMed Central

    Levy, Benjamin J.; Wagner, Anthony D.

    2011-01-01

    Delineating the functional organization of the prefrontal cortex is central to advancing models of goal-directed cognition. Considerable evidence indicates that specific forms of cognitive control are associated with distinct subregions of the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), but less is known about functional specialization within the right VLPFC. We report a functional MRI meta-analysis of two prominent theories of right VLPFC function: stopping of motor responses and reflexive orienting to abrupt perceptual onsets. Along with a broader review of right VLPFC function, extant data indicate that stopping and reflexive orienting similarly recruit the inferior frontal junction (IFJ), suggesting that IFJ supports the detection of behaviorally relevant stimuli. By contrast, other right VLPFC subregions are consistently active during motor inhibition, but not reflexive reorienting tasks, with posterior-VLPFC being active during the updating of action plans and mid-VLPFC responding to decision uncertainty. These results highlight the rich functional heterogeneity that exists within right VLPFC. PMID:21486295

  9. Behavioral response inhibition and maturation of goal representation in prefrontal cortex after puberty.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xin; Zhu, Dantong; King, Samson G; Lees, Cynthia J; Bennett, Allyson J; Salinas, Emilio; Stanford, Terrence R; Constantinidis, Christos

    2016-03-22

    Executive functions including behavioral response inhibition mature after puberty, in tandem with structural changes in the prefrontal cortex. Little is known about how activity of prefrontal neurons relates to this profound cognitive development. To examine this, we tracked neuronal responses of the prefrontal cortex in monkeys as they transitioned from puberty into adulthood and compared activity at different developmental stages. Performance of the antisaccade task greatly improved in this period. Among neural mechanisms that could facilitate it, reduction of stimulus-driven activity, increased saccadic activity, or enhanced representation of the opposing goal location, only the latter was evident in adulthood. Greatly accentuated in adults, this neural correlate of vector inversion may be a prerequisite to the formation of a motor plan to look away from the stimulus. Our results suggest that the prefrontal mechanisms that underlie mature performance on the antisaccade task are more strongly associated with forming an alternative plan of action than with suppressing the neural impact of the prepotent stimulus.

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

    PubMed

    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].

  11. Lesions to the ventral, but not the dorsal, medial prefrontal cortex enhance latent inhibition.

    PubMed

    George, David N; Duffaud, Anaïs M; Pothuizen, Helen H J; Haddon, Josephine E; Killcross, Simon

    2010-04-01

    The acquisition of a conditioned response to a stimulus when it is paired with a reinforcer is retarded if the stimulus has previously been repeatedly pre-exposed in the absence of the reinforcer. This effect, called latent inhibition, has previously been found to be insensitive to lesions of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in rats. Using an on-baseline conditioned emotional response procedure, which is especially sensitive to small variations in the absolute magnitude of latent inhibition, we found increased latent inhibition following excitotoxic lesions of the mPFC (Experiment 1) or the ventral mPFC alone (Experiment 2) as compared with sham-operated control rats. Lesions restricted to the dorsal mPFC, however, were without effect (Experiment 2). These results are consistent with those of experiments employing another type of interference procedure, extinction. Together, these findings suggest that when different contingencies between a stimulus and a reinforcer are established in separate learning phases, lesions to the ventral mPFC result in increased interference between first-learned and second-learned contingencies. As a consequence, retrieval of the second-learned contingency is impaired, and performance is dominated by the first-learned contingency. These findings are discussed in light of the use of latent inhibition to model cognitive deficits in schizophrenia.

  12. Neuropsychology of prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Siddiqui, Shazia Veqar; Chatterjee, Ushri; Kumar, Devvarta; Siddiqui, Aleem; Goyal, Nishant

    2008-01-01

    The history of clinical frontal lobe study is long and rich which provides valuable insights into neuropsychologic determinants of functions of prefrontal cortex (PFC). PFC is often classified as multimodal association cortex as extremely processed information from various sensory modalities is integrated here in a precise fashion to form the physiologic constructs of memory, perception, and diverse cognitive processes. Human neuropsychologic studies also support the notion of different functional operations within the PFC. The specification of the component ‘executive’ processes and their localization to particular regions of PFC have been implicated in a wide variety of psychiatric disorders. PMID:19742233

  13. ALCOHOL AND THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:20813246

  14. The truth about lying: inhibition of the anterior prefrontal cortex improves deceptive behavior.

    PubMed

    Karim, Ahmed A; Schneider, Markus; Lotze, Martin; Veit, Ralf; Sauseng, Paul; Braun, Christoph; Birbaumer, Niels

    2010-01-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies have indicated a predominant role of the anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC) in deception and moral cognition, yet the functional contribution of the aPFC to deceptive behavior remains unknown. We hypothesized that modulating the excitability of the aPFC by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) could reveal its functional contribution in generating deceitful responses. Forty-four healthy volunteers participated in a thief role-play in which they were supposed to steal money and then to attend an interrogation with the Guilty Knowledge Test. During the interrogation, participants received cathodal, anodal, or sham tDCS. Remarkably, inhibition of the aPFC by cathodal tDCS did not lead to an impairment of deceptive behavior but rather to a significant improvement. This effect manifested in faster reaction times in telling lies, but not in telling the truth, a decrease in sympathetic skin-conductance response and feelings of guilt while deceiving the interrogator and a significantly higher lying quotient reflecting skillful lying. Increasing the excitability of the aPFC by anodal tDCS did not affect deceptive behavior, confirming the specificity of the stimulation polarity. These findings give causal support to recent correlative data obtained by functional magnetic resonance imaging studies indicating a pivotal role of the aPFC in deception.

  15. Prefrontal infralimbic cortex mediates competition between excitation and inhibition of body movements during pavlovian fear conditioning.

    PubMed

    Halladay, Lindsay R; Blair, Hugh T

    2017-03-01

    The infralimbic subregion of the prefrontal cortex (IL) is broadly involved in behavioral flexibility, risk assessment, and outcome reinforcement. In aversive conditioning tasks, the IL has been implicated in fear extinction and in mediating transitions between Pavlovian and instrumental responses. Here we examine the role of the IL in mediating transitions between two competing Pavlovian fear responses, conditioned motor inhibition (CMI) and conditioned motor excitation (CME). Rats were trained to fear an auditory conditioned stimulus (CS) by pairing it with periorbital shock to one eyelid (the unconditioned stimulus [US]). Trained animals exhibited CMI responses (movement suppression) to the CS when they had not recently encountered the US (>24 hr), but, after recent encounters with the US (<5 min), the CS evoked CME responses (turning in circles away from anticipated shock). Animals then received bilateral infusions of muscimol or picrotoxin to inactivate or hyperactivate the IL, respectively. Neither drug reliably affected CMI responses, but there was a bidirectional effect on CME responses; inactivation of the IL attenuated CME responses, whereas hyperactivation potentiated CME responses. These results provide evidence that activation of the IL may promote behavioral strategies that involve mobilizing the body and suppress strategies that involve immobilizing the body. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Chronic stress impairs prefrontal cortex-dependent response inhibition and spatial working memory.

    PubMed

    Mika, Agnieszka; Mazur, Gabriel J; Hoffman, Ann N; Talboom, Joshua S; Bimonte-Nelson, Heather A; Sanabria, Federico; Conrad, Cheryl D

    2012-10-01

    Chronic stress leads to neurochemical and structural alterations in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) that correspond to deficits in PFC-mediated behaviors. The present study examined the effects of chronic restraint stress on response inhibition (using a response-withholding task, the fixed-minimum interval schedule of reinforcement, or FMI), and working memory (using a radial arm water maze, RAWM). Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were first trained on the RAWM and subsequently trained on FMI. After acquisition of FMI, rats were assigned to a restraint stress (6h/d/28d in wire mesh restrainers) or control condition. Immediately after chronic stress, rats were tested on FMI and subsequently on RAWM. FMI results suggest that chronic stress reduces response inhibition capacity and motivation to initiate the task on selective conditions when sucrose reward was not obtained on the preceding trial. RAWM results suggest that chronic stress produces transient deficits in working memory without altering previously consolidated reference memory. Behavioral measures from FMI failed to correlate with metrics from RAWM except for one in which changes in FMI timing imprecision negatively correlated with changes in RAWM working memory errors for the controls, a finding that was not observed following chronic stress. Fisher's r-to-z transformation revealed no significant differences between control and stress groups with correlation coefficients. These findings are the first to show that chronic stress impairs both response inhibition and working memory, two behaviors that have never been directly compared within the same animals after chronic stress, using FMI, an appetitive task, and RAWM, a nonappetitive task.

  17. Postsynaptic diacylglycerol lipase α mediates retrograde endocannabinoid suppression of inhibition in mouse prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Yoshino, Hiroki; Miyamae, Takeaki; Hansen, Gwenn; Zambrowicz, Brian; Flynn, Michael; Pedicord, Donna; Blat, Yuval; Westphal, Ryan S; Zaczek, Robert; Lewis, David A; Gonzalez-Burgos, Guillermo

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition (DSI) is a prevailing form of endocannabinoid signalling. However, several discrepancies have arisen regarding the roles played by the two major brain endocannabinoids, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide, in mediating DSI. Here we studied endocannabinoid signalling in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), where several components of the endocannabinoid system have been identified, but endocannabinoid signalling remains largely unexplored. In voltage clamp recordings from mouse PFC pyramidal neurons, depolarizing steps significantly suppressed IPSCs induced by application of the cholinergic agonist carbachol. DSI in PFC neurons was abolished by extra- or intracellular application of tetrahydrolipstatin (THL), an inhibitor of the 2-AG synthesis enzyme diacylglycerol lipase (DAGL). Moreover, DSI was enhanced by inhibiting 2-AG degradation, but was unaffected by inhibiting anandamide degradation. THL, however, may affect other enzymes of lipid metabolism and does not selectively target the α (DAGLα) or β (DAGLβ) isoforms of DAGL. Therefore, we studied DSI in the PFC of DAGLα−/− and DAGLβ−/− mice generated via insertional mutagenesis by gene-trapping with retroviral vectors. Gene trapping strongly reduced DAGLα or DAGLβ mRNA levels in a locus-specific manner. In DAGLα−/− mice cortical levels of 2-AG were significantly decreased and DSI was completely abolished, whereas DAGLβ deficiency did not alter cortical 2-AG levels or DSI. Importantly, cortical levels of anandamide were not significantly affected in DAGLα−/− or DAGLβ−/− mice. The chronic decrease of 2-AG levels in DAGLα−/− mice did not globally alter inhibitory transmission or the response of cannabinoid-sensitive synapses to cannabinoid receptor stimulation, although it altered some intrinsic membrane properties. Finally, we found that repetitive action potential firing of PFC pyramidal neurons suppressed synaptic

  18. Catecholaminergic depletion within the prelimbic medial prefrontal cortex enhances latent inhibition.

    PubMed

    Nelson, A J D; Thur, K E; Marsden, C A; Cassaday, H J

    2010-09-29

    Latent inhibition (LI) refers to the reduction in conditioning to a stimulus that has received repeated non-reinforced pre-exposure. Investigations into the neural substrates of LI have focused on the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and its inputs from the hippocampal formation and adjacent cortical areas. Previous work has suggested that lesions to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), another major source of input to the NAc, do not disrupt LI. However, a failure to observe disrupted LI does not preclude the possibility that a particular brain region is involved in the expression of LI. Moreover, the mPFC is a heterogeneous structure and there has been no investigation of a possible role of different regions within the mPFC in regulating LI under conditions that prevent LI in controls. Here, we tested whether 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced lesions of dopamine (DA) terminals within the prelimbic (PL) and infralimbic (IL) mPFC would lead to the emergence of LI under conditions that do produce LI in controls (weak pre-exposure). LI was measured in a thirst motivated conditioned emotional response procedure with 10 pre-exposures to a noise conditioned stimulus (CS) and two conditioning trials. Sham-operated and IL-lesioned animals did not show LI and conditioned to the pre-exposed CS at comparable levels to the non-pre-exposed controls. 6-OHDA lesions to the PL, however, produced potentiation of LI. These results provide the first demonstration that the PL mPFC is a component of the neural circuitry underpinning LI.

  19. Altered Dopamine Modulation of Inhibition in the Prefrontal Cortex of Cocaine-Sensitized Rats

    PubMed Central

    Kroener, Sven; Lavin, Antonieta

    2010-01-01

    A functionally hypoactive prefrontal cortex (PFC) is thought to contribute to decreased cognitive inhibitory control over drug-seeking behavior in cocaine addicts. Alterations in PFC dopamine (DA) and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transmission are involved in the development of behavioral sensitization to cocaine, and repeated exposure to cocaine decreases DA D2 receptor (D2R) function in the PFC. We used recordings in PFC slices from adult rats to investigate how repeated cocaine treatment followed by 2 weeks of withdrawal affects DA modulation of GABA transmission and interneuron firing. In agreement with previous results in drug-naïve animals we found that in saline-treated control animals DA (20 μM) modulated evoked inhibitory post-synaptic currents (eIPSCs) in a biphasic, time- and receptor-dependent manner. Activation of D2Rs transiently reduced, whereas D1 receptor activation persistently increased the amplitude of eIPSCs. In cocaine-sensitized animals the D2R-dependent modulation of eIPSCs was abolished and the time course of DA effects was altered. In both saline- and cocaine-treated animals the effects of DA on eIPSCs were paralleled by distinct changes in spontaneous IPSCs (sIPSCs). In cocaine-treated animals the alterations in DA modulation of eIPSCs and sIPSCs correlated with a lack of D2R-specific reduction in action potential-independent GABA release, which might normally oppose D1-dependent increases in GABA transmission. Recordings from interneurons furthermore show that D2R activation can increase current-evoked spike firing in saline, but not in cocaine-treated animals. Altered DA regulation of inhibition during cocaine withdrawal could disturb normal cortical processing and contribute to a hypoactive PFC. PMID:20664581

  20. Altered dopamine modulation of inhibition in the prefrontal cortex of cocaine-sensitized rats.

    PubMed

    Kroener, Sven; Lavin, Antonieta

    2010-10-01

    A functionally hypoactive prefrontal cortex (PFC) is thought to contribute to decreased cognitive inhibitory control over drug-seeking behavior in cocaine addicts. Alterations in PFC dopamine (DA) and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transmission are involved in the development of behavioral sensitization to cocaine, and repeated exposure to cocaine decreases DA D2 receptor (D2R) function in the PFC. We used recordings in PFC slices from adult rats to investigate how repeated cocaine treatment followed by 2 weeks of withdrawal affects DA modulation of GABA transmission and interneuron firing. In agreement with previous results in drug-naïve animals we found that in saline-treated control animals DA (20 μM) modulated evoked inhibitory post-synaptic currents (eIPSCs) in a biphasic, time- and receptor-dependent manner. Activation of D2Rs transiently reduced, whereas D1 receptor activation persistently increased the amplitude of eIPSCs. In cocaine-sensitized animals the D2R-dependent modulation of eIPSCs was abolished and the time course of DA effects was altered. In both saline- and cocaine-treated animals the effects of DA on eIPSCs were paralleled by distinct changes in spontaneous IPSCs (sIPSCs). In cocaine-treated animals the alterations in DA modulation of eIPSCs and sIPSCs correlated with a lack of D2R-specific reduction in action potential-independent GABA release, which might normally oppose D1-dependent increases in GABA transmission. Recordings from interneurons furthermore show that D2R activation can increase current-evoked spike firing in saline, but not in cocaine-treated animals. Altered DA regulation of inhibition during cocaine withdrawal could disturb normal cortical processing and contribute to a hypoactive PFC.

  1. Catecholaminergic depletion within the prelimbic medial prefrontal cortex enhances latent inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, A.J.D.; Thur, K.E.; Marsden, C.A.; Cassaday, H.J.

    2010-01-01

    Latent inhibition (LI) refers to the reduction in conditioning to a stimulus that has received repeated non-reinforced pre-exposure. Investigations into the neural substrates of LI have focused on the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and its inputs from the hippocampal formation and adjacent cortical areas. Previous work has suggested that lesions to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), another major source of input to the NAc, do not disrupt LI. However, a failure to observe disrupted LI does not preclude the possibility that a particular brain region is involved in the expression of LI. Moreover, the mPFC is a heterogeneous structure and there has been no investigation of a possible role of different regions within the mPFC in regulating LI under conditions that prevent LI in controls. Here, we tested whether 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced lesions of dopamine (DA) terminals within the prelimbic (PL) and infralimbic (IL) mPFC would lead to the emergence of LI under conditions that do produce LI in controls (weak pre-exposure). LI was measured in a thirst motivated conditioned emotional response procedure with 10 pre-exposures to a noise conditioned stimulus (CS) and two conditioning trials. Sham-operated and IL-lesioned animals did not show LI and conditioned to the pre-exposed CS at comparable levels to the non-pre-exposed controls. 6-OHDA lesions to the PL, however, produced potentiation of LI. These results provide the first demonstration that the PL mPFC is a component of the neural circuitry underpinning LI. PMID:20619321

  2. MRI volumetry of prefrontal cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 prefrontal cortex boundaries on 3D images was critical to obtaining accurate measurements. MR prefrontal cortex volumetry by stereology can yield accurate and repeatable measurements. Small frontal lobe volume reductions in patients with brain disorders such as depression and schizophrenia can be efficiently assessed using this method.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  4. A combined TMS-EEG study of short-latency afferent inhibition in the motor and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Noda, Yoshihiro; Cash, Robin F H; Zomorrodi, Reza; Dominguez, Luis Garcia; Farzan, Faranak; Rajji, Tarek K; Barr, Mera S; Chen, Robert; Daskalakis, Zafiris J; Blumberger, Daniel M

    2016-09-01

    Combined transcranial magnetic stimulation and electroencephalography (TMS-EEG) enables noninvasive neurophysiological investigation of the human cortex. A TMS paradigm of short-latency afferent inhibition (SAI) is characterized by attenuation of the motor-evoked potential (MEP) and modulation of N100 of the TMS-evoked potential (TEP) when TMS is delivered to motor cortex (M1) following median nerve stimulation. SAI is a marker of cholinergic activity in the motor cortex; however, the SAI has not been tested from the prefrontal cortex. We aimed to explore the effect of SAI in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). SAI was examined in 12 healthy subjects with median nerve stimulation and TMS delivered to M1 and DLPFC at interstimulus intervals (ISIs) relative to the individual N20 latency. SAI in M1 was tested at the optimal ISI of N20 + 2 ms. SAI in DLPFC was investigated at a range of ISI from N20 + 2 to N20 + 20 ms to explore its temporal profile. For SAI in M1, the attenuation of MEP amplitude was correlated with an increase of TEP N100 from the left central area. A similar spatiotemporal neural signature of SAI in DLPFC was observed with a marked increase of N100 amplitude. SAI in DLPFC was maximal at ISI N20 + 4 ms at the left frontal area. These findings establish the neural signature of SAI in DLPFC. Future studies could explore whether DLPFC-SAI is neurophysiological marker of cholinergic dysfunction in cognitive disorders. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  5. Chemogenetic inhibition of the medial prefrontal cortex reverses the effects of REM sleep loss on sucrose consumption.

    PubMed

    McEown, Kristopher; Takata, Yohko; Cherasse, Yoan; Nagata, Nanae; Aritake, Kosuke; Lazarus, Michael

    2016-12-06

    Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep loss is associated with increased consumption of weight-promoting foods. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is thought to mediate reward anticipation. However, the precise role of the PFC in mediating reward responses to highly palatable foods (HPF) after REM sleep deprivation is unclear. We selectively reduced REM sleep in mice over a 25-48 hr period and chemogenetically inhibited the medial PFC (mPFC) by using an altered glutamate-gated and ivermectin-gated chloride channel that facilitated neuronal inhibition through hyperpolarizing infected neurons. HPF consumption was measured while the mPFC was inactivated and REM sleep loss was induced. We found that REM sleep loss increased HPF consumption compared to control animals. However, mPFC inactivation reversed the effect of REM sleep loss on sucrose consumption without affecting fat consumption. Our findings provide, for the first time, a causal link between REM sleep, mPFC function and HPF consumption.

  6. Learning-dependent Changes in the Neuronal Correlates of Response Inhibition in the Prefrontal Cortex and Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Byeon, Jung Seop

    2014-01-01

    It has been suggested that the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex (PFC) play key roles in representing contextual memory and utilizing contextual information for flexible response selection. During response selection, a correct response should be facilitated and an incorrect response should be inhibited flexibly in association with a cueing stimulus. However, it is poorly understood how the hippocampal and PFC networks behave during such flexible control of facilitation and inhibition of behavioral responses. To find neural correlates of context-cued flexible response selection, the current study employed an object-place paired-associate (OPPA) task in which object A is only rewarded in place 1 and object B is associated with reward in place 2 while recording single units simultaneously from the hippocampus and PFC. During the task, response inhibition in front of a contextually wrong object is required for successful performance and such inhibitory responses were observed before the rat learned the task. A significant proportion of neurons that fired differentially depending on the existence of inhibitory behavior in the PFC was observed during the pre-learning stage. By contrast, the proportion of such neurons in the hippocampus was significantly greater than chance during post-learning stage. The results suggest that the development of inhibitory behavior is a critical behavioral marker that foretells an upcoming acquisition of the task and the hippocampus and PFC are involved in learning contextual response selection by learning how to control the inhibition of behavior as learning progresses. PMID:24963284

  7. Neurosteroid dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate inhibits persistent sodium currents in rat medial prefrontal cortex via activation of sigma-1 receptors.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Zheng-Xiang; Lan, Dan-Mei; Wu, Pei-Ying; Zhu, Yan-Hua; Dong, Yi; Ma, Lan; Zheng, Ping

    2008-03-01

    Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate is one of the most important neurosteroids. In the present paper, we studied the effect of dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate on persistent sodium currents and its mechanism and functional consequence with whole-cell patch clamp recording method combined with a pharmacological approach in the rat medial prefrontal cortex slices. The results showed that dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate inhibited the amplitude of persistent sodium currents and the inhibitory effect was significant at 0.1 microM, reached maximum at 1 microM and decreased with the increase in the concentrations of above 1 microM. The effect of dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate on persistent sodium currents was canceled by the Gi protein inhibitor and the protein kinase C inhibitor, but not by the protein kinase A inhibitor. The effect of dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate on persistent sodium currents was also canceled by the sigma-1 receptor blockers and the sigma-1 receptor agonist could mimic the effect of dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate. Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate had no significant influence on neuronal excitability but could significantly inhibit chemical inhibition of mitochondria-evoked increase in persistent sodium currents. These results suggest that dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate inhibits persistent sodium currents via the activation of sigma-1 receptors-Gi protein-protein kinase C-coupled signaling pathway, and the main functional consequence of this effect of DHEAS is presumably to protect neurons under ischemia.

  8. Inhibition of Lateral Prefrontal Cortex Produces Emotionally Biased First Impressions: A Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Electroencephalography Study.

    PubMed

    Lapate, Regina C; Samaha, Jason; Rokers, Bas; Hamzah, Hamdi; Postle, Bradley R; Davidson, Richard J

    2017-07-01

    Optimal functioning in everyday life requires the ability to override reflexive emotional responses and prevent affective spillover to situations or people unrelated to the source of emotion. In the current study, we investigated whether the lateral prefrontal cortex (lPFC) causally regulates the influence of emotional information on subsequent judgments. We disrupted left lPFC function using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and recorded electroencephalography (EEG) before and after. Subjects evaluated the likeability of novel neutral faces after a brief exposure to a happy or fearful face. We found that lPFC inhibition biased evaluations of novel faces according to the previously processed emotional expression. Greater frontal EEG alpha power, reflecting increased inhibition by TMS, predicted increased behavioral bias. TMS-induced affective misattribution was long-lasting: Emotionally biased first impressions formed during lPFC inhibition were still detectable outside of the laboratory 3 days later. These findings indicate that lPFC serves an important emotion-regulation function by preventing incidental emotional encoding from automatically biasing subsequent appraisals.

  9. TOP-DOWN CONTROL OF MOTOR CORTEX ENSEMBLES BY DORSOMEDIAL PREFRONTAL CORTEX

    PubMed Central

    Narayanan, Nandakumar S.; Laubach, Mark

    2007-01-01

    SUMMARY 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 predictive of premature responding. We then reversibly inactivated dorsomedial prefrontal cortex while recording ensemble activity in motor cortex. Inactivation of dorsomedial prefrontal cortex reduced delay-related firing, but not response-related firing, in motor cortex. Finally, we made simultaneous recordings in dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and motor cortex and found strong delay-related temporal correlations between neurons in the two cortical areas. These data suggest that functional interactions between dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and motor cortex might serve as a top-down control signal that inhibits inappropriate responding. PMID:17145511

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  11. Chemogenetic inhibition of the medial prefrontal cortex reverses the effects of REM sleep loss on sucrose consumption

    PubMed Central

    McEown, Kristopher; Takata, Yohko; Cherasse, Yoan; Nagata, Nanae; Aritake, Kosuke; Lazarus, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep loss is associated with increased consumption of weight-promoting foods. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is thought to mediate reward anticipation. However, the precise role of the PFC in mediating reward responses to highly palatable foods (HPF) after REM sleep deprivation is unclear. We selectively reduced REM sleep in mice over a 25–48 hr period and chemogenetically inhibited the medial PFC (mPFC) by using an altered glutamate-gated and ivermectin-gated chloride channel that facilitated neuronal inhibition through hyperpolarizing infected neurons. HPF consumption was measured while the mPFC was inactivated and REM sleep loss was induced. We found that REM sleep loss increased HPF consumption compared to control animals. However, mPFC inactivation reversed the effect of REM sleep loss on sucrose consumption without affecting fat consumption. Our findings provide, for the first time, a causal link between REM sleep, mPFC function and HPF consumption. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20269.001 PMID:27919319

  12. Inactivation or inhibition of neuronal activity in the medial prefrontal cortex largely reduces pup retrieval and grouping in maternal rats.

    PubMed

    Febo, Marcelo; Felix-Ortiz, Ada C; Johnson, Tehya R

    2010-04-14

    Previous research suggests that the maternal medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) may play a role in maternal care and that cocaine sensitization before pregnancy can affect neuronal activity within this region. The present work was carried out to test whether the mPFC does actually play a role in the expression of maternal behaviors in the rats and to understand what specific behaviors this cortical area may modulate. In the first experiment, tetrodotoxin (TTX) was used to chemically inactivate the mPFC during tests for maternal behavior latencies. Lactating rats were tested on postpartum days 7-9. The results of this first experiment indicate that there is a large effect of TTX-induced inactivation on retrieval behavior latencies. TTX nearly abolished the expression of maternal retrieval of pups without significantly impairing locomotor activity. In the second experiment, GABA-mediated inhibition was used to test maternal behavior latencies and durations of maternal and other behaviors in postpartum dams. In agreement with experiment 1, it was observed that dams capable of retrieving are rendered incapable by inhibition in the mPFC. GABA-mediated inhibition in the mPFC largely reduced retrieval without altering other indices of maternal care and non-specific behavior such as ambulation time, self-grooming, and inactivity. Moreover, in both experiments, dams were able to establish contact with pups within seconds. The overall results indicate that the mPFC may play an active role in modulating maternal care, particularly retrieval behavior. External factors that affect the function of the frontal cortical site may result in significant impairments in maternal goal-directed behavior as reported in our earlier work. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Response Inhibition in Adults and Teenagers: Spatiotemporal Differences in the Prefrontal Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vidal, Julie; Mills, Travis; Pang, Elizabeth W.; Taylor, Margot J.

    2012-01-01

    Inhibition is a core executive function reliant on the frontal lobes that shows protracted maturation through to adulthood. We investigated the spatiotemporal characteristics of response inhibition during a visual go/no-go task in 14 teenagers and 14 adults using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and a contrast between two no-go experimental conditions…

  14. Response Inhibition in Adults and Teenagers: Spatiotemporal Differences in the Prefrontal Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vidal, Julie; Mills, Travis; Pang, Elizabeth W.; Taylor, Margot J.

    2012-01-01

    Inhibition is a core executive function reliant on the frontal lobes that shows protracted maturation through to adulthood. We investigated the spatiotemporal characteristics of response inhibition during a visual go/no-go task in 14 teenagers and 14 adults using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and a contrast between two no-go experimental conditions…

  15. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation inhibits Sirt1/MAO-A signaling in the prefrontal cortex in a rat model of depression and cortex-derived astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Peng, Zheng-Wu; Xue, Fen; Zhou, Cui-Hong; Zhang, Rui-Guo; Wang, Ying; Liu, Ling; Sang, Han-Fei; Wang, Hua-Ning; Tan, Qing-Rong

    2017-09-25

    Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a useful monotherapy for depression or adjunctive therapy for resistant depression. However, the anti-depressive effects of different parameters and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we aimed to assess the effect of rTMS with different parameters (1/5/10 Hz, 0.84/1.26 T) on the depressive-like behaviors, 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), 5-HIAA (5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid) and DA and NE levels, and monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) activity in chronic unpredictable stress-treated rats, along with the expression of sirtuin 1 (Sirt1) and MAO-A in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and cortex-derived astrocytes from new-born rats. Moreover, the depressive-like behaviors were monitored following the transcranial injection of the Sirt1 inhibitor EX527 (1 mM) daily for 1 week. We found that rTMS treatment (5/10 Hz, 0.84/1.26 T) ameliorated depressive-like behaviors, increased 5-HT, DA and NE levels, decreased the 5-HIAA level and Sirt1 and MAO-A expression, and reduced MAO-A activity in the PFC. The depressive-like behaviors were also ameliorated after the transcranial injection of EX527. Importantly, rTMS (5/10 Hz, 0.84/1.26 T) inhibited Sirt1 and MAO-A expressions in astrocytes and Sirt1 knockdown with short hairpin RNA decreased MAO-A expression in astrocytes. These results suggest that the inhibition of Sirt1/MAO-A expression in astrocytes in the PFC may contribute to the different anti-depressive effects of rTMS with different parameters, and may also provide a novel insight into the mechanisms underlying major depressive disorder.

  16. Mapping Prefrontal Cortex Functions in Human Infancy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  17. Mapping Prefrontal Cortex Functions in Human Infancy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  19. Distinct ensembles of medial prefrontal cortex neurons are activated by threatening stimuli that elicit excitation vs. inhibition of movement

    PubMed Central

    Blair, Hugh T.

    2015-01-01

    Neural circuits controlling defensive behavior were investigated by recording single units in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and dorsolateral periaqueductal gray (dlPAG) while rats expressed conditioned fear responses to an auditory conditioned stimulus (CS; 20-s train of white noise pips) previously paired with an aversive unconditioned stimulus (US; 2-s train of periorbital shocks). The CS elicited conditioned movement inhibition (CMI; characterized by decreased movement speed and freezing) when rats had not recently encountered the US, whereas the CS elicited conditioned movement excitation (CME; characterized by increased movement speed and flight behavior) after recent US encounters. Many mPFC neurons were “strategy-selective” cells that changed their firing rates only when the CS elicited CME (15/71) or CMI (13/71) responses, whereas few mPFC cells (4/71) responded nonselectively to the CS during either response. By contrast, many dlPAG neurons (20/74) responded nonselectively to the CS, but most (40/74) were excited by the CS selectively during CME trials (and none during CMI trials). CME-selective neurons in dlPAG responded phasically after CS pips that elicited CME responses, whereas CME-selective neurons in mPFC showed tonically elevated activity before and after pips that evoked CME responses. These findings suggest that, at the time when the CS occurs, tonic firing rates of CME- and CMI-selective mPFC neurons may bias the rat's choice of whether to express CME vs. CMI responses, perhaps via projections to downstream structures (such as amygdala and PAG) that influence how sensory stimuli are mapped onto motor circuits that drive the expression of competing behaviors. PMID:25972588

  20. Valproic acid inhibits TTX-resistant sodium currents in prefrontal cortex pyramidal neurons.

    PubMed

    Szulczyk, Bartlomiej; Nurowska, Ewa

    2017-09-16

    Valproic acid is frequently prescribed and used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder and other conditions. However, the mechanism of action of valproic acid has not been fully elucidated. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of valproic acid (200 μM) on TTX-resistant sodium currents in mPFC pyramidal neurons. Valproic acid inhibited the maximal amplitude and did not change the activation parameters of TTX-resistant sodium currents. Moreover, valproic acid (2 μM and 200 μM) shifted the TTX-resistant sodium channel inactivation curve towards hyperpolarisation. In the presence of valproic acid, TTX-resistant sodium currents recovered from inactivation more slowly. Valproic acid did not influence the use-dependent blockade of TTX-resistant sodium currents. This study suggests that a potential new mechanism of the antiepileptic action of valproic acid is, among others, inhibition of TTX-resistant sodium currents. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Prefrontal cortex glutamate and extraversion

    PubMed Central

    Schubert, Florian; Jaedke, Maren; Gallinat, Jürgen; Bajbouj, Malek

    2012-01-01

    Extraversion is considered one of the core traits of personality. Low extraversion has been associated with increased vulnerability to affective and anxiety disorders. Brain imaging studies have linked extraversion, approach behaviour and the production of positive emotional states to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and glutamatergic neurotransmission. However, the relationship between extraversion and glutamate in the DLPFC has not been investigated so far. In order to address this issue, absolute glutamate concentrations in the DLPFC and the visual cortex as a control region were measured by 3-Tesla proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) in 29 subjects with high and low extraversion. We found increased glutamate levels in the DLPFC of introverts as compared with extraverts. The increased glutamate concentration was specific for the DLPFC and negatively associated with state anxiety. Although preliminary, results indicate altered top-down control of DLPFC due to reduced glutamate concentration as a function of extraversion. Glutamate measurement with 1H-MRS may facilitate the understanding of biological underpinnings of personality traits and psychiatric diseases associated with dysfunctions in approach behaviour and the production of positive emotional states. PMID:22016442

  2. Prefrontal cortex glutamate and extraversion.

    PubMed

    Grimm, Simone; Schubert, Florian; Jaedke, Maren; Gallinat, Jürgen; Bajbouj, Malek

    2012-10-01

    Extraversion is considered one of the core traits of personality. Low extraversion has been associated with increased vulnerability to affective and anxiety disorders. Brain imaging studies have linked extraversion, approach behaviour and the production of positive emotional states to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and glutamatergic neurotransmission. However, the relationship between extraversion and glutamate in the DLPFC has not been investigated so far. In order to address this issue, absolute glutamate concentrations in the DLPFC and the visual cortex as a control region were measured by 3-Tesla proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) in 29 subjects with high and low extraversion. We found increased glutamate levels in the DLPFC of introverts as compared with extraverts. The increased glutamate concentration was specific for the DLPFC and negatively associated with state anxiety. Although preliminary, results indicate altered top-down control of DLPFC due to reduced glutamate concentration as a function of extraversion. Glutamate measurement with 1H-MRS may facilitate the understanding of biological underpinnings of personality traits and psychiatric diseases associated with dysfunctions in approach behaviour and the production of positive emotional states.

  3. A mechanism for value-guided choice based on the excitation-inhibition balance in prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Jocham, Gerhard; Hunt, Laurence T; Near, Jamie; Behrens, Timothy EJ

    2014-01-01

    Although the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) has long been implicated in reward-guided decision making, its exact role in this process has remained an unresolved issue. Here, we show that vmPFC levels of GABA and glutamate in human volunteers are predictive of both behavioural performance and the dynamics of a neural value comparison signal in a manner as predicted by models of decision-making. These data provide evidence for a neural competition mechanism in vmPFC supporting value-guided choice. PMID:22706268

  4. Pilot Study of Response Inhibition and Error Processing in the Posterior Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Healthy Youth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fitzgerald, Kate Dimond; Zbrozek, Christopher D.; Welsh, Robert C.; Britton, Jennifer C.; Liberzon, Israel; Taylor, Stephan F.

    2008-01-01

    Background: Recent neuroimaging work suggests that inhibitory and error processing in healthy adults share overlapping, but functionally distinct neural circuitries within the posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC); however, it remains unknown whether the pMFC is differentially engaged by response inhibition compared to error commission in the…

  5. Pilot Study of Response Inhibition and Error Processing in the Posterior Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Healthy Youth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fitzgerald, Kate Dimond; Zbrozek, Christopher D.; Welsh, Robert C.; Britton, Jennifer C.; Liberzon, Israel; Taylor, Stephan F.

    2008-01-01

    Background: Recent neuroimaging work suggests that inhibitory and error processing in healthy adults share overlapping, but functionally distinct neural circuitries within the posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC); however, it remains unknown whether the pMFC is differentially engaged by response inhibition compared to error commission in the…

  6. Space representation in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Funahashi, Shintaro

    2013-04-01

    The representation of space and its function in the prefrontal cortex have been examined using a variety of behavioral tasks. Among them, since the delayed-response task requires the temporary maintenance of spatial information, this task has been used to examine the mechanisms of spatial representation. In addition, the concept of working memory to explain prefrontal functions has helped us to understand the nature and functions of space representation in the prefrontal cortex. The detailed analysis of delay-period activity observed in spatial working memory tasks has provided important information for understanding space representation in the prefrontal cortex. Directional delay-period activity has been shown to be a neural correlate of the mechanism for temporarily maintaining information and represent spatial information for the visual cue and the saccade. In addition, many task-related prefrontal neurons exhibit spatially selective activities. These neurons are also important components of spatial information processing. In fact, information flow from sensory-related neurons to motor-related neurons has been demonstrated, along with a change in spatial representation as the trial progresses. The dynamic functional interactions among neurons exhibiting different task-related activities and representing different aspects of information could play an essential role in information processing. In addition, information provided from other cortical or subcortical areas might also be necessary for the representation of space in the prefrontal cortex. To better understand the representation of space and its function in the prefrontal cortex, we need to understand the nature of functional interactions between the prefrontal cortex and other cortical and subcortical areas.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  8. The role of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in inhibition mechanism: A study on cognitive reflection test and similar tasks through neuromodulation.

    PubMed

    Oldrati, Viola; Patricelli, Jessica; Colombo, Barbara; Antonietti, Alessandro

    2016-10-01

    The main characteristic of the cognitive reflection test (CRT) is that it requires people to overcome a cognitive conflict. Solving this conflict requires (1) inhibitory control of prepotent but incorrect responses and (2) mental set-shifting in order to reframe the problem and reach a meaningful solution. Based on the well-known involvement of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in inhibitory control we hypothesised that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the DLPFC would modulate its contribution to problem-solving performance. Thirty-nine participants undergoing anodal, cathodal, or sham tDCS were asked to solve the CRT and similar mathematical problems that were structured to induce an automatic, impulsive but incorrect response. To provide a multi-dimensional picture of the processes underlying responding we assessed impulsivity traits using self-report measures and recorded physiological indices using biofeedback equipment. The results indicated that participants were more likely to provide incorrect impulsive responses after cathodal stimulation, i.e. when inhibitory control associated to the DLPFC was reduced. Baseline values of blood volume pulses predicted solution recognition, highlighting the potential role of individual physiological differences in problem solving. In conclusion, this study provides evidence supporting the role of the DLPFC in modulation of processes involved in solving CRTs and similar problems, thanks to its association to the inhibitory control mechanisms involved in suppressing impulsive responses.

  9. Working Memory in the Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Funahashi, Shintaro

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Working Memory in the Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Cortical inhibition of distinct mechanisms in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is related to working memory performance: a TMS-EEG study.

    PubMed

    Rogasch, Nigel C; Daskalakis, Zafiris J; Fitzgerald, Paul B

    2015-03-01

    Paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with electroencephalography (TMS-EEG) is a method for studying cortical inhibition from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). However, little is known about the mechanisms underlying TMS-evoked cortical potentials (TEPs) from this region, let alone inhibition of these components. The aim of this study was to assess cortical inhibition of distinct TEPs and oscillations in the DLPFC using TMS-EEG and to investigate the relationship of these mechanisms to working memory. 30 healthy volunteers received single and paired (interstimulus interval = 100 msec) TMS to the left DLPFC. Variations in long-interval cortical inhibition (LICI) of different TEP peaks (N40, P60, N100) and different TMS-evoked oscillations (alpha, lower beta, upper beta, gamma) were compared between individuals. Variation in N100 slope following single pulse TMS, another putative marker of inhibition, was also compared with LICI of each measure. Finally, these measures were correlated with performance of a working memory task. LICI resulted in significant suppression of all TEP peaks and TMS-evoked oscillations (all p < .05). There were no significant correlations between LICI of different TEP peaks or TMS-evoked oscillations with the exception of P60 and N100. Variation in N100 slope correlated with LICI of N40 and beta oscillations. In addition, LICI of P60 and N100 were differentially correlated with working memory performance. The results suggest that both the LICI paradigm and N100 following single pulse TMS reflect complementary methods for assessing GABAB-mediated cortical inhibition in the DLPFC. Furthermore, these measures demonstrate the importance of prefrontal GABAB-mediated inhibitory control for working memory performance.

  12. Optogenetic Inhibition of Dorsal Medial Prefrontal Cortex Attenuates Stress-Induced Reinstatement of Palatable Food Seeking in Female Rats

    PubMed Central

    Calu, Donna J.; Kawa, Alex B.; Marchant, Nathan J.; Navarre, Brittany M.; Henderson, Mark J.; Chen, Billy; Yau, Hau-Jie; Bossert, Jennifer M.; Schoenbaum, Geoffrey; Deisseroth, Karl; Harvey, Brandon K.; Hope, Bruce T.; Shaham, Yavin

    2013-01-01

    Relapse to maladaptive eating habits during dieting is often provoked by stress. Recently, we identified a role of dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) neurons in stress-induced reinstatement of palatable food seeking in male rats. It is unknown whether endogenous neural activity in dorsal mPFC drives stress-induced reinstatement in female rats. Here, we used an optogenetic approach, in which female rats received bilateral dorsal mPFC microinjections of viral constructs coding light-sensitive eNpHR3.0 – eYFP or control eYFP protein and intracranial fiber optic implants. Rats were food restricted and trained to lever press for palatable food pellets. Subsequently, pellets were removed, and lever pressing was extinguished; then the effect of bilateral dorsal mPFC light delivery on reinstatement of food seeking was assessed after injections of the pharmacological stressor yohimbine (an α-2 andrenoceptor antagonist) or pellet priming, a manipulation known to provoke food seeking in hungry rats. Dorsal mPFC light delivery attenuated yohimbine-induced reinstatement of food seeking in eNpHR3.0-injected but not eYFP-injected rats. This optical manipulation had no effect on pellet-priming-induced reinstatement or ongoing food-reinforced responding. Dorsal mPFC light delivery attenuated yohimbine-induced Fos immuno-reactivity and disrupted neural activity during in vivo electrophysiological recording in awake rats. Optical stimulation caused significant outward currents and blocked electrically evoked action potentials in eNpHR3.0-injected but not eYFP-injected mPFC hemispheres. Light delivery alone caused no significant inflammatory response in mPFC. These findings indicate that intracranial light delivery in eNpHR3.0 rats disrupts endogenous dorsal mPFC neural activity that plays a role in stress-induced relapse to food seeking in female rats. PMID:23283335

  13. Developmental Outcomes after Early Prefrontal Cortex Damage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  14. Early social isolation disrupts latent inhibition and increases dopamine D2 receptor expression in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens of adult rats.

    PubMed

    Han, Xiao; Li, Nanxin; Xue, Xiaofang; Shao, Feng; Wang, Weiwen

    2012-04-04

    Adolescence is a critical period for neurodevelopment. In the present study, we investigated the effects of peri-adolescent social isolation on latent inhibition (LI) and dopamine D2 receptor expression in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) of young adult rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into adolescent isolation (ISO; isolated housing, 21-34 days of age) and social housing (SOC) groups. LI was tested at postnatal day 56. After behavioral testing, the number of dopamine D2 receptor-expressing cells was determined using immunohistochemistry. Adolescent social isolation impaired LI and increased the number of cells expressing the D2 receptor in the mPFC and NAc. The results suggest that adolescent social isolation produces profound effects on cognitive and dopaminergic function in adult rats, and could be used as an animal model of various neurodevelopmental disorders.

  15. Repeated administration of Yokukansan inhibits DOI-induced head-twitch response and decreases expression of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)2A receptors in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Egashira, Nobuaki; Iwasaki, Katsunori; Ishibashi, Ayumi; Hayakawa, Kazuhide; Okuno, Ryoko; Abe, Moe; Uchida, Naoki; Mishima, Kenichi; Takasaki, Kotaro; Nishimura, Ryoji; Oishi, Ryozo; Fujiwara, Michihiro

    2008-08-01

    Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) are commonly seen in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other forms of senile dementia. BPSD have a serious impact on the quality of life of dementia patients, as well as their caregivers. However, an effective drug therapy for BPSD has not been established. Recently, the traditional Japanese medicine Yokukansan (YKS, Yi-gan san in Chinese) has been reported to improve BPSD in a randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled study. Moreover, abnormalities of the serotonin (5-HT) system such as 5-HT2A receptors have been reported to be associated with BPSD of AD patients. In the present study, we investigated the effect of YKS on head-twitch response induced by 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI, 5 mg/kg, i.p.) in mice, a behavioral response that is mediated, in part, by 5-HT2A receptors. Acute treatment with YKS (100 and 300 mg/kg, p.o.) had no effect on the DOI-induced head-twitch response, whilst 14 days repeated treatment with YKS (300 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly inhibited this response. Moreover, repeated treatment with YKS (300 mg/kg, p.o.) decreased expression of 5-HT2A receptors in the prefrontal cortex, which is part of the circuitry mediating the head-twitch response. These findings suggest that the inhibition of DOI-induced head-twitch response by YKS may be mediated, in part, by altered expression of 5-HT2A receptors in the prefrontal cortex, which suggests the involvement of the 5-HT system in psychopharmacological effects of YKS.

  16. Bilinearity, Rules, and Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Dayan, Peter

    2007-01-01

    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. PMID:18946523

  17. Increasing generosity by disrupting prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Christov-Moore, Leonardo; Sugiyama, Taisei; Grigaityte, Kristina; Iacoboni, Marco

    2017-04-01

    Recent research suggests that prosocial outcomes in sharing games arise from prefrontal control of self-maximizing impulses. We used continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) to disrupt the functioning of two prefrontal areas, the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC). We used cTBS in the right MT/V5, as a control area. We then tested subjects' prosocial inclinations with an unsupervised Dictator Game in which they allocated real money anonymously between themselves and low and high socioeconomic status (SES) players. cTBS over the two prefrontal sites made subjects more generous compared to MT/V5. More specifically, cTBS over DLPFC increased offers to high-SES players, while cTBS over DMPFC caused increased offers to low-SES players. These data, the first to demonstrate an effect of disruptive neuromodulation on costly sharing, suggest that DLPFC and MPFC exert inhibitory control over prosocial inclinations during costly sharing, though they may do so in different ways. DLPFC may implement contextual control, while DMPFC may implement a tonic form of control. This study demonstrates that humans' prepotent inclination is toward prosocial outcomes when cognitive control is reduced, even when prosocial decisions carry no strategic benefit and concerns for reputation are minimized.

  18. Human prefrontal cortex: evolution, development, and pathology.

    PubMed

    Teffer, Kate; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2012-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex is critical to many cognitive abilities that are considered particularly human, and forms a large part of a neural system crucial for normal socio-emotional and executive functioning in humans and other primates. In this chapter, we survey the literature regarding prefrontal development and pathology in humans as well as comparative studies of the region in humans and closely related primate species. The prefrontal cortex matures later in development than more caudal regions, and some of its neuronal subpopulations exhibit more complex dendritic arborizations. Comparative work suggests that the human prefrontal cortex differs from that of closely related primate species less in relative size than it does in organization. Specific reorganizational events in neural circuitry may have taken place either as a consequence of adjusting to increases in size or as adaptive responses to specific selection pressures. Living in complex environments has been recognized as a considerable factor in the evolution of primate cognition. Normal frontal lobe development and function are also compromised in several neurological and psychiatric disorders. A phylogenetically recent reorganization of frontal cortical circuitry may have been critical to the emergence of human-specific executive and social-emotional functions, and developmental pathology in these same systems underlies many psychiatric and neurological disorders, including autism and schizophrenia.

  19. [Psychopathy and neuropsychology of the prefrontal cortex].

    PubMed

    Jurado, M A; Junqué, C

    1996-01-01

    We review the main experimental works about the relationship between psychopathy and prefrontal cortex. First neuropsychological articles found contradictory results exploring psychopaths who were diagnosed by different criteria and using putative dorsolateral tests. Attentional deficits in psychopaths and relationships between psychopathy and attention disorder with and without hyperactivity have been studied. Distinction between primary and secondary psychopathy has been related to neuropsychological impairment in antisocial disorder. Differentiation between orbital and dorsolateral prefrontal systems should be taken into account in order to study the neuropsychological deficits in psychopathy. It has been pointed that orbitoventral system would be involved in antisocial behaviour. Hence, neuropsychological impairment in psychopaths is expected to be related to orbitofrontal dysfunction.

  20. Reduced Short-latency Afferent Inhibition in Prefrontal but not Motor Cortex and its Association With Executive Function in Schizophrenia: A Combined TMS-EEG Study.

    PubMed

    Noda, Yoshihiro; Barr, Mera S; Zomorrodi, Reza; Cash, Robin F H; Rajji, Tarek K; Farzan, Faranak; Chen, Robert; George, Tony P; Daskalakis, Zafiris J; Blumberger, Daniel M

    2017-04-01

    Cholinergic dysfunction is increasingly assumed to be involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Short-latency afferent inhibition (SAI) is a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) paradigm that has been shown to assay central cholinergic activity from the motor cortex (M1). Recently, we established a method to index SAI from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), an area implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. We investigated SAI in M1 and DLPFC in schizophrenia. We hypothesized that modulation of N100 on TMS-evoked potentials (TEPs) from the DLPFC would be attenuated in patients with schizophrenia compared to healthy controls. SAI was examined in 12 patients, whose age was matched to controls, using TMS combined with electroencephalography (EEG). SAI was recorded with TMS applied to left M1 (M1-SAI) and DLPFC (DLPFC-SAI). For group comparison, we used the SAI data of healthy participants in our previous study. In patients, N100 TEP was significantly attenuated with DLPFC-SAI, whereas P180 TEP was significantly increased with M1-SAI. Between patients and controls, there were significant differences in modulation of P180 TEP by M1-SAI (t22 = -2.748, P = .012; patients > controls) and N100 TEP by DLPFC-SAI (t22 = 5.456, P < .0001; patients < controls). Further, modulation of N100 TEP by DLPFC-SAI significantly correlated with executive function (r = -.740, P = .006, N = 12). Our findings suggest that DLPFC-SAI but not M1-SAI were reduced in patients with schizophrenia and this was linked to deficits in cognition. This may reflect prefrontal cholinergic deficits and represent a biomarker for cholinergic and executive dysfunction in patients with schizophrenia. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. The role of prefrontal cortex in psychopathy

    PubMed Central

    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

  2. Neuroactive steroid pregnenolone sulphate inhibits long-term potentiation via activation of alpha2-adrenoreceptors at excitatory synapses in rat medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ze-Min; Qi, Ying-Jie; Wu, Pei-Ying; Zhu, Yan; Dong, Yan-Lian; Cheng, Zheng-Xiang; Zhu, Yan-Hua; Dong, Yi; Ma, Lan; Zheng, Ping

    2008-08-01

    Pregnenolone sulphate (PREGS) is one of the most important neuroactive steroids. Previous study showed that PREGS enhanced long-term potentiation (LTP) via activation of post-synaptic NMDA receptors at excitatory synapses in the hippocampus. The present paper studied the effect of PREGS on LTP at excitatory synapses in the pyramidal cells of layers V-VI of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) using whole-cell patch-clamp in slices and made a comparison with that in the hippocampus. We also studied the mechanism of the effect of PREGS in the mPFC. We found that PREGS inhibited induction of LTP in the mPFC and had no influence on NMDA currents, which was different from its effect in the hippocampus. Moreover, the effect of PREGS on LTP in the mPFC was cancelled by alpha2-adrenoreceptor antagonist, alpha2A-adrenoreceptor antagonist, Gi protein inhibitor, adenylate cyclase inhibitor and protein kinase A inhibitor. These results suggest that PREGS inhibits LTP via activation of the alpha2-adrenoreceptor-Gi protein-adenylate cyclase-protein kinase A signalling pathway in the mPFC.

  3. Olanzapine, but not clozapine, increases glutamate release in the prefrontal cortex of freely moving mice by inhibiting D-aspartate oxidase activity

    PubMed Central

    Sacchi, Silvia; Novellis, Vito De; Paolone, Giovanna; Nuzzo, Tommaso; Iannotta, Monica; Belardo, Carmela; Squillace, Marta; Bolognesi, Paolo; Rosini, Elena; Motta, Zoraide; Frassineti, Martina; Bertolino, Alessandro; Pollegioni, Loredano; Morari, Michele; Maione, Sabatino; Errico, Francesco; Usiello, Alessandro

    2017-01-01

    D-aspartate levels in the brain are regulated by the catabolic enzyme D-aspartate oxidase (DDO). D-aspartate activates NMDA receptors, and influences brain connectivity and behaviors relevant to schizophrenia in animal models. In addition, recent evidence reported a significant reduction of D-aspartate levels in the post-mortem brain of schizophrenia-affected patients, associated to higher DDO activity. In the present work, microdialysis experiments in freely moving mice revealed that exogenously administered D-aspartate efficiently cross the blood brain barrier and stimulates L-glutamate efflux in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Consistently, D-aspartate was able to evoke L-glutamate release in a preparation of cortical synaptosomes through presynaptic stimulation of NMDA, mGlu5 and AMPA/kainate receptors. In support of a potential therapeutic relevance of D-aspartate metabolism in schizophrenia, in vitro enzymatic assays revealed that the second-generation antipsychotic olanzapine, differently to clozapine, chlorpromazine, haloperidol, bupropion, fluoxetine and amitriptyline, inhibits the human DDO activity. In line with in vitro evidence, chronic systemic administration of olanzapine induces a significant extracellular release of D-aspartate and L-glutamate in the PFC of freely moving mice, which is suppressed in Ddo knockout animals. These results suggest that the second-generation antipsychotic olanzapine, through the inhibition of DDO activity, increases L-glutamate release in the PFC of treated mice. PMID:28393897

  4. Ketamine Exhibits Different Neuroanatomical Profile After Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Inhibition in the Prefrontal Cortex: the Role of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress.

    PubMed

    Abelaira, Helena M; Réus, Gislaine Z; Ignácio, Zuleide M; Dos Santos, Maria Augusta B; de Moura, Airam B; Matos, Danyela; Demo, Júlia P; da Silva, Júlia B I; Danielski, Lucineia G; Petronilho, Fabricia; Carvalho, André F; Quevedo, João

    2017-09-01

    Studies indicated that mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), oxidative stress, and inflammation are involved in the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD). Ketamine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, has been identified as a novel MDD therapy; however, the antidepressant mechanism is not fully understood. In addition, the effects of ketamine after mTOR inhibition have not been fully investigated. In the present study, we examined the behavioral and biochemical effects of ketamine in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), hippocampus, amygdala, and nucleus accumbens after inhibition of mTOR signaling in the PFC. Male adult Wistar rats received pharmacological mTOR inhibitor, rapamycin (0.2 nmol) or vehicle into the PFC and then a single dose of ketamine (15 mg/kg, i.p.). Immobility was assessed in forced swimming tests, and then oxidative stress parameters and inflammatory markers were evaluated in the brain and periphery. mTOR activation in the PFC was essential to ketamine's antidepressant-like effects. Ketamine increased lipid damage in the PFC, hippocampus, and amygdala. Protein carbonyl was elevated in the PFC, amygdala, and NAc after ketamine administration. Ketamine also increased nitrite/nitrate in the PFC, hippocampus, amygdala, and NAc. Myeloperoxidase activity increased in the hippocampus and NAc after ketamine administration. The activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase were reduced after ketamine administration in all brain areas studied. Inhibition of mTOR signaling pathways by rapamycin in the PFC was required to protect against oxidative stress by reducing damage and increasing antioxidant enzymes. Finally, the TNF-α level was increased in serum by ketamine; however, the rapamycin plus treatment group was not able to block this increase. Activation of mTOR in the PFC is involved in the antidepressant-like effects of ketamine; however, the inhibition of this pathway was able to protect certain brain areas against

  5. mGluR1, but not mGluR5, activates feed-forward inhibition in the medial prefrontal cortex to impair decision making

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Hao

    2011-01-01

    Cognitive flexibility depends on the integrity of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). We showed previously that impaired decision making in pain results from amygdala-driven inhibition of medial PFC neurons, but the underlying mechanisms remain to be determined. Using whole cell patch clamp in rat brain slices and a cognitive behavioral task, we tested the hypothesis that group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) activate feed-forward inhibition to decrease excitability and output function of PFC pyramidal cells, thus impairing decision making. Polysynaptic inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) and monosynaptic excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were evoked in layer V pyramidal cells by stimulating presumed amygdala afferents. An mGluR1/5 agonist [(S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine, DHPG] increased synaptic inhibition more strongly than excitatory transmission. The facilitatory effects were blocked by an mGluR1 [(S)-(+)-α-amino-4-carboxy-2-methylbenzeneacetic acid, LY367385], but not mGluR5, antagonist, 3-[(2-methyl-1,3-thiazol-4-yl)ethynyl]pyridine. IPSCs were blocked by bicuculline and decreased by 2,3-dioxo-6-nitro-1,2,3,4-tetrahydrobenzo[f]quinoxaline-7-sulfonamide disodium salt (NBQX). Facilitation of synaptic inhibition by DHPG was glutamate driven because it was blocked by NBQX. DHPG increased frequency but not amplitude of spontaneous IPSCs; consistent with action potential-dependent synaptic inhibition, tetrodotoxin (TTX) prevented the facilitatory effects. DHPG decreased synaptically evoked spikes (E-S coupling) and depolarization-induced spiking [frequency-current (f-I) relationship]. This effect was indirect, resulting from glutamate-driven synaptic inhibition, because it persisted when a G protein blocker was included in the pipette but was blocked by GABAA receptor antagonists and NBQX. In contrast, DHPG increased E-S coupling and f-I relationships in mPFC interneurons through a presynaptic action, further supporting the concept of feed

  6. Inhibiting the posterior medial prefrontal cortex by rTMS decreases the discrepancy between self and other in Theory of Mind reasoning.

    PubMed

    Schuwerk, Tobias; Schecklmann, Martin; Langguth, Berthold; Döhnel, Katrin; Sodian, Beate; Sommer, Monika

    2014-11-01

    Switching between one's own and another person's perspective is a cognitive component of Theory of Mind (ToM) reasoning that is essential for successful social interaction. Computing another's divergent belief independently from one's own perspective poses a particular challenge. Neuroimaging has demonstrated the involvement of the posterior medial prefrontal cortex (pMPFC) in establishing this perspective difference. Here, we transiently interfered with pMPFC activity by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in a sample of young healthy adults. Reaction times of belief judgments in an adapted false belief task were measured after 1Hz rTMS applied via a double-cone coil. This procedure decreased the discrepancy in reaction times between judging another's and one's own belief, irrespective of whether they were incongruent or congruent. The current results suggest that pMPFC inhibition impaired the ability to distinguish the other's from one's own perspective and support the pMPFC's causal role in establishing perspective differences, an essential component of ToM reasoning. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. MC1568 Inhibits Thimerosal-Induced Apoptotic Cell Death by Preventing HDAC4 Up-Regulation in Neuronal Cells and in Rat Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Guida, Natascia; Laudati, Giusy; Mascolo, Luigi; Cuomo, Ornella; Anzilotti, Serenella; Sirabella, Rossana; Santopaolo, Marianna; Galgani, Mario; Montuori, Paolo; Di Renzo, Gianfranco; Canzoniero, Lorella M T; Formisano, Luigi

    2016-12-01

    Ethylmercury thiosalicylate (thimerosal) is an organic mercury-based compound commonly used as an antimicrobial preservative that has been found to be neurotoxic. In contrast, histone deacetylases (HDACs) inhibition has been found to be neuroprotective against several environmental contaminants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls, di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate, and methylmercury. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of HDAC inhibition on thimerosal-induced neurotoxicity in neuroblastoma cells and cortical neurons. Interestingly, we found that thimerosal, at 0.5 μM in SH-SY5Y cells and at 1 μM in neurons, caused cell death by activation of apoptosis, which was prevented by the HDAC class IIA inhibitor MC1568 but not the class I inhibitor MS275. Furthermore, thimerosal specifically increased HDAC4 protein expression but not that of HDACs 5, 6, 7, and 9. Western blot analysis revealed that MC1568 prevented thimerosal-induced HDAC4 increase. In addition, both HDAC4 knocking-down and MC1568 inhibited thimerosal-induced cell death in SH-SY5Y cells and cortical neurons. Importantly, intramuscular injection of 12 μg/kg thimerosal on postnatal days 7, 9, 11, and 15 increased HDAC4 levels in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which decreased histone H4 acetylation in infant male rats, in parallel increased motor activity changes. In addition, coadministration of 40 mg/kg MC1568 (intraperitoneal injection) moderated the HDAC4 increase which reduced histone H4 deacetylation and caspase-3 cleavage in the PFC. Finally, open-field testing showed that thimerosal-induced motor activity changes are reduced by MC1568. These findings indicate that HDAC4 regulates thimerosal-induced cell death in neurons and that treatment with MC1568 prevents thimerosal-induced activation of caspase-3 in the rat PFC.

  8. Prefrontal Cortex and Social Cognition in Mouse and Man

    PubMed Central

    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

  9. ANTIDEPRESSANT EFFECT OF OPTOGENETIC STIMULATION OF THE MEDIAL PREFRONTAL CORTEX

    PubMed Central

    Covington, Herbert E.; Lobo, Mary Kay; Maze, Ian; Vialou, Vincent; Hyman, James M; Zaman, Samir; LaPlant, Quincey; Mouzon, Ezekiel; Ghose, Subroto; Tamminga, Carol A.; Neve, Rachael L.; Deisseroth, Karl; Nestler, Eric J.

    2010-01-01

    Brain stimulation and imaging studies in humans have highlighted a key role for the prefrontal cortex in clinical depression, however, it remains unknown whether excitation or inhibition of prefrontal cortical neuronal activity is associated with antidepressant responses. Here, we examined cellular indicators of functional activity, including the immediate early genes (IEG), zif268 (egr1), c-fos and arc, in the prefrontal cortex of clinically depressed humans obtained postmortem. We also examined these genes in the ventral portion of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of mice after chronic social defeat stress, a mouse model of depression. In addition, we used viral vectors to overexpress channel rhodopsin 2 (a light-activated cation channel) in mouse mPFC in order to optogenetically drive “burst” patterns of cortical firing in-vivo and examine the behavioral consequences. Prefrontal cortical tissue derived from clinically depressed humans displayed significant reductions in IEG expression, consistent with a deficit in neuronal activity within this brain region. Mice subjected to chronic social defeat stress exhibited similar reductions in levels of IEG expression in mPFC. Interestingly, some of these changes were not observed in defeated mice that escape the deleterious consequences of the stress, i.e., resilient animals. In those mice that expressed a strong depressive-like phenotype, i.e., susceptible animals, optogenetic stimulation of mPFC exerted potent antidepressant-like effects, without affecting general locomotor activity, anxiety-like behaviors, or social memory. These results indicate that the activity of the mPFC is a key determinant of depression-like behavior, as well as antidepressant responses. PMID:21123555

  10. CaMKII inhibition in the prefrontal cortex specifically increases the positive reinforcing effects of sweetened alcohol in C57BL/6J mice.

    PubMed

    Faccidomo, Sara; Reid, Grant T; Agoglia, Abigail E; Ademola, Sherifat A; Hodge, Clyde W

    2016-02-01

    Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is a multifunctional enzyme that is required for synaptic plasticity and has been proposed to be a primary molecular component of the etiology of alcohol addiction. Chronic alcohol intake upregulates CaMKIIα protein expression in reward-related brain regions including the amygdala and nucleus accumbens, and CaMKIIα activity in the amygdala is required for the positive reinforcing effects of alcohol, suggesting this system promotes consumption in the early stages of alcohol addiction. Alternatively, the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is known to inhibit limbic activity via CaMKII-dependent excitatory projections and may, therefore, enable top-down regulation of motivation. Here we sought to remove that regulatory control by site-specifically inhibiting CaMKII activity in the mPFC, and measured effects on the positive reinforcing effects of sweetened alcohol in C57BL/6J mice. Infusion of the CAMKII inhibitor KN-93 (0-10.0 μg) in the mPFC primarily increased alcohol+sucrose reinforced response rate in a dose- and time-dependent manner. KN-93 infusion reduced response rate in behavior-matched sucrose-only controls. Importantly, potentiation of operant responding for sweetened alcohol occurred immediately after infusion, at a time during which effects on sucrose responding were not observed, and persisted through the session. These results suggest that endogenous CaMKII activity in the mPFC exerts inhibitory control over the positive reinforcing effects of alcohol. Downregulation of CaMKII signaling in the mPFC might contribute to escalated alcohol use.

  11. Medial prefrontal cortex neuronal circuits in fear behavior.

    PubMed

    Courtin, J; Bienvenu, T C M; Einarsson, E Ö; Herry, C

    2013-06-14

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has emerged as a key structure involved in the modulation of fear behavior over the past few decades. Anatomical, functional and electrophysiological studies have begun to shed light on the precise mechanisms by which different prefrontal regions regulate the expression and inhibition of fear behavior. These studies have established a canonical view of mPFC functions during fear behavior with dorsal regions selectively involved in the expression of fear behavior and ventral regions linked to the inhibition of fear behavior. Although numerous reports support this view, recent data have refined this model and suggested that dorsal prefrontal regions might also play an important role in the encoding of fear behavior itself. The recent development of sophisticated approaches such as large scale neuronal recordings, simultaneous multisite recordings of spiking activity and local field potentials (LFPs) along with optogenetic approaches will facilitate the testing of these new hypotheses in the near future. Here we provide an extensive review of the literature on the role of mPFC in fear behavior and propose further directions to dissect the contribution of specific prefrontal neuronal elements and circuits in the regulation of fear behavior. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    Richard, Jocelyn M.; Berridge, Kent. C

    2012-01-01

    Background Corticolimbic circuits, including direct projections from prefrontal cortex to nucleus accumbens (NAc), permit “top-down” control of intense motivations generated by subcortical circuits. In rats, localized disruptions of glutamate signaling within medial shell of NAc generate desire or dread, anatomically organized along a rostrocaudal gradient analogous to a limbic “keyboard”. At rostral locations in shell these disruptions generate appetitive eating, but at caudal locations the disruptions generate progressively fearful behaviors (distress vocalizations, escape attempts and antipredator reactions). Here we asked whether medial prefrontal cortex can modulate intense motivations generated by subcortical NAc disruptions. Methods We used simultaneous microinjections in medial prefrontal cortex regions and in NAc shell to examine whether the desire or dread generated by NAc shell disruptions is modulated by activation/inhibition of three specific regions of prefrontal cortex: medial orbitofrontal cortex, infralimbic cortex (homologous to area 25 or subgenual anterior cingulate in the human), or prelimbic cortex (midventral anterior cingulate). Results We found that activation of medial orbitofrontal cortex biased intense bivalent motivation in an appetitive direction by amplifying generation of eating behavior by middle to caudal NAc disruptions, without altering fear. In contrast, activation of infralimbic prefrontal cortex powerfully and generally suppressed both appetitive eating and fearful behaviors generated by NAc shell disruptions. Conclusions These results suggest that corticolimbic projections from discrete prefrontal regions can either bias motivational valence or generally suppress subcortically-generated intense motivations of desire or fear. PMID:22981656

  13. Amodal Processing in Human Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Dux, Paul E.; Tombu, Michael N.; Asplund, Christopher L.; Marois, René

    2013-01-01

    Information enters the cortex via modality-specific sensory regions, whereas actions are produced by modality-specific motor regions. Intervening central stages of information processing map sensation to behavior. Humans perform this central processing in a flexible, abstract manner such that sensory information in any modality can lead to response via any motor system. Cognitive theories account for such flexible behavior by positing amodal central information processing (e.g., “central executive,” Baddeley and Hitch, 1974; “supervisory attentional system,” Norman and Shallice, 1986; “response selection bottleneck,” Pashler, 1994). However, the extent to which brain regions embodying central mechanisms of information processing are amodal remains unclear. Here we apply multivariate pattern analysis to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data to compare response selection, a cognitive process widely believed to recruit an amodal central resource across sensory and motor modalities. We show that most frontal and parietal cortical areas known to activate across a wide variety of tasks code modality, casting doubt on the notion that these regions embody a central processor devoid of modality representation. Importantly, regions of anterior insula and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex consistently failed to code modality across four experiments. However, these areas code at least one other task dimension, process (instantiated as response selection vs response execution), ensuring that failure to find coding of modality is not driven by insensitivity of multivariate pattern analysis in these regions. We conclude that abstract encoding of information modality is primarily a property of subregions of the prefrontal cortex. PMID:23843526

  14. Medial Prefrontal Cortex Lesions Abolish Contextual Control of Competing Responses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haddon, J. E.; Killcross, A. S.

    2005-01-01

    There is much debate as to the extent and nature of functional specialization within the different subregions of the prefrontal cortex. The current study was undertaken to investigate the effect of damage to medial prefrontal cortex subregions in the rat. Rats were trained on two biconditional discrimination tasks, one auditory and one visual, in…

  15. Discourse Production Following Injury to the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  16. Medial Prefrontal Cortex Lesions Abolish Contextual Control of Competing Responses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haddon, J. E.; Killcross, A. S.

    2005-01-01

    There is much debate as to the extent and nature of functional specialization within the different subregions of the prefrontal cortex. The current study was undertaken to investigate the effect of damage to medial prefrontal cortex subregions in the rat. Rats were trained on two biconditional discrimination tasks, one auditory and one visual, in…

  17. [Emotional and Motivational Functions of the Prefrontal Cortex].

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Masataka

    2016-11-01

    Patients with the damage to the orbital region of the prefrontal cortex and monkeys with lesions in this area show impairment in emotional and motivational behavior. They also have difficulty in the extinction of learned behavior and in the reversal learning. This brain area is concerned with not only the value estimation of reward and aversive stimuli but also the expectation of these stimuli. The lateral prefrontal cortex plays an important role in the integration of emotion/motivation and cognition. The medial prefrontal cortex is concerned with action selection based on the previous reward history. The ventrolateral prefrontal cortex that comprises the anterior parts of the orbital and inferior medial prefrontal cortex plays an important role in emotion-based decision-making.

  18. Inhibition of propofol on single neuron and neuronal ensemble activity in prefrontal cortex of rats during working memory task.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xinyu; Tian, Yu; Wang, Guolin; Tian, Xin

    2014-08-15

    Working memory (WM) refers to the temporary storage and manipulation of information necessary for performance of complex cognitive tasks. There is a growing interest in whether and how propofol anesthesia inhibits WM function. The aim of this study is to investigate the possible inhibition mechanism of propofol anesthesia from the view of single neuron and neuronal ensemble activities. Adult SD rats were randomly divided into two groups: propofol group (0.9 mg kg(-1)min(-1), 2h via a tail vein catheter) and control group. All the rats were tested for working memory performances in a Y-maze-rewarded alternation task (a task of delayed non-matched-to-sample) at 24, 48, 72 h after propofol anesthesia, and the behavior results of WM tasks were recorded at the same time. Spatio-temporal trains of action potentials were obtained from the original signals. Single neuron activity was characterized by peri-event time histograms analysis and neuron ensemble activities were characterized by Granger causality to describe the interactions within the neuron ensemble. The results show that: comparing with the control group, the percentage of neurons excited and related to WM was significantly decreased (p<0.01 in 24h, p<0.05 in 48 h); the interactions within neuron ensemble were significantly weakened (p<0.01 in 24h, p<0.05 in 48 h), whereas no significant difference in 72 h (p>0.05), which were consistent with the behavior results. These findings could lead to improved understanding of the mechanism of anesthesia inhibition on WM functions from the view of single neuron activity and neuron ensemble interactions.

  19. Electrical stimulation of the rostral medial prefrontal cortex in rabbits inhibits the expression of conditioned eyelid responses but not their acquisition

    PubMed Central

    Leal-Campanario, Rocío; Fairén, Alfonso; Delgado-García, José M.; Gruart, Agnès

    2007-01-01

    We have studied the role of rostral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) on reflexively evoked blinks and on classically conditioned eyelid responses in alert-behaving rabbits. The rostral mPFC was identified by its afferent projections from the medial half of the thalamic mediodorsal nuclear complex. Classical conditioning consisted of a delay paradigm using a 370-ms tone as the conditioned stimulus (CS) and a 100-ms air puff directed at the left cornea as the unconditioned stimulus (US). The CS coterminated with the US. Electrical train stimulation of the contralateral rostral mPFC produced a significant inhibition of air-puff-evoked blinks. The same train stimulation of the rostral mPFC presented during the CS–US interval for 10 successive conditioning sessions significantly reduced the generation of conditioned responses (CRs) as compared with values reached by control animals. Interestingly, the percentage of CRs almost reached control values when train stimulation of the rostral mPFC was removed from the fifth conditioning session on. The electrical stimulation of the rostral mPFC in well conditioned animals produced a significant decrease in the percentage of CRs. Moreover, the stimulation of the rostral mPFC was also able to modify the kinematics (latency, amplitude, and velocity) of evoked CRs. These results suggest that the rostral mPFC is a potent inhibitor of reflexively evoked and classically conditioned eyeblinks but that activation prevents only the expression of CRs, not their latent acquisition. Functional and behavioral implications of this inhibitory role of the rostral mPFC are discussed. PMID:17592148

  20. Glycogen synthase kinase-3β inhibition in the medial prefrontal cortex mediates paradoxical amphetamine action in a mouse model of ADHD.

    PubMed

    Yen, Yi-Chun; Gassen, Nils C; Zellner, Andreas; Rein, Theo; Landgraf, Rainer; Wotjak, Carsten T; Anderzhanova, Elmira

    2015-01-01

    Psychostimulants show therapeutic efficacy in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is generally assumed that they ameliorate ADHD symptoms via interfering with monoaminergic signaling. We combined behavioral pharmacology, neurochemistry and molecular analyses to identify mechanisms underlying the paradoxical calming effect of amphetamine in low trait anxiety behavior (LAB) mice, a novel multigenetic animal model of ADHD. Amphetamine (1 mg/kg) and methylphenidate (10 mg/kg) elicited similar dopamine and norepinephrine release in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and in the striatum of LAB mice. In contrast, amphetamine decreased, while methylphenidate increased locomotor activity. This argues against changes in dopamine and/or norepinephrine release as mediators of amphetamine paradoxical effects. Instead, the calming activity of amphetamine corresponded to the inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) activity, specifically in the mPFC. Accordingly, not only systemic administration of the GSK3β inhibitor TDZD-8 (20 mg/kg), but also local microinjections of TDZD-8 and amphetamine into the mPFC, but not into the striatum, decreased locomotor activity in LAB mice. Amphetamine effects seem to depend on NMDA receptor signaling, since pre- or co-treatment with MK-801 (0.3 mg/kg) abolished the effects of amphetamine (1 mg/kg) on the locomotion and on the phosphorylation of GSK3β at the level of the mPFC. Taken together, the paradoxical calming effect of amphetamine in hyperactive LAB mice concurs with a decreased GSK3β activity in the mPFC. This effect appears to be independent of dopamine or norepinephrine release, but contingent on NMDA receptor signaling.

  1. Glycogen synthase kinase-3β inhibition in the medial prefrontal cortex mediates paradoxical amphetamine action in a mouse model of ADHD

    PubMed Central

    Yen, Yi-Chun; Gassen, Nils C.; Zellner, Andreas; Rein, Theo; Landgraf, Rainer; Wotjak, Carsten T.; Anderzhanova, Elmira

    2015-01-01

    Psychostimulants show therapeutic efficacy in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is generally assumed that they ameliorate ADHD symptoms via interfering with monoaminergic signaling. We combined behavioral pharmacology, neurochemistry and molecular analyses to identify mechanisms underlying the paradoxical calming effect of amphetamine in low trait anxiety behavior (LAB) mice, a novel multigenetic animal model of ADHD. Amphetamine (1 mg/kg) and methylphenidate (10 mg/kg) elicited similar dopamine and norepinephrine release in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and in the striatum of LAB mice. In contrast, amphetamine decreased, while methylphenidate increased locomotor activity. This argues against changes in dopamine and/or norepinephrine release as mediators of amphetamine paradoxical effects. Instead, the calming activity of amphetamine corresponded to the inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) activity, specifically in the mPFC. Accordingly, not only systemic administration of the GSK3β inhibitor TDZD-8 (20 mg/kg), but also local microinjections of TDZD-8 and amphetamine into the mPFC, but not into the striatum, decreased locomotor activity in LAB mice. Amphetamine effects seem to depend on NMDA receptor signaling, since pre- or co-treatment with MK-801 (0.3 mg/kg) abolished the effects of amphetamine (1 mg/kg) on the locomotion and on the phosphorylation of GSK3β at the level of the mPFC. Taken together, the paradoxical calming effect of amphetamine in hyperactive LAB mice concurs with a decreased GSK3β activity in the mPFC. This effect appears to be independent of dopamine or norepinephrine release, but contingent on NMDA receptor signaling. PMID:25852508

  2. Human lesion studies of ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Brett; Koenigs, Michael

    2017-09-28

    Studies of neurological patients with focal lesions involving ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) have demonstrated a critical role for this brain area in various aspects of cognition, emotion, and behavior. In this article, we review the key themes, methods, and findings from neuropsychological research on vmPFC lesion patients. Early case studies demonstrated profound disruptions in personality and behavior following vmPFC damage, including blunted affect, poor decision-making, and inappropriate social behavior. Subsequent laboratory investigations with groups of vmPFC lesion patients have revealed deficits in a host of interrelated functions, such as value-based decision-making, future and counterfactual thinking, physiological arousal to emotional stimuli, emotion recognition, empathy, moral judgment, and memory confabulation. The compendium of findings described here demonstrates that vmPFC is crucial for diverse aspects of adaptive function. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  3. Periodontal tactile input activates the prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Higaki, Nobuaki; Goto, Takaharu; Ichikawa, Tetsuo

    2016-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a role in complex cognitive behavioural planning, decision-making, and social behaviours. However, the effects of sensory integration during motor tasks on PFC activation have not been studied to date. Therefore, we investigated the effect of peripheral sensory information and external information on PFC activation using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Cerebral blood flow (CBF) was increased around bilateral Brodmann areas 46 and 10 during visual and auditory information integration during an occlusal force (biting) task. After local anesthesia, CBF values were significantly decreased, but occlusal force was similar. In conclusion, the effects of peripheral sensory information from the periodontal ligament and external information have minimal impacts on occlusal force maintenance but are important for PFC activation. PMID:27833164

  4. Dynamic neuroplasticity after human prefrontal cortex damage.

    PubMed

    Voytek, Bradley; Davis, Matar; Yago, Elena; Barceló, Francisco; Vogel, Edward K; Knight, Robert T

    2010-11-04

    Memory and attention deficits are common after prefrontal cortex (PFC) damage, yet people generally recover some function over time. Recovery is thought to be dependent upon undamaged brain regions, but the temporal dynamics underlying cognitive recovery are poorly understood. Here, we provide evidence that the intact PFC compensates for damage in the lesioned PFC on a trial-by-trial basis dependent on cognitive load. The extent of this rapid functional compensation is indexed by transient increases in electrophysiological measures of attention and memory in the intact PFC, detectable within a second after stimulus presentation and only when the lesioned hemisphere is challenged. These observations provide evidence supporting a dynamic and flexible model of compensatory neural plasticity.

  5. Cytotoxic lesion of the medial prefrontal cortex abolishes the partial reinforcement extinction effect, attenuates prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex and induces transient hyperlocomotion, while sparing spontaneous object recognition memory in the rat.

    PubMed

    Yee, B K

    2000-01-01

    The partial reinforcement extinction effect refers to the increase in resistance to extinction of an operant response acquired under partial reinforcement relative to that acquired under continuous reinforcement. Prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response refers to the reduction in startle reactivity towards an intense acoustic pulse stimulus when it is shortly preceded by a weak prepulse stimulus. These two behavioural phenomena appear to be related to different forms of attentional processes. While the prepulse inhibition effect reflects an inherent early attentional gating mechanism, the partial reinforcement extinction effect is believed to involve the development of acquired inattention, i.e. the latter requires the animals to learn about what to and what not to attend. Impairments in prepulse inhibition and the partial reinforcement extinction effect have been independently linked to the neuropsychology of attentional dysfunctions seen in schizophrenia. The proposed neural substrates underlying these behaviourial phenomena also appear to overlap considerably: both focus on the nucleus accumbens and emphasize the functional importance of its limbic afferents, including that originating from the medial prefrontal cortex, on accumbal output/activity. The present study demonstrated that cytotoxic medial prefrontal cortex lesions which typically damaged the prelimbic, the infralimbic and the dorsal anterior cingulate areas could lead to the abolition of the partial reinforcement extinction effect and the attenuation of prepulse inhibition. The lesions also resulted in a transient elevation of spontaneous locomotor activity. In contrast, the same lesions spared performance in a spontaneous object recognition memory test, in which the lesioned animals displayed normal preference for a novel object when the novel object was presented in conjunction with a familiar object seen 10 min earlier within an open field arena. The present results lend support to the

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

    PubMed

    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.

  7. Divergent Plasticity of Prefrontal Cortex Networks

    PubMed Central

    Moghaddam, Bita; Homayoun, Houman

    2010-01-01

    The ‘executive’ regions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) such as the dorsolateral PFC (dlPFC) and its rodent equivalent medial PFC (mPFC) are thought to respond in concert with the ‘limbic’ regions of the PFC such as the orbitofrontal (OFC) cortex to orchestrate behavior that is consistent with context and expected outcome. Both groups of regions have been implicated in behavioral abnormalities associated with addiction and psychiatric disorders, in particular, schizophrenia and mood disorders. Theories about the pathophysiology of these disorders, however, incorporate abnormalities in discrete PFC regions independently of each other or assume they are one and the same and, thus, bunch them under umbrella of ‘PFC dysfunction.’ Emerging data from animal studies suggest that mPFC and OFC neurons display opposing patterns of plasticity during associative learning and in response to repeated exposure to psychostimulants. These data corroborate clinical studies reporting different patterns of activation in OFC versus dlPFC in individuals with schizophrenia or addictive disorders. These suggest that concomitant but divergent engagement of discrete PFC regions is critical for learning stimulus-outcome associations, and the execution of goal-directed behavior that is based on these associations. An atypical interplay between these regions may lead to abnormally high or low salience assigned to stimuli, resulting in symptoms that are fundamental to many psychiatric and addictive disorders, including attentional deficits, improper affective response to stimuli, and inflexible or impulsive behavior. PMID:17912252

  8. Early implicit contextual change detection in anterior prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Pollmann, Stefan; Manginelli, Angela A

    2009-03-31

    The anterior prefrontal cortex is usually associated with high-level executive functions. In contrast, we show anterior prefrontal involvement in implicit change detection processes. A variant of the contextual cueing paradigm was used, in which repeated distractor configurations are implicitly learned and facilitate target search. After only six repetitions, the target location was changed in displays with repeated distractor configurations. We observed selective post-change signal increases in the anterior prefrontal cortex in repeated, but not novel displays. The data support the view that the anterior prefrontal cortex is involved in implicit change detection. This change detection is not dependent on extensive prior learning. Thus, anterior prefrontal involvement in complex cognitive tasks may be due to more basic processes than previously thought.

  9. Prefrontal Cortex and Impulsive Decision Making

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Soyoun; Lee, Daeyeol

    2010-01-01

    Impulsivity refers to a set of heterogeneous behaviors that are tuned suboptimally along certain temporal dimensions. Impulsive inter-temporal choice refers to the tendency to forego a large but delayed reward and to seek an inferior but more immediate reward, whereas impulsive motor responses also result when the subjects fail to suppress inappropriate automatic behaviors. In addition, impulsive actions can be produced when too much emphasis is placed on speed rather than accuracy in a wide range of behaviors, including perceptual decision making. Despite this heterogeneous nature, the prefrontal cortex and its connected areas, such as the basal ganglia, play an important role in gating impulsive actions in a variety of behavioral tasks. Here, we describe key features of computations necessary for optimal decision making, and how their failures can lead to impulsive behaviors. We also review the recent findings from neuroimaging and single-neuron recording studies on the neural mechanisms related to impulsive behaviors. Converging approaches in economics, psychology, and neuroscience provide a unique vista for better understanding the nature of behavioral impairments associated with impulsivity. PMID:20728878

  10. The medial prefrontal cortex exhibits money illusion

    PubMed Central

    Weber, Bernd; Rangel, Antonio; Wibral, Matthias; Falk, Armin

    2009-01-01

    Behavioral economists have proposed that money illusion, which is a deviation from rationality in which individuals engage in nominal evaluation, can explain a wide range of important economic and social phenomena. This proposition stands in sharp contrast to the standard economic assumption of rationality that requires individuals to judge the value of money only on the basis of the bundle of goods that it can buy—its real value—and not on the basis of the actual amount of currency—its nominal value. We used fMRI to investigate whether the brain's reward circuitry exhibits money illusion. Subjects received prizes in 2 different experimental conditions that were identical in real economic terms, but differed in nominal terms. Thus, in the absence of money illusion there should be no differences in activation in reward-related brain areas. In contrast, we found that areas of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), which have been previously associated with the processing of anticipatory and experienced rewards, and the valuation of goods, exhibited money illusion. We also found that the amount of money illusion exhibited by the vmPFC was correlated with the amount of money illusion exhibited in the evaluation of economic transactions. PMID:19307555

  11. Optogenetic dissection of medial prefrontal cortex circuitry

    PubMed Central

    Riga, Danai; Matos, Mariana R.; Glas, Annet; Smit, August B.; Spijker, Sabine; Van den Oever, Michel C.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25538574

  12. Lateral prefrontal cortex and self-control in intertemporal choice.

    PubMed

    Figner, Bernd; Knoch, Daria; Johnson, Eric J; Krosch, Amy R; Lisanby, Sarah H; Fehr, Ernst; Weber, Elke U

    2010-05-01

    Disruption of function of left, but not right, lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) with low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) increased choices of immediate rewards over larger delayed rewards. rTMS did not change choices involving only delayed rewards or valuation judgments of immediate and delayed rewards, providing causal evidence for a neural lateral-prefrontal cortex-based self-control mechanism in intertemporal choice.

  13. Prefrontal Cortex and Neurological Impairments of Active Thought.

    PubMed

    Shallice, Tim; Cipolotti, Lisa

    2017-08-16

    This article reviews the effects of lesions to the frontal cortex on the ability to carry out active thought, namely, to reason, think flexibly, produce strategies, and formulate and realize plans.Wediscuss how and why relevant neuropsychological studies should be carried out. The relationships between active thought and both intelligence and language are considered. The following basic processes necessary for effective active thought are reviewed: concentration, set switching, inhibiting potentiated responses, and monitoring and checking. Different forms of active thought are then addressed: abstraction, deduction, reasoning in well-structured and ill-structured problem spaces, novel strategy generation, and planning. We conclude that neuropsychological findings are valuable for providing information on systems rather than networks, especially information concerning prefrontal lateralization of function. We present a synthesis of the respective roles of the left and right lateral prefrontal cortex in active thought. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Psychology Volume 69 is January 4, 2018. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

  14. Effects of N-Acetylaspartylglutamate (NAAG) Peptidase Inhibition on Release of Glutamate and Dopamine in Prefrontal Cortex and Nucleus Accumbens in Phencyclidine Model of Schizophrenia*

    PubMed Central

    Zuo, Daiying; Bzdega, Tomasz; Olszewski, Rafal T.; Moffett, John R.; Neale, Joseph H.

    2012-01-01

    The “glutamate” theory of schizophrenia emerged from the observation that phencyclidine (PCP), an open channel antagonist of the NMDA subtype of glutamate receptor, induces schizophrenia-like behaviors in humans. PCP also induces a complex set of behaviors in animal models of this disorder. PCP also increases glutamate and dopamine release in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens, brain regions associated with expression of psychosis. Increased motor activation is among the PCP-induced behaviors that have been widely validated as models for the characterization of new antipsychotic drugs. The peptide transmitter N-acetylaspartylglutamate (NAAG) activates a group II metabotropic receptor, mGluR3. Polymorphisms in this receptor have been associated with schizophrenia. Inhibitors of glutamate carboxypeptidase II, an enzyme that inactivates NAAG following synaptic release, reduce several behaviors induced by PCP in animal models. This research tested the hypothesis that two structurally distinct NAAG peptidase inhibitors, ZJ43 and 2-(phosphonomethyl)pentane-1,5-dioic acid, would elevate levels of synaptically released NAAG and reduce PCP-induced increases in glutamate and dopamine levels in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens. NAAG-like immunoreactivity was found in neurons and presumptive synaptic endings in both regions. These peptidase inhibitors reduced the motor activation effects of PCP while elevating extracellular NAAG levels. They also blocked PCP-induced increases in glutamate but not dopamine or its metabolites. The mGluR2/3 antagonist LY341495 blocked these behavioral and neurochemical effects of the peptidase inhibitors. The data reported here provide a foundation for assessment of the neurochemical mechanism through which NAAG achieves its antipsychotic-like behavioral effects and support the conclusion NAAG peptidase inhibitors warrant further study as a novel antipsychotic therapy aimed at mGluR3. PMID:22570482

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. Prefrontal cortex and neural mechanisms of executive function.

    PubMed

    Funahashi, Shintaro; Andreau, Jorge Mario

    2013-12-01

    Executive function is a product of the coordinated operation of multiple neural systems and an essential prerequisite for a variety of cognitive functions. The prefrontal cortex is known to be a key structure for the performance of executive functions. To accomplish the coordinated operations of multiple neural systems, the prefrontal cortex must monitor the activities in other cortical and subcortical structures and control and supervise their operations by sending command signals, which is called top-down signaling. Although neurophysiological and neuroimaging studies have provided evidence that the prefrontal cortex sends top-down signals to the posterior cortices to control information processing, the neural correlate of these top-down signals is not yet known. Through use of the paired association task, it has been demonstrated that top-down signals are used to retrieve specific information stored in long-term memory. Therefore, we used a paired association task to examine the neural correlates of top-down signals in the prefrontal cortex. The preliminary results indicate that 32% of visual neurons exhibit pair-selectivity, which is similar to the characteristics of pair-coding activities in temporal neurons. The latency of visual responses in prefrontal neurons was longer than bottom-up signals but faster than top-down signals in inferior temporal neurons. These results suggest that pair-selective visual responses may be top-down signals that the prefrontal cortex provides to the temporal cortex, although further studies are needed to elucidate the neural correlates of top-down signals and their characteristics to understand the neural mechanism of executive control by the prefrontal cortex.

  17. Executive Functions and Prefrontal Cortex: A Matter of Persistence?

    PubMed Central

    Ball, Gareth; Stokes, Paul R.; Rhodes, Rebecca A.; Bose, Subrata K.; Rezek, Iead; Wink, Alle-Meije; Lord, Louis-David; Mehta, Mitul A.; Grasby, Paul M.; Turkheimer, Federico E.

    2011-01-01

    Executive function is thought to originates from the dynamics of frontal cortical networks. We examined the dynamic properties of the blood oxygen level dependent time-series measured with functional MRI (fMRI) within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) to test the hypothesis that temporally persistent neural activity underlies performance in three tasks of executive function. A numerical estimate of signal persistence, the Hurst exponent, postulated to represent the coherent firing of cortical networks, was determined and correlated with task performance. Increasing persistence in the lateral PFC was shown to correlate with improved performance during an n-back task. Conversely, we observed a correlation between persistence and increasing commission error – indicating a failure to inhibit a prepotent response – during a Go/No-Go task. We propose that persistence within the PFC reflects dynamic network formation and these findings underline the importance of frequency analysis of fMRI time-series in the study of executive functions. PMID:21286223

  18. Aging, self-referencing, and medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Gutchess, Angela H; Kensinger, Elizabeth A; Schacter, Daniel L

    2007-01-01

    The lateral prefrontal cortex undergoes both structural and functional changes with healthy aging. In contrast, there is little structural change in the medial prefrontal cortex, but relatively little is known about the functional changes to this region with age. Using an event-related fMRI design, we investigated the response of medial prefrontal cortex during self-referencing in order to compare age groups on a task that young and elderly perform similarly and that is known to actively engage the region in young adults. Nineteen young (M age = 23) and seventeen elderly (M age = 72) judged whether adjectives described themselves, another person, or were presented in upper case. We assessed the overlap in activations between young and elderly for the self-reference effect (self vs. other person), and found that both groups engage medial prefrontal cortex and mid-cingulate during self-referencing. The only cerebral differences between the groups in self versus other personality assessment were found in somatosensory and motor-related areas. In contrast, age-related modulations were found in the cerebral network recruited for emotional valence processing. Elderly (but not young) showed increased activity in the dorsal prefrontal cortex for positive relative to negative items, which could reflect an increase in controlled processing of positive information for elderly adults.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  1. Increased GABA-ergic Inhibition in the Midline Thalamus Affects Signaling and Seizure Spread in the Hippocampus-Prefrontal Cortex Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Sloan, David M.; Zhang, DeXing; Bertram, Edward H.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose The midline thalamus is an important component of the circuitry in limbic seizures, but it is unclear how synaptic modulation of the thalamus affects that circuitry. In this study, we wished to understand how synaptic modulation of the thalamus can affect inter-regional signaling and seizure spread in the limbic network. Methods We examined the effect of GABA modulation of the mediodorsal (MD) region of the thalamus on responses in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) by stimulation of the subiculum (SB). Muscimol, a GABA-A agonist, was injected into the MD, and the effect on local responses to subiculum stimulation were examined. Evoked potentials were induced in the MD and the PFC by low frequency stimulation of the SB, and seizures were generated in the subiculum by repeated 20 Hz stimulations. The effect of muscimol in the MD on the evoked potentials and seizures was measured. Key Findings Thalamic responses to stimulation of the subiculum were reduced in the presence of muscimol. Reduction of the amplitudes of evoked potentials in the MD resulted in an attenuation of the late, thalamic components of the responses in the PFC, as well as of seizure durations. Significance Activation of GABA- A receptors in the midline thalamus not only causes changes within the thalamus, but has broader effects on the limbic network. This work provides further evidence that synaptic modulation within the midline thalamus alters system excitability more broadly and reduces seizure activity. PMID:21204829

  2. Polysialic Acid Acute Depletion Induces Structural Plasticity in Interneurons and Impairs the Excitation/Inhibition Balance in Medial Prefrontal Cortex Organotypic Cultures

    PubMed Central

    Castillo-Gómez, Esther; Pérez-Rando, Marta; Vidueira, Sandra; Nacher, Juan

    2016-01-01

    The structure and function of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is affected in several neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and major depression. Recent studies suggest that imbalances between excitatory and inhibitory activity (E/I) may be responsible for this cortical dysfunction and therefore, may underlie the core symptoms of these diseases. This E/I imbalance seems to be correlated with alterations in the plasticity of interneurons but there is still scarce information on the mechanisms that may link these phenomena. The polysialylated form of the neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) is a good candidate, because it modulates the neuronal plasticity of interneurons and its expression is altered in schizophrenia and major depression. To address this question, we have developed an in vitro model using mPFC organotypic cultures of transgenic mice displaying fluorescent spiny interneurons. After enzymatic depletion of PSA, the spine density of interneurons, the number of synaptic puncta surrounding pyramidal neuron somata and the E/I ratio were strongly affected. These results point to the polysialylation of NCAM as an important factor in the maintenance of E/I balance and the structural plasticity of interneurons. This may be particularly relevant for better understanding the etiology of schizophrenia and major depression. PMID:27445697

  3. Interplay of hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in memory

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    McGarry, Laura M.

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Cerebellar dentate nuclei lesions alter prefrontal cortex dendritic spine morphology.

    PubMed

    Bauer, David J; Peterson, Todd C; Swain, Rodney A

    2014-01-28

    Anatomical tracing studies in primates have revealed neural tracts from the cerebellar dentate nuclei to prefrontal cortex, implicating a cerebellar role in nonmotor processes. Experiments in rats examining the functional role of this cerebellothalamocortical pathway have demonstrated the development of visuospatial and motivational deficits following lesions of the dentate nuclei, in the absence of motor impairment. These behavioral deficits possibly occur due to structural modifications of the cerebral cortex secondary to loss of cerebellar input. The current study characterized morphological alterations in prefrontal cortex important for visuospatial and motivational processes following bilateral cerebellar dentate nuclei lesions. Rats received either bilateral electrolytic cerebellar dentate nuclei lesions or sham surgery followed by a 30-day recovery. Randomly selected Golgi-impregnated neurons in prefrontal cortex were examined for analysis. Measures of branch length and spine density revealed no differences between lesioned and sham rats in either apical or basilar arbors; however, the proportion of immature to mature spines significantly decreased in lesioned rats as compared to sham controls, with reductions of 33% in the basilar arbor and 28% in the apical arbor. Although expected pruning of branches and spines did not occur, the results are consistent with the hypothesis that cerebellar lesions influence prefrontal morphology and support the possibility that functional deficits following cerebellar dentate nuclei lesions are related to prefrontal morphological alteration.

  7. Forebrain NR2B overexpression facilitating the prefrontal cortex long-term potentiation and enhancing working memory function in mice.

    PubMed

    Cui, Yihui; Jin, Jing; Zhang, Xuliang; Xu, Hao; Yang, Liguo; Du, Dan; Zeng, Qingwen; Tsien, Joe Z; Yu, Huiting; Cao, Xiaohua

    2011-01-01

    Prefrontal cortex plays an important role in working memory, attention regulation and behavioral inhibition. Its functions are associated with NMDA receptors. However, there is little information regarding the roles of NMDA receptor NR2B subunit in prefrontal cortical synaptic plasticity and prefrontal cortex-related working memory. Whether the up-regulation of NR2B subunit influences prefrontal cortical synaptic plasticity and working memory is not yet clear. In the present study, we measured prefrontal cortical synaptic plasticity and working memory function in NR2B overexpressing transgenic mice. In vitro electrophysiological data showed that overexpression of NR2B specifically in the forebrain region resulted in enhancement of prefrontal cortical long-term potentiation (LTP) but did not alter long-term depression (LTD). The enhanced LTP was completely abolished by a NR2B subunit selective antagonist, Ro25-6981, indicating that overexpression of NR2B subunit is responsible for enhanced LTP. In addition, NR2B transgenic mice exhibited better performance in a set of working memory paradigms including delay no-match-to-place T-maze, working memory version of water maze and odor span task. Our study provides evidence that NR2B subunit of NMDA receptor in prefrontal cortex is critical for prefrontal cortex LTP and prefrontal cortex-related working memory.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  9. Inhibitory deficits in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in psychopathic offenders.

    PubMed

    Hoppenbrouwers, Sylco S; De Jesus, Danilo R; Stirpe, Tania; Fitzgerald, Paul B; Voineskos, Aristotle N; Schutter, Dennis J L G; Daskalakis, Zafiris J

    2013-05-01

    Often typified as cunning social predators, psychopathic offenders show a persistent pattern of impulsive and reckless behavior, the pathophysiology of which has been related to dysfunction in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). That is, the DLPFC is important for the regulatory control of impulses and emotion as well as working memory and psychopathic offenders show impairments in all three dimensions. In the present study, we used combined transcranial magnetic stimulation and electroencephalography to compare the physiology of the DLPFC in 13 psychopathic offenders and 15 healthy subjects vis à vis excitability and inhibition. In addition, working memory performance was measured through the letter-number sequencing test. Results showed that compared to healthy subjects, psychopathic offenders had inhibition not excitability deficits in the DLPFC that was accompanied by deficits in working memory performance. In healthy controls and psychopathic offenders working memory performance correlated with the extent of inhibition over the DLPFC. Taken together, these findings suggest that psychopathic offenders suffer from dysfunctional inhibitory neurotransmission in the DLPFC and impaired working memory which may account for the behavioral impairments associated with this disorder. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Prefrontal connections of the parabelt auditory cortex in macaque monkeys.

    PubMed

    Hackett, T A; Stepniewska, I; Kaas, J H

    1999-01-30

    In the present study, we determined connections of three newly defined regions of auditory cortex with regions of the frontal lobe, and how two of these regions in the frontal lobe interconnect and connect to other portions of frontal cortex and the temporal lobe in macaque monkeys. We conceptualize auditory cortex as including a core of primary areas, a surrounding belt of auditory areas, a lateral parabelt of two divisions, and adjoining regions of temporal cortex with parabelt connections. Injections of several different fluorescent tracers and wheat germ agglutinin conjugated to horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP) were placed in caudal (CPB) and rostral (RPB) divisions of the parabelt, and in cortex of the superior temporal gyrus rostral to the parabelt with parabelt connections (STGr). Injections were also placed in two regions of the frontal lobe that were labeled by a parabelt injection in the same case. The results lead to several major conclusions. First, CPB injections label many neurons in dorsal prearcuate cortex in the region of the frontal eye field and neurons in dorsal prefrontal cortex of the principal sulcus, but few or no neurons in orbitofrontal cortex. Fine-grain label in these same regions as a result of a WGA-HRP injection suggests that the connections are reciprocal. Second, RPB injections label overlapping prearcuate and principal sulcus locations, as well as more rostral cortex of the principal sulcus, and several locations in orbitofrontal cortex. Third, STGr injections label locations in orbitofrontal cortex, some of which overlap those of RPB injections, but not prearcuate or principal sulcus locations. Fourth, injections in prearcuate and principal sulcus locations labeled by a CPB injection labeled neurons in CPB and RPB, with little involvement of the auditory belt and no involvement of the core. In addition, the results indicated that the two frontal lobe regions are densely interconnected. They also connect with largely separate

  11. D1 receptor-mediated inhibition of medial prefrontal cortex neurons is disrupted in adult rats exposed to amphetamine in adolescence.

    PubMed

    Kang, S; Paul, K; Hankosky, E R; Cox, C L; Gulley, J M

    2016-06-02

    Amphetamine (AMPH) exposure leads to changes in behavior and dopamine receptor function in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Since dopamine plays an important role in regulating GABAergic transmission in the PFC, we investigated if AMPH exposure induces long-lasting changes in dopamine's ability to modulate inhibitory transmission in the PFC as well as whether the effects of AMPH differed depending on the age of exposure. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were given saline or 3 mg/kg AMPH (i.p.) repeatedly during adolescence or adulthood and following a withdrawal period of up to 5 weeks (Experiment 1) or up to 14 weeks (Experiment 2), they were sacrificed for in vitro whole-cell recordings in layer V/VI of the medial PFC. We found that in brain slices from either adolescent- or adult-exposed rats, there was an attenuation of dopamine-induced increases in inhibitory synaptic currents in pyramidal cells. These effects did not depend on age of exposure, were mediated at least partially by a reduced sensitivity of D1 receptors in AMPH-treated rats, and were associated with an enhanced behavioral response to the drug in a separate group of rats given an AMPH challenge following the longest withdrawal period. Together, these data reveal a prolonged effect of AMPH exposure on medial PFC function that persisted for up to 14 weeks in adolescent-exposed animals. These long-lasting neurophysiological changes may be a contributing mechanism to the behavioral consequences that have been observed in those with a history of amphetamine abuse.

  12. Inhibition of GABA synthesis in the prefrontal cortex increases locomotor activity but does not affect attention in the 5-choice serial reaction time task.

    PubMed

    Asinof, Samuel K; Paine, Tracie A

    2013-02-01

    Attention deficits are a core cognitive symptom of schizophrenia; the neuropathology underlying these deficits is not known. Attention is regulated, at least in part, by the prefrontal cortex (PFC), a brain area in which pathology of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons has been consistently observed in post-mortem analysis of the brains of people with schizophrenia. Specifically, expression of the 67-kD isoform of the GABA synthesis enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67) is reduced in parvalbumin-containing fast-spiking GABA interneurons. Thus it is hypothesized that reduced cortical GABA synthesis and release may contribute to the attention deficits in schizophrenia. Here the effect of reducing cortical GABA synthesis with l-allylglycine (LAG) on attention was tested using three different versions of the 5-choice serial reaction time task (5CSRTT). Because 5CSRTT performance can be affected by locomotor activity, we also measured this behavior in an open field. Finally, the expression of Fos protein was used as an indirect measure of reduced GABA synthesis. Intra-cortical LAG (10 μg/0.5 μl/side) infusions increased Fos expression and resulted in hyperactivity in the open field. Intra-cortical LAG infusions did not affect attention in any version of the 5CSRTT. These results suggest that a general decrease in GABA synthesis is not sufficient to cause attention deficits. It remains to be tested whether a selective decrease in GABA synthesis in parvalbumin-containing GABA neurons could cause attention deficits. Decreased cortical GABA synthesis did increase locomotor activity; this may reflect the positive symptoms of schizophrenia.

  13. Inhibition of histamine release by local and intracerebroventricular infusion of galanin in hypothalamus, hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of awake rat: A microdialysis study.

    PubMed

    Yoshitake, Shimako; Ijiri, Soichiro; Kehr, Jan; Yoshitake, Takashi

    2013-02-08

    The neuropeptide galanin is co-localized with histamine in subpopulations of neurons in the tuberomammillary nucleus suggesting its involvement in modulating histaminergic neurotransmission. The purpose of the present study was to investigate, by use of microdialysis, the effects of local intraparenchymal (combined infusion and microdialysis probe), and intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) infusions of galanin on extracellular levels of histamine in its major projecting areas, ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus ventrolateral part (VMHVL), CA3 area of ventral hippocampus (vHipp) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in separate groups (n=5 rats/each) of freely moving rats. Galanin (0.5nmol and 1.5nmol) dose-dependently decreased the basal histamine levels in the VMHVL to 77.1% (i.c.v.) at 40min and to 82.1% (intra-VMHVL infusion) already at 20min, of the control group (32.6±3.5fmol/10μl), whereas only 1.5nmol i.c.v. galanin and not the local infusions deceased the histamine levels in the vHipp (8.4±0.6fmol/10μl) to 82.8% and in mPFC (9.8±0.9fmol/10μl) to 87.5%. It is concluded that central administration of galanin decreased the basal extracellular histamine levels in major histamine projecting areas, however, these effects were less prominent than those observed for 5-HT (Kehr et al., 2002 [12]) and ACh (Yoshitake et al., 2011 [38]) in the ventral hippocampus following i.c.v. and/or local galanin infusions.

  14. Capacity-speed relationships in prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Prabhakaran, Vivek; Rypma, Bart; Narayanan, Nandakumar S; Meier, Timothy B; Austin, Benjamin P; Nair, Veena A; Naing, Lin; Thomas, Lisa E; Gabrieli, John D E

    2011-01-01

    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.

  15. Extinction Circuits for Fear and Addiction Overlap in Prefrontal Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peters, Jamie; Kalivas, Peter W.; Quirk, Gregory J.

    2009-01-01

    Extinction is a form of inhibitory learning that suppresses a previously conditioned response. Both fear and drug seeking are conditioned responses that can lead to maladaptive behavior when expressed inappropriately, manifesting as anxiety disorders and addiction, respectively. Recent evidence indicates that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is…

  16. Prefrontal Cortex Contributions to Episodic Retrieval Monitoring and Evaluation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

  18. Prefrontal Cortex Contributions to Episodic Retrieval Monitoring and Evaluation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  19. Left Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex and the Cognitive Control of Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Badre, David; Wagner, Anthony D.

    2007-01-01

    Cognitive control mechanisms permit memory to be accessed strategically, and so aid in bringing knowledge to mind that is relevant to current goals and actions. In this review, we consider the contribution of left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) to the cognitive control of memory. Reviewed evidence supports a two-process model of mnemonic…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28124986

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

    PubMed

    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.

  3. Stress signalling pathways that impair prefrontal cortex structure and function

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC)—the most evolved brain region—subserves our highest-order cognitive abilities. However, it is also the brain region that is most sensitive to the detrimental effects of stress exposure. Even quite mild acute uncontrollable stress can cause a rapid and dramatic loss of prefrontal cognitive abilities, and more prolonged stress exposure causes architectural changes in prefrontal dendrites. Recent research has begun to reveal the intracellular signalling pathways that mediate the effects of stress on the PFC. This research has provided clues as to why genetic or environmental insults that disinhibit stress signalling pathways can lead to symptoms of profound prefrontal cortical dysfunction in mental illness. PMID:19455173

  4. Behavioral control, the medial prefrontal cortex, and resilience

    PubMed Central

    Maier, Steven F.; Amat, Jose; Baratta, Michael V.; Paul, Evan; Watkins, Linda R.

    2006-01-01

    The degree of control that an organism has over a stressor potently modulates the impact of the stressor, with uncontrollable stressors producing a constellation of outcomes that do not occur if the stressor is behaviorally controllable. It has generally been assumed that this occurs because uncontrollability actively potentiates the effects of stressors. Here it will be suggested that in addition, or instead, the presence of control actively inhibits the impact of stressors. At least in part this occurs because (i) the presence of control is detected by regions of the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFCv); and (ii) detection of control activates mPFCv output to stress-responsive brain stem and limbic structures that actively inhibit stress-induced activation of these structures, Furthermore, an initial experience with control over stress alters the mPFCv response to subsequent stressors so that mPFCv output is activated even if the subsequent stressor is uncontrollable, thereby making the organism resilient. The general implications of these results for understanding resilience in the face of adversity are discussed. PMID:17290798

  5. Prefrontal cortex and executive function in young children: a review of NIRS studies

    PubMed Central

    Moriguchi, Yusuke; Hiraki, Kazuo

    2013-01-01

    Executive function (EF) refers to the higher-order cognitive control process for the attainment of a specific goal. There are several subcomponents of EF, such as inhibition, cognitive shifting, and working memory. Extensive neuroimaging research in adults has revealed that the lateral prefrontal cortex plays an important role in EF. Developmental studies have reported behavioral evidence showing that EF changes significantly during preschool years. However, the neural mechanism of EF in young children is still unclear. This article reviews recent near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) research that examined the relationship between the development of EF and the lateral prefrontal cortex. Specifically, this review focuses on inhibitory control, cognitive shifting, and working memory in young children. Research has consistently shown significant prefrontal activation during tasks in typically developed children, but this activation may be abnormal in children with developmental disorders. Finally, methodological issues and future directions are discussed. PMID:24381551

  6. Prefrontal cortex and hybrid learning during iterative competitive games

    PubMed Central

    Abe, Hiroshi; Seo, Hyojung; Lee, Daeyeol

    2012-01-01

    Behavioral changes driven by reinforcement and punishment are referred to as simple or model-free reinforcement learning. Animals can also change their behaviors by observing events that are neither appetitive nor aversive, when these events provide new information about payoffs available from alternative actions. This is an example of model-based reinforcement learning, and can be accomplished by incorporating hypothetical reward signals into the value functions for specific actions. Recent neuroimaging and single-neuron recording studies showed that the prefrontal cortex and the striatum are involved not only in reinforcement and punishment, but also in model-based reinforcement learning. We found evidence for both types of learning, and hence hybrid learning, in monkeys during simulated competitive games. In addition, in both the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex, individual neurons heterogeneously encoded signals related to actual and hypothetical outcomes from specific actions, suggesting that both areas might contribute to hybrid learning. PMID:22145879

  7. LSD and DOB: interaction with 5-HT2A receptors to inhibit NMDA receptor-mediated transmission in the rat prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Arvanov, V L; Liang, X; Russo, A; Wang, R Y

    1999-09-01

    Both the phenethylamine hallucinogen (-)-1-2, 5-dimethoxy-4-bromophenyl-2-aminopropane (DOB), a selective serotonin 5-HT2A,2C receptor agonist, and the indoleamine hallucinogen D-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD, which binds to 5-HT1A, 1B, 1D, 1E, 1F, 2A, 2C, 5, 6, 7, dopamine D1 and D2, and alpha1 and alpha2 adrenergic receptors), but not their non-hallucinogenic congeners, inhibited N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-induced inward current and NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic responses evoked by electrical stimulation of the forceps minor in pyramidal cells of the prefrontal cortical slices. The inhibitory effect of hallucinogens was mimicked by 5-HT in the presence of selective 5-HT1A and 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. The inhibitory action of DOB, LSD and 5-HT on the NMDA transmission was blocked by the 5-HT2A receptor antagonists R-(+)-alpha-(2, 3-dimethoxyphenil)-1-[4-fluorophenylethyl]-4-piperidineme thanol (M100907) and ketanserin. However, at low concentrations, when both LSD and DOB by themselves only partially depressed the NMDA response, they blocked the inhibitory effect of 5-HT, suggesting a partial agonist action. Whereas N-(4-aminobutyl)-5-chloro-2-naphthalenesulphonamide (W-7, a calmodulin antagonist) and N-[2-[[[3-(4'-chlorophenyl)- 2-propenyl]methylamino]methyl]phenyl]-N-(2-hydroxyethyl)-4'-methoxy-b enzenesulphonamide phosphate (KN-93, a Ca2+/CaM-KII inhibitor), but not the negative control 2-[N-4'methoxybenzenesulphonyl]amino-N-(4'-chlorophenyl)-2-propeny l-N -methylbenzylamine phosphate (KN-92), blocked the inhibitory action of LSD and DOB, the selective protein kinase C inhibitor chelerythrine was without any effect. We conclude that phenethylamine and indoleamine hallucinogens may exert their hallucinogenic effect by interacting with 5-HT2A receptors via a Ca2+/CaM-KII-dependent signal transduction pathway as partial agonists and modulating the NMDA receptors-mediated sensory, perceptual, affective and cognitive processes.

  8. Social state representation in prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Fujii, Naotaka; Hihara, Sayaka; Nagasaka, Yasuo; Iriki, Atsushi

    2009-01-01

    One of the cardinal mental faculties of humans and other primates is social brain function, the collective name assigned to the distributed system of social cognitive processes that orchestrate our sophisticated adaptive social behavior. These must include processes for recognizing current social context and maintaining an internal representation of the current social state as a reference for decision-making. But how and where the brain processes such social-state information is unknown. To home in on the neural substrates of social-state representation, the activity of 196 prefrontal (PFC) neurons was recorded from two monkeys simultaneously during a food-grab task under varying social conditions. Of PFC neurons, 39% showed activity modulation during movement-free periods and seemed to be representing current social state. The direction of modulation was opposite between the dominant and submissive monkeys: During social engagement, PFC activity increased in the dominant monkey and was suppressed in the submissive monkey. The modulation was consistently observed in additional PFC neurons (27/72) in additional pairings with two other monkeys. Notably, PFC activity in one formerly submissive monkey switched to dominant modulation mode when he was paired with a new monkey of lower social status. These findings suggest that PFC, as part of a larger social brain network, maintains a multistate classification of social context for use as a behavioral reference for social decision-making.

  9. A dorsolateral prefrontal cortex semi-automatic segmenter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Role of the prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens in reinstating methamphetamine seeking

    PubMed Central

    Rocha, Angelica; Kalivas, Peter W

    2015-01-01

    While the involvement of the medial prefrontal cortex projection to the nucleus accumbens in the reinstatement of cocaine seeking has been well studied, it is not known if this projection plays a similar role in the reinstatement of cue- and methamphetamine-induced drug seeking in animals extinguished from methamphetamine self-administration. Accordingly, following extinction from long access methamphetamine self-administration rats were bilaterally microinjected with either a combination of the GABA agonists baclofen/muscimol or aCSF vehicle into the infralimbic or prelimbic subcompartments of the medial prefrontal cortex or into the shell or core subcompartments of the nucleus accumbens. Similar to cocaine seeking, inactivation of either the prelimbic cortex or accumbens core eliminated cue- and methamphetamine-induced reinstatement, and inactivation of neither the infralimbic cortex nor shell subcompartments inhibited methamphetamine-induced drug seeking. However, in contrast to previous reports with cocaine, cue-induced reinstatement of methamphetamine seeking was inhibited by inactivation of the infralimbic cortex. In conclusion, while a primary role in reinstated drug seeking by the prelimbic and the accumbens core is similar between cocaine and methamphetamine, the recruitment of the infralimbic cortex by conditioned cues differs between the two psychostimulant drugs of abuse. PMID:20180839

  12. Role of the prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens in reinstating methamphetamine seeking.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Angelica; Kalivas, Peter W

    2010-03-01

    Although the involvement of the medial prefrontal cortex projection to the nucleus accumbens in the reinstatement of cocaine seeking has been well studied, it is not known if this projection plays a similar role in the reinstatement of cue- and methamphetamine-induced drug seeking in animals extinguished from methamphetamine self-administration. Accordingly, following extinction from long-access methamphetamine self-administration, rats were bilaterally microinjected with either a combination of the GABA agonists baclofen/muscimol or vehicle (artificial cerebrospinal fluid) into the infralimbic or prelimbic subcompartments of the medial prefrontal cortex or into the shell or core subcompartments of the nucleus accumbens. Similar to cocaine seeking, inactivation of either the prelimbic cortex or accumbens core eliminated cue- and methamphetamine-induced reinstatement, and inactivation of neither the infralimbic cortex nor shell subcompartments inhibited methamphetamine-induced drug seeking. However, in contrast to previous reports with cocaine, cue-induced reinstatement of methamphetamine seeking was inhibited by inactivation of the infralimbic cortex. In conclusion, although a primary role in reinstated drug seeking by the prelimbic and the accumbens core is similar between cocaine and methamphetamine, the recruitment of the infralimbic cortex by conditioned cues differs between these two psychostimulant drugs.

  13. Prefrontal cortex lesions disrupt the contextual control of response conflict.

    PubMed

    Haddon, Josephine E; Killcross, Simon

    2006-03-15

    The prefrontal cortex has been implicated in multiple forms of goal-directed behavior. Rats with pretraining lesions to the prefrontal cortex (PFC) or specific lesions to the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) were trained and tested on a novel behavioral procedure measuring aspects of cue and response competition typical of tests of prefrontal function in humans. Rats were trained on two biconditional discrimination tasks, one auditory and one visual, in two discriminably different contexts. At test, they received presentations of audiovisual compounds of these training stimuli in both contexts, in extinction. These compounds were formed in such way that the individual elements had dictated either the same (congruent trials) or different (incongruent trials) responses during training. Sham-operated rats used the contextual cues to disambiguate the conflicting response information provided by incongruent stimulus compounds. ACC lesions impaired the contextual control of instrumental responding during incongruent cues during only the initial period of cue presentation, whereas larger PFC lesions abolished incongruent cue performance completely. Neither biconditional discrimination acquisition, nor test performance during congruent stimulus compounds, were affected by the lesions. These findings are consistent with human and nonhuman primate studies, indicating a role for the PFC in the processes by which cues come to control behavior in the face of conflicting information and the ACC specifically in processes such as detection of response conflict. This procedure provides a good foundation for an improved understanding of the disruption to goal-directed behavior seen with frontal dysfunction in a number of neuropsychological disorders including schizophrenia.

  14. Authoritarianism, religious fundamentalism, and the human prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Asp, Erik; Ramchandran, Kanchna; Tranel, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    Objective The psychological processes of doubting and skepticism have recently become topics of neuroscientific investigation. In this context, we developed the False Tagging Theory, a neurobiological model of the belief and doubt process, which proposes that the prefrontal cortex is critical for normative doubt regarding properly comprehended cognitive representations. Here, we put our theory to an empirical test, hypothesizing that patients with prefrontal cortex damage would have a doubt deficit that would manifest as higher authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism. Method Ten patients with bilateral damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), ten patients with damage to areas outside the vmPFC, and sixteen medical comparison patients, who experienced life-threatening (but non-neurological) medical events, completed a series of scales measuring authoritarianism, religious fundamentalism, and specific religious beliefs. Results VMPFC patients reported significantly higher authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism than the other groups. The degrees of authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism in the vmPFC group were significantly higher than normative values, as well; by contrast, the comparison groups did not differ from normative values. Moreover, vmPFC patients reported increased specific religious beliefs after brain injury. Conclusions The findings support the False Tagging Theory, and suggest that the vmPFC is critical for psychological doubt and resistance to authoritarian persuasion. PMID:22612576

  15. Prefrontal cortical modulation of acetylcholine release in posterior parietal cortex.

    PubMed

    Nelson, C L; Sarter, M; Bruno, J P

    2005-01-01

    Attentional processing is a crucial early stage in cognition and is subject to "top-down" regulation by prefrontal cortex (PFC). Top-down regulation involves modification of input processing in cortical and subcortical areas, including the posterior parietal cortex (PPC). Cortical cholinergic inputs, originating from the basal forebrain cholinergic system, have been demonstrated to mediate important aspects of attentional processing. The present study investigated the ability of cholinergic and glutamatergic transmission within PFC to regulate acetylcholine (ACh) release in PPC. The first set of experiments demonstrated increases in ACh efflux in PPC following AMPA administration into the PFC. These increases were antagonized by co-administration of the AMPA receptor antagonist DNQX into the PFC. The second set of experiments demonstrated that administration of carbachol, but not nicotine, into the PFC also increased ACh efflux in PPC. The effects of carbachol were attenuated by co-administration (into PFC) of a muscarinic antagonist (atropine) and partially attenuated by the nicotine antagonist mecamylamine and DNQX. Perfusion of carbachol, nicotine, or AMPA into the PPC did not affect PFC ACh efflux, suggesting that these cortical interactions are not bi-directional. These studies demonstrate the capacity of the PFC to regulate ACh release in the PPC via glutamatergic and cholinergic prefrontal mechanisms. Prefrontal regulation of ACh release elsewhere in the cortex is hypothesized to contribute to the cognitive optimization of input processing.

  16. Distinct Contributions of the Basolateral Amygdala and the Medial Prefrontal Cortex to Learning and Relearning Extinction of Context Conditioned Fear

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Laurent, Vincent; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2008-01-01

    We studied the roles of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in learning and relearning to inhibit context conditioned fear (freezing) in extinction. In Experiment 1, pre-extinction BLA infusion of the NMDA receptor (NMDAr) antagonist, ifenprodil, impaired the development and retention of inhibition but…

  17. Distinct Contributions of the Basolateral Amygdala and the Medial Prefrontal Cortex to Learning and Relearning Extinction of Context Conditioned Fear

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Laurent, Vincent; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2008-01-01

    We studied the roles of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in learning and relearning to inhibit context conditioned fear (freezing) in extinction. In Experiment 1, pre-extinction BLA infusion of the NMDA receptor (NMDAr) antagonist, ifenprodil, impaired the development and retention of inhibition but…

  18. The prefrontal cortex achieves inhibitory control by facilitating subcortical motor pathway connectivity.

    PubMed

    Rae, Charlotte L; Hughes, Laura E; Anderson, Michael C; Rowe, James B

    2015-01-14

    Communication between the prefrontal cortex and subcortical nuclei underpins the control and inhibition of behavior. However, the interactions in such pathways remain controversial. Using a stop-signal response inhibition task and functional imaging with analysis of effective connectivity, we show that the lateral prefrontal cortex influences the strength of communication between regions in the frontostriatal motor system. We compared 20 generative models that represented alternative interactions between the inferior frontal gyrus, presupplementary motor area (preSMA), subthalamic nucleus (STN), and primary motor cortex during response inhibition. Bayesian model selection revealed that during successful response inhibition, the inferior frontal gyrus modulates an excitatory influence of the preSMA on the STN, thereby amplifying the downstream polysynaptic inhibition from the STN to the motor cortex. Critically, the strength of the interaction between preSMA and STN, and the degree of modulation by the inferior frontal gyrus, predicted individual differences in participants' stopping performance (stop-signal reaction time). We then used diffusion-weighted imaging with tractography to assess white matter structure in the pathways connecting these three regions. The mean diffusivity in tracts between preSMA and the STN, and between the inferior frontal gyrus and STN, also predicted individual differences in stopping efficiency. Finally, we found that white matter structure in the tract between preSMA and STN correlated with effective connectivity of the same pathway, providing important cross-modal validation of the effective connectivity measures. Together, the results demonstrate the network dynamics and modulatory role of the prefrontal cortex that underpin individual differences in inhibitory control.

  19. The Prefrontal Cortex Achieves Inhibitory Control by Facilitating Subcortical Motor Pathway Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Laura E.; Anderson, Michael C.; Rowe, James B.

    2015-01-01

    Communication between the prefrontal cortex and subcortical nuclei underpins the control and inhibition of behavior. However, the interactions in such pathways remain controversial. Using a stop-signal response inhibition task and functional imaging with analysis of effective connectivity, we show that the lateral prefrontal cortex influences the strength of communication between regions in the frontostriatal motor system. We compared 20 generative models that represented alternative interactions between the inferior frontal gyrus, presupplementary motor area (preSMA), subthalamic nucleus (STN), and primary motor cortex during response inhibition. Bayesian model selection revealed that during successful response inhibition, the inferior frontal gyrus modulates an excitatory influence of the preSMA on the STN, thereby amplifying the downstream polysynaptic inhibition from the STN to the motor cortex. Critically, the strength of the interaction between preSMA and STN, and the degree of modulation by the inferior frontal gyrus, predicted individual differences in participants' stopping performance (stop-signal reaction time). We then used diffusion-weighted imaging with tractography to assess white matter structure in the pathways connecting these three regions. The mean diffusivity in tracts between preSMA and the STN, and between the inferior frontal gyrus and STN, also predicted individual differences in stopping efficiency. Finally, we found that white matter structure in the tract between preSMA and STN correlated with effective connectivity of the same pathway, providing important cross-modal validation of the effective connectivity measures. Together, the results demonstrate the network dynamics and modulatory role of the prefrontal cortex that underpin individual differences in inhibitory control. PMID:25589771

  20. Gentle touch activates the anterior prefrontal cortex: an NIRS study.

    PubMed

    Kida, Tetsuo; Shinohara, Kazuyuki

    2013-01-01

    Gentle touching of the hand activates emotion- and reward-related regions of the brain. The present study investigated activation of the prefrontal cortex by gentle sweeps of the palm or forearm with three materials (wood, velvet, paintbrush) using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Sweeps of the left palm with a sensuous velvet fabric increased the oxy-hemoglobin (oxy-Hb) concentration in the frontal-polar cortex (FPC) and a part of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), compared to a neutral touch produced by rounded wood. Pleasantness ratings were higher for the velvet than wood. In conclusion, the present study revealed the involvement of the FPC/OFC in pleasant emotion produced by gentle touch to the hand. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and the Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  1. PET neuroimaging of extrastriatal dopamine receptors and prefrontal cortex functions.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Hidehiko

    2013-12-01

    The role of prefrontal dopamine D1 receptors in prefrontal cortex (PFC) functions, including working memory, is widely investigated. However, human (healthy volunteers and schizophrenia patients) positron emission tomography (PET) studies about the relationship between prefrontal D1 receptors and PFC functions are somewhat inconsistent. We argued that several factors including an inverted U-shaped relationship between prefrontal D1 receptors and PFC functions might be responsible for these inconsistencies. In contrast to D1 receptors, relatively less attention has been paid to the role of D2 receptors in PFC functions. Several animal and human pharmacological studies have reported that the systemic administration of D2 receptor agonist/antagonist modulates PFC functions, although those studies do not tell us which region(s) is responsible for the effect. Furthermore, while prefrontal D1 receptors are primarily involved in working memory, other PFC functions such as set-shifting seem to be differentially modulated by dopamine. PET studies of extrastriatal D2 receptors including ours suggested that orchestration of prefrontal dopamine transmission and hippocampal dopamine transmission might be necessary for a broad range of normal PFC functions. In order to understand the complex effects of dopamine signaling on PFC functions, measuring a single index related to basic dopamine tone is not sufficient. For a better understanding of the meanings of PET indices related to neurotransmitters, comprehensive information (presynaptic, postsynaptic, and beyond receptor signaling) will be required. Still, an interdisciplinary approach combining molecular imaging techniques with cognitive neuroscience and clinical psychiatry will provide new perspectives for understanding the neurobiology of neuropsychiatric disorders and their innovative drug developments.

  2. Dorsolateral and ventromedial prefrontal cortex orchestrate normative choice.

    PubMed

    Baumgartner, Thomas; Knoch, Daria; Hotz, Philine; Eisenegger, Christoph; Fehr, Ernst

    2011-10-02

    Humans are noted for their capacity to over-ride self-interest in favor of normatively valued goals. We examined the neural circuitry that is causally involved in normative, fairness-related decisions by generating a temporarily diminished capacity for costly normative behavior, a 'deviant' case, through non-invasive brain stimulation (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation) and compared normal subjects' functional magnetic resonance imaging signals with those of the deviant subjects. When fairness and economic self-interest were in conflict, normal subjects (who make costly normative decisions at a much higher frequency) displayed significantly higher activity in, and connectivity between, the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the posterior ventromedial prefrontal cortex (pVMPFC). In contrast, when there was no conflict between fairness and economic self-interest, both types of subjects displayed identical neural patterns and behaved identically. These findings suggest that a parsimonious prefrontal network, the activation of right DLPFC and pVMPFC, and the connectivity between them, facilitates subjects' willingness to incur the cost of normative decisions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  4. Cholinergic modulation of working memory activity in primate prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xin; Qi, Xue-Lian; Douglas, Kristy; Palaninathan, Kathini; Kang, Hyun Sug; Buccafusco, Jerry J; Blake, David T; Constantinidis, Christos

    2011-11-01

    The prefrontal cortex, a cortical area essential for working memory and higher cognitive functions, is modulated by a number of neurotransmitter systems, including acetylcholine; however, the impact of cholinergic transmission on prefrontal activity is not well understood. We relied on systemic administration of a muscarinic receptor antagonist, scopolamine, to investigate the role of acetylcholine on primate prefrontal neuronal activity during execution of working memory tasks and recorded neuronal activity with chronic electrode arrays and single electrodes. Our results indicated a dose-dependent decrease in behavioral performance after scopolamine administration in all the working memory tasks we tested. The effect could not be accounted for by deficits in visual processing, eye movement responses, or attention, because the animals performed a visually guided saccade task virtually error free, and errors to distracting stimuli were not increased. Performance degradation under scopolamine was accompanied by decreased firing rate of the same cortical sites during the delay period of the task and decreased selectivity for the spatial location of the stimuli. These results demonstrate that muscarinic blockade impairs performance in working memory tasks and prefrontal activity mediating working memory.

  5. Altered connectivity between prefrontal and sensorimotor cortex in conversion paralysis.

    PubMed

    de Lange, Floris P; Toni, Ivan; Roelofs, Karin

    2010-05-01

    Conversion paralysis (CP) is a frequent and impairing psychiatric disorder, affecting voluntary motor function. Yet, we have previously shown that the motor system of CP patients with a unilateral conversion paresis is recruited to a similar degree during imagined movements of the affected and unaffected limb. In contrast, imagery of movements with the affected limb results in larger prefrontal activation. It remains unclear how this hand-specific increased prefrontal activity relates to the reduced responsiveness of motor and somatosensory areas, a consistent and important feature of CP patients. In the current study, we investigated changes in the inter-regional coupling between prefrontal cortex (PFC) and sensorimotor regions when CP patients imagined movements involving either the affected or the unaffected hand. We found that there were distinct connectivity patterns for different parts of the PFC. While ventromedial PFC was not functionally connected to the motor system, we observed strong functional coupling between the dorsolateral PFC and various sensorimotor areas. Furthermore, this coupling was modulated by whether patients imagined movements of their affected or unaffected hand. Together, these results suggest that the reduced motor responsitivity observed in CP may be linked to altered dorsolateral prefrontal-motor connectivity.

  6. Negative emotions impact lateral prefrontal cortex activation during theory of mind: An fNIRS study.

    PubMed

    Himichi, Toshiyuki; Fujita, Hiroyo; Nomura, Michio

    2015-01-01

    The lateral prefrontal cortex (lPFC) plays a critical role in inhibiting self-perspective information, which is necessary for theory of mind (ToM) processing. Additionally, previous research has indicated that negative emotions interfere with lPFC activation during executive tasks. In this study, we hypothesized that negative emotions would inhibit lPFC activation during a ToM task. While female participants performed the director task following the observation of emotionally laden movies (neutral/negative/positive), their prefrontal hemodynamic activity was measured using near-infrared spectroscopy. After viewing the neutral movie, bilateral lPFC activity was significantly enhanced during ToM process compared to the control condition. In contrast, after viewing the negative movie, left lPFC activity during ToM process was significantly impaired. These results were interpreted to support the idea that negative emotions interfere with inhibition of self-perspective information through inactivation of the lPFC.

  7. Value, pleasure and choice in the ventral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Grabenhorst, Fabian; Rolls, Edmund T

    2011-02-01

    Rapid advances have recently been made in understanding how value-based decision-making processes are implemented in the brain. We integrate neuroeconomic and computational approaches with evidence on the neural correlates of value and experienced pleasure to describe how systems for valuation and decision-making are organized in the prefrontal cortex of humans and other primates. We show that the orbitofrontal and ventromedial prefrontal (VMPFC) cortices compute expected value, reward outcome and experienced pleasure for different stimuli on a common value scale. Attractor networks in VMPFC area 10 then implement categorical decision processes that transform value signals into a choice between the values, thereby guiding action. This synthesis of findings across fields provides a unifying perspective for the study of decision-making processes in the brain.

  8. Prefrontal Cortex in Learning to Overcome Generalized Fear

    PubMed Central

    Korzus, Edward

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY 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 discrimination learning are discussed. These studies suggest that prefrontal N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors expressed in excitatory neurons govern fear discrimination learning via a mechanism involving cAMP response element-binding protein–dependent engagement of acetyltransferase. PMID:26244030

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Prefrontal Cortex and Drug Abuse Vulnerability: Translation to Prevention and Treatment Interventions

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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 primates. 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 factors (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. PMID:20837060

  12. Environmental Enrichment Prevent the Juvenile Hypoxia-Induced Developmental Loss of Parvalbumin-Immunoreactive Cells in the Prefrontal Cortex and Neurobehavioral Alterations Through Inhibition of NADPH Oxidase-2-Derived Oxidative Stress.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Mingqiang; Wu, Jing; Huo, Lan; Luo, Liang; Song, Xi; Fan, Fei; Lu, Yiming; Liang, Dong

    2016-12-01

    We compared the expression of phenotype of parvalbumin (PV)-immunoreactive cells in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of juvenile rats reared in enriched environment (EE) after daily intermittent hypoxia (IH) exposure to those reared in standard environment (SE) and investigated the involvement of NADPH oxidase-2 (NOX2)-derived oxidative stress in the IH-induced neurodevelopmental and neurobehavioral consequences in a juvenile rat model of obstructive sleep apnea. Postnatal day 21 (P21) rats were exposed to IH or room air 8 h daily for 14 consecutive days. After the daily exposure, the rats were raised in SE or EE. In the PFC of P34 rats, we determined the impact (i) of IH exposures on NOX2-derived oxidative stress and PV immunoreactivity, (ii) of pharmacological NOX2 inhibition on IH-induced oxidative stress and PV immunoreactivity, and (iii) of EE on the IH-induced oxidative stress and PV immunoreactivity. Behavioral testing of psychiatric anxiety was carried out consecutively in the open-field test and elevated plus maze at P35 and P36. The results showed IH exposures increased NOX2 expression in the PFC of P34 rats, which was accompanied with elevation of NOX activity and indirect markers of oxidative stress (4-HNE). IH exposures increased 4-HNE immunoreactivity in cortical PV cells, which was accompanied with reduction of PV immunoreactivity. Treatment of IH rats with the antioxidant/NOX inhibitor apocynin prevented the PV cells loss in the PFC and reversed the IH-induced psychiatric anxiety. EE attenuated the NOX2-derived oxidative stress and reversed the PV-immunoreactivity reduction in the PFC induced by IH. Our data suggest that EE might prevent the juvenile hypoxia-induced developmental loss of PV cells in the PFC and attenuate the neurobehavioral alterations through inhibition of NOX2-derived oxidative stress.

  13. Neural Coding of Tactile Decisions in the Human Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Pleger, Burkhard; Ruff, Christian C.; Blankenburg, Felix; Bestmann, Sven; Wiech, Katja; Stephan, Klaas E.; Capilla, Almudena; Friston, Karl J.; Dolan, Raymond J.

    2009-01-01

    The neural processes underlying tactile decisions in the human brain remain elusive. We addressed this question in a functional magnetic resonance imaging study using a somatosensory discrimination task, requiring participants to compare the frequency of two successive tactile stimuli. Tactile stimuli per se engaged somatosensory, parietal, and frontal cortical regions. Using a statistical model that accounted for the relative difference in frequencies (i.e., Weber fraction) and discrimination accuracy (i.e., correct or incorrect), we show that trial-by-trial relative frequency difference is represented linearly by activity changes in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, and bilateral anterior insular cortices. However, a circumscribed region within the left DLPFC showed a different response pattern expressed as activity changes that were monotonically related to relative stimulation difference only for correct but not for incorrect trials. Our findings suggest that activity in the left DLPFC encodes stimulus representations that underlie veridical tactile decisions in humans. PMID:17135421

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25715284

  15. Cholinergic synaptic circuitry in the macaque prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Mrzljak, L; Pappy, M; Leranth, C; Goldman-Rakic, P S

    1995-07-10

    Surprisingly little is known about the synaptic architecture of the cholinergic innervation in the primate cerebral cortex in spite of its acknowledged relevance to cognitive processing and Alzheimer's disease. To address this knowledge gap, we examined serially sectioned cholinergic axons in supra- and infragranular layers of the macaque prefrontal cortex by using an antibody against the acetylcholine synthesizing enzyme, choline acetyltransferase (ChAT). The tissue bound antibody was visualized with both immunoperoxidase and silver-enhanced diaminobenzidine sulfide (SEDS) techniques. Both methods revealed that cholinergic axons make synapses in all cortical layers and that these synapses are exclusively symmetric. Cholinergic axons formed synapses primarily on dendritic shafts (70.5%), dendritic spines (25%), and, to a lesser extent, cell bodies (4.5%). Both pyramidal neurons and cells exhibiting the morphological features of GABAergic cells were targets of the cholinergic innervation. Some spiny dendritic shafts received multiple, closely spaced synapses, suggesting that a subset of pyramidal neurons may be subject to a particularly strong cholinergic influence. Analysis of synaptic incidence of cholinergic profiles in the supragranular layers of the prefrontal cortex by the SEDS technique revealed that definitive synaptic junctions were formed by 44% of the cholinergic boutons. An unexpected finding was that cholinergic boutons were frequently apposed to spines and small dendrites without making any visible synaptic specializations. These same spines and dendrites often received asymmetric synapses, presumably of thalamocortical or corticocortical origin. Present ultrastructural findings suggest that acetylcholine may have a dual modulatory effect in the neocortex: one through classical synaptic junctions on dendritic shafts and spines, and the other through nonsynaptic appositions in close vicinity to asymmetric synapses. Further physiological studies are

  16. The Role of the Medial Prefrontal Cortex in the Conditioning and Extinction of Fear

    PubMed Central

    Giustino, Thomas F.; Maren, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26617500

  17. Maturational alterations in constitutive activity of medial prefrontal cortex kappa-opioid receptors in Wistar rats.

    PubMed

    Sirohi, Sunil; Walker, Brendan M

    2015-11-01

    Opioid receptors can display spontaneous agonist-independent G-protein signaling (basal signaling/constitutive activity). While constitutive κ-opioid receptor (KOR) activity has been documented in vitro, it remains unknown if KORs are constitutively active in native systems. Using [(35) S] guanosine 5'-O-[gamma-thio] triphosphate coupling assay that measures receptor functional state, we identified the presence of medial prefrontal cortex KOR constitutive activity in young rats that declined with age. Furthermore, basal signaling showed an age-related decline and was insensitive to neutral opioid antagonist challenge. Collectively, the present data are first to demonstrate age-dependent alterations in the medial prefrontal cortex KOR constitutive activity in rats and changes in the constitutive activity of KORs can differentially impact KOR ligand efficacy. These data provide novel insights into the functional properties of the KOR system and warrant further consideration of KOR constitutive activity in normal and pathophysiological behavior. Opioid receptors exhibit agonist-independent constitutive activity; however, kappa-opioid receptor (KOR) constitutive activity has not been demonstrated in native systems. Our results confirm KOR constitutive activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) that declines with age. With the ability to presynaptically inhibit multiple neurotransmitter systems in the mPFC, maturational or patho-logical alterations in constitutive activity could disrupt corticofugal glutamatergic pyramidal projection neurons mediating executive function. Regulation of KOR constitutive activity could serve as a therapeutic target to treat compromised executive function.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  19. Action observation activates neurons of the monkey ventrolateral prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Simone, Luciano; Bimbi, Marco; Rodà, Francesca; Fogassi, Leonardo; Rozzi, Stefano

    2017-01-01

    Prefrontal cortex is crucial for exploiting contextual information for the planning and guidance of behavioral responses. Among contextual cues, those provided by others’ behavior are particularly important, in primates, for selecting appropriate reactions and suppressing the inappropriate ones. These latter functions deeply rely on the ability to understand others’ actions. However, it is largely unknown whether prefrontal neurons are activated by action observation. To address this issue, we recorded the activity of ventrolateral prefrontal (VLPF) neurons of macaque monkeys during the observation of videos depicting biological movements performed by a monkey or a human agent, and object motion. Our results show that a population of VLPF neurons respond to the observation of biological movements, in particular those representing goal directed actions. Many of these neurons also show a preference for the agent performing the action. The neural response is present also when part of the observed movement is obscured, suggesting that these VLPF neurons code a high order representation of the observed action rather than a simple visual description of it. PMID:28290511

  20. Characterization of spontaneous, transient adenosine release in the caudate-putamen and prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    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 (N(6)-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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  2. Autonomic and prefrontal cortex responses to autobiographical recall of emotions.

    PubMed

    Marci, Carl D; Glick, Debra M; Loh, Rebecca; Dougherty, Darin D

    2007-09-01

    The present study combined measures of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) using positron emission tomography (PET) with measures of the autonomic nervous system using skin conductance (SC), heart rate (HR), and the high frequency band of heart rate variability (HRV) in ten healthy participants who were exposed to autobiographical scripts of memories for three target emotions: anger, happiness, and sadness. According to the results, anger was the only emotion to show a significant increase in sympathetic activity, accompanied by a significant decrease in HRV when compared with a neutral script. Anger was also the only emotion to show significant changes in rCBF in the prefrontal cortex. By contrast, the results for the happy and sad conditions showed no significant increase in sympathetic activity and no changes in rCBF in the prefrontal cortex in comparison with the neutral script. The findings suggest that a relative increase in sympathetic activity with a reciprocal decrease in parasympathetic activity may be necessary to generate frontal activity in autobiographical recall of emotions.

  3. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex, adding value to autobiographical memories

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been consistently implicated in autobiographical memory recall and decision making. Its function in decision making tasks is believed to relate to value representation, but its function in autobiographical memory recall is not yet clear. We hypothesised that the mPFC represents the subjective value of elements during autobiographical memory retrieval. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging during an autobiographical memory recall task, we found that the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) was parametrically modulated by the affective values of items in participants’ memories when they were recalling and evaluating these items. An unrelated modulation by the participant’s familiarity with the items was also observed. During retrieval of the event, the BOLD signal in the same region was modulated by the personal significance and emotional intensity of the memory, which was correlated with the values of the items within them. These results support the idea that vmPFC processes self-relevant information, and suggest that it is involved in representing the personal emotional values of the elements comprising autobiographical memories. PMID:27338616

  4. Faces and Eyes in Human Lateral Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Annie W.-Y.; Downing, Paul E.

    2011-01-01

    Much of the work on face-selective neural activity has focused on posterior, ventral areas of the human and non-human primate brain. However, electrophysiological and fMRI studies have identified face responses in the prefrontal cortex. Here we used fMRI to characterize these responses in the human prefrontal cortex compared with face selectivity in posterior ventral region. We examined a region at the junction of the right inferior frontal sulcus and the precentral sulcus (right inferior frontal junction or rIFJ) that responds more to faces than to several other object categories. We find that the rIFJ and the right fusiform face area (rFFA) are broadly similar in their responses to whole faces, headless bodies, tools, and scenes. Strikingly, however, while the rFFA preferentially responds to the whole face, the rIFJ response to faces appears to be driven primarily by the eyes. This dissociation provides clues to the functional role of the rIFJ face response. We speculate on this role with reference to emotion perception, gaze perception, and to behavioral relevance more generally. PMID:21687796

  5. Dopamine, Salience, and Response Set Shifting in Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Shiner, T; Symmonds, M; Guitart-Masip, M; Fleming, S M; Friston, K J; Dolan, R J

    2015-10-01

    Dopamine is implicated in multiple functions, including motor execution, action learning for hedonically salient outcomes, maintenance, and switching of behavioral response set. Here, we used a novel within-subject psychopharmacological and combined functional neuroimaging paradigm, investigating the interaction between hedonic salience, dopamine, and response set shifting, distinct from effects on action learning or motor execution. We asked whether behavioral performance in response set shifting depends on the hedonic salience of reversal cues, by presenting these as null (neutral) or salient (monetary loss) outcomes. We observed marked effects of reversal cue salience on set-switching, with more efficient reversals following salient loss outcomes. L-Dopa degraded this discrimination, leading to inappropriate perseveration. Generic activation in thalamus, insula, and striatum preceded response set switches, with an opposite pattern in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). However, the behavioral effect of hedonic salience was reflected in differential vmPFC deactivation following salient relative to null reversal cues. l-Dopa reversed this pattern in vmPFC, suggesting that its behavioral effects are due to disruption of the stability and switching of firing patterns in prefrontal cortex. Our findings provide a potential neurobiological explanation for paradoxical phenomena, including maintenance of behavioral set despite negative outcomes, seen in impulse control disorders in Parkinson's disease.

  6. Dopamine, Salience, and Response Set Shifting in Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Shiner, T.; Symmonds, M.; Guitart-Masip, M.; Fleming, S. M.; Friston, K. J.; Dolan, R. J.

    2015-01-01

    Dopamine is implicated in multiple functions, including motor execution, action learning for hedonically salient outcomes, maintenance, and switching of behavioral response set. Here, we used a novel within-subject psychopharmacological and combined functional neuroimaging paradigm, investigating the interaction between hedonic salience, dopamine, and response set shifting, distinct from effects on action learning or motor execution. We asked whether behavioral performance in response set shifting depends on the hedonic salience of reversal cues, by presenting these as null (neutral) or salient (monetary loss) outcomes. We observed marked effects of reversal cue salience on set-switching, with more efficient reversals following salient loss outcomes. l-Dopa degraded this discrimination, leading to inappropriate perseveration. Generic activation in thalamus, insula, and striatum preceded response set switches, with an opposite pattern in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). However, the behavioral effect of hedonic salience was reflected in differential vmPFC deactivation following salient relative to null reversal cues. l-Dopa reversed this pattern in vmPFC, suggesting that its behavioral effects are due to disruption of the stability and switching of firing patterns in prefrontal cortex. Our findings provide a potential neurobiological explanation for paradoxical phenomena, including maintenance of behavioral set despite negative outcomes, seen in impulse control disorders in Parkinson's disease. PMID:25246512

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  10. The Number of Chandelier and Basket Cells Are Differentially Decreased in Prefrontal Cortex in Autism.

    PubMed

    Ariza, Jeanelle; Rogers, Haille; Hashemi, Ezzat; Noctor, Stephen C; Martínez-Cerdeño, Verónica

    2016-11-24

    An interneuron alteration has been proposed as a source for the modified balance of excitation / inhibition in the cerebral cortex in autism. We previously demonstrated a decreased number of parvalbumin (PV)-expressing interneurons in prefrontal cortex in autism. PV-expressing interneurons include chandelier (Ch) and basket (Bsk) cells. We asked whether the decreased PV+ interneurons affected both Ch cells and Bsk cells in autism. The lack of single markers to specifically label Ch cells or Bsk cells presented an obstacle for addressing this question. We devised a method to discern between PV-Ch and PV-Bsk cells based on the differential expression of Vicia villosa lectin (VVA). VVA binds to N-acetylgalactosamine, that is present in the perineuronal net surrounding some cell types where it plays a role in intercellular communication. N-acetylgalactosamine is present in the perineuronal net surrounding Bsk but not Ch cells. We found that the number of Ch cells is consistently decreased in the prefrontal cortex of autistic (n = 10) when compared with control (n = 10) cases, while the number of Bsk cells is not as severely affected. This finding expand our understanding of GABAergic system functioning in the human cerebral cortex in autism, which will impact translational research directed towards providing better treatment paradigms for individuals with autism.

  11. Neural structures underlying set-shifting: roles of medial prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex.

    PubMed

    Bissonette, Gregory B; Powell, Elizabeth M; Roesch, Matthew R

    2013-08-01

    Impaired attentional set-shifting and inflexible decision-making are problems frequently observed during normal aging and in several psychiatric disorders. To understand the neuropathophysiology of underlying inflexible behavior, animal models of attentional set-shifting have been developed to mimic tasks such as the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task (WCST), which tap into a number of cognitive functions including stimulus-response encoding, working memory, attention, error detection, and conflict resolution. Here, we review many of these tasks in several different species and speculate on how prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex might contribute to normal performance during set-shifting. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  13. Capturing the temporal evolution of choice across prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, Laurence T; Behrens, Timothy EJ; Hosokawa, Takayuki; Wallis, Jonathan D; Kennerley, Steven W

    2015-01-01

    Activity in prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been richly described using economic models of choice. Yet such descriptions fail to capture the dynamics of decision formation. Describing dynamic neural processes has proven challenging due to the problem of indexing the internal state of PFC and its trial-by-trial variation. Using primate neurophysiology and human magnetoencephalography, we here recover a single-trial index of PFC internal states from multiple simultaneously recorded PFC subregions. This index can explain the origins of neural representations of economic variables in PFC. It describes the relationship between neural dynamics and behaviour in both human and monkey PFC, directly bridging between human neuroimaging data and underlying neuronal activity. Moreover, it reveals a functionally dissociable interaction between orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex and dorsolateral PFC in guiding cost-benefit decisions. We cast our observations in terms of a recurrent neural network model of choice, providing formal links to mechanistic dynamical accounts of decision-making. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11945.001 PMID:26653139

  14. Extinction circuits for fear and addiction overlap in prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Peters, Jamie; Kalivas, Peter W.; Quirk, Gregory J.

    2009-01-01

    Extinction is a form of inhibitory learning that suppresses a previously conditioned response. Both fear and drug seeking are conditioned responses that can lead to maladaptive behavior when expressed inappropriately, manifesting as anxiety disorders and addiction, respectively. Recent evidence indicates that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is critical for the extinction of both fear and drug-seeking behaviors. Moreover, a dorsal-ventral distinction is apparent within the mPFC, such that the prelimbic (PL-mPFC) cortex drives the expression of fear and drug seeking, whereas the infralimbic (IL-mPFC) cortex suppresses these behaviors after extinction. For conditioned fear, the dorsal-ventral dichotomy is accomplished via divergent projections to different subregions of the amygdala, whereas for drug seeking, it is accomplished via divergent projections to the subregions of the nucleus accumbens. Given that the mPFC represents a common node in the extinction circuit for these behaviors, treatments that target this region may help alleviate symptoms of both anxiety and addictive disorders by enhancing extinction memory. PMID:19380710

  15. Affective ambiguity for a group recruits ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Simmons, Alan; Stein, Murray B; Matthews, Scott C; Feinstein, Justin S; Paulus, Martin P

    2006-01-15

    Affective appraisal often involves processing complex and ambiguous stimuli, such as the mood of a group people. However, affective neuroimaging research often uses individual faces as stimuli when exploring the neural circuitry involved in social appraisal. Results from studies using single face paradigms may not generalize to settings where multiple faces are simultaneously processed. The goal of the current study was to use a novel task that presents groups of affective faces to probe the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC), a region that is critically involved in appraisal of ambiguous affective stimuli, in healthy volunteers. In the current study, 27 subjects performed the Wall of Faces (WOF) task in which multiple matrices of faces were briefly presented during functional MRI. Subjects were asked to decide whether there were more angry or happy faces (emotional decision) or whether there were more male or female faces (gender decision). In each condition, the array contained either an equal (ambiguous trials) or an unequal (unambiguous trials) distribution of one affect or gender. Ambiguous trials relative to unambiguous trials activated regions implicated in conflict monitoring and cognitive control, including the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), dorsolateral PFC, and posterior parietal cortex. When comparing ambiguous affective decisions with ambiguous gender decisions, the ventromedial PFC (including the ventral ACC) was significantly more active. This supports the dissociation of the ACC into dorsal cognitive and ventral affective divisions, and suggests that the ventromedial PFC may play a critical role in appraising affective tone in a complex display of multiple human faces.

  16. Resisting the power of temptations: the right prefrontal cortex and self-control.

    PubMed

    Knoch, Daria; Fehr, Ernst

    2007-05-01

    Imagine you are overweight and you spot your favorite pastry in the storefront of a bakery. How do you manage to resist this temptation? Or to give other examples, how do you manage to restrain yourself from overspending or succumbing to sexual temptations? The present article summarizes two recent studies stressing the fundamental importance of inhibition in the process of decision making. Based on the results of these studies, we dare to claim that the capacity to resist temptation depends on the activity level of the right prefrontal cortex (PFC).

  17. Neurotensin activates GABAergic interneurons in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Petrie, Kimberly A; Schmidt, Dennis; Bubser, Michael; Fadel, Jim; Carraway, Robert E; Deutch, Ariel Y

    2005-02-16

    Converging data suggest a dysfunction of prefrontal cortical GABAergic interneurons in schizophrenia. Morphological and physiological studies indicate that cortical GABA cells are modulated by a variety of afferents. The peptide transmitter neurotensin may be one such modulator of interneurons. In the rat prefrontal cortex (PFC), neurotensin is exclusively localized to dopamine axons and has been suggested to be decreased in schizophrenia. However, the effects of neurotensin on cortical interneurons are poorly understood. We used in vivo microdialysis in freely moving rats to assess whether neurotensin regulates PFC GABAergic interneurons. Intra-PFC administration of neurotensin concentration-dependently increased extracellular GABA levels; this effect was impulse dependent, being blocked by treatment with tetrodotoxin. The ability of neurotensin to increase GABA levels in the PFC was also blocked by pretreatment with 2-[1-(7-chloro-4-quinolinyl)-5-(2,6-dimethoxyphenyl)pyrazole-3-yl)carbonylamino]tricyclo(3.3.1.1 [EC] .3.7)decan-2-carboxylic acid (SR48692), a high-affinity neurotensin receptor 1 (NTR1) antagonist. This finding is consistent with our observation that NTR1 was localized to GABAergic interneurons in the PFC, particularly parvalbumin-containing interneurons. Because neurotensin is exclusively localized to dopamine axons in the PFC, we also determined whether neurotensin plays a role in the ability of dopamine agonists to increase extracellular GABA levels. We found that D2 agonist-elicited increases in PFC GABA levels were blocked by pretreatment with SR48692, consistent with data indicating that D2 autoreceptor agonists increase neurotensin release from dopamine-neurotensin axons in the PFC. These findings suggest that neurotensin plays an important role in regulating prefrontal cortical interneurons and that it may be useful to consider neurotensin agonists as an adjunct in the treatment of schizophrenia.

  18. Galantamine Response Associates with Agitation and the Prefrontal Cortex in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease.

    PubMed

    Nakayama, Sachiko; Suda, Akimitsu; Nakanishi, Atsushi; Motoi, Yumiko; Hattori, Nobutaka

    2017-01-01

    Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) occur in up to 80% of AD patients and represent one of the largest factors contributing to caregiver burden. To analyze the effect of galantamine on BPSD and caregiver burden, we treated a total of 50 patients with mild AD for 12 weeks and evaluated them using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and Japanese version of the Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview (ZBI). We also performed regional cerebral blood flow single photon emission computed tomography (rCBF SPECT) at baseline using three-dimensional sterotatic surface projections. Total NPI and ZBI scores did not significantly change after 12-week galantamine treatment. To identify the characteristics of patients who showed improvement after galantamine treatment, we divided patients into two groups, those with and those without sub-items on the NPI. Patients with aggression showed improvement in ZBI scores (p < 0.05). A comparison of rCBF SPECT between these two groups indicated that patients with aggression exhibited increased rCBF in the right prefrontal cortex compared with those without aggression. In a patient with aggression, 20-month treatment with galantamine inhibited increases in the rCBF area in the right prefrontal lobe. These results suggest that galantamine response may be related to aggression and dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Human cognition. Foundations of human reasoning in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Donoso, Maël; Collins, Anne G E; Koechlin, Etienne

    2014-06-27

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) subserves reasoning in the service of adaptive behavior. Little is known, however, about the architecture of reasoning processes in the PFC. Using computational modeling and neuroimaging, we show here that the human PFC has two concurrent inferential tracks: (i) one from ventromedial to dorsomedial PFC regions that makes probabilistic inferences about the reliability of the ongoing behavioral strategy and arbitrates between adjusting this strategy versus exploring new ones from long-term memory, and (ii) another from polar to lateral PFC regions that makes probabilistic inferences about the reliability of two or three alternative strategies and arbitrates between exploring new strategies versus exploiting these alternative ones. The two tracks interact and, along with the striatum, realize hypothesis testing for accepting versus rejecting newly created strategies.

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

    PubMed

    Stollstorff, Melanie; Vartanian, Oshin; Goel, Vinod

    2012-01-05

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

  3. Intact discourse cohesion and coherence following bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Kurczek, Jake; Duff, Melissa C

    2012-12-01

    Discourse cohesion and coherence give communication its continuity providing the grammatical and lexical links that hold an utterance or text together and give it meaning. Researchers often link cohesion and coherence deficits to the frontal lobes by drawing attention to frontal lobe dysfunction in populations where discourse cohesion and coherence deficits are reported and through attribution of these deficits to underlying cognitive impairments putatively associated with the frontal lobes. We examined the distinct contribution of a region of the frontal lobes, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), to discourse cohesion and coherence across a range of discourse tasks. We found that bilateral vmPFC damage does not impair cohesion and coherence in spoken discourse. This study provides insights into the contribution of the major anatomical subdivisions of the frontal lobes to language use and furthers our understanding of the neural and cognitive underpinnings of discourse cohesion and coherence.

  4. Behavioral effects of congenital ventromedial prefrontal cortex malformation

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:22136635

  5. Medial prefrontal cortex predicts internally driven strategy shifts

    PubMed Central

    Schuck, Nicolas W.; Gaschler, Robert; Wenke, Dorit; Heinzle, Jakob; Frensch, Peter A.; Haynes, John-Dylan; Reverberi, Carlo

    2015-01-01

    Summary Many daily behaviors require us to actively focus on the current task and ignore all other distractions. Yet, ignoring everything else might hinder the ability to discover new ways to achieve the same goal. Here, we studied the neural mechanisms that support the spontaneous change to better strategies while an established strategy is executed. Multivariate neuroimaging analysis showed that before the spontaneous change to an alternative strategy, medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) encoded information that was irrelevant for the current strategy but necessary for the later strategy. Importantly, this neural effect was related to future behavioral changes: information encoding in MPFC was changed only in participants who eventually switched their strategy and started before the actual strategy change. This allowed us to predict spontaneous strategy shifts ahead of time. These findings suggest that MPFC might internally simulate alternative strategies and sheds new light on the organization of PFC. PMID:25819613

  6. Damage to ventromedial prefrontal cortex impairs judgment of harmful intent

    PubMed Central

    Young, Liane; Bechara, Antoine; Tranel, Daniel; Damasio, Hanna; Hauser, Marc; Damasio, Antonio

    2011-01-01

    Summary Moral judgments, whether delivered in ordinary experience or in the courtroom, depend on our ability to infer intentions. We forgive unintentional or accidental harms and condemn failed attempts to harm. Prior work demonstrates that patients with damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPC) deliver abnormal judgments in response to moral dilemmas, and that these patients are especially impaired in triggering emotional responses to inferred or abstract events (e.g., intentions), as opposed to real or actual outcomes. We therefore predicted that VMPC patients would deliver abnormal moral judgments of harmful intentions in the absence of harmful outcomes, as in failed attempts to harm. This prediction was confirmed in the current study: VMPC patients judged attempted harms including attempted murder as more morally permissible relative to controls. These results highlight the critical role of the VMPC in processing harmful intent for moral judgment. PMID:20346759

  7. Prefrontal cortex is involved in internal decision of forthcoming saccades.

    PubMed

    Milea, Dan; Lobel, Elie; Lehéricy, Stéphane; Leboucher, Pierre; Pochon, Jean-Baptiste; Pierrot-Deseilligny, Charles; Berthoz, Alain

    2007-08-06

    Deciding where to look is mandatory to explore the visual world. To study the neural correlates subserving the cognitive phase of self-initiated eye movements in humans, we tested 12 healthy participants, using event-related functional MRI. Changes in the frontal-cortical activity preceding voluntary saccades were studied when the participants freely decided the direction of a forthcoming saccade, compared with a condition in which they had only to prepare an externally cued saccade. Self-initiation of saccades, before their execution, was specifically associated with frontal-lobe activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and in the right presupplementary eye field and frontal eye fields, suggesting the roles of these areas in the decision process of where to look when facing two possible visual targets.

  8. Involvement of prefrontal cortex in scalar implicatures: evidence from magnetoencephalography

    PubMed Central

    Politzer-Ahles, Stephen; Gwilliams, Laura

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigated the neural correlates of the realisation of scalar inferences, i.e., the interpretation of some as meaning some but not all. We used magnetoencephalography, which has high temporal resolution, to measure neural activity while participants heard stories that included the scalar inference trigger some in contexts that either provide strong cues for a scalar inference or provide weaker cues. The middle portion of the lateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann area 46) showed an increased response to some in contexts with fewer cues to the inference, suggesting that this condition elicited greater effort. While the results are not predicted by traditional all-or-nothing accounts of scalar inferencing that assume the process is always automatic or always effortful, they are consistent with more recent gradient accounts which predict that the speed and effort of scalar inferences is strongly modulated by numerous contextual factors. PMID:26247054

  9. Abstract Context Representations in Primate Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Saez, A; Rigotti, M; Ostojic, S; Fusi, S; Salzman, C D

    2015-08-19

    Neurons in prefrontal cortex (PFC) encode rules, goals, and other abstract information thought to underlie cognitive, emotional, and behavioral flexibility. Here we show that the amygdala, a brain area traditionally thought to mediate emotions, also encodes abstract information that could underlie this flexibility. Monkeys performed a task in which stimulus-reinforcement contingencies varied between two sets of associations, each defining a context. Reinforcement prediction required identifying a stimulus and knowing the current context. Behavioral evidence indicated that monkeys utilized this information to perform inference and adjust their behavior. Neural representations in both amygdala and PFC reflected the linked sets of associations implicitly defining each context, a process requiring a level of abstraction characteristic of cognitive operations. Surprisingly, when errors were made, the context signal weakened substantially in the amygdala. These data emphasize the importance of maintaining abstract cognitive information in the amygdala to support flexible behavior.

  10. Insights into Human Behavior from Lesions to the Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Szczepanski, Sara M.; Knight, Robert T.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY The prefrontal cortex (PFC), a cortical region that was once thought to be functionally insignificant, is now known to play an essential role in the organization and control of goal-directed thought and behavior. Neuroimaging, neurophysiological, and modeling techniques have lead to tremendous advances in our understanding of PFC functions over the last few decades. It should be noted, however, that neurological, neuropathological, and neuropsychological studies have contributed some of the most essential, historical, and often prescient, conclusions regarding the functions of this region. Importantly, examination of patients with brain damage allows one to draw conclusions about whether a brain area is necessary for a particular function. Here, we provide a broad overview of PFC functions based upon behavioral and neural changes resulting from damage to PFC in both human patients and non-human primates. PMID:25175878

  11. Sleep Deprivation Alters Valuation Signals in the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22028686

  12. Maternal prefrontal cortex activation by newborn infant odors.

    PubMed

    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.

  13. Circuit-based Localization of Ferret Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Duque, Alvaro

    2010-01-01

    We examined the extent of the ferret prefrontal cortex (PFC) and its reciprocal connections with the mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus (MD) by anterograde and retrograde labeling in 6- to 14-week-old male ferrets. Our results indicate that in the ferret, as in other species, MD projects heavily to the PFC although it also projects to other cortical and subcortical structures. The MD projection to PFC terminates largely in layer IV with lighter innervation of layers II, III, V, and VI. The cells projecting back to MD are mostly in layer VI. The parvocellular component of MD projects to and receives projections from the more caudal and dorsomedial component of the PFC, whereas the magnocellular portion of MD projects to and receives projections from the more rostral and lateral component of the PFC. With these results we have localized the ferret PFC, defined as a frontal cortical region with heavy reciprocal connections with the MD. PMID:19737780

  14. Damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex reduces interpersonal disgust

    PubMed Central

    Ciaramelli, Elisa; Sperotto, Rebecca G.; Mattioli, Flavia

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:22842816

  15. Prefrontal Cortex and Somatosensory Cortex in Tactile Crossmodal Association: An Independent Component Analysis of ERP Recordings

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Liping; Lenz, Fred A.; Hsiao, Steven S.; Bodner, Mark; Hong, Bo; Zhou, Yong-Di

    2007-01-01

    Our previous studies on scalp-recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) showed that somatosensory N140 evoked by a tactile vibration in working memory tasks was enhanced when human subjects expected a coming visual stimulus that had been paired with the tactile stimulus. The results suggested that such enhancement represented the cortical activities involved in tactile-visual crossmodal association. In the present study, we further hypothesized that the enhancement represented the neural activities in somatosensory and frontal cortices in the crossmodal association. By applying independent component analysis (ICA) to the ERP data, we found independent components (ICs) located in the medial prefrontal cortex (around the anterior cingulate cortex, ACC) and the primary somatosensory cortex (SI). The activity represented by the IC in SI cortex showed enhancement in expectation of the visual stimulus. Such differential activity thus suggested the participation of SI cortex in the task-related crossmodal association. Further, the coherence analysis and the Granger causality spectral analysis of the ICs showed that SI cortex appeared to cooperate with ACC in attention and perception of the tactile stimulus in crossmodal association. The results of our study support with new evidence an important idea in cortical neurophysiology: higher cognitive operations develop from the modality-specific sensory cortices (in the present study, SI cortex) that are involved in sensation and perception of various stimuli. PMID:17712419

  16. Improving memory following prefrontal cortex damage with the PQRST method

    PubMed Central

    Ciaramelli, Elisa; Neri, Francesco; Marini, Luca; Braghittoni, Davide

    2015-01-01

    We tested (1) whether the PQRST method, involving Preview (P), Question (Q), Read (R), State (S), and Test (T) phases, is effective in enhancing long-term memory in patients with mild memory problems due to prefrontal cortex lesions, and (2) whether patients also benefit from a more self-initiated version of the PQRST. Seven patients with prefrontal lesions encoded new texts under three different conditions: the Standard condition, requiring to read texts repeatedly, the PQRST-Other condition, in which the experimenter formulated questions about the text (Q phase), and the PQRST-Self condition, in which patients formulated the relevant questions on their own. Compared to the Standard condition, both the PQRST-Other and the PQRST-Self condition resulted in higher immediate and delayed recall rates, as well as a higher ability to answer questions about the texts. Importantly, the two PQRST conditions did not differ in efficacy. These results confirm that the PQRST method is effective in improving learning of new material in brain-injured populations with mild memory problems. Moreover, they indicate that the PQRST proves effective even under conditions with higher demands on patients’ autonomy and self-initiation, which encourages its application to real-life situations. PMID:26321932

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Role of Prefrontal Cortex Glucocorticoid Receptors in Stress and Emotion

    PubMed Central

    McKlveen, Jessica M.; Myers, Brent; Flak, Jonathan N.; Bundzikova, Jana; Solomon, Matia B.; Seroogy, Kim B.; Herman, James P.

    2013-01-01

    Background Stress-related disorders (e.g., depression) are associated with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis dysregulation and prefrontal cortex (PFC) dysfunction, suggesting a functional link between aberrant prefrontal corticosteroid signaling and mood regulation. Methods We used a virally mediated knockdown strategy (short hairpin RNA targeting the glucocorticoid receptor [GR]) to attenuate PFC GR signaling in the rat PFC. Adult male rats received bilateral microinjections of vector control or short hairpin RNA targeting the GR into the prelimbic (n = 44) or infralimbic (n = 52) cortices. Half of the animals from each injection group underwent chronic variable stress, and all were subjected to novel restraint. The first 2 days of chronic variable stress were used to assess depression- and anxiety-like behavior in the forced swim test and open field. Results The GR knockdown confined to the infralimbic PFC caused acute stress hyper-responsiveness, sensitization of stress responses after chronic variable stress, and induced depression-like behavior (increased immobility in the forced swim test). Knockdown of GR in the neighboring prelimbic PFC increased hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis responses to acute stress and caused hyper-locomotion in the open field, but did not affect stress sensitization or helplessness behavior. Conclusions The data indicate a marked functional heterogeneity of glucocorticoid action in the PFC and highlight a prominent role for the infralimbic GR in appropriate stress adaptation, emotional control, and mood regulation. PMID:23683655

  19. Demonstration of short-term plasticity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex with theta burst stimulation: A TMS-EEG study.

    PubMed

    Chung, Sung Wook; Lewis, Benjamin P; Rogasch, Nigel C; Saeki, Takashi; Thomson, Richard H; Hoy, Kate E; Bailey, Neil W; Fitzgerald, Paul B

    2017-07-01

    To examine the effects of intermittent TBS (iTBS) and continuous TBS (cTBS) on cortical reactivity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. 10 healthy participants were stimulated with either iTBS, cTBS or sham at F3 electrode. Single- and paired-pulse TMS and concurrent electroencephalography (EEG) were used to assess change in cortical reactivity and long-interval intracortical inhibition (LICI) via TMS-evoked potentials (TEPs) and TMS-evoked oscillations. Significant increases in N120 amplitudes (p<0.01) were observed following iTBS over prefrontal cortex. Changes in TMS-evoked theta oscillations and LICI of theta oscillations were also observed following iTBS (increase) and cTBS (decrease). Change in LICI of theta oscillations correlated with change in N120 amplitude following TBS (r=-0.670, p=0.001). This study provides preliminary evidence that TBS produces direct changes in cortical reactivity in the prefrontal cortex. Combining TBS with TMS-EEG may be a useful approach to optimise stimulation paradigms prior to the conduct of clinical trials. TBS is able to modulate cortical reactivity and cortical inhibition in the prefrontal cortex. Copyright © 2017 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Prenatal Nicotine Exposure Impairs Executive Control Signals in Medial Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Bryden, Daniel W; Burton, Amanda C; Barnett, Brian R; Cohen, Valerie J; Hearn, Taylor N; Jones, Emily A; Kariyil, Reshma J; Kunin, Alice; Kwak, Sae In; Lee, Jessica; Lubinski, Brooke L; Rao, Gautam K; Zhan, Ashley; Roesch, Matthew R

    2016-02-01

    Prenatal nicotine exposure (PNE) is linked to numerous psychiatric disorders including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Current literature suggests that core deficits observed in ADHD reflect abnormal inhibitory control governed by the prefrontal cortex. Yet, it is unclear how neural activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is modulated during tasks that assess response inhibition or if these neural correlates, along with behavior, are affected by PNE. To address this issue, we recorded from single mPFC neurons in control and PNE rats as they performed a stop-signal task. We found that PNE rats were faster for all trial-types, made more premature responses, and were less likely to inhibit behavior on 'STOP' trials during which rats had to inhibit an already initiated response. Activity in mPFC was modulated by response direction and was positively correlated with accuracy and movement time in control but not PNE rats. Although the number of single neurons correlated with response direction was significantly reduced by PNE, neural activity observed on general STOP trials was largely unaffected. However, dramatic behavioral deficits on STOP trials immediately following non-conflicting (GO) trials in the PNE group appear to be mediated by the loss of conflict monitoring signals in mPFC. We conclude that prenatal nicotine exposure makes rats impulsive and disrupts firing of mPFC neurons that carry signals related to response direction and conflict monitoring.

  1. Exon Microarray Analysis of Human Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex in Alcoholism

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Background 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. Methods Messenger RNA was isolated from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC, Brodmann area 9) of 7 adult Alcoholic (6 males, 1 female, mean age 48 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 qRT-PCR, and the ontology of disturbed genes characterized using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). Results 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., RASGRP, 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. Conclusions 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. PMID:24890784

  2. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the regulation of physiological arousal

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Sien; Chao, Herta H.; Ide, Jaime S.; Luo, Xi; Farr, Olivia M.; Li, Chiang-shan R.

    2014-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies show a correlation between activity of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and skin conductance measurements. However, little is known whether this brain region plays a causal role in regulating physiological arousal. To address this question, we employed Granger causality analysis (GCA) to establish causality between cerebral blood oxygenation level-dependent and skin conductance signals in 24 healthy adults performing a cognitive task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. The results showed that activity of the vmPFC not only negatively correlated with skin conductance level (SCL) but also Granger caused SCL, thus establishing the direction of influence. Importantly, across participants, the strength of Granger causality was negatively correlated to phasic skin conductance responses elicited by external events during the behavioral task. In contrast, activity of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex positively correlated with SCL but did not show a causal relationship in GCA. These new findings indicate that the vmPFC plays a causal role in regulating physiological arousal. Increased vmPFC activity leads to a decrease in skin conductance. The findings may also advance our understanding of dysfunctions of the vmPFC in mood and anxiety disorders that involve altered control of physiological arousal. PMID:23620600

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Functional Segregation of the Human Dorsomedial Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Eickhoff, Simon B.; Laird, Angela R.; Fox, Peter T.; Bzdok, Danilo; Hensel, Lukas

    2016-01-01

    The human dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) has been implicated in various complex cognitive processes, including social cognition. To unravel its functional organization, we assessed the dmPFC's regional heterogeneity, connectivity patterns, and functional profiles. First, the heterogeneity of a dmPFC seed, engaged during social processing, was investigated by assessing local differences in whole-brain coactivation profiles. Second, functional connectivity of the ensuing dmPFC clusters was compared by task-constrained meta-analytic coactivation mapping and task-unconstrained resting-state correlations. Third, dmPFC clusters were functionally profiled by forward/reverse inference. The dmPFC seed was thus segregated into 4 clusters (rostroventral, rostrodorsal, caudal-right, and caudal-left). Both rostral clusters were connected to the amygdala and hippocampus and associated with memory and social cognitive tasks in functional decoding. The rostroventral cluster exhibited strongest connectivity to the default mode network. Unlike the rostral segregation, the caudal dmPFC was divided by hemispheres. The caudal-right cluster was strongly connected to a frontoparietal network (dorsal attention network), whereas the caudal-left cluster was strongly connected to the anterior midcingulate cortex and bilateral anterior insula (salience network). In conclusion, we demonstrate that a dmPFC seed reflecting social processing can be divided into 4 separate functional modules that contribute to distinct facets of advanced human cognition. PMID:25331597

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

    PubMed Central

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

    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. PMID:26163672

  6. Milnacipran Remediates Impulsive Deficits in Rats with Lesions of the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Background: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: 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. PMID:25522418

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

    PubMed

    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.

  8. Amyloid β Peptide-Induced Changes in Prefrontal Cortex Activity and Its Response to Hippocampal Input.

    PubMed

    Flores-Martínez, Ernesto; Peña-Ortega, Fernando

    2017-01-01

    Alterations in prefrontal cortex (PFC) function and abnormalities in its interactions with other brain areas (i.e., the hippocampus) have been related to Alzheimer Disease (AD). Considering that these malfunctions correlate with the increase in the brain's amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide production, here we looked for a causal relationship between these pathognomonic signs of AD. Thus, we tested whether or not Aβ affects the activity of the PFC network and the activation of this cortex by hippocampal input stimulation in vitro. We found that Aβ application to brain slices inhibits PFC spontaneous network activity as well as PFC activation, both at the population and at the single-cell level, when the hippocampal input is stimulated. Our data suggest that Aβ can contribute to AD by disrupting PFC activity and its long-range interactions throughout the brain.

  9. Amyloid β Peptide-Induced Changes in Prefrontal Cortex Activity and Its Response to Hippocampal Input

    PubMed Central

    Flores-Martínez, Ernesto

    2017-01-01

    Alterations in prefrontal cortex (PFC) function and abnormalities in its interactions with other brain areas (i.e., the hippocampus) have been related to Alzheimer Disease (AD). Considering that these malfunctions correlate with the increase in the brain's amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide production, here we looked for a causal relationship between these pathognomonic signs of AD. Thus, we tested whether or not Aβ affects the activity of the PFC network and the activation of this cortex by hippocampal input stimulation in vitro. We found that Aβ application to brain slices inhibits PFC spontaneous network activity as well as PFC activation, both at the population and at the single-cell level, when the hippocampal input is stimulated. Our data suggest that Aβ can contribute to AD by disrupting PFC activity and its long-range interactions throughout the brain. PMID:28127312

  10. Ionic mechanism of the slow afterdepolarization induced by muscarinic receptor activation in rat prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Haj-Dahmane, S; Andrade, R

    1998-09-01

    The mammalian prefrontal cortex receives a dense cholinergic innervation from subcortical regions. We previously have shown that cholinergic stimulation of layer V pyramidal neurons of the rat prefrontal cortex results in a depolarization and the appearance of a slow afterdepolarization (sADP). In the current report we examine the mechanism underlying the sADP with the use of sharp microelectrode and whole cell recording techniques in in vitro brain slices. The ability of acetylcholine (ACh) and carbachol to induce the appearance of an sADP in pyramidal cells of layer V of prefrontal cortex is antagonized in a surmountable manner by atropine and is mimicked by application of muscarine or oxotremorine. These results indicate that ACh acts on muscarinic receptors to induce the sADP. In many cell types afterpotentials are triggered by calcium influx into the cell. Therefore we examined the possibility that calcium influx might be the trigger for the generation of the sADP. Consistent with this possibility, buffering intracellular calcium reduced or abolished the sADP but had little effect on the direct muscarinic receptor-induced depolarization also seen in these cells. These results, coupled to the previous observation that calcium channel blockers inhibit the sADP, indicated that the sADP results from a rise in intracellular calcium secondary to calcium influx into the cell. The ionic basis for the current underlying the sADP (IsADP) was examined with the use of ion substitution experiments. The amplitude of IsADP was found to be reduced in a graded fashion by replacement of extracellular sodium with N-methyl-D-glucamine (NMDG). In contrast no clear evidence for the involvement of potassium or chloride channels in the generation of the sADP or IsADP could be found. This result indicated that IsADP is carried by sodium ions flowing into the cell. However, the dependence of IsADP on extracellular sodium was less pronounced than expected for a pure sodium current. We

  11. Effects of Neuregulin 3 Genotype on Human Prefrontal Cortex Physiology

    PubMed Central

    Tost, Heike; Callicott, Joseph H.; Rasetti, Roberta; Vakkalanka, Radhakrishna; Mattay, Venkata S.; Weinberger, Daniel R.

    2014-01-01

    The neuregulin 3 gene (NRG3) plays pleiotropic roles in neurodevelopment and is a putative susceptibility locus for schizophrenia. Specifically, the T allele of NRG3 rs10748842 has been associated with illness risk, altered cognitive function, and the expression of a novel splice isoform in prefrontal cortex (PFC), but the neural system effects are unexplored. Here, we report an association between rs10748842 and PFC physiology as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging of human working memory performance, where a convincing link between increased genetic risk for schizophrenia and increased activation in some PFC areas has been established. In 410 control individuals (195 males, 215 females), we detected a highly significant effect of NRG3 genotype manifesting as an unanticipated increase in ventrolateral PFC activation in nonrisk-associated C allele carriers. An additional analysis including 78 patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (64 males, 14 females) and 123 unaffected siblings (53 males, 70 females) revealed a whole-brain significant genotype by group interaction in right dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC), manifesting as a relative activation increase in healthy controls and siblings (C > T/T) and as a hypoactivation in patients (T/T > C). These observed genotype-dependent effects in PFC were not explained by task performance and did not conform to established locales of prefrontal inefficiency linked to genetic risk for schizophrenia. Our data indicate a complex modulation of brain physiology by rs10748842, which does not fit the simple inefficiency model of risk association in DLPFC and suggests that other neurobiological mechanisms are involved. PMID:24431462

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

    PubMed

    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.

  13. Prefrontal cortex white matter tracts in prodromal Huntington disease

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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 (ATR), 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. PMID:26179962

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

    PubMed

    Conson, Massimiliano; Errico, Domenico; Mazzarella, Elisabetta; Giordano, Marianna; Grossi, Dario; Trojano, Luigi

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Conson, Massimiliano; Errico, Domenico; Mazzarella, Elisabetta; Giordano, Marianna; Grossi, Dario; Trojano, Luigi

    2015-01-01

    Recent neurofunctional studies suggested that lateral prefrontal cortex is a domain-general cognitive control area modulating computation of social information. Neuropsychological evidence reported dissociations between cognitive and affective components of social cognition. Here, we tested whether performance on social cognitive and affective tasks can be modulated by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). To this aim, we compared the effects of tDCS on explicit recognition of emotional facial expressions (affective task), and on one cognitive task assessing the ability to adopt another person’s visual perspective. In a randomized, cross-over design, male and female healthy participants performed the two experimental tasks after bi-hemispheric tDCS (sham, left anodal/right cathodal, and right anodal/left cathodal) applied over DLPFC. Results showed that only in male participants explicit recognition of fearful facial expressions was significantly faster after anodal right/cathodal left stimulation with respect to anodal left/cathodal right and sham stimulations. In the visual perspective taking task, instead, anodal right/cathodal left stimulation negatively affected both male and female participants’ tendency to adopt another’s point of view. These findings demonstrated that concurrent facilitation of right and inhibition of left lateral prefrontal cortex can speed-up males’ responses to threatening faces whereas it interferes with the ability to adopt another’s viewpoint independently from gender. Thus, stimulation of cognitive control areas can lead to different effects on social cognitive skills depending on the affective vs. cognitive nature of the task, and on the gender-related differences in neural organization of emotion processing. PMID:25951227

  16. Lesions to right prefrontal cortex impair real-world planning through premature commitments.

    PubMed

    Goel, Vinod; Vartanian, Oshin; Bartolo, Angela; Hakim, Lila; Ferraro, Anna Maria; Isella, Valeria; Appollonio, Ildebrando; Drei, Silvia; Nichelli, Paolo

    2013-03-01

    While it is well accepted that the left prefrontal cortex plays a critical role in planning and problem-solving tasks, very little is known about the role of the right prefrontal cortex. We addressed this issue by testing five neurological patients with focal lesions to right prefrontal cortex on a real-world travel planning task, and compared their performance with the performance of five neurological patients with focal lesions to left prefrontal cortex, five neurological patients with posterior lesions, and five normal controls. Only patients with lesions to right prefrontal cortex generated substandard solutions compared to normal controls. Examination of the underlying cognitive processes and strategies revealed that patients with lesions to right prefrontal cortex approached the task at an excessively precise, concrete level compared to normal controls, and very early locked themselves into substandard solutions relative to the comparison group. In contrast, the behavior of normal controls was characterized by a judicious interplay of concrete and abstract levels/modes of representations. We suggest that damage to the right prefrontal system impairs the encoding and processing of more abstract and vague representations that facilitate lateral transformations, resulting in premature commitment to precise concrete patterns, and hasty albeit substandard conclusions (because the space of possibilities has not been properly explored). Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:27227990

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

    PubMed

    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.

  19. Prefrontal Cortex to Accumbens Projections in Sleep Regulation of Reward

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zheng; Wang, Yao; Cai, Li; Li, Yizhi; Chen, Bo; Dong, Yan

    2016-01-01

    Sleep profoundly affects the emotional and motivational state. In humans and animals, loss of sleep often results in enhanced motivation for reward, which has direct implications for health risks as well as potential benefits. Current study aims at understanding the mechanisms underlying sleep deprivation (SDe)-induced enhancement of reward seeking. We found that after acute SDe, mice had an increase in sucrose seeking and consumption but not food intake, suggesting a selective enhancement of motivation for reward. In the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key brain region regulating emotional and motivational responses, we observed a decrease in the ratio of the overall excitatory over inhibitory synaptic inputs onto NAc principle neurons after SDe. The shift was partly mediated by reduced glutamatergic transmission of presynaptic origin. Further analysis revealed that there was selective reduction of the glutamate release probability at the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC)-to-NAc synapses, but not those from the hippocampus, thalamus, or the basal lateral amygdala. To reverse this SDe-induced synaptic alteration, we expressed the stabilized step function opsin (SSFO) in the mPFC; optogenetic stimulation of SSFO at mPFC-to-NAc projection terminals persistently enhanced the action potential-dependent glutamate release. Intra-NAc optogenetic stimulation of SSFO selectively at mPFC-to-NAc terminals restored normal sucrose seeking in mice after SDe without affecting food intake. These results highlight the mPFC-to-NAc projection as a key circuit-based target for sleep to regulate reward-motivated behaviors. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Sleep loss, a costly challenge of modern society, has profound physiological and psychological consequences, including altered reward processing of the brain. The current study aims at understanding the mechanisms underlying sleep deprivation-induced enhancement of reward seeking. We identify that the medial prefrontal cortex (m

  20. Prefrontal Cortex to Accumbens Projections in Sleep Regulation of Reward.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zheng; Wang, Yao; Cai, Li; Li, Yizhi; Chen, Bo; Dong, Yan; Huang, Yanhua H

    2016-07-27

    Sleep profoundly affects the emotional and motivational state. In humans and animals, loss of sleep often results in enhanced motivation for reward, which has direct implications for health risks as well as potential benefits. Current study aims at understanding the mechanisms underlying sleep deprivation (SDe)-induced enhancement of reward seeking. We found that after acute SDe, mice had an increase in sucrose seeking and consumption but not food intake, suggesting a selective enhancement of motivation for reward. In the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key brain region regulating emotional and motivational responses, we observed a decrease in the ratio of the overall excitatory over inhibitory synaptic inputs onto NAc principle neurons after SDe. The shift was partly mediated by reduced glutamatergic transmission of presynaptic origin. Further analysis revealed that there was selective reduction of the glutamate release probability at the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC)-to-NAc synapses, but not those from the hippocampus, thalamus, or the basal lateral amygdala. To reverse this SDe-induced synaptic alteration, we expressed the stabilized step function opsin (SSFO) in the mPFC; optogenetic stimulation of SSFO at mPFC-to-NAc projection terminals persistently enhanced the action potential-dependent glutamate release. Intra-NAc optogenetic stimulation of SSFO selectively at mPFC-to-NAc terminals restored normal sucrose seeking in mice after SDe without affecting food intake. These results highlight the mPFC-to-NAc projection as a key circuit-based target for sleep to regulate reward-motivated behaviors. Sleep loss, a costly challenge of modern society, has profound physiological and psychological consequences, including altered reward processing of the brain. The current study aims at understanding the mechanisms underlying sleep deprivation-induced enhancement of reward seeking. We identify that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC)-to-nucleus accumbens (NAc) glutamatergic

  1. Psychostimulants Act within the Prefrontal Cortex to Improve Cognitive Function

    PubMed Central

    Spencer, Robert C.; Klein, Raymond M.; Berridge, Craig W.

    2011-01-01

    Background At low and clinically-relevant doses, psychostimulants enhance cognitive and behavioral function dependent on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and extended frontostriatal circuitry. These actions are observed in individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as in normal human and animal subjects. Despite the widespread use of these drugs, the sites of action involved in their cognition-enhancing and therapeutic effects are poorly understood. Indirect and/or correlative evidence suggests the cognition-enhancing/therapeutic effects of psychostimulants may involve actions directly within the PFC or extended frontostriatal circuitry. The current studies examined the degree to which methylphenidate (MPH; Ritalin®) acts within distinct frontostriatal subfields to improve PFC-dependent cognition as measured in a delayed-response test of spatial working memory. Methods Working memory performance was assessed following microinfusion of vehicle or varying doses of MPH (0.03-8.0 μg/500 nl) directly into the dorsomedial PFC (dorsal prelimbic and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex), the ventromedial PFC (infralimbic) and the dorsomedial striatum of rats (n=69). Results MPH infusion into the dorsomedial PFC, but not ventromedial PFC, elicited an inverted-U shaped facilitation of PFC-dependent cognition as measured in this task. The magnitude of this improvement was comparable to that seen with systemic administration. Additional studies demonstrated that although the dorsomedial striatum is necessary for accurate performance in this task, MPH infusion into this region did not affect working memory performance. Conclusions These observations provide the first definitive evidence that the PFC is a site of action in the cognition-enhancing and presumably therapeutic actions of low-dose psychostimulants. PMID:22209638

  2. microRNA Profiles in Parkinson's Disease Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hoss, Andrew G.; Labadorf, Adam; Beach, Thomas G.; Latourelle, Jeanne C.; Myers, Richard H.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: The goal of this study was to compare the microRNA (miRNA) profile of Parkinson's disease (PD) frontal cortex with normal control brain, allowing for the identification of PD specific signatures as well as study the disease-related phenotypes of onset age and dementia. Methods: Small RNA sequence analysis was performed from prefrontal cortex for 29 PD samples and 33 control samples. After sample QC, normalization and batch correction, linear regression was employed to identify miRNAs altered in PD, and a PD classifier was developed using weighted voting class prediction. The relationship of miRNA levels to onset age and PD with dementia (PDD) was also characterized in case-only analyses. Results: One twenty five miRNAs were differentially expressed in PD at a genome-wide level of significance (FDR q < 0.05). A set of 29 miRNAs classified PD from non-diseased brain (93.9% specificity, 96.6% sensitivity). The majority of differentially expressed miRNAs (105/125) showed an ordinal relationship from control, to PD without dementia (PDN), to PDD. Among PD brains, 36 miRNAs classified PDD from PDN (sensitivity = 81.2%, specificity = 88.9%). Among differentially expressed miRNAs, miR-10b-5p had a positive association with onset age (q = 4.7e-2). Conclusions: Based on cortical miRNA levels, PD brains were accurately classified from non-diseased brains. Additionally, the PDD miRNA profile exhibited a more severe pattern of alteration among those differentially expressed in PD. To evaluate the clinical utility of miRNAs as potential clinical biomarkers, further characterization and testing of brain-related miRNA alterations in peripheral biofluids is warranted. PMID:26973511

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  5. Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation.

    PubMed

    Bratman, Gregory N; Hamilton, J Paul; Hahn, Kevin S; Daily, Gretchen C; Gross, James J

    2015-07-14

    Urbanization has many benefits, but it also is associated with increased levels of mental illness, including depression. It has been suggested that decreased nature experience may help to explain the link between urbanization and mental illness. This suggestion is supported by a growing body of correlational and experimental evidence, which raises a further question: what mechanism(s) link decreased nature experience to the development of mental illness? One such mechanism might be the impact of nature exposure on rumination, a maladaptive pattern of self-referential thought that is associated with heightened risk for depression and other mental illnesses. We show in healthy participants that a brief nature experience, a 90-min walk in a natural setting, decreases both self-reported rumination and neural activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex (sgPFC), whereas a 90-min walk in an urban setting has no such effects on self-reported rumination or neural activity. In other studies, the sgPFC has been associated with a self-focused behavioral withdrawal linked to rumination in both depressed and healthy individuals. This study reveals a pathway by which nature experience may improve mental well-being and suggests that accessible natural areas within urban contexts may be a critical resource for mental health in our rapidly urbanizing world.

  6. Architecture of Explanatory Inference in the Human Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Barbey, Aron K.; Patterson, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Causal reasoning is a ubiquitous feature of human cognition. We continuously seek to understand, at least implicitly and often explicitly, the causal scenarios in which we live, so that we may anticipate what will come next, plan a potential response and envision its outcome, decide among possible courses of action in light of their probable outcomes, make midstream adjustments in our goal-related activities as our situation changes, and so on. A considerable body of research shows that the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) is crucial for causal reasoning, but also that there are significant differences in the manner in which ventrolateral PFC, dorsolateral PFC, and anterolateral PFC support causal reasoning. We propose, on the basis of research on the evolution, architecture, and functional organization of the lateral PFC, a general framework for understanding its roles in the many and varied sorts of causal reasoning carried out by human beings. Specifically, the ventrolateral PFC supports the generation of basic causal explanations and inferences; dorsolateral PFC supports the evaluation of these scenarios in light of some given normative standard (e.g., of plausibility or correctness in light of real or imagined causal interventions); and anterolateral PFC supports explanation and inference at an even higher level of complexity, coordinating the processes of generation and evaluation with further cognitive processes, and especially with computations of hedonic value and emotional implications of possible behavioral scenarios – considerations that are often critical both for understanding situations causally and for deciding about our own courses of action. PMID:21845182

  7. Disrupting the right prefrontal cortex alters moral judgement.

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

  8. Anterior medial prefrontal cortex implements social priming of mimicry

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, Antonia F. de C.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25009194

  9. Medial Prefrontal Cortex Reduces Memory Interference by Modifying Hippocampal Encoding.

    PubMed

    Guise, Kevin G; Shapiro, Matthew L

    2017-04-05

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is crucial for accurate memory performance when prior knowledge interferes with new learning, but the mechanisms that minimize proactive interference are unknown. To investigate these, we assessed the influence of medial PFC (mPFC) activity on spatial learning and hippocampal coding in a plus maze task that requires both structures. mPFC inactivation did not impair spatial learning or retrieval per se, but impaired the ability to follow changing spatial rules. mPFC and CA1 ensembles recorded simultaneously predicted goal choices and tracked changing rules; inactivating mPFC attenuated CA1 prospective coding. mPFC activity modified CA1 codes during learning, which in turn predicted how quickly rats adapted to subsequent rule changes. The results suggest that task rules signaled by the mPFC become incorporated into hippocampal representations and support prospective coding. By this mechanism, mPFC activity prevents interference by "teaching" the hippocampus to retrieve distinct representations of similar circumstances.

  10. Stress Effects on Neuronal Structure: Hippocampus, Amygdala, and Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    McEwen, Bruce S; Nasca, Carla; Gray, Jason D

    2016-01-01

    The hippocampus provided the gateway into much of what we have learned about stress and brain structural and functional plasticity, and this initial focus has expanded to other interconnected brain regions, such as the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. Starting with the discovery of adrenal steroid, and later, estrogen receptors in the hippocampal formation, and subsequent discovery of dendritic and spine synapse remodeling and neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus, mechanistic studies have revealed both genomic and rapid non-genomic actions of circulating steroid hormones in the brain. Many of these actions occur epigenetically and result in ever-changing patterns of gene expression, in which there are important sex differences that need further exploration. Moreover, glucocorticoid and estrogen actions occur synergistically with an increasing number of cellular mediators that help determine the qualitative nature of the response. The hippocampus has also been a gateway to understanding lasting epigenetic effects of early-life experiences. These findings in animal models have resulted in translation to the human brain and have helped change thinking about the nature of brain malfunction in psychiatric disorders and during aging, as well as the mechanisms of the effects of early-life adversity on the brain and the body. PMID:26076834

  11. The role of the medial prefrontal cortex in social categorization

    PubMed Central

    Morrison, Samantha

    2014-01-01

    Group membership is an important aspect of our everyday behavior. Recently, we showed that existing relevant in-group labels increased activation in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) compared with out-group labels, suggesting a role of the MPFC in social categorization. However, the question still remains whether this increase in MPFC activation for in-group representation is solely related with previous experience with the in-group. To test this, we randomly assigned participants to a red or blue team and in a subsequent functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment they categorized red and blue team words as belonging to either the in-group or the out-group. Results showed that even under these minimal conditions increased activation was found in the MPFC when participants indicated that they belonged to a group, as compared with when they did not. This effect was found to be associated with the level of group identification. These results confirm the role of MPFC in social categorization. PMID:23175678

  12. Architecture of explanatory inference in the human prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Barbey, Aron K; Patterson, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Causal reasoning is a ubiquitous feature of human cognition. We continuously seek to understand, at least implicitly and often explicitly, the causal scenarios in which we live, so that we may anticipate what will come next, plan a potential response and envision its outcome, decide among possible courses of action in light of their probable outcomes, make midstream adjustments in our goal-related activities as our situation changes, and so on. A considerable body of research shows that the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) is crucial for causal reasoning, but also that there are significant differences in the manner in which ventrolateral PFC, dorsolateral PFC, and anterolateral PFC support causal reasoning. We propose, on the basis of research on the evolution, architecture, and functional organization of the lateral PFC, a general framework for understanding its roles in the many and varied sorts of causal reasoning carried out by human beings. Specifically, the ventrolateral PFC supports the generation of basic causal explanations and inferences; dorsolateral PFC supports the evaluation of these scenarios in light of some given normative standard (e.g., of plausibility or correctness in light of real or imagined causal interventions); and anterolateral PFC supports explanation and inference at an even higher level of complexity, coordinating the processes of generation and evaluation with further cognitive processes, and especially with computations of hedonic value and emotional implications of possible behavioral scenarios - considerations that are often critical both for understanding situations causally and for deciding about our own courses of action.

  13. Regulation of prefrontal cortex myelination by the microbiota.

    PubMed

    Hoban, A E; Stilling, R M; Ryan, F J; Shanahan, F; Dinan, T G; Claesson, M J; Clarke, G; Cryan, J F

    2016-04-05

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is a key region implicated in a range of neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and autism. In parallel, the role of the gut microbiota in contributing to these disorders is emerging. Germ-free (GF) animals, microbiota-deficient throughout life, have been instrumental in elucidating the role of the microbiota in many aspects of physiology, especially the role of the microbiota in anxiety-related behaviours, impaired social cognition and stress responsivity. Here we aim to further elucidate the mechanisms of the microbial influence by investigating changes in the homeostatic regulation of neuronal transcription of GF mice within the PFC using a genome-wide transcriptome profiling approach. Our results reveal a marked, concerted upregulation of genes linked to myelination and myelin plasticity. This coincided with upregulation of neural activity-induced pathways, potentially driving myelin plasticity. Subsequent investigation at the ultrastructural level demonstrated the presence of hypermyelinated axons within the PFC of GF mice. Notably, these changes in myelin and activity-related gene expression could be reversed by colonization with a conventional microbiota following weaning. In summary, we believe we demonstrate for the first time that the microbiome is necessary for appropriate and dynamic regulation of myelin-related genes with clear implications for cortical myelination at an ultrastructural level. The microbiota is therefore a potential therapeutic target for psychiatric disorders involving dynamic myelination in the PFC.

  14. The role of the medial prefrontal cortex in social categorization.

    PubMed

    Molenberghs, Pascal; Morrison, Samantha

    2014-03-01

    Group membership is an important aspect of our everyday behavior. Recently, we showed that existing relevant in-group labels increased activation in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) compared with out-group labels, suggesting a role of the MPFC in social categorization. However, the question still remains whether this increase in MPFC activation for in-group representation is solely related with previous experience with the in-group. To test this, we randomly assigned participants to a red or blue team and in a subsequent functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment they categorized red and blue team words as belonging to either the in-group or the out-group. Results showed that even under these minimal conditions increased activation was found in the MPFC when participants indicated that they belonged to a group, as compared with when they did not. This effect was found to be associated with the level of group identification. These results confirm the role of MPFC in social categorization.

  15. Do sex differences affect prefrontal cortex associated cognition in schizophrenia?

    PubMed

    Roesch-Ely, Daniela; Hornberger, Eva; Weiland, Stephan; Hornstein, Christiane; Parzer, Peter; Thomas, Christine; Weisbrod, Matthias

    2009-02-01

    Cognitive deficits in schizophrenia, especially those related to prefrontal cortex (PFC) functions, influence functional outcome. There is evidence for sex differences in cognition in schizophrenia, but the results in the literature are still controversial. This study evaluated different modalities of working memory (WM) and executive control (EC), functions that are both associated with the PFC, between sexes in schizophrenic patients and controls. We used a battery of neuropsychological tests for assessing auditory, spatial, and visual-matching WM and used a dual task for assessing EC. The study included 50 inpatients (25 female) partially remitted and taking atypical neuroleptics, as well as 40 controls (20 female) matched for age and education. Significant sex differences were found in the dual task; female patients detected fewer correct trials than male patients and controls did. Moreover, female patients performed significantly worse in the single visual subtest of the dual task. For the controls, no sex differences were found. Males showed higher positive symptoms than females, but no other differences in psychopathology, disease characteristics, or extrapyramidal symptoms were found between sexes. The present study shows an absence of sex differences in WM in healthy subjects and in patients with schizophrenia. However, in the dual task and in the single visual subtest, female patients performed worse than males. This finding suggests that in contrast to males, nonacute female inpatients show an underlying attentional deficit that may contribute to impairment in higher-order functions such as EC.

  16. Regulation of prefrontal cortex myelination by the microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Hoban, A E; Stilling, R M; Ryan, F J; Shanahan, F; Dinan, T G; Claesson, M J; Clarke, G; Cryan, J F

    2016-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is a key region implicated in a range of neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and autism. In parallel, the role of the gut microbiota in contributing to these disorders is emerging. Germ-free (GF) animals, microbiota-deficient throughout life, have been instrumental in elucidating the role of the microbiota in many aspects of physiology, especially the role of the microbiota in anxiety-related behaviours, impaired social cognition and stress responsivity. Here we aim to further elucidate the mechanisms of the microbial influence by investigating changes in the homeostatic regulation of neuronal transcription of GF mice within the PFC using a genome-wide transcriptome profiling approach. Our results reveal a marked, concerted upregulation of genes linked to myelination and myelin plasticity. This coincided with upregulation of neural activity-induced pathways, potentially driving myelin plasticity. Subsequent investigation at the ultrastructural level demonstrated the presence of hypermyelinated axons within the PFC of GF mice. Notably, these changes in myelin and activity-related gene expression could be reversed by colonization with a conventional microbiota following weaning. In summary, we believe we demonstrate for the first time that the microbiome is necessary for appropriate and dynamic regulation of myelin-related genes with clear implications for cortical myelination at an ultrastructural level. The microbiota is therefore a potential therapeutic target for psychiatric disorders involving dynamic myelination in the PFC. PMID:27045844

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  18. Susceptibility to social pressure following ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage

    PubMed Central

    Rusch, Michelle L.; Dawson, Jeffrey D.; Rizzo, Matthew; Anderson, Steven W.

    2015-01-01

    Social pressure influences human behavior including risk taking, but the psychological and neural underpinnings of this process are not well understood. We used the human lesion method to probe the role of ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) in resisting adverse social pressure in the presence of risk. Thirty-seven participants (11 with vmPFC damage, 12 with brain damage outside the vmPFC and 14 without brain damage) were tested in driving simulator scenarios requiring left-turn decisions across oncoming traffic with varying time gaps between the oncoming vehicles. Social pressure was applied by a virtual driver who honked aggressively from behind. Participants with vmPFC damage were more likely to select smaller and potentially unsafe gaps under social pressure, while gap selection by the comparison groups did not change under social pressure. Participants with vmPFC damage also showed prolonged elevated skin conductance responses (SCR) under social pressure. Comparison groups showed similar initial elevated SCR, which then declined prior to making left-turn decisions. The findings suggest that the vmPFC plays an important role in resisting explicit and immediately present social pressure with potentially negative consequences. The vmPFC appears to contribute to the regulation of emotional responses and the modulation of decision making to optimize long-term outcomes. PMID:25816815

  19. A general role for medial prefrontal cortex in event prediction

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, William H.; Brown, Joshua W.

    2014-01-01

    A recent computational neural model of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), namely the predicted response-outcome (PRO) model (Alexander and Brown, 2011), suggests that mPFC learns to predict the outcomes of actions. The model accounted for a wide range of data on the mPFC. Nevertheless, numerous recent findings suggest that mPFC may signal predictions and prediction errors even when the predicted outcomes are not contingent on prior actions. Here we show that the existing PRO model can learn to predict outcomes in a general sense, and not only when the outcomes are contingent on actions. A series of simulations show how this generalized PRO model can account for an even broader range of findings in the mPFC, including human ERP, fMRI, and macaque single-unit data. The results suggest that the mPFC learns to predict salient events in general and provides a theoretical framework that links mPFC function to model-based reinforcement learning, Bayesian learning, and theories of cognitive control. PMID:25071539

  20. Lie-specific involvement of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in deception.

    PubMed

    Priori, Alberto; Mameli, F; Cogiamanian, F; Marceglia, S; Tiriticco, M; Mrakic-Sposta, S; Ferrucci, R; Zago, S; Polezzi, D; Sartori, G

    2008-02-01

    Lies are intentional distortions of event knowledge. No experimental data are available on manipulating lying processes. To address this issue, we stimulated the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Fifteen healthy volunteers were tested before and after tDCS (anodal, cathodal, and sham). Two types of truthful (truthful selected: TS; truthful unselected: TU) and deceptive (lie selected: LS; lie unselected: LU) responses were evaluated using a computer-controlled task. Reaction times (RTs) and accuracy were collected and used as dependent variables. In the baseline task, the RT was significantly longer for lie responses than for true responses ([mean +/- standard error] 1153.4 +/- 42.0 ms vs. 1039.6 +/- 36.6 ms; F(1,14) = 27.25, P = 0.00013). At baseline, RT for selected pictures was significantly shorter than RT for unselected pictures (1051.26 +/- 39.0 ms vs. 1141.76 +/- 41.1 ms; F(1,14) = 34.85, P = 0.00004). Whereas after cathodal and sham stimulation, lie responses remained unchanged (cathodal 5.26 +/- 2.7%; sham 5.66 +/- 3.6%), after anodal tDCS, RTs significantly increased but did so only for LS responses (16.86 +/- 5.0%; P = 0.002). These findings show that manipulation of brain function with DLPFC tDCS specifically influences experimental deception and that distinctive neural mechanisms underlie different types of lies.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  2. Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation

    PubMed Central

    Bratman, Gregory N.; Hamilton, J. Paul; Hahn, Kevin S.; Daily, Gretchen C.; Gross, James J.

    2015-01-01

    Urbanization has many benefits, but it also is associated with increased levels of mental illness, including depression. It has been suggested that decreased nature experience may help to explain the link between urbanization and mental illness. This suggestion is supported by a growing body of correlational and experimental evidence, which raises a further question: what mechanism(s) link decreased nature experience to the development of mental illness? One such mechanism might be the impact of nature exposure on rumination, a maladaptive pattern of self-referential thought that is associated with heightened risk for depression and other mental illnesses. We show in healthy participants that a brief nature experience, a 90-min walk in a natural setting, decreases both self-reported rumination and neural activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex (sgPFC), whereas a 90-min walk in an urban setting has no such effects on self-reported rumination or neural activity. In other studies, the sgPFC has been associated with a self-focused behavioral withdrawal linked to rumination in both depressed and healthy individuals. This study reveals a pathway by which nature experience may improve mental well-being and suggests that accessible natural areas within urban contexts may be a critical resource for mental health in our rapidly urbanizing world. PMID:26124129

  3. Serotonin and Prefrontal Cortex Function: Neurons, Networks, and Circuits

    PubMed Central

    Puig, M. Victoria; Gulledge, Allan T.

    2012-01-01

    Higher-order executive tasks such as learning, working memory, and behavioral flexibility depend on the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the brain region most elaborated in primates. The prominent innervation by serotonin neurons and the dense expression of serotonergic receptors in the PFC suggest that serotonin is a major modulator of its function. The most abundant serotonin receptors in the PFC, 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A and 5-HT3A receptors, are selectively expressed in distinct populations of pyramidal neurons and inhibitory interneurons, and play a critical role in modulating cortical activity and neural oscillations (brain waves). Serotonergic signaling is altered in many psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and depression, where parallel changes in receptor expression and brain waves have been observed. Furthermore, many psychiatric drug treatments target serotonergic receptors in the PFC. Thus, understanding the role of serotonergic neurotransmission in PFC function is of major clinical importance. Here we review recent findings concerning the powerful influences of serotonin on single neurons, neural networks, and cortical circuits in the PFC of the rat, where the effects of serotonin have been most thoroughly studied. PMID:22076606

  4. Lateral Prefrontal Cortex Contributes to Fluid Intelligence Through Multinetwork Connectivity.

    PubMed

    Cole, Michael W; Ito, Takuya; Braver, Todd S

    2015-10-01

    Our ability to effectively adapt to novel circumstances--as measured by general fluid intelligence--has recently been tied to the global connectivity of lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC). Global connectivity is a broad measure that summarizes both within-network connectivity and across-network connectivity. We used additional graph theoretical measures to better characterize the nature of LPFC connectivity and its relationship with fluid intelligence. We specifically hypothesized that LPFC is a connector hub with an across-network connectivity that contributes to fluid intelligence independent of within-network connectivity. We verified that LPFC was in the top 10% of brain regions in terms of across-network connectivity, suggesting it is a strong connector hub. Importantly, we found that the LPFC across-network connectivity predicted individuals' fluid intelligence and this correlation remained statistically significant when controlling for global connectivity (which includes within-network connectivity). This supports the conclusion that across-network connectivity independently contributes to the relationship between LPFC connectivity and intelligence. These results suggest that LPFC contributes to fluid intelligence by being a connector hub with a truly global multisystem connectivity throughout the brain.

  5. Proinflammatory Cytokines in the Prefrontal Cortex of Teenage Suicide Victims

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21906753

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

    PubMed

    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.

  7. The hierarchical organization of the lateral prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Nee, Derek Evan; D'Esposito, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Higher-level cognition depends on the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), but its functional organization has remained elusive. An influential proposal is that the LPFC is organized hierarchically whereby progressively rostral areas of the LPFC process/represent increasingly abstract information facilitating efficient and flexible cognition. However, support for this theory has been limited. Here, human fMRI data revealed rostral/caudal gradients of abstraction in the LPFC. Dynamic causal modeling revealed asymmetrical LPFC interactions indicative of hierarchical processing. Contrary to dominant assumptions, the relative strength of efferent versus afferent connections positioned mid LPFC as the apex of the hierarchy. Furthermore, cognitive demands induced connectivity modulations towards mid LPFC consistent with a role in integrating information for control operations. Moreover, the strengths of these dynamics were related to trait-measured higher-level cognitive ability. Collectively, these results suggest that the LPFC is hierarchically organized with the mid LPFC positioned to synthesize abstract and concrete information to control behavior. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12112.001 PMID:26999822

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    1997-01-01

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

  10. Altered Functional Connectivity of the Insular Cortex across Prefrontal Networks in Cocaine Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Cisler, Josh M.; Elton, Amanda; Kennedy, Ashley P.; Young, Jonathan; Smitherman, Sonet; James, George Andrew; Kilts, Clinton D.

    2013-01-01

    Interoception is theorized to be an important process mediating substance use disorders, and the insular cortex is recognized as a core neural region supporting interoception. The purpose of this study was to compare the integration of the insular cortex into prefrontal-related resting-state networks between individuals with cocaine dependence and healthy controls. 41 participants with cocaine dependence and 19 control participants underwent a resting-state 3T fMRI scan. Individuals with cocaine dependence demonstrated altered functional connectivity of the insular cortex, predominantly the right insular cortex, with all eight prefrontal-related resting-state networks identified through Independent Component Analysis (ICA). A conjunction analysis demonstrated that the right insular cortex was the neural region with the highest number of common group differences across the networks. There was no evidence that insular cortex connectivity commonly differed between groups for non-prefrontal-related networks. Further, seed-based functional connectivity analyses extended the network analyses and indicated that cocaine dependence was associated with greater connectivity of the right insula with the dorsomedial PFC, inferior frontal gyrus, and bilateral dlPFC. These data support the hypothesis that cocaine dependence is related to altered functional interactions of the insular cortex with prefrontal networks. The results suggest possible neural mechanisms by which the insular cortex and interoceptive information influence cognitive control and decision-making processes presumably mediated by prefrontal networks in the cocaine dependence process. PMID:23684980

  11. Plasticity at hippocampal to prefrontal cortex synapses: dual roles in working memory and consolidation.

    PubMed

    Laroche, S; Davis, S; Jay, T M

    2000-01-01

    The involvement of the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex in cognitive processes and particularly in learning and memory has been known for a long time. However, the specific role of the projection which connects these two structures has remained elusive. The existence of a direct monosynaptic pathway from the ventral CA1 region of the hippocampus and subiculum to specific areas of the prefrontal cortex provides a useful model for conceptualizing the functional operations of hippocampal-prefrontal cortex communication in learning and memory. It is known now that hippocampal to prefrontal cortex synapses are modifiable synapses and can express different forms of plasticity, including long-term potentiation, long-term depression, and depotentiation. Here we review these findings and focus on recent studies that start to relate synaptic plasticity in the hippocampo-prefrontal cortex pathway to two specific aspects of learning and memory, i.e., the consolidation of information and working memory. The available evidence suggests that functional interactions between the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in cognition and memory are more complex than previously anticipated, with the possibility for bidirectional regulation of synaptic strength as a function of the specific demands of tasks.

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

    PubMed

    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 < 0.01). In addition, NIRS analysis indicated that physical exercise enhanced prefrontal cortex activation, particularly in the right prefrontal cortex (p < 0.05), during the working memory task compared with the control condition. These findings suggest that the moderate-intensity aerobic exercise enhances prefrontal cortex activity and improves working memory performance in post-stroke patients.

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

    PubMed

    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 GABAA and GABAB antagonists (bicuculline and saclofen). Moreover, mPFC tetanus potentiated the lOFC-BLA pathway, but mPFC tetanus or low-frequency stimulation did

  14. Chronic deep brain stimulation of the rat ventral medial prefrontal cortex disrupts hippocampal-prefrontal coherence.

    PubMed

    Insel, Nathan; Pilkiw, Maryna; Nobrega, José N; Hutchison, William D; Takehara-Nishiuchi, Kaori; Hamani, Clement

    2015-07-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subgenual cingulate gyrus (SCG) has been used to treat patients with treatment-resistant depression. As in humans, DBS applied to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex of rats induces antidepressant-like responses. Physiological interactions between structures that play a role in depression and antidepressant treatment are still unknown. The present study examined the effect of DBS on inter-region communication by measuring the coherence of local field potentials in the rat infralimbic cortex (IL; homologue of the SCG) and one of its major afferents, the ventral hippocampus (VH). Rats received daily IL DBS treatment (100 μA, 90 μs, 130 Hz; 8h/day). Recordings were conducted in unrestrained, behaving animals on the day before treatment, after 1 and 10 days of treatment, and 10 days stimulation offset. VH-IL coherence in the 2-4 Hz range was reduced in DBS-treated animals compared with shams after 10 days, but not after only 1 day of treatment. No effect of DBS was observed in the 6-10 Hz (theta) range, where coherence was generally high and could be further evoked with a loud auditory stimulus. Finally, coherence was not affected by fluoxetine (10mg/kg), suggesting that the effects of DBS were not likely mediated by increased serotonin levels. While these data support the hypothesis that DBS disrupts communication between regions important for expectation-based control of emotion, they also suggest that lasting physiological effects require many days of treatment and, furthermore, may be specific to lower-frequency patterns, the nature and scope of which await further investigation.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  16. Auditory belt and parabelt projections to the prefrontal cortex in the rhesus monkey.

    PubMed

    Romanski, L M; Bates, J F; Goldman-Rakic, P S

    1999-01-11

    Recent anatomical and electrophysiological studies have expanded our knowledge of the auditory cortical system in primates and have described its organization as a series of concentric circles with a central or primary auditory core, surrounded by a lateral and medial belt of secondary auditory cortex with a tertiary parabelt cortex just lateral to this belt. Because recent studies have shown that rostral and caudal belt and parabelt cortices have distinct patterns of connections and acoustic responsivity, we hypothesized that these divergent auditory regions might have distinct targets in the frontal lobe. We, therefore, placed discrete injections of wheat germ agglutinin-horseradish peroxidase or fluorescent retrograde tracers into the prefrontal cortex of macaque monkeys and analyzed the anterograde and retrograde labeling in the aforementioned auditory areas. Injections that included rostral and orbital prefrontal areas (10, 46 rostral, 12) labeled the rostral belt and parabelt most heavily, whereas injections including the caudal principal sulcus (area 46), periarcuate cortex (area 8a), and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (area12vl) labeled the caudal belt and parabelt. Projections originating in the parabelt cortex were denser than those arising from the lateral or medial belt cortices in most cases. In addition, the anterior third of the superior temporal gyrus and the dorsal bank of the superior temporal sulcus were also labeled after prefrontal injections, confirming previous studies. The present topographical results suggest that acoustic information diverges into separate streams that target distinct rostral and caudal domains of the prefrontal cortex, which may serve different acoustic functions.

  17. Mapping of functionally characterized cell classes onto canonical circuit operations in primate prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Ardid, Salva; Vinck, Martin; Kaping, Daniel; Marquez, Susanna; Everling, Stefan; Womelsdorf, Thilo

    2015-02-18

    Microcircuits are composed of multiple cell classes that likely serve unique circuit operations. But how cell classes map onto circuit functions is largely unknown, particularly for primate prefrontal cortex during actual goal-directed behavior. One difficulty in this quest is to reliably distinguish cell classes in extracellular recordings of action potentials. Here we surmount this issue and report that spike shape and neural firing variability provide reliable markers to segregate seven functional classes of prefrontal cells in macaques engaged in an attention task. We delineate an unbiased clustering protocol that identifies four broad spiking (BS) putative pyramidal cell classes and three narrow spiking (NS) putative inhibitory cell classes dissociated by how sparse, bursty, or regular they fire. We speculate that these functional classes map onto canonical circuit functions. First, two BS classes show sparse, bursty firing, and phase synchronize their spiking to 3-7 Hz (theta) and 12-20 Hz (beta) frequency bands of the local field potential (LFP). These properties make cells flexibly responsive to network activation at varying frequencies. Second, one NS and two BS cell classes show regular firing and higher rate with only marginal synchronization preference. These properties are akin to setting tonically the excitation and inhibition balance. Finally, two NS classes fired irregularly and synchronized to either theta or beta LFP fluctuations, tuning them potentially to frequency-specific subnetworks. These results suggest that a limited set of functional cell classes emerges in macaque prefrontal cortex (PFC) during attentional engagement to not only represent information, but to subserve basic circuit operations. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/352975-17$15.00/0.

  18. Involvement of the prefrontal cortex in problem solving.

    PubMed

    Mushiake, Hajime; Sakamoto, Kazuhiro; Saito, Naohiro; Inui, Toshiro; Aihara, Kazuyuki; Tanji, Jun

    2009-01-01

    To achieve a behavioral goal in a complex environment, such as problem-solving situations, we must plan multiple steps of action. On planning a series of actions, we anticipate future events that will occur as a result of each action, and mentally organize the temporal sequence of events. To investigate the involvement of the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) in such multistep planning, we examined neuronal activity in the PFC while monkeys performed a maze path-finding task. In this task, we set monkeys the job of capturing a goal in the maze by moving a cursor on the screen. Cursor movement was linked to movements of each wrist. To dissociate the outcomes of the intended action from the motor commands, we trained the monkeys to use three different hand-cursor assignments. We found that monkeys were able to perform this task in a flexible manner. This report first introduces a problem-solving framework for studying the function of the PFC, from the view point of cognitive science. Then, this chapter will cover the neuronal representation of a series of actions, goal subgoal transformation, and synchrony of PFC neurons. We reported PFC neurons reflected final goals and immediate goals during the preparatory period. We also found some PFC neurons reflected each of all forthcoming steps of actions during the preparatory period and increased their activity step by step during the execution period. Recently, we found that the transient increase in synchronous activity of PFC neurons was involved in goal subgoal transformations. Our data suggest that the PFC is involved primarily in the dynamic representation of multiple future events that occur as a consequence of behavioral actions in problem-solving situations.

  19. More is less: a disinhibited prefrontal cortex impairs cognitive flexibility.

    PubMed

    Gruber, Aaron J; Calhoon, Gwendolyn G; Shusterman, Igor; Schoenbaum, Geoffrey; Roesch, Matthew R; O'Donnell, Patricio

    2010-12-15

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is critical for decision making, and it becomes dysfunctional in many neuropsychiatric disorders. Studies in schizophrenia patients and relevant animal models suggest loss of PFC inhibitory interneuron function. For instance, rats with a neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion (NVHL) show a deficient modulation of PFC interneurons by dopamine (DA). Whether the PFC becomes disinhibited in this model and alters decision making remains to be determined. Here, we recorded neural activity in the medial PFC of NVHL rats during a reward-discounting choice task that activated DA systems. Rats were trained to sample odors that instructed them to select one of two feeders that delivered unequal amounts of liquid. Putative pyramidal neurons in the PFC were hyperactive whereas task-related field potential oscillations were significantly reduced in NVHL rats, consistent with impaired interneuron activation by DA during odor sampling leading to disorganized processing. Cognitive flexibility was tested by examining response bias and errors after reversing reward outcomes. NVHL rats demonstrated impaired flexibility as they were less able to track changes in reward outcome and made more response errors than controls did. Reducing cortical excitability with the metabotropic glutamate receptor 2/3 agonist LY379268 (1 mg/kg, i.p.) improved behavioral flexibility in NVHL rats but not controls. Furthermore, D2 dopamine receptors were involved, as the antagonist eticlopride (0.02 mg/kg, i.p.) reduced the ability to switch only in control animals. We conclude that NVHL rats present PFC disinhibition, which affects neural information processing and the selection of appropriate behavioral responses.

  20. More is less: a disinhibited prefrontal cortex impairs cognitive flexibility

    PubMed Central

    Gruber, A.J.; Calhoon, G.G.; Shusterman, I.; Schoenbaum, G.; Roesch, M.R.; O’Donnell, P.

    2010-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is critical for decision making, and it becomes dysfunctional in many neuropsychiatric disorders. Studies in schizophrenia patients and relevant animal models suggest loss of PFC inhibitory interneuron function. For instance, rats with a neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion (NVHL) show a deficient modulation of PFC interneurons by dopamine (DA). Whether the PFC becomes disinhibited in this model and alters decision-making remains to be determined. Here, we recorded neural activity in the medial PFC of NVHL rats during a reward-discounting choice task that activates DA systems. Rats were trained to sample odors that instructed them to select one of two feeders that delivered unequal amounts of liquid. Putative pyramidal neurons in the PFC were hyperactive while task-related field potential oscillations were significantly reduced in NVHL rats, consistent with impaired interneuron activation by DA during odor sampling leading to disorganized processing. Cognitive flexibility was tested by examining response bias and errors after reversing reward outcomes. NVHL rats demonstrated impaired flexibility as they were less able to track changes in reward outcome and made more response errors than controls. Reducing cortical excitability with the metabotropic glutamate receptor 2/3 agonist LY379268 (1 mg/kg, i.p.) improved behavioral flexibility in NVHL rats but not controls. Furthermore, D2 dopamine receptors were involved, as the antagonist eticlopride (0.02 mg/kg, i.p.) reduced the ability to switch in only control animals. We conclude that NVHL rats present PFC disinhibition, which affects neural information processing and the selection of appropriate behavioral responses. PMID:21159980

  1. Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Thinning in Preschool-Onset Depression

    PubMed Central

    Marrus, Natasha; Belden, Andrew; Nishino, Tomoyuki; Handler, Ted; Ratnanather, J Tilak; Miller, Michael; Barch, Deanna; Luby, Joan; Botteron, Kelly

    2016-01-01

    Background The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) is a key center of affect regulation and processing, fundamental aspects of emotional competence which are disrupted in mood disorders. Structural alterations of VMPFC have consistently been observed in adult major depression and are associated with depression severity, yet it is unknown whether young children with depression demonstrate similar abnormalities. We investigated cortical thickness differences in the VMPFC of children with a history of preschool-onset depression (PO-MDD). Methods Participants in a longitudinal study of PO-MDD underwent structural brain imaging between the ages of 7 to 12 years. Using local cortical distance metrics, cortical thickness of the VMPFC was compared in children with and without a history of PO-MDD. Results Children previously diagnosed with PO-MDD (n=34) had significantly thinner right VMPFC versus children without a history of PO-MDD [(n=95); F(1,126)=5.97, p=0.016)]. This effect was specific to children with a history of PO-MDD vs. other psychiatric conditions and was independent of comorbid anxiety or externalizing disorders. Decreases in right VMPFC thickness were predicted by preschool depressive symptoms independent of depressive symptoms in school age. Limitations Results are cross-sectional and cannot distinguish whether thinner right VMPFC represents a vulnerability marker of MDD, consequence of MDD, or marker of remitted MDD. Longitudinal imaging is needed to contextualize how this difference relates to normative VMPFC structural development. Conclusions Onset of depression at preschool age was associated with decreased cortical thickness of right VMPFC. This finding implicates the VMPFC in depression from very early stages of brain development. PMID:25881284

  2. Extinction during reconsolidation of threat memory diminishes prefrontal cortex involvement

    PubMed Central

    Schiller, Daniela; Kanen, Jonathan W.; LeDoux, Joseph E.; Monfils, Marie-H.; Phelps, Elizabeth A.

    2013-01-01

    Controlling learned defensive responses through extinction does not alter the threat memory itself, but rather regulates its expression via inhibitory influence of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) over amygdala. Individual differences in amygdala–PFC circuitry function have been linked to trait anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder. This finding suggests that exposure-based techniques may actually be least effective in those who suffer from anxiety disorders. A theoretical advantage of techniques influencing reconsolidation of threat memories is that the threat representation is altered, potentially diminishing reliance on this PFC circuitry, resulting in a more persistent reduction of defensive reactions. We hypothesized that timing extinction to coincide with threat memory reconsolidation would prevent the return of defensive reactions and diminish PFC involvement. Two conditioned stimuli (CS) were paired with shock and the third was not. A day later, one stimulus (reminded CS+) but not the other (nonreminded CS+) was presented 10 min before extinction to reactivate the threat memory, followed by extinction training for all CSs. The recovery of the threat memory was tested 24 h later. Extinction of the nonreminded CS+ (i.e., standard extinction) engaged the PFC, as previously shown, but extinction of the reminded CS+ (i.e., extinction during reconsolidation) did not. Moreover, only the nonreminded CS+ memory recovered on day 3. These results suggest that extinction during reconsolidation prevents the return of defensive reactions and diminishes PFC involvement. Reducing the necessity of the PFC–amygdala circuitry to control defensive reactions may help overcome a primary obstacle in the long-term efficacy of current treatments for anxiety disorders. PMID:24277809

  3. Reward Sensitivity Enhances Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex Activation during Free Choice

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Catherine; Smith, David V.; Delgado, Mauricio R.

    2016-01-01

    Expressing one's preference via choice can be rewarding, particularly when decisions are voluntarily made as opposed to being forced. An open question is whether engaging in choices involving rewards recruits distinct neural systems as a function of sensitivity to reward. Reward sensitivity is a trait partly influenced by the mesolimbic dopamine system, which can impact an individual's neural and behavioral response to reward cues. Here, we investigated how reward sensitivity contributes to neural activity associated with free and forced choices. Participants underwent a simple decision-making task, which presented free- or forced-choice trials in the scanner. Each trial presented two cues (i.e., points or information) that led to monetary reward at the end of the task. In free-choice trials, participants were offered the opportunity to choose between different reward cues (e.g., points vs. information), whereas forced-choice trials forced individuals to choose within a given reward cue (e.g., information vs. information, or points vs. points). We found enhanced ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) activation during free choice compared to forced choice in individuals with high reward sensitivity scores. Next, using the VLPFC as a seed, we conducted a PPI analysis to identify brain regions that enhance connectivity with the VLPFC during free choice. Our PPI analyses on free vs. forced choice revealed increased VLPFC connectivity with the posterior cingulate and precentral gyrus in reward sensitive individuals. These findings suggest reward sensitivity may recruit attentional control processes during free choice potentially supporting goal-directed behavior and action selection. PMID:27917106

  4. The prefrontal cortex and the executive control of attention

    PubMed Central

    Rossi, Andrew F.; Pessoa, Luiz; Desimone, Robert

    2009-01-01

    We review two studies aimed at understanding the role of prefrontal cortex (PFC) in the control of attention. The first study examined which attentional functions are critically dependent on PFC by removing PFC unilaterally and transecting the forebrain commissures in two macaques. The monkeys fixated a central cue and discriminated the orientation of a colored target grating presented among colored distracter gratings in either the hemifield affected by the PFC lesion or the normal control hemifield. When the cue was held constant for many trials, task performance in the affected hemifield was nearly normal. However, performance was severely impaired when the cue was switched frequently across trials. The monkeys were unimpaired in a pop-out task with changing targets that did not require top-down attentional control. Thus, the PFC lesion resulted in selective impairment in the monkeys’ ability to switch top-down control. In the second study, we used fMRI to investigate the neural correlates of top-down control in humans performing tasks identical to those used in the monkey experiments. Several fronto-parietal and posterior visual areas showed enhanced activation when attention was switched, which was greater on color cueing (top-down) trials relative to pop-out trials. Taken together, our findings indicate that both frontal and parietal cortices are involved in generating top-down control signals for attentive switching, which may then be fed back to visual processing areas. The PFC in particular plays a critical role in the ability to switch attentional control on the basis of changing task demands. PMID:19030851

  5. Prefrontal cortex function in remitted major depressive disorder.

    PubMed

    Nixon, N L; Liddle, P F; Worwood, G; Liotti, M; Nixon, E

    2013-06-01

    Recent models of major depressive disorder (MDD) have proposed the rostral anterior cingulate (rACC) and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) as nexus sites in the dysfunctional regulation of cognitive-affective state. Limited evidence from remitted-state MDD supports these theories by suggesting that aberrant neural activity proximal to the rACC and the dmPFC may play a role in vulnerability to recurrence/relapse within this disorder. Here we present a targeted analysis assessing functional activity within these two regions of interest (ROIs) for groups with identified vulnerability to MDD: first, remitted, high predicted recurrence-risk patients; and second, patients suffering observed 1-year recurrence. Method Baseline T2* images sensitive to blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) contrast were acquired from patients and controls during a Go/No-Go (GNG) task incorporating negative feedback, with 1-year patient follow-up to identify recurrence. BOLD contrast data for error commission (EC) and visual negative feedback (VNF) were used in an ROI analysis based on rACC and dmPFC coordinates from the literature, comparing patients versus controls and recurrence versus non-recurrence versus control groups. Analysis of patients (n = 20) versus controls (n = 20) showed significant right dmPFC [Brodmann area (BA) 9] hypoactivity within the patient group, co-localized during EC and VNF, with additional significant rACC (BA 32) hypoactivity during EC. The results from the follow-up analysis were undermined by small groups and potential confounders but suggested persistent right dmPFC (BA 9) hypoactivity associated with 1-year recurrence. Convergent hypoactive right dmPFC (BA 9) processing of VNF and EC, possibly impairing adaptive reappraisal of negative experience, was associated most clearly with clinically predicted vulnerability to MDD.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  8. Different forms of decision-making involve changes in the synaptic strength of the thalamic, hippocampal, and amygdalar afferents to the medial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    López-Ramos, Juan Carlos; Guerra-Narbona, Rafael; Delgado-García, José M.

    2015-01-01

    Decision-making and other cognitive processes are assumed to take place in the prefrontal cortex. In particular, the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is identified in rodents by its dense connectivity with the mediodorsal (MD) thalamus, and because of its inputs from other sites, such as hippocampus and amygdala (Amyg). The aim of this study was to find a putative relationship between the behavior of mice during the performance of decision-making tasks that involve penalties as a consequence of induced actions, and the strength of field postsynaptic potentials (fPSPs) evoked in the prefrontal cortex from its thalamic, hippocampal, and amygdalar afferents. Mice were chronically implanted with stimulating electrodes in the MD thalamus, the hippocampal CA1 area, or the basolateral amygdala (BLA), and with recording electrodes in the prelimbic/infralimbic area of the prefrontal cortex. Additional stimulating electrodes aimed at evoking negative reinforcements were implanted on the trigeminal nerve. FPSPs evoked at the mPFC from the three selected projecting areas during the food/shock decision-making task decreased in amplitude with shock intensity and animals’ avoidance of the reward. FPSPs collected during the operant task also decreased in amplitude (but that evoked by amygdalar stimulation) when lever presses were associated with a trigeminal shock. Results showed a general decrease in the strength of these potentials when animals inhibited their natural or learned appetitive behaviors, suggesting an inhibition of the prefrontal cortex in these conflicting situations. PMID:25688195

  9. Stimulation of medial prefrontal cortex decreases the responsiveness of central amygdala output neurons.

    PubMed

    Quirk, Gregory J; Likhtik, Ekaterina; Pelletier, Joe Guillaume; Paré, Denis

    2003-09-24

    In extinction of auditory fear conditioning, rats learn that a tone no longer predicts the occurrence of a footshock. Recent lesion and unit recording studies suggest that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) plays an essential role in the inhibition of conditioned fear following extinction. mPFC has robust projections to the amygdala, a structure that is known to mediate the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear. Fear conditioning potentiates the tone responses of neurons in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), which excite neurons in the central nucleus (Ce) of the amygdala. In turn, the Ce projects to the brainstem and hypothalamic areas that mediate fear responses. The present study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that the mPFC inhibits conditioned fear via feedforward inhibition of Ce output neurons. Recording extracellularly from physiologically identified brainstem-projecting Ce neurons, we tested the effect of mPFC prestimulation on Ce responsiveness to synaptic input. In support of our hypothesis, mPFC prestimulation dramatically reduced the responsiveness of Ce output neurons to inputs from the insular cortex and BLA. Thus, our findings support the idea that mPFC gates impulse transmission from the BLA to Ce, perhaps through GABAergic intercalated cells, thereby gating the expression of conditioned fear.

  10. Differential Effects of Insular and Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Lesions on Risky Decision-Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

    The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and insular cortex are implicated in distributed neural circuitry that supports emotional decision-making. Previous studies of patients with vmPFC lesions have focused primarily on decision-making under uncertainty, when outcome probabilities are ambiguous (e.g. the Iowa Gambling Task). It remains unclear…

  11. Differential Effects of Insular and Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Lesions on Risky Decision-Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

    The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and insular cortex are implicated in distributed neural circuitry that supports emotional decision-making. Previous studies of patients with vmPFC lesions have focused primarily on decision-making under uncertainty, when outcome probabilities are ambiguous (e.g. the Iowa Gambling Task). It remains unclear…

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25698942

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

    PubMed

    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.

  14. Mediation by neurotensin-receptors of effects of neurotensin on self-stimulation of the medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed Central

    Fernández, R.; Sabater, R.; Sáez, J. A.; Montes, R.; Alba, F.; Ferrer, J. M.

    1996-01-01

    1 Intracortical microinjections of neurotensin (NT) selectively decreased intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) of the medial prefrontal cortex in the rat. 2 To elucidate whether this effect is mediated by NT receptors or by the formation of NT-dopamine complexes, we investigated the effects on ICSS of intracortical microinjections of neurotensin (1-11), an NT fragment that forms extracellular complexes with dopamine but does not bind to NT receptors. 3 We also studied the effects of the peripheral administration of SR 48692, a selective antagonist of NT receptors, on the inhibition of ICSS produced by the intracortical administration of NT. 4 Unilateral microinjections of neurotensin (1-11) at doses of 10, 20 and 40 nmol into the medial prefrontal cortex did not change the basal ICSS rate of this area. 5 The intraperitoneal administration of SR 48692 at doses of 0.08 and 0.16 mg kg-1 30 min before microinjection of 10 nmol of NT into the medial prefrontal cortex, antagonized the inhibition of ICSS produced by the neuropeptide. 6 These results demonstrate that the inhibitory effect of NT on ICSS is mediated by NT receptors. PMID:8886412

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

    PubMed

    Chafee, Matthew V; Crowe, David A

    2017-10-11

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

  16. Role of the medial prefrontal cortex in coping and resilience *

    PubMed Central

    Maier, Steven F.; Watkins, Linda R.

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20727864

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Dual streams of auditory afferents target multiple domains in the primate prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Romanski, L. M.; Tian, B.; Fritz, J.; Mishkin, M.; Goldman-Rakic, P. S.; Rauschecker, J. P.

    2009-01-01

    ‘What’ and ‘where’ visual streams define ventrolateral object and dorsolateral spatial processing domains in the prefrontal cortex of nonhuman primates. We looked for similar streams for auditory–prefrontal connections in rhesus macaques by combining microelectrode recording with anatomical tract-tracing. Injection of multiple tracers into physiologically mapped regions AL, ML and CL of the auditory belt cortex revealed that anterior belt cortex was reciprocally connected with the frontal pole (area 10), rostral principal sulcus (area 46) and ventral prefrontal regions (areas 12 and 45), whereas the caudal belt was mainly connected with the caudal principal sulcus (area 46) and frontal eye fields (area 8a). Thus separate auditory streams originate in caudal and rostral auditory cortex and target spatial and non-spatial domains of the frontal lobe, respectively. PMID:10570492

  19. Share or compete? Load-dependent recruitment of prefrontal cortex during dual-task performance

    PubMed Central

    Low, Kathy A.; Leaver, Echo E.; Kramer, Arthur F.; Fabiani, Monica; Gratton, Gabriele

    2009-01-01

    Dual-task performance requires flexible attention allocation to two or more streams of information. Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is considered important for executive function and recent modeling work proposes that attention control may arise from selective activation and inhibition of different processing units within this region. Here we used a tone discrimination task and a visual letter memory task to examine whether this type of competition could be measurable using a neuroimaging technique, the event-related optical signal, with high spatial and temporal resolution. Left and right DLPFC structures were differentially affected by task priority and load, with the left middle frontal gyrus (MFG) being preferentially recruited by the visual memory task, whereas the two tasks competed for recruitment, in a spatially segregated manner, in right MFG. The data provide support for a competition view of dual-task processing. PMID:19572909

  20. Medial prefrontal cortex is selectively involved in response selection using visual context in the background

    PubMed Central

    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 stimuli. Normal response selection was also observed when nonvisual cues were used as conditional stimuli. The results strongly suggest that the mPFC is not necessarily involved in the inhibition of response or flexible response selection in general, but is rather critical when response selection is required conditionally using visual context in the background. PMID:22595688

  1. Effect of fish oil intake on glucose levels in rat prefrontal cortex, as measured by microdialysis.

    PubMed

    de Sousa, Isy F; de Souza, Adriana P; Andrade, Iracema S; Boldarine, Valter T; Nascimento, Claúdia M O; Oyama, Lila M; Telles, Mônica M; Ribeiro, Eliane B

    2013-12-26

    Brain glucose sensing may contribute to energy homeostasis control. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) participates in the hedonic component of feeding control. As high-fat diets may disrupt energy homeostasis, we evaluated in male Wistar rats whether intake of high-fat fish-oil diet modified cortical glucose extracellular levels and the feeding induced by intracerebroventricular glucose or PFC glucoprivation. Glucose levels in PFC microdialysates were measured before and after a 30-min meal. Food intake was measured in animals receiving intracerebroventricular glucose followed, 30-min. later, by 2-deoxy-D-glucose injected into the PFC. The fish-oil group showed normal body weight and serum insulin while fat pads weight and glucose levels were increased. Baseline PFC glucose and 30-min. carbohydrates intake were similar between the groups. Feeding-induced PFC glucose levels increased earlier and more pronouncedly in fish-oil than in control rats. Intracerebroventricular glucose inhibited feeding consistently in the control but not in the fish-oil group. Local PFC glucoprivation with 2-DG attenuated glucose-induced hypophagia. The present experiments have shown that, following food intake, more glucose reached the prefrontal cortex of the rats fed the high-fat fish-oil diet than of the rats fed the control diet. However, when administered directly into the lateral cerebral ventricle, glucose was able to consistently inhibit feeding only in the control rats. The findings indicate that, an impairment of glucose transport into the brain does not contribute to the disturbances induced by the high-fat fish-oil feeding.

  2. Effect of fish oil intake on glucose levels in rat prefrontal cortex, as measured by microdialysis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Brain glucose sensing may contribute to energy homeostasis control. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) participates in the hedonic component of feeding control. As high-fat diets may disrupt energy homeostasis, we evaluated in male Wistar rats whether intake of high-fat fish-oil diet modified cortical glucose extracellular levels and the feeding induced by intracerebroventricular glucose or PFC glucoprivation. Methods Glucose levels in PFC microdialysates were measured before and after a 30-min meal. Food intake was measured in animals receiving intracerebroventricular glucose followed, 30-min. later, by 2-deoxy-D-glucose injected into the PFC. Results The fish-oil group showed normal body weight and serum insulin while fat pads weight and glucose levels were increased. Baseline PFC glucose and 30-min. carbohydrates intake were similar between the groups. Feeding-induced PFC glucose levels increased earlier and more pronouncedly in fish-oil than in control rats. Intracerebroventricular glucose inhibited feeding consistently in the control but not in the fish-oil group. Local PFC glucoprivation with 2-DG attenuated glucose-induced hypophagia. Conclusions The present experiments have shown that, following food intake, more glucose reached the prefrontal cortex of the rats fed the high-fat fish-oil diet than of the rats fed the control diet. However, when administered directly into the lateral cerebral ventricle, glucose was able to consistently inhibit feeding only in the control rats. The findings indicate that, an impairment of glucose transport into the brain does not contribute to the disturbances induced by the high-fat fish-oil feeding. PMID:24369745

  3. Chronic infusions of GABA into the medial prefrontal cortex induce spatial alternation deficits in aged rats.

    PubMed

    Meneses, S; Galicia, O; Brailowsky, S

    1993-10-21

    It has been proposed that functions associated with the prefrontal cortex could change as a consequence of aging. Previous experiments in young rats have demonstrated that anatomical lesions or chronic GABA infusions into this area produce deficits in spatial delayed alternation tasks. The present study examines the effect of chronic (7 days) GABA or saline infusion into the prefrontal cortex on the performance of delayed alternation task in old rats (24 months). The results suggested that aged rats needed more sessions to acquire the delayed alternation task. GABA infusions into the prefrontal cortex produced deficits in spatial alternation tasks similar to those previously observed in young rats. Performance rapidly recovered after the infusion period. Histological analysis showed similar lesion size in both groups. The results suggest that aged prefrontal cortex and/or related areas participating in the acquisition of the delayed alternation task are more sensitive to aging processes. Furthermore, the prefrontal cortex is important for the retention of a previously learned spatial delayed alternation task. The structures involved in functional recovery from these deficits appear to be fully functional in aged rats.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-03

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-02-01

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

  6. Role of the prefrontal cortex in attentional control over bistable vision.

    PubMed

    Windmann, Sabine; Wehrmann, Michaela; Calabrese, Pasquale; Güntürkün, Onur

    2006-03-01

    The primary source of top-down attentional control in object perception is the prefrontal cortex. This region is involved in the maintenance of goal-related information as well as in attentional selection and set shifting. Recent approaches have emphasized the role of top-down processes during elementary visual processes as exemplified in bistable vision where perception oscillates automatically between two mutually exclusive states. The prefrontal cortex might influence this process either by maintaining the dominant pattern while protecting it against the competing representation, or by facilitating perceptual switches between the two competing representations. To address this issue, we investigated reported perceptual reversals in patients with circumscribed lesions of the prefrontal cortex and healthy control participants in three experimental conditions: hold (maintaining the dominant view), speed (inducing as many perceptual switches as possible), and neutral (no intervention). Results indicated that although the patients showed normal switching rates in the neutral condition and were able to control perceptual switches in the hold condition as much as control subjects were, they were less able to facilitate reversals specifically in the speed condition. These results suggest that the prefrontal cortex is necessary to bias the selection of visual representations in accord with current goals, but is less essential for maintaining selected information active that is continuously available in the environment. As for attentional selection, the present results suggest that the prefrontal cortex initiates perceptual reversals by withdrawing top-down support from the dominant representation without (or prior to) boosting the suppressed view.

  7. Oxidant/antioxidant effects of chronic exposure to predator odor in prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Mejia-Carmona, G E; Gosselink, K L; Pérez-Ishiwara, G; Martínez-Martínez, A

    2015-08-01

    The incidence of anxiety-related diseases is increasing these days, hence there is a need to understand the mechanisms that underlie its nature and consequences. It is known that limbic structures, mainly the prefrontal cortex and amygdala, are involved in the processing of anxiety, and that projections from prefrontal cortex and amygdala can induce activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis with consequent cardiovascular changes, increase in oxygen consumption, and ROS production. The compensatory reaction can include increased antioxidant enzymes activities, overexpression of antioxidant enzymes, and genetic shifts that could include the activation of antioxidant genes. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the oxidant/antioxidant effect that chronic anxiogenic stress exposure can have in prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and hypothalamus by exposition to predator odor. Results showed (a) sensitization of the HPA axis response, (b) an enzymatic phase 1 and 2 antioxidant response to oxidative stress in amygdala, (c) an antioxidant stability without elevation of oxidative markers in prefrontal cortex, (d) an elevation in phase 1 antioxidant response in hypothalamus. Chronic exposure to predator odor has an impact in the metabolic REDOX state in amygdala, prefrontal cortex, and hypothalamus, with oxidative stress being prevalent in amygdala as this is the principal structure responsible for the management of anxiety.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. Reversible online control of habitual behavior by optogenetic perturbation of medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Smith, Kyle S; Virkud, Arti; Deisseroth, Karl; Graybiel, Ann M

    2012-11-13

    Habits tend to form slowly but, once formed, can have great stability. We probed these temporal characteristics of habitual behaviors by intervening optogenetically in forebrain habit circuits as rats performed well-ingrained habitual runs in a T-maze. We trained rats to perform a maze habit, confirmed the habitual behavior by devaluation tests, and then, during the maze runs (ca. 3 s), we disrupted population activity in a small region in the medial prefrontal cortex, the infralimbic cortex. In accordance with evidence that this region is necessary for the expression of habits, we found that this cortical disruption blocked habitual behavior. Notably, however, this blockade of habitual performance occurred on line, within an average of three trials (ca. 9 s of inhibition), and as soon as during the first trial (<3 s). During subsequent weeks of training, the rats acquired a new behavioral pattern. When we again imposed the same cortical perturbation, the rats regained the suppressed maze-running that typified the original habit, and, simultaneously, the more recently acquired habit was blocked. These online changes occurred within an average of two trials (ca. 6 s of infralimbic inhibition). Measured changes in generalized performance ability and motivation to consume reward were unaffected. This immediate toggling between breaking old habits and returning to them demonstrates that even semiautomatic behaviors are under cortical control and that this control occurs online, second by second. These temporal characteristics define a framework for uncovering cellular transitions between fixed and flexible behaviors, and corresponding disturbances in pathologies.

  10. Reversible online control of habitual behavior by optogenetic perturbation of medial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Kyle S.; Virkud, Arti; Deisseroth, Karl; Graybiel, Ann M.

    2012-01-01

    Habits tend to form slowly but, once formed, can have great stability. We probed these temporal characteristics of habitual behaviors by intervening optogenetically in forebrain habit circuits as rats performed well-ingrained habitual runs in a T-maze. We trained rats to perform a maze habit, confirmed the habitual behavior by devaluation tests, and then, during the maze runs (ca. 3 s), we disrupted population activity in a small region in the medial prefrontal cortex, the infralimbic cortex. In accordance with evidence that this region is necessary for the expression of habits, we found that this cortical disruption blocked habitual behavior. Notably, however, this blockade of habitual performance occurred on line, within an average of three trials (ca. 9 s of inhibition), and as soon as during the first trial (<3 s). During subsequent weeks of training, the rats acquired a new behavioral pattern. When we again imposed the same cortical perturbation, the rats regained the suppressed maze-running that typified the original habit, and, simultaneously, the more recently acquired habit was blocked. These online changes occurred within an average of two trials (ca. 6 s of infralimbic inhibition). Measured changes in generalized performance ability and motivation to consume reward were unaffected. This immediate toggling between breaking old habits and returning to them demonstrates that even semiautomatic behaviors are under cortical control and that this control occurs online, second by second. These temporal characteristics define a framework for uncovering cellular transitions between fixed and flexible behaviors, and corresponding disturbances in pathologies. PMID:23112197

  11. Extended access to cocaine self-administration produces long-lasting prefrontal cortex-dependent working memory impairments.

    PubMed

    George, Olivier; Mandyam, Chitra D; Wee, Sunmee; Koob, George F

    2008-09-01

    Humans with drug addiction exhibit compulsive drug-seeking associated with impairment of prefrontal cortex cognitive function. Whether prefrontal cortex dysfunction is a consequence of chronic drug exposure, or mediates the transition from drug use to drug dependence, is unknown. The current study investigates whether a history of escalated vs controlled cocaine intake is associated with specific working memory impairments, and long-lasting alterations of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex in rats. Working memory was assessed in rats with a history of extended (6 h per session) or limited (1 h per session) access to cocaine (0.5 mg/kg per injection), 3-17 days after the last self-administration session, using a delayed nonmatching-to-sample task. The density of neurons, oligodendrocytes, and astrocytes was quantified in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and orbitofrontal prefrontal cortex 2 months after the last self-administration session. Working memory impairments were observed after a history of chronic and escalated cocaine intake, but not after repeated limited access to cocaine. Moreover, working memory impairments were correlated with a decreased density of neurons and oligodendrocytes but not astrocytes in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, and with a decreased density of oligodendrocytes in the orbitofrontal cortex. Considering the role of the prefrontal cortex in goal-directed behavior, the prefrontal cortex dysfunctions observed here may exacerbate the loss of control associated with increased drug use and facilitate the progression to drug addiction.

  12. Hypocretin and nicotine excite the same thalamocortical synapses in prefrontal cortex: correlation with improved attention in rat.

    PubMed

    Lambe, Evelyn K; Olausson, Peter; Horst, Nicole K; Taylor, Jane R; Aghajanian, George K

    2005-05-25

    Thalamic projections to prefrontal cortex are important for executive aspects of attention. Using two-photon imaging in prefrontal brain slices, we show that nicotine and the wakefulness neuropeptide hypocretin (orexin) excite the same identified synapses of the thalamocortical arousal pathway within the prefrontal cortex. Although it is known that attention can be improved when nicotine is infused directly into the midlayer of the prefrontal cortex in the rat, the effects of hypocretin on attention are not known. The overlap in thalamocortical synapses excited by hypocretin and nicotine and the lack of direct postsynaptic effects prompted us to compare their effects on a sustained and divided attention task in the rat. Similar to nicotine, infusions of hypocretin-2 peptide into the prefrontal cortex significantly improved accuracy under high attentional demand without effects on other performance measures. We show for the first time that hypocretin can improve attentional processes relevant to executive functions of the prefrontal cortex.

  13. Biological and social influences on cognitive control processes dependent on prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Adele

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive control functions (“executive functions” [EFs] such as attentional control, self-regulation, working memory, and inhibition) that depend on prefrontal cortex (PFC) are critical for success in school and in life. Many children begin school lacking needed EF skills. Disturbances in EFs occur in many mental health disorders, such as ADHD and depression. This chapter addresses modulation of EFs by biology (genes and neurochemistry) and the environment (including school programs) with implications for clinical disorders and for education. Unusual properties of the prefrontal dopamine system contribute to PFC’s vulnerability to environmental and genetic variations that have little effect elsewhere. EFs depend on a late-maturing brain region (PFC), yet they can be improved even in infants and preschoolers, without specialists or fancy equipment. Research shows that activities often squeezed out of school curricula (play, physical education, and the arts) rather than detracting from academic achievement help improve EFs and enhance academic outcomes. Such practices may also head off problems before they lead to diagnoses of EF impairments, including ADHD. Many issues are not simply education issues or health issues; they are both. PMID:21489397

  14. Adolescents' performance on the Iowa Gambling Task: implications for the development of decision making and ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Hooper, Catalina J; Luciana, Monica; Conklin, Heather M; Yarger, Rebecca S

    2004-11-01

    Healthy adolescents (79 girls, 66 boys), ages 9-17, completed the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT; A. Bechara, A. R. Damasio, H. Damasio, & S. W. Anderson, 1994) as well as working memory (digit span) and behavioral inhibition (go/no-go) tasks. Cross-sectional age-related changes were seen on all 3 tasks. Gender differences were seen in IGT deck preference and attentional variables (i.e., go/no-go hit rate and forward digit span). After age, gender, and general intellectual abilities were controlled for, IGT performance was not predicted by working memory or behavioral inhibition scores. Findings suggest that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex or its connections are functionally maturing during adolescence in a manner that can be distinguished from maturation of other prefrontal regions. Development of these functions may continue into young adulthood. (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved

  15. Activation of beta2-Adrenoceptor Enhances Synaptic Potentiation and Behavioral Memory via cAMP-PKA Signaling in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex of Rats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhou, Hou-Cheng; Sun, Yan-Yan; Cai, Wei; He, Xiao-Ting; Yi, Feng; Li, Bao-Ming; Zhang, Xue-Han

    2013-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a critical role in cognitive functions, including working memory, attention regulation, behavioral inhibition, as well as memory storage. The functions of PFC are very sensitive to norepinephrine (NE), and even low levels of endogenously released NE exert a dramatic influence on the functioning of the PFC.…

  16. Activation of beta2-Adrenoceptor Enhances Synaptic Potentiation and Behavioral Memory via cAMP-PKA Signaling in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex of Rats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhou, Hou-Cheng; Sun, Yan-Yan; Cai, Wei; He, Xiao-Ting; Yi, Feng; Li, Bao-Ming; Zhang, Xue-Han

    2013-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a critical role in cognitive functions, including working memory, attention regulation, behavioral inhibition, as well as memory storage. The functions of PFC are very sensitive to norepinephrine (NE), and even low levels of endogenously released NE exert a dramatic influence on the functioning of the PFC.…

  17. Dorsomedial prefrontal cortex mediates rapid evaluations predicting the outcome of romantic interactions

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Jeffrey C.; Dunne, Simon; Furey, Teresa; O’Doherty, John P.

    2012-01-01

    Humans frequently make real-world decisions based on rapid evaluations of minimal information – for example, should we talk to an attractive stranger at a party? Little is known, however, about how the brain makes rapid evaluations with real and immediate social consequences. To address this question, we scanned participants with FMRI while they viewed photos of individuals that they subsequently met at real-life “speed-dating” events. Neural activity in two areas of dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, paracingulate cortex and rostromedial prefrontal cortex (RMPFC), was predictive of whether each individual would be ultimately pursued for a romantic relationship or rejected. Activity in these areas was attributable to two distinct components of romantic evaluation: either consensus judgments about physical beauty (paracingulate cortex) or individualized preferences based on a partner’s perceived personality (RMPFC). These data identify novel computational roles for these regions of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in even very rapid social evaluations. Even a first glance, then, can accurately predict romantic desire, but that glance involves a mix of physical and psychological judgments that depend on specific regions of dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. PMID:23136406

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-04

    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 VLPC 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 and separable category representations allowing efficient processing of visual information, while prefrontal cortex contains flexible representations in which separable category information may emerge only when relevant to the task.

  19. Prefrontal cortex and manipulatory go left-go right differentiation to acoustic directional cues in dogs.

    PubMed

    Stepień, I; Stepień, L; Toeplitz, Z

    1975-01-01

    In 20 dogs the manipulatory go left – go right differentiation to acoustic directional cues was elaborated. All dogs received total prefrontal, or dorsolateral (total or partial) or medial (total or partial) cortical ablations. All total ablations markedly affected performance of the task, whereas the partial removals produced moderate or no impairment. Thus, both the dorsolateral and medial prefrontal cortex are involved in this type of differentiation.

  20. Emotional and Utilitarian Appraisals of Moral Dilemmas Are Encoded in Separate Areas and Integrated in Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Hutcherson, Cendri A; Montaser-Kouhsari, Leila; Woodward, James; Rangel, Antonio

    2015-09-09

    Moral judgment often requires making difficult tradeoffs (e.g., is it appropriate to torture to save the lives of innocents at risk?). Previous research suggests that both emotional appraisals and more deliberative utilitarian appraisals influence such judgments and that these appraisals often conflict. However, it is unclear how these different types of appraisals are represented in the brain, or how they are integrated into an overall moral judgment. We addressed these questions using an fMRI paradigm in which human subjects provide separate emotional and utilitarian appraisals for different potential actions, and then make difficult moral judgments constructed from combinations of these actions. We found that anterior cingulate, insula, and superior temporal gyrus correlated with emotional appraisals, whereas temporoparietal junction and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex correlated with utilitarian appraisals. Overall moral value judgments were represented in an anterior portion of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Critically, the pattern of responses and functional interactions between these three sets of regions are consistent with a model in which emotional and utilitarian appraisals are computed independently and in parallel, and passed to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex where they are integrated into an overall moral value judgment. Significance statement: Popular accounts of moral judgment often describe it as a battle for control between two systems, one intuitive and emotional, the other rational and utilitarian, engaged in winner-take-all inhibitory competition. Using a novel fMRI paradigm, we identified distinct neural signatures of emotional and utilitarian appraisals and used them to test different models of how they compete for the control of moral behavior. Importantly, we find little support for competitive inhibition accounts. Instead, moral judgments resembled the architecture of simple economic choices: distinct regions represented emotional

  1. Emotional and Utilitarian Appraisals of Moral Dilemmas Are Encoded in Separate Areas and Integrated in Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Montaser-Kouhsari, Leila; Woodward, James; Rangel, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Moral judgment often requires making difficult tradeoffs (e.g., is it appropriate to torture to save the lives of innocents at risk?). Previous research suggests that both emotional appraisals and more deliberative utilitarian appraisals influence such judgments and that these appraisals often conflict. However, it is unclear how these different types of appraisals are represented in the brain, or how they are integrated into an overall moral judgment. We addressed these questions using an fMRI paradigm in which human subjects provide separate emotional and utilitarian appraisals for different potential actions, and then make difficult moral judgments constructed from combinations of these actions. We found that anterior cingulate, insula, and superior temporal gyrus correlated with emotional appraisals, whereas temporoparietal junction and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex correlated with utilitarian appraisals. Overall moral value judgments were represented in an anterior portion of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Critically, the pattern of responses and functional interactions between these three sets of regions are consistent with a model in which emotional and utilitarian appraisals are computed independently and in parallel, and passed to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex where they are integrated into an overall moral value judgment. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Popular accounts of moral judgment often describe it as a battle for control between two systems, one intuitive and emotional, the other rational and utilitarian, engaged in winner-take-all inhibitory competition. Using a novel fMRI paradigm, we identified distinct neural signatures of emotional and utilitarian appraisals and used them to test different models of how they compete for the control of moral behavior. Importantly, we find little support for competitive inhibition accounts. Instead, moral judgments resembled the architecture of simple economic choices: distinct regions represented emotional

  2. Contributions of subregions of the prefrontal cortex to the theory of mind and decision making.

    PubMed

    Xi, Chunhua; Zhu, Youling; Niu, Chaoshi; Zhu, Chunyan; Lee, Tatia M C; Tian, Yanghua; Wang, Kai

    2011-08-10

    Recent works have suggested an association between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPC) and social cognition or decision making. The aim of this study is to investigate the theory of mind and decision making in patients with VMPC lesions and in those with dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPC) lesions. Patients with VMPC lesions (n=16) and those with DLPC lesions (n=14) were compared with healthy controls (HC) on faux pas recognition and 2 decision-making tasks. Consistent with previous data, patients with VMPC lesions performed worse on the theory of mind and decision making. Patients with DLPC lesions showed impairments of the theory of mind but performed at control levels on the 2 decision-making tasks. The results supported the view that a separation of function of 2 distinct subregions of the prefrontal cortex is important to the theory of mind and decision making. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. [SOUND SIGNALS OF DANGER ACTIVATE THE NITRERGIC SYSTEM OF THE MEDIAL PREFRONTAL CORTEX].

    PubMed

    Sudorgina, P V; Saulskaya, N B

    2015-07-01

    In Sprague-Dawley rats by means of in vivo microdialysis, we have shown that presentation to rats-during conditioned fear expression of a sound conditioned stimulus previously paired with footshock (CS+) produces an increase in extracellular levels of citrulline (an NO co-product) in the medial prefrontal cortex. Presentation to the same rats of a different sound stimulus (not associated with footshock) (CS-) causes a very small increase in extracellular citrulline level. CS+ induced citrulline increase is prevented by infusions into the medial prefrontal cortex of Nomega-propyl-L-arginine (1 mM), a neuronal NO synthase inhibitor and it is not observed in control rats (same procedure, no footshock). These data indicate for the first time that sound signals of danger, but not safety signals activate nitrergic system of the medial prefrontal cortex.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  5. The role of the medial prefrontal cortex in human religious activity.

    PubMed

    Muramoto, Osamu

    2004-01-01

    Although religious practices are ubiquitous and universal throughout human history, their biological basis is little understood, particularly at the neural level. In this paper, I will first review the current understanding of the neural basis of human religious activity, and then present a hypothesis that the medial prefrontal cortex plays a vital role in the integrity of religious activity. In this hypothesis, optimal functions of the medial prefrontal cortex, such as error detection, compliance to social norms, self-reflection, and theory of mind, are a key prerequisite to the maintenance of integrated religious activity. Hyperreligiosity may result from the hyperfunction of the medial prefrontal cortex, including rigid legalism (excessive error detection), excessive concern over one's existence (excessive self-reflection), and delusional interpretation of God's mind (excess of theory of mind). Future research based on this hypothesis is proposed, and the potential implication of this hypothesis on our society is also discussed.

  6. Two principles of organization in the prefrontal cortex are cognitive hierarchy and degree of automaticity.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Hyeon-Ae; Friederici, Angela D

    2013-01-01

    The lateral prefrontal cortex is known to be organized by cognitive hierarchies following a posterior-to-anterior gradient. Here we test whether this model applies across different cognitive domains by varying levels of cognitive hierarchy in first language, second language and non-language domains. These domains vary in their degree of automaticity with first language being the most automatic. For second language/non-language a clear gradient pattern of activation depending on the level of hierarchy is observed in the prefrontal cortex with the highest level of hierarchy recruiting its most anterior region, whereas for first language the highest level of hierarchy recruits its most posterior region. Moreover, second language/non-language and first language differ in the structural connectivity of their underlying networks. The current data strongly suggest that functional segregation of the prefrontal cortex is determined by cognitive hierarchy and the degree of automaticity.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Recency gets larger as lesions move from anterior to posterior locations within the ventromedial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hochman, Guy; Yechiam, Eldad; Bechara, Antoine

    2011-01-01

    In the past two decades neuroimaging research has substantiated the important role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in decision-making. In the current study, we use the complementary lesion based approach to deepen our knowledge concerning the specific cognitive mechanisms modulated by prefrontal activity. Specifically, we assessed the brain substrates implicated in two decision making dimensions in a sample of prefrontal cortex patients: (a) the tendency to differently weigh recent compared to past experience; and (b) the tendency to differently weigh gains compared to losses. The participants performed the Iowa Gambling Task, a complex experience-based decision-making task [3], which was analyzed with a formal cognitive model (the Expectancy-Valance model; [12]). The results indicated that decisions become influenced by more recent, as opposed to older, events when the damage reaches the posterior sectors of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPC). Furthermore, the degree of this recency deficit was related to the size of the lesion. These results suggest that the posterior area of the prefrontal cortex directly modulates the capacity to use time-delayed information. In contrast, we did not find similar modulation for the sensitivity to gains versus losses. PMID:20412820

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

    PubMed Central

    Hussey, Erika K.; Ward, Nathan; Christianson, Kiel; Kramer, Arthur F.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26528814

  13. A specialized NMDA receptor function in layer 5 recurrent microcircuitry of the adult rat prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Huaixing; Stradtman, George G.; Wang, Xiao-Jing; Gao, Wen-Jun

    2008-01-01

    In the prefrontal cortex, NMDA receptors are important for normal prefrontal functions such as working memory, and their dysfunction plays a key role in the pathological processes of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. Little is known, however, about the synaptic properties of NMDA receptors in the local circuits of recurrent excitation, a leading candidate mechanism underlying working memory. We investigated the NMDA receptor-mediated currents at monosynaptic connections between pairs of layer 5 pyramidal neurons. We found that NMDA receptor-mediated currents at prefrontal synapses in the adult, but not young, rats exhibit a twofold longer decay time-constant and temporally summate a train of stimuli more effectively, compared to those in the primary visual cortex. Experiments with pharmacological, immunocytochemical, and biochemical approaches further suggest that, in the adult animals, neurons express significantly more NR2B subunits in the prefrontal cortex than the visual cortex. The NR2B-rich synapses in the prefrontal circuitry may be critically implicated in online cognitive computations and plasticity in learning, as well as psychiatric disorders. PMID:18922773

  14. Blockade of IP3-mediated SK channel signaling in the rat medial prefrontal cortex improves spatial working memory

    PubMed Central

    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 IP3-PKC intracellular signaling. PKC overactivation impairs WM operations and in vitro studies indicate that IP3 receptor (IP3R)-evoked calcium release results in SK channel-dependent hyperpolarization of prefrontal neurons. However, the effects of IP3R signaling on prefrontal function have not been investigated. The present findings demonstrate that blockade of IP3R or SK channels in the prefrontal cortex enhances WM performance in rats, suggesting that both arms of the PI cascade influence prefrontal cognitive function. PMID:18285467

  15. Reduced Global Functional Connectivity of the Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Major Depressive Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Murrough, James W.; Abdallah, Chadi G.; Anticevic, Alan; Collins, Katherine A.; Geha, Paul; Averill, Lynnette A.; Schwartz, Jaclyn; DeWilde, Kaitlin E.; Averill, Christopher; Yang, Genevieve Jia-wei; Wong, Edmund; Tang, Cheuk Y.; Krystal, John H.; Iosifescu, Dan V.; Charney, Dennis S.

    2016-01-01

    Background Major depressive disorder is a disabling neuropsychiatric condition that is associated with disrupted functional connectivity across brain networks. The precise nature of altered connectivity, however, remains incompletely understood. The current study was designed to examine the coherence of large-scale connectivity in depression using a recently developed technique termed global brain connectivity. Methods A total of 82 subjects, including medication-free patients with major depression (n=57) and healthy volunteers (n=25) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging with resting data acquisition for functional connectivity analysis. Global brain connectivity was computed as the mean of each voxel’s time series correlation with every other voxel and compared between study groups. Relationships between global connectivity and depressive symptom severity measured using the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale were examined by means of linear correlation. Results Relative to the healthy group, patients with depression evidenced reduced global connectivity bilaterally within multiple regions of medial and lateral prefrontal cortex. The largest between-group difference was observed within the right subgenual anterior cingulate cortex, extending into ventromedial prefrontal cortex bilaterally (Hedges’ g = −1.48, p<0.000001). Within the depressed group, patients with the lowest connectivity evidenced the highest symptom severity within ventromedial prefrontal cortex (r = −0.47, p=0.0005). Conclusions Patients with major depressive evidenced abnormal large-scale functional coherence in the brain that was centered within the subgenual cingulate cortex, and medial prefrontal cortex more broadly. These data extend prior studies of connectivity in depression and demonstrate that functional disconnection of the medial prefrontal cortex is a key pathological feature of the disorder. PMID:27144347

  16. NORADRENERGIC, BUT NOT CHOLINERGIC, DEAFFERENTATION OF PREFRONTAL CORTEX IMPAIRS ATTENTIONAL SET-SHIFTING

    PubMed Central

    McGAUGHY, J.; ROSS, R. S.; EICHENBAUM, H.

    2008-01-01

    Both norepinephrine and acetylcholine have been shown to be critically involved in mediating attention but there remains debate about whether they serve similar or unique functions. Much of what is known about the role of these neurochemicals in cognition is based on manipulations done at the level of the cell body but these findings are difficult to reconcile with data regarding the unique contribution of cortical subregions, e.g. the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, to attention. In the current study, we directly compared the effects of noradrenergic and cholinergic deafferentation of the rat medial prefrontal cortex, the homologue of primate dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, using an intradimensional/extradimensional attentional set shifting task, a task previously shown to be able to dissociate the function of the primate dorsolateral prefrontal cortex from orbitofrontal cortex. We found that noradrenergic, but not cholinergic, deafferentation produces specific impairments in the ability to shift attentional set. We also clarified the nature of the attentional deficits by assessing the ability of rats to disregard irrelevant stimuli. Noradrenergic lesions did not alter the ability of rats to ignore irrelevant stimuli, suggesting that the attentional deficit results from an overly focused attentional state that retards learning that a new stimulus dimension predicts reward. PMID:18355972

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-26

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

  18. Progression of Cellular Adaptations in Medial Prefrontal and Orbitofrontal Cortex in Response to Repeated Amphetamine

    PubMed Central

    Homayoun, Houman; Moghaddam, Bita

    2010-01-01

    Recent theories on addiction implicate adaptive changes in prefrontal cortex (PFC) neurons in reinforcing and psychotomimetic properties of psychostimulants, yet little is known about how neuronal responses to these drugs change over time. Here we describe electrophysiological evidence for a progressive and sustained change in the response of PFC neurons to amphetamine during repeated exposure. In spontaneously behaving rats and in rats engaged in an instrumental responding task, we followed the activity of medial PFC (mPFC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) neurons during daily exposure to amphetamine and after a post-withdrawal challenge. Repeated amphetamine increased the number of responsive neurons and the magnitude of responses and modified spontaneous burst patterns. These changes were apparent after a few exposures to amphetamine, were amplified after withdrawal, and were region specific in that repeated amphetamine increasingly produced inhibitory responses in mPFC and excitatory responses in OFC. In behaviorally engaged animals, the gradual enhancement in mPFC inhibition and OFC overactivation correlated with a progressive impairment of instrumental responding. Furthermore, these changes were evident predominately in neurons that displayed phasic responses during task-related events. These rapid-onset and sustained cellular adaptations suggest that even limited exposure to psychostimulants may reduce the influence of mPFC neurons on behavior while at the same time exaggerating information encoded by OFC neurons. PMID:16885216

  19. Hyperconnectivity of prefrontal cortex to amygdala projections in a mouse model of macrocephaly/autism syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Wen-Chin; Chen, Youjun; Page, Damon T.

    2016-01-01

    Multiple autism risk genes converge on the regulation of mTOR signalling, which is a key effector of neuronal growth and connectivity. We show that mTOR signalling is dysregulated during early postnatal development in the cerebral cortex of germ-line heterozygous Pten mutant mice (Pten+/−), which model macrocephaly/autism syndrome. The basolateral amygdala (BLA) receives input from subcortical-projecting neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Analysis of mPFC to BLA axonal projections reveals that Pten+/− mice exhibit increased axonal branching and connectivity, which is accompanied by increased activity in the BLA in response to social stimuli and social behavioural deficits. The latter two phenotypes can be suppressed by pharmacological inhibition of S6K1 during early postnatal life or by reducing the activity of mPFC–BLA circuitry in adulthood. These findings identify a mechanism of altered connectivity that has potential relevance to the pathophysiology of macrocephaly/autism syndrome and autism spectrum disorders featuring dysregulated mTOR signalling. PMID:27845329

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:27630545

  1. Mindfulness training modulates value signals in ventromedial prefrontal cortex through input from insular cortex.

    PubMed

    Kirk, Ulrich; Gu, Xiaosi; Harvey, Ann H; Fonagy, Peter; Montague, P Read

    2014-10-15

    Neuroimaging research has demonstrated that ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) encodes value signals that can be modulated by top-down cognitive input such as semantic knowledge, price incentives, and monetary favors suggesting that such biases may have an identified biological basis. It has been hypothesized that mindfulness training (MT) provides one path for gaining control over such top-down influences; yet, there have been no direct tests of this hypothesis. Here, we probe the behavioral and neural effects of MT on value signals in vmPFC in a randomized longitudinal design of 8 weeks of MT on an initially naïve subject cohort. The impact of this within-subject training was assessed using two paradigms: one that employed primary rewards (fruit juice) in a simple conditioning task and another that used a well-validated art-viewing paradigm to test bias of monetary favors on preference. We show that MT behaviorally censors the top-down bias of monetary favors through a measurable influence on value signals in vmPFC. MT also modulates value signals in vmPFC to primary reward delivery. Using a separate cohort of subjects we show that 8 weeks of active control training (ACT) generates the same behavioral impact also through an effect on signals in the vmPFC. Importantly, functional connectivity analyses show that value signals in vmPFC are coupled with bilateral posterior insula in the MT groups in both paradigms, but not in the ACT groups. These results suggest that MT integrates interoceptive input from insular cortex in the context of value computations of both primary and secondary rewards.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  3. Chronic Stress Alters Neural Activity in Medial Prefrontal Cortex During Retrieval of Extinction

    PubMed Central

    Wilber, Aaron A.; Walker, Adam G.; Southwood, Christopher J.; Farrell, Mollee R.; Lin, Grant L.; Rebec, George V.; Wellman, Cara L.

    2010-01-01

    Chronic restraint stress produces morphological changes in medial prefrontal cortex and disrupts a prefrontally mediated behavior, retrieval of extinction. To assess potential physiological correlates of these alterations, we compared neural activity in infralimbic and prelimbic cortex of unstressed versus stressed rats during fear conditioning and extinction. After implantation of microwire bundles into infralimbic or prelimbic cortex, rats were either unstressed or stressed via placement in a plastic restrainer (3 h/day for 1 week). Rats then underwent fear conditioning and extinction while activity of neurons in infralimbic or prelimbic cortex was recorded. Percent freezing and neural activity were assessed during all phases of training. Chronic stress enhanced freezing during acquisition of conditioned fear, and altered both prelimbic and infralimbic activity during this phase. Stress did not alter initial extinction or conditioned stimulus (CS)-related activity during this phase. However, stress impaired retrieval of extinction assessed 24 h later, and this was accompanied by alterations in neuronal activity in both prelimbic and infralimbic cortex. In prelimbic cortex, unstressed rats showed decreased activity in response to CS presentation, whereas stressed rats showed no change. In infralimbic cortex, neurons in unstressed rats exhibited increased firing in response to the CS, whereas stressed rats showed no increase in infralimbic firing during the tone. Finally, CS-related firing in infralimbic but not prelimbic cortex was correlated with extinction retrieval. Thus, the stress-induced alteration of neuronal activity in infralimbic cortex may be responsible for the stress-induced deficit in retrieval of extinction. PMID:21044660

  4. Localization of DARPP-32 and inhibitor-1 in area 9 of Macaca mulatta prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Glausier, Jill R.; Maddox, Marcelia; Hemmings, Hugh C.; Nairn, Angus C.; Greengard, Paul; Muly, E. Chris

    2010-01-01

    The actions of dopamine D1 family receptors (D1R) depend upon a signal transduction cascade that modulates the phosphorylation state of important effector proteins, such as glutamate receptors and ion channels. This is accomplished both through activation of protein kinase A (PKA) and the inhibition of protein phosphatase-1 (PP1). Inhibition of PP1 occurs through PKA-mediated phosphorylation of DARPP-32 or the related protein inhibitor-1 (I-1), and the availability of DARPP-32 is essential to the functional outcome of D1R activation in the basal ganglia. While D1R activation is critical for prefrontal cortex (PFC) function, especially working memory, the functional role played by DARPP-32 or I-1 is less clear. In order to examine this more thoroughly, we have utilized immunoelectron microscopy to quantitatively determine the localization of DARPP-32 and I-1 in the neuropil of the rhesus monkey PFC. Both were distributed widely in the different components of the neuropil, but were enriched in dendritic shafts. I-1 label was more frequently identified in axon terminals than was DARPP-32, and DARPP-32 label was more frequently identified in glia than was I-1. We also quantified the extent to which these proteins were found in dendritic spines. DARPP-32 and I-1 were present in small subpopulations of dendritic spines, (4.4 and 7.7% and respectively), which were substantially smaller than observed for D1R in our previous studies (20%). Double-label experiments did not find evidence for colocalization of D1R and DARPP-32 or I-1 in spines or terminals. Thus, at the least, not all prefrontal spines which contain D1R also contain I-1 or DARPP-32, suggesting important differences in D1R signaling in the PFC compared to the striatum. PMID:20156529

  5. Basal Dendritic Morphology of Cortical Pyramidal Neurons in Williams Syndrome: Prefrontal Cortex and Beyond.

    PubMed

    Hrvoj-Mihic, Branka; Hanson, Kari L; Lew, Caroline H; Stefanacci, Lisa; Jacobs, Bob; Bellugi, Ursula; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2017-01-01

    Williams syndrome (WS) is a unique neurodevelopmental disorder with a specific behavioral and cognitive profile, which includes hyperaffiliative behavior, poor social judgment, and lack of social inhibition. Here we examined the morphology of basal dendrites on pyramidal neurons in the cortex of two rare adult subjects with WS. Specifically, we examined two areas in the prefrontal cortex (PFC)-the frontal pole (Brodmann area 10) and the orbitofrontal cortex (Brodmann area 11)-and three areas in the motor, sensory, and visual cortex (BA 4, BA 3-1-2, BA 18). The findings suggest that the morphology of basal dendrites on the pyramidal neurons is altered in the cortex of WS, with differences that were layer-specific, more prominent in PFC areas, and displayed an overall pattern of dendritic organization that differentiates WS from other disorders. In particular, and unlike what was expected based on typically developing brains, basal dendrites in the two PFC areas did not display longer and more branched dendrites compared to motor, sensory and visual areas. Moreover, dendritic branching, dendritic length, and the number of dendritic spines differed little within PFC and between the central executive region (BA 10) and BA 11 that is part of the orbitofrontal region involved into emotional processing. In contrast, the relationship between the degree of neuronal branching in supra- versus infra-granular layers was spared in WS. Although this study utilized tissue held in formalin for a prolonged period of time and the number of neurons available for analysis was limited, our findings indicate that WS cortex, similar to that in other neurodevelopmental disorders such as Down syndrome, Rett syndrome, Fragile X, and idiopathic autism, has altered morphology of basal dendrites on pyramidal neurons, which appears more prominent in selected areas of the PFC. Results were examined from developmental perspectives and discussed in the context of other neurodevelopmental disorders

  6. Atrophy of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is associated with poor performance in verbal fluency in elderly poststroke women☆

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yang-Kun; Xiao, Wei-Min; Wang, Defeng; Shi, Lin; Chu, Winnie CW; Mok, Vincent CT; Wong, Ka Sing; Ungvari, Gabor S; Tang, Wai Kwong

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the association between atrophy in the prefrontal cortex with executive function and verbal fluency in elderly male and female patients poststroke. Thirty elderly female patients with non-aphasic ischemic stroke aged ≥ 60 years and 30 age-matched non-aphasic male patients with ischemic stroke were recruited. Automatic magnetic resonance imaging segmentation was used to assess the volume of the whole prefrontal cortex, along with its subdivisions: anterior cingulate cortex, orbitofrontal cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The Semantic Verbal Fluency Test was administered at 3 and 15 months poststroke. At 3 months poststroke, left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex volume was significantly correlated with Verbal Fluency Test score in female patients only (partial coefficient = 0.453, P = 0.045), after controlling for age, education, diabetes, neurological deficit, white matter lesions volume, as well as the location and volume of infarcts. At 15 months poststroke, there remained a significant association between the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex volume and Verbal Fluency Test (partial coefficient = 0.661, P = 0.001) and between the left prefrontal cortex volume and Verbal Fluency Test (partial coefficient = 0.573, P = 0.004) in female patients after the same adjustments. These findings indicate that atrophy of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex contributes to the impairment of verbal fluency in elderly female patients with stroke. Sex differences may be present in the neuropsychological mechanisms of verbal fluency impairment in patients with stroke. PMID:25206675

  7. Early detection and late cognitive control of emotional distraction by the prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    García-Pacios, Javier; Garcés, Pilar; Del Río, David; Maestú, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Unpleasant emotional distraction can impair the retention of non-emotional information in working memory (WM). Research links the prefrontal cortex with the successful control of such biologically relevant distractors, although the temporal changes in this brain mechanism remain unexplored. We use magnetoencephalography to investigate the temporal dynamics of the cognitive control of both unpleasant and pleasant distraction, in the millisecond (ms) scale. Behavioral results demonstrate that pleasant events do not affect WM maintenance more than neutral ones. Neuroimaging results show that prefrontal cortices are recruited for the rapid detection of emotional distraction, at early latencies of the processing (70-130 ms). Later in the processing (360-450 ms), the dorsolateral, the medial and the orbital sections of the prefrontal cortex mediate the effective control of emotional distraction. In accordance with the behavioral performance, pleasant distractors do not require higher prefrontal activity than neutral ones. These findings extend our knowledge about the brain mechanisms of coping with emotional distraction in WM. In particular, they show for the first time that overriding the attentional capture triggered by emotional distractors, while maintaining task-relevant elements in mind, is based on the early detection of such linked-to-survival information and on its later cognitive control by the prefrontal cortex. PMID:26067780

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  10. Distinct Fos-Expressing Neuronal Ensembles in the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Mediate Food Reward and Extinction Memories

    PubMed Central

    Warren, Brandon L.; Mendoza, Michael P.; Cruz, Fabio C.; Leao, Rodrigo M.; Caprioli, Daniele; Rubio, F. Javier; Whitaker, Leslie R.; McPherson, Kylie B.; Bossert, Jennifer M.; Shaham, Yavin

    2016-01-01

    In operant learning, initial reward-associated memories are thought to be distinct from subsequent extinction-associated memories. Memories formed during operant learning are thought to be stored in “neuronal ensembles.” Thus, we hypothesize that different neuronal ensembles encode reward- and extinction-associated memories. Here, we examined prefrontal cortex neuronal ensembles involved in the recall of reward and extinction memories of food self-administration. We first trained rats to lever press for palatable food pellets for 7 d (1 h/d) and then exposed them to 0, 2, or 7 daily extinction sessions in which lever presses were not reinforced. Twenty-four hours after the last training or extinction session, we exposed the rats to either a short 15 min extinction test session or left them in their homecage (a control condition). We found maximal Fos (a neuronal activity marker) immunoreactivity in the ventral medial prefrontal cortex of rats that previously received 2 extinction sessions, suggesting that neuronal ensembles in this area encode extinction memories. We then used the Daun02 inactivation procedure to selectively disrupt ventral medial prefrontal cortex neuronal ensembles that were activated during the 15 min extinction session following 0 (no extinction) or 2 prior extinction sessions to determine the effects of inactivating the putative food reward and extinction ensembles, respectively, on subsequent nonreinforced food seeking 2 d later. Inactivation of the food reward ensembles decreased food seeking, whereas inactivation of the extinction ensembles increased food seeking. Our results indicate that distinct neuronal ensembles encoding operant reward and extinction memories intermingle within the same cortical area. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A current popular hypothesis is that neuronal ensembles in different prefrontal cortex areas control reward-associated versus extinction-associated memories: the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) promotes

  11. Distinct Fos-Expressing Neuronal Ensembles in the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Mediate Food Reward and Extinction Memories.

    PubMed

    Warren, Brandon L; Mendoza, Michael P; Cruz, Fabio C; Leao, Rodrigo M; Caprioli, Daniele; Rubio, F Javier; Whitaker, Leslie R; McPherson, Kylie B; Bossert, Jennifer M; Shaham, Yavin; Hope, Bruce T

    2016-06-22

    In operant learning, initial reward-associated memories are thought to be distinct from subsequent extinction-associated memories. Memories formed during operant learning are thought to be stored in "neuronal ensembles." Thus, we hypothesize that different neuronal ensembles encode reward- and extinction-associated memories. Here, we examined prefrontal cortex neuronal ensembles involved in the recall of reward and extinction memories of food self-administration. We first trained rats to lever press for palatable food pellets for 7 d (1 h/d) and then exposed them to 0, 2, or 7 daily extinction sessions in which lever presses were not reinforced. Twenty-four hours after the last training or extinction session, we exposed the rats to either a short 15 min extinction test session or left them in their homecage (a control condition). We found maximal Fos (a neuronal activity marker) immunoreactivity in the ventral medial prefrontal cortex of rats that previously received 2 extinction sessions, suggesting that neuronal ensembles in this area encode extinction memories. We then used the Daun02 inactivation procedure to selectively disrupt ventral medial prefrontal cortex neuronal ensembles that were activated during the 15 min extinction session following 0 (no extinction) or 2 prior extinction sessions to determine the effects of inactivating the putative food reward and extinction ensembles, respectively, on subsequent nonreinforced food seeking 2 d later. Inactivation of the food reward ensembles decreased food seeking, whereas inactivation of the extinction ensembles increased food seeking. Our results indicate that distinct neuronal ensembles encoding operant reward and extinction memories intermingle within the same cortical area. A current popular hypothesis is that neuronal ensembles in different prefrontal cortex areas control reward-associated versus extinction-associated memories: the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) promotes reward seeking, whereas the

  12. Chronic Treatment with a Clinically Relevant Dose of Methylphenidate Increases Glutamate Levels in Cerebrospinal Fluid and Impairs Glutamatergic Homeostasis in Prefrontal Cortex of Juvenile Rats.

    PubMed

    Schmitz, Felipe; Pierozan, Paula; Rodrigues, André F; Biasibetti, Helena; Coelho, Daniella M; Mussulini, Ben Hur; Pereira, Mery S L; Parisi, Mariana M; Barbé-Tuana, Florencia; de Oliveira, Diogo L; Vargas, Carmen R; Wyse, Angela T S

    2016-05-01

    The understanding of the consequences of chronic treatment with methylphenidate is very important since this psychostimulant is extensively prescribed to preschool age children, and little is known about the mechanisms underlying the persistent changes in behavior and neuronal function related with the use of methylphenidate. In this study, we initially investigate the effect of early chronic treatment with methylphenidate on amino acids profile in cerebrospinal fluid and prefrontal cortex of juvenile rats, as well as on glutamatergic homeostasis, Na(+),K(+)-ATPase function, and balance redox in prefrontal cortex of rats. Wistar rats at early age received intraperitoneal injections of methylphenidate (2.0 mg/kg) or an equivalent volume of 0.9% saline solution (controls), once a day, from the 15th to the 45th day of age. Twenty-four hours after the last injection, the animals were decapitated and the cerebrospinal fluid and prefrontal cortex were obtained. Results showed that methylphenidate altered amino acid profile in cerebrospinal fluid, increasing the levels of glutamate. Glutamate uptake was decreased by methylphenidate administration, but GLAST and GLT-1 were not altered by this treatment. In addition, the astrocyte marker GFAP was not altered by MPH. The activity and immunocontent of catalytic subunits (α1, α2, and α3) of Na(+),K(+)-ATPase were decreased in prefrontal cortex of rats subjected to methylphenidate treatment, as well as changes in α1 and α2 gene expression of catalytic α subunits of Na(+),K(+)-ATPase were also observed. CAT activity was increased and SOD/CAT ratio and sulfhydryl content were decreased in rat prefrontal cortex. Taken together, our results suggest that chronic treatment with methylphenidate at early age induces excitotoxicity, at least in part, due to inhibition of glutamate uptake probably caused by disturbances in the Na(+),K(+)-ATPase function and/or in protein damage observed in the prefrontal cortex.

  13. Remote sensing of prefrontal cortex function with diffusive light

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Zhongyao; Wang, Xin C.; Chance, Britton

    2004-12-01

    A data bank on prefrontal imaging under stressful conditions including deceit, has been gathered over several years on National and International populations using a contact imager pad consisting of 16 detectors and 4 sources, validating the concept of imaging prefrontal responses to stress, not only following the response of the PFC to imaging stress but especially of precognitive activations. We designed a new portable and non-invasive optical detecting system for remote sensing of deceit at 1~2m distance. The signals of pre- and post-cognitive function in deceit can be detected with very high sensitivity for blood volume and blood oxygenation detection at depths sufficient for PFC imaging and sensitivities of sub-micromolar oxy-hemoglobin and blood concentration detection. Thus, remote imaging of the process of decision making seems possible and examples will be presented using both contact and flying spot remote sensing.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  17. Impaired synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex of mice with developmentally decreased number of interneurons.

    PubMed

    Konstantoudaki, X; Chalkiadaki, K; Tivodar, S; Karagogeos, D; Sidiropoulou, K

    2016-05-13

    Interneurons are inhibitory neurons, which protect neural tissue from excessive excitation. They are interconnected with glutamatergic pyramidal neurons in the cerebral cortex and regulate their function. Particularly in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), interneurons have been strongly implicated in regulating pathological states which display deficits in the PFC. The aim of this study is to investigate the adaptations in the adult glutamatergic system, when defects in interneuron development do not allow adequate numbers of interneurons to reach the cerebral cortex. To this end, we used a mouse model that displays ~50% fewer cortical interneurons due to the Rac1 protein loss from Nkx2.1/Cre expressing cells (Rac1 conditional knockout (cKO) mice), to examine how the developmental loss of interneurons may affect basal synaptic transmission, synaptic plasticity and neuronal morphology in the adult PFC. Despite the decrease in the number of interneurons, basal synaptic transmission, as examined by recording field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) from layer II networks, is not altered in the PFC of Rac1 cKO mice. However, there is decreased paired-pulse ratio (PPR) and decreased long-term potentiation (LTP), in response to tetanic stimulation, in the layer II PFC synapses of Rac1 cKO mice. Furthermore, expression of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) subunits is decreased and dendritic morphology is altered, changes that could underlie the decrease in LTP in the Rac1 cKO mice. Finally, we find that treating Rac1 cKO mice with diazepam in early postnatal life can reverse changes in dendritic morphology observed in non-treated Rac1 cKO mice. Therefore, our data show that disruption in GABAergic inhibition alters glutamatergic function in the adult PFC, an effect that could be reversed by enhancement of GABAergic function during an early postnatal period.

  18. The effects of TMS over dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on trans-saccadic memory of multiple objects.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, L L; Dessing, J C; Malik, P; Prime, S L; Crawford, J D

    2014-10-01

    Humans typically make several rapid eye movements (saccades) per second. It is thought that visual working memory can retain and spatially integrate three to four objects or features across each saccade but little is known about this neural mechanism. Previously we showed that transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to the posterior parietal cortex and frontal eye fields degrade trans-saccadic memory of multiple object features (Prime, Vesia, & Crawford, 2008, Journal of Neuroscience, 28(27), 6938-6949; Prime, Vesia, & Crawford, 2010, Cerebral Cortex, 20(4), 759-772.). Here, we used a similar protocol to investigate whether dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), an area involved in spatial working memory, is also involved in trans-saccadic memory. Subjects were required to report changes in stimulus orientation with (saccade task) or without (fixation task) an eye movement in the intervening memory interval. We applied single-pulse TMS to left and right DLPFC during the memory delay, timed at three intervals to arrive approximately 100 ms before, 100 ms after, or at saccade onset. In the fixation task, left DLPFC TMS produced inconsistent results, whereas right DLPFC TMS disrupted performance at all three intervals (significantly for presaccadic TMS). In contrast, in the saccade task, TMS consistently facilitated performance (significantly for left DLPFC/perisaccadic TMS and right DLPFC/postsaccadic TMS) suggesting a dis-inhibition of trans-saccadic processing. These results are consistent with a neural circuit of trans-saccadic memory that overlaps and interacts with, but is partially separate from the circuit for visual working memory during sustained fixation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. [Is the prefrontal cortex the center of the universe?].

    PubMed

    Garcia-Molina, A; Ensenat, A

    2015-10-16

    Introduccion. Actualmente, cuando reflexionamos sobre cual es la estructura mas relevante del encefalo humano invariablemente pensamos en las regiones anteriores de la corteza cerebral, concretamente en la corteza prefrontal. Si bien este ha sido el dogma predominante a lo largo de mas de 150 años, investigadores de reconocido prestigio han cuestionado abiertamente tal supuesto. Desarrollo. A caballo entre los siglos XIX y XX, diversos investigadores consideraron que las regiones corticales posteriores son la sede neuroanatomica de las mas altas facultades intelectuales. Entre todos ellos destaco, por la elaboracion de sus propuestas e impacto en la comunidad cientifica, el neuroanatomista aleman Paul Emil Flechsig (1847-1929). Wilder Graves Penfield (1891-1976) fue otro detractor del dogma que considera la corteza prefrontal el sustrato anatomico de los procesos mentales mas complejos y sublimes del ser humano. A mediados del siglo XX, Penfield mantuvo la hipotesis de la existencia de lo que denomino el sistema de integracion centrencefalico, responsable del nivel mas elevado de integracion del sistema nervioso central. Conclusiones. Las concepciones corticocentricas otorgan el preciado cetro de 'estructura mas importante del encefalo' a la corteza prefrontal. Sin embargo, no han faltado propuestas alternativas que, con mayor o menor exito, han intentado arrebatarselo en favor de otras estructuras encefalicas.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilbert, Sam J.; Burgess, Paul W.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilbert, Sam J.; Burgess, Paul W.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  4. Hippocampal Train Stimulation Modulates Recall of Fear Extinction Independently of Prefrontal Cortex Synaptic Plasticity and Lesions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garcia, Rene; Farinelli, Melissa; Deschaux, Olivier; Hugues, Sandrine; Thevenet, Aurelie

    2006-01-01

    It has been shown that long-term potentiation (LTP) develops in the connection between the mediodorsal thalamus (MD) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and between the hippocampus (HPC) and the mPFC following fear extinction, and correlates with extinction retention. However, recent lesion studies have shown that combined lesions of the MD…

  5. Effect of Prefrontal Cortex Damage on Resolving Lexical Ambiguity in Text

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frattali, Carol; Hanna, Rebecca; McGinty, Anita Shukla; Gerber, Lynn; Wesley, Robert; Grafman, Jordan; Coelho, Carl

    2007-01-01

    The function of suppression of context-inappropriate meanings during lexical ambiguity resolution was examined in 25 adults with prefrontal cortex damage (PFCD) localized to the left (N = 8), right (N = 6), or bilaterally (N = 11); and 21 matched Controls. Results revealed unexpected inverse patterns of suppression between PFCD and Control groups,…

  6. Hippocampal Train Stimulation Modulates Recall of Fear Extinction Independently of Prefrontal Cortex Synaptic Plasticity and Lesions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garcia, Rene; Farinelli, Melissa; Deschaux, Olivier; Hugues, Sandrine; Thevenet, Aurelie

    2006-01-01

    It has been shown that long-term potentiation (LTP) develops in the connection between the mediodorsal thalamus (MD) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and between the hippocampus (HPC) and the mPFC following fear extinction, and correlates with extinction retention. However, recent lesion studies have shown that combined lesions of the MD…

  7. Prefrontal Cortex and Hippocampus Subserve Different Components of Working Memory in Rats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yoon, Taejib; Okada, Jeffrey; Jung, Min W.; Kim, Jeansok J.

    2008-01-01

    Both the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and hippocampus are implicated in working memory tasks in rodents. Specifically, it has been hypothesized that the mPFC is primarily engaged in the temporary storage and processing of information lasting from a subsecond to several seconds, while the hippocampal function becomes more critical as the working…

  8. Neuronal activity in the primate dorsomedial prefrontal cortex contributes to strategic selection of response tactics

    PubMed Central

    Matsuzaka, Yoshiya; Akiyama, Tetsuya; Tanji, Jun; Mushiake, Hajime

    2012-01-01

    The functional roles of the primate posterior medial prefrontal cortex have remained largely unknown. Here, we show that this region participates in the regulation of actions in the presence of multiple response tactics. Monkeys performed a forelimb task in which a visual cue required prompt decision of reaching to a left or a right target. The location of the cue was either ipsilateral (concordant) or contralateral (discordant) to the target. As a result of extensive training, the reaction times for the concordant and discordant trials were indistinguishable, indicating that the monkeys developed tactics to overcome the cue-response conflict. Prefrontal neurons exhibited prominent activity when the concordant and discordant trials were randomly presented, requiring rapid selection of a response tactic (reach toward or away from the cue). The following findings indicate that these neurons are involved in the selection of tactics, rather than the selection of action or monitoring of response conflict: (i) The response period activity of neurons in this region disappeared when the monkeys performed the task under the behavioral condition that required a single tactic alone, whereas the action varied across trials. (ii) The neuronal activity was found in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex but not in the anterior cingulate cortex that has been implicated for the response conflict monitoring. These results suggest that the medial prefrontal cortex participates in the selection of a response tactic that determines an appropriate action. Furthermore, the observation of dynamic, task-dependent neuronal activity necessitates reconsideration of the conventional concept of cortical motor representation. PMID:22371582

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  11. When "Happy" Means "Sad": Neuropsychological Evidence for the Right Prefrontal Cortex Contribution to Executive Semantic Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Samson, Dana; Connolly, Catherine; Humphreys, Glyn W.

    2007-01-01

    The contribution of the left inferior prefrontal cortex in semantic processing has been widely investigated in the last decade. Converging evidence from functional imaging studies shows that this region is involved in the "executive" or "controlled" aspects of semantic processing. In this study, we report a single case study of a patient, PW, with…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  15. Reduced Prefrontal Cortex Hemodynamic Response in Adults with Methamphetamine Induced Psychosis: Relevance for Impulsivity

    PubMed Central

    Yamamuro, Kazuhiko; Kimoto, Sohei; Iida, Junzo; Kishimoto, Naoko; Nakanishi, Yoko; Tanaka, Shohei; Ota, Toyosaku; Makinodan, Manabu; Kishimoto, Toshifumi

    2016-01-01

    Patients with methamphetamine abuse/dependence often exhibit high levels of impulsivity, which may be associated with the structural abnormalities and functional hypoactivities observed in the frontal cortex of these subjects. Although near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a simple and non-invasive method for characterizing the clinical features of various psychiatric illnesses, few studies have used NIRS to directly investigate the association between prefrontal cortical activity and inhibitory control in patients with methamphetamine-induced psychosis (MAP). Using a 24-channel NIRS system, we compared hemodynamic responses during the Stroop color-word task in 14 patients with MAP and 21 healthy controls matched for age, sex and premorbid IQ. In addition, we used the Barrett Impulsivity Scale-11 (BIS-11) to assess impulsivity between subject groups. The MAP group exhibited significantly less activation in the anterior and frontopolar prefrontal cortex accompanied by lower Stroop color-word task performance, compared with controls. Moreover, BIS-11 scores were significantly higher in the MAP group, and were negatively correlated with the hemodynamic responses in prefrontal cortex. Our data suggest that reduced hemodynamic responses in the prefrontal cortex might reflect higher levels of impulsivity in patients with MAP, providing new insights into disrupted inhibitory control observed in MAP. PMID:27050450

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Prefrontal Cortex and Hippocampus Subserve Different Components of Working Memory in Rats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yoon, Taejib; Okada, Jeffrey; Jung, Min W.; Kim, Jeansok J.

    2008-01-01

    Both the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and hippocampus are implicated in working memory tasks in rodents. Specifically, it has been hypothesized that the mPFC is primarily engaged in the temporary storage and processing of information lasting from a subsecond to several seconds, while the hippocampal function becomes more critical as the working…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

  3. Effect of Prefrontal Cortex Damage on Resolving Lexical Ambiguity in Text

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frattali, Carol; Hanna, Rebecca; McGinty, Anita Shukla; Gerber, Lynn; Wesley, Robert; Grafman, Jordan; Coelho, Carl

    2007-01-01

    The function of suppression of context-inappropriate meanings during lexical ambiguity resolution was examined in 25 adults with prefrontal cortex damage (PFCD) localized to the left (N = 8), right (N = 6), or bilaterally (N = 11); and 21 matched Controls. Results revealed unexpected inverse patterns of suppression between PFCD and Control groups,…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  5. Distinct roles for lateral and medial anterior prefrontal cortex in contextual recollection.

    PubMed

    Simons, Jon S; Gilbert, Sam J; Owen, Adrian M; Fletcher, Paul C; Burgess, Paul W

    2005-07-01

    A key feature of human recollection is the ability to remember details of the context in which events were experienced, as well as details of the events themselves. Previous studies have implicated a number of regions of prefrontal cortex in contextual recollection, but the role of anterior prefrontal cortex has so far resisted detailed characterization. We used event-related functional MRI (fMRI) to contrast recollection of two forms of contextual information: 1) decisions one had previously made about stimuli (task memory) and 2) which of two temporally distinct lists those stimuli had been presented in (list memory). In addition, a retrieval cue manipulation permitted evaluation of the stage of the retrieval process in which the activated regions might be involved. The results indicated that anterior prefrontal cortex responded significantly more during recollection of task than list context details. Furthermore, activation profiles for lateral and medial aspects of anterior prefrontal cortex suggested differing roles in recollection. Lateral regions seem to be more involved in the early retrieval specification stages of recollection, with medial regions contributing to later stages (e.g., monitoring and verification).

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  10. The influence of dopaminergic system in medial prefrontal cortex on ketamine-induced amnesia in passive avoidance task in mice.

    PubMed

    Farahmandfar, Maryam; Bakhtazad, Atefeh; Akbarabadi, Ardeshir; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2016-06-15

    Dopaminergic modulations of glutamate receptors are essential for the prefrontal cortical (PFC) behavioral and cognitive functions. In order to understand the effect of dopamine/glutamate interactions on learning and memory, we investigated the effects of intra medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) injections of dopaminergic agents on ketamine-induced amnesia by using a one-trial passive avoidance task in mice. Pre-training administration of ketamine (5, 10 and 15mg/kg, i.p.) dose-dependently decreased the memory acquisition of a one-trial passive avoidance task. Pre-training intra-mPFC administration of SKF 38393, D1 receptor agonist and quinpirol D2 receptor agonist, alone did not affect memory acquisition. However, amnesia induced by pre-training ketamine (15mg/kg) significantly decreased by pretreatment of SKF 38393 (2 and 4µg/mouse) and quinpirol (0.3, 1 and 3µg/mouse). Pre-training administration of SCH 23390, D1 receptor antagonist (0.75 and 1μg/mouse, intra-mPFC), and sulpiride D2 receptor antagonist (3μg/mouse, intra-mPFC) impaired memory acquisition. In addition, co-pretreatment of different doses of SCH 23390 and sulpiride with lower dose of ketamine (5mg/kg), which did not induce amnesia by itself, caused inhibition of memory formation. It may be concluded that dopaminergic system of medial prefrontal cortex is involved in the ketamine-induced impairment of memory acquisition.

  11. The impact of age on prefrontal cortex integrity during spatial working memory retrieval.

    PubMed

    Toepper, Max; Markowitsch, Hans J; Gebhardt, Helge; Beblo, Thomas; Bauer, Eva; Woermann, Friedrich G; Driessen, Martin; Sammer, Gebhard

    2014-07-01

    Healthy aging is accompanied by a decline in spatial working memory that is related to functional cerebral changes within the spatial working memory network. In the last decade, important findings were presented concerning the location (e.g., prefrontal), kind (e.g., 'underactivation,' 'overactivation'), and meaning (e.g., functional deficits, compensation) of these changes. Less is known about how functional connections between specific brain regions are affected by age and how these changes are related to behavioral performance. To address these issues, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine retrieval-related brain activation and functional connectivity in 18 younger individuals and 18 older individuals. We assessed working memory with a modified version of the Corsi Block-Tapping test, which requires the storage and reproduction of spatial target sequences. Analyses of group differences in brain activation and functional connectivity included comparisons between younger individuals, older individuals, older high-performers, and older low-performers. In addition, we conducted a functional connectivity analysis by using a seed region approach. In comparison to younger individuals, older individuals showed lower right-hemispheric dorsolateral prefrontal activation and lower functional connectivity between the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the bilateral orbitofrontal cortex. Older high-performers showed higher right dorsolateral and anterior prefrontal cortex activation than older low-performers, as well as higher functional connectivity between these brain regions. The present results suggest age-related reductions of prefrontal activation during spatial working memory retrieval. Moreover, task-related functional connectivity appears to be lower in older adults. Performance accuracy in older adults is associated with right dorsolateral and anterior prefrontal cortex activation, and with the functional connection between these regions.

  12. Roles of prefrontal cortex and paraventricular thalamus in affective and mechanical components of visceral nociception.

    PubMed

    Jurik, Angela; Auffenberg, Eva; Klein, Sabine; Deussing, Jan M; Schmid, Roland M; Wotjak, Carsten T; Thoeringer, Christoph K

    2015-12-01

    Visceral pain represents a major clinical challenge in the management of many gastrointestinal disorders, eg, pancreatitis. However, cerebral neurobiological mechanisms underlying visceral nociception are poorly understood. As a representative model of visceral nociception, we applied cerulein hyperstimulation in C57BL6 mice to induce acute pancreatitis and performed a behavioral test battery and c-Fos staining of brains. We observed a specific pain phenotype and a significant increase in c-Fos immunoreactivity in the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PVT), the periaqueductal gray, and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Using neuronal tracing, we observed projections of the PVT to cortical layers of the mPFC with contacts to inhibitory GABAergic neurons. These inhibitory neurons showed more activation after cerulein treatment suggesting thalamocortical "feedforward inhibition" in visceral nociception. The activity of neurons in pancreatitis-related pain centers was pharmacogenetically modulated by designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs, selectively and cell type specifically expressed in target neurons using adeno-associated virus-mediated gene transfer. Pharmacogenetic inhibition of PVT but not periaqueductal gray neurons attenuated visceral pain and induced an activation of the descending inhibitory pain pathway. Activation of glutamatergic principle neurons in the mPFC, but not inhibitory neurons, also reversed visceral nociception. These data reveal novel insights into central pain processing that underlies visceral nociception and may trigger the development of novel, potent centrally acting analgesic drugs.

  13. Children with High Functioning Autism show increased prefrontal and temporal cortex activity during error monitoring

    PubMed Central

    Goldberg, Melissa C.; Spinelli, Simona; Joel, Suresh; Pekar, James J.; Denckla, Martha B.; Mostofsky, Stewart H.

    2010-01-01

    Evidence exists for deficits in error monitoring in autism. These deficits may be particularly important because they may contribute to excessive perseveration and repetitive behavior in autism. We examined the neural correlates of error monitoring using fMRI in 8–12-year-old children with high-functioning autism (HFA, n=11) and typically developing children (TD, n=15) during performance of a Go/No-Go task by comparing the neural correlates of commission errors versus correct response inhibition trials. Compared to TD children, children with HFA showed increased BOLD fMRI signal in the anterior medial prefrontal cortex (amPFC) and the left superior temporal gyrus (STempG) during commission error (versus correct inhibition) trials. A follow-up region-of-interest analysis also showed increased BOLD signal in the right insula in HFA compared to TD controls. Our findings of increased amPFC and STempG activity in HFA, together with the increased activity in the insula, suggest a greater attention towards the internally-driven emotional state associated with making an error in children with HFA. Since error monitoring occurs across different cognitive tasks throughout daily life, an increased emotional reaction to errors may have important consequences for early learning processes. PMID:21151713

  14. Reduced local field potential power in the medial prefrontal cortex by noxious stimuli.

    PubMed

    Li, Ai-Ling; Yang, Xiaofei; Chiao, Jung-Chih; Peng, Yuan Bo

    2016-10-01

    Nociceptive signals produced by noxious stimuli at the periphery reach the brain through ascending pathways. These signals are processed by various brain areas and lead to activity changes in those areas. The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is involved in higher cognitive functions and emotional processing. It receives projections from brain areas involved in nociception. In this study, we investigated how nociceptive input from the periphery changes the local field potential (LFP) activity in the mPFC. Three different types of noxious stimuli were applied to the hind paw contralateral to the LFP recording site. They were transcutaneous electrical stimulations, mechanical stimuli and a chemical stimulus (formalin injection). High intensity transcutaneous stimulations (10V to 50V) and noxious mechanical stimulus (pinch) significantly reduced the LFP power during the stimulating period (p<0.05), but not the low intensity subcutaneous stimulations (0.1V to 5V) and other innocuous mechanical stimuli (brush and pressure). More frequency bands were inhibited with increased intensity of transcutaneous electrical stimulation, and almost all frequency bands were inhibited by stimulations at or higher than 30v. Pinch significantly reduced the power for beta band and formalin injection significantly reduced the power of alpha and beta band. Our data demonstrated the noxious stimuli-induced reduction of LFP power in the mPFC, which indicates the active processing of nociceptive information by the mPFC.

  15. Na(+), K(+)-ATPase dysfunction causes cerebrovascular endothelial cell degeneration in rat prefrontal cortex slice cultures.

    PubMed

    Kurauchi, Yuki; Hisatsune, Akinori; Seki, Takahiro; Katsuki, Hiroshi

    2016-08-01

    Cerebrovascular endothelial cell dysfunction resulting in imbalance of cerebral blood flow contributes to the onset of psychiatric disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Although decrease in Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activity has been reported in the patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the contribution of Na(+), K(+)-ATPase to endothelial cell dysfunction remains poorly understood. Here, by using rat neonatal prefrontal cortex slice cultures, we demonstrated that pharmacological inhibition of Na(+), K(+)-ATPase by ouabain induced endothelial cell injury. Treatment with ouabain significantly decreased immunoreactive area of rat endothelial cell antigen-1 (RECA-1), a marker of endothelial cells, in a time-dependent manner. Ouabain also decreased Bcl-2/Bax ratio and phosphorylation level of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) (Ser9), which were prevented by lithium carbonate. On the other hand, ouabain-induced endothelial cell injury was exacerbated by concomitant treatment with LY294002, an inhibitor of phosphoinositide 3- (PI3-) kinase. We also found that xestospongin C, an inhibitor of inositol triphosphate (IP3) receptor, but not SEA0400, an inhibitor of Na(+), Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX), protected endothelial cells from cytotoxicity of ouabain. These results suggest that cerebrovascular endothelial cell degeneration induced by Na(+), K(+)-ATPase inhibition resulting in Ca(2+) release from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and activation of GSK3β signaling underlies pathogenesis of these psychiatric disorders.

  16. Lesions of the Medial Prefrontal Cortex Abolish Conditioned Aversion Associated with Sexual Behavior in Male Rats

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Jon F.; Loos, Maarten; Di Sebastiano, Andrea R.; Brown, Jennifer L.; Lehman, Michael N.; Coolen, Lique M.

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND An inability to inhibit behaviors once they become maladaptive is a component of several psychiatric illnesses and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) was identified as a potential mediator of behavioral inhibition. The current study tested if the mPFC is involved in inhibition of sexual behavior when associated with aversive outcomes. METHODS Using male rats, effects of lesions of the infralimbic (IL) and prelimbic (PL) areas of the mPFC on expression of sexual behavior and ability to inhibit mating were tested using a paradigm of copulation-contingent aversion. RESULTS mPFC lesions did not alter expression of sexual behavior. In contrast, mPFC lesions completely blocked the acquisition of sex-aversion conditioning and lesioned animals continued to mate, in contrast to the robust behavioral inhibition towards copulation in mPFC intact males, resulting in only 22% of intact males continuing to mate. However, rats with mPFC lesions were capable of forming a conditioned place preference to sexual reward and conditioned place aversion for lithium chloride, suggesting that these lesions did not alter associative learning or sensitivity for lithium chloride. DISCUSSION The current study indicates that animals with mPFC lesions are likely capable of forming the associations with aversive outcomes of their behavior, but lack the ability to suppress seeking of sexual reward in the face of aversive consequences. These data may contribute to a better understanding of a common pathology underlying impulse control disorders as compulsive sexual behavior has a high prevalence of comorbidity with psychiatric disorders and Parkinson’s Disease. PMID:20346444

  17. Olanzapine Causes a Leptin-Dependent Increase in Acetylcholine Release in Mouse Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Wathen, Asheley B.; West, Emily S.; Lydic, Ralph; Baghdoyan, Helen A.

    2012-01-01

    Study Objectives: The atypical antipsychotic olanzapine is used effectively for treating symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Unwanted effects of olanzapine include slowing of the electroencephalogram (EEG) during wakefulness and increased circulating levels of leptin. The mechanisms underlying the desired and undesired effects of olanzapine are poorly understood. Sleep and wakefulness are modulated by acetylcholine (ACh) in the prefrontal cortex, and leptin alters cholinergic transmission. This study tested the hypothesis that olanzapine interacts with leptin to regulate ACh release in the prefrontal cortex. Design: Within/between subjects. Setting: University of Michigan. Patients or Participants: Adult male C57BL/6J (B6) mice (n = 33) and B6.V-Lepob (leptin-deficient) mice (n = 31). Interventions: Olanzapine was delivered to the prefrontal cortex by microdialysis. Leptin-replacement in leptin-deficient mice was achieved using subcutaneous micro-osmotic pumps. Measurements and Results: Olanzapine caused a concentration-dependent increase in ACh release in B6 and leptin-deficient mice. Olanzapine was 230-fold more potent in leptin-deficient than in B6 mice for increasing ACh release, yet olanzapine caused a 51% greater ACh increase in B6 than in leptin-deficient mice. Olanzapine had no effect on recovery time from general anesthesia. Olanzapine increased EEG power in the delta (0.5-4 Hz) range. Thus, olanzapine dissociated the normal coupling between increased cortical ACh release, increased behavioral arousal, and EEG activation. Leptin replacement significantly enhanced (75%) the olanzapine-induced increase in ACh release. Conclusion: Replacing leptin by systemic administration restored the olanzapine-induced enhancement of ACh release in the prefrontal cortex of leptin-deficient mouse. Citation: Wathen AB; West ES; Lydic R; Baghdoyan HA. Olanzapine causes a leptin-dependent increase in acetylcholine release in mouse prefrontal cortex. SLEEP 2012

  18. Orbital and medial prefrontal cortex and psychostimulant abuse: studies in animal models.

    PubMed

    Porrino, L J; Lyons, D

    2000-03-01

    One approach to pursuing questions about the neural substrates that support substance abuse-related behaviors involves the use of animal models. Carefully controlled animal experiments can be conducted without the confounds commonly found in studies of human addicts, such as polydrug abuse, variable drug history and premorbid psychiatric conditions. The present paper considers the orbitofrontal and related limbic prefrontal cortex in the context of such models of substance abuse. First, the importance of recognizing the heterogeneous structural and functional nature of orbitofrontal cortex in both rodents and primates is addressed, and the results of studies involving the prefrontal cortex in substance abuse-related behaviors are considered in light of this diversity. Second, data from metabolic mapping studies are described that indicate that the pattern of functional activity within medial and orbitofrontal cortex shifts as the duration of exposure to drugs such as cocaine is extended. These functional differences, in turn, may reflect progressive phases of the addictive process. In order to understand the neurobiological consequences of long-term drug use, it will be important to establish the differing roles played by distinct anatomical territories within orbital and medial prefrontal cortex during the course of chronic substance abuse.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  20. Visual space is compressed in prefrontal cortex before eye movements.

    PubMed

    Zirnsak, Marc; Steinmetz, Nicholas A; Noudoost, Behrad; Xu, Kitty Z; Moore, Tirin

    2014-03-27

    We experience the visual world through a series of saccadic eye movements, each one shifting our gaze to bring objects of interest to the fovea for further processing. Although such movements lead to frequent and substantial displacements of the retinal image, these displacements go unnoticed. It is widely assumed that a primary mechanism underlying this apparent stability is an anticipatory shifting of visual receptive fields (RFs) from their presaccadic to their postsaccadic locations before movement onset. Evidence of this predictive 'remapping' of RFs has been particularly apparent within brain structures involved in gaze control. However, critically absent among that evidence are detailed measurements of visual RFs before movement onset. Here we show that during saccade preparation, rather than remap, RFs of neurons in a prefrontal gaze control area massively converge towards the saccadic target. We mapped the visual RFs of prefrontal neurons during stable fixation and immediately before the onset of eye movements, using multi-electrode recordings in monkeys. Following movements from an initial fixation point to a target, RFs remained stationary in retinocentric space. However, in the period immediately before movement onset, RFs shifted by as much as 18 degrees of visual angle, and converged towards the target location. This convergence resulted in a threefold increase in the proportion of RFs responding to stimuli near the target region. In addition, like in human observers, the population of prefrontal neurons grossly mislocalized presaccadic stimuli as being closer to the target. Our results show that RF shifts do not predict the retinal displacements due to saccades, but instead reflect the overriding perception of target space during eye movements.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  2. Effects of chronic ethanol exposure on neuronal function in the prefrontal cortex and extended amygdala.

    PubMed

    Pleil, Kristen E; Lowery-Gionta, Emily G; Crowley, Nicole A; Li, Chia; Marcinkiewcz, Catherine A; Rose, Jamie H; McCall, Nora M; Maldonado-Devincci, Antoniette M; Morrow, A Leslie; Jones, Sara R; Kash, Thomas L

    2015-12-01

    Chronic alcohol consumption and withdrawal leads to anxiety, escalated alcohol drinking behavior, and alcohol dependence. Alterations in the function of key structures within the cortico-limbic neural circuit have been implicated in underlying the negative behavioral consequences of chronic alcohol exposure in both humans and rodents. Here, we used chronic intermittent ethanol vapor exposure (CIE) in male C57BL/6J mice to evaluate the effects of chronic alcohol exposure and withdrawal on anxiety-like behavior and basal synaptic function and neuronal excitability in prefrontal cortical and extended amygdala brain regions. Forty-eight hours after four cycles of CIE, mice were either assayed in the marble burying test (MBT) or their brains were harvested and whole-cell electrophysiological recordings were performed in the prelimbic and infralimbic medial prefrontal cortex (PLC and ILC), the lateral and medial central nucleus of the amygdala (lCeA and mCeA), and the dorsal and ventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (dBNST and vBNST). Ethanol-exposed mice displayed increased anxiety in the MBT compared to air-exposed controls, and alterations in neuronal function were observed in all brain structures examined, including several distinct differences between subregions within each structure. Chronic ethanol exposure induced hyperexcitability of the ILC, as well as a shift toward excitation in synaptic drive and hyperexcitability of vBNST neurons; in contrast, there was a net inhibition of the CeA. This study reveals extensive effects of chronic ethanol exposure on the basal function of cortico-limbic brain regions, suggests that there may be complex interactions between these regions in the regulation of ethanol-dependent alterations in anxiety state, and highlights the need for future examination of projection-specific effects of ethanol in cortico-limbic circuitry.

  3. Effects of chronic ethanol exposure on neuronal function in the prefrontal cortex and extended amygdala

    PubMed Central

    Pleil, Kristen E.; Lowery-Gionta, Emily G.; Crowley, Nicole A.; Li, Chia; Marcinkiewcz, Catherine A.; Rose, Jamie H.; McCall, Nora M.; Maldonado-Devincci, Antoniette M.; Morrow, A. Leslie; Jones, Sara R.; Kash, Thomas L.

    2016-01-01

    Chronic alcohol consumption and withdrawal leads to anxiety, escalated alcohol drinking behavior, and alcohol dependence. Alterations in the function of key structures within the cortico-limbic neural circuit have been implicated in underlying the negative behavioral consequences of chronic alcohol exposure in both humans and rodents. Here, we used chronic intermittent ethanol vapor exposure (CIE) in male C57BL/6J mice to evaluate the effects of chronic alcohol exposure and withdrawal on anxiety-like behavior and basal synaptic function and neuronal excitability in prefrontal cortical and extended amygdala brain regions. Forty-eight hours after four cycles of CIE, mice were either assayed in the marble burying test (MBT) or their brains were harvested and whole-cell electrophysiological recordings were performed in the prelimbic and infralimbic medial prefrontal cortex (PLC and ILC), the lateral and medial central nucleus of the amygdala (lCeA and mCeA), and the dorsal and ventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (dBNST and vBNST). Ethanol-exposed mice displayed increased anxiety in the MBT compared to air-exposed controls, and alterations in neuronal function were observed in all brain structures examined, including several distinct differences between subregions within each structure. Chronic ethanol exposure induced hyperexcitability of the ILC, as well as a shift toward excitation in synaptic drive and hyperexcitability of vBNST neurons; in contrast, there was a net inhibition of the CeA. This study reveals extensive effects of chronic ethanol exposure on the basal function of cortico-limbic brain regions, suggests that there may be complex interactions between these regions in the regulation of ethanol-dependent alterations in anxiety state, and highlights the need for future examination of projection-specific effects of ethanol in cortico-limbic circuitry. PMID:26188147

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

    PubMed

    Perrier, Joy; Clochon, Patrice; Bertran, Françoise; Couque, Colette; Bulla, Jan; Denise, Pierre; Bocca, Marie-Laure

    2015-01-01

    To assess the specific prefrontal activity in comparison to those in the other main cortical areas in primary insomnia patients and in good sleepers. 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. 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. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  6. Reduced anterior prefrontal cortex activation in young binge drinkers during a visual working memory task.

    PubMed

    Crego, Alberto; Rodriguez-Holguín, Socorro; Parada, María; Mota, Nayara; Corral, Montserrat; Cadaveira, Fernando

    2010-06-01

    Working memory (WM) is a major cognitive function that is altered by chronic alcohol consumption. This impairment has been linked to alterations in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Animal and human studies have shown that the adolescent brain is more sensitive to the neurotoxic effects of alcohol than the adult brain, particularly those structures that mature late on in development, such as the hippocampus and prefrontal brain. The aim of the present study was to assess visual working memory and its neural correlates in young university students who partake in intermittent consumption of large amounts of alcohol (binge drinkers). A sample of 42 binge drinkers and 53 corresponding control subjects performed an identical pairs continuous performance task (IP-CPT) in a combined event-related potential (ERP) and exact low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (eLORETA) study. The results revealed that, despite adequate performance, binge drinkers showed a smaller late positive component (LPC) associated with hypoactivation of the right anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC) for matching stimuli, in comparison with control subjects. These findings may reveal binge drinking-related functional alteration in recognition working memory processes and suggest that impaired prefrontal cortex function may occur at an early age in binge drinkers.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  8. Anterior prefrontal cortex contributes to action selection through tracking of recent reward trends

    PubMed Central

    Kovach, Christopher K.; Daw, Nathaniel; Rudrauf, David; Tranel, Daniel; O’Doherty, John P.; Adolphs, Ralph

    2012-01-01

    The functions of prefrontal cortex remain enigmatic, especially so for its anterior sectors, putatively ranging from planning to self-initiated behavior, social cognition, task-switching and memory. A predominant current theory regarding the most anterior sector, frontopolar cortex (FPC), is that it is involved in exploring alternate courses of action, but the detailed causal mechanisms remain unknown. Here we investigated this issue using the lesion method together with a novel model-based analysis. Eight patients with anterior prefrontal brain lesions including the FPC performed a 4-armed bandit task known from neuroimaging studies to activate FPC. Model-based analyses of learning demonstrated a selective deficit in the ability to extrapolate the most recent trend, despite an intact general ability to learn from past rewards. Whereas both brain-damaged and healthy controls used comparisons between the two most recent choice outcomes to infer trends that influenced their decision about the next choice, the group with anterior prefrontal lesions showed a complete absence of this component and instead based their choice entirely on the cumulative reward history. Given that the FPC is thought to be the most evolutionarily recent expansion of primate prefrontal cortex, we suggest that its function may reflect uniquely human adaptations to select and update models of reward contingency in dynamic environments. PMID:22723683

  9. Neurons responsive to face-view in the Primate Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Romanski, Lizabeth M.; Diehl, Maria M.

    2011-01-01

    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 non-human 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

  10. Remote effects of hypothalamic lesions in the prefrontal cortex of craniopharygioma patients.

    PubMed

    Ozyurt, Jale; Lorenzen, Anna; Gebhardt, Ursel; Warmuth-Metz, Monika; Müller, Hermann L; Thiel, Christiane M

    2014-05-01

    Albeit histologically low grade (WHO I(o)) brain tumors, craniopharyngiomas and/or their surgical removal frequently affect the hypothalamus, amongst other brain regions at risk. Due to rich hypothalamic connections with prefrontal and limbic regions, hypothalamic injury may adversely affect neural substrates of emotion processing and higher cognitive control, including memory and executive functions. The current study is the first to investigate the consequences of hypothalamic involvement on neural substrates of emotional and cognitive functioning. Ten patients with childhood craniopharyngioma and known hypothalamic involvement and fifteen age- and intelligence matched control subjects (median age: 17.8 and 17.3 yrs.) were studied with functional magnetic resonance imaging and an emotional face recognition task. During encoding, participants were asked to classify neutral and emotional faces. In a subsequent recognition phase, participants had to recognize these old faces within a set of new faces. Behavioral performance was comparable between patients and controls. Neural activity revealed, however, differential recruitment of fronto-limbic brain regions during recognition. Patients exhibited an abnormal pattern of task-induced activation and deactivation in the anterior and posterior rostral medial prefrontal cortex and a higher functional coupling between anterior rostral medial prefrontal cortex and the thalamus. Additionally, we found a higher reactivity in the patients' amygdala to emotional relative to neutral faces when compared to healthy controls. Our data provide first evidence that hypothalamic damage impacts neural correlates of memory retrieval in medial prefrontal cortex, indicating a less efficient use of an area involved in executive control processes. We propose that the deactivation failure in the patients' anterior rostral medial prefrontal cortex is related to an increased coupling with the thalamus and reflects a reduced efficiency to

  11. Inactivation of the dorsal hippocampus or the medial prefrontal cortex impairs retrieval but has differential effect on spatial memory reconsolidation.

    PubMed

    Rossato, Janine I; Köhler, Cristiano A; Radiske, Andressa; Bevilaqua, Lia R M; Cammarota, Martín

    2015-11-01

    Active memories can incorporate new information through reconsolidation. However, the notion that memory retrieval is necessary for reconsolidation has been recently challenged. Non-reinforced retrieval induces hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC)-dependent reconsolidation of spatial memory in the Morris water maze (MWM). We found that the effect of protein synthesis inhibition on this process is abolished when retrieval of the learned spatial preference is hindered through mPFC inactivation but not when it is blocked by deactivation of dorsal CA1. Our results do not fully agree with the hypothesis that retrieval is unneeded for reconsolidation. Instead, they support the idea that a hierarchic interaction between the hippocampus and the mPFC controls spatial memory in the MWM, and indicate that this cortex is sufficient to retrieve the information essential to reconsolidate the spatial memory trace, even when the hippocampus is inactivated.

  12. Reducing the Harm of Stress: Medications to Rescue the Prefrontal Cortex and Overcome Bad Habits

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Lu E.

    2011-01-01

    Our brain is sensitive to stress. Both acute and chronic stress cause cognitive deficits and induce chronic disorders such as drug addiction. In a June 2011 conference at Yale entitled “The Science of Stress: Focus on the Brain, Breaking Bad Habits, and Chronic Disease,” Drs. Amy Arnsten and Sherry Mckee discussed the roles of prefrontal cortex in the treatment of stress impairments and addiction. Medications to strengthen the prefrontal function, such as prazosin and guanfacine, may reduce the harm of stress and help overcome smoking and alcohol abuse. PMID:22180685

  13. Cognitive findings after transient global amnesia: role of prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Le Pira, Francesco; Giuffrida, Salvatore; Maci, Tiziana; Reggio, Ester; Zappalà, Giuseppe; Perciavalle, Vincenzo

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this study is to verify, after recovery, the presence of specific patterns of cognitive dysfunctions in Transient Global Amnesia (TGA). Fourteen patients with the diagnosis of TGA were submitted to a battery of neuropsychological tests and compared to a matched control group. We found significant qualitative and quantitative differences between TGA patients and controls in the California Verbal Learning Test (CLVT) and Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test. Our data support the presence of selective cognitive dysfunctions after the clinical recovery. Moreover, for Verbal Fluency, Digit Span Backward, and Number of Clusters in the CVLT short-term memory test, the relation resulted as positively related with the temporal interval from the TGA episode. Reduction of categorical learning, attention, and qualitative alterations of spatial strategy seem to postulate a planning defect due to a prefrontal impairment.

  14. Emotional processing in anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Etkin, Amit; Egner, Tobias; Kalisch, Raffael

    2010-01-01

    Negative emotional stimuli activate a broad network, including the medial prefrontal (mPFC) and anterior cingulate (ACC) cortices. An early influential view dichotomized these regions into dorsal-caudal “cognitive” and ventral-rostral “affective” subdivisions. In this review, we examine a wealth of recent research on negative emotions in animals and humans, using the example of fear/anxiety, and conclude that, contrary to the traditional dichotomy, both subdivisions make key contributions to emotional processing. Specifically, dorsal-caudal regions of the ACC/mPFC are involved in appraisal and expression of negative emotion, while ventral-rostral portions of the ACC/mPFC have a regulatory role with respect to limbic regions involved in generating emotional responses. Moreover, this new framework is broadly consistent with emerging data on other negative and positive emotions. PMID:21167765

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  17. Prefrontal cortex output circuits guide reward seeking through divergent cue encoding.

    PubMed

    Otis, James M; Namboodiri, Vijay M K; Matan, Ana M; Voets, Elisa S; Mohorn, Emily P; Kosyk, Oksana; McHenry, Jenna A; Robinson, J Elliott; Resendez, Shanna L; Rossi, Mark A; Stuber, Garret D

    2017-03-02

    The prefrontal cortex is a critical neuroanatomical hub for controlling motivated behaviours across mammalian species. In addition to intra-cortical connectivity, prefrontal projection neurons innervate subcortical structures that contribute to reward-seeking behaviours, such as the ventral striatum and midline thalamus. While connectivity among these structures contributes to appetitive behaviours, how projection-specific prefrontal neurons encode reward-relevant information to guide reward seeking is unknown. Here we use in vivo two-photon calcium imaging to monitor the activity of dorsomedial prefrontal neurons in mice during an appetitive Pavlovian conditioning task. At the population level, these neurons display diverse activity patterns during the presentation of reward-predictive cues. However, recordings from prefrontal neurons with resolved projection targets reveal that individual corticostriatal neurons show response tuning to reward-predictive cues, such that excitatory cue responses are amplified across learning. By contrast, corticothalamic neurons gradually develop new, primarily inhibitory responses to reward-predictive cues across learning. Furthermore, bidirectional optogenetic manipulation of these neurons reveals that stimulation of corticostriatal neurons promotes conditioned reward-seeking behaviour after learning, while activity in corticothalamic neurons suppresses both the acquisition and expression of conditioned reward seeking. These data show how prefrontal circuitry can dynamically control reward-seeking behaviour through the opposing activities of projection-specific cell populations.

  18. Perseverative Interference with Object-in-Place Scene Learning in Rhesus Monkeys with Bilateral Ablation of Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baxter, Mark G.; Browning, Philip G. F.; Mitchell, Anna S.

    2008-01-01

    Surgical disconnection of the frontal cortex and inferotemporal cortex severely impairs many aspects of visual learning and memory, including learning of new object-in-place scene memory problems, a monkey model of episodic memory. As part of a study of specialization within prefrontal cortex in visual learning and memory, we tested monkeys with…

  19. Perseverative Interference with Object-in-Place Scene Learning in Rhesus Monkeys with Bilateral Ablation of Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baxter, Mark G.; Browning, Philip G. F.; Mitchell, Anna S.

    2008-01-01

    Surgical disconnection of the frontal cortex and inferotemporal cortex severely impairs many aspects of visual learning and memory, including learning of new object-in-place scene memory problems, a monkey model of episodic memory. As part of a study of specialization within prefrontal cortex in visual learning and memory, we tested monkeys with…

  20. Persistent Interneuronopathy in the Prefrontal Cortex of Young Adult Offspring Exposed to Ethanol In Utero.

    PubMed

    Skorput, Alexander G J; Gupta, Vivek P; Yeh, Pamela W L; Yeh, Hermes H

    2015-08-05

    Gestational exposure to ethanol has been reported to alter the disposition of tangentially migrating GABAergic cortical interneurons, but much remains to be elucidated. Here we first established the migration of interneurons as a proximal target of ethanol by limiting ethanol exposure in utero to the gestational window when tangential migration is at its height. We then asked whether the aberrant tangential migration of GABAergic interneurons persisted as an enduring interneuronopathy in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) later in the life of offspring prenatally exposed to ethanol. Time pregnant mice with Nkx2.1Cre/Ai14 embryos harboring tdTomato-fluorescent medial ganglionic eminence (MGE)-derived cortical GABAergic interneurons were subjected to a 3 day binge-type 5% w/w ethanol consumption regimen from embryonic day (E) 13.5-16.5, spanning the peak of corticopetal interneuron migration in the fetal brain. Our binge-type regimen increased the density of MGE-derived interneurons in the E16.5 mPFC. In young adult offspring exposed to ethanol in utero, this effect persisted as an increase in the number of mPFC layer V parvalbumin-immunopositive interneurons. Commensurately, patch-clamp recording in mPFC layer V pyramidal neurons uncovered enhanced GABA-mediated spontaneous and evoked synaptic transmission, shifting the inhibitory/excitatory balance toward favoring inhibition. Furthermore, young adult offspring exposed to the 3 day binge-type ethanol regimen exhibited impaired reversal learning in a modified Barnes maze, indicative of decreased PFC-dependent behavioral flexibility, and heightened locomotor activity in an open field arena. Our findings underscore that aberrant neuronal migration, inhibitory/excitatory imbalance, and thus interneuronopathy contribute to indelible abnormal cortical circuit form and function in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. The significance of this study is twofold. First, we demonstrate that a time-delimited binge-type ethanol

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

    PubMed

    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.

  2. Impaired executive function following ischemic stroke in the rat medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Cordova, Chris A; Jackson, Danielle; Langdon, Kristopher D; Hewlett, Krista A; Corbett, Dale

    2014-01-01

    Small (lacunar) infarcts frequently arise in frontal and midline thalamic regions in the absence of major stroke. Damage to these areas often leads to impairment of executive function likely as a result of interrupting connections of the prefrontal cortex. Thus, patients experience frontal-like symptoms such as impaired ability to shift ongoing behavior and attention. In contrast, executive dysfunction has not been demonstrated in rodent models of stroke, thereby limiting the development of potential therapies for human executive dysfunction. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n=40) underwent either sham surgery or bilateral endothelin-1 injections in the mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus or in the medial prefrontal cortex. Executive function was assessed using a rodent attention set shifting test that requires animals to shift attention to stimuli in different stimulus dimensions. Medial prefrontal cortex ischemia impaired attention shift performance between different stimulus dimensions while sparing stimulus discrimination and attention shifts within a stimulus dimension, indicating a selective attention set-shift deficit. Rats with mediodorsal thalamic lacunar damage did not exhibit a cognitive impairment relative to sham controls. The selective attention set shift impairment observed in this study is consistent with clinical data demonstrating selective executive disorders following stroke within specific sub-regions of frontal cortex. These data contribute to the development and validation of a preclinical animal model of executive dysfunction, that can be employed to identify potential therapies for ameliorating cognitive deficits following stroke.

  3. The Time Course of Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex Involvement in Memory Formation

    PubMed Central

    Machizawa, Maro G.; Kalla, Roger; Walsh, Vincent

    2010-01-01

    Human neuroimaging studies have implicated a number of brain regions in long-term memory formation. Foremost among these is ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. Here, we used double-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to assess whether the contribution of this part of cortex is crucial for laying down new memories and, if so, to examine the time course of this process. Healthy adult volunteers performed an incidental encoding task (living/nonliving judgments) on sequences of words. In separate series, the task was performed either on its own or while TMS was applied to one of two sites of experimental interest (left/right anterior inferior frontal gyrus) or a control site (vertex). TMS pulses were delivered at 350, 750, or 1,150 ms following word onset. After a delay of 15 min, memory for the items was probed with a recognition memory test including confidence judgments. TMS to all three sites nonspecifically affected the speed and accuracy with which judgments were made during the encoding task. However, only TMS to prefrontal cortex affected later memory performance. Stimulation of left or right inferior frontal gyrus at all three time points reduced the likelihood that a word would later be recognized by a small, but significant, amount (∼4%). These findings indicate that bilateral ventrolateral prefrontal cortex plays an essential role in memory formation, exerting its influence between ≥350 and 1,150 ms after an event is encountered. PMID:20089812

  4. Sensory Deprivation during Early Postnatal Period Alters the Density of Interneurons in the Mouse Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Ueno, Hiroshi; Suemitsu, Shunsuke; Matsumoto, Yosuke; Okamoto, Motoi

    2015-01-01

    Early loss of one sensory system can cause improved function of other sensory systems. However, both the time course and neuronal mechanism of cross-modal plasticity remain elusive. Recent study using functional MRI in humans suggests a role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in cross-modal plasticity. Since this phenomenon is assumed to be associated with altered GABAergic inhibition in the PFC, we have tested the hypothesis that early postnatal sensory deprivation causes the changes of inhibitory neuronal circuit in different regions of the PFC of the mice. We determined the effects of sensory deprivation from birth to postnatal day 28 (P28) or P58 on the density of parvalbumin (PV), calbindin (CB), and calretinin (CR) neurons in the prelimbic, infralimbic, and dorsal anterior cingulate cortices. The density of PV and CB neurons was significantly increased in layer 5/6 (L5/6). Moreover, the density of CR neurons was higher in L2/3 in sensory deprived mice compared to intact mice. These changes were more prominent at P56 than at P28. These results suggest that long-term sensory deprivation causes the changes of intracortical inhibitory networks in the PFC and the changes of inhibitory networks in the PFC may contribute to cross-modal plasticity.

  5. DNA methylation in the medial prefrontal cortex regulates alcohol-induced behavior and plasticity.

    PubMed

    Barbier, Estelle; Tapocik, Jenica D; Juergens, Nathan; Pitcairn, Caleb; Borich, Abbey; Schank, Jesse R; Sun, Hui; Schuebel, Kornel; Zhou, Zhifeng; Yuan, Qiaoping; Vendruscolo, Leandro F; Goldman, David; Heilig, Markus

    2015-04-15

    Recent studies have suggested an association between alcoholism and DNA methylation, a mechanism that can mediate long-lasting changes in gene transcription. Here, we examined the contribution of DNA methylation to the long-term behavioral and molecular changes induced by a history of alcohol dependence. In search of mechanisms underlying persistent rather than acute dependence-induced neuroadaptations, we studied the role of DNA methylation regulating medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) gene expression and alcohol-related behaviors in rats 3 weeks into abstinence following alcohol dependence. Postdependent rats showed escalated alcohol intake, which was associated with increased DNA methylation as well as decreased expression of genes encoding synaptic proteins involved in neurotransmitter release in the mPFC. Infusion of the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor RG108 prevented both escalation of alcohol consumption and dependence-induced downregulation of 4 of the 7 transcripts modified in postdependent rats. Specifically, RG108 treatment directly reversed both downregulation of synaptotagmin 2 (Syt2) gene expression and hypermethylation on CpG#5 of its first exon. Lentiviral inhibition of Syt2 expression in the mPFC increased aversion-resistant alcohol drinking, supporting a mechanistic role of Syt2 in compulsive-like behavior. Our findings identified a functional role of DNA methylation in alcohol dependence-like behavioral phenotypes and a candidate gene network that may mediate its effects. Together, these data provide novel evidence for DNA methyltransferases as potential therapeutic targets in alcoholism.

  6. Evidence for Competition for Target Innervation in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Guirado, Ramon; Umemori, Juzoh; Sipilä, Pia; Castrén, Eero

    2016-01-01

    Inputs to sensory cortices are known to compete for target innervation through an activity-dependent mechanism during critical periods. To investigate whether this principle also applies to association cortices such as the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), we produced a bilateral lesion during early development to the ventral hippocampus (vHC), an input to the mPFC, and analyzed the intensity of the projection from another input, the basolateral amgydala (BLA). We found that axons from the BLA had a higher density of “en passant” boutons in the mPFC of lesioned animals. Furthermore, the density of neurons labeled with retrograde tracers was increased, and neurons projecting from the BLA to the mPFC showed increased expression of FosB. Since neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion has been used as an animal model of schizophrenia, we investigated its effects on behavior and found a negative correlation between the density of retrogradely labeled neurons in the BLA and the reduction of the startle response in the prepulse inhibition test. Our results not only indicate that the inputs from the BLA and the vHC compete for target innervation in the mPFC during postnatal development but also that subsequent abnormal rewiring might underlie the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. PMID:26637448

  7. DNA Methylation in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex Regulates Alcohol-Induced Behavior and Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Tapocik, Jenica D.; Juergens, Nathan; Pitcairn, Caleb; Borich, Abbey; Schank, Jesse R.; Sun, Hui; Schuebel, Kornel; Zhou, Zhifeng; Yuan, Qiaoping; Vendruscolo, Leandro F.; Goldman, David; Heilig, Markus

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies have suggested an association between alcoholism and DNA methylation, a mechanism that can mediate long-lasting changes in gene transcription. Here, we examined the contribution of DNA methylation to the long-term behavioral and molecular changes induced by a history of alcohol dependence. In search of mechanisms underlying persistent rather than acute dependence-induced neuroadaptations, we studied the role of DNA methylation regulating medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) gene expression and alcohol-related behaviors in rats 3 weeks into abstinence following alcohol dependence. Postdependent rats showed escalated alcohol intake, which was associated with increased DNA methylation as well as decreased expression of genes encoding synaptic proteins involved in neurotransmitter release in the mPFC. Infusion of the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor RG108 prevented both escalation of alcohol consumption and dependence-induced downregulation of 4 of the 7 transcripts modified in postdependent rats. Specifically, RG108 treatment directly reversed both downregulation of synaptotagmin 2 (Syt2) gene expression and hypermethylation on CpG#5 of its first exon. Lentiviral inhibition of Syt2 expression in the mPFC increased aversion-resistant alcohol drinking, supporting a mechanistic role of Syt2 in compulsive-like behavior. Our findings identified a functional role of DNA methylation in alcohol dependence-like behavioral phenotypes and a candidate gene network that may mediate its effects. Together, these data provide novel evidence for DNA methyltransferases as potential therapeutic targets in alcoholism. PMID:25878287

  8. The neurotensin agonist PD149163 increases Fos expression in the prefrontal cortex of the rat.

    PubMed

    Petrie, Kimberly A; Bubser, Michael; Casey, Cheryl D; Davis, M Duff; Roth, Bryan L; Deutch, Ariel Y

    2004-10-01

    Dopaminergic axons innervating the prefrontal cortex (PFC) target both pyramidal cells and GABAergic interneurons. Many of these dopamine (DA) axons in the rat coexpress the peptide neurotransmitter neurotensin. Previous electrophysiological data have suggested that neurotensin activates GABAergic interneurons in the PFC. Activation of D2-like DA receptors increases extracellular GABA levels in the PFC, as opposed to the striatum, where D2 receptor activation inhibits GABAergic neurons. Because activation of presynaptic D2 release-modulating autoreceptors in the PFC suppresses DA release but increases release of the cotransmitter neurotensin, D2 agonists may enhance the activity of GABAergic interneurons via release of neurotensin. In order to determine if neurotensin can activate GABAergic interneurons, we treated rats with the peptide neurotensin agonist, PD149163, and examined Fos expression in PFC neurons. Systemic administration of PD149163 increased overall Fos expression in the PFC, but not in the dorsal striatum. PD149163 induced Fos in PFC interneurons, as defined by the presence of calcium-binding proteins, and in pyramidal cells. Pretreatment with the high-affinity neurotensin antagonist, SR48692, blocked neurotensin agonist-induced Fos expression. These data suggest that neurotensin activates interneurons in the PFC of the rat.

  9. Global quantitative analysis of phosphorylation underlying phencyclidine signaling and sensorimotor gating in the prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    McClatchy, Daniel B.; Savas, Jeffrey N.; Martínez-Bartolomé, Salvador; Park, Sung Kyu; Maher, Pamela; Powell, Susan B.; Yates, John R.

    2015-01-01

    Prepulse inhibition (PPI) is an example of sensorimotor gating and deficits in PPI have been demonstrated in schizophrenia patients. Phencyclidine (PCP) suppression of PPI in animals has been studied to elucidate the pathological elements of schizophrenia. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying PCP treatment or PPI in the brain are still poorly understood. In this study, quantitative phosphoproteomic analysis was performed on the prefrontal cortex from rats that were subjected to PPI after being systemically injected with PCP or saline. PCP down-regulated phosphorylation events were significantly enriched in proteins associated with long-term potentiation (LTP). Importantly, this dataset identifies functionally novel phosphorylation sites on known LTP-associated signaling molecules. In addition, mutagenesis of a significantly altered phosphorylation site on xCT (SLC7A11), the light chain of system xc-, the cystine/glutamate antiporter, suggests that PCP also regulates the activity of this protein. Finally, new insights were also derived on PPI signaling independent of PCP treatment. This is the first quantitative phosphorylation proteomic analysis providing new molecular insights into sensorimotor gating. PMID:25869802

  10. Global quantitative analysis of phosphorylation underlying phencyclidine signaling and sensorimotor gating in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    McClatchy, D B; Savas, J N; Martínez-Bartolomé, S; Park, S K; Maher, P; Powell, S B; Yates, J R

    2016-02-01

    Prepulse inhibition (PPI) is an example of sensorimotor gating and deficits in PPI have been demonstrated in schizophrenia patients. Phencyclidine (PCP) suppression of PPI in animals has been studied to elucidate the pathological elements of schizophrenia. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying PCP treatment or PPI in the brain are still poorly understood. In this study, quantitative phosphoproteomic analysis was performed on the prefrontal cortex from rats that were subjected to PPI after being systemically injected with PCP or saline. PCP downregulated phosphorylation events were significantly enriched in proteins associated with long-term potentiation (LTP). Importantly, this data set identifies functionally novel phosphorylation sites on known LTP-associated signaling molecules. In addition, mutagenesis of a significantly altered phosphorylation site on xCT (SLC7A11), the light chain of system xc-, the cystine/glutamate antiporter, suggests that PCP also regulates the activity of this protein. Finally, new insights were also derived on PPI signaling independent of PCP treatment. This is the first quantitative phosphorylation proteomic analysis providing new molecular insights into sensorimotor gating.

  11. Functional Maturation of GABA Synapses During Postnatal Development of the Monkey Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez-Burgos, Guillermo; Miyamae, Takeaki; Pafundo, Diego E.; Yoshino, Hiroki; Rotaru, Diana C.; Hoftman, Gil; Datta, Dibyadeep; Zhang, Yun; Hammond, Mahjub; Sampson, Allan R.; Fish, Kenneth N.; Bard Ermentrout, G.; Lewis, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Development of inhibition onto pyramidal cells may be crucial for the emergence of cortical network activity, including gamma oscillations. In primate dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), inhibitory synaptogenesis starts in utero and inhibitory synapse density reaches adult levels before birth. However, in DLPFC, the expression levels of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) synapse-related gene products changes markedly during development until young adult age, suggesting a highly protracted maturation of GABA synapse function. Therefore, we examined the development of GABA synapses by recording GABAAR-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (GABAAR-IPSCs) from pyramidal cells in the DLPFC of neonatal, prepubertal, peripubertal, and adult macaque monkeys. We found that the decay of GABAAR-IPSCs, possibly including those from parvalbumin-positive GABA neurons, shortened by prepubertal age, while their amplitude increased until the peripubertal period. Interestingly, both GABAAR-mediated quantal response size, estimated by miniature GABAAR-IPSCs, and the density of GABAAR synaptic appositions, measured with immunofluorescence microscopy, were stable with age. Simulations in a computational model network with constant GABA synapse density showed that the developmental changes in GABAAR-IPSC properties had a significant impact on oscillatory activity and predicted that, whereas DLPFC circuits can generate gamma frequency oscillations by prepubertal age, mature levels of gamma band power are attained at late stages of development. PMID:24904071

  12. Functional Maturation of GABA Synapses During Postnatal Development of the Monkey Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Burgos, Guillermo; Miyamae, Takeaki; Pafundo, Diego E; Yoshino, Hiroki; Rotaru, Diana C; Hoftman, Gil; Datta, Dibyadeep; Zhang, Yun; Hammond, Mahjub; Sampson, Allan R; Fish, Kenneth N; Ermentrout, G Bard; Lewis, David A

    2015-11-01

    Development of inhibition onto pyramidal cells may be crucial for the emergence of cortical network activity, including gamma oscillations. In primate dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), inhibitory synaptogenesis starts in utero and inhibitory synapse density reaches adult levels before birth. However, in DLPFC, the expression levels of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) synapse-related gene products changes markedly during development until young adult age, suggesting a highly protracted maturation of GABA synapse function. Therefore, we examined the development of GABA synapses by recording GABAAR-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (GABAAR-IPSCs) from pyramidal cells in the DLPFC of neonatal, prepubertal, peripubertal, and adult macaque monkeys. We found that the decay of GABAAR-IPSCs, possibly including those from parvalbumin-positive GABA neurons, shortened by prepubertal age, while their amplitude increased until the peripubertal period. Interestingly, both GABAAR-mediated quantal response size, estimated by miniature GABAAR-IPSCs, and the density of GABAAR synaptic appositions, measured with immunofluorescence microscopy, were stable with age. Simulations in a computational model network with constant GABA synapse density showed that the developmental changes in GABAAR-IPSC properties had a significant impact on oscillatory activity and predicted that, whereas DLPFC circuits can generate gamma frequency oscillations by prepubertal age, mature levels of gamma band power are attained at late stages of development.

  13. Transcriptomic immaturity of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in patients with alcoholism

    PubMed Central

    Murano, Tomoyuki; Koshimizu, Hisatsugu; Hagihara, Hideo; Miyakawa, Tsuyoshi

    2017-01-01

    Alcoholism, which is defined as the recurring harmful use of alcohol despite its negative consequences, has a lifetime prevalence of 17.8%. Previous studies have shown that chronic alcohol consumption disrupts various brain functions and behaviours. However, the precise mechanisms that underlie alcoholism are currently unclear. Recently, we discovered “pseudo-immature” brain cell states of the dentate gyrus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) in mouse models of psychotic disorders and epileptic seizure. Similar pseudo-immaturity has been observed in patients with psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Patients with alcoholism occasionally exhibit similar psychological symptoms, implying shared molecular and cellular mechanisms between these diseases. Here, we performed a meta-analysis to compare microarray data from the hippocampi/PFCs of the patients with alcoholism to data from these regions in developing human brains and mouse developmental data for specific cell types. We identified immature-like gene expression patterns in post-mortem hippocampi/PFCs of alcoholic patients and the dominant contributions of fast-spiking (FS) neurons to their pseudo-immaturity. These results suggested that FS neuron dysfunction and the subsequent imbalance between excitation and inhibition can be associated with pseudo-immaturity in alcoholism. These immaturities in the hippocampi/PFCs and the underlying mechanisms may explain the psychotic symptom generation and pathophysiology of alcoholism. PMID:28295046

  14. Interfering with activity in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex via TMS affects social impressions updating.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Chiara; Vecchi, Tomaso; Todorov, Alexander; Cattaneo, Zaira

    2016-08-01

    In our everyday social interactions we often need to deal with others' unpredictable behaviors. Integrating unexpected information in a consistent representation of another agent is a cognitively demanding process. Several neuroimaging studies point to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) as a critical structure in mediating social evaluations. Our aim here was to shed light on the possible causal role of the mPFC in the dynamic process of forming and updating social impressions about others. We addressed this issue by suppressing activity in the mPFC by means of 1 Hz offline transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) prior to a task requiring participants to evaluate other agents' trustworthiness after reading about their social behavior. In two different experiments, we found that inhibiting activity in the mPFC increased perceived trustworthiness when inconsistent information about one agent's behavior was provided. In turn, when only negative or positive behaviors of a person were described, TMS over the mPFC did not affect judgments. Our results indicate that the mPFC is causally involved in mediating social impressions updating-at least in cases in which judgment is uncertain due to conflicting information to be processed.

  15. Sensory Deprivation during Early Postnatal Period Alters the Density of Interneurons in the Mouse Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Ueno, Hiroshi; Suemitsu, Shunsuke; Matsumoto, Yosuke; Okamoto, Motoi

    2015-01-01

    Early loss of one sensory system can cause improved function of other sensory systems. However, both the time course and neuronal mechanism of cross-modal plasticity remain elusive. Recent study using functional MRI in humans suggests a role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in cross-modal plasticity. Since this phenomenon is assumed to be associated with altered GABAergic inhibition in the PFC, we have tested the hypothesis that early postnatal sensory deprivation causes the changes of inhibitory neuronal circuit in different regions of the PFC of the mice. We determined the effects of sensory deprivation from birth to postnatal day 28 (P28) or P58 on the density of parvalbumin (PV), calbindin (CB), and calretinin (CR) neurons in the prelimbic, infralimbic, and dorsal anterior cingulate cortices. The density of PV and CB neurons was significantly increased in layer 5/6 (L5/6). Moreover, the density of CR neurons was higher in L2/3 in sensory deprived mice compared to intact mice. These changes were more prominent at P56 than at P28. These results suggest that long-term sensory deprivation causes the changes of intracortical inhibitory networks in the PFC and the changes of inhibitory networks in the PFC may contribute to cross-modal plasticity. PMID:26161272

  16. Wnt/β-catenin pathway in the prefrontal cortex is required for cocaine-induced neuroadaptations.

    PubMed

    Cuesta, Santiago; Severin, Maria J; Batuecas, Jorgelina; Rosso, Silvana B; Pacchioni, Alejandra M

    2016-02-22

    Behavioral sensitization is a progressive and enduring enhancement of the motor stimulant effects elicited by repeated administration of drugs of abuse. It can be divided into two distinct temporal and anatomical domains, termed initiation and expression, which are characterized by specific molecular and neurochemical changes. This study examines the role of the Wnt canonical pathway mediating the induction of cocaine sensitization. We found that β-catenin levels in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), amygdala (Amyg) and dorsal striatum (CPu) are decreased in animals that show sensitization. Accordingly, GSK3β activity levels are increased in the same areas. Moreover, β-catenin levels in nuclear fraction, mRNA expression of Axin2 and Wnt7b are decreased in the PFC of sensitized animals. Then, in order to demonstrate that changes in the PFC are crucial for initiation of sensitization, we either rescue β-catenin levels with a systemic treatment of a GSK3β inhibitor (Lithium Chloride) or inhibit Wnt/β-catenin pathway with an intracerebral infusion of Sulindac before each cocaine injection. As expected, rescuing β-catenin levels in the PFC as well as CPu and Amyg blocks cocaine-induced sensitization, while decreasing β-catenin levels exclusively in the PFC exacerbates it. Therefore, our results demonstrate a new role for the Wnt/β-catenin pathway as a required neuroadaptation in inducing behavioral sensitization.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  18. Differences in time course activation of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex associated with low or high risk choices in a gambling task

    PubMed Central

    Bembich, Stefano; Clarici, Andrea; Vecchiet, Cristina; Baldassi, Giulio; Cont, Gabriele; Demarini, Sergio

    2014-01-01

    Prefrontal cortex plays an important role in decision making (DM), supporting choices in the ordinary uncertainty of everyday life. To assess DM in an unpredictable situation, a playing card task, such as the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), has been proposed. This task is supposed to specifically test emotion-based learning, linked to the integrity of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC). However, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has demonstrated a role in IGT performance too. Our aim was to study, by multichannel near-infrared spectroscopy, the contribution of DLPFC to the IGT execution over time. We tested the hypothesis that low and high risk choices would differentially activate DLPFC, as IGT execution progressed. We enrolled 11 healthy adults. To identify DLPFC activation associated with IGT choices, we compared regional differences in oxy-hemoglobin variation, from baseline to the event. The time course of task execution was divided in four periods, each one consisting of 25 choices, and DLPFC activation was distinctly analyzed for low and high risk choices in each period. We found different time courses in DLPFC activation, associated with low or high risk choices. During the first period, a significant DLPFC activation emerged with low risk choices, whereas, during the second period, we found a cortical activation with high risk choices. Then, DLPFC activation decreased to non-significant levels during the third and fourth period. This study shows that DLPFC involvement in IGT execution is differentiated over time and according to choice risk level. DLPFC is activated only in the first half of the task, earlier by low risk and later by high risk choices. We speculate that DLPFC may sustain initial and more cognitive functions, such as attention shifting and response inhibition. The lack of DLPFC activation, as the task progresses, may be due to VMPFC activation, not detectable by fNIRS, which takes over the IGT execution in its second half. PMID

  19. Methylphenidate and Atomoxetine Inhibit Social Play Behavior through Prefrontal and Subcortical Limbic Mechanisms in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Achterberg, E.J. Marijke; van Kerkhof, Linda W.M.; Damsteegt, Ruth; Trezza, Viviana

    2015-01-01

    Positive social interactions during the juvenile and adolescent phases of life, in the form of social play behavior, are important for social and cognitive development. However, the neural mechanisms of social play behavior remain incompletely understood. We have previously shown that methylphenidate and atomoxetine, drugs widely used for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), suppress social play in rats through a noradrenergic mechanism of action. Here, we aimed to identify the neural substrates of the play-suppressant effects of these drugs. Methylphenidate is thought to exert its effects on cognition and emotion through limbic corticostriatal systems. Therefore, methylphenidate was infused into prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortical regions as well as into several subcortical limbic areas implicated in social play. Infusion of methylphenidate into the anterior cingulate cortex, infralimbic cortex, basolateral amygdala, and habenula inhibited social play, but not social exploratory behavior or locomotor activity. Consistent with a noradrenergic mechanism of action of methylphenidate, infusion of the noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor atomoxetine into these same regions also reduced social play. Methylphenidate administration into the prelimbic, medial/ventral orbitofrontal, and ventrolateral orbitofrontal cortex, mediodorsal thalamus, or nucleus accumbens shell was ineffective. Our data show that the inhibitory effects of methylphenidate and atomoxetine on social play are mediated through a distributed network of prefrontal and limbic subcortical regions implicated in cognitive control and emotional processes. These findings increase our understanding of the neural underpinnings of this developmentally important social behavior, as well as the mechanism of action of two widely used treatments for ADHD. PMID:25568111

  20. Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex is required for performance of a strategy implementation task but not reinforcer devaluation effects in rhesus monkeys

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    The ability to apply behavioral strategies to obtain rewards efficiently and make choices based on changes in the value of rewards is fundamental to the adaptive control of behavior. The extent to which different regions of the prefrontal cortex are required for specific kinds of decisions is not well understood. We tested rhesus monkeys with bilateral ablations of the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex on tasks that required the use of behavioral strategies to optimize the rate with which rewards were accumulated, or to modify choice behavior in response to changes in the value of particular rewards. Monkeys with ventrolateral prefrontal lesions were impaired in performing the strategy-based task, but not on value-based decision-making. In contrast, orbital prefrontal ablations produced the opposite impairments in the same tasks. These findings support the conclusion that independent neural systems within the prefrontal cortex are necessary for control of choice behavior based on strategies or on stimulus value. PMID:19453635

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

    PubMed

    Goel, Vinod; Dolan, Raymond J

    2004-10-01

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

  2. Semantic Associations between Signs and Numerical Categories in the Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Diester, Ilka; Nieder, Andreas

    2007-01-01

    The utilization of symbols such as words and numbers as mental tools endows humans with unrivalled cognitive flexibility. In the number domain, a fundamental first step for the acquisition of numerical symbols is the semantic association of signs with cardinalities. We explored the primitives of such a semantic mapping process by recording single-cell activity in the monkey prefrontal and parietal cortices, brain structures critically involved in numerical cognition. Monkeys were trained to associate visual shapes with varying numbers of items in a matching task. After this long-term learning process, we found that the responses of many prefrontal neurons to the visual shapes reflected the associated numerical value in a behaviorally relevant way. In contrast, such association neurons were rarely found in the parietal lobe. These findings suggest a cardinal role of the prefrontal cortex in establishing semantic associations between signs and abstract categories, a cognitive precursor that may ultimately give rise to symbolic thinking in linguistic humans. PMID:17973578

  3. Differential effects of amygdala, orbital prefrontal cortex, and prelimbic cortex lesions on goal-directed behavior in rhesus macaques.

    PubMed

    Rhodes, Sarah E V; Murray, Elisabeth A

    2013-02-20

    We assessed the involvement of the orbital prefrontal cortex (PFo), the prelimbic region of the medial prefrontal cortex (PL), and the amygdala in goal-directed behavior. Rhesus monkeys were trained on a task in which two different instrumental responses were linked to two different outcomes. One response, called "tap," required the monkeys to repeatedly touch a colored square on a video monitor to produce one kind of food reward. The other response, called "hold," required persistent contact of an identical stimulus, and it produced a different kind of food reward. After training, we assessed the effects of sensory-specific reinforcer devaluation as a way to probe each monkey's use of goal-directed behavior. In this procedure, monkeys were allowed to consume one of the two foods to satiety and were then tested for tap/hold preference under extinction. Unoperated control monkeys showed a reduction in the response associated with obtaining the devalued food, called the "devaluation effect," a hallmark of goal-directed behavior. Monkeys with bilateral lesions of PFo or the amygdala exhibited significantly reduced devaluation effects. Results from monkeys with PL lesions were equivocal. We conclude that both PFo and the amygdala play a significant role in goal-directed behavior in monkeys. Notably, the findings for PFo challenge the idea that orbital and medial prefrontal regions are exclusively dedicated to object- and action-based processes, respectively.

  4. Differential effects of amygdala, orbital prefrontal cortex and prelimbic cortex lesions on goal-directed behavior in rhesus macaques

    PubMed Central

    Rhodes, Sarah E. V.; Murray, Elisabeth A.

    2013-01-01

    We assessed the involvement of the orbital prefrontal cortex (PFo), the prelimbic region of the medial prefrontal cortex (PL), and the amygdala in goal-directed behavior. Rhesus monkeys were trained on a task in which two different instrumental responses were linked to two different outcomes. One response, called ‘Tap’, required the monkeys to repeatedly touch a colored square on a video monitor, to produce one kind of food reward. The other response, called ‘Hold’, required persistent contact of an identical stimulus, and it produced a different kind of food reward. Following training, we assessed the effects of satiety-specific reinforcer devaluation as a way to probe each monkey’s use of goal-directed behavior. In this procedure, monkeys were allowed to consume one of the two foods to satiety, and were then tested for Tap/Hold preference under extinction. Unoperated control monkeys showed a reduction in the response associated with obtaining the devalued food, called the devaluation effect, a hallmark of goal-directed behavior. Monkeys with bilateral lesions of PFo or the amygdala exhibited significantly reduced devaluation effects. Results from monkeys with PL lesions were equivocal. We conclude that both PFo and the amygdala play a significant role in goal-directed behavior in monkeys. Notably, the findings for PFo challenge the idea that orbital and medial prefrontal regions are exclusively dedicated to object- and action-based processes, respectively. PMID:23426666

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

    PubMed

    McCarthy, Deirdre M; Bhide, Pradeep G

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Contributions of the amygdala to reward expectancy and choice signals in human prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Hampton, Alan N; Adolphs, Ralph; Tyszka, Michael J; O'Doherty, John P

    2007-08-16

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) receives substantial anatomical input from the amygdala, and these two structures have long been implicated in reward-related learning and decision making. Yet little is known about how these regions interact, especially in humans. We investigated the contribution of the amygdala to reward-related signals in PFC by scanning two rare subjects with focal bilateral amygdala lesions using fMRI. The subjects performed a reversal learning task in which they first had to learn which of two choices was the more rewarding, and then flexibly switch their choices when contingencies changed. Compared with healthy controls, both amygdala lesion subjects showed a profound change in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) activity associated with reward expectation and behavioral choice. These findings support a critical role for the human amygdala in establishing expected reward representations in PFC, which in turn may be used to guide behavioral choice.

  7. Encoding of Rules by Neurons in the Human Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Mian, Matthew K.; Sheth, Sameer A.; Patel, Shaun R.; Spiliopoulos, Konstantinos; Eskandar, Emad N.; Williams, Ziv M.

    2014-01-01

    We use rules to extend learned behavior beyond specific instances to general scenarios. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is thought to play an important role in representing rules, as evidenced by subjects who have difficulty in following rules after PFC damage and by animal studies demonstrating rule sensitivity of individual PFC neurons. How rules are instantiated at the single-neuronal level in the human brain, however, remains unclear. Here, we recorded from individual neurons in the human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) as subjects performed a task in which they evaluated pairs of images using either of 2 abstract rules. We find that DLPFC neurons selectively encoded these rules while carrying little information about the subjects' responses or the sensory cues used to guide their decisions. PMID:23172774

  8. Analysis of single-unit responses to emotional scenes in human ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Kawasaki, Hiroto; Adolphs, Ralph; Oya, Hiroyuki; Kovach, Christopher; Damasio, Hanna; Kaufman, Olaf; Howard, Matthew

    2005-10-01

    Lesion and functional imaging studies in humans have shown that the ventral and medial prefrontal cortex is critically involved in the processing of emotional stimuli, but both of these methods have limited spatiotemporal resolution. Conversely, neurophysiological studies of emotion in nonhuman primates typically rely on stimuli that do not require elaborate cognitive processing. To begin bridging this gap, we recorded from a total of 267 neurons in the left and right orbital and anterior cingulate cortices of four patients who had chronically implanted depth electrodes for monitoring epilepsy. Peristimulus activity was recorded to standardized, complex visual scenes depicting neutral, pleasant, or aversive content. Recording locations were verified with postoperative magnetic resonance imaging. Using a conservative, multistep statistical evaluation, we found significant responses in 56 neurons; 16 of these were selective for only one emotion class, most often aversive. The findings suggest sparse and widely distributed processing of emotional value in the prefrontal cortex, with a predominance of responses to aversive stimuli.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-09-15

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

  10. [Properties of spontaneous and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents of rat prefrontal cortex neurons].

    PubMed

    Malkin, S L; Kim, K Kh; Tikhonov, D B; Zaitsev, A V

    2014-01-01

    Quantum analysis of postsynaptic currents is important for fundamental and applied studies of synaptic transmission. In the present work, we investigated the possibility of using the characteristics of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) for estimation of quantum parameters of excitatory synaptic transmission in different types of neurons from rat prefrontal cortex slices. By blocking spontaneous spiking activity in slices by tetrodotoxin, we showed that spontaneous and miniature EPSCs in prefrontal cortex neurons did not differ by their properties. Thereby, both spontaneous and miniature responses can be used for estimation of quantum parameters of excitatory synaptic transmission in this preparation. We also revealed that excitatory spontaneous responses of pyramidal cells were 2 times lower by amplitude, had twice lower the coefficient of variation and exhibited much slower kinetics than responses of the fast-spiking and regular-spiking interneurons. Possible mechanisms of these differences are considered.

  11. Lesions of the Orbitofrontal but Not Medial Prefrontal Cortex Affect Cognitive Judgment Bias in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Golebiowska, Joanna; Rygula, Rafal

    2017-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies in humans have recently shown that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) mediate bias in the judgment of forthcoming events. In the present study, we sought to determine whether cognitive judgment bias (CJB) is also dependent on these prefrontal regions in non-human animals. For this, we trained a cohort of rats in the ambiguous-cue interpretation (ACI) paradigm, subjected them to excitotoxic lesions in the medial PFC (mPFC) and OFC, and tested the effects of neuronal loss within these regions on CJB. Comparison of the lesions’ behavioral effects in the ACI paradigm revealed that neuronal loss within the OFC but not within the mPFC influences the interpretation of ambiguous cues by animals. Our findings demonstrate the specific involvement of the OFC in CJB in rats. PMID:28377703

  12. Prefrontal cortex shotgun proteome analysis reveals altered calcium homeostasis and immune system imbalance in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Martins-de-Souza, Daniel; Gattaz, Wagner F; Schmitt, Andrea; Rewerts, Christiane; Maccarrone, Giuseppina; Dias-Neto, Emmanuel; Turck, Christoph W

    2009-04-01

    Schizophrenia is a complex disease, likely to be caused by a combination of serial alterations in a number of genes and environmental factors. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann's Area 46) is involved in schizophrenia and executes high-level functions such as working memory, differentiation of conflicting thoughts, determination of right and wrong concepts and attitudes, correct social behavior and personality expression. Global proteomic analysis of post-mortem dorsolateral prefrontal cortex samples from schizophrenia patients and non-schizophrenic individuals was performed using stable isotope labeling and shotgun proteomics. The analysis resulted in the identification of 1,261 proteins, 84 of which showed statistically significant differential expression, reinforcing previous data supporting the involvement of the immune system, calcium homeostasis, cytoskeleton assembly, and energy metabolism in schizophrenia. In addition a number of new potential markers were found that may contribute to the understanding of the pathogenesis of this complex disease.

  13. Sex differences in learned fear expression and extinction involve altered gamma oscillations in medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Fenton, Georgina E; Halliday, David M; Mason, Rob; Bredy, Timothy W; Stevenson, Carl W

    2016-11-01

    Sex differences in learned fear expression and extinction involve the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). We recently demonstrated that enhanced learned fear expression during auditory fear extinction and its recall is linked to persistent theta activation in the prelimbic (PL) but not infralimbic (IL) cortex of female rats. Emerging evidence indicates that gamma oscillations in mPFC are also implicated in the expression and extinction of learned fear. Therefore we re-examined our in vivo electrophysiology data and found that females showed persistent PL gamma activation during extinction and a failure of IL gamma activation during extinction recall. Altered prefrontal gamma oscillations thus accompany sex differences in learned fear expression and its extinction. These findings are relevant for understanding the neural basis of post-traumatic stress disorder, which is more prevalent in women and involves impaired extinction and mPFC dysfunction.

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

    PubMed Central

    Weilbächer, Regina A.; Gluth, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:28036071

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  16. Virtual Reality and the Role of the Prefrontal Cortex in Adults and Children

    PubMed Central

    Jäncke, Lutz; Cheetham, Marcus; Baumgartner, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    In this review, the neural underpinnings of the experience of presence are outlined. Firstly, it is shown that presence is associated with activation of a distributed network, which includes the dorsal and ventral visual stream, the parietal cortex, the premotor cortex, mesial temporal areas, the brainstem and the thalamus. Secondly, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is identified as a key node of the network as it modulates the activity of the network and the associated experience of presence. Thirdly, children lack the strong modulatory influence of the DLPFC on the network due to their unmatured frontal cortex. Fourthly, it is shown that presence-related measures are influenced by manipulating the activation in the DLPFC using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) while participants are exposed to the virtual roller coaster ride. Finally, the findings are discussed in the context of current models explaining the experience of presence, the rubber hand illusion, and out-of-body experiences. PMID:19753097

  17. Morphology of Pyramidal Neurons in the Rat Prefrontal Cortex: Lateralized Dendritic Remodeling by Chronic Stress

    PubMed Central

    Perez-Cruz, Claudia; Müller-Keuker, Jeanine I. H.; Heilbronner, Urs; Fuchs, Eberhard; Flügge, Gabriele

    2007-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays an important role in the stress response. We filled pyramidal neurons in PFC layer III with neurobiotin and analyzed dendrites in rats submitted to chronic restraint stress and in controls. In the right prelimbic cortex (PL) of controls, apical and distal dendrites were longer than in the left PL. Stress reduced the total length of apical dendrites in right PL and abolished the hemispheric difference. In right infralimbic cortex (IL) of controls, proximal apical dendrites were longer than in left IL, and stress eliminated this hemispheric difference. No hemispheric difference was detected in anterior cingulate cortex (ACx) of controls, but stress reduced apical dendritic length in left ACx. These data demonstrate interhemispheric differences in the morphology of pyramidal neurons in PL and IL of control rats and selective effects of stress on the right hemisphere. In contrast, stress reduced dendritic length in the left ACx. PMID:18253468

  18. Virtual reality and the role of the prefrontal cortex in adults and children.

    PubMed

    Jäncke, Lutz; Cheetham, Marcus; Baumgartner, Thomas

    2009-05-01

    In this review, the neural underpinnings of the experience of presence are outlined. Firstly, it is shown that presence is associated with activation of a distributed network, which includes the dorsal and ventral visual stream, the parietal cortex, the premotor cortex, mesial temporal areas, the brainstem and the thalamus. Secondly, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is identified as a key node of the network as it modulates the activity of the network and the associated experience of presence. Thirdly, children lack the strong modulatory influence of the DLPFC on the network due to their unmatured frontal cortex. Fourthly, it is shown that presence-related measures are influenced by manipulating the activation in the DLPFC using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) while participants are exposed to the virtual roller coaster ride. Finally, the findings are discussed in the context of current models explaining the experience of presence, the rubber hand illusion, and out-of-body experiences.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24550789

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

    PubMed

    Kostopoulos, Penelope; Petrides, Michael

    2016-02-16

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  2. Spontaneous dynamics of neural networks in deep layers of prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Blaeser, Andrew S; Connors, Barry W; Nurmikko, Arto V

    2017-04-01

    Cortical systems maintain and process information through the sustained activation of recurrent local networks of neurons. Layer 5 is known to have a major role in generating the recurrent activation associated with these functions, but relatively little is known about its intrinsic dynamics at the mesoscopic level of large numbers of neighboring neurons. Using calcium imaging, we measured the spontaneous activity of networks of deep-layer medial prefrontal cortical neurons in an acute slice model. Inferring the simultaneous activity of tens of neighboring neurons, we found that while the majority showed only sporadic activity, a subset of neurons engaged in sustained delta frequency rhythmic activity. Spontaneous activity under baseline conditions was weakly correlated between pairs of neurons, and rhythmic neurons showed little coherence in their oscillations. However, we consistently observed brief bouts of highly synchronous activity that must be attributed to network activity. NMDA-mediated stimulation enhanced rhythmicity, synchrony, and correlation within these local networks. These results characterize spontaneous prefrontal activity at a previously unexplored spatiotemporal scale and suggest that medial prefrontal cortex can act as an intrinsic generator of delta oscillations.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Using calcium imaging and a novel analytic framework, we characterized the spontaneous and NMDA-evoked activity of layer 5 prefrontal cortex at a largely unexplored spatiotemporal scale. Our results suggest that the mPFC microcircuitry is capable of intrinsically generating delta oscillations and sustaining synchronized network activity that is potentially relevant for understanding its contribution to cognitive processes. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  4. When seeing outweighs feeling: a role for prefrontal cortex in passive control of negative affect in blindsight

    PubMed Central

    Eippert, Falk; Wiens, Stefan; Birbaumer, Niels; Lotze, Martin; Wildgruber, Dirk

    2009-01-01

    different phenomenal experiences of affect, depending on the depth of cortical processing. They are in line with a model in which the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex is a relay station that integrates information about subcortically triggered somatic responses and information resulting from in-depth cortical stimulus processing. Tentatively, we suggest that the observed decoupling of somatic responses and experienced affect, and the reduction of negative phenomenal experience, can be explained by a left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex-mediated inhibition of affect-related somatosensory activity. PMID:19767414

  5. Executive control over cognition: stronger and earlier rule-based modulation of spatial category signals in prefrontal cortex relative to parietal cortex.

    PubMed

    Goodwin, Shikha J; Blackman, Rachael K; Sakellaridi, Sofia; Chafee, Matthew V

    2012-03-07

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  7. Acute effects of physical exercise on prefrontal cortex activity in older adults: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    PubMed

    Tsujii, Takeo; Komatsu, Kazutoshi; Sakatani, Kaoru

    2013-01-01

    We examined the acute effect of physical exercise on prefrontal cortex activity in older adults using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Fourteen older adults visited our laboratory twice: once for exercise and once for the control condition. On each visit, subjects performed working memory tasks before and after moderate intensity exercise with a cycling ergo-meter. We measured the NIRS response at the prefrontal cortex during the working memory task. We found that physical exercise improved behavioral performance of the working memory task compared with the control condition. Moreover, NIRS analysis showed that physical exercise enhanced the prefrontal cortex activity, especially in the left hemisphere, during the working memory task. These findings suggest that the moderate intensity exercise enhanced the prefrontal cortex activity associated with working memory performance in older adults.

  8. Human Choice Strategy Varies with Anatomical Projections from Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex to Medial Striatum.

    PubMed

    Piray, Payam; Toni, Ivan; Cools, Roshan

    2016-03-09

    Two distinct systems, goal-directed and habitual, support decision making. It has recently been hypothesized that this distinction may arise from two computational mechanisms, model-based and model-free reinforcement learning, neuronally implemented in frontostriatal circuits involved in learning and behavioral control. Here, we test whether the relative strength of anatomical connectivity within frontostriatal circuits accounts for variation in human individuals' reliance on model-based and model-free control. This hypothesis was tested by combining diffusion tensor imaging with a multistep decision task known to distinguish model-based and model-free control in humans. We found large interindividual differences in the degree of model-based control, and those differences are predicted by the structural integrity of white-matter tracts from the ventromedial prefrontal cortex to the medial striatum. Furthermore, an analysis based on masking out of bottom-up tracts suggests that this effect is driven by top-down influences from ventromedial prefrontal cortex to medial striatum. Our findings indicate that individuals with stronger afferences from the ventromedial prefrontal cortex to the medial striatum are more likely to rely on a model-based strategy to control their instrumental actions. These findings suggest a mechanism for instrumental action control through which medial striatum determines, at least partly, the relative contribution of model-based and model-free systems during decision-making according to top-down model-based information from the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. These findings have important implications for understanding the neural circuitry that might be susceptible to pathological computational processes in impulsive/compulsive psychiatric disorders. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/362857-11$15.00/0.

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  11. Temperament type specific metabolite profiles of the prefrontal cortex and serum in cattle.

    PubMed

    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.

  12. Anatomical segmentation of the human medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Córcoles-Parada, M; Müller, Ncj; Ubero, M; Serrano-Del-Pueblo, V M; Mansilla, F; Marcos-Rabal, P; Artacho-Pérula, E; Dresler, M; Insausti, R; Fernández, G; Muñoz-López, M

    2017-03-20

    The medial prefrontal areas 32, 24, 14, and 25 (mPFC) form part of the limbic memory system, but little is known about their functional specialization in humans. To add anatomical precision to structural and functional MRI data, we aimed to identify these mPFC subareas in histological preparations of human brain tissue, determine sulci most consistently related with mPFC areal boundaries, and use these sulci to delineate mPFC areas in MRIs. To achieve this, we obtained 3D MRI data from 11 ex vivo hemispheres and processed them for cyto- and myelo-architectonic analysis. The architectonic boundaries of mPFC areas were identified in histology and cortical surface length and volumes were measured. Unfolded maps of histologically determined boundaries were generated to identify the association of mPFC areal boundaries with sulci across cases. This analysis showed that cingulate and superior rostral were the sulci most consistently related to mPFC areal boundaries. Based on presence/absence and anastomosis between such sulci, 6 sulci patterns in the 11 hemispheres were found. A further analysis of 102 hemispheres of in vivo MRI scans (N=51 males, mean±sd 24.1±3.1 years of age) showed similar sulci patterns, which allowed us to delineate the mFPC areas in them. The volumes of mPFC areas across histological, ex vivo and in vivo MRI delineations were comparable and probabilistic maps generated from the MRIs of the102 hemispheres. Probabilistic maps of mPFC areas were registered to MNI space and are available for regional analysis of fMRI data. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  13. Reelin-Haploinsufficiency Disrupts the Developmental Trajectory of the E/I Balance in the Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Bouamrane, Lamine; Scheyer, Andrew F; Lassalle, Olivier; Iafrati, Jillian; Thomazeau, Aurore; Chavis, Pascale

    2016-01-01

    The reelin gene is a strong candidate in the etiology of several psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorders, and autism spectrum disorders. Most of these diseases are accompanied by cognitive and executive-function deficits associated with prefrontal dysfunctions. Mammalian prefrontal cortex (PFC) development is characterized by a protracted postnatal maturation constituting a period of enhanced vulnerability to psychiatric insults. The identification of the molecular components underlying this prolonged postnatal development is necessary to understand the synaptic properties of defective circuits participating in these psychiatric disorders. We have recently shown that reelin plays a key role in the maturation of glutamatergic functions in the postnatal PFC, but no data are available regarding the GABAergic circuits. Here, we undertook a cross-sectional analysis of GABAergic function in deep layer pyramidal neurons of the medial PFC of wild-type and haploinsufficient heterozygous reeler mice. Using electrophysiological approaches, we showed that decreased reelin levels impair the maturation of GABAergic synaptic transmission without affecting the inhibitory nature of GABA. This phenotype consequently impacted the developmental sequence of the synaptic excitation/inhibition (E/I) balance. These data indicate that reelin is necessary for the correct maturation and refinement of GABAergic synaptic circuits in the postnatal PFC and therefore provide a mechanism for altered E/I balance of prefrontal circuits associated with psychiatric disorders.

  14. Reelin-Haploinsufficiency Disrupts the Developmental Trajectory of the E/I Balance in the Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Bouamrane, Lamine; Scheyer, Andrew F.; Lassalle, Olivier; Iafrati, Jillian; Thomazeau, Aurore; Chavis, Pascale

    2017-01-01

    The reelin gene is a strong candidate in the etiology of several psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorders, and autism spectrum disorders. Most of these diseases are accompanied by cognitive and executive-function deficits associated with prefrontal dysfunctions. Mammalian prefrontal cortex (PFC) development is characterized by a protracted postnatal maturation constituting a period of enhanced vulnerability to psychiatric insults. The identification of the molecular components underlying this prolonged postnatal development is necessary to understand the synaptic properties of defective circuits participating in these psychiatric disorders. We have recently shown that reelin plays a key role in the maturation of glutamatergic functions in the postnatal PFC, but no data are available regarding the GABAergic circuits. Here, we undertook a cross-sectional analysis of GABAergic function in deep layer pyramidal neurons of the medial PFC of wild-type and haploinsufficient heterozygous reeler mice. Using electrophysiological approaches, we showed that decreased reelin levels impair the maturation of GABAergic synaptic transmission without affecting the inhibitory nature of GABA. This phenotype consequently impacted the developmental sequence of the synaptic excitation/inhibition (E/I) balance. These data indicate that reelin is necessary for the correct maturation and refinement of GABAergic synaptic circuits in the postnatal PFC and therefore provide a mechanism for altered E/I balance of prefrontal circuits associated with psychiatric disorders. PMID:28127276

  15. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex stimulation enhances memory and hippocampal neurogenesis in the middle-aged rats

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Albert; Jain, Neeraj; Vyas, Ajai; Lim, Lee Wei

    2015-01-01

    Memory dysfunction is a key symptom of age-related dementia. Although recent studies have suggested positive effects of electrical stimulation for memory enhancement, its potential targets remain largely unknown. In this study, we hypothesized that spatially targeted deep brain stimulation of ventromedial prefrontal cortex enhanced memory functions in a middle-aged rat model. Our results show that acute stimulation enhanced the short-, but not the long-term memory in the novel-object recognition task. Interestingly, after chronic high-frequency stimulation, both the short- and long-term memories were robustly improved in the novel-object recognition test and Morris water-maze spatial task compared to sham. Our results also demonstrated that chronic ventromedial prefrontal cortex high-frequency stimulation upregulated neurogenesis-associated genes along with enhanced hippocampal cell proliferation. Importantly, these memory behaviors were strongly correlated with the hippocampal neurogenesis. Overall, these findings suggest that chronic ventromedial prefrontal cortex high-frequency stimulation may serve as a novel effective therapeutic target for dementia-related disorders. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04803.001 PMID:25768425

  16. The effects of thioperamide on extracellular levels of glutamate and GABA in the rat prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Welty, Natalie; Shoblock, James R

    2009-12-01

    Histamine H3 receptors (H3R) are presynaptic heteroreceptors that negatively modulate the release of histamine and other neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine. Blocking H3 receptors with antagonists/inverse agonists has been shown to be procognitive and this effect has often been associated with increases in acetylcholine transmission. H3 receptors are abundantly expressed in the prefrontal cortex, an area associated with cognitive performance. While the procognitive effects of H3 receptor antagonists/inverse agonists may depend on alterations to acetylcholine or histamine release, other transmitters involved in cognitive processing such as glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) may also be involved. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of thioperamide, an H3 receptor antagonist, on extracellular levels of glutamate and GABA in the prefrontal cortex. By means of in vivo microdialysis on freely moving Sprague Dawley rats, samples were collected and assayed via high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrochemical detection. Replacement of calcium with magnesium revealed that the release of GABA, but not glutamate, was calcium-dependent. Thioperamide (10-20 mg/kg) did not affect basal glutamate or GABA release. Perfusion with a high concentration of potassium (100 mM) increased GABA, but not glutamate, release and thioperamide (20 mg/kg) attenuated the effects of high potassium on GABA release. These data indicate that H3 receptors in the prefrontal cortex can enhance stimulated GABA release, but do not regulate basal levels of glutamate or GABA.

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

    PubMed Central

    Brincat, Scott L.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

    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 the performance in a differential reinforcement of low rate responding (DRL) task, which is highly dependent upon an intact prefrontal cortex. Animals were trained to withhold a lever press until an imposed delay of 30 s after the last press had passed in order to achieve a food reward. Once the animals had mastered the task, they were sleep-restricted for 7 days with 20 h of sleep deprivation per day. At the end of each daily sleep deprivation session, performance on the DRL task was assessed. The results show that sleep-restricted animals were less able to time their responses correctly, started pressing the lever more randomly and showed signs of behavioural disinhibition, the latter possibly reflecting enhanced impulsivity. Our data support the hypothesis that a sleep debt has disruptive consequences for the functioning of the prefrontal cortex. This model offers possibilities for future studies investigating the underlying biochemical and molecular mechanisms of this relationship.

  19. Sexual dimorphism and laterality in the evolution of the primate prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Smaers, Jeroen B; Mulvaney, Poppy I; Soligo, Christophe; Zilles, Karl; Amunts, Katrin

    2012-01-01

    Social selective pressures are commonly considered as the main driving force of primate brain evolution. Primate social behaviour is, however, known to be sexually dimorphic, and no previous study has made a direct comparison between male and female brain structures across species. We quantify sex-specific evolutionary trends in the prefrontal cortex of anthropoid primates (including humans) to investigate how sexual selection has shaped brain evolution in primates. The prefrontal cortex is of particular importance to the investigation of sexual dimorphism in primate brain evolution because of its association to those cognitive capacities central to primate (and human) evolution: sociality and higher-order cognitive processing. Our results demonstrate sex-by-hemisphere differences in the evolution of the prefrontal cortex in humans and non-human anthropoid primates congruent with the principal selective pressures considered to underlie anthropoid behavioural evolution. Our findings further show how sexual selection can shape brain adaptation in primates and provide an evolutionary framework for interpreting sex and sex-by-hemisphere differences in cortical organization in humans and non-human primates. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  20. Task-Specific Facilitation of Cognition by Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Pope, Paul A; Brenton, Jonathan W; Miall, R Chris

    2015-11-01

    We previously speculated that depression of cerebellar excitability using cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) might release extra cognitive resources via the disinhibition of activity in prefrontal cortex. The objective of the present study was to investigate whether anodal tDCS over the prefrontal cortex could similarly improve performance when cognitive demands are high. Sixty-three right-handed participants in 3 separate groups performed the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT) and the more difficult Paced Auditory Serial Subtraction Task (PASST), before and after 20 min of anodal, cathodal, or sham stimulation over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Performance was assessed in terms of the accuracy, latency, and variability of correct verbal responses. All behavioral measures significantly improved for the PASST after anodal DLPFC stimulation, but not the PASAT. There were smaller practice effects after cathodal and sham stimulation. Subjective ratings of attention and mental fatigue were unchanged by tDCS over time. We conclude that anodal stimulation over the left DLPFC can selectively improve performance on a difficult cognitive task involving arithmetic processing, verbal working memory, and attention. This result might be achieved by focally improving executive functions and/or cognitive capacity when tasks are difficult, rather than by improving levels of arousal/alertness.

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

    PubMed

    Brincat, Scott L; Miller, Earl K

    2016-09-14

    As we learn about items in our environment, their neural represen