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Sample records for prefrontal cortex modulates

  1. 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".

  2. 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.

  3. Task-relevant modulation of primary somatosensory cortex suggests a prefrontal-cortical sensory gating system.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Michael; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Rotte, Michael

    2005-08-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that somatosensory information is modulated cortically for task-specific sensory inflow: Several studies report short-term adaptation of representational maps in primary somatosensory cortex (SI) due to attention or induced by task-related motor activity such as handwriting. Recently, it has been hypothesized that the frontal or prefrontal cortex may modulate SI. In order to test this hypothesis, we studied the functional organization of SI while subjects performed the Tower of Hanoi task. This task is known to be related to activation of frontal or prefrontal areas. The functional organization of SI while performing the Tower of Hanoi task was compared to the organization of SI during performing the same movements but without the Tower of Hanoi task and with rest. Topography of SI was assessed using neuromagnetic source imaging based on tactile stimulation of the first (D1) and fifth digits (D5). Performing the Tower of Hanoi task was accompanied by plastic changes in SI as indicated by significant shifts in the cortical representations of D1 and D5: They moved further apart during the Tower of Hanoi task compared to the control task containing the same movements but without the cognitive characteristic. Thus, we conclude that SI maps undergo dynamic modulation depending on motor tasks with different cognitive demands. The results suggest that this short-term plasticity may be regulated by a prefrontal-cortical sensory gating system.

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

    PubMed

    Fuentes-Claramonte, Paola; Ávila, César; Rodríguez-Pujadas, Aina; Ventura-Campos, Noelia; Bustamante, Juan C; Costumero, Víctor; Rosell-Negre, Patricia; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Reward Sensitivity Modulates Brain Activity in the Prefrontal Cortex, ACC and Striatum during Task Switching

    PubMed Central

    Fuentes-Claramonte, Paola; Ávila, César; Rodríguez-Pujadas, Aina; Ventura-Campos, Noelia; Bustamante, Juan C.; Costumero, Víctor; Rosell-Negre, Patricia; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso

    2015-01-01

    Current perspectives on cognitive control acknowledge that individual differences in motivational dispositions may modulate cognitive processes in the absence of reward contingencies. This work aimed to study the relationship between individual differences in Behavioral Activation System (BAS) sensitivity and the neural underpinnings involved in processing a switching cue in a task-switching paradigm. BAS sensitivity was hypothesized to modulate brain activity in frontal regions, ACC and the striatum. Twenty-eight healthy participants underwent fMRI while performing a switching task, which elicited activity in fronto-striatal regions during the processing of the switch cue. BAS sensitivity was negatively associated with activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex and the ventral striatum. Combined with previous results, our data indicate that BAS sensitivity modulates the neurocognitive processes involved in task switching in a complex manner depending on task demands. Therefore, individual differences in motivational dispositions may influence cognitive processing in the absence of reward contingencies. PMID:25875640

  6. Brain Rewarding Stimulation Reduces Extracellular Glutamate Through Glial Modulation in Medial Prefrontal Cortex of Rats.

    PubMed

    Murakami, Gen; Nakamura, Masato; Takita, Masatoshi; Ishida, Yasushi; Ueki, Takatoshi; Nakahara, Daiichiro

    2015-11-01

    Growing evidence implicates a critical involvement of prefrontal glial modulation of extracellular glutamate (GLU) in aversive behaviors. However, nothing is known about whether prefrontal glial cells modulate GLU levels in rewarding behaviors. To address this question, we measured GLU efflux in the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) of rats associated with rewarding behaviors. We used intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) of the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) as the rewarding behavior. GLU was indirectly measured using microdialysis combined with on-line fluorometric detection of NADH resulting from the reaction of GLU and NAD(+) catalyzed by GLU dehydrogenase with a time resolution of 1 min. ICSS caused a minute-by-minute change of extracellular GLU in the medial PFC, with a slight decrease during the stimulation, followed by an increase afterward. This bidirectional change was tetrodotoxin insensitive and abolished by the gliotoxin fluorocitrate. To confirm and extend the previous studies of aversion-induced increase of extracellular GLU in the medial PFC, we also measured prefrontal GLU efflux associated with an aversive stimulation, immobilization stress. The temporal change in extracellular GLU caused by this stress was markedly different from that observed during ICSS. A rapid increase in GLU was detected during the aversive stimulation, followed by a large increase afterward. This bimodal change was tetrodotoxin insensitive, similar to that detected for ICSS. These findings indicate a bidirectional regulation of extracellular GLU by prefrontal glial cells associated with rat ICSS behavior, and reveal that glial modulation of GLU neurochemistry in the medial PFC contributes to rewarding as well as aversive behaviors in rats.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Recent work using an art-viewing paradigm shows that monetary sponsorship of the experiment by a company (a favor) increases the valuation of paintings placed next to the sponsoring corporate logo, an effect that correlates with modulation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC). We used the same art-viewing paradigm to test a prevailing idea in the domain of conflict-of-interest: that expertise in a domain insulates against judgment bias even in the presence of a monetary favor. Using a cohort of art experts, we show that monetary favors do not bias the experts’ valuation of art, an effect that correlates with a lack of modulation of the VMPFC across sponsorship conditions. The lack of sponsorship effect in the VMPFC suggests the hypothesis that their brains remove the behavioral sponsorship effect by censoring sponsorship-dependent modulation of VMPFC activity. We tested the hypothesis that prefrontal regions play a regulatory role in mediating the sponsorship effect. We show that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is recruited in the expert group. Furthermore, we tested the hypothesis in nonexpert controls by contrasting brain responses in controls who did not show a sponsorship effect to controls who did. Changes in effective connectivity between the DLPFC and VMPFC were greater in nonexpert controls, with an absence of the sponsorship effect relative to those with a presence of the sponsorship effect. The role of the DLPFC in cognitive control and emotion regulation suggests that it removes the influence of a monetary favor by controlling responses in known valuation regions of the brain including the the VMPFC. PMID:21646526

  10. 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.

  11. Causal role of the prefrontal cortex in top-down modulation of visual processing and working memory

    PubMed Central

    Zanto, Theodore P.; Rubens, Michael T.; Thangavel, Arul; Gazzaley, Adam

    2011-01-01

    Selective attention filters information to limit what is encoded and maintained in working memory. Although the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is central to both selective attention and working memory, the underlying neural processes that link these cognitive abilities remain elusive. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging to guide repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation with electroencephalographic recordings in humans, we perturbed PFC function at the inferior frontal junction prior to participants performing a selective-attention, delayed-recognition task. This resulted in diminished top-down modulation of activity in posterior cortex during early encoding stages, which predicted a subsequent decrement in working memory accuracy. Participants with stronger fronto-posterior functional connectivity displayed greater disruptive effects. Data further suggested that broad alpha band (7–14 Hz) phase coherence subserved this long distance top-down modulation. The results establish top-down modulation mediated by the prefrontal cortex as a causal link between early attentional processes and subsequent memory performance. PMID:21441920

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

    PubMed Central

    Lamichhane, Bidhan; Dhamala, Mukesh

    2015-01-01

    Diverse cortical structures are known to coordinate activity as a network in relaying and processing of visual information to discriminate visual objects. However, how this discrimination is achieved is still largely unknown. To contribute to answering this question, we used face-house categorization tasks with three levels of noise in face and house images in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments involving thirty-three participants. The behavioral performance error and response time (RT) were correlated with noise in face-house images. We then built dynamical causal models (DCM) of fMRI blood-oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signals from the face and house category-specific regions in ventral temporal (VT) cortex, the fusiform face area (FFA) and parahippocampal place area (PPA), and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). We found a strong feed-forward intrinsic connectivity pattern from FFA and PPA to dlPFC. Importantly, the feed-forward connectivity to dlPFC was significantly modulated by the perception of both faces and houses. The dlPFC-BOLD activity, the connectivity from FFA and PPA to the dlPFC all increased with noise level. These results suggest that the FFA-PPA-dlPFC network plays an important role for relaying and integrating competing sensory information to arrive at perceptual decisions. PMID:26441596

  13. Task Performance Modulates Functional Connectivity Involving the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex in Patients with Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Shihao; Wang, Huiling; Chen, Cheng; Zou, Jilin; Huang, Huan; Li, Peifu; Zhao, Yilin; Xu, Qizhong; Zhang, Liang; Wang, Hesheng; Pandit, Sanjib; Dahal, Subodh; Chen, Jun; Zhou, Yuan; Jiang, Tianzi; Wang, Gaohua

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested that patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls exhibit differential activation of and connectivity involving the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) during working memory tasks, though their findings remain inconsistent. The functional integration perspective further suggests that working memory performance also modulates differences in functional interactions of the DLPFC between patients and controls. To explore this possibility, 45 healthy controls and 45 patients with schizophrenia were recruited to perform a 2-back task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Each group was further divided into two subgroups based on task performance to examine the modulatory effect of performance on functional interactions of the DLPFC, as measured via psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analyses. We observed that, in patients with schizophrenia who exhibited impaired working memory capacity and decreased brain activation/deactivation, functional interactions between the right/left DLPFC and angular cortex were decreased relative to those of healthy controls. Furthermore, we observed an interaction effect of working memory performance and diagnosis on functional connectivity between the right/left DLPFC seed region and posterior regions such as the angular cortex, fusiform gyrus, and middle occipital gyrus. This interaction effect was mainly driven by the negative correlation between functional connectivity and performance in healthy controls, and by the positive correlation in patients with schizophrenia. These results demonstrate the effects of inter-individual differences in working memory performance on functional interactions between the DLPFC and posterior regions in patients with schizophrenia as well as healthy controls, which may shed new light on the neural basis of working memory. PMID:28289394

  14. Task Performance Modulates Functional Connectivity Involving the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex in Patients with Schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Wu, Shihao; Wang, Huiling; Chen, Cheng; Zou, Jilin; Huang, Huan; Li, Peifu; Zhao, Yilin; Xu, Qizhong; Zhang, Liang; Wang, Hesheng; Pandit, Sanjib; Dahal, Subodh; Chen, Jun; Zhou, Yuan; Jiang, Tianzi; Wang, Gaohua

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested that patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls exhibit differential activation of and connectivity involving the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) during working memory tasks, though their findings remain inconsistent. The functional integration perspective further suggests that working memory performance also modulates differences in functional interactions of the DLPFC between patients and controls. To explore this possibility, 45 healthy controls and 45 patients with schizophrenia were recruited to perform a 2-back task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Each group was further divided into two subgroups based on task performance to examine the modulatory effect of performance on functional interactions of the DLPFC, as measured via psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analyses. We observed that, in patients with schizophrenia who exhibited impaired working memory capacity and decreased brain activation/deactivation, functional interactions between the right/left DLPFC and angular cortex were decreased relative to those of healthy controls. Furthermore, we observed an interaction effect of working memory performance and diagnosis on functional connectivity between the right/left DLPFC seed region and posterior regions such as the angular cortex, fusiform gyrus, and middle occipital gyrus. This interaction effect was mainly driven by the negative correlation between functional connectivity and performance in healthy controls, and by the positive correlation in patients with schizophrenia. These results demonstrate the effects of inter-individual differences in working memory performance on functional interactions between the DLPFC and posterior regions in patients with schizophrenia as well as healthy controls, which may shed new light on the neural basis of working memory.

  15. Self-esteem modulates amygdala-ventrolateral prefrontal cortex connectivity in response to mortality threats.

    PubMed

    Yanagisawa, Kuniaki; Abe, Nobuhito; Kashima, Emiko S; Nomura, Michio

    2016-03-01

    Reminders of death often elicit defensive responses in individuals, especially among those with low self-esteem. Although empirical evidence indicates that self-esteem serves as a buffer against mortality threats, the precise neural mechanism underlying this effect remains unknown. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to test the hypothesis that self-esteem modulates neural responses to death-related stimuli, especially functional connectivity within the limbic-frontal circuitry, thereby affecting subsequent defensive reactions. As predicted, individuals with high self-esteem subjected to a mortality threat exhibited increased amygdala-ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) connectivity during the processing of death-related stimuli compared with individuals who have low self-esteem. Further analysis revealed that stronger functional connectivity between the amygdala and the VLPFC predicted a subsequent decline in responding defensively to those who threaten one's beliefs. These results suggest that the amygdala-VLPFC interaction, which is modulated by self-esteem, can reduce the defensiveness caused by death-related stimuli, thereby providing a neural explanation for why individuals with high self-esteem exhibit less defensive reactions to mortality threats.

  16. 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…

  17. Dopamine D1 sensitivity in the prefrontal cortex predicts general cognitive abilities and is modulated by working memory training

    PubMed Central

    Wass, Christopher; Pizzo, Alessandro; Sauce, Bruno; Kawasumi, Yushi; Sturzoiu, Tudor; Ree, Fred; Otto, Tim; Matzel, Louis D.

    2013-01-01

    A common source of variance (i.e., “general intelligence”) underlies an individual's performance across diverse tests of cognitive ability, and evidence indicates that the processing efficacy of working memory may serve as one such source of common variance. One component of working memory, selective attention, has been reported to co-vary with general intelligence, and dopamine D1 signaling in prefrontal cortex can modulate attentional abilities. Based on their aggregate performance across five diverse tests of learning, here we characterized the general cognitive ability (GCA) of CD-1 outbred mice. In response to a D1 agonist (SKF82958, 1 mg/kg), we then assessed the relationship between GCA and activation of D1 receptor (D1R)-containing neurons in the prelimbic region of the medial prefrontal cortex, the agranular insular cortex, and the dorsomedial striatum. Increased activation of D1R-containing neurons in the prelimbic cortex (but not the agranular insular cortex or dorsomedial striatum) was observed in animals of high GCA relative to those of low GCA (quantified by c-Fos activation in response to the D1 agonist). However, a Western blot analysis revealed no differences in the density of D1Rs in the prelimbic cortex between animals of high and low GCA. Last, it was observed that working memory training promoted an increase in animals’ GCA and enhanced D1R-mediated neuronal activation in the prelimbic cortex. These results suggest that the sensitivity (but not density) of D1Rs in the prelimbic cortex may both regulate GCA and be a target for working memory training. PMID:24129098

  18. 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.

  19. Behavioral Regulation and the Modulation of Information Coding in the Lateral Prefrontal and Cingulate Cortex.

    PubMed

    Khamassi, Mehdi; Quilodran, René; Enel, Pierre; Dominey, Peter F; Procyk, Emmanuel

    2015-09-01

    To explain the high level of flexibility in primate decision-making, theoretical models often invoke reinforcement-based mechanisms, performance monitoring functions, and core neural features within frontal cortical regions. However, the underlying biological mechanisms remain unknown. In recent models, part of the regulation of behavioral control is based on meta-learning principles, for example, driving exploratory actions by varying a meta-parameter, the inverse temperature, which regulates the contrast between competing action probabilities. Here we investigate how complementary processes between lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) implement decision regulation during exploratory and exploitative behaviors. Model-based analyses of unit activity recorded in these 2 areas in monkeys first revealed that adaptation of the decision function is reflected in a covariation between LPFC neural activity and the control level estimated from the animal's behavior. Second, dACC more prominently encoded a reflection of outcome uncertainty useful for control regulation based on task monitoring. Model-based analyses also revealed higher information integration before feedback in LPFC, and after feedback in dACC. Overall the data support a role of dACC in integrating reinforcement-based information to regulate decision functions in LPFC. Our results thus provide biological evidence on how prefrontal cortical subregions may cooperate to regulate decision-making.

  20. Focused transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex modulates specific domains of self-regulation.

    PubMed

    Pripfl, Jürgen; Lamm, Claus

    2015-02-01

    Recent neuroscience theories suggest that different kinds of self-regulation may share a common psychobiological mechanism. However, empirical evidence for a domain general self-regulation mechanism is scarce. The aim of this study was to investigate whether focused anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), facilitating the activity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), acts on a domain general self-regulation mechanism and thus modulates both affective and appetitive self-regulation. Twenty smokers participated in this within-subject sham controlled study. Effects of anodal left, anodal right and sham tDCS over the dlPFC on affective picture appraisal and nicotine craving-cue appraisal were assessed. Anodal right tDCS over the dlPFC reduced negative affect in emotion appraisal, but neither modulated regulation of positive emotion appraisal nor of craving appraisal. Anodal left stimulation did not induce any significant effects. The results of our study show that domain specific self-regulation networks are at work in the prefrontal cortex. Focused tDCS modulation of this specific self-regulation network could probably be used during the first phase of nicotine abstinence, during which negative affect might easily result in relapse. These findings have implications for neuroscience models of self-regulation and are of relevance for the development of brain stimulation based treatment methods for neuropsychiatric disorders associated with self-regulation deficits.

  1. Molecular Modulation of Prefrontal Cortex: Rational Development of Treatments for Psychiatric Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Gamo, Nao J.; Arnsten, Amy F.T.

    2011-01-01

    Dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is a central feature of many psychiatric disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Thus, understanding molecular influences on PFC function through basic research in animals is essential to rational drug development. In this review, we discuss the molecular signaling events initiated by norepinephrine and dopamine that strengthen working memory function mediated by the dorsolateral PFC under optimal conditions, and weaken working memory function during uncontrollable stress. We also discuss how these intracellular mechanisms can be compromised in psychiatric disorders, and how novel treatments based on these findings may restore a molecular environment conducive to PFC regulation of behavior, thought and emotion. Examples of successful translation from animals to humans include guanfacine for the treatment of ADHD and related PFC disorders, and prazosin for the treatment of PTSD. PMID:21480691

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hegarty, A.A.; Vogel, W.H. )

    1992-02-26

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

  3. Modulators in concert for cognition: modulator interactions in the prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Briand, Lisa A.; Gritton, Howard; Howe, William M.; Young, Damon A.; Sarter, Martin

    2007-01-01

    Research on the regulation and function of ascending noradrenergic, dopaminergic, serotonergic, and cholinergic systems has focused on the organization and function of individual systems. In contrast, evidence describing co-activation and interactions between multiple neuromodulatory systems has remained scarce. However, commonalities in the anatomical organization of these systems and overlapping evidence concerning the post-synaptic effects of neuromodulators strongly suggest that these systems are recruited in concert; they influence each other and simultaneously modulate their target circuits. Therefore, evidence on the regulatory and functional interactions between these systems is considered essential for revealing the role of neuromodulators. This postulate extends to contemporary neurobiological hypotheses of major neuropsychiatric disorders. These hypotheses have focused largely on aberrations in the integrity or regulation of individual ascending modulatory systems, with little regard for the likely possibility that dysregulation in multiple ascending neuromodulatory systems and their interactions contribute essentially to the symptoms of these disorders. This review will paradigmatically focus on neuromodulator interactions in the PFC and be further constrained by an additional focus on their role in cognitive functions. Recent evidence indicates that individual neuromodulators, in addition to their general state-setting or gating functions, encode specific cognitive operations, further substantiating the importance of research concerning the parallel recruitment of neuromodulator systems and interactions between these systems. PMID:17681661

  4. Bidirectional modulation of anxiety-related and social behaviors by amygdala projections to the medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Felix-Ortiz, A C; Burgos-Robles, A; Bhagat, N D; Leppla, C A; Tye, K M

    2016-05-03

    The basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) modulate anxiety and social behaviors. It remains to be elucidated, however, whether direct projections from the BLA to the mPFC play a functional role in these behaviors. We used optogenetic approaches in behaving mice to either activate or inhibit BLA inputs to the mPFC during behavioral assays that assess anxiety-like behavior and social interaction. Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2)-mediated activation of BLA inputs to the mPFC produced anxiogenic effects in the elevated plus maze and open field test, whereas halorhodopsin (NpHR)-mediated inhibition produced anxiolytic effects. Furthermore, activation of the BLA-mPFC pathway reduced social interaction in the resident-intruder test, whereas inhibition facilitated social interaction. These results establish a causal relationship between activity in the BLA-mPFC pathway and the bidirectional modulation of anxiety-related and social behaviors.

  5. Motor learning and modulation of prefrontal cortex: an fNIRS assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ono, Yumie; Noah, Jack Adam; Zhang, Xian; Nomoto, Yasunori; Suzuki, Tatsuya; Shimada, Sotaro; Tachibana, Atsumichi; Bronner, Shaw; Hirsch, Joy

    2015-12-01

    Objective. Prefrontal hemodynamic responses are observed during performance of motor tasks. Using a dance video game (DVG), a complex motor task that requires temporally accurate footsteps with given visual and auditory cues, we investigated whether 20 h of DVG training modified hemodynamic responses of the prefrontal cortex in six healthy young adults. Approach. Fronto-temporal activity during actual DVG play was measured using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) pre- and post-training. To evaluate the training-induced changes in the time-courses of fNIRS signals, we employed a regression analysis using the task-specific template fNIRS signals that were generated from alternate well-trained and/or novice DVG players. The HRF was also separately incorporated as a template to construct an alternate regression model. Change in coefficients for template functions at pre- and post- training were determined and compared among different models. Main results. Training significantly increased the motor performance using the number of temporally accurate steps in the DVG as criteria. The mean oxygenated hemoglobin (ΔoxyHb) waveform changed from an activation above baseline pattern to that of a below baseline pattern. Participants showed significantly decreased coefficients for regressors of the ΔoxyHb response of novice players and HRF. The model using ΔoxyHb responses from both well-trained and novice players of DVG as templates showed the best fit for the ΔoxyHb responses of the participants at both pre- and post-training when analyzed with Akaike information criteria. Significance. These results suggest that the coefficients for the template ΔoxyHb responses of the novice players are sensitive indicators of motor learning during the initial stage of training and thus clinically useful to determine the improvement in motor performance when patients are engaged in a specific rehabilitation program.

  6. Cell-type-specific modulation of targets and distractors by dopamine D1 receptors in primate prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Jacob, Simon N.; Stalter, Maximilian; Nieder, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is crucial for maintaining relevant information in working memory and resisting interference. PFC neurons are strongly regulated by dopamine, but it is unknown whether dopamine receptors are involved in protecting target memories from distracting stimuli. We investigated the prefrontal circuit dynamics and dopaminergic modulation of targets and distractors in monkeys trained to ignore interfering stimuli in a delayed-match-to-numerosity task. We found that dopamine D1 receptors (D1Rs) modulate the recovery of task-relevant information following a distracting stimulus. The direction of modulation is cell-type-specific: in putative pyramidal neurons, D1R inhibition enhances and D1R stimulation attenuates coding of the target stimulus after the interference, while the opposite pattern is observed in putative interneurons. Our results suggest that dopaminergic neuromodulation of PFC circuits regulates mental representations of behaviourally relevant stimuli that compete with task-irrelevant input and could play a central role for cognitive functioning in health and disease. PMID:27807366

  7. Atypical modulation of medial prefrontal cortex to self-referential comments in generalized social phobia.

    PubMed

    Blair, Karina S; Geraci, Marilla; Otero, Marcela; Majestic, Catherine; Odenheimer, Stephanie; Jacobs, Madeline; Blair, R J R; Pine, Daniel S

    2011-07-30

    Generalized social phobia (GSP) involves the fear of being negatively evaluated. Previous work suggests that self-referentiality, mediated by the medial prefrontal cortex (MFPC), plays an important role in the disorder. However, it is not clear whether this anomalous MPFC response to self-related information in patients with GSP concerns an increased representation of their own or others' opinions. In this article, we examine whether GSP is associated with increased response to own (1st person) or other individuals' (2nd person) opinions relative to healthy individuals. Unmedicated individuals with GSP (n=15) and age-, IQ-, and gender-matched comparison individuals (n=15) read 1st (e.g., I'm ugly), and 2nd (e.g., You're ugly) person viewpoint comments during functional magnetic resonance imaging. We observed significant group-by-viewpoint interactions within the ventral MPFC. Whereas the healthy comparison individuals showed significantly increased (or less decreased) BOLD responses to 1st relative to 2nd person viewpoints, the patients showed significantly increased responses to 2nd relative to 1st person viewpoints. The reduced BOLD responses to 1st person viewpoint comments shown by the patients correlated significantly with severity of social anxiety symptom severity. These results underscore the importance of dysfunctional self-referential processing and MPFC in GSP. We believe that these data reflect a reorganization of self-referential reasoning in the disorder with a self-concept perhaps atypically related to the view of others.

  8. Cholinergic modulation of the medial prefrontal cortex: the role of nicotinic receptors in attention and regulation of neuronal activity

    PubMed Central

    Bloem, Bernard; Poorthuis, Rogier B.; Mansvelder, Huibert D.

    2014-01-01

    Acetylcholine (ACh) release in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is crucial for normal cognitive performance. Despite the fact that many have studied how ACh affects neuronal processing in the mPFC and thereby influences attention behavior, there is still a lot unknown about how this occurs. Here we will review the evidence that cholinergic modulation of the mPFC plays a role in attention and we will summarize the current knowledge about the role between ACh receptors (AChRs) and behavior and how ACh receptor activation changes processing in the cortical microcircuitry. Recent evidence implicates fast phasic release of ACh in cue detection and attention. This review will focus mainly on the fast ionotropic nicotinic receptors and less on the metabotropic muscarinic receptors. Finally, we will review limitations of the existing studies and address how innovative technologies might push the field forward in order to gain understanding into the relation between ACh, neuronal activity and behavior. PMID:24653678

  9. Cannabinoid modulation of alpha2 adrenergic receptor function in rodent medial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Cathel, Alessandra M.; Reyes, Beverly A. S.; Wang, Qin; Palma, Jonathan; Mackie, Kenneth; Bockstaele, Elisabeth J. Van; Kirby, Lynn G.

    2014-01-01

    Endocannabinoids acting at the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R) are known to regulate attention, cognition and mood. Previous studies have shown that, in the rat medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), CB1R agonists increase norepinephrine release, an effect that may be attributed, in part, to CB1Rs localized to noradrenergic axon terminals. The present study was aimed at further characterizing functional interactions between CB1R and adrenergic receptor (AR) systems in the mPFC using in-vitro intracellular electrophysiology and high-resolution neuroanatomical techniques. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of layer V/VI cortical pyramidal neurons in rats revealed that both acute and chronic treatment with the synthetic CB1R agonist WIN 55,212-2 blocked elevations in cortical pyramidal cell excitability and increases in input resistance evoked by the α2-adrenergic receptor (α2-AR) agonist clonidine, suggesting a desensitization of α2-ARs. These CB1R–α2-AR interactions were further shown to be both action potential- and gamma-aminobutyric acid-independent. To better define sites of cannabinoid–AR interactions, we localized α2A-ARs in a genetically modified mouse that expressed a hemoagglutinin (HA) tag downstream of the α2A-AR promoter. Light and electron microscopy indicated that HA-α2A-AR was distributed in axon terminals and somatodendritic processes especially in layer V of the mPFC. Triple-labeling immunocytochemistry revealed that α2A-AR and CB1R were localized to processes that contained dopamine-β-hydroxylase, a marker of norepinephrine. Furthermore, HA-α2A-AR was localized to processes that were directly apposed to CB1R. These findings suggest multiple sites of interaction between cortical cannabinoid–adrenergic systems that may contribute to understanding the effect of cannabinoids on executive functions and mood. PMID:25131562

  10. Adrenergic modulation of NMDA receptors in prefrontal cortex is differentially regulated by RGS proteins and spinophilin

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Wenhua; Yuen, Eunice Y.; Allen, Patrick B.; Feng, Jian; Greengard, Paul; Yan, Zhen

    2006-01-01

    The noradrenergic system in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in many physiological and psychological processes, including working memory and mood control. To understand the functions of the noradrenergic system, we examined the regulation of NMDA receptors (NMDARs), key players in cognition and emotion, by α1- and α2-adrenergic receptors (α1-ARs, α2-ARs) in PFC pyramidal neurons. Applying norepinephrine or a norepinephrine transporter inhibitor reduced the amplitude but not paired-pulse ratio of NMDAR-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSC) in PFC slices. Specific α1-AR or α2-AR agonists also decreased NMDAR-EPSC amplitude and whole-cell NMDAR current amplitude in dissociated PFC neurons. The α1-AR effect depended on the phospholipase C–inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate–Ca2+ pathway, whereas the α2-AR effect depended on protein kinase A and the microtubule-based transport of NMDARs that is regulated by ERK signaling. Furthermore, two members of the RGS family, RGS2 and RGS4, were found to down-regulate the effect of α1-AR on NMDAR currents, whereas only RGS4 was involved in inhibiting α2-AR regulation of NMDAR currents. The regulating effects of RGS2/4 on α1-AR signaling were lost in mutant mice lacking spinophilin, which binds several RGS members and G protein-coupled receptors, whereas the effect of RGS4 on α2-AR signaling was not altered in spinophilin-knockout mice. Our work suggests that activation of α1-ARs or α2-ARs suppresses NMDAR currents in PFC neurons by distinct mechanisms. The effect of α1-ARs is modified by RGS2/4 that are recruited to the receptor complex by spinophilin, whereas the effect of α2-ARs is modified by RGS4 independent of spinophilin. PMID:17101972

  11. Task-relevancy effects on movement-related gating are modulated by continuous theta-burst stimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Brown, Katlyn E; Ferris, Jennifer K; Amanian, Mohammad A; Staines, W Richard; Boyd, Lara A

    2015-03-01

    Movement-related gating ensures that decreased somatosensory information from external stimulation reaches the cortex during movement when compared to resting levels; however, gating may be influenced by task-relevant manipulations, such that increased sensory information ascends to the cortex when information is relevant to goal-based actions. These task-relevancy effects are hypothesized to be controlled by a network involving the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) based on this region's known role in selective attention, modulating the primary somatosensory cortex (S1). The purpose of the current study was first to verify task-relevancy influences on movement-related gating in the upper limb, and second to test the contribution of the DLPFC and the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) to these relevancy effects. Ten healthy participants received median nerve stimulation at the left wrist during three conditions: rest, task-irrelevant movement, and task-relevant movement. Cortical responses to median nerve stimulations were measured in the form of somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs). The three conditions were collected on a baseline day and on two separate days following continuous theta-burst (cTBS), which transiently reduces cortical excitability, over either the contralateral S1 or DLPFC. Results demonstrated a significant interaction between stimulation and condition, with a priori contrasts revealing that cTBS over either S1 or DLPFC diminished the relevancy-based modulation of SEP amplitudes; however, the degree of this effect was different. These results indicate that DLPFC influences over S1 are involved in the facilitation of relevant sensory information during movement.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-02

    The medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a major role in executive function by exerting a top-down control onto subcortical areas. Novelty-induced frontal cortex activation is 5-HT2A receptor (5-HT2AR) dependent. Here, we further investigated how blockade of 5-HT2ARs in mice exposed to a novel open-field arena affects medial PFC activation and basolateral amygdala (BLA) reactivity. We used c-Fos immunoreactivity (IR) as a marker of neuronal activation and stereological quantification for obtaining the total number of c-Fos-IR neurons as a measure of regional activation. We further examined the impact of 5-HT2AR blockade on the striatal-projecting BLA neurons. Systemic administration of ketanserin (0.5mg/kg) prior to novel open-field exposure resulted in reduced total numbers of c-Fos-IR cells in dorsomedial PFC areas and the BLA. Moreover, there was a positive correlation between the relative time spent in the centre of the open-field and BLA c-Fos-IR in the ketanserin-treated animals. Unilateral medial PFC lesions blocked this effect, ascertaining an involvement of this frontal cortex area. On the other hand, medial PFC lesioning exacerbated the more anxiogenic-like behaviour of the ketanserin-treated animals, upholding its involvement in modulating averseness. Ketanserin did not affect the number of activated striatal-projecting BLA neurons (measured by number of Cholera Toxin b (CTb) retrograde labelled neurons also being c-Fos-IR) following CTb injection in the ventral striatum. These results support a role of 5-HT2AR activation in modulating mPFC and BLA activation during exposure to a novel environment, which may be interrelated. Conversely, 5-HT2AR blockade does not seem to affect the amygdala-striatal projection.

  13. Target-specific modulation of the descending prefrontal cortex inputs to the dorsal raphe nucleus by cannabinoids

    PubMed Central

    Geddes, Sean D.; Assadzada, Saleha; Lemelin, David; Sokolovski, Alexandra; Bergeron, Richard; Haj-Dahmane, Samir; Béïque, Jean-Claude

    2016-01-01

    Serotonin (5-HT) neurons located in the raphe nuclei modulate a wide range of behaviors by means of an expansive innervation pattern. In turn, the raphe receives a vast array of synaptic inputs, and a remaining challenge lies in understanding how these individual inputs are organized, processed, and modulated in this nucleus to contribute ultimately to the core coding features of 5-HT neurons. The details of the long-range, top-down control exerted by the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) are of particular interest, in part, because of its purported role in stress processing and mood regulation. Here, we found that the mPFC provides a direct monosynaptic, glutamatergic drive to both DRN 5-HT and GABA neurons and that this architecture was conducive to a robust feed-forward inhibition. Remarkably, activation of cannabinoid (CB) receptors differentially modulated the mPFC inputs onto these cell types in the DRN, in effect regulating the synaptic excitatory/inhibitory balance governing the excitability of 5-HT neurons. Thus, the CB system dynamically reconfigures the processing features of the DRN, a mood-related circuit believed to provide a concerted and distributed regulation of the excitability of large ensembles of brain networks. PMID:27114535

  14. 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

  15. Not so bad: avoidance and aversive discounting modulate threat appraisal in anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Schlund, Michael W.; Brewer, Adam T.; Richman, David M.; Magee, Sandy K.; Dymond, Simon

    2015-01-01

    The dorsal anterior cingulate (adACC) and dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) play a central role in the discrimination and appraisal of threatening stimuli. Yet, little is known about what specific features of threatening situations recruit these regions and how avoidance may modulate appraisal and activation through prevention of aversive events. In this investigation, 30 healthy adults underwent functional neuroimaging while completing an avoidance task in which responses to an Avoidable CS+ threat prevented delivery of an aversive stimulus, but not to an Unavoidable CS+ threat. Extinction testing was also completed where CSs were presented without aversive stimulus delivery and an opportunity to avoid. The Avoidable CS+ relative to the Unavoidable CS+ was associated with reductions in ratings of negative valence, fear, and US expectancy and activation. Greater regional activation was consistently observed to the Unavoidable CS+ during avoidance, which declined during extinction. Individuals exhibiting greater aversive discounting—that is, those more avoidant of immediate monetary loss compared to a larger delayed loss—also displayed greater activation to the Unavoidable CS+, highlighting aversive discounting as a significant individual difference variable. These are the first results linking adACC/dmPFC reactivity to avoidance-based reductions of aversive events and modulation of activation by individual differences in aversive discounting. PMID:26113813

  16. Direct current induced short-term modulation of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex while learning auditory presented nouns

    PubMed Central

    Elmer, Stefan; Burkard, Marcel; Renz, Basil; Meyer, Martin; Jancke, Lutz

    2009-01-01

    Background Little is known about the contribution of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the exploration of memory functions. The aim of the present study was to examine the behavioural effects of right or left-hemisphere frontal direct current delivery while committing to memory auditory presented nouns on short-term learning and subsequent long-term retrieval. Methods Twenty subjects, divided into two groups, performed an episodic verbal memory task during anodal, cathodal and sham current application on the right or left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Results Our results imply that only cathodal tDCS elicits behavioural effects on verbal memory performance. In particular, left-sided application of cathodal tDCS impaired short-term verbal learning when compared to the baseline. We did not observe tDCS effects on long-term retrieval. Conclusion Our results imply that the left DLPFC is a crucial area involved in short-term verbal learning mechanisms. However, we found further support that direct current delivery with an intensity of 1.5 mA to the DLPFC during short-term learning does not disrupt longer lasting consolidation processes that are mainly known to be related to mesial temporal lobe areas. In the present study, we have shown that the tDCS technique has the potential to modulate short-term verbal learning mechanism. PMID:19604352

  17. Inhibitory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex modulates early affective processing.

    PubMed

    Zwanzger, Peter; Steinberg, Christian; Rehbein, Maimu Alissa; Bröckelmann, Ann-Kathrin; Dobel, Christian; Zavorotnyy, Maxim; Domschke, Katharina; Junghöfer, Markus

    2014-11-01

    The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) has often been suggested as a key modulator of emotional stimulus appraisal and regulation. Therefore, in clinical trials, it is one of the most frequently targeted regions for non-invasive brain stimulation such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). In spite of various encouraging reports that demonstrate beneficial effects of rTMS in anxiety disorders, psychophysiological studies exploring the underlying neural mechanisms are sparse. Here we investigated how inhibitory rTMS influences early affective processing when applied over the right dlPFC. Before and after rTMS or sham stimulation, subjects viewed faces with fearful or neutral expressions while whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) was recorded. Due to the disrupted functioning of the right dlPFC, visual processing in bilateral parietal, temporal, and occipital areas was amplified starting at around 90 ms after stimulus onset. Moreover, increased fear-specific activation was found in the right TPJ area in a time-interval between 110 and 170 ms. These neurophysiological effects were reflected in slowed reaction times for fearful, but not for neutral faces in a facial expression identification task while there was no such effect on a gender discrimination control task. Our study confirms the specific and important role of the dlPFC in regulation of early emotional attention and encourages future clinical research to use minimal invasive methods such as transcranial magnetic (TMS) or direct current stimulation (tDCS).

  18. 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…

  19. Context-Dependent Modulation of Functional Connectivity: Secondary Somatosensory Cortex to Prefrontal Cortex Connections in Two-Stimulus-Interval Discrimination Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Chow, Stephanie S.; Romo, Ranulfo; Brody, Carlos D.

    2010-01-01

    In a complex world, a sensory cue may prompt different actions in different contexts. A laboratory example of context-dependent sensory processing is the two-stimulus-interval discrimination task. In each trial, a first stimulus (f1) must be stored in short-term memory and later compared with a second stimulus (f2), for the animal to come to a binary decision. Prefrontal cortex (PFC) neurons need to interpret the f1 information in one way (perhaps with a positive weight) and the f2 information in an opposite way (perhaps with a negative weight), although they come from the very same secondary somatosensory cortex (S2) neurons; therefore, a functional sign inversion is required. This task thus provides a clear example of context-dependent processing. Here we develop a biologically plausible model of a context-dependent signal transformation of the stimulus encoding from S2 to PFC. To ground our model in experimental neurophysiology, we use neurophysiological data recorded by R. Romo’s laboratory from both cortical area S2 and PFC in monkeys performing the task. Our main goal is to use experimentally observed context-dependent modulations of firing rates in cortical area S2 as the basis for a model that achieves a context-dependent inversion of the sign of S2 to PFC connections. This is done without requiring any changes in connectivity (Salinas, 2004b). We (1) characterize the experimentally observed context-dependent firing rate modulation in area S2, (2) construct a model that results in the sign transformation, and (3) characterize the robustness and consequent biological plausibility of the model. PMID:19494146

  20. 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.

  1. Structural Integrity of the Prefrontal Cortex Modulates Electrocortical Sensitivity to Reward

    PubMed Central

    Parvaz, Muhammad A.; Konova, Anna B.; Tomasi, Dardo; Volkow, Nora D.; Goldstein, Rita Z.

    2015-01-01

    The P300 is a known ERP component assessing stimulus value, including the value of a monetary reward. In parallel, the incentive value of reinforcers relies on the PFC, a major cortical projection region of the mesocortical reward pathway. Here we show a significant positive correlation between P300 response to money (vs. no money) with PFC gray matter volume in the OFC, ACC, and dorsolateral and ventrolateral PFC in healthy control participants. In contrast, individuals with cocaine use disorders showed compromises in both P300 sensitivity to money and PFC gray matter volume in the ventrolateral PFC and OFC and their interdependence. These results document for the first time the importance of gray matter structural integrity of subregions of PFC to the reward-modulated P300 response. PMID:22098260

  2. Emotional Distraction and Bodily Reaction: Modulation of Autonomous Responses by Anodal tDCS to the Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Philipp A; Ehlis, Ann-Christine; Wolkenstein, Larissa; Fallgatter, Andreas J; Plewnia, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Prefrontal electric stimulation has been demonstrated to effectively modulate cognitive processing. Specifically, the amelioration of cognitive control (CC) over emotional distraction by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) points toward targeted therapeutic applications in various psychiatric disorders. In addition to behavioral measures, autonomous nervous system (ANS) responses are fundamental bodily signatures of emotional information processing. However, interactions between the modulation of CC by tDCS and ANS responses have received limited attention. We here report on ANS data gathered in healthy subjects that performed an emotional CC task parallel to the modulation of left prefrontal cortical activity by 1 mA anodal or sham tDCS. Skin conductance responses (SCRs) to negative and neutral pictures of human scenes were reduced by anodal as compared to sham tDCS. Individual SCR amplitude variations were associated with the amount of distraction. Moreover, the stimulation-driven performance- and SCR-modulations were related in form of a quadratic, inverse-U function. Thus, our results indicate that non-invasive brain stimulation (i.e., anodal tDCS) can modulate autonomous responses synchronous to behavioral improvements, but the range of possible concurrent improvements from prefrontal stimulation is limited. Interactions between cognitive, affective, neurophysiological, and vegetative responses to emotional content can shape brain stimulation effectiveness and require theory-driven integration in potential treatment protocols.

  3. Differential effects of continuous theta burst stimulation over left premotor cortex and right prefrontal cortex on modulating upper limb somatosensory input.

    PubMed

    Brown, Matt J N; Staines, W Richard

    2016-02-15

    Somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) represent somatosensory processing in non-primary motor areas (i.e. frontal N30 and N60) and somatosensory cortices (i.e. parietal P50). It is well-known that the premotor cortex (PMC) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) are involved in the preparation and planning of upper limb movements but it is currently unclear how they modulate somatosensory processing for upper limb motor control. In the current study, two experiments examined SEP modulations after continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) was used to transiently disrupt the left PMC (Experiment 1) and right PFC (Experiment 2). Both Experiment 1 (n=15) and Experiment 2 (n=16) used pre-post experimental designs. In both experiments participants performed a task requiring detection of varying amplitudes of attended vibrotactile (VibT) stimuli to the left index finger (D2) and execution of a pre-matched finger sequence with the right (contralateral) hand to specific VibT targets. During the task, SEPs were measured to median nerve (MN) stimulations time-locked during pre-stimulus (250 ms before VibT), early response selection (250 ms after VibT), late preparatory (750 ms after VibT) and execution (1250 ms VibT) phases. The key findings of Experiment 1 revealed significant decreases in N30 and N60 peak amplitudes after cTBS to PMC. In contrast, the results of Experiment 2, also found significant decreased N60 peak amplitudes as well as trends for increased N30 and P50 peak amplitudes. A direct comparison of Experiment 1 and Experiment 2 confirmed differential modulation of N30 peak amplitudes after PMC (gated) compared to PFC (enhanced) cTBS. Collectively, these results support that both the left PMC and right PFC have modulatory roles on early somatosensory input into non-primary motor areas, such as PMC and supplementary motor area (SMA), represented by frontal N30 and N60 SEPs. These results confirm that PMC and PFC are both part of a network that regulates somatosensory input

  4. Relational complexity modulates activity in the prefrontal cortex during numerical inductive reasoning: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Feng, Xiao; Peng, Li; Chang-Quan, Long; Yi, Lei; Hong, Li

    2014-09-01

    Most previous studies investigating relational reasoning have used visuo-spatial materials. This fMRI study aimed to determine how relational complexity affects brain activity during inductive reasoning, using numerical materials. Three numerical relational levels of the number series completion task were adopted for use: 0-relational (e.g., "23 23 23"), 1-relational ("32 30 28") and 2-relational ("12 13 15") problems. The fMRI results revealed that the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) showed enhanced activity associated with relational complexity. Bilateral inferior parietal lobule (IPL) activity was greater during the 1- and 2-relational level problems than during the 0-relational level problems. In addition, the left fronto-polar cortex (FPC) showed selective activity during the 2-relational level problems. The bilateral DLPFC may be involved in the process of hypothesis generation, whereas the bilateral IPL may be sensitive to calculation demands. Moreover, the sensitivity of the left FPC to the multiple relational problems may be related to the integration of numerical relations. The present study extends our knowledge of the prefrontal activity pattern underlying numerical relational processing.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Nutritional omega-3 modulates neuronal morphology in the prefrontal cortex along with depression-related behaviour through corticosterone secretion

    PubMed Central

    Larrieu, T; Hilal, L M; Fourrier, C; De Smedt-Peyrusse, V; Sans N; Capuron, L; Layé, S

    2014-01-01

    Understanding how malnutrition contributes to depression is building momentum. In the present study we unravel molecular and cellular mechanisms by which nutritional disturbances lead to impaired emotional behaviour in mice. Here we report that nutritional n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) deficiency induces a chronic stress state reflected by disrupted glucocorticoid receptor (GR)-mediated signalling pathway along with hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis hyperactivity. This hyperactivity in turn resulted in neuronal atrophy in the dorsolateral (dl)- and dorsomedial (dm)- prefrontal cortex (PFC) and subsequent mood-related behaviour alterations, similarly to chronic social defeat stress. Supplementation of n-3 PUFA prevented detrimental chronic social defeat stress-induced emotional and neuronal impairments by impeding HPA axis hyperactivity. These results indicate a role for dietary n-3 PUFA in the prevention of HPA axis dysfunction associated with the development of some neuropsychiatric disorders including depression. PMID:25203168

  9. Modulating Memory Performance in Healthy Subjects with Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Over the Right Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Smirni, Daniela; Turriziani, Patrizia; Mangano, Giuseppa Renata; Cipolotti, Lisa; Oliveri, Massimiliano

    2015-01-01

    Objective The role of the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex (DLPFC) in recognition memory has been well documented in lesion, neuroimaging and repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) studies. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) over the left and the right DLPFC during the delay interval of a non-verbal recognition memory task. Method 36 right-handed young healthy subjects participated in the study. The experimental task was an Italian version of Recognition Memory Test for unknown faces. Study included two experiments: in a first experiment, each subject underwent one session of sham tDCS and one session of left or right cathodal tDCS; in a second experiment each subject underwent one session of sham tDCS and one session of left or right anodal tDCS. Results Cathodal tDCS over the right DLPFC significantly improved non verbal recognition memory performance, while cathodal tDCS over the left DLPFC had no effect. Anodal tDCS of both the left and right DLPFC did not modify non verbal recognition memory performance. Conclusion Complementing the majority of previous studies, reporting long term memory facilitations following left prefrontal anodal tDCS, the present findings show that cathodal tDCS of the right DLPFC can also improve recognition memory in healthy subjects. PMID:26679936

  10. Modulating the Activity of Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex by Anodal tDCS Enhances the Trustee’s Repayment through Altruism

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Haoli; Huang, Daqiang; Chen, Shu; Wang, Siqi; Guo, Wenmin; Luo, Jun; Ye, Hang; Chen, Yefeng

    2016-01-01

    Trust and trustworthiness are essential to an efficient economy and play crucial roles in social life. Previous evidence from behavioral experiments has revealed that the trustworthiness of individuals is closely related with their altruistic preference. It has been demonstrated that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is associated with decisions involving trustworthiness. Moreover, vmPFC lesion patients showed less trustworthiness and altruism than control subjects, indicating the indispensable role of this specific brain area in human social interactions. However, the causal relationship between this neural area and trustworthiness, as well as altruism, has not been fully revealed. The potential neural basis behind the behavior of trustees’ repayment has also seldom been discussed. In the present study, we aimed to provide evidence of a direct link between the neural and behavioral results through the application of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the vmPFC of our participants. We found that activating the vmPFC could promote both the trustworthiness and altruism of our participants. We also show that enhancing the excitability of the vmPFC using tDCS increased the trustworthiness of the participants, and this promoting effect might be attributable to the enhancement of individuals’ altruistic preference. In addition, we revealed that the enhancing effect in trustworthiness and altruism might be specific to the activation of the vmPFC by applying tDCS over another brain region within the prefrontal cortex as a control site. Crucially, our findings provide direct evidence supporting the critical role of the vmPFC in cooperative behaviors in economic interactions, especially the trustees’ repayment in the trust game and the dictators’ altruistic transfer in the dictator game. PMID:27713721

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

    PubMed

    Akaishi, Rei; Ueda, Naoko; Sakai, Katsuyuki

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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…

  13. Regulating prefrontal cortex activation: an emerging role for the 5-HT₂A serotonin receptor in the modulation of emotion-based actions?

    PubMed

    Aznar, Susana; Klein, Anders B

    2013-12-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in mediating important higher-order cognitive processes such as decision making, prompting thereby our actions. At the same time, PFC activation is strongly influenced by emotional reactions through its functional interaction with the amygdala and the striatal circuitry, areas involved in emotion and reward processing. The PFC, however, is able to modulate amygdala reactivity via a feedback loop to this area. A role for serotonin in adjusting for this circuitry of cognitive regulation of emotion has long been suggested based primarily on the positive pharmacological effect of elevating serotonin levels in anxiety regulation. Recent animal and human functional magnetic resonance studies have pointed to a specific involvement of the 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)2A serotonin receptor in the PFC feedback regulatory projection onto the amygdala. This receptor is highly expressed in the prefrontal cortex areas, playing an important role in modulating cortical activity and neural oscillations (brain waves). This makes it an interesting potential pharmacological target for the treatment of neuropsychiatric modes characterized by lack of inhibitory control of emotion-based actions, such as addiction and other impulse-related behaviors. In this review, we give an overview of the 5-HT2A receptor distribution (neuronal, intracellular, and anatomical) along with its functional and physiological effect on PFC activation, and how that relates to more recent findings of a regulatory effect of the PFC on the emotional control of our actions.

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Dopaminergic modulation of short-term synaptic plasticity in fast-spiking interneurons of primate dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Burgos, G; Kroener, S; Seamans, J K; Lewis, D A; Barrionuevo, G

    2005-12-01

    Dopaminergic regulation of primate dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity is essential for cognitive functions such as working memory. However, the cellular mechanisms of dopamine neuromodulation in PFC are not well understood. We have studied the effects of dopamine receptor activation during persistent stimulation of excitatory inputs onto fast-spiking GABAergic interneurons in monkey PFC. Stimulation at 20 Hz induced short-term excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) depression. The D1 receptor agonist SKF81297 (5 microM) significantly reduced the amplitude of the first EPSP but not of subsequent responses in EPSP trains, which still displayed significant depression. Dopamine (DA; 10 microM) effects were similar to those of SKF81297 and were abolished by the D1 antagonist SCH23390 (5 microM), indicating a D1 receptor-mediated effect. DA did not alter miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents, suggesting that its effects were activity dependent and presynaptic action potential dependent. In contrast to previous findings in pyramidal neurons, in fast-spiking cells, contribution of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors to EPSPs at subthreshold potentials was not significant and fast-spiking cell depolarization decreased EPSP duration. In addition, DA had no significant effects on temporal summation. The selective decrease in the amplitude of the first EPSP in trains delivered every 10 s suggests that in fast-spiking neurons, DA reduces the amplitude of EPSPs evoked at low frequency but not of EPSPs evoked by repetitive stimulation. DA may therefore improve detection of EPSP bursts above background synaptic activity. EPSP bursts displaying short-term depression may transmit spike-timing-dependent temporal codes contained in presynaptic spike trains. Thus DA neuromodulation may increase the signal-to-noise ratio at fast-spiking cell inputs.

  18. Adolescent nicotine exposure transiently increases high-affinity nicotinic receptors and modulates inhibitory synaptic transmission in rat medial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Counotte, Danielle S.; Goriounova, Natalia A.; Moretti, Milena; Smoluch, Marek T.; Irth, Hubertus; Clementi, Francesco; Schoffelmeer, Anton N. M.; Mansvelder, Huibert D.; Smit, August B.; Gotti, Cecilia; Spijker, Sabine

    2013-01-01

    Adolescence is a critical developmental period during which most adult smokers initiate their habit. Adolescents are more vulnerable than adults to nicotine’s long-term effects on addictive and cognitive behavior. We investigated whether adolescent nicotine exposure in rats modifies expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in the short and/or long term, and whether this has functional consequences. Using receptor binding studies followed by immunoprecipitation of nAChR subunits, we showed that adolescent nicotine exposure, as compared with saline, caused an increase in mPFC nAChRs containing α4 or β2 subunits (24 and 18%, respectively) 24 h after the last injection. Nicotine exposure in adulthood had no such effect. This increase was transient and was not observed 5 wk following either adolescent or adult nicotine exposure. In line with increased nAChRs expression 1 d after adolescent nicotine exposure, we observed a 34% increase in amplitude of nicotine-induced spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents in layer II/III mPFC pyramidal neurons. These effects were transient and specific, and observed only acutely after adolescent nicotine exposure, but not after 5 wk, and no changes were observed in adult-exposed animals. The acute nicotine-induced increase in α4β2-containing receptors in adolescents interferes with the normal developmental decrease (37%) of these receptors from early adolescence (postnatal day 34) to adulthood (postnatal day 104) in the mPFC. Together, this suggests that these receptors play a role in mediating the acute rewarding effects of nicotine and may underlie the increased sensitivity of adolescents to nicotine. PMID:22308197

  19. Neurotensin modulation of acetylcholine, GABA, and aspartate release from rat prefrontal cortex studied in vivo with microdialysis.

    PubMed

    Petkova-Kirova, Polina; Rakovska, Angelina; Della Corte, Laura; Zaekova, Galina; Radomirov, Radomir; Mayer, Aliz

    2008-09-30

    The effects of the peptide transmitter neurotensin (NT) on the release of acetylcholine (ACh), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamate (Glu), aspartate (Asp), and taurine from the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of freely moving rats were studied by transversal microdialysis. Neurotensin (0.2 and 1 microM) administered locally in the PFC produced a concentration-dependent increase in the extracellular levels of ACh, GABA, and Asp, but not of Glu or taurine. The increase produced by 1 microM NT reached a maximum of about 240% for ACh, 370% for GABA, and 380% for Asp. Lower doses of NT (0.05 microM) did not cause a significant change in ACh, GABA, or Asp output in the PFC. Higher concentrations of NT (2 microM) did not induce further increases in the level of neurotransmitters. A high-affinity selective neurotensin receptor (NTR1) antagonist SR 48692 (0.5 microM) perfused locally blocked neurotensin (1 microM)-evoked ACh, GABA, and Asp release. Local infusion of the sodium channel blocker tetrodotoxin (TTX) (1 microM) decreased the release of ACh, had no significant effect on GABA or Asp release, and prevented the 1 microM neurotensin-induced increase in ACh, GABA, and Asp output. Removal of calcium from the Ringer's solution prevented the peptide from having any effects on the neurotransmitters. Thus, in vivo NT plays a modulatory role in the PFC by interacting with cortical neurons releasing GABA and Asp and with ACh-containing neurons projecting to the PFC. The NT effects are of neural origin, as they are TTX-sensitive, and mediated by the NTR1 receptor, as they are antagonized by SR 48692.

  20. Modulating the interference effect on spatial working memory by applying transcranial direct current stimulation over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yi-Jen; Tseng, Philip; Chang, Chi-Fu; Pai, Ming-Chyi; Hsu, Kuei-Sen; Lin, Chou-Ching; Juan, Chi-Hung

    2014-11-01

    Spatial working memory (SWM) is the ability to temporarily store and manipulate spatial information. It has a limited capacity and is quite vulnerable to interference. Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has been shown to be a part of the SWM network but its specific functional role still remains unknown. Here we applied transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a noninvasive brain stimulation technique that provides polarity-specific stimulation over the targeted region, to investigate the specific role of the right DLPFC in resolving interference in SWM. A forward- and backward-recall computerized Corsi Block Tapping task (CBT), both with and without a concurrent motor interference task (the modified Luria manual sequencing task) was used to measure SWM capacity and reaction time. The results showed that motor interference impeded accuracy and prolonged reaction time in forward and backward recall for SWM. Anodal tDCS over right DLPFC yielded the tendency to shorten participants' reaction time in the conditions with interference (forward with interference, and backward with interference). Most importantly, anodal tDCS significantly improved participants' SWM span when cognitive demand was the highest (the "backward-recall with motor interference" condition). These results suggest that (1) the right DLPFC plays a crucial role in dealing with the cross-domain motor interference for spatial working memory and (2) the anodal tDCS over right DLPFC improved SWM capacity particularly when task difficulty demands more complex mental manipulations that could be due to the facilitatory effect of anodal tDCS which enhanced the DLPFC function within central executive system at the top-down attentional level.

  1. Doping the Mind: Dopaminergic Modulation of Prefrontal Cortical Cognition.

    PubMed

    Ranganath, Ajit; Jacob, Simon N

    2016-12-01

    The prefrontal cortex is the center of cognitive control. Processing in prefrontal cortical circuits enables us to direct attention to behaviorally relevant events; to memorize, structure, and categorize information; and to learn new concepts. The prefrontal cortex receives strong projections from midbrain neurons that use dopamine as a transmitter. In this article, we review the crucial role dopamine plays as a modulator of prefrontal cognitive functions, in the primate brain in particular. Following a summary of the anatomy and physiology of the midbrain dopamine system, we focus on recent studies that investigated dopaminergic effects in prefrontal cortex at the cellular level. We then discuss how unregulated prefrontal dopamine signaling could contribute to major disorders of cognition. The studies highlighted in this review demonstrate the powerful influence dopamine exerts on the mind.

  2. Dopamine modulation of GABAergic function enables network stability and input selectivity for sustaining working memory in a computational model of the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Lew, Sergio E; Tseng, Kuei Y

    2014-12-01

    Dopamine modulation of GABAergic transmission in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is thought to be critical for sustaining cognitive processes such as working memory and decision-making. Here, we developed a neurocomputational model of the PFC that includes physiological features of the facilitatory action of dopamine on fast-spiking interneurons to assess how a GABAergic dysregulation impacts on the prefrontal network stability and working memory. We found that a particular non-linear relationship between dopamine transmission and GABA function is required to enable input selectivity in the PFC for the formation and retention of working memory. Either degradation of the dopamine signal or the GABAergic function is sufficient to elicit hyperexcitability in pyramidal neurons and working memory impairments. The simulations also revealed an inverted U-shape relationship between working memory and dopamine, a function that is maintained even at high levels of GABA degradation. In fact, the working memory deficits resulting from reduced GABAergic transmission can be rescued by increasing dopamine tone and vice versa. We also examined the role of this dopamine-GABA interaction for the termination of working memory and found that the extent of GABAergic excitation needed to reset the PFC network begins to occur when the activity of fast-spiking interneurons surpasses 40 Hz. Together, these results indicate that the capability of the PFC to sustain working memory and network stability depends on a robust interplay of compensatory mechanisms between dopamine tone and the activity of local GABAergic interneurons.

  3. Dopamine Modulation of GABAergic Function Enables Network Stability and Input Selectivity for Sustaining Working Memory in a Computational Model of the Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Lew, Sergio E; Tseng, Kuei Y

    2014-01-01

    Dopamine modulation of GABAergic transmission in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is thought to be critical for sustaining cognitive processes such as working memory and decision-making. Here, we developed a neurocomputational model of the PFC that includes physiological features of the facilitatory action of dopamine on fast-spiking interneurons to assess how a GABAergic dysregulation impacts on the prefrontal network stability and working memory. We found that a particular non-linear relationship between dopamine transmission and GABA function is required to enable input selectivity in the PFC for the formation and retention of working memory. Either degradation of the dopamine signal or the GABAergic function is sufficient to elicit hyperexcitability in pyramidal neurons and working memory impairments. The simulations also revealed an inverted U-shape relationship between working memory and dopamine, a function that is maintained even at high levels of GABA degradation. In fact, the working memory deficits resulting from reduced GABAergic transmission can be rescued by increasing dopamine tone and vice versa. We also examined the role of this dopamine–GABA interaction for the termination of working memory and found that the extent of GABAergic excitation needed to reset the PFC network begins to occur when the activity of fast-spiking interneurons surpasses 40 Hz. Together, these results indicate that the capability of the PFC to sustain working memory and network stability depends on a robust interplay of compensatory mechanisms between dopamine tone and the activity of local GABAergic interneurons. PMID:24975022

  4. 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

  5. Theta oscillations in the medial prefrontal cortex are modulated by spatial working memory and synchronize with the hippocampus through its ventral subregion.

    PubMed

    O'Neill, Pia-Kelsey; Gordon, Joshua A; Sigurdsson, Torfi

    2013-08-28

    The rodent medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is critical for spatial working memory (SWM), but the underlying neural processes are incompletely understood. During SWM tasks, neural activity in the mPFC becomes synchronized with theta oscillations in the hippocampus, and the strength of hippocampal-prefrontal synchrony is correlated with behavioral performance. However, to what extent the mPFC generates theta oscillations and whether they are also modulated by SWM remains unclear. Furthermore, it is not known how theta oscillations in the mPFC are synchronized with theta oscillations in the hippocampus. Although the ventral hippocampus (vHPC) projects directly to the mPFC, previous studies have only examined synchrony between the mPFC and the dorsal hippocampus (dHPC), with which it is not directly connected. To address these issues, we recorded simultaneously from the dHPC, vHPC, and mPFC of mice performing a SWM task in a T-maze. The local field potential recorded in the mPFC displayed robust theta oscillations that were reflected in local measures of neuronal activity and modulated by SWM performance. mPFC theta oscillations were also synchronized with theta oscillations in both the vHPC and dHPC, and the magnitude of theta synchrony was modulated by SWM. Removing the influence of the vHPC either computationally (through partial correlations) or experimentally (through pharmacological inactivation) reduced theta synchrony between the mPFC and dHPC. These results reveal theta oscillations as a prominent feature of neural activity in the mPFC and a candidate neural mechanism underlying SWM. Furthermore, our results suggest that the vHPC plays a major role in synchronizing theta oscillations in the mPFC and the hippocampus.

  6. CB-1 receptors modulate the effect of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, citalopram on extracellular serotonin levels in the rat prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Kleijn, Jelle; Cremers, Thomas I F H; Hofland, Corry M; Westerink, Ben H C

    2011-07-01

    A large percentage of depressed individuals use drugs of abuse, like cannabis. This study investigates the impact of cannabis on the pharmacological effects of the antidepressant citalopram. Using microdialysis in the prefrontal cortex of rats we monitored serotonin levels before and after cannabinoid (WIN55,212-2 or rimonabant) and citalopram administration. Stimulating CB-1 decreased the effect of citalopram on increasing serotonin levels in the prefrontal cortex. Blocking CB-1 augmented this effect of citalopram. Although repeating these experiments in a chronical setting is recommended the present results might have implication for the clinical effects of citalopram.

  7. Distinct roles of methamphetamine in modulating spatial memory consolidation, retrieval, reconsolidation and the accompanying changes of ERK and CREB activation in hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Cao, Guofen; Zhu, Jie; Zhong, Qing; Shi, Chaofeng; Dang, Yonghui; Han, Wei; Liu, Xinshe; Xu, Ming; Chen, Teng

    2013-04-01

    Drugs of abuse modulated learning and memory in humans yet the underlying mechanism remained unclear. The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and the transcription factor cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) were involved in neuroplastic changes associated with learning and memory. In the current study, we used a Morris water maze to examine the effect of methamphetamine (METH) on different processes of spatial memory in mice. We then investigated the status of ERK and CREB in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC). We found that 1.0 mg/kg dose of METH facilitated spatial memory consolidation when it was injected immediately after the last learning trial. In contrast, the same dose of METH had no effect on spatial memory retrieval when it was injected 30 min before the test. Furthermore, 1.0 mg/kg dose of METH injected immediately after retrieval had no effect on spatial memory reconsolidation. Activation of both ERK and CREB in the hippocampus was found following memory consolidation but not after retrieval or reconsolidation in METH-treated mouse groups. In contrast, activation of both ERK and CREB in the PFC was found following memory retrieval but not other processes in METH-treated mouse groups. These results suggested that METH facilitated spatial memory consolidation but not retrieval or reconsolidation. Moreover, activation of the ERK and CREB signaling pathway in the hippocampus might be involved in METH-induced spatial memory changes.

  8. Dopamine D4 receptors modulate brain metabolic activity in the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum at rest and in response to methylphenidate

    SciTech Connect

    Michaelides, M.; Wang, G.; Michaelides, M.; Pascau, J.; Gispert, J.-D.; Delis, F.; Grandy, D.K.; Wang, G.-J.; Desco, M.; Rubinstein, M.; Volkow, N.D.; Thanos, P.K.

    2010-07-16

    Methylphenidate (MP) is widely used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Variable number of tandem repeats polymorphisms in the dopamine D4 receptor (D{sub 4}) gene have been implicated in vulnerability to ADHD and the response to MP. Here we examined the contribution of dopamine D4 receptors (D4Rs) to baseline brain glucose metabolism and to the regional metabolic responses to MP. We compared brain glucose metabolism (measured with micro-positron emission tomography and [{sup 18}F]2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose) at baseline and after MP (10 mg/kg, i.p.) administration in mice with genetic deletion of the D{sub 4}. Images were analyzed using a novel automated image registration procedure. Baseline D{sub 4}{sup -/-} mice had lower metabolism in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and greater metabolism in the cerebellar vermis (CBV) than D{sub 4}{sup +/+} and D{sub 4}{sup +/-} mice; when given MP, D{sub 4}{sup -/-} mice increased metabolism in the PFC and decreased it in the CBV, whereas in D{sub 4}{sup +/+} and D{sub 4}{sup +/-} mice, MP decreased metabolism in the PFC and increased it in the CBV. These findings provide evidence that D4Rs modulate not only the PFC, which may reflect the activation by dopamine of D4Rs located in this region, but also the CBV, which may reflect an indirect modulation as D4Rs are minimally expressed in this region. As individuals with ADHD show structural and/or functional abnormalities in these brain regions, the association of ADHD with D4Rs may reflect its modulation of these brain regions. The differential response to MP as a function of genotype could explain differences in brain functional responses to MP between patients with ADHD and healthy controls and between patients with ADHD with different D{sub 4} polymorphisms.

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. Predator Exposure/Psychosocial Stress Animal Model of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Modulates Neurotransmitters in the Rat Hippocampus and Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, C. Brad; Ebenezer, Philip J.; McLaughlin, Leslie D.; Francis, Joseph

    2014-01-01

    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can develop in response to a traumatic event involving a threat to life. To date, no diagnostic biomarkers have been identified for PTSD. Recent research points toward physiological abnormalities in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, sympathoadrenal medullary and immune system that may be implicated in the disorder. The modulation of neurotransmitters is another possible mechanism, but their role in the progression of PTSD is poorly understood. Low serotonin (5-HT) may be a factor, but it may not be the only neurotransmitter affected as modulation affects levels of other neurotransmitters. In this study, we hypothesized the predator exposure/psychosocial stress rodent model of PTSD may alter levels of 5-HT and other neurotransmitters in the rat hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Male Sprague-Dawley rats were used in this experiment. We induced PTSD via a predator exposure/psychosocial stress model, whereby rats were placed in a cage with a cat for 1 hour on days 1 and 11 of the 31-day experiment. Rats also received psychosocial stress via daily cage cohort changes. On day 32, the rats were sacrificed and the brains dissected to remove the hippocampus and PFC. Norepinephrine (NE), 5-Hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), homovanillic acid (HVA), dopamine (DA), and 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), and 5-HT levels in the hippocampus and PFC were measured with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). In the hippocampus, 5-HT and HVA were lower, while NE and DOPAC were higher, in the PTSD group vs. controls. In the PFC, only 5-HT was lower, while NE, DA, and DOPAC were higher, in the PTSD group vs. controls. The rate limiting enzymes tyrosine hydroxylase and tryptophan hydroxylase were also examined and confirmed our findings. These results demonstrate that the predator exposure/psychosocial stress model of PTSD produces neurotransmitter changes similar to those seen in human patients and may cause a

  12. [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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial of Targeted Prefrontal Cortex Modulation with Bilateral tDCS in Patients with Crack-Cocaine Dependence

    PubMed Central

    Batista, Edson Kruger; Klauss, Jaisa; Fregni, Felipe; Nitsche, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Transcranial direct current stimulation over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex has been shown to be clinically useful in the treatment of drug addiction. Methods: We conducted a double-blind randomized clinical trial aiming to assess the effects of bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex transcranial direct current stimulation (left cathodal/right anodal) on crack-cocaine addiction. We defined craving as the primary outcome, and other clinical measurements, including depressive and anxiety symtoms, and quality of life, as secondary outcomes. Seventeen male crack-cocaine users (mean age 30.4±9.8 SD) were randomized to receive 5 sessions of active transcranial direct current stimulation (2 mA, 35cm2, for 20 minutes), every other day, and 19 males (mean age 30.3±8.4 SD) to receive sham-transcranial direct current stimulation (placebo) as control group. Results: Craving scores were significantly reduced in the transcranial direct current stimulation group after treatment when compared with sham-transcranial direct current stimulation (P=.028) and baseline values (P=.003), and decreased linearly over 4 weeks (before, during, and after treatment) in the transcranial direct current stimulation group only (P=.047). Changes of anxiety scores towards increase in the sham-transcranial direct current stimulation and decrease in the transcranial direct current stimulation group (P=.03), and of the overall perception of quality of life (P=.031) and of health (P=.048) towards decrease in the sham-transcranial direct current stimulation group and increase in the transcranial direct current stimulation group differed significantly between groups. Conclusions: Repetitive bilateral transcranial direct current stimulation over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex reduced craving for crack-cocaine use, decreased anxiety, and improved quality of life. We hypothesize that transcranial direct current stimulation effects may be associated with increased prefrontal processing

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Selective post-training time window for memory consolidation interference of cannabidiol into the prefrontal cortex: Reduced dopaminergic modulation and immediate gene expression in limbic circuits.

    PubMed

    Rossignoli, Matheus Teixeira; Lopes-Aguiar, Cleiton; Ruggiero, Rafael Naime; Do Val da Silva, Raquel Araujo; Bueno-Junior, Lezio Soares; Kandratavicius, Ludmyla; Peixoto-Santos, José Eduardo; Crippa, José Alexandre; Cecilio Hallak, Jaime Eduardo; Zuardi, Antonio Waldo; Szawka, Raphael Escorsim; Anselmo-Franci, Janete; Leite, João Pereira; Romcy-Pereira, Rodrigo Neves

    2017-03-24

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC), amygdala and hippocampus display a coordinated activity during acquisition of associative fear memories. Evidence indicates that PFC engagement in aversive memory formation does not progress linearly as previously thought. Instead, it seems to be recruited at specific time windows after memory acquisition, which has implications for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorders. Cannabidiol (CBD), the major non-psychotomimetic phytocannabinoid of the Cannabis sativa plant, is known to modulate contextual fear memory acquisition in rodents. However, it is still not clear how CBD interferes with PFC-dependent processes during post-training memory consolidation. Here, we tested whether intra-PFC infusions of CBD immediately after or 5h following contextual fear conditioning was able to interfere with memory consolidation. Neurochemical and cellular correlates of the CBD treatment were evaluated by the quantification of extracellular levels of dopamine (DA), serotonin, and their metabolites in the PFC and by measuring the cellular expression of activity-dependent transcription factors in cortical and limbic regions. Our results indicate that bilateral intra-PFC CBD infusion impaired contextual fear memory consolidation when applied 5h after conditioning, but had no effect when applied immediately after it. This effect was associated with a reduction in DA turnover in the PFC following retrieval 5days after training. We also observed that post-conditioning infusion of CBD reduced c-fos and zif-268 protein expression in the hippocampus, PFC, and thalamus. Our findings support that CBD interferes with contextual fear memory consolidation by reducing PFC influence on cortico-limbic circuits.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-06

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

  20. 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

  1. A GABAergic Projection from the Centromedial Nuclei of the Amygdala to Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Modulates Reward Behavior.

    PubMed

    Seo, Dong-Oh; Funderburk, Samuel C; Bhatti, Dionnet L; Motard, Laura E; Newbold, Dillan; Girven, Kasey S; McCall, Jordan G; Krashes, Michael; Sparta, Dennis R; Bruchas, Michael R

    2016-10-19

    The neural circuitry underlying mammalian reward behaviors involves several distinct nuclei throughout the brain. It is widely accepted that the midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons are critical for the reward-related behaviors. Recent studies have shown that the centromedial nucleus of the amygdala (CeMA) has a distinct role in regulating reward-related behaviors. However, the CeMA and ventromedial PFC (vmPFC) interaction in reward regulation remains poorly understood. Here, we identify and dissect a GABAergic projection that originates in the CeMA and terminates in the vmPFC (VGat-Cre(CeMA-vmPFC)) using viral-vector-mediated, cell-type-specific optogenetic techniques in mice. Pathway-specific optogenetic activation of the VGat-Cre(CeMA-vmPFC) circuit in awake, behaving animals produced a positive, reward-like phenotype in real-time place preference and increased locomotor activity in open-field testing. In sucrose operant conditioning, the photoactivation of these terminals increased nose-poking effort with no effect on licking behavior and robustly facilitated the extinction of operant behavior. However, photoactivation of these terminals did not induce self-stimulation in the absence of an external reward. The results described here suggest that the VGat-Cre(CeMA-vmPFC) projection acts to modulate existing reward-related behaviors.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Trace Fear Conditioning Differentially Modulates Intrinsic Excitability of Medial Prefrontal Cortex-Basolateral Complex of Amygdala Projection Neurons in Infralimbic and Prelimbic Cortices.

    PubMed

    Song, Chenghui; Ehlers, Vanessa L; Moyer, James R

    2015-09-30

    Neuronal activity in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is critical for the formation of trace fear memory, yet the cellular mechanisms underlying these memories remain unclear. One possibility involves the modulation of intrinsic excitability within mPFC neurons that project to the basolateral complex of amygdala (BLA). The current study used a combination of retrograde labeling and in vitro whole-cell patch-clamp recordings to examine the effect of trace fear conditioning on the intrinsic excitability of layer 5 mPFC-BLA projection neurons in adult rats. Trace fear conditioning significantly enhanced the intrinsic excitability of regular spiking infralimbic (IL) projection neurons, as evidenced by an increase in the number of action potentials after current injection. These changes were also associated with a reduction in spike threshold and an increase in h current. In contrast, trace fear conditioning reduced the excitability of regular spiking prelimbic (PL) projection neurons, through a learning-related decrease of input resistance. Interestingly, the amount of conditioned freezing was (1) positively correlated with excitability of IL-BLA projection neurons after conditioning and (2) negatively correlated with excitability of PL-BLA projection neurons after extinction. Trace fear conditioning also significantly enhanced the excitability of burst spiking PL-BLA projection neurons. In both regions, conditioning-induced plasticity was learning specific (observed in conditioned but not in pseudoconditioned rats), flexible (reversed by extinction), and transient (lasted <10 d). Together, these data suggest that intrinsic plasticity within mPFC-BLA projection neurons occurs in a subregion- and cell-type-specific manner during acquisition, consolidation, and extinction of trace fear conditioning. Significance statement: Frontal lobe-related function is vital for a variety of important behaviors, some of which decline during aging. This study involves a novel

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  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. 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.

  10. Vagus nerve stimulation enhances extinction of conditioned fear and modulates plasticity in the pathway from the ventromedial prefrontal cortex to the amygdala

    PubMed Central

    Peña, David Frausto; Childs, Jessica E.; Willett, Shawn; Vital, Analicia; McIntyre, Christa K.; Kroener, Sven

    2014-01-01

    Fearful experiences can produce long-lasting and debilitating memories. Extinction of the fear response requires consolidation of new memories that compete with fearful associations. Subjects with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) show impaired extinction of conditioned fear, which is associated with decreased ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) control over amygdala activity. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) enhances memory consolidation in both rats and humans, and pairing VNS with exposure to conditioned cues enhances the consolidation of extinction learning in rats. Here we investigated whether pairing VNS with extinction learning facilitates plasticity between the infralimbic (IL) medial prefrontal cortex and the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA). Rats were trained on an auditory fear conditioning task, which was followed by a retention test and 1 day of extinction training. Vagus nerve stimulation or sham-stimulation was administered concurrently with exposure to the fear-conditioned stimulus and retention of fear conditioning was tested again 24 h later. Vagus nerve stimulation-treated rats demonstrated a significant reduction in freezing after a single extinction training session similar to animals that received 5× the number of extinction pairings. To study plasticity in the IL-BLA pathway, we recorded evoked field potentials (EFPs) in the BLA in anesthetized animals 24 h after retention testing. Brief burst stimulation in the IL produced LTD in the BLA field response in fear-conditioned and sham-treated animals. In contrast, the same stimulation resulted in potentiation of the IL-BLA pathway in the VNS-treated group. The present findings suggest that VNS promotes plasticity in the IL-BLA pathway to facilitate extinction of conditioned fear responses (CFRs). PMID:25278857

  11. The default modes of reading: modulation of posterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex connectivity associated with comprehension and task focus while reading

    PubMed Central

    Smallwood, Jonathan; Gorgolewski, Krzysztof J.; Golchert, Johannes; Ruby, Florence J. M.; Engen, Haakon; Baird, Benjamin; Vinski, Melaina T.; Schooler, Jonathan W.; Margulies, Daniel S.

    2013-01-01

    Reading is a fundamental human capacity and yet it can easily be derailed by the simple act of mind-wandering. A large-scale brain network, referred to as the default mode network (DMN), has been shown to be involved in both mind-wandering and reading, raising the question as to how the same neural system could be implicated in processes with both costs and benefits to narrative comprehension. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) was used to explore whether the intrinsic functional connectivity of the two key midline hubs of the DMN—the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and anterior medial prefrontal cortex (aMPFC)—was predictive of individual differences in reading comprehension and task focus recorded outside of the scanner. Worse comprehension was associated with greater functional connectivity between the PCC and a region of the ventral striatum. Better comprehension was associated with greater functional connectivity with a region of the right insula. By contrast reports of increasing task focus were associated with functional connectivity from the aMPFC to clusters in the PCC, the left parietal and temporal cortex, and the cerebellum. Our results suggest that the DMN has both costs (such as poor comprehension) and benefits to reading (such as an on-task focus) because its midline core can couple its activity with other regions to form distinct functional communities that allow seemingly opposing mental states to occur. This flexible coupling allows the DMN to participate in cognitive states that complement the act of reading as well as others that do not. PMID:24282397

  12. The default modes of reading: modulation of posterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex connectivity associated with comprehension and task focus while reading.

    PubMed

    Smallwood, Jonathan; Gorgolewski, Krzysztof J; Golchert, Johannes; Ruby, Florence J M; Engen, Haakon; Baird, Benjamin; Vinski, Melaina T; Schooler, Jonathan W; Margulies, Daniel S

    2013-01-01

    Reading is a fundamental human capacity and yet it can easily be derailed by the simple act of mind-wandering. A large-scale brain network, referred to as the default mode network (DMN), has been shown to be involved in both mind-wandering and reading, raising the question as to how the same neural system could be implicated in processes with both costs and benefits to narrative comprehension. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) was used to explore whether the intrinsic functional connectivity of the two key midline hubs of the DMN-the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and anterior medial prefrontal cortex (aMPFC)-was predictive of individual differences in reading comprehension and task focus recorded outside of the scanner. Worse comprehension was associated with greater functional connectivity between the PCC and a region of the ventral striatum. Better comprehension was associated with greater functional connectivity with a region of the right insula. By contrast reports of increasing task focus were associated with functional connectivity from the aMPFC to clusters in the PCC, the left parietal and temporal cortex, and the cerebellum. Our results suggest that the DMN has both costs (such as poor comprehension) and benefits to reading (such as an on-task focus) because its midline core can couple its activity with other regions to form distinct functional communities that allow seemingly opposing mental states to occur. This flexible coupling allows the DMN to participate in cognitive states that complement the act of reading as well as others that do not.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The expression of plasticity-related genes in an acute model of stress is modulated by chronic desipramine in a time-dependent manner within medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Nava, Nicoletta; Treccani, Giulia; Müller, Heidi Kaastrup; Popoli, Maurizio; Wegener, Gregers; Elfving, Betina

    2017-01-01

    It is well established that stress plays a major role in the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric diseases. Stress-induced alteration of synaptic plasticity has been hypothesized to underlie the morphological changes observed by neuroimaging in psychiatric patients in key regions such as hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC). We have recently shown that a single acute stress exposure produces significant short-term alterations of structural plasticity within medial PFC. These alterations were partially prevented by previous treatment with chronic desipramine (DMI). In the present study we evaluated the effects of acute Foot-shock (FS)-stress and pre-treatment with the traditional antidepressant DMI on the gene expression of key regulators of synaptic plasticity and structure. Expression of Homer, Shank, Spinophilin, Densin-180, and the small RhoGTPase related gene Rac1 and downstream target genes, Limk1, Cofilin1 and Rock1 were investigated 1 day (1d), 7 d and 14d after FS-stress exposure. We found that DMI specifically increases the short-term expression of Spinophilin, as well as Homer and Shank family genes, and that both acute stress and DMI exert significant long-term effects on mRNA levels of genes involved in spine plasticity. These findings support the knowledge that acute FS stress and antidepressant treatment induce both rapid and sustained time-dependent alterations in structural components of synaptic plasticity in rodent medial PFC.

  18. Anodal tDCS over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex modulates cognitive processing of emotional information as a function of trait rumination in healthy volunteers.

    PubMed

    Vanderhasselt, Marie-Anne; Sanchez, Alvaro; Josephy, Haeike; Baeken, Chris; Brunoni, Andre R; De Raedt, Rudi

    2017-02-01

    Healthy individuals reporting higher (as compared to lower) levels of trait rumination recruit more neural activity in dorso-cortical regions (mostly in the right hemisphere) when inhibiting negative information, possibly to compensate their difficulty to disengage from it. In the present study, we investigated whether these latter neural correlates are causally implicated in cognitive control in these individuals. We administered the Cued Emotional Control Task, a measure of cognitive control indexed by cognitive costs for inhibiting versus providing a habitual response for emotional information, in thirty-five healthy volunteers reporting a broad range of trait rumination levels. Participants completed the task after receiving both real and sham-placebo (counterbalanced order) anodal transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Results reveal that the tDCS induced effects on cognitive costs for emotional information were associated with individual differences in trait rumination: the higher the trait rumination level, the less cognitive costs following real neuromodulation of the right DLPFC. Interestingly, these effects were observed for both positive and negative stimuli, and not only negative information as hypothesized. Overall, the data suggest that the right DLPFC is causally involved in the alteration of cognitive control in healthy individuals who tend to ruminate, possibly by helping them to disengage from emotional material.

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  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. Effects of intra-infralimbic prefrontal cortex injections of cannabidiol in the modulation of emotional behaviors in rats: contribution of 5HT₁A receptors and stressful experiences.

    PubMed

    Marinho, A L Z; Vila-Verde, C; Fogaça, M V; Guimarães, F S

    2015-06-01

    The infralimbic (IL) and prelimbic (PL) regions of the prefrontal cortex are involved in behavioral responses observed during defensive reactions. Intra-PL or IL injections of cannabidiol (CBD), a major non-psychotomimetic cannabinoid present in the Cannabis sativa plant, result in opposite behavioral effects in the contextual fear conditioning (CFC) paradigm. The intra-PL effects of CBD are mediated by 5HT1A receptors and depend on previous stressful experiences but the mechanisms and effects of intra-IL CBD injected are unknown. To this aim the present work verified the effects of intra-IL administration of CBD on two animal models of anxiety, the elevated plus maze (EPM) and CFC. We also investigated if these effects were mediated by 5HT1A receptors and depended on previous stressful experience. Male Wistar rats received bilateral microinjections of vehicle, WAY100635 (5HT1A receptor antagonist, 0.37 nmol) and/or CBD (15, 30 or 60 nmol) before being submitted to the behavioral tests. Intra-IL CBD induced anxiolytic and anxiogenic in the EPM and CFC, respectively. To verify if these effects are influenced by the previous stressful experience (footshocks) in the CFC model, we tested the animals in the EPM 24h after a 2-h restraint period. The anxiolytic-like effect of CBD in the EPM disappeared when the animals were previously stressed. Both responses, i.e., anxiolytic and anxiogenic, were prevented by WAY100635, indicating that they involve local 5HT1A-mediated neurotransmission. Together these results indicate that CBD effects in the IL depend on the nature of the animal model, being influenced by previous stressful experiences and mediated by facilitation of 5HT1A receptors-mediated neurotransmission.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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. 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

  12. 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

  13. Contribution of Dopamine D1/5 Receptor Modulation of Post-Spike/Burst Afterhyperpolarization to Enhance Neuronal Excitability of Layer V Pyramidal Neurons in Prepubertal Rat Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Yi, Feng; Zhang, Xue-Han; Yang, Charles R.; Li, Bao-ming

    2013-01-01

    Dopamine (DA) receptors in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) modulate both synaptic and intrinsic plasticity that may contribute to cognitive processing. However, the ionic basis underlying DA actions to enhance neuronal plasticity in PFC remains ill-defined. Using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in layer V-VI pyramidal cells in prepubertal rat PFC, we showed that DA, via activation of D1/5, but not D2/3/4, receptors suppress a Ca2+-dependent, apamin-sensitive K+ channel that mediates post-spike/burst afterhyperpolarization (AHP) to enhance neuronal excitability of PFC neurons. This inhibition is not dependent on HCN channels. The D1/5 receptor activation also enhanced an afterdepolarizing potential (ADP) that follows the AHP. Additional single-spike analyses revealed that DA or D1/5 receptor activation suppressed the apamin-sensitive post-spike mAHP, further contributing to the increase in evoked spike firing to enhance the neuronal excitability. Taken together, the D1/5 receptor modulates intrinsic mechanisms that amplify a long depolarizing input to sustain spike firing outputs in pyramidal PFC neurons. PMID:23977170

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. NIRS-based neurofeedback learning systems for controlling activity of the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Sakatani, Kaoru; Takemoto, N; Tsujii, T; Yanagisawa, K; Tsunashima, H

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to develop a NIRS-based neurofeedback system to modulate activity in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). We evaluated the effectiveness of the system in terms of separability of changes in oxy-Hb and its derivative. Training with neurofeedback resulted in higher separability than training without neurofeedback or no training, suggesting that the neurofeedback system could enhance self-control of PFC activity. Interestingly, the dorsolateral PFC exhibited enhanced activity and high separability after neurofeedback training. These observations suggest that the neurofeedback system might be useful for training subjects to regulate emotions by self-control of dorsolateral PFC activity.

  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. 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.

  15. The relationship between brain cortical activity and brain oxygenation in the prefrontal cortex during hypergravity exposure.

    PubMed

    Smith, Craig; Goswami, Nandu; Robinson, Ryan; von der Wiesche, Melanie; Schneider, Stefan

    2013-04-01

    Artificial gravity has been proposed as a method to counteract the physiological deconditioning of long-duration spaceflight; however, the effects of hypergravity on the central nervous system has had little study. The study aims to investigate whether there is a relationship between prefrontal cortex brain activity and prefrontal cortex oxygenation during exposure to hypergravity. Twelve healthy participants were selected to undergo hypergravity exposure aboard a short-arm human centrifuge. Participants were exposed to hypergravity in the +Gz axis, starting from 0.6 +Gz for women, and 0.8 +Gz for men, and gradually increasing by 0.1 +Gz until the participant showed signs of syncope. Brain cortical activity was measured using electroencephalography (EEG) and localized to the prefrontal cortex using standard low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (LORETA). Prefrontal cortex oxygenation was measured using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). A significant increase in prefrontal cortex activity (P < 0.05) was observed during hypergravity exposure compared with baseline. Prefrontal cortex oxygenation was significantly decreased during hypergravity exposure, with a decrease in oxyhemoglobin levels (P < 0.05) compared with baseline and an increase in deoxyhemoglobin levels (P < 0.05) with increasing +Gz level. No significant correlation was found between prefrontal cortex activity and oxy-/deoxyhemoglobin. It is concluded that the increase in prefrontal cortex activity observed during hypergravity was most likely not the result of increased +Gz values resulting in a decreased oxygenation produced through hypergravity exposure. No significant relationship between prefrontal cortex activity and oxygenation measured by NIRS concludes that brain activity during exposure to hypergravity may be difficult to measure using NIRS. Instead, the increase in prefrontal cortex activity might be attributable to psychological stress, which could pose a problem for the use of a

  16. The vigilance promoting drug modafinil modulates serotonin transmission in the rat prefrontal cortex and dorsal raphe nucleus. Possible relevance for its postulated antidepressant activity.

    PubMed

    Ferraro, Luca; Antonelli, Tiziana; Beggiato, Sarah; Cristina Tomasini, Maria; Fuxe, Kjell; Tanganelli, Sergio

    2013-04-01

    Modafinil, (RS)-2-(diphenylmethylsulfinyl)acetamide derivative (Modiodal, Provigil), is a vigilance-promoting agent which reduces sleep episodes by improving wakefulness. It is approved by the USA FDA for narcolepsy, shiftwork sleep disorder and obstructive sleep apnoea with residual excessive sleepiness despite optimal use of continuous positive airway pressure. Unlike classical psychostimulants such as amphetamine and amphetamine-like compounds, the awaking effect of modafinil is not associated with a disturbance of nighttime sleep, tolerance, and sensitization. Its precise mechanism of action is still unclear. In animal studies, modafinil and its analogues have been shown to modify dopaminergic, noradrenergic, glutamatergic, GABAergic, serotoninergic, orexinergic, and histaminergic pathways. Besides the approved use in sleep disorders, modafinil has been investigated for the treatment of fatigue, impaired cognition and some symptoms in a number of other disorders. In particular, clinical studies seem to indicate that the drug could be particularly successful in the treatment of depression and its use in major depressive and bipolar disorders, has been suggested. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this possible effect are still unknown. The present review firstly summarizes the structure-activity relationship studies and the mechanism of action of modafinil and its related compounds. Then, it focuses on data demonstrating that modafinil interacts with serotonin neuronal activity in rat frontal cortex and dorsal raphe nucleus, two brain areas linked together and involved in depression. Preclinical and clinical evidence of a positive interaction between modafinil and classical antidepressant drugs, is also summarized.

  17. Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and the effects of task demand context on facial affect appraisal in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Leitman, David I; Wolf, Daniel H; Loughead, James; Valdez, Jeffrey N; Kohler, Christian G; Brensinger, Colleen; Elliott, Mark A; Turetsky, Bruce I; Gur, Raquel E; Gur, Ruben C

    2011-01-01

    Schizophrenia patients display impaired performance and brain activity during facial affect recognition. These impairments may reflect stimulus-driven perceptual decrements and evaluative processing abnormalities. We differentiated these two processes by contrasting responses to identical stimuli presented under different contexts. Seventeen healthy controls and 16 schizophrenia patients performed an fMRI facial affect detection task. Subjects identified an affective target presented amongst foils of differing emotions. We hypothesized that targeting affiliative emotions (happiness, sadness) would create a task demand context distinct from that generated when targeting threat emotions (anger, fear). We compared affiliative foil stimuli within a congruent affiliative context with identical stimuli presented in an incongruent threat context. Threat foils were analysed in the same manner. Controls activated right orbitofrontal cortex (OFC)/ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) more to affiliative foils in threat contexts than to identical stimuli within affiliative contexts. Patients displayed reduced OFC/VLPFC activation to all foils, and no activation modulation by context. This lack of context modulation coincided with a 2-fold decrement in foil detection efficiency. Task demands produce contextual effects during facial affective processing in regions activated during affect evaluation. In schizophrenia, reduced modulation of OFC/VLPFC by context coupled with reduced behavioural efficiency suggests impaired ventral prefrontal control mechanisms that optimize affective appraisal.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Medial prefrontal cortex activation is commonly invoked by reputation of self and romantic partners.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Background: Medication resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) patients can be successfully treated with Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) which targets the anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC) and the nucleus accumbens (NA). Growing evidence suggests that in patients who respond to DBS, axonal fiber bundles surrounding the electrode are activated, but it is currently unknown which discrete pathways are critical for optimal benefit. Our aim was to identify axonal pathways mediating clinical effects of ALIC-NA DBS. Methods: We created computational models of ALIC-NA DBS to simulate the activation of fiber tracts and to identify connected cerebral regions. The pattern of activated axons and their cortical targets was investigated in six OCD patients who underwent ALIC-NA DBS. Results: Modulation of the right anterior middle frontal gyrus (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) was associated with an excellent response. In contrast, non-responders showed high activation in the orbital part of the right inferior frontal gyrus (lateral orbitofrontal cortex/anterior ventrolateral prefrontal cortex). Factor analysis followed by step-wise linear regression indicated that YBOCS improvement was inversely associated with factors that were predominantly determined by gray matter activation results. Discussion: Our findings support the hypothesis that optimal therapeutic results are associated with the activation of distinct fiber pathways. This suggests that in DBS for OCD, focused stimulation of specific fiber pathways, which would allow for stimulation with lower amplitudes, may be superior to activation of a wide array of pathways, typically associated with higher stimulation amplitudes. PMID:26834544

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. The role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in early threat processing: a TMS study.

    PubMed

    Sagliano, Laura; D'Olimpio, Francesca; Panico, Francesco; Gagliardi, Serena; Trojano, Luigi

    2016-12-01

    Previous studies demonstrated that excitatory (high frequency) offline transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over the left and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) modulates attention allocation on threatening stimuli in non-clinical samples. These studies only employed offline TMS protocol that did not allow investigating the effect of the stimulation on the early stage of threat processing. In this study, the role of the right and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in early threat processing was investigated in high and low anxious individuals by means of an inhibitory single-pulse online TMS protocol. Our results demonstrated the role of the left DLPFC in an early stage of threat processing and that this effect is modulated by individuals' anxiety level. The inhibitory stimulation of the left DLPFC determined a disengagement bias in high anxious individuals, while the same stimulation determined an attentional avoidance in low anxious individuals. The findings of the present study suggest that right and left DLPFC are differently involved in early threat processing of healthy individuals.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  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. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Microbiota-driven transcriptional changes in prefrontal cortex override genetic differences in social behavior

    PubMed Central

    Gacias, Mar; Gaspari, Sevasti; Santos, Patricia-Mae G; Tamburini, Sabrina; Andrade, Monica; Zhang, Fan; Shen, Nan; Tolstikov, Vladimir; Kiebish, Michael A; Dupree, Jeffrey L; Zachariou, Venetia; Clemente, Jose C; Casaccia, Patrizia

    2016-01-01

    Gene-environment interactions impact the development of neuropsychiatric disorders, but the relative contributions are unclear. Here, we identify gut microbiota as sufficient to induce depressive-like behaviors in genetically distinct mouse strains. Daily gavage of vehicle (dH2O) in nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice induced a social avoidance behavior that was not observed in C57BL/6 mice. This was not observed in NOD animals with depleted microbiota via oral administration of antibiotics. Transfer of intestinal microbiota, including members of the Clostridiales, Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae, from vehicle-gavaged NOD donors to microbiota-depleted C57BL/6 recipients was sufficient to induce social avoidance and change gene expression and myelination in the prefrontal cortex. Metabolomic analysis identified increased cresol levels in these mice, and exposure of cultured oligodendrocytes to this metabolite prevented myelin gene expression and differentiation. Our results thus demonstrate that the gut microbiota modifies the synthesis of key metabolites affecting gene expression in the prefrontal cortex, thereby modulating social behavior. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13442.001 PMID:27097105

  16. The lateral prefrontal cortex mediates the hyperalgesic effects of negative cognitions in chronic pain patients

    PubMed Central

    Loggia, Marco L.; Berna, Chantal; Kim, Jieun; Cahalan, Christine M.; Martel, Marc-Olivier; Gollub, Randy L.; Wasan, Ajay D.; Napadow, Vitaly; Edwards, Robert R.

    2015-01-01

    While high levels of negative affect and cognitions have been associated in chronic pain conditions with greater pain sensitivity, the neural mechanisms mediating the hyperalgesic effect of psychological factors in patients with pain disorders are largely unknown. In this cross-sectional study, we hypothesized that 1) catastrophizing modulates brain responses to pain anticipation, and that 2) anticipatory brain activity mediates the hyperalgesic effect of different levels of catastrophizing, in fibromyalgia (FM) patients. Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, we scanned the brains of 31 FM patients exposed to visual cues anticipating the onset of moderately intense deep-tissue pain stimuli. Our results indicated the existence of a negative association between catastrophizing and pain-anticipatory brain activity, including in the right lateral prefrontal cortex (IPFC). A bootstrapped mediation analysis revealed that pain-anticipatory activity in lateral prefrontal cortex (IPFC) mediates the association between catastrophizing and pain sensitivity. These findings highlight the role of IPFC in the pathophysiology of FM related hyperalgesia, and suggest that deficits in the recruitment of pain-inhibitory brain circuitry during pain-anticipatory periods may play an important contributory role in the association between various degrees of widespread hyperalgesia in FM and levels of catastrophizing, a well validated measure of negative cognitions and psychological distress. Perspective This article highlights the presence of alterations in pain-anticipatory brain activity in FM. These findings provide the rationale for the development of psychological or neurofeedback-based techniques aimed at modifying patients' negative affect and cognitions towards pain. PMID:25937162

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Aversive learning in adolescents: modulation by amygdala-prefrontal and amygdala-hippocampal connectivity and neuroticism.

    PubMed

    Tzschoppe, Jelka; Nees, Frauke; Banaschewski, Tobias; Barker, Gareth J; Büchel, Christian; Conrod, Patricia J; Garavan, Hugh; Heinz, Andreas; Loth, Eva; Mann, Karl; Martinot, Jean-Luc; Smolka, Michael N; Gallinat, Jürgen; Ströhle, Aandreas; Struve, Maren; Rietschel, Marcella; Schumann, Gunter; Flor, Herta

    2014-03-01

    Neuroticism involves a tendency for enhanced emotional and cognitive processing of negative affective stimuli and a propensity to worry and be anxious. It is known that this trait modulates fear learning and the activation of brain regions involved in it such as the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex and their connectivity. Thirty-nine (21 female) 14-year-old healthy adolescents participated in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of aversive pavlovian differential delay conditioning. An unpleasant sound served as unconditioned stimulus (US) and pictures of neutral male faces as conditioned stimuli (CS+ followed by the US in 50% of the cases; CS- never followed by the US). During acquisition (CS+/- differentiation), higher levels of neuroticism were associated with a stronger interaction between the right amygdala and the right hippocampus as well as the right amygdala and prefrontal cortical regions, specifically ventromedial prefrontal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and anterior cingulate cortex. The association of stronger conditionability of fear and connectivity of brain regions related to consolidation of fear associations and neuroticism points to underlying mechanisms of the enhanced propensity for anxiety disorders in highly neurotic participants. This is especially important in adolescence, a vulnerable time for the onset of mental disorders such as anxiety disorders.

  1. Aversive Learning in Adolescents: Modulation by Amygdala–Prefrontal and Amygdala–Hippocampal Connectivity and Neuroticism

    PubMed Central

    Tzschoppe, Jelka; Nees, Frauke; Banaschewski, Tobias; Barker, Gareth J; Büchel, Christian; Conrod, Patricia J; Garavan, Hugh; Heinz, Andreas; Loth, Eva; Mann, Karl; Martinot, Jean-Luc; Smolka, Michael N; Gallinat, Jürgen; Ströhle, Aandreas; Struve, Maren; Rietschel, Marcella; Schumann, Gunter; Flor, Herta

    2014-01-01

    Neuroticism involves a tendency for enhanced emotional and cognitive processing of negative affective stimuli and a propensity to worry and be anxious. It is known that this trait modulates fear learning and the activation of brain regions involved in it such as the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex and their connectivity. Thirty-nine (21 female) 14-year-old healthy adolescents participated in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of aversive pavlovian differential delay conditioning. An unpleasant sound served as unconditioned stimulus (US) and pictures of neutral male faces as conditioned stimuli (CS+ followed by the US in 50% of the cases; CS− never followed by the US). During acquisition (CS+/− differentiation), higher levels of neuroticism were associated with a stronger interaction between the right amygdala and the right hippocampus as well as the right amygdala and prefrontal cortical regions, specifically ventromedial prefrontal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and anterior cingulate cortex. The association of stronger conditionability of fear and connectivity of brain regions related to consolidation of fear associations and neuroticism points to underlying mechanisms of the enhanced propensity for anxiety disorders in highly neurotic participants. This is especially important in adolescence, a vulnerable time for the onset of mental disorders such as anxiety disorders. PMID:24126454

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Functional co-activation within the prefrontal cortex supports the maintenance of behavioural performance in fear-relevant situations before an iTBS modulated virtual reality challenge in participants with spider phobia.

    PubMed

    Deppermann, S; Notzon, S; Kroczek, A; Rosenbaum, D; Haeussinger, F B; Diemer, J; Domschke, K; Fallgatter, A J; Ehlis, A-C; Zwanzger, P

    2016-07-01

    A number of studies/meta-analyses reported moderate antidepressant effects of activating repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Regarding the treatment of anxiety, study outcomes are inconsistent, probably because of the heterogenity of anxiety disorders/study designs. To specifically evaluate the impact of rTMS on emotion regulation in fear-relevant situations we applied a sham-controlled activating protocol (intermittent Theta Burst Stimulation/iTBS) over the left PFC (F3) succeeded by a virtual reality (VR) challenge in n=41 participants with spider phobia and n=42 controls. Prior to/after iTBS and following VR prefrontal activation was assessed by functional near-infrared spectroscopy during an emotional Stroop paradigm. Performance (reaction times/error rates) was evaluated. Stimuli were rated regarding valence/arousal at both measurements. We found diminished activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) of participants with spider phobia compared to controls, particularly elicited by emotionally-irrelevant words. Simultaneously, a functional connectivity analysis showed increased co-activation between the left IFG and the contra-lateral hemisphere. Behavioural performance was unimpaired. After iTBS/VR no significant differences in cortical activation between the phobic and control group remained. However, verum-iTBS did not cause an additional augmentation. We interpreted our results in terms of a prefrontal network which gets activated by emotionally-relevant stimuli and supports the maintenance of adequate behavioural reactions. The missing add-on effects of iTBS might be due to a ceiling effect of VR, thereby supporting its potential during exposure therapy. Concurrently, it implies that the efficient application of iTBS in the context of emotion regulation still needs to be studied further.

  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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. Interareal Spike-Train Correlations of Anterior Cingulate and Dorsal Prefrontal Cortex during Attention Shifts.

    PubMed

    Oemisch, Mariann; Westendorff, Stephanie; Everling, Stefan; Womelsdorf, Thilo

    2015-09-23

    The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) are believed to coactivate during goal-directed behavior to identify, select, and monitor relevant sensory information. Here, we tested whether coactivation of neurons across macaque ACC and PFC would be evident at the level of pairwise neuronal correlations during stimulus selection in a spatial attention task. We found that firing correlations emerged shortly after an attention cue, were evident for 50-200 ms time windows, were strongest for neuron pairs in area 24 (ACC) and areas 8 and 9 (dorsal PFC), and were independent of overall firing rate modulations. For a subset of cell pairs from ACC and dorsal PFC, the observed functional spike-train connectivity carried information about the direction of the attention shift. Reliable firing correlations were evident across area boundaries for neurons with broad spike waveforms (putative excitatory neurons) as well as for pairs of putative excitatory neurons and neurons with narrow spike waveforms (putative interneurons). These findings reveal that stimulus selection is accompanied by slow time scale firing correlations across those ACC/PFC subfields implicated to control and monitor attention. This functional coupling was informative about which stimulus was selected and thus indexed possibly the exchange of task-relevant information. We speculate that interareal, transient firing correlations reflect the transient coordination of larger, reciprocally interacting brain networks at a characteristic 50-200 ms time scale. Significance statement: Our manuscript identifies interareal spike-train correlations between primate anterior cingulate and dorsal prefrontal cortex during a period where attentional stimulus selection is likely controlled by these very same circuits. Interareal correlations emerged during the covert attention shift to one of two peripheral stimuli, proceeded on a slow 50-200 ms time scale, and occurred between putative pyramidal and

  14. Increased Low- and High-Frequency Oscillatory Activity in the Prefrontal Cortex of Fibromyalgia Patients

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Manyoel; Kim, June Sic; Kim, Dajung J.; Chung, Chun Kee

    2016-01-01

    Recent human neuroimaging studies have suggested that fibromyalgia (FM), a chronic widespread pain disorder, exhibits altered thalamic structure and function. Since the thalamus has extensive reciprocal connection with the cortex, structural and functional thalamic alterations in FM might be linked to aberrant thalamocortical oscillation. This study investigated the presence of abnormal brain rhythmicity in low- and high-frequency bands during resting state in patients with FM and their relationship to clinical pain symptom. Spontaneous magnetoencephalography (MEG) activity was recorded in 18 females with FM and 18 age- and sex-matched healthy control (HC) subjects. The most remarkable finding was that FM patients had general increases in theta, beta and gamma power along with a slowing of the dominant alpha peak. Increased spectral powers in the theta-band were primarily localized to the left dorsolateral prefrontal (DLPFC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Beta and gamma over-activation were localized to insular, primary motor and primary and secondary somatosensory (S2) cortices, as well as the DLPFC and OFC. Furthermore, enhanced high-frequency oscillatory activities in the DLPFC and OFC were associated with higher affective pain scores in patients with FM. Our results demonstrate that FM patients feature enhanced low- and high-frequency oscillatory activity in the brain areas related to cognitive and emotional modulation of pain. Increased low- and high-frequency activity of the prefrontal cortex may contribute to persistent perception of pain in FM. Therapeutic intervention based on manipulating neural oscillation to restore normal thalamocortical rhythmicity may be beneficial to pain relief in FM. PMID:27014041

  15. Amphetamine Exerts Dose-Dependent Changes in Prefrontal Cortex Attractor Dynamics during Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Balaguer-Ballester, Emili; Seamans, Jeremy K.; Phillips, Anthony G.; Durstewitz, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Modulation of neural activity by monoamine neurotransmitters is thought to play an essential role in shaping computational neurodynamics in the neocortex, especially in prefrontal regions. Computational theories propose that monoamines may exert bidirectional (concentration-dependent) effects on cognition by altering prefrontal cortical attractor dynamics according to an inverted U-shaped function. To date, this hypothesis has not been addressed directly, in part because of the absence of appropriate statistical methods required to assess attractor-like behavior in vivo. The present study used a combination of advanced multivariate statistical, time series analysis, and machine learning methods to assess dynamic changes in network activity from multiple single-unit recordings from the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of rats while the animals performed a foraging task guided by working memory after pretreatment with different doses of d-amphetamine (AMPH), which increases monoamine efflux in the mPFC. A dose-dependent, bidirectional effect of AMPH on neural dynamics in the mPFC was observed. Specifically, a 1.0 mg/kg dose of AMPH accentuated separation between task-epoch-specific population states and convergence toward these states. In contrast, a 3.3 mg/kg dose diminished separation and convergence toward task-epoch-specific population states, which was paralleled by deficits in cognitive performance. These results support the computationally derived hypothesis that moderate increases in monoamine efflux would enhance attractor stability, whereas high frontal monoamine levels would severely diminish it. Furthermore, they are consistent with the proposed inverted U-shaped and concentration-dependent modulation of cortical efficiency by monoamines. PMID:26180194

  16. Amygdala and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex responses to appearance-based and behavior-based person impressions.

    PubMed

    Baron, Sean G; Gobbini, M I; Engell, Andrew D; Todorov, Alexander

    2011-10-01

    We explored the neural correlates of learning about people when the affective value of both facial appearance and behavioral information is manipulated. Participants were presented with faces that were either rated as high or low on trustworthiness. Subsequently, we paired these faces with positive, negative, or no behavioral information. Prior to forming face-behavior associations, a cluster in the right amygdala responded more strongly to untrustworthy than to trustworthy faces. During learning, a cluster in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) responded more strongly to faces paired with behaviors than faces not paired with behaviors. We also observed that the activity in the dmPFC was correlated with behavioral learning performance assessed after scanning. Interestingly, individual differences in the initial amygdala response to face trustworthiness prior to learning modulated the relationship between dmPFC activity and learning. This finding suggests that the activity of the amygdala can affect the interaction between dmPFC activity and learning.

  17. Transcranial direct current stimulation of the prefrontal cortex increases attention to visual target stimuli.

    PubMed

    Vierheilig, Nina; Mühlberger, Andreas; Polak, Thomas; Herrmann, Martin J

    2016-10-01

    Both functional imaging or EEG studies and studies including neurological patients found the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dLPFC) to be an important brain area for the processing of emotion and attention. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether emotion and attention can be modulated through bilateral transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the dLPFC. Therefore, we measured electroencephalographic occipital (early posterior negativity, EPN) and parietal ERPs (late positive potential, LPP) during an emotional picture viewing paradigm with an additional attentional instruction while applying bilateral anodal and cathodal tDC-stimulation to the left and right dLPFC. Beyond the well-known emotion and attention effects for both EPN and LPP, we found that left cathodal/right anodal tDCS leads to increased LPP amplitudes to target stimuli. In contrast to our hypothesis bilateral tDCS over the dLPFC did not influence emotional processing.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Prior expectation modulates the interaction between sensory and prefrontal regions in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Rahnev, Dobromir; Lau, Hakwan; de Lange, Floris P

    2011-07-20

    How do expectations about the identity of a forthcoming visual stimulus influence the neural mechanisms of perceptual decision making in the human brain? Previous investigations into this issue have mostly involved changing the subjects' attentional focus or the behavioral relevance of certain targets but rarely manipulated subjects' prior expectation about the likely identity of the stimulus. Also, because perceptual decisions were often paired with specific motor responses, it has been difficult to dissociate neural activity that reflects perceptual decisions from motor preparatory activity. Here we designed a task in which we induced prior expectations about the direction of a moving-dot pattern and withheld the stimulus-response mapping until the subjects were prompted to respond. In line with current models of perceptual decision making, we found that subjects' performance was influenced by their expectation about upcoming motion direction. The integration of such information into the decision process was reflected by heightened activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Activity in this area reflected the degree to which subjects adjusted their decisions based on the prior expectation cue. Furthermore, there was increased effective connectivity between sensory regions (motion-sensitive medial temporal area MT+) and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex when subjects had a prior expectation about the upcoming motion direction. Dynamic causal modeling suggested that stimulus expectation modulated both the feedforward and feedback connectivity between MT+ and prefrontal cortex. These results provide a mechanism of how prior expectations may affect perceptual decision making, namely by changing neural activity in, and sensory drive to, prefrontal areas.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. Altering risky decision-making: Influence of impulsivity on the neuromodulation of prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Gordon L F; Lee, Tatia M C

    2016-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) subserves complex cognitive abilities, including risky decision-making; the modulation of this brain area is shown to alter the way people take risks. Yet, neuromodulation of the PFC in relation to risk-taking behavior remains relatively less well-studied. Moreover, the psychological variables that influence such neuromodulation remain poorly understood. To address these issues, 16 participants took part in 3 experimental sessions on separate days. They received: (i) left anodal-right cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS); (ii) left cathodal-right anodal stimulation; or (iii) sham stimulation while they completed two risk-taking tasks. They also measured on several cognitive-affective abilities and personality traits. It was revealed that left cathodal-right anodal stimulation led to significantly reduced risk-taking under a context of haste. The reduction of risk-taking (relative to sham) correlated with state and trait impulsivity, such that the effect was larger in more impulsive individuals. For these individuals, the tDCS effect size was considered to be large (generalized partial η(2) > .17). The effect of prefrontal-neuromodulation in reducing risk-taking was influenced by baseline impulsivity, reflecting a state-dependent effect of neuromodulation on the PFC. The results of this study carry important insights into the use of neuromodulation to alter higher cognition.

  6. 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.

  7. Dose-Dependent Changes in Auditory Sensory Gating in the Prefrontal Cortex of the Cynomolgus Monkey

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Hui; Ya, Jinrong; Wu, Zhe; Wen, Chunmei; Zheng, Suyue; Tian, Chaoyang; Ren, Hui; Carlson, Synnöve; Yu, Hualin; Chen, Feng; Wang, Jianhong

    2016-01-01

    Background Sensory gating, often described as the ability to filter out irrelevant information that is repeated in close temporal proximity, is essential for the selection, processing, and storage of more salient information. This study aimed to test the effect of sensory gating under anesthesia in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of monkeys following injection of bromocriptine, haloperidol, and phencyclidine (PCP). Material/Methods We used an auditory evoked potential that can be elicited by sound to examine sensory gating during treatment with haloperidol, bromocriptine, and PCP in the PFC in the cynomolgus monkey. Scalp electrodes were located in the bilateral PFC and bilateral temporal, bilateral parietal, and occipital lobes. Administration of bromocriptine (0.313 mg/kg, 0.625 mg/kg, and 1.25 mg/kg), haloperidol (0.001 mg/kg, 0.01 mg/kg, and 0.05 mg/kg), and the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor antagonist PCP (0.3 mg/kg) influenced sensory gating. Results We demonstrated the following: (1) Administration of mid-dose bromocriptine disrupted sensory gating (N100) in the right temporal lobe, while neither low-dose nor high-dose bromocriptine impaired gating. (2) Low-dose haloperidol impaired gating in the right prefrontal cortex. Mid-dose haloperidol disrupted sensory gating in left occipital lobe. High-dose haloperidol had no obvious effect on sensory gating. (3) Gating was impaired by PCP in the left parietal lobe. Conclusions Our studies showed that information processing was regulated by the dopaminergic system, which might play an important role in the PFC. The dopaminergic system influenced sensory gating in a dose- and region-dependent pattern, which might modulate the different stages that receive further processing due to novel information. PMID:27218151

  8. Glutamatergic contributions to nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist-evoked cholinergic transients in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Parikh, Vinay; Man, Kingson; Decker, Michael W; Sarter, Martin

    2008-04-02

    Because modulation of cortical cholinergic neurotransmission has been hypothesized to represent a necessary mechanism mediating the beneficial cognitive effects of nicotine and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtype-selective agonists, we used choline-sensitive microelectrodes for the real-time measurement of ACh release in vivo, to characterize cholinergic transients evoked by nicotine and the alpha4beta2*-selective nAChR partial agonist 2-methyl-3-(2-(S)-pyrrolindinylmethoxy)pyridine dihydrochloride (ABT-089), a clinically effective cognition enhancer. In terms of cholinergic signal amplitudes, ABT-089 was significantly more potent than nicotine in evoking ACh cholinergic transients. Moreover, cholinergic signals evoked by ABT-089 were characterized by faster signal rise time and decay rate. The nAChR antagonist mecamylamine attenuated the cholinergic signals evoked by either compound. Cholinergic signals evoked by ABT-089 were more efficaciously attenuated by the relatively beta2*-selective nAChR antagonist dihydro-beta-erythroidine. The alpha7 antagonist methyllycaconitine did not affect choline signal amplitudes but partly attenuated the relatively slow decay rate of nicotine-evoked cholinergic signals. Furthermore, the AMPA receptor antagonist DNQX as well as the NMDA receptor antagonist APV more potently attenuated cholinergic signals evoked by ABT-089. Using glutamate-sensitive microelectrodes to measure glutamatergic transients, ABT-089 was more potent than nicotine in evoking glutamate release. Glutamatergic signals were highly sensitive to tetrodotoxin-induced blockade of voltage-regulated sodium channels. Together, the present evidence indicates that compared with nicotine, ABT-089 evokes more potent and sharper cholinergic transients in prefrontal cortex. Glutamatergic mechanisms necessarily mediate the cholinergic effects of nAChR agonists in the prefrontal cortex.

  9. Sleep-Dependent Gene Expression in the Hippocampus and Prefrontal Cortex Following Long-Term Potentiation

    PubMed Central

    Romcy-Pereira, Rodrigo N.; Erraji-Benchekroun, Loubna; Smyrniotopoulos, Peggy; Ogawa, Sonoko; Mello, Claudio V.; Sibille, Etienne; Pavlides, Constantine

    2009-01-01

    The activity-dependent transcription factor zif268 is re-activated in sleep following hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). However, the activation of secondary genes, possibly involved in modifying local synaptic strengths and ultimately stabilizing memory traces during sleep, has not yet been studied. Here, we investigated changes in hippocampal and cortical gene expression at a time point subsequent to the previously reported initial zif268 re-activation during sleep. Rats underwent unilateral hippocampal LTP and were assigned to SLEEP or AWAKE groups. Eighty minutes after a long rapid-eye-movement sleep (REMS) episode (or an equivalent amount of time for awake group) animals had their hippocampi dissected and processed for gene microarray hybridization. Prefrontal and parietal cortices were also collected for qRT-PCR analysis. The microarray analysis identified 28 up-regulated genes in the hippocampus: 11 genes were enhanced in the LTPed hemisphere of sleep animals; 13 genes were enhanced after sleep, regardless of hemisphere; and 4 genes were enhanced in LTPed hemisphere, regardless of behavioral state. qRT-PCR analysis confirmed the upregulation of aif-1 and sc-65 during sleep. Moreover, we observed a down-regulation of the purinergic receptor, P2Y4R in the LTP hemisphere of awake animals and a trend for the protein kinase, CaMKI to be up-regulated in the LTP hemisphere of sleep animals. In the prefrontal cortex, we showed a significant LTP-dependent down-regulation of gluR1 and spinophilin specifically during sleep. Zif268 was downregulated in sleep regardless of the hemisphere. No changes in gene expression were observed in the parietal cortex. Our findings indicate that a set of synaptic plasticity-related genes have their expression modulated during sleep following LTP, which can reflect biochemical events associated with reshaping of synaptic connections in sleep following learning. PMID:19389414

  10. [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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. NMDA and AMPA/kainate glutamatergic receptors in the prelimbic medial prefrontal cortex modulate the elaborated defensive behavior and innate fear-induced antinociception elicited by GABAA receptor blockade in the medial hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    de Freitas, Renato Leonardo; Salgado-Rohner, Carlos José; Biagioni, Audrey Francisco; Medeiros, Priscila; Hallak, Jaime Eduardo Cecílio; Crippa, José Alexandre S; Coimbra, Norberto Cysne

    2014-06-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the involvement of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) and amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazole-4-proprionate (AMPA)/kainate receptors of the prelimbic (PL) division of the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) on the panic attack-like reactions evoked by γ-aminobutyric acid-A receptor blockade in the medial hypothalamus (MH). Rats were pretreated with NaCl 0.9%, LY235959 (NMDA receptor antagonist), and NBQX (AMPA/kainate receptor antagonist) in the PL at 3 different concentrations. Ten minutes later, the MH was treated with bicuculline, and the defensive responses were recorded for 10 min. The antagonism of NMDA receptors in the PL decreased the frequency and duration of all defensive behaviors evoked by the stimulation of the MH and reduced the innate fear-induced antinociception. However, the pretreatment of the PL cortex with NBQX was able to decrease only part of defensive responses and innate fear-induced antinociception. The present findings suggest that the NMDA-glutamatergic system of the PL is critically involved in panic-like responses and innate fear-induced antinociception and those AMPA/kainate receptors are also recruited during the elaboration of fear-induced antinociception and in panic attack-related response. The activation of the glutamatergic neurotransmission of PL division of the MPFC during the elaboration of oriented behavioral reactions elicited by the chemical stimulation of the MH recruits mainly NMDA receptors in comparison with AMPA/kainate receptors.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Adolescent earthquake survivors' show increased prefrontal cortex activation to masked earthquake images as adults.

    PubMed

    Du, Xue; Wei, Dongtao; Ganzel, Barbara L; Kim, Pilyoung; Zhang, Qinglin; Qiu, Jiang

    2015-03-01

    The great Sichuan earthquake in China on May 12, 2008 was a traumatic event to many who live near the earthquake area. However, at present, there are few studies that explore the long-term impact of the adolescent trauma exposure on adults' brain function. In the present study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the brain activation evoked by masked trauma-related stimuli (earthquake versus neutral images) in 14 adults who lived near the epicenter of the great Sichuan earthquake when they were adolescents (trauma-exposed group) and 14 adults who lived farther from the epicenter of the earthquake when they were adolescents (control group). Compared with the control group, the trauma-exposed group showed significant elevation of activation in the right anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) in response to masked earthquake-related images. In the trauma-exposed group, the right ACC activation was negatively correlated with the frequency of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These findings differ markedly from the long-term effects of trauma exposure in adults. This suggests that trauma exposure during adolescence may have a unique long-term impact on ACC/MPFC function, top-down modulation of trauma-related information, and subsequent symptoms of PTSD.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Cellular resolution optical access to brain regions in fissures: imaging medial prefrontal cortex and grid cells in entorhinal cortex.

    PubMed

    Low, Ryan J; Gu, Yi; Tank, David W

    2014-12-30

    In vivo two-photon microscopy provides the foundation for an array of powerful techniques for optically measuring and perturbing neural circuits. However, challenging tissue properties and geometry have prevented high-resolution optical access to regions situated within deep fissures. These regions include the medial prefrontal and medial entorhinal cortex (mPFC and MEC), which are of broad scientific and clinical interest. Here, we present a method for in vivo, subcellular resolution optical access to the mPFC and MEC using microprisms inserted into the fissures. We chronically imaged the mPFC and MEC in mice running on a spherical treadmill, using two-photon laser-scanning microscopy and genetically encoded calcium indicators to measure network activity. In the MEC, we imaged grid cells, a widely studied cell type essential to memory and spatial information processing. These cells exhibited spatially modulated activity during navigation in a virtual reality environment. This method should be extendable to other brain regions situated within deep fissures, and opens up these regions for study at cellular resolution in behaving animals using a rapidly expanding palette of optical tools for perturbing and measuring network structure and function.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Anxiety Evokes Hypofrontality and Disrupts Rule-Relevant Encoding by Dorsomedial Prefrontal Cortex Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Park, Junchol; Wood, Jesse; Bondi, Corina; Del Arco, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Anxiety is a debilitating symptom of most psychiatric disorders, including major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and addiction. A detrimental aspect of anxiety is disruption of prefrontal cortex (PFC)-mediated executive functions, such as flexible decision making. Here we sought to understand how anxiety modulates PFC neuronal encoding of flexible shifting between behavioral strategies. We used a clinically substantiated anxiogenic treatment to induce sustained anxiety in rats and recorded from dorsomedial PFC (dmPFC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) neurons while they were freely moving in a home cage and while they performed a PFC-dependent task that required flexible switches between rules in two distinct perceptual dimensions. Anxiety elicited a sustained background “hypofrontality” in dmPFC and OFC by reducing the firing rate of spontaneously active neuronal subpopulations. During task performance, the impact of anxiety was subtle, but, consistent with human data, behavior was selectively impaired when previously correct conditions were presented as conflicting choices. This impairment was associated with reduced recruitment of dmPFC neurons that selectively represented task rules at the time of action. OFC rule representation was not affected by anxiety. These data indicate that a neural substrate of the decision-making deficits in anxiety is diminished dmPFC neuronal encoding of task rules during conflict-related actions. Given the translational relevance of the model used here, the data provide a neuronal encoding mechanism for how anxiety biases decision making when the choice involves overcoming a conflict. They also demonstrate that PFC encoding of actions, as opposed to cues or outcome, is especially vulnerable to anxiety. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A debilitating aspect of anxiety is its impact on decision making and flexible control of behavior. These cognitive constructs depend on proper functioning of the prefrontal cortex

  11. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex alters P50 gating.

    PubMed

    Terada, Hidenori; Kurayama, Taichi; Nakazawa, Ken; Matsuzawa, Daisuke; Shimizu, Eiji

    2015-08-18

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been reported to modify cortical function by inducing alterations in the underlying brain function. P50auditory evoked potentials, as assessed using a paired auditory stimulus (S1 and S2) paradigm, are thought to reflect a sensory gating process in which the functional involvement of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is suggested. P50 sensory gating has also been reported to be associated with the pathogenesis of psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia and anxiety-related disorders. Here we investigated whether the tDCS over the DLPFC could modulate the cortical function leading to alteration of the P50 sensory gating. P50 gating indices (the S2/S1 ratio and S1-S2 difference) were measured during the tDCS (current 1.0 mA, duration 15 min) over the DLPFC with different conditions (anodal, cathodal and sham). Ten male healthy volunteers were studied on separate days in a single blinded paradigm. We observed that the cathodaltDCS significantly altered the mean P50 gating indices compared to the other two conditions. Our results suggest that sensory gating could be modulated by cathodaltDCS on the left DLPFC but not by anodal/sham tDCS.

  12. 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…

  13. 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,…

  14. 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…

  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. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  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. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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).

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. [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.

  14. 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.

  15. Human orbital and anterior medial prefrontal cortex: Intrinsic connectivity parcellation and functional organization.

    PubMed

    Samara, Zoe; Evers, Elisabeth A T; Goulas, Alexandros; Uylings, Harry B M; Rajkowska, Grazyna; Ramaekers, Johannes G; Stiers, Peter

    2017-03-02

    The orbital and medial prefrontal cortex (OMPFC) has been implicated in decision-making, reward and emotion processing, and psychopathology, such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Human and monkey anatomical studies indicate the presence of various cortical subdivisions and suggest that these are organized in two extended networks, a medial and an orbital one. Attempts have been made to replicate these neuroanatomical findings in vivo using MRI techniques for imaging connectivity. These revealed several consistencies, but also many inconsistencies between reported results. Here, we use fMRI resting-state functional connectivity (FC) and data-driven modularity optimization to parcellate the OMPFC to investigate replicability of in vivo parcellation more systematically. By collecting two resting-state data sets per participant, we were able to quantify the reliability of the observed modules and their boundaries. Results show that there was significantly more than chance overlap in modules and their boundaries at the level of individual data sets. Moreover, some of these consistent boundaries significantly co-localized across participants. Hierarchical clustering showed that the whole-brain FC profiles of the OMPFC subregions separate them in two networks, a medial and orbital one, which overlap with the organization proposed by Barbas and Pandya (J Comp Neurol 286:353-375, 1989) and Ongür and Price (Cereb Cortex 10:206-219, 2000). We conclude that in vivo resting-state FC can delineate reliable and neuroanatomically plausible subdivisions that agree with established cytoarchitectonic trends and connectivity patterns, while other subdivisions do not show the same consistency across data sets and studies.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Development of thalamocortical connections between the mediodorsal thalamus and the prefrontal cortex and its implication in cognition

    PubMed Central

    Ferguson, Brielle R.; Gao, Wen-Jun

    2015-01-01

    The mediodorsal thalamus (MD) represents a fundamental subcortical relay to the prefrontal cortex (PFC), and is thought to be highly implicated in modulation of cognitive performance. Additionally, it undergoes highly conserved developmental stages, which, when dysregulated, can have detrimental consequences. Embryonically, the MD experiences a tremendous surge in neurogenesis and differentiation, and disruption of this process may underlie the pathology in certain neurodevelopmental disorders. However, during the postnatal period, a vast amount of cell loss in the MD occurs. These together may represent an extended critical period for postnatal development, in which disturbances in the normal growth or reduction of the MD afferents to the PFC, can result in PFC-dependent cognitive, affective, or psychotic abnormalities. In this review, we explore the current knowledge supporting this hypothesis of a protracted critical period, and propose how developmental changes in the MD contribute to successful prefrontal cortical development and function. Specifically, we elaborate on the unique properties of MD-PFC connections compared with other thalamocortical afferents in sensory cortices, examine how MD-PFC innervation modulates synaptic transmission in the local prefrontal circuitry, and speculate on what occurs during postnatal development, particularly within the early neonatal stage, as well as juvenile and adolescent periods. Finally, we discuss the questions that remain and propose future experiments in order to provide perspective and novel insights into the cause of neuropsychiatric disorders associated with MD-PFC development. PMID:25620923

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Activation of the prefrontal cortex by unilateral transcranial direct current stimulation leads to an asymmetrical effect on risk preference in frames of gain and loss.

    PubMed

    Ye, Hang; Huang, Daqiang; Wang, Siqi; Zheng, Haoli; Luo, Jun; Chen, Shu

    2016-10-01

    Previous brain imaging and brain stimulation studies have suggested that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex may be critical in regulating risk-taking behavior, although its specific causal effect on people's risk preference remains controversial. This paper studied the independent modulation of the activity of the right and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex using various configurations of transcranial direct current stimulation. We designed a risk-measurement table and adopted a within-subject design to compare the same participant's risk preference before and after unilateral stimulation when presented with different frames of gain and loss. The results confirmed a hemispheric asymmetry and indicated that the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex has an asymmetric effect on risk preference regarding frames of gain and loss. Enhancing the activity of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex significantly decreased the participants' degree of risk aversion in the gain frame, whereas it increased the participants' degree of risk aversion in the loss frame. Our findings provide important information regarding the impact of transcranial direct current stimulation on the risk preference of healthy participants. The effects observed in our experiment compared with those of previous studies provide further evidence of the effects of hemispheric and frame-dependent asymmetry. These findings may be helpful in understanding the neural basis of risk preference in humans, especially when faced with decisions involving possible gain or loss relative to the status quo.

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and cerebellar contribution to in-group attitudes: a transcranial magnetic stimulation study.

    PubMed

    Gamond, Lucile; Ferrari, Chiara; La Rocca, Stefania; Cattaneo, Zaira

    2017-04-01

    We tend to express more positive judgments and behaviors toward individuals belonging to our own group compared to other (out-) groups. In this study, we assessed the role of the cerebellum and of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) - two regions critically implicated in social cognition processes - in mediating implicit valenced attitudes toward in-group and out-group individuals. To this aim, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in combination with a standard attitude priming task, in which Caucasian participants had to categorize the valence of a series of adjectives primed by either an in-group or an out-group face. In two behavioral experiments, we found an in-group bias (i.e. faster categorization of positive adjectives when preceded by in-group faces) but no evidence of an out-group bias. Interestingly, TMS over both the dmPFC and over the (right) cerebellum significantly interfered with the modulation exerted by group membership on adjective valence classification, abolishing the in-group bias observed at baseline. Overall, our data suggest that both the dmPFC and the cerebellum play a causal role in mediating implicit social attitudes.

  10. Altered Value Coding in the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex in Healthy Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Jing; Mamerow, Loreen; Lei, Xu; Fang, Lei; Mata, Rui

    2016-01-01

    Previous work suggests that aging is associated with changes in risk taking but less is known about their underlying neural basis, such as the potential age differences in the neural processing of value and risk. The goal of the present study was to investigate adult age differences in functional neural responses in a naturalistic risk-taking task. Twenty-six young adults and 27 healthy older adults completed the Balloon Analogue Risk Task while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. Young and older adults showed similar overt risk-taking behavior. Group comparison of neural activity in response to risky vs. control stimuli revealed similar patterns of activation in the bilateral striatum, anterior insula (AI) and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Group comparison of parametrically modulated activity in response to continued pumping similarly revealed comparable results for both age groups in the AI and, potentially, the striatum, yet differences emerged for regional activity in the vmPFC. At whole brain level, insular, striatal and vmPFC activation was predictive of behavioral risk taking for young but not older adults. The current results are interpreted and discussed as preserved neural tracking of risk and reward in the AI and striatum, respectively, but altered value coding in the vmPFC in the two age groups. The latter finding points toward older adults exhibiting differential vmPFC-related integration and value coding. Furthermore, neural activation holds differential predictive validity for behavioral risk taking in young and older adults. PMID:27630561

  11. Localized disruption of Narp in medial prefrontal cortex blocks reinforcer devaluation performance.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Alexander W; Han, Sungho; Blouin, Ashley M; Saini, Jasjit; Worley, Paul F; During, Matthew J; Holland, Peter C; Baraban, Jay M; Reti, Irving M

    2010-12-01

    Neuronal activity regulated pentraxin (Narp) is a secreted protein that regulates α-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionate receptors (AMPAR) aggregation and synaptogenesis. Mapping of Narp-positive neurons in brain has revealed it is prominently expressed in several limbic system projection pathways. Consistent with this localization pattern, Narp knockout mice show deficits in using the current value of a reinforcer to guide behavior, a critical function of the limbic system. To help assess whether this behavioral deficit is due to impairment of synaptogenesis during development or in modulating synaptic signaling in the mature brain, we have used a dominant negative Narp viral construct which blocks trafficking of endogenous Narp to axons. Focal injection of this viral construct into the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of adult mice, a region containing Narp-positive projection neurons, blocked reinforcer devaluation. Thus, these results indicate that Narp released from mPFC neurons plays a key role in mediating synaptic changes underlying instrumental reinforcer devaluation.

  12. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Left Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Shifts Preference of Moral Judgments

    PubMed Central

    Kuehne, Maria; Heimrath, Kai; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Zaehle, Tino

    2015-01-01

    Attitude to morality, reflecting cultural norms and values, is considered unique to human social behavior. Resulting moral behavior in a social environment is controlled by a widespread neural network including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which plays an important role in decision making. In the present study we investigate the influence of neurophysiological modulation of DLPFC reactivity by means of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on moral reasoning. For that purpose we administered anodal, cathodal, and sham stimulation of the left DLPFC while subjects judged the appropriateness of hard moral personal dilemmas. In contrast to sham and cathodal stimulation, anodal stimulation induced a shift in judgment of personal moral dilemmas towards more non-utilitarian actions. Our results demonstrate that alterations of left DLPFC activity can change moral judgments and, in consequence, provide a causal link between left DLPFC activity and moral reasoning. Most important, the observed shift towards non-utilitarian actions suggests that moral decision making is not a permanent individual trait but can be manipulated; consequently individuals with boundless, uncontrollable, and maladaptive moral behavior, such as found in psychopathy, might benefit from neuromodulation-based approaches. PMID:25985442

  13. 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.

  14. The Plasticity of Extinction: Contribution of the Prefrontal Cortex in Treating Addiction through Inhibitory Learning

    PubMed Central

    Gass, J. T.; Chandler, L. J.

    2013-01-01

    Theories of drug addiction that incorporate various concepts from the fields of learning and memory have led to the idea that classical and operant conditioning principles underlie the compulsiveness of addictive behaviors. Relapse often results from exposure to drug-associated cues, and the ability to extinguish these conditioned behaviors through inhibitory learning could serve as a potential therapeutic approach for those who suffer from addiction. This review will examine the evidence that extinction learning alters neuronal plasticity in specific brain regions and pathways. In particular, subregions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and their projections to other brain regions have been shown to differentially modulate drug-seeking and extinction behavior. Additionally, there is a growing body of research demonstrating that manipulation of neuronal plasticity can alter extinction learning. Therefore, the ability to alter plasticity within areas of the PFC through pharmacological manipulation could facilitate the acquisition of extinction and provide a novel intervention to aid in the extinction of drug-related memories. PMID:23750137

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Transcranial direct current stimulation of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex shifts preference of moral judgments.

    PubMed

    Kuehne, Maria; Heimrath, Kai; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Zaehle, Tino

    2015-01-01

    Attitude to morality, reflecting cultural norms and values, is considered unique to human social behavior. Resulting moral behavior in a social environment is controlled by a widespread neural network including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which plays an important role in decision making. In the present study we investigate the influence of neurophysiological modulation of DLPFC reactivity by means of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on moral reasoning. For that purpose we administered anodal, cathodal, and sham stimulation of the left DLPFC while subjects judged the appropriateness of hard moral personal dilemmas. In contrast to sham and cathodal stimulation, anodal stimulation induced a shift in judgment of personal moral dilemmas towards more non-utilitarian actions. Our results demonstrate that alterations of left DLPFC activity can change moral judgments and, in consequence, provide a causal link between left DLPFC activity and moral reasoning. Most important, the observed shift towards non-utilitarian actions suggests that moral decision making is not a permanent individual trait but can be manipulated; consequently individuals with boundless, uncontrollable, and maladaptive moral behavior, such as found in psychopathy, might benefit from neuromodulation-based approaches.

  18. The control of mimicry by eye contact is mediated by medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yin; Ramsey, Richard; Hamilton, Antonia F de C

    2011-08-17

    Spontaneous mimicry of other people's actions serves an important social function, enhancing affiliation and social interaction. This mimicry can be subtly modulated by different social contexts. We recently found behavioral evidence that direct eye gaze rapidly and specifically enhances mimicry of intransitive hand movements (Wang et al., 2011). Based on past findings linking medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) to both eye contact and the control of mimicry, we hypothesized that mPFC might be the neural origin of this behavioral effect. The present study aimed to test this hypothesis. During functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning, 20 human participants performed a simple mimicry or no-mimicry task, as previously described (Wang et al., 2011), with direct gaze present on half of the trials. As predicted, fMRI results showed that performing the task activated mirror systems, while direct gaze and inhibition of the natural tendency to mimic both engaged mPFC. Critically, we found an interaction between mimicry and eye contact in mPFC, superior temporal sulcus (STS) and inferior frontal gyrus. We then used dynamic causal modeling to contrast 12 possible models of information processing in this network. Results supported a model in which eye contact controls mimicry by modulating the connection strength from mPFC to STS. This suggests that mPFC is the originator of the gaze-mimicry interaction and that it modulates sensory input to the mirror system. Thus, our results demonstrate how different components of the social brain work together to on-line control mimicry according to the social context.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Anhedonia, the reduced ability to experience pleasure in response to otherwise rewarding stimuli, is a core symptom of major depressive disorder (MDD). Although the posterior ventromedial prefrontal cortex (pVMPFC) and its functional connections have been consistently implicated in MDD, their roles in anhedonia remain poorly understood. Furthermore, it is unknown whether anhedonia is primarily associated with intrinsic ‘resting-state' pVMPFC functional connectivity or an inability to modulate connectivity in a context-specific manner. To address these gaps, a pVMPFC region of interest was first identified using activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis. pVMPFC connectivity was then examined in relation to anhedonia and general distress symptoms of depression, using both resting-state and task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging involving pleasant music, in current MDD and healthy control groups. In MDD, pVMPFC connectivity was negatively correlated with anhedonia but not general distress during music listening in key reward- and emotion-processing regions, including nucleus accumbens, ventral tegmental area/substantia nigra, orbitofrontal cortex and insula, as well as fronto-temporal regions involved in tracking complex sound sequences, including middle temporal gyrus and inferior frontal gyrus. No such dissociations were observed in the healthy controls, and resting-state pVMPFC connectivity did not dissociate anhedonia from general distress in either group. Our findings demonstrate that anhedonia in MDD is associated with context-specific deficits in pVMPFC connectivity with the mesolimbic reward system when encountering pleasurable stimuli, rather than a static deficit in intrinsic resting-state connectivity. Critically, identification of functional circuits associated with anhedonia better characterizes MDD heterogeneity and may help track of one of its core symptoms. PMID:27187232

  1. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex regulates depressive-like behavior and rapid eye movement sleep in the rat.

    PubMed

    Chang, Celene H; Chen, Michael C; Qiu, Mei Hong; Lu, Jun

    2014-11-01

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a debilitating disease with symptoms like persistent depressed mood and sleep disturbances. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been implicated as an important structure in the neural circuitry of MDD, with pronounced abnormalities in blood flow and metabolic activity in PFC subregions, including the subgenual cingulate cortex (sgACC, or Brodmann area 25). In addition, deep brain stimulation in the sgACC has recently been shown to alleviate treatment-resistant depression. Depressed patients also show characteristic changes in sleep: insomnia, increased rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep and shortened REM sleep latency. We hypothesized that sleep changes and depressive behavior may be a consequence of the abnormal PFC activity in MDD. The rat ventromedial PFC (vmPFC, prelimbic and infralimbic cortices) is considered to be the homolog of the human sgACC, so we examined the effect of excitotic lesions in the vmPFC on sleep-wake and depressive behavior. We also made lesions in the adjacent dorsal region (dmPFC) to compare the effect of this similar but distinct mPFC region. We found that both dmPFC and vmPFC lesions led to increased REM sleep, but only vmPFC-lesioned animals displayed increased sleep fragmentation, shortened REM latency and increased immobility in the forced swim test. Anatomic tracing suggests that the mPFC projects to the pontine REM-off neurons that interact with REM-on neurons in the dorsal pons. These results support our hypothesis that neuronal loss in the rat vmPFC resembles several characteristics of MDD and may be a critical area for modulating both mood and sleep.

  2. Dissociation in human prefrontal cortex of affective influences on working memory-related activity.

    PubMed

    Perlstein, William M; Elbert, Thomas; Stenger, V Andrew

    2002-02-05

    Although neural activity associated with emotion is becoming better understood, the influence of affective parameters on brain activity reflecting cognitive functioning in humans remains poorly characterized. We examined affective influences on working memory (WM) and tested the hypotheses that (i) dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) activity reflecting WM is influenced by the emotion-evoking qualities of task-relevant stimuli, but only when brought "on-line" by task demands, and (ii) DLPFC and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) activities are inversely related as a function of emotional valence. Participants performed two tasks while event-related functional MRI measured brain activity; one task required active maintenance of stimulus representations in WM, and the other task required target detection responses with no demand for WM. Stimuli were standardized emotional (pleasant and unpleasant) and neutral pictures. Emotional stimuli differentially influenced DPFC and OFC activity during WM; DLPFC was influenced by emotional valence, enhanced by pleasant and reduced by unpleasant, compared to neutral stimuli, only when task conditions required WM. OFC was valence-sensitive during both tasks, greater to arousing than neutral stimuli when WM demand was low and in inverse relationship to DLPFC with high WM demand. Further, DLPFC and OFC activities are inversely related with respect to emotional valence during the WM task. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that the intrinsic valence of task-relevant stimuli maintained in WM modulates DLPFC activity but only when the DLPFC is required for task demands. Findings suggest a conceptualization of DLPFC and its involvement in WM that takes into account a role for affective parameters.

  3. Ethanol Increases Mechanical Pain Sensitivity in Rats via Activation of GABAA Receptors in Medial Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Geng, Kai-Wen; He, Ting; Wang, Rui-Rui; Li, Chun-Li; Luo, Wen-Jun; Wu, Fang-Fang; Wang, Yan; Li, Zhen; Lu, Yun-Fei; Guan, Su-Min; Chen, Jun

    2016-10-01

    Ethanol is widely known for its ability to cause dramatic changes in emotion, social cognition, and behavior following systemic administration in humans. Human neuroimaging studies suggest that alcohol dependence and chronic pain may share common mechanisms through amygdala-medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) interactions. However, whether acute administration of ethanol in the mPFC can modulate pain perception is unknown. Here we showed that bilateral microinjections of ethanol into the prelimbic and infralimbic areas of the mPFC lowered the bilateral mechanical pain threshold for 48 h without influencing thermal pain sensitivity in adult rats. However, bilateral microinjections of artificial cerebrospinal fluid into the mPFC or bilateral microinjections of ethanol into the dorsolateral PFC (also termed as motor cortex area 1 in Paxinos and Watson's atlas of The Rat Brain. Elsevier Academic Press, Amsterdam, 2005) failed to do so, suggesting regional selectivity of the effects of ethanol. Moreover, bilateral microinjections of ethanol did not change the expression of either pro-apoptotic (caspase-3 and Bax) or anti-apoptotic (Bcl-2) proteins, suggesting that the dose was safe and validating the method used in the current study. To determine whether γ-aminobutyric acid A (GABAA) receptors are involved in mediating the ethanol effects, muscimol, a selective GABAA receptor agonist, or bicuculline, a selective GABAA receptor antagonist, was administered alone or co-administered with ethanol through the same route into the bilateral mPFC. The results showed that muscimol mimicked the effects of ethanol while bicuculline completely reversed the effects of ethanol and muscimol. In conclusion, ethanol increases mechanical pain sensitivity through activation of GABAA receptors in the mPFC of rats.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Gender-specific decrease in NUDR and 5-HT1A receptor proteins in the prefrontal cortex of subjects with major depressive disorder.

    PubMed

    Szewczyk, Bernadeta; Albert, Paul R; Burns, Ariel M; Czesak, Margaret; Overholser, James C; Jurjus, George J; Meltzer, Herbert Y; Konick, Lisa C; Dieter, Lesa; Herbst, Nicole; May, Warren; Rajkowska, Grazyna; Stockmeier, Craig A; Austin, Mark C

    2009-03-01

    A variety of studies have documented alterations in 5-HT1A receptor binding sites in the brain of subjects with major depressive disorder (MDD). The recently identified transcription factor, nuclear deformed epidermal autoregulatory factor (NUDR/Deaf-1) has been shown to function as a transcriptional modulator of the human 5-HT1A receptor gene. The present study was undertaken to document the regional and cellular localization of NUDR in the human prefrontal cortex and to examine the levels of NUDR and 5-HT1A receptor protein in prefrontal cortex of female and male depressed and control subjects. NUDR immunoreactivity was present in neurons and glia across cortical layers and was co-localized with 5-HT1A receptor immunoreactive neurons. NUDR immunoreactivity as measured by Western blot was significantly decreased in the prefrontal cortex of female depressed subjects (42%, p=0.02) and unchanged in male depressed subjects relative to gender-matched control subjects. Similarly, 5-HT1A receptor protein level was significantly reduced in the prefrontal cortex of female depressed subjects (46%, p=0.03) and unchanged in male depressed subjects compared to gender-matched control subjects. Reduced protein expression of NUDR in the prefrontal cortex of female subjects with MDD may reflect a functional alteration in this transcription factor, which may contribute to the decrease in 5-HT1A receptors observed in the same female subjects with MDD. In addition, the gender-specific alterations in cortical NUDR and 5-HT1A receptor proteins could represent an underlying biological mechanism associated with the higher incidence of depression in women.

  11. [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.

  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. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Prenatal cocaine exposure alters functional activation in the ventral prefrontal cortex and its structural connectivity with the amygdala.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhihao; Santhanam, Priya; Coles, Claire D; Ellen Lynch, Mary; Hamann, Stephan; Peltier, Scott; Hu, Xiaoping

    2013-07-30

    Prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE) is associated with arousal dysregulation, and alterations of amygdala activity in response to emotional arousal have previously been reported. However, voluntary regulation of emotional affect, enabling appropriate neural response to different streams of stimuli, must also engage prefrontal regions, yet the impact of PCE on these prefrontal mechanisms has not been investigated. Recent neuroimaging studies have shown the involvement of ventral prefrontal cortex (vPFC) in the modulation of amygdala reactivity and the mediation of effective emotional regulation. Based on these findings, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), the present study compared functional activations of the vPFC as well as its structural connectivity with the amygdala between groups of PCE and control adolescents. In a working memory task with emotional distracters, the PCE adolescents exhibited less capability of increasing their vPFC activation in response to increased memory load, which corresponded with their less suppressed amygdala activation. Reduced structural connectivity between the vPFC and the amygdala was also observed from DTI measurement in the PCE group. In addition, correlations between amygdala activation and (i) vPFC activation, as well as (ii) amygdala-vPFC structural connectivity, were observed in the control but not in the PCE group. These data complement previous findings of the impact of PCE on the activity of the amygdala and extend our understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the effect of PCE on arousal dysregulation reported in human and animal studies.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Chronic alcohol disrupts dopamine receptor activity and the cognitive function of the medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Trantham-Davidson, Heather; Burnett, Elizabeth J; Gass, Justin T; Lopez, Marcelo F; Mulholland, Patrick J; Centanni, Samuel W; Floresco, Stan B; Chandler, L Judson

    2014-03-05

    Dopamine (DA) receptors in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) exert powerful effects on cognition by modulating the balance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission. The present study examined the impact of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure on cognitive function and DA receptor-mediated neurotransmission in the rat mPFC. Consistent with alterations in executive function in alcoholics, CIE-exposed rats exhibited deficits in behavioral flexibility in an operant set-shifting task. Since alterations in dopaminergic neurotransmission in the mPFC have been implicated in a number of behavioral disorders including addiction, studies were then performed in the adult acute slice preparation to examine changes in DA receptor function in the mPFC following CIE exposure. In slices obtained from control rats, DA receptor stimulation was observed to exert complex actions on neuronal firing and synaptic neurotransmission that were not only dependent upon the particular receptor subtype but also whether it was a pyramidal cell or a fast-spiking interneuron. In contrast to slices from control rats, there was a near complete loss of the modulatory actions of D2/D4 receptors on cell firing and neurotransmission in slices obtained immediately, 1 and 4 weeks after the last day of CIE exposure. This loss did not appear to be associated with changes in receptor expression. In contrast, CIE exposure did not alter D1 receptor function or mGluR1 modulation of firing. These studies are consistent with the suggestion that chronic alcohol exposure disrupts cognitive function at least in part through disruption of D2 and D4 receptor signaling in mPFC.

  4. Chronic Alcohol Disrupts Dopamine Receptor Activity and the Cognitive Function of the Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Burnett, Elizabeth J.; Gass, Justin T.; Lopez, Marcelo F.; Mulholland, Patrick J.; Centanni, Samuel W.; Floresco, Stan B.; Chandler, L. Judson

    2014-01-01

    Dopamine (DA) receptors in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) exert powerful effects on cognition by modulating the balance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission. The present study examined the impact of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure on cognitive function and DA receptor-mediated neurotransmission in the rat mPFC. Consistent with alterations in executive function in alcoholics, CIE-exposed rats exhibited deficits in behavioral flexibility in an operant set-shifting task. Since alterations in dopaminergic neurotransmission in the mPFC have been implicated in a number of behavioral disorders including addiction, studies were then performed in the adult acute slice preparation to examine changes in DA receptor function in the mPFC following CIE exposure. In slices obtained from control rats, DA receptor stimulation was observed to exert complex actions on neuronal firing and synaptic neurotransmission that were not only dependent upon the particular receptor subtype but also whether it was a pyramidal cell or a fast-spiking interneuron. In contrast to slices from control rats, there was a near complete loss of the modulatory actions of D2/D4 receptors on cell firing and neurotransmission in slices obtained immediately, 1 and 4 weeks after the last day of CIE exposure. This loss did not appear to be associated with changes in receptor expression. In contrast, CIE exposure did not alter D1 receptor function or mGluR1 modulation of firing. These studies are consistent with the suggestion that chronic alcohol exposure disrupts cognitive function at least in part through disruption of D2 and D4 receptor signaling in mPFC. PMID:24599469

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-15

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Enhanced stress-induced dopamine release in the prefrontal cortex of amphetamine-sensitized rats.

    PubMed

    Hamamura, T; Fibiger, H C

    1993-06-11

    This study examined the extent to which chronic d-amphetamine administration sensitizes animals to some behavioral and neurochemical effects of foot shock stress. Rats received daily injections of saline for 14 days or d-amphetamine (2 mg/kg 7 days and 4 mg/kg 7 days). After a 7 day drug abstinent period, extracellular dopamine, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and homovanillic acid concentrations were measured in the medial prefrontal cortex using in vivo microdialysis in freely moving rats. The behavioral responses to mild foot shock stress were enhanced in the d-amphetamine-pretreated subjects. Concomitant with this behavioral sensitization, d-amphetamine-pretreated subjects showed greater stress-induced increases in extracellular dopamine in the medial prefrontal cortex than in controls. d-Amphetamine (2 mg/kg)-induced stereotyped behavior was also enhanced in the amphetamine-pretreated animals compared to controls; however, d-amphetamine-induced increases in extracellular dopamine in the medial prefrontal cortex were not enhanced in the amphetamine-pretreated group. These results suggest that the mesocortical dopaminergic system is involved in cross-sensitization between d-amphetamine and stress, but not in d-amphetamine-induced behavioral sensitization.

  14. Coumarin effects on amino acid levels in mice prefrontal cortex and hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Elaine Cristina; Lucetti, Daniel Luna; Barbosa-Filho, José Maria; de Brito, Eliane Magalhães; Monteiro, Valdécio Silvano; Patrocínio, Manoel Cláudio Azevedo; de Moura, Rebeca Ribeiro; Leal, Luzia Kalyne Almeida Moreira; Macedo, Danielle Silveira; de Sousa, Francisca Cléa Florenço; de Barros Viana, Glauce Socorro; Vasconcelos, Silvânia Maria Mendes

    2009-04-24

    Coumarin is a compound known to be present in a wide variety of plants, microorganisms and animal species. Most of its effects were studied in organs and systems other than the central nervous system. The present work evaluated the effect of coumarin administration on the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamate (GLU), glycine (GLY) and taurine (TAU) in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of mice. Male Swiss mice were treated with distilled water (controls), coumarin (20 or 40 mg/kg, i.p.) or diazepam (1 mg/kg, i.p.). Results showed that in the prefrontal cortex, coumarin at the lowest dose increased the levels of GLU and TAU, while GABA increased with both doses studied and GLY had its levels increased only at the dose of 40 mg/kg. Diazepam (DZP) increased the levels of GABA and TAU and decreased the levels of GLU and GLY in this area. In the hippocampus, only glutamate had its levels decreased after coumarin treatment, while diazepam increased the levels of GABA and TAU and decreased the levels of GLU in this brain region. We concluded that coumarin stimulates the release of endogenous amino acids, increasing the levels of inhibitory and excitatory amino acids in the prefrontal cortex, and decreasing glutamate levels in the hippocampus. Together, these results are of interest, considering that some neurodegenerative diseases and seizures are related to the imbalance of the amino acid levels in the CNS suggesting a perspective of a therapeutic use of coumarins in these disorders.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Parallel Driving and Modulatory Pathways Link the Prefrontal Cortex and Thalamus

    PubMed Central

    Zikopoulos, Basilis; Barbas, Helen

    2007-01-01

    Pathways linking the thalamus and cortex mediate our daily shifts from states of attention to quiet rest, or sleep, yet little is known about their architecture in high-order neural systems associated with cognition, emotion and action. We provide novel evidence for neurochemical and synaptic specificity of two complementary circuits linking one such system, the prefrontal cortex with the ventral anterior thalamic nucleus in primates. One circuit originated from the neurochemical group of parvalbumin-positive thalamic neurons and projected focally through large terminals to the middle cortical layers, resembling ‘drivers’ in sensory pathways. Parvalbumin thalamic neurons, in turn, were innervated by small ‘modulatory’ type cortical terminals, forming asymmetric (presumed excitatory) synapses at thalamic sites enriched with the specialized metabotropic glutamate receptors. A second circuit had a complementary organization: it originated from the neurochemical group of calbindin-positive thalamic neurons and terminated through small ‘modulatory’ terminals over long distances in the superficial prefrontal layers. Calbindin thalamic neurons, in turn, were innervated by prefrontal axons through small and large terminals that formed asymmetric synapses preferentially at sites with ionotropic glutamate receptors, consistent with a driving pathway. The largely parallel thalamo-cortical pathways terminated among distinct and laminar-specific neurochemical classes of inhibitory neurons that differ markedly in inhibitory control. The balance of activation of these parallel circuits that link a high-order association cortex with the thalamus may allow shifts to different states of consciousness, in processes that are disrupted in psychiatric diseases. PMID:17786219

  17. 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.

  18. Chronic Phencyclidine Increases Synapsin-1 and Synaptic Adaptation Proteins in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Pickering, Chris; Ericson, Mia; Söderpalm, Bo

    2013-01-01

    Phencyclidine (PCP) mimics many aspects of schizophrenia, yet the underlying mechanism of neurochemical adaptation for PCP is unknown. We therefore used proteomics to study changes in the medial prefrontal cortex in animals with PCP-induced behavioural deficits. Male Wistar rats were injected with saline or 5 mg/kg phencyclidine for 5 days followed by two days of washout. Spontaneous alternation behaviour was tested in a Y-maze and then proteins were extracted from the medial prefrontal cortex. 2D-DIGE analysis followed by spot picking and protein identification with mass spectrometry then provided a list of differentially expressed proteins. Treatment with 5 mg/kg phencyclidine decreased the percentage of correct alternations in the Y-maze compared to saline-treated controls. Proteomics analysis of the medial prefrontal cortex found upregulation of 6 proteins (synapsin-1, Dpysl3, Aco2, Fscn1, Tuba1c, and Mapk1) and downregulation of 11 (Bin1, Dpysl2, Sugt1, ApoE, Psme1, ERp29, Pgam1, Uchl1, Ndufv2, Pcmt1, and Vdac1). A trend to upregulation was observed for Gnb4 and Capza2, while downregulation trends were noted for alpha-enolase and Fh. Many of the hits in this study concur with recent postmortem data from schizophrenic patients and this further validates the use of phencyclidine in preclinical translational research. PMID:23738220

  19. 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.

  20. The human prefrontal cortex mediates integration of potential causes behind observed outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Beierholm, Ulrik R.; Bossaerts, Peter; O'Doherty, John P.

    2011-01-01

    Prefrontal cortex has long been implicated in tasks involving higher order inference in which decisions must be rendered, not only about which stimulus is currently rewarded, but also which stimulus dimensions are currently relevant. However, the precise computational mechanisms used to solve such tasks have remained unclear. We scanned human participants with functional MRI, while they performed a hierarchical intradimensional/extradimensional shift task to investigate what strategy subjects use while solving higher order decision problems. By using a computational model-based analysis, we found behavioral and neural evidence that humans solve such problems not by occasionally shifting focus from one to the other dimension, but by considering multiple explanations simultaneously. Activity in human prefrontal cortex was better accounted for by a model that integrates over all available evidences than by a model in which attention is selectively gated. Importantly, our model provides an explanation for how the brain determines integration weights, according to which it could distribute its attention. Our results demonstrate that, at the point of choice, the human brain and the prefrontal cortex in particular are capable of a weighted integration of information across multiple evidences. PMID:21697443

  1. Acute Exercise Improves Prefrontal Cortex but not Hippocampal Function in Healthy Adults.

    PubMed

    Basso, Julia C; Shang, Andrea; Elman, Meredith; Karmouta, Ryan; Suzuki, Wendy A

    2015-11-01

    The effects of acute aerobic exercise on cognitive functions in humans have been the subject of much investigation; however, these studies are limited by several factors, including a lack of randomized controlled designs, focus on only a single cognitive function, and testing during or shortly after exercise. Using a randomized controlled design, the present study asked how a single bout of aerobic exercise affects a range of frontal- and medial temporal lobe-dependent cognitive functions and how long these effects last. We randomly assigned 85 subjects to either a vigorous intensity acute aerobic exercise group or a video watching control group. All subjects completed a battery of cognitive tasks both before and 30, 60, 90, or 120 min after the intervention. This battery included the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised, the Modified Benton Visual Retention Test, the Stroop Color and Word Test, the Symbol Digit Modalities Test, the Digit Span Test, the Trail Making Test, and the Controlled Oral Word Association Test. Based on these measures, composite scores were formed to independently assess prefrontal cortex- and hippocampal-dependent cognition. A three-way mixed Analysis of Variance was used to determine whether differences existed between groups in the change in cognitive function from pre- to post-intervention testing. Acute exercise improved prefrontal cortex- but not hippocampal-dependent functioning, with no differences found between delay groups. Vigorous acute aerobic exercise has beneficial effects on prefrontal cortex-dependent cognition and these effects can last for up to 2 hr after exercise.

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

    PubMed Central

    Réus, Gislaine Z.; Stringari, Roberto B.; de Souza, Bruna; Petronilho, Fabrícia; Dal-Pizzol, Felipe; Hallak, Jaime E.; Zuardi, Antônio W.; Crippa, José A.; Quevedo, João

    2010-01-01

    A growing body of evidence has suggested that reactive oxygen species (ROS) may play an important role in the physiopathology of depression. Evidence has pointed to the β-carboline harmine as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of depression. The present study we evaluated the effects of acute and chronic administration of harmine (5, 10 and 15 mg/kg) and imipramine (10, 20 and 30 mg/kg) or saline in lipid and protein oxidation levels and superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities in rat prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Acute and chronic treatments with imipramine and harmine reduced lipid and protein oxidation, compared to control group in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. The SOD and CAT activities increased with acute and chronic treatments with imipramine and harmine, compared to control group in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. In conclusion, our results indicate positive effects of imipramine antidepressant and β-carboline harmine of oxidative stress parameters, increasing SOD and CAT activities and decreasing lipid and protein oxidation. PMID:21150338

  3. COMT x DRD4 epistasis impacts prefrontal cortex function underlying response control.

    PubMed

    Heinzel, Sebastian; Dresler, Thomas; Baehne, Christina G; Heine, Monika; Boreatti-Hümmer, Andrea; Jacob, Christian P; Renner, Tobias J; Reif, Andreas; Lesch, Klaus-Peter; Fallgatter, Andreas J; Ehlis, Ann-Christine

    2013-06-01

    The prefrontal cortex plays a major role in cognitive control, but it is unclear how single genes and gene-gene interactions (genetic epistasis) impact neural and behavioral phenotypes. Both dopamine (DA) availability ("inverted U-model") and excitatory versus inhibitory DA receptor stimulation ("dual-state theory") have been linked to important principles of prefrontal processing. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT; Val158Met) and DA D4-receptor (DRD4; 48 bp VNTR) genotypes were analyzed for effects on behavioral and neural correlates of prefrontal response control (NoGo-anteriorization, NGA) using a Go-NoGo task and electroencephalography (114 controls and 181 patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder).  DRD4 and COMT epistatically interacted on the NGA, whereas single genes and diagnosis showed no significant impact. Subjects with presumably relatively increased D4-receptor function (DRD4: no 7R-alleles) displayed an inverted U-relationship between the NGA and increasing COMT-dependent DA levels, whereas subjects with decreased D4-sensitivity (7R) showed a U-relationship. This interaction was supported by 7R-allele dose effects and mirrored by reaction time variability (non-significant after multiple testing correction). Combining previous theories of prefrontal DA functioning, neural stability at intermediate DA levels may be accompanied by the risk of overly decreased neural flexibility if inhibitory DA receptor function is additionally decreased. Our findings might help to disentangle the genetic basis of dopaminergic mechanisms underlying prefrontal (dys)function.

  4. Oxytocin modulates female sociosexual behavior through a specific class of prefrontal cortical interneurons

    PubMed Central

    Nakajima, Miho; Görlich, Andreas; Heintz, Nathaniel

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Human imaging studies have revealed that intranasal administration of the “prosocial” hormone oxytocin (OT) activates the frontal cortex, and that this action of OT correlates with enhanced brain function in autism. Here we report the discovery of a population of somatostatin (Sst) positive, regular spiking interneurons that express the oxytocin receptor (OxtrINs). Silencing of OxtrINs in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of female mice resulted in loss of social interest in male mice specifically during the sexually receptive phase of the estrous cycle. This sociosexual deficit was also present in mice in which the Oxtr gene was conditionally deleted from the mPFC, and in control mice infused with an Oxtr antagonist. Our data demonstrate a gender, cell type and state specific role for OT/Oxtr signaling in the mPFC, and identify a latent cortical circuit element that may modulate other complex social behaviors in response to OT. PMID:25303526

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

  6. Periadolescent exposure to the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 impairs the functional maturation of local GABAergic circuits in the adult prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Thomases, Daniel R; Cass, Daryn K; Tseng, Kuei Y

    2013-01-02

    A developmental disruption of prefrontal cortical inhibitory circuits is thought to contribute to the adolescent onset of cognitive deficits observed in schizophrenia. However, the developmental mechanisms underlying such a disruption remain elusive. The goal of this study is to examine how repeated exposure to the NMDA receptor antagonist dizocilpine maleate (MK-801) during periadolescence [from postnatal day 35 (P35) to P40] impacts the normative development of local prefrontal network response in rats. In vivo electrophysiological analyses revealed that MK-801 administration during periadolescence elicits an enduring disinhibited prefrontal local field potential (LFP) response to ventral hippocampal stimulation at 20 Hz (beta) and 40 Hz (gamma) in adulthood (P65-P85). Such a disinhibition was not observed when MK-801 was given during adulthood, indicating that the periadolescent transition is indeed a sensitive period for the functional maturation of prefrontal inhibitory control. Accordingly, the pattern of prefrontal LFP disinhibition induced by periadolescent MK-801 treatment resembles that observed in the normal P30-P40 prefrontal cortex (PFC). Additional pharmacological manipulations revealed that these developmentally immature prefrontal responses can be mimicked by single microinfusion of the GABA(A) receptor antagonist picrotoxin into the normal adult PFC. Importantly, acute administration of the GABA(A)-positive allosteric modulator Indiplon into the PFC reversed the prefrontal disinhibitory state induced by periadolescent MK-801 to normal levels. Together, these results indicate a critical role of NMDA receptors in regulating the periadolescent maturation of GABAergic networks in the PFC and that pharmacologically induced augmentation of local GABA(A)-receptor-mediated transmission is sufficient to overcome the disinhibitory prefrontal state associated with the periadolescent MK-801 exposure.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Reservoir Computing Properties of Neural Dynamics in Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Procyk, Emmanuel; Dominey, Peter Ford

    2016-01-01

    Primates display a remarkable ability to adapt to novel situations. Determining what is most pertinent in these situations is not always possible based only on the current sensory inputs, and often also depends on recent inputs and behavioral outputs that contribute to internal states. Thus, one can ask how cortical dynamics generate representations of these complex situations. It has been observed that mixed selectivity in cortical neurons contributes to represent diverse situations defined by a combination of the current stimuli, and that mixed selectivity is readily obtained in randomly connected recurrent networks. In this context, these reservoir networks reproduce the highly recurrent nature of local cortical connectivity. Recombining present and past inputs, random recurrent networks from the reservoir computing framework generate mixed selectivity which provides pre-coded representations of an essentially universal set of contexts. These representations can then be selectively amplified through learning to solve the task at hand. We thus explored their representational power and dynamical properties after training a reservoir to perform a complex cognitive task initially developed for monkeys. The reservoir model inherently displayed a dynamic form of mixed selectivity, key to the representation of the behavioral context over time. The pre-coded representation of context was amplified by training a feedback neuron to explicitly represent this context, thereby reproducing the effect of learning and allowing the model to perform more robustly. This second version of the model demonstrates how a hybrid dynamical regime combining spatio-temporal processing of reservoirs, and input driven attracting dynamics generated by the feedback neuron, can be used to solve a complex cognitive task. We compared reservoir activity to neural activity of dorsal anterior cingulate cortex of monkeys which revealed similar network dynamics. We argue that reservoir computing is a

  10. Reservoir Computing Properties of Neural Dynamics in Prefrontal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Enel, Pierre; Procyk, Emmanuel; Quilodran, René; Dominey, Peter Ford

    2016-06-01

    Primates display a remarkable ability to adapt to novel situations. Determining what is most pertinent in these situations is not always possible based only on the current sensory inputs, and often also depends on recent inputs and behavioral outputs that contribute to internal states. Thus, one can ask how cortical dynamics generate representations of these complex situations. It has been observed that mixed selectivity in cortical neurons contributes to represent diverse situations defined by a combination of the current stimuli, and that mixed selectivity is readily obtained in randomly connected recurrent networks. In this context, these reservoir networks reproduce the highly recurrent nature of local cortical connectivity. Recombining present and past inputs, random recurrent networks from the reservoir computing framework generate mixed selectivity which provides pre-coded representations of an essentially universal set of contexts. These representations can then be selectively amplified through learning to solve the task at hand. We thus explored their representational power and dynamical properties after training a reservoir to perform a complex cognitive task initially developed for monkeys. The reservoir model inherently displayed a dynamic form of mixed selectivity, key to the representation of the behavioral context over time. The pre-coded representation of context was amplified by training a feedback neuron to explicitly represent this context, thereby reproducing the effect of learning and allowing the model to perform more robustly. This second version of the model demonstrates how a hybrid dynamical regime combining spatio-temporal processing of reservoirs, and input driven attracting dynamics generated by the feedback neuron, can be used to solve a complex cognitive task. We compared reservoir activity to neural activity of dorsal anterior cingulate cortex of monkeys which revealed similar network dynamics. We argue that reservoir computing is a

  11. Movement-related activity during goal-directed hand actions in the monkey ventrolateral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Grasping actions require the integration of two neural processes, one enabling the transformation of object properties into corresponding motor acts, and the other involved in planning and controlling action execution on the basis of contextual information. The first process relies on parieto-premotor circuits, whereas the second is considered to be a prefrontal function. Up to now, the prefrontal cortex has been mainly investigated with conditional visuomotor tasks requiring a learned association between cues and behavioural output. To clarify the functional role of the prefrontal cortex in grasping actions, we recorded the activity of ventrolateral prefrontal (VLPF) neurons while monkeys (Macaca mulatta) performed tasks requiring reaching-grasping actions in different contextual conditions (in light and darkness, memory-guided, and in the absence of abstract learned rules). The results showed that the VLPF cortex contains neurons that are active during action execution (movement-related neurons). Some of them showed grip selectivity, and some also responded to object presentation. Most movement-related neurons discharged during action execution both with and without visual feedback, and this discharge typically did not change when the action was performed with object mnemonic information and in the absence of abstract rules. The findings of this study indicate that a population of VLPF neurons play a role in controlling goal-directed grasping actions in several contexts. This control is probably exerted within a wider network, involving parietal and premotor regions, where the role of VLPF movement-related neurons would be that of activating, on the basis of contextual information, the representation of the motor goal of the intended action (taking possession of an object) during action planning and execution.

  12. 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.

  13. Parallel declines in cognition, motivation, and locomotion in aging mice: association with immune gene upregulation in the medial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Bordner, Kelly A.; Kitchen, Robert R.; Carlyle, Becky; George, Elizabeth D.; Mahajan, Milind C.; Mane, Shrikant M.; Taylor, Jane R.; Simen, Arthur A.

    2013-01-01

    Aging in humans is associated with parallel changes in cognition, motivation, and motoric performance. Based on the human aging literature, we hypothesized that this constellation of age-related changes is mediated by the medial prefrontal cortex and that it would be observed in aging mice. Toward this end, we performed detailed assessments of cognition, motivation, and motoric behavior in aging mice. We assessed behavioral and cognitive performance in C57Bl/6 mice aged 6, 18, and 24 months, and followed this with microarray analysis of tissue from the medial prefrontal cortex and analysis of serum cytokine levels. Multivariate modeling of these data suggested that the age-related changes in cognition, motivation, motor performance, and prefrontal immune gene expression were highly correlated. Peripheral cytokine levels were also correlated with these variables, but less strongly than measures of prefrontal immune gene upregulation. To determine whether the observed immune gene expression changes were due to prefrontal microglial cells, we isolated CD11b-positive cells from the prefrontal cortex and subject them to next-generation RNA sequencing. Many of the immune changes present in whole medial prefrontal cortex were enriched in this cell population. These data suggest that, as in humans, cognition, motivation, and motoric performance in the mouse change together with age and are strongly associated with CNS immune gene upregulation. PMID:21453768

  14. Lateral inferior prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex are engaged at different stages in the solution of insight problems

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, John R.; Anderson, John F.; Ferris, Jennifer L.; Fincham, Jon M.; Jung, Kwan-Jin

    2009-01-01

    Two studies used puzzles that required participants to find a word that satisfied a set of constraints. The first study used a remote-association task, where participants had to find a word that would form compound words with 3 other words. The second study required participants to complete a word fragment with an associate of another word. Both studies produced distinct patterns of activity in the lateral inferior prefrontal cortex (LIPFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Activation in the LIPFC rose only as long as the participants were trying to retrieve the solution and dropped off as soon as the solution was obtained. However, activation in the ACC increased upon the retrieval of a solution, reflecting the need to process that solution. The data of the second experiment are fit by an information-processing model that interprets the activity in the LIPFC as reflecting retrieval operations and the activity in the ACC as reflecting subgoal setting. PMID:19541657

  15. Network Profiles of the Dorsal Anterior Cingulate and Dorsal Prefrontal Cortex in Schizophrenia During Hippocampal-Based Associative Memory

    PubMed Central

    Woodcock, Eric A.; Wadehra, Sunali; Diwadkar, Vaibhav A.

    2016-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a disorder characterized by brain network dysfunction, particularly during behavioral tasks that depend on frontal and hippocampal mechanisms. Here, we investigated network profiles of the regions of the frontal cortex during memory encoding and retrieval, phases of processing essential to associative memory. Schizophrenia patients (n = 12) and healthy control (HC) subjects (n = 10) participated in an established object-location associative memory paradigm that drives frontal-hippocampal interactions. Network profiles were modeled of both the dorsal prefrontal (dPFC) and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) as seeds using psychophysiological interaction analyses, a robust framework for investigating seed-based connectivity in specific task contexts. The choice of seeds was motivated by previous evidence of involvement of these regions during associative memory. Differences between patients and controls were evaluated using second-level analyses of variance (ANOVA) with seed (dPFC vs. dACC), group (patients vs. controls), and memory process (encoding and retrieval) as factors. Patients showed a pattern of exaggerated modulation by each of the dACC and the dPFC during memory encoding and retrieval. Furthermore, group by memory process interactions were observed within regions of the hippocampus. In schizophrenia patients, relatively diminished modulation during encoding was associated with increased modulation during retrieval. These results suggest a pattern of complex dysfunctional network signatures of critical forebrain regions in schizophrenia. Evidence of dysfunctional frontal-medial temporal lobe network signatures in schizophrenia is consistent with the illness’ characterization as a disconnection syndrome. PMID:27092063

  16. Network Profiles of the Dorsal Anterior Cingulate and Dorsal Prefrontal Cortex in Schizophrenia During Hippocampal-Based Associative Memory.

    PubMed

    Woodcock, Eric A; Wadehra, Sunali; Diwadkar, Vaibhav A

    2016-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a disorder characterized by brain network dysfunction, particularly during behavioral tasks that depend on frontal and hippocampal mechanisms. Here, we investigated network profiles of the regions of the frontal cortex during memory encoding and retrieval, phases of processing essential to associative memory. Schizophrenia patients (n = 12) and healthy control (HC) subjects (n = 10) participated in an established object-location associative memory paradigm that drives frontal-hippocampal interactions. Network profiles were modeled of both the dorsal prefrontal (dPFC) and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) as seeds using psychophysiological interaction analyses, a robust framework for investigating seed-based connectivity in specific task contexts. The choice of seeds was motivated by previous evidence of involvement of these regions during associative memory. Differences between patients and controls were evaluated using second-level analyses of variance (ANOVA) with seed (dPFC vs. dACC), group (patients vs. controls), and memory process (encoding and retrieval) as factors. Patients showed a pattern of exaggerated modulation by each of the dACC and the dPFC during memory encoding and retrieval. Furthermore, group by memory process interactions were observed within regions of the hippocampus. In schizophrenia patients, relatively diminished modulation during encoding was associated with increased modulation during retrieval. These results suggest a pattern of complex dysfunctional network signatures of critical forebrain regions in schizophrenia. Evidence of dysfunctional frontal-medial temporal lobe network signatures in schizophrenia is consistent with the illness' characterization as a disconnection syndrome.

  17. Dorsal Raphe Nucleus Down-Regulates Medial Prefrontal Cortex during Experience of Flow.

    PubMed

    Ulrich, Martin; Keller, Johannes; Grön, Georg

    2016-01-01

    Previous neuroimaging studies have suggested that the experience of flow aligns with a relative increase in activation of the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), and relative activation decreases of the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and of the amygdala (AMY). In the present study, Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM) was used to explore effective connectivity between those brain regions. To test our hypothesis that the DRN causally down-regulates activity of the MPFC and/or of the AMY, 23 healthy male students solved mental arithmetic tasks of varying difficulty during functional magnetic resonance imaging. A "flow" condition, with task demands automatically balanced with participants' skill level, was compared with conditions of "boredom" and "overload". DCM models were constructed modeling full reciprocal endogenous connections between the DRN, the MPFC, the AMY, and the calcarine. The calcarine was included to allow sensory input to enter the system. Experimental conditions were modeled as exerting modulatory effects on various possible connections between the DRN, the MPFC, and the AMY, but not on self-inhibitory connections, yielding a total of 64 alternative DCM models. Model space was partitioned into eight families based on commonalities in the arrangement of the modulatory effects. Random effects Bayesian Model Selection (BMS) was applied to identify a possible winning family (and model). Although BMS revealed a clear winning family, an outstanding winning model could not be identified. Therefore, Bayesian Model Averaging was performed over models within the winning family to obtain representative DCM parameters for subsequent analyses to test our hypothesis. In line with our expectations, Bayesian averaged parameters revealed stronger down-regulatory influence of the DRN on the MPFC when participants experienced flow relative to control conditions. In addition, these condition-dependent modulatory effects significantly predicted participants' experienced degree of

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    Childhood emotional maltreatment (CEM) has adverse effects on medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) morphology, a structure that is crucial for cognitive functioning and (emotional) memory and which modulates the limbic system. In addition, CEM has been linked to amygdala hyperactivity during emotional face processing. However, no study has yet investigated the functional neural correlates of neutral and emotional memory in adults reporting CEM. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated CEM-related differential activations in mPFC during the encoding and recognition of positive, negative and neutral words. The sample (N = 194) consisted of patients with depression and/or anxiety disorders and healthy controls (HC) reporting CEM (n = 96) and patients and HC reporting no abuse (n = 98). We found a consistent pattern of mPFC hypoactivation during encoding and recognition of positive, negative and neutral words in individuals reporting CEM. These results were not explained by psychopathology or severity of depression or anxiety symptoms, or by gender, level of neuroticism, parental psychopathology, negative life events, antidepressant use or decreased mPFC volume in the CEM group. These findings indicate mPFC hypoactivity in individuals reporting CEM during emotional and neutral memory encoding and recognition. Our findings suggest that CEM may increase individuals' risk to the development of psychopathology on differential levels of processing in the brain; blunted mPFC activation during higher order processing and enhanced amygdala activation during automatic/lower order emotion processing. These findings are vital in understanding the long-term consequences of CEM.

  19. On the Role of the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex in Self-Processing: The Valuation Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    D’Argembeau, Arnaud

    2013-01-01

    With the development of functional neuroimaging, important progress has been made in identifying the brain regions involved in self-related processing. One of the most consistent findings has been that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vMPFC) is activated when people contemplate various aspects of themselves and their life, such their traits, experiences, preferences, abilities, and goals. Recent evidence suggests that this region may not support the act of self-reflection per se, but its precise function in self-processing remains unclear. In this article, I examine the hypothesis that the vMPFC may contribute to assign personal value or significance to self-related contents: stimuli and mental representations that refer or relate to the self tend to be assigned unique value or significance, and the function of the vMPFC may precisely be to evaluate or represent such significance. Although relatively few studies to date have directly tested this hypothesis, several lines of evidence converge to suggest that vMPFC activity during self-processing depends on the personal significance of self-related contents. First, increasing psychological distance from self-representations leads to decreased activation in the vMPFC. Second, the magnitude of vMPFC activation increases linearly with the personal importance attributed to self-representations. Third, the activity of the vMPFC is modulated by individual differences in the interest placed on self-reflection. Finally, the evidence shows that the vMPFC responds to outer aspects of self that have high personal value, such as possessions and close others. By assigning personal value to self-related contents, the vMPFC may play an important role in the construction, stabilization, and modification of self-representations, and ultimately in guiding our choices and decisions. PMID:23847521

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

    PubMed Central

    Maoz, Uri; Rutishauser, Ueli; Kim, Soyoun; Cai, Xinying; Lee, Daeyeol; Koch, Christof

    2013-01-01

    Rational, value-based decision-making mandates selecting the option with highest subjective expected value after appropriate deliberation. We examined activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and striatum of monkeys deciding between smaller, immediate rewards and larger, delayed ones. We previously found neurons that modulated their activity in this task according to the animal's choice, while it deliberated (choice neurons). Here we found neurons whose spiking activities were predictive of the spatial location of the selected target (spatial-bias neurons) or the size of the chosen reward (reward-bias neurons) before the onset of the cue presenting the decision-alternatives, and thus before rational deliberation could begin. Their predictive power increased as the values the animals associated with the two decision alternatives became more similar. The ventral striatum (VS) preferentially contained spatial-bias neurons; the caudate nucleus (CD) preferentially contained choice neurons. In contrast, the DLPFC contained significant numbers of all three neuron types, but choice neurons were not preferentially also bias neurons of either kind there, nor were spatial-bias neurons preferentially also choice neurons, and vice versa. We suggest a simple winner-take-all (WTA) circuit model to account for the dissociation of choice and bias neurons. The model reproduced our results and made additional predictions that were borne out empirically. Our data are compatible with the hypothesis that the DLPFC and striatum harbor dissociated neural populations that represent choices and predeliberation biases that are combined after cue onset; the bias neurons have a weaker effect on the ultimate decision than the choice neurons, so their influence is progressively apparent for trials where the values associated with the decision alternatives are increasingly similar. PMID:24324396

  1. Differential acetylcholine release in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus during pavlovian trace and delay conditioning.

    PubMed

    Flesher, M Melissa; Butt, Allen E; Kinney-Hurd, Brandee L

    2011-09-01

    Pavlovian trace conditioning critically depends on the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and hippocampus (HPC), whereas delay conditioning does not depend on these brain structures. Given that the cholinergic basal forebrain system modulates activity in both the mPFC and HPC, it was reasoned that the level of acetylcholine (ACh) release in these regions would show distinct profiles during testing in trace and delay conditioning paradigms. To test this assumption, microdialysis probes were implanted unilaterally into the mPFC and HPC of rats that were pre-trained in appetitive trace and delay conditioning paradigms using different conditional stimuli in the two tasks. On the day of microdialysis testing, dialysate samples were collected during a quiet baseline interval before trials were initiated, and again during performance in separate blocks of trace and delay conditioning trials in each animal. ACh levels were quantified using high-performance liquid chromatography and electrochemical detection techniques. Consistent with our hypothesis, results showed that ACh release in the mPFC was greater during trace conditioning than during delay conditioning. The level of ACh released during trace conditioning in the HPC was also greater than the levels observed during delay conditioning. While ACh efflux in both the mPFC and HPC selectively increased during trace conditioning, ACh levels in the mPFC during trace conditioning testing showed the greatest increases observed. These results demonstrate a dissociation in cholinergic activation of the mPFC and HPC during performance in trace but not delay appetitive conditioning, where this cholinergic activity may contribute to attentional mechanisms, adaptive response timing, or memory consolidation necessary for successful trace conditioning.

  2. Dorsal Raphe Nucleus Down-Regulates Medial Prefrontal Cortex during Experience of Flow

    PubMed Central

    Ulrich, Martin; Keller, Johannes; Grön, Georg

    2016-01-01

    Previous neuroimaging studies have suggested that the experience of flow aligns with a relative increase in activation of the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), and relative activation decreases of the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and of the amygdala (AMY). In the present study, Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM) was used to explore effective connectivity between those brain regions. To test our hypothesis that the DRN causally down-regulates activity of the MPFC and/or of the AMY, 23 healthy male students solved mental arithmetic tasks of varying difficulty during functional magnetic resonance imaging. A “flow” condition, with task demands automatically balanced with participants’ skill level, was compared with conditions of “boredom” and “overload”. DCM models were constructed modeling full reciprocal endogenous connections between the DRN, the MPFC, the AMY, and the calcarine. The calcarine was included to allow sensory input to enter the system. Experimental conditions were modeled as exerting modulatory effects on various possible connections between the DRN, the MPFC, and the AMY, but not on self-inhibitory connections, yielding a total of 64 alternative DCM models. Model space was partitioned into eight families based on commonalities in the arrangement of the modulatory effects. Random effects Bayesian Model Selection (BMS) was applied to identify a possible winning family (and model). Although BMS revealed a clear winning family, an outstanding winning model could not be identified. Therefore, Bayesian Model Averaging was performed over models within the winning family to obtain representative DCM parameters for subsequent analyses to test our hypothesis. In line with our expectations, Bayesian averaged parameters revealed stronger down-regulatory influence of the DRN on the MPFC when participants experienced flow relative to control conditions. In addition, these condition-dependent modulatory effects significantly predicted participants

  3. Rapid Microelectrode Measurements and the Origin and Regulation of Extracellular Glutamate in Rat Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hascup, E.R.; Hascup, K.N.; Stephens, M.; Pomerleau, F.; Huettl, P.; Gratton, A.; Gerhardt, G.A.

    2010-01-01

    Glutamate in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a significant role in several mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, addiction and anxiety. Previous studies on PFC glutamate-mediated function have used techniques that raise questions on the neuronal vs. astrocytic origin of glutamate. The present studies used enzyme-based microelectrode arrays (MEAs) to monitor second-by-second resting glutamate levels in the PFC of awake rats. Locally-applied drugs were employed in an attempt to discriminate between the neuronal or glial components of the resting glutamate signal. Local application of tetrodotoxin (TTX; sodium channel blocker), produced a significant (~40%) decline in resting glutamate levels. In addition significant reductions in extracellular glutamate were seen with locally-applied ω-conotoxin (MVIIC; ~50%; calcium channel blocker), and the mGluR⅔ agonist, LY379268 (~20%), and a significant increase with the mGluR⅔ antagonist LY341495 (~40%), effects all consistent with a large neuronal contribution to the resting glutamate levels. Local administration of D,L-threo-β-benzyloxyaspartate (TBOA; glutamate transporter inhibitor) produced an ~120% increase in extracellular glutamate levels, supporting that excitatory amino acid transporters, which are largely located on glia, modulate clearance of extracellular glutamate. Interestingly, local application of (S)-4-carboxyphenylglycine (CPG; cystine/glutamate antiporter inhibitor), produced small, non-significant bi-phasic changes in extracellular glutamate versus vehicle control. Finally, pre-administration of TTX completely blocked the glutamate response to tail pinch stress. Taken together, these results support that PFC resting glutamate levels in rats as measured by the MEA technology are at least 40-50% derived from neurons. Furthermore, these data support that the impulse flow-dependent glutamate release from a physiologically-evoked event is entirely neuronally derived. PMID:20969570

  4. 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.

  5. Demand on verbal working memory delays haemodynamic response in the inferior prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Thierry, Guillaume; Ibarrola, Danielle; Démonet, Jean-François; Cardebat, Dominique

    2003-05-01

    Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to test the involvement of the inferior prefrontal cortex in verbal working memory. Pairs of French nouns were presented to ten native French speakers who had to make semantic or grammatical gender decisions. Verbal working memory involvement was manipulated by making the categorization of the second noun optional. Decisions could be made after processing the first noun only (RELEASE condition) or after processing the two nouns (HOLD condition). Reaction times suggested faster processing for gender than for semantic category in RELEASE. Despite the absence of anatomical difference across tasks and conditions in the wide activated network, the haemodynamic response peak latencies of the inferior prefrontal cortex were significantly delayed in HOLD versus RELEASE while no such peak delay was observed in the superior temporal gyrus. Interestingly, this pattern did not interact with language tasks. This study shows that cognitive manipulation can influence haemodynamic time-course and suggests that the main cognitive process determining inferior prefrontal activation is verbal working memory rather than specific linguistic processes such as grammatical or semantic analysis.

  6. Integration of faces and vocalizations in ventral prefrontal cortex: implications for the evolution of audiovisual speech.

    PubMed

    Romanski, Lizabeth M

    2012-06-26

    The integration of facial gestures and vocal signals is an essential process in human communication and relies on an interconnected circuit of brain regions, including language regions in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Studies have determined that ventral prefrontal cortical regions in macaques [e.g., the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC)] share similar cytoarchitectonic features as cortical areas in the human IFG, suggesting structural homology. Anterograde and retrograde tracing studies show that macaque VLPFC receives afferents from the superior and inferior temporal gyrus, which provide complex auditory and visual information, respectively. Moreover, physiological studies have shown that single neurons in VLPFC integrate species-specific face and vocal stimuli. Although bimodal responses may be found across a wide region of prefrontal cortex, vocalization responsive cells, which also respond to faces, are mainly found in anterior VLPFC. This suggests that VLPFC may be specialized to process and integrate social communication information, just as the IFG is specialized to process and integrate speech and gestures in the human brain.

  7. Distinct Regions of Prefrontal Cortex Are Associated with the Controlled Retrieval and Selection of Social Information

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Research in social neuroscience has uncovered a social knowledge network that is particularly attuned to making social judgments. However, the processes that are being performed by both regions within this network and those outside of this network that are nevertheless engaged in the service of making a social judgment remain unclear. To help address this, we drew upon research in semantic memory, which suggests that making a semantic judgment engages 2 distinct control processes: A controlled retrieval process, which aids in bringing goal-relevant information to mind from long-term stores, and a selection process, which aids in selecting the information that is goal-relevant from the information retrieved. In a neuroimaging study, we investigated whether controlled retrieval and selection for social information engage distinct portions of both the social knowledge network and regions outside this network. Controlled retrieval for social information engaged an anterior ventrolateral portion of the prefrontal cortex, whereas selection engaged both the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and temporoparietal junction within the social knowledge network. These results suggest that the social knowledge network may be more involved with the selection of social information than the controlled retrieval of it and incorporates lateral prefrontal regions in accessing memory for making social judgments. PMID:23300111

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Ciaramelli, Elisa; Muccioli, Michela; Làdavas, Elisabetta

    2007-01-01

    Recent fMRI evidence has detected increased medial prefrontal activation during contemplation of personal moral dilemmas compared to impersonal ones, which suggests that this cortical region plays a role in personal moral judgment. However, functional imaging results cannot definitively establish that a brain area is necessary for a particular cognitive process. This requires evidence from lesion techniques, such as studies of human patients with focal brain damage. Here, we tested 7 patients with lesions in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and 12 healthy individuals in personal moral dilemmas, impersonal moral dilemmas and non-moral dilemmas. Compared to normal controls, patients were more willing to judge personal moral violations as acceptable behaviors in personal moral dilemmas, and they did so more quickly. In contrast, their performance in impersonal and non-moral dilemmas was comparable to that of controls. These results indicate that the ventromedial prefrontal cortex is necessary to oppose personal moral violations, possibly by mediating anticipatory, self-focused, emotional reactions that may exert strong influence on moral choice and behavior. PMID:18985127

  10. Medial Prefrontal Cortex Plays a Critical and Selective Role in "Feeling of Knowing" Meta-Memory Judgments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Modirrousta, Mandana; Fellows, Lesley K.

    2008-01-01

    The frontal lobes are thought to play a role in the monitoring of memory performance, or "meta-memory," but the specific circuits involved have yet to be definitively established. Medial prefrontal cortex in general and the anterior cingulate cortex in particular, have been implicated in other forms of monitoring, such as error and conflict…

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-16

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

  12. IS THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX IMPORTANT FOR FLUID INTELLIGENCE? A NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL STUDY USING MATRIX REASONING

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    Patients with prefrontal damage and severe defects in decision making and emotional regulation often have a remarkable absence of intellectual impairment, as measured by conventional IQ tests such as the WAIS/WAIS-R. This enigma might be explained by shortcomings in the tests, which tend to emphasize measures of “crystallized” (e.g., vocabulary, fund of information) more than “fluid” (e.g., novel problem solving) intelligence. The WAIS-III added the Matrix Reasoning subtest to enhance measurement of fluid reasoning. In a set of four studies, we investigated Matrix Reasoning performances in 80 patients with damage to various sectors of the prefrontal cortex, and contrasted these with the performances of 80 demographically matched patients with damage outside the frontal lobes. The results failed to support the hypothesis that prefrontal damage would disproportionately impair fluid intelligence, and every prefrontal subgroup we studied (dorsolateral, ventromedial, dorsolateral + ventromedial) had Matrix Reasoning scores (as well as IQ scores more generally) that were indistinguishable from those of the brain-damaged comparison groups. Our findings do not support a connection between fluid intelligence and the frontal lobes, although a viable alternative interpretation is that the Matrix Reasoning subtest lacks construct validity as a measure of fluid intelligence. PMID:17853146

  13. Perseverative interference with object-in-place scene learning in rhesus monkeys with bilateral ablation of ventrolateral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Baxter, Mark G; Browning, Philip G F; Mitchell, Anna S

    2008-03-01

    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 bilateral ablations of ventrolateral prefrontal cortex in object-in-place scene learning. These monkeys were mildly impaired in scene learning relative to their own preoperative performance, similar in severity to that of monkeys with bilateral ablation of orbital prefrontal cortex. An analysis of response types showed that the monkeys with lesions were specifically impaired in responding to negative feedback during learning: The post-operative increase in errors was limited to trials in which the first response to each new problem, made on the basis of trial and error, was incorrect. This perseverative pattern of deficit was not observed in the same analysis of response types in monkeys with bilateral ablations of the orbital prefrontal cortex, who were equally impaired on trials with correct and incorrect first responses. This may represent a specific signature of ventrolateral prefrontal involvement in episodic learning and memory.

  14. Alcohol-induced alterations in dopamine modulation of prefrontal activity.

    PubMed

    Trantham-Davidson, Heather; Chandler, L Judson

    2015-12-01

    Long-term alcohol use leads to persistent cognitive deficits that may be associated with maladaptive changes in the neurocircuitry that mediates executive functions. Impairments caused by these changes can persist well into abstinence and have a negative impact on quality of life and job performance, and can increase the probability of relapse. Many of the changes that affect cognitive function appear to involve dysregulation of the mesocortical dopamine system. This includes changes in dopamine release and alterations in dopamine receptor expression and function in the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC). This review summarizes the cellular effects of acute and chronic ethanol exposure on dopamine release and dopamine receptor function in the PFC with the goal of providing greater understanding of the effects of alcohol-use disorders on the dopamine system and how this relates to deficits in the executive function of the PFC.

  15. Alcohol-induced alterations in dopamine modulation of prefrontal activity

    PubMed Central

    Trantham-Davidson, Heather; Chandler, L. Judson

    2015-01-01

    Long-term alcohol use leads to persistent cognitive deficits that may be associated with maladaptive changes in the neurocircuitry that mediates executive functions. Impairments caused by these changes can persist well into abstinence and have a negative impact on quality of life and job performance, and can increase the probability of relapse. Many of the changes that affect cognitive function appear to involve dysregulation of the mesocortical dopamine system. This includes changes in dopamine release and alterations in dopamine receptor expression and function in the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC). This review summarizes the cellular effects of acute and chronic ethanol exposure on dopamine release and dopamine receptor function in the PFC with the goal of providing greater understanding of the effects of alcohol-use disorders on the dopamine system and how this relates to deficits in the executive function of the PFC. PMID:26558348

  16. Amphetamines modulate prefrontal γ oscillations during attention processing.

    PubMed

    Franzen, John D; Wilson, Tony W

    2012-08-22

    Amphetamine-based medications robustly suppress symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but their exact mechanisms remain poorly understood. Recent hemodynamic imaging studies have suggested that amphetamines may modulate the prefrontal and anterior cingulate brain regions, although few studies have been published and the results have not been entirely consistent. Meanwhile, several electrophysiological studies have shown that abnormal fast oscillations (in the γ range) may be closely linked to inattention and other cardinal symptoms of ADHD. In this study, we utilized magnetoencephalography to examine how amphetamines modulate high-frequency brain activity in adults with ADHD. Participants performed an auditory attention task, which required sustained attention in one block and passive listening in a separate block. Participants completed the task twice in the on-medication and off-medication states. All data were analyzed using beamforming techniques to resolve cortical regions showing event-related synchronizations and desynchronizations. Our primary findings indicated that oral administration of amphetamine decreased γ-band event-related desynchronization activity significantly in the medial prefrontal area and decreased event-related synchronization in bilateral superior parietal areas, left inferior parietal, and the left inferior frontal gyrus. These results suggest that psychostimulants strongly modulate γ activity in frontal and parietal cortical areas, which are known to be central to the brain's core attentional networks.

  17. 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

  18. Parvalbumin-positive interneurons of the prefrontal cortex support working memory and cognitive flexibility.

    PubMed

    Murray, Andrew J; Woloszynowska-Fraser, Marta U; Ansel-Bollepalli, Laura; Cole, Katy L H; Foggetti, Angelica; Crouch, Barry; Riedel, Gernot; Wulff, Peer

    2015-11-26

    Dysfunction of parvalbumin (PV)-positive GABAergic interneurons (PVIs) within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been implicated in schizophrenia pathology. It is however unclear, how impaired signaling of these neurons may contribute to PFC dysfunction. To identify how PVIs contribute to PFC-dependent behaviors we inactivated PVIs in the PFC in mice using region- and cell-type-selective expression of tetanus toxin light chain (TeLC) and compared the functional consequences of this manipulation with non-cell-type-selective perturbations of the same circuitry. By sampling for behavioral alterations that map onto distinct symptom categories in schizophrenia, we show that dysfunction of PVI signaling in the PFC specifically produces deficits in the cognitive domain, but does not give rise to PFC-dependent correlates of negative or positive symptoms. Our results suggest that distinct aspects of the complex symptomatology of PFC dysfunction in schizophrenia can be attributed to specific prefrontal circuit elements.

  19. Parvalbumin-positive interneurons of the prefrontal cortex support working memory and cognitive flexibility

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Andrew J.; Woloszynowska-Fraser, Marta U.; Ansel-Bollepalli, Laura; Cole, Katy L. H.; Foggetti, Angelica; Crouch, Barry; Riedel, Gernot; Wulff, Peer

    2015-01-01

    Dysfunction of parvalbumin (PV)-positive GABAergic interneurons (PVIs) within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been implicated in schizophrenia pathology. It is however unclear, how impaired signaling of these neurons may contribute to PFC dysfunction. To identify how PVIs contribute to PFC-dependent behaviors we inactivated PVIs in the PFC in mice using region- and cell-type-selective expression of tetanus toxin light chain (TeLC) and compared the functional consequences of this manipulation with non-cell-type-selective perturbations of the same circuitry. By sampling for behavioral alterations that map onto distinct symptom categories in schizophrenia, we show that dysfunction of PVI signaling in the PFC specifically produces deficits in the cognitive domain, but does not give rise to PFC-dependent correlates of negative or positive symptoms. Our results suggest that distinct aspects of the complex symptomatology of PFC dysfunction in schizophrenia can be attributed to specific prefrontal circuit elements. PMID:26608841

  20. Independent coding of absolute duration and distance magnitudes in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Marcos, Encarni; Tsujimoto, Satoshi; Genovesio, Aldo

    2017-01-01

    The estimation of space and time can interfere with each other, and neuroimaging studies have shown overlapping activation in the parietal and prefrontal cortical areas. We used duration and distance discrimination tasks to determine whether space and time share resources in prefrontal cortex (PF) neurons. Monkeys were required to report which of two stimuli, a red circle or blue square, presented sequentially, were longer and farther, respectively, in the duration and distance tasks. In a previous study, we showed that relative duration and distance are coded by different populations of neurons and that the only common representation is related to goal coding. Here, we examined the coding of absolute duration and distance. Our results support a model of independent coding of absolute duration and distance metrics by demonstrating that not only relative magnitude but also absolute magnitude are independently coded in the PF.

  1. The necessity of rostrolateral prefrontal cortex for higher-level sequential behavior

    PubMed Central

    Desrochers, Theresa M.; Chatham, Christopher H.; Badre, David

    2015-01-01

    Summary Frontal neocortex is thought to support our highest intellectual abilities, including our ability to plan and enact a sequence of tasks toward a desired goal. In everyday life, such task sequences are abstract in that they do not require consistent movement sequences and are often assembled “on the fly”. Yet, remarkably little is known about the necessity of frontal sub-regions for such control. Participants repeatedly completed sequences of simple tasks during fMRI scanning. Rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC) activation ramped over sequence position, and reset at the initiation of each new sequence. To establish the necessity and function of RLPFC in this task, participants performed the sequential task while undergoing transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the RLPFC versus two prefrontal control regions. Across two independent experiments, only RLPFC stimulation increasingly disrupted task performance as each sequence progressed. These data establish RLPFC as necessary for uncertainty resolution during sequence-level control. PMID:26402612

  2. 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.

  3. Neural mechanisms of dual-task interference and cognitive capacity limitation in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Kei; Funahashi, Shintaro

    2014-04-01

    Simultaneous performance of two tasks often leads to performance deficits in the component tasks. This effect, known as dual-task interference, is thought to be a proof of capacity limitation in cognition, and the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) has been highlighted as its putative neural substrate. Here we recorded single-neuron activities in LPFC while monkeys performed dual tasks that required the simultaneous performance of a varying-load spatial attention task and a spatial memory task. We found that the performance of the monkeys exhibited dual-task interference, and prefrontal neuron activities showed a decreased ability to represent task-relevant information to a degree proportional to the increased demand of the concurrent counterpart task. The locus of the interference was shown to originate in the simultaneous, overloaded recruitment of the same LPFC neural population by the two tasks. These results provide direct neurophysiological evidence for, and constraints to, psychological models of dual-task interference and capacity limitation.

  4. Housing condition-related changes involved in reversal learning and its c-Fos associated activity in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Sampedro-Piquero, P; Zancada-Menendez, C; Begega, A

    2015-10-29

    Our study examined how different housing conditions modulated the acquisition of a spatial reference memory task and also, a reversal task in the 4-radial arm water maze (4-RAWM). The animals were randomly assigned to standard or enriched cages, and, as a type of complementary stimulation along with the environmental enrichment (EE), a group of rats also ran 15 min/day in a Rotarod. Elevated-zero maze results allowed us to discard that our exercise training increased anxiety-related behaviors. 4-RAWM results revealed that the non-enriched group had a worse performance during the acquisition and also, during the first trial of each session with respect to the enriched groups. Regarding the reversal task, this group made more perseverative errors in the previous platform position. Interestingly, we hardly found differences between the two enriched groups (with and without exercise). We also analyzed how the reversal learning, depending on the previous housing condition, modulated the expression of c-Fos-positive nuclei in different subdivisions of the medial prefrontal cortex (cingulate (Cg), prelimbic (PL) and infralimbic (IL) cortices) and in the orbitofrontal (OF) cortex. The enriched groups had higher c-Fos expression in the Cg and OF cortices and lower in the IL cortex respect to the non-enriched animals. In the PL cortex, we did not find significant differences between the groups that performed the reversal task. Therefore, our short EE protocol improved the performance in a spatial memory and a reversal task, whereas the exercise training, combined with the EE, did not produce a greater benefit. This better performance seemed to be related with the specific pattern of c-Fos expression in brain regions involved in cognitive flexibility.

  5. Idiosyncratic Patterns of Representational Similarity in Prefrontal Cortex Predict Attentional Performance.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jeongmi; Geng, Joy J

    2017-02-01

    The efficiency of finding an object in a crowded environment depends largely on the similarity of nontargets to the search target. Models of attention theorize that the similarity is determined by representations stored within an "attentional template" held in working memory. However, the degree to which the contents of the attentional template are individually unique and where those idiosyncratic representations are encoded in the brain are unknown. We investigated this problem using representational similarity analysis of human fMRI data to measure the common and idiosyncratic representations of famous face morphs during an identity categorization task; data from the categorization task were then used to predict performance on a separate identity search task. We hypothesized that the idiosyncratic categorical representations of the continuous face morphs would predict their distractability when searching for each target identity. The results identified that patterns of activation in the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) as well as in face-selective areas in the ventral temporal cortex were highly correlated with the patterns of behavioral categorization of face morphs and search performance that were common across subjects. However, the individually unique components of the categorization behavior were reliably decoded only in right LPFC. Moreover, the neural pattern in right LPFC successfully predicted idiosyncratic variability in search performance, such that reaction times were longer when distractors had a higher probability of being categorized as the target identity. These results suggest that the prefrontal cortex encodes individually unique components of categorical representations that are also present in attentional templates for target search.

  6. Hemispheric asymmetry in neglect produced by unilateral lesions of dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in rats.

    PubMed

    Vargo, J M; Corwin, J V; King, V; Reep, R L

    1988-11-01

    Unilateral lesions of the medial precentral prefrontal cortex produce severe polymodal neglect which reaches a stable level of recovery over 3 to 4 weeks. Previous research has indicated that neglect is produced by unilateral destruction of this region in either hemisphere, but that the nature of the neglect produced is dependent on the hemisphere damaged. The present study is a further examination of behavioral laterality produced by this unilateral destruction. The results indicated that destruction of medial precentral cortex in the left hemisphere (n = 12) produced severe contralateral multimodal neglect of visual, somatosensory, and auditory stimuli. Identical destruction in the right hemisphere (n = 18) also produced severe neglect, but unlike the left hemisphere operates which always demonstrated contralateral neglect, there were two distinct populations of right hemisphere operates. These subjects demonstrated either ipsilateral neglect or a "switching" response pattern characterized by the initial demonstration of contralateral or ipsilateral neglect and then, during the course of recovery, severe neglect on the opposite body side. Histological analysis indicated that the left and right hemisphere lesions were equivalent, as were the lesions in the two behavioral subcategories of right hemisphere operates. Operated controls (n = 12) did not demonstrate long-standing neglect or this switching pattern. The behavioral laterality observed following unilateral destruction of medial precentral prefrontal cortex is discussed in relationship to the anatomical and neurochemical asymmetries which have been demonstrated in this cortical region.

  7. Damage to the left ventromedial prefrontal cortex impacts affective theory of mind

    PubMed Central

    Leopold, Anne; dal Monte, Olga; Pardini, Matteo; Pulaski, Sarah J.; Solomon, Jeffrey; Grafman, Jordan

    2012-01-01

    Studies investigating theory of mind (ToM) abilities (i.e. ability to understand and predict others’ mental states) have revealed that affective and cognitive functions play a significant role and that each of those functions are associated with distinct neural networks. Cognitive facets of ToM have implicated the medial prefrontal cortex, temporo-parietal junction and the anterior paracingulate cortex, whereas affective facets have implicated the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Although the vmPFC has repeatedly shown to be critical for affective functions, knowledge regarding the exact role of the left and right vmPFC in affective ToM is still obscure. Here, we compared performances of 30 patients with left, right and bilateral vmPFC lesions to two comparison groups (one without and one with brain injuries) on the Faux Pas Recognition task measuring the facets of ToM. We also investigated whether any deficits may be associated with other emotional measures, namely emotional empathy and emotional intelligence. Our results extend earlier findings by showing that the vmPFC is associated with abilities in affective ToM. More importantly, our results revealed that the left, and not the right vmPFC as indicated previously, is involved in affective ToM and that this deficit is associated with emotional intelligence. PMID:22021651

  8. Cognitive behavioral therapy increases prefrontal cortex gray matter in patients with chronic pain

    PubMed Central

    Seminowicz, David A.; Shpaner, Marina; Keaser, Michael L.; Krauthamer, G. Michael; Mantegna, John; Dumas, Julie A.; Newhouse, Paul A.; Filippi, Christopher; Keefe, Francis J.; Naylor, Magdalena R.

    2013-01-01

    Several studies have reported reduced cerebral gray matter (GM) volume/density in chronic pain conditions, but there is limited research on plasticity of the human cortex in response to psychological interventions. We investigated GM changes after cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in patients with chronic pain. We used voxel based morphometry (VBM) to compare anatomical MRI scans of 13 patients with mixed chronic pain types before and after an 11-week CBT treatment and to 13 healthy control participants. CBT led to significant improvements in clinical measures. Patients did not differ from healthy controls in GM anywhere in the brain. After treatment, patients had increased GM in bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal (DLPFC), posterior parietal (PPC), subgenual anterior cingulate (ACC)/orbitofrontal, and sensorimotor cortices, as well as hippocampus, and reduced GM in supplementary motor area. In most of these areas showing GM increases, GM became significantly higher than in controls. Decreased pain catastrophizing was associated with increased GM in left DLPFC and ventrolateral prefrontal (VLPFC), right PPC, somatosensory cortex, and pregenual ACC. While future studies with additional control groups will be needed to determine the specific roles of CBT on GM and brain function, we propose that increased GM in the PFC and PPC reflects greater top-down control over pain and cognitive reappraisal of pain, and that changes in somatosensory cortices reflect alterations in the perception of noxious signals. Perspective An 11-week CBT intervention for coping with chronic pain resulted in increased gray matter volume in prefrontal and somatosensory brain regions, as well as increased dorsolateral prefrontal volume associated with reduced pain catastrophizing. These results add to mounting evidence that CBT can be a valuable treatment option for chronic pain. PMID:24135432

  9. Cocaine cue–induced dopamine release in the human prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Milella, Michele S.; Fotros, Aryandokht; Gravel, Paul; Casey, Kevin F.; Larcher, Kevin; Verhaeghe, Jeroen A.J.; Cox, Sylvia M.L.; Reader, Andrew J.; Dagher, Alain; Benkelfat, Chawki; Leyton, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Background Accumulating evidence indicates that drug-related cues can induce dopamine (DA) release in the striatum of substance abusers. Whether these same cues provoke DA release in the human prefrontal cortex remains unknown. Methods We used high-resolution positron emission tomography with [18F]fallypride to measure cortical and striatal DA D2/3 receptor availability in the presence versus absence of drug-related cues in volunteers with current cocaine dependence. Results Twelve individuals participated in our study. Among participants reporting a craving response (9 of 12), exposure to the cocaine cues significantly decreased [18F]fallypride binding potential (BPND) values in the medial orbitofrontal cortex and striatum. In all 12 participants, individual differences in the magnitude of craving correlated with BPND changes in the medial orbitofrontal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate, and striatum. Consistent with the presence of autoreceptors on mesostriatal but not mesocortical DA cell bodies, midbrain BPND values were significantly correlated with changes in BPND within the striatum but not the cortex. The lower the midbrain D2 receptor levels, the greater the striatal change in BPND and self-reported craving. Limitations Limitations of this study include its modest sample size, with only 2 female participants. Newer tracers might have greater sensitivity to cortical DA release. Conclusion In people with cocaine use disorders, the presentation of drug-related cues induces DA release within cortical and striatal regions. Both effects are associated with craving, but only the latter is regulated by midbrain autoreceptors. Together, the results suggest that cortical and subcortical DA responses might both influence drug-focused incentive motivational states, but with separate regulatory mechanisms. PMID:26900792

  10. Cardiovascular responses of the anterior claustrum; its mechanism; contribution of medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Hatam, Masoumeh; Sheybanifar, Mehrnoosh; Nasimi, Ali

    2013-12-01

    The anterior claustrum (CLa) has bilateral connections with the areas involved in cardiovascular regulation, though its role in cardiovascular control is not yet understood. This study was performed to find the cardiovascular responsive region of the CLa by stimulating all parts of the CLa with l-glutamate, and to find the possible mechanisms mediating its responses in urethane-anesthetized rats. We also investigated the possible involvement of the medial prefrontal cortex in the cardiovascular responses of the CLa. The effect of microinjection of l-glutamate (50-100 nl, 0.25 M) was tested throughout the Cla and only in one area at 2.7 mm rostral to bregma, 1.8-2.0 midline and 4.5-5.6mm vertical, significant decreases in arterial pressure were elicited (-21.71±2.1 mmHg, P<0.001, t-test) with no significant change in heart rate. Administration (i.v.) of the muscarinic receptor blocker, atropine, had no effect on the change in mean arterial pressure in response to glutamate stimulation, suggesting that the parasympathetic system was not involved in this response. However, administration (i.v.) of the nicotinic receptor blocker, hexamethonium dichloride abolished the depressor response to glutamate, suggesting that CLa stimulation decreases sympathetic outflow to the cardiovascular system. In addition, microinjection of the reversible synaptic blocker, cobalt chloride, into the medial prefrontal cortex greatly attenuated the depressor response elicited by microinjection of glut into the CLa. Thus for the first time, we found the cardiovascular responsive region of the anterior claustrum. Also we showed that its response is mediated through the medial prefrontal cortex.

  11. Unilateral deactivation of macaque dorsolateral prefrontal cortex induces biases in stimulus selection

    PubMed Central

    Lomber, Stephen G.; Everling, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Following unilateral brain injury, patients are often unable to detect a stimulus presented in the contralesional field when another is presented simultaneously ipsilesionally. This phenomenon has been referred to as extinction and has been conceptualized as a deficit in selective attention. Although most commonly observed following damage to posterior parietal areas, extinction has been observed following lesions of prefrontal cortex (PFC) in both humans and nonhuman primates. To date, most studies in nonhuman primates have examined lesions of multiple PFC subregions, including the frontal eye fields (FEF). Theoretical accounts of attentional disturbances from human patients, however, also implicate other PFC areas, including the middle frontal gyrus. Here, we investigated the effects of deactivating PFC areas anterior to the FEF on stimulus selection using a free-choice task. Macaque monkeys were presented with two peripheral stimuli appearing either simultaneously, or at varying stimulus onset asynchronies, and their performance was evaluated during unilateral cryogenic deactivation of part of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex or the cortex lining the caudal principal sulcus, the likely homologue of the human middle frontal gyrus. A decreased proportion of saccades was made to stimuli presented in the hemifield contralateral to the deactivated PFC. We also observed increases in reaction times to contralateral stimuli and decreases for stimuli presented in the hemifield ipsilateral to the deactivated hemisphere. In both cases, these results were greatest when both PFC subregions were deactivated. These findings demonstrate that selection biases result from PFC deactivation and support a role of dorsolateral prefrontal subregions anterior to FEF in stimulus selection. PMID:26792881

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

    PubMed

    Musazzi, Laura; Treccani, Giulia; Popoli, Maurizio

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Functional and Structural Remodeling of Glutamate Synapses in Prefrontal and Frontal Cortex Induced by Behavioral Stress

    PubMed Central

    Musazzi, Laura; Treccani, Giulia; Popoli, Maurizio

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Feature to space conversion during target selection in the dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex of monkeys.

    PubMed

    Inoue, Masato; Mikami, Akichika

    2010-03-01

    To investigate the neuronal mechanism of the process of selection of a target from an array of stimuli, we analysed neuronal activity of the lateral prefrontal cortex during the response period of a serial probe reproduction task. During the response period of this task, monkeys were trained to select a memorized target object from an array of three objects and make a saccadic eye movement toward it. Of 611 neurons, 74 neurons showed visual response and 56 neurons showed presaccadic activity during the response period. Among visual neurons, 27 showed array- and target-selectivity. All of these array- and target-selective visual responses were recorded from the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC). Among 56 neurons with presaccadic activity, nine showed target-selective activity, 17 showed target- and direction-selective activity, and 23 showed direction-selective activity. The target-selective, and the target- and direction-selective activities were recorded from the VLPFC, and the direction-selective activities were recorded from VLPFC and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). The starting time of the activity was earlier for the target-selective, and target- and direction-selective activities in VLPFC, intermediate for the direction-selective activities in VLPFC, and later for the direction-selective activities in DLPFC. These results suggest that VLPFC plays a role in the process of selection of a target object from an array of stimuli, VLPFC and DLPFC play a role in determining the location of the target in space, and DLPFC plays a role in selecting a direction and making a decision to generate a saccadic eye movement.

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

    PubMed

    Kwapis, Janine L; Jarome, Timothy J; Helmstetter, Fred J

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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).

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  19. Sleep loss alters synaptic and intrinsic neuronal properties in mouse prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Winters, Bradley D.; Huang, Yanhua H.; Dong, Yan; Krueger, James M.

    2011-01-01

    Despite sleep-loss-induced cognitive deficits, little is known about the cellular adaptations that occur with sleep loss. We used brain slices obtained from mice that were sleep deprived for 8 h to examine the electrophysiological effects of sleep deprivation (SD). We employed a modified pedestal (flowerpot) over water method for SD that eliminated rapid eye movement sleep and greatly reduced non-rapid eye movement sleep. In layer V/VI pyramidal cells of the medial prefrontal cortex, miniature excitatory post synaptic current amplitude was slightly reduced, miniature inhibitory post synaptic currents were unaffected, and intrinsic membrane excitability was increased after SD. PMID:21962531

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    We propose that counterfactual representations for reasoning about the past or predicting the future depend on structured event complexes (SECs) in the human prefrontal cortex (PFC; ‘What would happen if X were performed in the past or enacted in the future?’). We identify three major categories of counterfactual thought (concerning action versus inaction, the self versus other and upward versus downward thinking) and propose that each form of inference recruits SEC representations in distinct regions of the medial PFC. We develop a process model of the regulatory functions these representations serve and draw conclusions about the importance of SECs for explaining the past and predicting the future. PMID:19528010

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

    PubMed

    Soutschek, Alexander; Sauter, Marian; Schubert, Torsten

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Our environment and internal states are frequently complex, ambiguous and dynamic, meaning we need to have selection mechanisms to ensure we are basing our decisions on currently relevant information. Here, we review evidence that orbitofrontal (OFC) and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) play conserved, critical but distinct roles in this process. While OFC may use specific sensory associations to enhance task-relevant information, particularly in the context of learning, VMPFC plays a role in ensuring irrelevant information does not impinge on the decision in hand. PMID:26937446

  3. Sleep loss alters synaptic and intrinsic neuronal properties in mouse prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Winters, Bradley D; Huang, Yanhua H; Dong, Yan; Krueger, James M

    2011-10-28

    Despite sleep-loss-induced cognitive deficits, little is known about the cellular adaptations that occur with sleep loss. We used brain slices obtained from mice that were sleep deprived for 8h to examine the electrophysiological effects of sleep deprivation (SD). We employed a modified pedestal (flowerpot) over water method for SD that eliminated rapid eye movement sleep and greatly reduced non-rapid eye movement sleep. In layer V/VI pyramidal cells of the medial prefrontal cortex, miniature excitatory post synaptic current amplitude was slightly reduced, miniature inhibitory post synaptic currents were unaffected, and intrinsic membrane excitability was increased after SD.

  4. Transcranial direct current stimulation of the prefrontal cortex reduces cue-reactivity in alcohol-dependent patients.

    PubMed

    Wietschorke, Katharina; Lippold, Julian; Jacob, Christian; Polak, Thomas; Herrmann, Martin J

    2016-10-01

    Alcohol craving has been shown to be an important factor for relapses in alcohol-dependent patients. Furthermore, brain activity in reward-related areas in response to alcohol-related cues is positively related to the amount of post-relapse alcohol consumption. On the other hand, it has been shown that cue-exposure based extinction training (CET) leads to larger decrease of striatal and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dLPFC) cue-induced activation compared to standard clinical day-care treatment, but the effect sizes are relatively small. The question of this study was, whether it is possible to change cue-reactivity and subjective craving by applying bilateral prefrontal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). We stimulated 30 detoxified alcohol-dependent patients (50 % with a sham and 50 % with left cathodal/right anodal stimulation) and presented emotional as well as alcohol-related pictures. We measured the emotional startle modulation and found significantly increased startle amplitudes in the verum stimulation condition for alcohol-related cues, indicating a more negative processing of this cues in alcohol-dependent patients after verum tDCS stimulation. Additionally we found tendencies for stronger reduction in subjective craving in verum-stimulated patients. Therefore our study underscores the positive value of DCS in reducing craving and might help to improve the understanding and therapy of alcohol dependence.

  5. The role of the ventro-lateral prefrontal cortex in idiom comprehension: An rTMS study.

    PubMed

    Häuser, Katja I; Titone, Debra A; Baum, Shari R

    2016-10-01

    Previous research is equivocal with respect to the neural substrates of idiom processing. Particularly elusive is the role of the left ventro-lateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), a region implicated in semantic control generally. Although fMRI studies have shown that the left VLPFC is active during idiom processing (see Rapp et al. (2012), for review), rTMS studies have failed to corroborate a clear role of this prefrontal region (e.g., Oliveri et al., 2004). We investigated this issue using a semantic meaningfulness judgment task that compared idiom comprehension following rTMS-stimulation to the left VLPFC relative to a control site (vertex). We also investigated whether individual differences in general cognitive capacity among comprehenders modulated the effects of rTMS. The results indicate that left VLPFC stimulation particularly affected the processing of low-familiar idioms, possibly because these items involve a maximal semantic conflict between a salient literal and less-known figurative meaning. Of note, this pattern only emerged for comprehenders with higher cognitive control capacity, possibly because they were more likely to activate or maintain multiple semantic representations during idiom processing, which required VLPFC integrity. Taken together, the results support the importance of the left VLPFC to idiom processing.

  6. Characterization of the influence of age on GABAA and glutamatergic mediated functions in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex using paired-pulse TMS-EEG

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

    Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic and glutamatergic neurotransmissions in the prefrontal cortex decreases with age. Further, cognitive function mediated through the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) also declines with age. Although neuroimaging studies have demonstrated decreased levels of these substances, direct neurophysiological data investigating the effect of aging in the DLPFC in human subjects is lacking. The advent of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) combined with electroencephalography (EEG) has allowed for the assessment of functional neurotransmission in vivo. In the present study, we examined short interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and intracortical facilitation (ICF) in a group of older adults (> 60 yrs) to evaluate the strength of GABAA and glutamate-mediated neurotransmission in the DLPFC, compared to younger adults (18-59 yrs). Older adults showed an increase of amplitude of N100 by the SICI paradigm, while N45 amplitude was increased and N100 amplitude was decreased by ICF. Moreover, these modulations significantly correlated with age. Our findings provide evidence for age-related alterations of excitatory and inhibitory functions in the prefrontal cortex in healthy adults. Future studies may aim to explore these neurophysiological relationships in the DLPFC in pathological forms of aging that affect cortical functioning such as mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. PMID:28209926

  7. Characterization of the influence of age on GABAA and glutamatergic mediated functions in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex using paired-pulse TMS-EEG.

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-16

    Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic and glutamatergic neurotransmissions in the prefrontal cortex decreases with age. Further, cognitive function mediated through the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) also declines with age. Although neuroimaging studies have demonstrated decreased levels of these substances, direct neurophysiological data investigating the effect of aging in the DLPFC in human subjects is lacking. The advent of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) combined with electroencephalography (EEG) has allowed for the assessment of functional neurotransmission in vivo. In the present study, we examined short interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and intracortical facilitation (ICF) in a group of older adults (> 60 yrs) to evaluate the strength of GABAA and glutamate-mediated neurotransmission in the DLPFC, compared to younger adults (18-59 yrs). Older adults showed an increase of amplitude of N100 by the SICI paradigm, while N45 amplitude was increased and N100 amplitude was decreased by ICF. Moreover, these modulations significantly correlated with age. Our findings provide evidence for age-related alterations of excitatory and inhibitory functions in the prefrontal cortex in healthy adults. Future studies may aim to explore these neurophysiological relationships in the DLPFC in pathological forms of aging that affect cortical functioning such as mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.

  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. Von Economo neurons are present in the dorsolateral (dysgranular) prefrontal cortex of humans.

    PubMed

    Fajardo, C; Escobar, M I; Buriticá, E; Arteaga, G; Umbarila, J; Casanova, M F; Pimienta, H

    2008-04-25

    Von Economo neurons (VENs), also known as spindle cells, have been described in layer V of the anterior cingulate (BA 24) and frontoinsular cortex (FI) of humans and other great apes. In the present study we used immunohistochemistry against two specific neuronal markers (NeuN and MAP2) in order to establish the presence of these cell types in Brodmann area 9 (BA 9) of the human prefrontal cortex. We evaluated tissue samples of eight human postmortem brains (age range 26-50) from BAs 9, 24, 4, 46, 45, 10 and 17. We identified a group of cells with similar morphology to that previously described for VENs in all specimens of BA 9 examined, albeit less frequently than in BA 24. This is the first description of this cell type in a human brain area with well developed granular layers (BA 9).

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

    PubMed Central

    Katsuki, Fumi; Constantinidis, Christos

    2012-01-01

    The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) and posterior parietal cortex (PPC) are two parts of a broader brain network involved in the control of cognitive functions such as working-memory, spatial attention, and decision-making. The two areas share many functional properties and exhibit similar patterns of activation during the execution of mental operations. However, neurophysiological experiments in non-human primates have also documented subtle differences, revealing functional specialization within the fronto-parietal network. These differences include the ability of the PFC to influence memory performance, attention allocation, and motor responses to a greater extent, and to resist interference by distracting stimuli. In recent years, distinct cellular and anatomical differences have been identified, offering insights into how functional specialization is achieved. This article reviews the common functions and functional differences between the PFC and PPC, and their underlying mechanisms. PMID:22563310

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Exercise modality and complexity play a key role in determining neurorehabilitative outcome in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Exercise training (ET) that incorporates both motor skill training and aerobic exercise has been proposed to synergistically improve cognitive and automatic components of motor control in PD patients. Here we introduced such a skilled aerobic ET paradigm in a rat model of dopaminergic deafferentation. Rats with bilateral, intra-striatal 6-hydroxydopamine lesions were exposed to forced ET for 4 weeks, either on a simple running wheel (non-skilled aerobic exercise, NSAE) or on a complex wheel with irregularly spaced rungs (skilled aerobic exercise, SAE). Cerebral perfusion was mapped during horizontal treadmill walking or at rest using [14C]-iodoantipyrine 1 week after the completion of ET. Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was quantified by autoradiography and analyzed in 3-dimensionally reconstructed brains by statistical parametric mapping. SAE compared to NSAE resulted in equal or greater recovery in motor deficits, as well as greater increases in rCBF during walking in the prelimbic area of the prefrontal cortex, broad areas of the somatosensory cortex, and the cerebellum. NSAE compared to SAE animals showed greater activation in the dorsal caudate-putamen and dorsal hippocampus. Seed correlation analysis revealed enhanced functional connectivity in SAE compared to NSAE animals between the prelimbic cortex and motor areas, as well as altered functional connectivity between midline cerebellum and sensorimotor regions. Our study provides the first evidence for functional brain reorganization following skilled aerobic exercise in Parkinsonian rats, and suggests that SAE compared to NSAE results in enhancement of prefrontal cortex- and cerebellum-mediated control of motor function. PMID:25747184

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Feja, Malte; Koch, Michael

    2014-05-01

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

  16. A combined analysis of microarray gene expression studies of the human prefrontal cortex identifies genes implicated in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Santiago, Josué; Diez-Alarcia, Rebeca; Callado, Luis F; Zhang, Jin X; Chana, Gursharan; White, Cory H; Glatt, Stephen J; Tsuang, Ming T; Everall, Ian P; Meana, J Javier; Woelk, Christopher H

    2012-11-01

    Small cohort sizes and modest levels of gene expression changes in brain tissue have plagued the statistical approaches employed in microarray studies investigating the mechanism of schizophrenia. To combat these problems a combined analysis of six prior microarray studies was performed to facilitate the robust statistical analysis of gene expression data from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of 107 patients with schizophrenia and 118 healthy subjects. Multivariate permutation tests identified 144 genes that were differentially expressed between schizophrenia and control groups. Seventy of these genes were identified as differentially expressed in at least one component microarray study but none of these individual studies had the power to identify the remaining 74 genes, demonstrating the utility of a combined approach. Gene ontology terms and biological pathways that were significantly enriched for differentially expressed genes were related to neuronal cell-cell signaling, mesenchymal induction, and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling, which have all previously been associated with the etiopathogenesis of schizophrenia. The differential expression of BAG3, C4B, EGR1, MT1X, NEUROD6, SST and S100A8 was confirmed by real-time quantitative PCR in an independent cohort using postmortem human prefrontal cortex samples. Comparison of gene expression between schizophrenic subjects with and without detectable levels of antipsychotics in their blood suggests that the modulation of MT1X and S100A8 may be the result of drug exposure. In conclusion, this combined analysis has resulted in a statistically robust identification of genes whose dysregulation may contribute to the mechanism of schizophrenia.

  17. Extrapunitive and Intropunitive Individuals Activate Different Parts of the Prefrontal Cortex under an Ego-Blocking Frustration

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Different people make different responses when they face a frustrating situation: some punish others (extrapunitive), while others punish themselves (intropunitive). Few studies have investigated the neural structures that differentiate extrapunitive and intropunitive individuals. The present fMRI study explored these neural structures using two different frustrating situations: an ego-blocking situation which blocks a desire or goal, and a superego-blocking situation which blocks self-esteem. In the ego-blocking condition, the extrapunitive group (n = 9) showed greater activation in the bilateral ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, indicating that these individuals prefer emotional processing. On the other hand, the intropunitive group (n = 9) showed greater activation in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, possibly reflecting an effortful control for anger reduction. Such patterns were not observed in the superego-blocking condition. These results indicate that the prefrontal cortex is the source of individual differences in aggression direction in the ego-blocking situation. PMID:24454951

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Dissociation of attention in learning and action: Effects of lesions of the amygdala central nucleus, medial prefrontal cortex, and posterior parietal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Maddux, Jean-Marie; Kerfoot, Erin C.; Chatterjee, Souvik; Holland, Peter C.

    2010-01-01

    Many associative learning theories assert that the predictive accuracy of events affects the allocation of attention to them. More reliable predictors of future events are usually more likely to control action based on past learning, but less reliable predictors are often more likely to capture attention when new information is acquired. Previous studies showed that a circuit that includes the amygdala central nucleus (CEA) and the cholinergic substantia innominata/nucleus basalis magnocellularis (SI/nBM) is important for both sustained attention guiding action in a five-choice serial reaction time (5CSRT) task, and for enhanced new learning about less predictive cues in a serial conditioning task. In this study, we found that lesions of the cholinergic afferents of the medial prefrontal cortex interfered with 5CSRT performance but not with surprise-induced enhancement of learning, whereas lesions of cholinergic afferents of posterior parietal cortex impaired the latter effects but did not affect 5CSRT performance. CEA lesions impaired performance in both tasks. These results are consistent with the view that CEA affects these distinct aspects of attention by influencing the activity of separate, specialized cortical regions, via its modulation of SI/nBM. PMID:17324051

  20. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation over the Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Left Primary Motor Cortex (mPFC-lPMC) Affects Subjective Beauty but Not Ugliness

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Koyo; Kawabata, Hideaki

    2015-01-01

    Neuroaesthetics has been searching for the neural bases of the subjective experience of beauty. It has been demonstrated that neural activities in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the left primary motor cortex (lPMC) correlate with the subjective experience of beauty. Although beauty and ugliness seem to be semantically and conceptually opposite, it is still unknown whether these two evaluations represent extreme opposites in unitary or bivariate dimensions. In this study, we applied transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to examine whether non-invasive brain stimulation modulates two types of esthetic evaluation; evaluating beauty and ugliness. Participants rated the subjective beauty and ugliness of abstract paintings before and after the application of tDCS. Application of cathodal tDCS over the mPFC with anode electrode over the lPMC, which induced temporal inhibition of neural excitability of the mPFC, led to a decrease in beauty ratings but not ugliness ratings. There were no changes in ratings of both beauty and ugliness when applying anodal tDCS or sham stimulation over the mPFC. Results from our experiment indicate that the mPFC and the lPMC have a causal role in generating the subjective experience of beauty, with beauty and ugliness evaluations constituting two distinct dimensions. PMID:26696865

  1. Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation over the Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Left Primary Motor Cortex (mPFC-lPMC) Affects Subjective Beauty but Not Ugliness.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Koyo; Kawabata, Hideaki

    2015-01-01

    Neuroaesthetics has been searching for the neural bases of the subjective experience of beauty. It has been demonstrated that neural activities in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the left primary motor cortex (lPMC) correlate with the subjective experience of beauty. Although beauty and ugliness seem to be semantically and conceptually opposite, it is still unknown whether these two evaluations represent extreme opposites in unitary or bivariate dimensions. In this study, we applied transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to examine whether non-invasive brain stimulation modulates two types of esthetic evaluation; evaluating beauty and ugliness. Participants rated the subjective beauty and ugliness of abstract paintings before and after the application of tDCS. Application of cathodal tDCS over the mPFC with anode electrode over the lPMC, which induced temporal inhibition of neural excitability of the mPFC, led to a decrease in beauty ratings but not ugliness ratings. There were no changes in ratings of both beauty and ugliness when applying anodal tDCS or sham stimulation over the mPFC. Results from our experiment indicate that the mPFC and the lPMC have a causal role in generating the subjective experience of beauty, with beauty and ugliness evaluations constituting two distinct dimensions.

  2. Noninvasive Stimulation of the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Enhances Pleasant Scene Processing.

    PubMed

    Junghofer, Markus; Winker, Constantin; Rehbein, Maimu A; Sabatinelli, Dean

    2017-03-25

    Depressive patients typically show biased attention towards unpleasant and away from pleasant emotional material. Imaging studies suggest that dysfunctions in a distributed neural network, including the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), are associated with this processing bias. Accordingly, changes in vmPFC activation should mediate changes in processing of emotional stimuli. Here, we investigated the effect of inhibitory and excitatory transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the vmPFC on emotional scene processing in two within-subject experiments using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG). Both studies showed that excitatory relative to inhibitory tDCS amplifies processing of pleasant compared to unpleasant scenes in healthy participants. This modulatory effect occurred in a distributed network including sensory and prefrontal cortex regions and was visible during very early to late processing stages. Findings are discussed with regard to neurophysiological models of emotional processing. The convergence of stimulation effects across independent groups of healthy participants and complementary neuroimaging methods (fMRI, MEG) provides a basis for further investigation of a potentially therapeutic use of this novel stimulation approach in patients with depression or other affective disorders.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    We compared private and social decision making to investigate the neural underpinnings of the effect of social comparison on risky choices. We measured brain activity using functional MRI while participants chose between two lotteries: in the private condition, they observed the outcome of the unchosen lottery, and in the social condition, the outcome of the lottery chosen by another person. The striatum, a reward-related brain structure, showed higher activity when participants won more than their counterpart (social gains) compared with winning in isolation and lower activity when they won less than their counterpart (social loss) compared with private loss. The medial prefrontal cortex, implicated in social reasoning, was more activated by social gains than all other events. Sensitivity to social gains influenced both brain activity and behavior during subsequent choices. Specifically, striatal activity associated with social gains predicted medial prefrontal cortex activity during social choices, and experienced social gains induced more risky and competitive behavior in later trials. These results show that interplay between reward and social reasoning networks mediates the influence of social comparison on the decision process. PMID:21896760

  4. Engagement of the prefrontal cortex in representational momentum: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Rao, Hengyi; Han, Shihui; Jiang, Yi; Xue, Yanping; Gu, Hua; Cui, Yong; Gao, Dingguo

    2004-09-01

    Behavioral studies have identified a robust phenomenon that an observer's memory of the final position of a moving target is shifted a little further in its motion direction, which is usually called representational momentum (RM). However, the neural substrates underlying RM are poorly understood. The current study measured hemodynamic responses in association with RM using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Two experiments using block and event-related designs, respectively, were conducted in which subjects compared the orientation of a probe rectangle with the remembered orientation of the final inducing figures in a set of rotating rectangles. Both experiments showed that, relative to the control task in which behavioral data did not show RM effects, RM task induced stronger activation in the prefrontal cortex. However, no activation was found in MT/MST complex in association with RM. The fMRI results suggest that RM may not simply reflect implicit motion perception and high level cognitive mechanisms underpinned by the prefrontal cortex may be involved in the RM effect.

  5. Nitrergic neurons during early postnatal development of the prefrontal cortex in the rat: histochemical study.

    PubMed

    Hvizdosova, Natalia; Tomasova, Lenka; Bolekova, Adriana; Kolesar, Dalibor; Kluchova, Darina

    2014-06-01

    The presence of nitrergic cells in the prefrontal cortex has been confirmed, however little is known about the postnatal development of these cells. Nitrergic neurons were studied histochemically by using NADPH-diaphorase staining in the prefrontal cortex of male Wistar rats from postnatal day 7-21 (P7-21). Neuronal NADPH-diaphorase is a nitric oxide synthase that provides a specific histochemical marker for neurons producing nitric oxide (NO). NO acts as a neurotransmitter and intracellular signaling molecule in the nervous system. We observed in 7 day old rats NADPH-d containing neurons that were intensely stained. These neurons were bipolar with a short dendrite with average length of 23 μm. During the second postnatal week, the neurons were mainly bipolar and were rarely multipolar. By P14 the cells were located primarily in cortical layers III-VI. Nitrergic neurons of the 21 day old rats were histochemically identified as multipolar cells with long radial extending dendrites. Dendrites of neurons in 14 and 21 day old rats were a similar length with an average of 57 μm. These results suggest that nitrergic neurons differentiate during a relatively short period of time and reach their structural maturity by the end of the second week of postnatal development.

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

    PubMed

    Dumontheil, Iroise

    2014-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

    Near-infrared spectroscopy is a novel imaging technique potentially sensitive to both brain hemodynamics (slow signal) and neuronal activity (fast optical signal, FOS). The big challenge of measuring FOS noninvasively lies in the presumably low signal-to-noise ratio. Thus, detectability of the FOS has been controversially discussed. We present reliable detection of FOS from 11 individuals concurrently with electroencephalogram (EEG) during a Go-NoGo task. Probes were placed bilaterally over prefrontal cortex. Independent component analysis (ICA) was used for artifact removal. Correlation coefficient in the best correlated FOS-EEG ICA pairs was highly significant (p < 10-8), and event-related optical signal (EROS) was found in all subjects. Several EROS components were similar to the event-related potential (ERP) components. The most robust ``optical N200'' at t = 225 ms coincided with the N200 ERP; both signals showed significant difference between targets and nontargets, and their timing correlated with subject's reaction time. Correlation between FOS and EEG even in single trials provides further evidence that at least some FOS components ``reflect'' electrical brain processes directly. The data provide evidence for the early involvement of prefrontal cortex in rapid object recognition. EROS is highly localized and can provide cost-effective imaging tools for cortical mapping of cognitive processes.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Human prosociality has been traditionally explained in the social sciences in terms of internalized social norms. Recent neuroscientific studies extended this traditional view of human prosociality by providing evidence that prosocial choices in economic games require cognitive control of the impulsive pursuit of self-interest. However, this view is challenged by an intuitive prosociality view emphasizing the spontaneous and heuristic basis of prosocial choices in economic games. We assessed the brain structure of 411 players of an ultimatum game (UG) and a dictator game (DG) and measured the strategic reasoning ability of 386. According to the reflective norm-enforcement view of prosociality, only those capable of strategically controlling their selfish impulses give a fair share in the UG, but cognitive control capability should not affect behavior in the DG. Conversely, we support the intuitive prosociality view by showing for the first time, to our knowledge, that strategic reasoning and cortical thickness of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were not related to giving in the UG but were negatively related to giving in the DG. This implies that the uncontrolled choice in the DG is prosocial rather than selfish, and those who have a thicker dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and are capable of strategic reasoning (goal-directed use of the theory of mind) control this intuitive drive for prosociality as a means to maximize reward when there are no future implications of choices. PMID:27140622

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

    PubMed Central

    Amemori, Ken-ichi; Amemori, Satoko

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Ultrastructural evidence for impaired mitochondrial fission in the aged rhesus monkey dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Morozov, Yury M; Datta, Dibyadeep; Paspalas, Constantinos D; Arnsten, Amy F T

    2017-03-01

    Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex mediates high-order cognitive functions that are impaired early in the aging process in monkeys and humans. Here, we report pronounced changes in mitochondrial morphology in dendrites of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex neurons from aged rhesus macaques. Electron microscopy paired with 3D reconstruction from serial sections revealed an age-related increase in mitochondria with thin segments that intermingled with enlarged ones, the 'mitochondria-on-a-string' phenotype, similar to those recently reported in patients with Alzheimer's disease. The thin mitochondrial segments were associated with endoplasmic reticulum cisterns, and the mitochondrial proteins Fis1 and Drp1, all of which initiate mitochondrial fission. These data suggest that the 'mitochondria-on-a-string' phenotype may reflect malfunction in mitochondrial dynamics, whereby fission is initiated, but the process is incomplete due to malfunction of subsequent step(s). Thus, aged rhesus monkeys may be particularly helpful in exploring the age-related changes that render higher cortical circuits so vulnerable to degeneration.

  11. Associations between the CNTNAP2 gene, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and cognitive performance on the Stroop task.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Bi; Chen, Chuansheng; Xue, Gui; Lei, Xuemei; Wang, Yunxin; Li, Jin; Moyzis, Robert K; Li, Jun; Dong, Qi; Lin, Chongde

    2017-02-20

    The CNTNAP2 (contactin-associated protein-like 2) gene, highly expressed in the human prefrontal cortex, has been linked with autism and language impairment. Potential relationships between CNTNAP2, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and cognition have been suggested by previous clinical studies, but have not been directly examined in the same study. The current study collected structural MRI, genetic, and behavioral data in 317 healthy Chinese adults, and examined associations between CNTNAP2 variants, DLPFC, and cognitive performance (measured by the Stroop task). After controlling for intracranial volume, sex, and age, the CNTNAP2 genetic polymorphism at SNP rs7809486 had the strongest association with bilateral DLPFC volume (p=0.00015 and 0.00014 for left and right DLPFC volumes, respectively), with GG homozygotes having greater bilateral DLPFC volumes and surface areas than the other genotypes. Furthermore, TT homozygotes of CNTNAP2 rs4726946 (a nearby SNP that had moderate linkage disequilibrium with rs7809486) had greater left DLPFC volume and surface area, and better cognitive performance than the other genotypes. Subjects with greater left DLPFC surface area had better cognitive performance. Importantly, the left DLPFC surface area mediated the association between the CNTNAP2 rs4726946 genotype and cognitive performance. This study provides the first evidence for associations among the CNTNAP2 gene, left DLPFC structure, and cognitive control.

  12. Reduced prefrontal cortex activation using the Trail Making Test in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Fujiki, Ryo; Morita, Kiichiro; Sato, Mamoru; Kamada, Yuji; Kato, Yusuke; Inoue, Masayuki; Shoji, Yoshihisa; Uchimura, Naohisa

    2013-01-01

    Schizophrenia has been associated with a deficit of the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in attention, executive processes, and working memory. The Trail Making Test (TMT) is administered in two parts, TMT-A and TMT-B. It is suggested that the difference in performance between part A and part B reflects executive processes. In this study, we compared the characteristics of hemodynamic changes during TMT tasks between 14 outpatients with schizophrenia and 14 age- and gender-matched healthy control subjects. Using multichannel near-infrared spectroscopy, we measured relative changes in oxygenated hemoglobin concentration, which reflects brain activity of the prefrontal cortex during this task. In both tasks, patients showed significantly smaller activation than controls and, in an assessment of executive functions, a subtraction of oxygenated hemoglobin (oxy-Hb) changes during TMT-A from those of TMT-B showed a decrease in cerebral lateralization and hypoactivity in patients. There was a significant negative correlation between oxy-Hb changes and the severity of psychiatric symptoms. These findings may characterize disease-related features, suggesting the usefulness of oxy-Hb change measurement during TMT tasks for assessing functional outcomes in schizophrenic patients. PMID:23696704

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-17

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

  14. Transcription Profile of Aging and Cognition-Related Genes in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Ianov, Lara; Rani, Asha; Beas, Blanca S.; Kumar, Ashok; Foster, Thomas C.

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive function depends on transcription; however, there is little information linking altered gene expression to impaired prefrontal cortex function during aging. Young and aged F344 rats were characterized on attentional set shift and spatial memory tasks. Transcriptional differences associated with age and cognition were examined using RNA sequencing to construct transcriptomic profiles for the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), white matter, and region CA1 of the hippocampus. The results indicate regional differences in vulnerability to aging. Age-related gene expression in the mPFC was similar to, though less robust than, changes in the dorsolateral PFC of aging humans suggesting that aging processes may be similar. Importantly, the pattern of transcription associated with aging did not predict cognitive decline. Rather, increased mPFC expression of genes involved in regulation of transcription, including transcription factors that regulate the strength of excitatory and inhibitory inputs, and neural activity-related immediate-early genes was observed in aged animals that exhibit delayed set shift behavior. The specificity of impairment on a mPFC-dependent task, associated with a particular mPFC transcriptional profile indicates that impaired executive function involves altered transcriptional regulation and neural activity/plasticity processes that are distinct from that described for impaired hippocampal function. PMID:27242522

  15. DTNBP1 (dysbindin) gene variants modulate prefrontal brain function in schizophrenic patients--support for the glutamate hypothesis of schizophrenias.

    PubMed

    Fallgatter, A J; Ehlis, A-C; Herrmann, M J; Hohoff, C; Reif, A; Freitag, C M; Deckert, J

    2010-07-01

    Dysbindin (DTNBP1) is a recently characterized protein that seems to be involved in the modulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission in the human brain, thereby influencing prefrontal cortex function and associated cognitive processes. While association, neuroanatomical and cellular studies indicate that DTNBP1 might be one of several susceptibility genes for schizophrenia, the effect of dysbindin on prefrontal brain function at an underlying neurophysiological level has not yet been explored for these patients. The NoGo-anteriorization (NGA) is a topographical event-related potential measure, which has been established as a valid neurophysiological marker of prefrontal brain function. In the present study, we investigated the influence of seven dysbindin gene variants on the NGA in a group of 44 schizophrenic patients. In line with our a priori hypothesis, one DTNBP1 polymorphism previously linked to schizophrenia (rs2619528) was found to be associated with changes in the NGA; however, the direction of this association directly contrasts with our previous findings in a healthy control sample. This differential impact of DTNBP1 gene variation on prefrontal functioning in schizophrenic patients vs. healthy controls is discussed in terms of abnormal glutamatergic baseline levels in patients suffering from schizophrenic illnesses. This is the first report on a role of DTNBP1 gene variation for prefrontal functioning at a basic neurophysiological level in schizophrenic patients. An impact on fundamental processes of cognitive response control may be one mechanism by which DTNBP1 gene variants via glutamatergic transmission contribute to the pathophysiology underlying schizophrenic illnesses.

  16. Context conditioning and extinction in humans: differential contribution of the hippocampus, amygdala and prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Lang, Simone; Kroll, Alexander; Lipinski, Slawomira J; Wessa, Michèle; Ridder, Stephanie; Christmann, Christoph; Schad, Lothar R; Flor, Herta

    2009-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to investigate the role of the hippocampus, amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in a contextual conditioning and extinction paradigm provoking anxiety. Twenty-one healthy persons participated in a differential context conditioning procedure with two different background colours as contexts. During acquisition increased activity to the conditioned stimulus (CS+) relative to the CS− was found in the left hippocampus and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). The amygdala, insula and inferior frontal cortex were differentially active during late acquisition. Extinction was accompanied by enhanced activation to CS+ vs. CS− in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC). The results are in accordance with animal studies and provide evidence for the important role of the hippocampus in contextual learning in humans. Connectivity analyses revealed correlated activity between the left posterior hippocampus and dACC (BA32) during early acquisition and the dACC, left posterior hippocampus and right amygdala during extinction. These data are consistent with theoretical models that propose an inhibitory effect of the mPFC on the amygdala. The interaction of the mPFC with the hippocampus may reflect the context-specificity of extinction learning. PMID:19200075

  17. Dopamine depletion of the prefrontal cortex induces dendritic spine loss: reversal by atypical antipsychotic drug treatment.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui-Dong; Deutch, Ariel Y

    2008-05-01

    Dystrophic changes in dendrites of cortical neurons are present in several neuro-psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia. The mechanisms that account for dendritic changes in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in schizophrenia are unclear. Cognitive deficits in schizophrenia have been linked to compromised cortical dopamine function, and the density of the PFC dopamine innervation is decreased in schizophrenia. We determined if 6-hydroxydopamine lesions of the ventral tegmental area that disrupt the PFC dopamine innervation cause dystrophic changes in cortical neurons. Three weeks post-operatively we observed a marked decrease in basal dendritic length and spine density of layer V pyramidal cells in the prelimbic cortex; no change was seen in neurons of the motor cortex. We then examined rats in which the PFC dopamine innervation was lesioned and 3 weeks later were started on chronic treatment with an atypical (olanzapine) or typical (haloperidol) antipsychotic drug. Olanzapine but not haloperidol reversed lesion-induced changes in PFC pyramidal cell dendrites. These data suggest that dopamine regulates dendritic structure in PFC neurons. Moreover, the findings are consistent with a decrease in cortical dopaminergic tone contributing to the pathological changes in the cortex of schizophrenia, and suggest that the progressive cortical loss in schizophrenia may be slowed or reversed by treatment with atypical antipsychotic drugs.

  18. 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].

  19. Expression of Serotonin2C Receptors in Pyramidal and GABAergic Neurons of Rat Prefrontal Cortex: A Comparison with Striatum.

    PubMed

    Santana, Noemí; Artigas, Francesc

    2016-06-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is enriched in several serotonin receptors, including 5-HT1A-R, 5-HT2A-R, and 5-HT3-R. These receptors modulate PFC activity due to their expression in large neuronal populations (5-HT1A-R, 5-HT2A-R) or in selected GABAergic populations (5-HT3-R). They are also relevant for antidepressant and antipsychotic drug action. Less is known about the localization of 5-HT2C-R, for which atypical antipsychotics show high affinity. Here, we report on the cellular distribution of 5-HT2C-R in rat PFC and striatum, using double in situ hybridization histochemistry. In PFC, 5-HT2C-R are expressed in pyramidal (VGLUT1-positive) and GABAergic (GAD-positive) neurons, including parvalbumin-positive neurons. There is a marked dorso-ventral gradient in the proportion of VGLUT1-positive cells expressing 5-HT2C-R (9% in the cingulate cortex, 61% in the tenia tecta and 66% in the piriform cortex), less marked for GABAergic neurons (13-27%). There is also a laminar gradient, with more cells expressing 5-HT2C-R in deep (V-VI) than in intermediate (II-III) layers. In common with 5-HT3-R, layer I GABAergic cells express 5-HT2C-R. The proportion of 5-HT2C-R-expressing striatal neurons was 23% (dorsolateral caudate-putamen), 37% (ventromedial caudate-putamen), 53% (nucleus accumbens-core), and 49% (nucleus accumbens-shell). These results help to better understand the serotonergic modulation of PFC-based networks, including basal ganglia circuits, and atypical antipsychotic drug action.

  20. 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.

  1. Structural and functional alterations to rat medial prefrontal cortex following chronic restraint stress and recovery

    PubMed Central

    Goldwater, Deena S.; Pavlides, Constantine; Hunter, Richard G.; Bloss, Erik B.; Hof, Patrick R.; McEwen, Bruce S.; Morrison, John H.

    2009-01-01

    Chronic stress has been shown in animal models to result in altered dendritic morphology of pyramidal neurons of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). It has been hypothesized that the stress-induced dendritic retractions and spine loss lead to disrupted connectivity that results in stress-induced functional impairment of mPFC. While these alterations were initially viewed as a neurodegenerative event, it has recently been established that stress induced dendritic alterations are reversible if animals are given time to recover from chronic stress. However, whether spine growth accompanies dendritic extension remains to be demonstrated. It is also not known if recovery-phase dendritic extension allows for re-establishment of functional capacity. The goal of this study, therefore, was to characterize the structural and functional effects of chronic stress and recovery on the infralimbic (IL) region of the rat mPFC. We compared neuronal morphology of layer V IL pyramidal neurons from animals subjected to 21 days of chronic restraint stress (CRS) to those that experienced CRS followed by a 21 day recovery period. Layer V pyramidal cell functional capacity was assessed by intra-IL long-term potentiation (LTP) both in the absence and presence of SKF38393, a dopamine receptor partial agonist and a known PFC LTP modulator. We found that stress-induced IL apical dendritic retraction and spine loss co-occur with receptor-mediated impairments to catecholaminergic facilitation of synaptic plasticity. We also found that while post-stress recovery did not reverse distal dendritic retraction, it did result in over-extension of proximal dendritic neuroarchitecture and spine growth as well as a full reversal of CRS-induced impairments to catecholaminergic-mediated synaptic plasticity. Our results support the hypothesis that disease-related PFC dysfunction is a consequence of network disruption secondary to altered structural and functional plasticity and that circuitry

  2. Simultaneous fNIRS and thermal infrared imaging during cognitive task reveal autonomic correlates of prefrontal cortex activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinti, Paola; Cardone, Daniela; Merla, Arcangelo

    2015-12-01

    Functional Near Infrared-Spectroscopy (fNIRS) represents a powerful tool to non-invasively study task-evoked brain activity. fNIRS assessment of cortical activity may suffer for contamination by physiological noises of different origin (e.g. heart beat, respiration, blood pressure, skin blood flow), both task-evoked and spontaneous. Spontaneous changes occur at different time scales and, even if they are not directly elicited by tasks, their amplitude may result task-modulated. In this study, concentration changes of hemoglobin were recorded over the prefrontal cortex while simultaneously recording the facial temperature variations of the participants through functional infrared thermal (fIR) imaging. fIR imaging provides touch-less estimation of the thermal expression of peripheral autonomic. Wavelet analysis revealed task-modulation of the very low frequency (VLF) components of both fNIRS and fIR signals and strong coherence between them. Our results indicate that subjective cognitive and autonomic activities are intimately linked and that the VLF component of the fNIRS signal is affected by the autonomic activity elicited by the cognitive task. Moreover, we showed that task-modulated changes in vascular tone occur both at a superficial and at larger depth in the brain. Combined use of fNIRS and fIR imaging can effectively quantify the impact of VLF autonomic activity on the fNIRS signals.

  3. Simultaneous fNIRS and thermal infrared imaging during cognitive task reveal autonomic correlates of prefrontal cortex activity

    PubMed Central

    Pinti, Paola; Cardone, Daniela; Merla, Arcangelo

    2015-01-01

    Functional Near Infrared-Spectroscopy (fNIRS) represents a powerful tool to non-invasively study task-evoked brain activity. fNIRS assessment of cortical activity may suffer for contamination by physiological noises of different origin (e.g. heart beat, respiration, blood pressure, skin blood flow), both task-evoked and spontaneous. Spontaneous changes occur at different time scales and, even if they are not directly elicited by tasks, their amplitude may result task-modulated. In this study, concentration changes of hemoglobin were recorded over the prefrontal cortex while simultaneously recording the facial temperature variations of the participants through functional infrared thermal (fIR) imaging. fIR imaging provides touch-less estimation of the thermal expression of peripheral autonomic. Wavelet analysis revealed task-modulation of the very low frequency (VLF) components of both fNIRS and fIR signals and strong coherence between them. Our results indicate that subjective cognitive and autonomic activities are intimately linked and that the VLF component of the fNIRS signal is affected by the autonomic activity elicited by the cognitive task. Moreover, we showed that task-modulated changes in vascular tone occur both at a superficial and at larger depth in the brain. Combined use of fNIRS and fIR imaging can effectively quantify the impact of VLF autonomic activity on the fNIRS signals. PMID:26632763

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-30

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

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

    PubMed

    Tomasino, Barbara; Fabbro, Franco

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Dorsomedial prefrontal cortex activity predicts the accuracy in estimating others' preferences

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Pyungwon; Lee, Jongbin; Sul, Sunhae; Kim, Hackjin

    2013-01-01

    The ability to accurately estimate another person's preferences is crucial for a successful social life. In daily interactions, we often do this on the basis of minimal information. The aims of the present study were (a) to examine whether people can accurately judge others based only on a brief exposure to their appearances, and (b) to reveal the underlying neural mechanisms with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants were asked to make guesses about unfamiliar target individuals' preferences for various items after looking at their faces for 3 s. The behavioral results showed that participants estimated others' preferences above chance level. The fMRI data revealed that higher accuracy in preference estimation was associated with greater activity in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC) when participants were guessing the targets' preferences relative to thinking about their own preferences. These findings suggest that accurate estimations of others' preferences may require increased activity in the DMPFC. A functional connectivity analysis revealed that higher accuracy in preference estimation was related to increased functional connectivity between the DMPFC and the brain regions that are known to be involved in theory of mind processing, such as the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC)/precuneus, during correct vs. incorrect guessing trials. On the contrary, the tendency to refer to self-preferences when estimating others' preference was related to greater activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. These findings imply that the DMPFC may be a core region in estimating the preferences of others and that higher accuracy may require stronger communication between the DMPFC and the TPJ and PCC/precuneus, part of a neural network known to be engaged in mentalizing. PMID:24324419

  8. Human Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Is Not Necessary for Spatial Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Mackey, Wayne E.; Devinsky, Orrin; Doyle, Werner K.; Meager, Michael R.

    2016-01-01

    A dominant theory, based on electrophysiological and lesion evidence from nonhuman primate studies, posits that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) stores and maintains working memory (WM) representations. Yet, neuroimaging studies have consistently failed to translate these results to humans; these studies normally find that neural activity persists in the human precentral sulcus (PCS) during WM delays. Here, we attempt to resolve this discrepancy. To test the degree to which dlPFC is necessary for WM, we compared the performance of patients with dlPFC lesions and neurologically healthy controls on a memory-guided saccade task that was used in the monkey studies to measure spatial WM. We found that dlPFC damage only impairs the accuracy of memory-guided saccades if the damage impacts the PCS; lesions to dorsolateral dlPFC that spare the PCS have no effect on WM. These results identify the necessary subregion of the frontal cortex for WM and specify how this influential animal model of human cognition must be revised. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT High-level cognition depends on working memory (WM) as a critical building block, and many symptoms of psychiatric disorders may be the direct result of impaired WM. Canonical theory posits a critical role for the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) in WM based on studies of nonhuman primates. However, we find that spatial WM in humans is intact after dlPFC damage unless it impacts the more caudal PCS. Therefore, the human dlPFC is not necessary for spatial WM and highlights the need for careful translation of animal models of human cognition. PMID:26961941

  9. Dopamine in the prefrontal cortex regulates rats behavioral flexibility to changing reward value.

    PubMed

    Winter, Sabrina; Dieckmann, Marco; Schwabe, Kerstin

    2009-03-02

    Prefrontocortical dopamine (DA) plays an essential role in the representation of reward value and is implicated in behavioral flexibility. We here tested the effect of systemic and local blockade of DA D1- and D2-receptors in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) by using an operant paradigm, where rats have to adjust their behavior to changing reward value. Rats were trained in a Skinner box, where different numbers of lever-presses for pellet-rewards were assigned to and switched between two levers. After rats commit to the efficient lever the lever-occupancy reversed and rats had to switch to the now efficient one. Rats were either intraperitoneally injected with the DA D1-receptor antagonist SCH23390 (40 microg/kg), the DA D2-receptor antagonist sulpiride (10mg/kg), or phosphate buffered saline (PBS). Two other groups received bilateral local mPFC- or OFC-infusions of SCH23390, sulpiride (both 3 microg/0.5 microl), or PBS (0.5 microl) through previously implanted cannulae. After initial detection of reverse of lever-occupancy, systemic and local blockade of D1-receptors increased the number of switches back to the previously efficient lever, thus reducing the total number of reverses completed. D2-receptor blockade deteriorated this measure after local mPFC-infusion. Notably, initial detection of reverse of lever-occupancy was not affected. Blockade of DA receptors within the prefrontal cortex do not deteriorate the detection of changes in reward value, whereas maintenance of behavioral adaptation is disturbed. Interestingly, blockade of DA receptors in the mPFC and OFC had similar effects, i.e., these regions apparently act in a cooperative manner.

  10. Relationship between gyrification and functional connectivity of the prefrontal cortex in subjects at high genetic risk of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Dauvermann, Maria R; Mukherjee, Prerona; Moorhead, William T; Stanfield, Andrew C; Fusar-Poli, Paolo; Lawrie, Stephen M; Whalley, Heather C

    2012-01-01

    Measures of cortical folding ('gyrification') and connectivity are both reported to be disrupted in schizophrenia. There are also reports that increases in prefrontal gyrification may be predictive of subsequent illness in individuals at familial risk of the disorder. Such measures therefore have important potential clinical relevance. The nature of the relationship between cortical morphology and underlying connectivity is however unclear. In the current study we sought to explore the relationship between measures of gyrification and functional connectivity in a cohort of individuals at high genetic risk for the disorder. The theoretical background is based on the hypothesis that increased gyrification index (GI) in the prefrontal cortex may reflect increased short range regional connectivity. The cohort comprised 68 young unaffected relatives of schizophrenia patients and 21 healthy controls. Cortical folding was assessed using an automated Gyrification Index method (A-GI). Participants performed the Hayling sentence completion paradigm in the scanner and measures of functional connectivity were assessed using a correlation based approach. In the high risk subjects significant positive associations were found between prefrontal GI and prefrontal lateral-medial connectivity, while a negative correlation was found between prefrontal GI and prefrontal-thalamic connectivity. These associations indicate that measures describing morphological features of the brain surface relate to measures of underlying functional connectivity in the high risk subjects. Correlations in high risk people were more pronounced than in control subjects. We suggest our previous finding of increased prefrontal gyrification may therefore relate to increased local short range prefrontal connectivity and reduced long range connectivity.

  11. Regional variability in age-related loss of neurons from the primary visual cortex and medial prefrontal cortex of male and female rats

    PubMed Central

    Yates, M.A.; Markham, J.A.; Anderson, S.E.; Morris, J.R.; Juraska, J.M.

    2008-01-01

    During aging, changes in the structure of the cerebral cortex of the rat have been seen, but potential changes in neuron number remain largely unexplored. In the present study, stereological methods were used to examine neuron number in the medial prefrontal cortex and primary visual cortex of young adult (85–90 days of age) and aged (19–22 months old) male and female rats in order to investigate any age-related losses. Possible sex differences in aging were also examined since sexually dimorphic patterns of aging have been seen in other measures. An age-related loss of neurons (18–20%), which was mirrored in volume losses, was found to occur in the primary visual cortex in both sexes in all layers except IV. Males, but not females, also lost neurons (15 %) from layer V/VI of the ventral medial prefrontal cortex and showed an overall decrease in volume of this region. In contrast, dorsal medial prefrontal cortex showed no age-related changes. The effects of aging clearly differ among regions of the rat brain and to some degree, between the sexes. PMID:18513705

  12. Peripheral nerve injury is associated with chronic, reversible changes in global DNA methylation in the mouse prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Tajerian, Maral; Alvarado, Sebastian; Millecamps, Magali; Vachon, Pascal; Crosby, Cecilia; Bushnell, M Catherine; Szyf, Moshe; Stone, Laura S

    2013-01-01

    Changes in brain structure and cortical function are associated with many chronic pain conditions including low back pain and fibromyalgia. The magnitude of these changes correlates with the duration and/or the intensity of chronic pain. Most studies report changes in common areas involved in pain modulation, including the prefrontal cortex (PFC), and pain-related pathological changes in the PFC can be reversed with effective treatment. While the mechanisms underlying these changes are unknown, they must be dynamically regulated. Epigenetic modulation of gene expression in response to experience and environment is reversible and dynamic. Epigenetic modulation by DNA methylation is associated with abnormal behavior and pathological gene expression in the central nervous system. DNA methylation might also be involved in mediating the pathologies associated with chronic pain in the brain. We therefore tested a) whether alterations in DNA methylation are found in the brain long after chronic neuropathic pain is induced in the periphery using the spared nerve injury modal and b) whether these injury-associated changes are reversible by interventions that reverse the pathologies associated with chronic pain. Six months following peripheral nerve injury, abnormal sensory thresholds and increased anxiety were accompanied by decreased global methylation in the PFC and the amygdala but not in the visual cortex or the thalamus. Environmental enrichment attenuated nerve injury-induced hypersensitivity and reversed the changes in global PFC methylation. Furthermore, global PFC methylation correlated with mechanical and thermal sensitivity in neuropathic mice. In summary, induction of chronic pain by peripheral nerve injury is associated with epigenetic changes in the brain. These changes are detected long after the original injury, at a long distance from the site of injury and are reversible with environmental manipulation. Changes in brain structure and cortical function that

  13. Cannabinoid modulation of prefrontal-limbic activation during fear extinction learning and recall in humans.

    PubMed

    Rabinak, Christine A; Angstadt, Mike; Lyons, Maryssa; Mori, Shoko; Milad, Mohammed R; Liberzon, Israel; Phan, K Luan

    2014-09-01

    Pre-extinction administration of Δ9-tetrahydrocannibinol (THC) facilitates recall of extinction in healthy humans, and evidence from animal studies suggest that this likely occurs via enhancement of the cannabinoid system within the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and hippocampus (HIPP), brain structures critical to fear extinction. However, the effect of cannabinoids on the underlying neural circuitry of extinction memory recall in humans has not been demonstrated. We conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, between-subjects design (N=14/group) coupled with a standard Pavlovian fear extinction paradigm and an acute pharmacological challenge with oral dronabinol (synthetic THC) in healthy adult volunteers. We examined the effects of THC on vmPFC and HIPP activation when tested for recall of extinction learning 24 h after extinction learning. Compared to subjects who received placebo, participants who received THC showed increased vmPFC and HIPP activation to a previously extinguished conditioned stimulus (CS+E) during extinction memory recall. This study provides the first evidence that pre-extinction administration of THC modulates prefrontal-limbic circuits during fear extinction in humans and prompts future investigation to test if cannabinoid agonists can rescue or correct the impaired behavioral and neural function during extinction recall in patients with PTSD. Ultimately, the cannabinoid system may serve as a promising target for innovative intervention strategies (e.g. pharmacological enhancement of exposure-based therapy) in PTSD and other fear learning-related disorders.

  14. Testosterone Modulates Altered Prefrontal Control of Emotional Actions in Psychopathic Offenders123

    PubMed Central

    von Borries, Anna Katinka Louise; Bulten, Berend Hendrik; Verkes, Robbert Jan

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Psychopathic individuals are notorious for their controlled goal-directed aggressive behavior. Yet, during social challenges, they often show uncontrolled emotional behavior. Healthy individuals can control their social emotional behavior through anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC) downregulation of neural activity in the amygdala, with testosterone modulating aPFC–amygdala coupling. This study tests whether individual differences in this neuroendocrine system relate to the paradoxical lack of emotional control observed in human psychopathic offenders. Emotional control was operationalized with an fMRI-adapted approach–avoidance task requiring rule-driven control over rapid emotional responses. Fifteen psychopathic offenders and 19 matched healthy control subjects made approaching and avoiding movements in response to emotional faces. Control of social emotional behavior was required during affect-incongruent trials, when participants had to override affect-congruent, automatic action tendencies and select the opposite response. Psychopathic offenders showed less control-related aPFC activity and aPFC–amygdala coupling during trials requiring control of emotional actions, when compared with healthy control subjects. This pattern was particularly pronounced in psychopathic individuals with high endogenous testosterone levels. These findings suggest that reduced prefrontal coordination underlies reduced behavioral control in psychopathic offenders during emotionally provoking situations. Even though the modest sample size warrants replication, the modulatory role of endogenous testosterone on the aPFC–amygdala circuit suggests a neurobiological substrate of individual differences that is relevant for the advancement of treatment and the reduction of recidivism. PMID:26878057

  15. Context Memory Decline in Middle Aged Adults is Related to Changes in Prefrontal Cortex Function.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Diana; Maillet, David; Pasvanis, Stamatoula; Ankudowich, Elizabeth; Grady, Cheryl L; Rajah, M Natasha

    2016-06-01

    The ability to encode and retrieve spatial and temporal contextual details of episodic memories (context memory) begins to decline at midlife. In the current study, event-related fMRI was used to investigate the neural correlates of context memory decline in healthy middle aged adults (MA) compared with young adults (YA). Participants were scanned while performing easy and hard versions of spatial and temporal context memory tasks. Scans were obtained at encoding and retrieval. Significant reductions in context memory retrieval accuracy were observed in MA, compared with YA. The fMRI results revealed that overall, both groups exhibited similar patterns of brain activity in parahippocampal cortex, ventral occipito-temporal regions and prefrontal cortex (PFC) during encoding. In contrast, at retrieval, there were group differences in ventral occipito-temporal and PFC activity, due to these regions being more activated in MA, compared with YA. Furthermore, only in YA, increased encoding activity in ventrolateral PFC, and increased retrieval activity in occipital cortex, predicted increased retrieval accuracy. In MA, increased retrieval activity in anterior PFC predicted increased retrieval accuracy. These results suggest that there are changes in PFC contributions to context memory at midlife.

  16. Monogamous and promiscuous rodent species exhibit discrete variation in the size of the medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Kingsbury, Marcy A; Gleason, Erin D; Ophir, Alexander G; Phelps, Steven M; Young, Larry J; Marler, Catherine A

    2012-01-01

    Limbic-associated cortical areas, such as the medial prefrontal and retrosplenial cortex (mPFC and RS, respectively), are involved in the processing of emotion, motivation, and various aspects of working memory and have been implicated in mating behavior. To determine whether the independent evolution of mating systems is associated with a convergence in cortical mechanisms, we compared the size of mPFC and RS between the monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) and the promiscuous meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus), and between the monogamous California mouse (Peromyscus californicus) and the promiscuous white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus). For both promiscuous mice and voles, the mPFC occupied a significantly larger percentage of total cortex than in the monogamous species. No significant differences were observed for the RS or overall cortex size with respect to mating system, supporting the convergent evolution of mPFC size, specifically. Individual differences in the mating behavior of male prairie voles (wandering versus pair-bonding), presumably facultative tactics, were not reflected in the relative size of the mPFC, which is likely a heritable trait. Given the importance of the mPFC for complex working memory, particularly object-place and temporal order memory, we hypothesize that the relatively greater size of the mPFC in promiscuous species reflects a greater need to remember multiple individuals and the times and locations in which they have been encountered in the home range.

  17. Medial prefrontal cortex acetylcholine injection-induced hypotension: the role of hindlimb vasodilation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crippa, G. E.; Lewis, S. J.; Johnson, A. K.; Correa, F. M.

    2000-01-01

    The injection of acetylcholine (ACh) into the cingulate region of the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) causes a marked fall in arterial blood pressure which is not accompanied by changes in heart rate. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the hemodynamic basis for this stimulus-induced hypotension in Sprague-Dawley rats. The study was designed to determine whether a change in the vascular resistance of hindlimb, renal or mesenteric vascular beds contributes to the fall in arterial pressure in response to ACh injection into the cingulate cortex. Miniature pulsed-Doppler flow probes were used to measure changes in regional blood flow and vascular resistance. The results indicated that the hypotensive response was largely due to a consistent and marked vasodilation in the hindlimb vascular bed. On this basis, an additional experiment was then undertaken to determine the mechanisms that contribute to hindlimb vasodilation. The effect of interrupting the autonomic innervation of one leg on the hindlimb vasodilator response was tested. Unilateral transection of the lumbar sympathetic chain attenuated the cingulate ACh-induced vasodilation in the ipsilateral, but not in the contralateral hindlimb. These results suggest that the hypotensive response to cingulate cortex-ACh injection is caused by skeletal muscle vasodilation mediated by a sympathetic chain-related vasodilator system.

  18. Respiratory, metabolic and cardiac functions are altered by disinhibition of subregions of the medial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hassan, Sarah F; Cornish, Jennifer L; Goodchild, Ann K

    2013-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is referred to as the visceral motor cortex; however, little is known about whether this region influences respiratory or metabolic outflows. The aim of this study was to describe simultaneous changes in respiratory, metabolic and cardiovascular functions evoked by disinhibition of the medial PFC (mPFC) and adjacent lateral septal nucleus (LSN). In urethane-anaesthetized rats, bicuculline methiodide was microinjected (2 mm; GABA-A receptor antagonist) into 90 sites in the mPFC at 0.72–4.00 mm from bregma. Phrenic nerve amplitude and frequency, arterial pressure, heart rate, splanchnic and lumbar sympathetic nerve activities (SNA), expired CO2, and core and brown adipose tissue temperatures were measured. Novel findings included disturbances to respiratory rhythm evoked from all subregions of the mPFC. Injections into the cingulate cortex evoked reductions in central respiratory function exclusively, whereas in ventral sites, particularly the infralimbic region, increases in respiratory drive and frequency, and metabolic and cardiac outflows were evoked. Disinhibition of sites in surrounding regions revealed that the LSN could evoke cardiovascular changes accompanied by distinct oscillations in SNA, as well as increases in respiratory amplitude. We show that activation of neurons within the mPFC and LSN influence respiratory, metabolic and cardiac outflows in a site-dependent manner. This study has implications with respect to the altered PFC neuronal activity seen in stress-related and mental health disorders, and suggests how basic physiological systems may be affected. PMID:24042503

  19. Medial prefrontal cortex pathology in schizophrenia as revealed by convergent findings from multimodal imaging

    PubMed Central

    Pomarol-Clotet, E; Canales-Rodríguez, E J; Salvador, R; Sarró, S; Gomar, J J; Vila, F; Ortiz-Gil, J; Iturria-Medina, Y; Capdevila, A; McKenna, P J

    2010-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies have found evidence of altered brain structure and function in schizophrenia, but have had complex findings regarding the localization of abnormality. We applied multimodal imaging (voxel-based morphometry (VBM), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) combined with tractography) to 32 chronic schizophrenic patients and matched healthy controls. At a conservative threshold of P=0.01 corrected, structural and functional imaging revealed overlapping regions of abnormality in the medial frontal cortex. DTI found that white matter abnormality predominated in the anterior corpus callosum, and analysis of the anatomical connectivity of representative seed regions again implicated fibres projecting to the medial frontal cortex. There was also evidence of convergent abnormality in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, although here the laterality was less consistent across techniques. The medial frontal region identified by these three imaging techniques corresponds to the anterior midline node of the default mode network, a brain system which is believed to support internally directed thought, a state of watchfulness, and/or the maintenance of one's sense of self, and which is of considerable current interest in neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:20065955

  20. Effects of aripiprazole and terguride on dopamine synthesis in the dorsal striatum and medial prefrontal cortex of preweanling rats.

    PubMed

    Iñiguez, S D; Cortez, A M; Crawford, C A; McDougall, S A

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether aripiprazole, a D2-like partial agonist increasingly prescribed to children, alters DA synthesis via actions at autoreceptors in the dorsal striatum and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of preweanling rats. The ability of dopaminergic agents to alter DOPA accumulation in the striatum and mPFC was measured after NSD-1015 on postnatal day (PD) 20. Dopaminergic tone was manipulated by administering reserpine, gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), or through amphetamine withdrawal. Results showed that the partial agonists aripiprazole and terguride increased striatal DOPA accumulation under normosensitive conditions, but decreased DOPA accumulation in states of low dopaminergic tone. A different pattern of results was observed in the mPFC, because terguride and haloperidol, but not aripiprazole, increased DOPA accumulation under normosensitive conditions. In conclusion, the present data show that aripiprazole affects striatal synthesis modulating autoreceptors in an adult-typical manner during the late preweanling period. Unlike in adult rats, however, the mPFC of preweanling rats appears to contain transitory synthesis modulating autoreceptors that are sensitive to drug manipulation.

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. Tuning the Engine of Cognition: A Focus on NMDA/D1 Receptor Interactions in Prefrontal Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Castner, Stacy A.; Williams, Graham V.

    2007-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex of the primate frontal lobes provides the capacity for judgment which can constantly adapt behavior in order to optimize its outcome. Adjudicating between long-term memory programs and prepotent responses, this capacity reviews all incoming information and provides an interpretation dependent on the events that have just…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Role of the Ventral Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Mediating Behavioral Control-Induced Reduction of Later Conditioned Fear

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baratta, Michael V.; Lucero, Thomas R.; Amat, Jose; Watkins, Linda R.; Maier, Steven F.

    2008-01-01

    A prior experience of behavioral control over a stressor interferes with subsequent Pavlovian fear conditioning, and this effect is dependent on the activation of the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFCv) at the time of the initial experience with control. It is unknown whether mPFCv activity is necessary during fear learning and/or testing for…

  6. Trace and Contextual Fear Conditioning Require Neural Activity and NMDA Receptor-Dependent Transmission in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilmartin, Marieke R.; Helmstetter, Fred J.

    2010-01-01

    The contribution of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) to the formation of memory is a subject of considerable recent interest. Notably, the mechanisms supporting memory acquisition in this structure are poorly understood. The mPFC has been implicated in the acquisition of trace fear conditioning, a task that requires the association of a…

  7. Electrolytic Lesions of the Medial Prefrontal Cortex Do Not Interfere with Long-Term Memory of Extinction of Conditioned Fear

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garcia, Rene; Chang, Chun-hui; Maren, Stephen

    2006-01-01

    Lesion studies indicate that rats without the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) have difficulty recalling fear extinction acquired the previous day. Several electrophysiological studies have also supported this observation by demonstrating that extinction-related increases in neuronal activity in the mPFC participate in expression of fear…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Antzoulatos, Evan G.; Miller, Earl K.

    2011-01-01

    Summary Learning to classify diverse experiences into meaningful groups, like categories, is fundamental to normal cognition. To understand its neural basis, we simultaneously recorded from multiple electrodes in the lateral prefrontal cortex and dorsal striatum, two interconnected brain structures critical for learning. Each day, monkeys learned to associate novel, abstract dot-based categories with a right vs. left saccade. Early on, when they could acquire specific stimulus-response associations, striatum activity was an earlier predictor of the corresponding saccade. However, as the number of exemplars was increasing, and monkeys had to learn to classify them, PFC began predicting the saccade associated with each category before the striatum. While monkeys were categorizing novel exemplars at a high rate, PFC activity was a strong predictor of their corresponding saccade early in the trial, before the striatal neurons. These results suggest that striatum plays a greater role in stimulus-response association and PFC in abstraction of categories. PMID:21791284

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Prenatal protein malnutrition decreases KCNJ3 and 2DG activity in rat prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-12

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the neural basis of the mere exposure effect in music listening, which links previous exposure to liking. Prior to scanning, participants underwent a learning phase, where exposure to melodies was systematically varied. During scanning, participants rated liking for each melody and, later, their recognition of them. Participants showed learning effects, better recognising melodies heard more often. Melodies heard most often were most liked, consistent with the mere exposure effect. We found neural activations as a function of previous exposure in bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal and inferior parietal cortex, probably reflecting retrieval and working memory-related processes. This was despite the fact that the task during scanning was to judge liking, not recognition, thus suggesting that appreciation of music relies strongly on memory processes. Subjective liking per se caused differential activation in the left hemisphere, of the anterior insula, the caudate nucleus, and the putamen. PMID:22548168

  15. Prefrontal Cortex Organization: Dissociating Effects of Temporal Abstraction, Relational Abstraction, and Integration with fMRI

    PubMed Central

    Nee, Derek Evan; Jahn, Andrew; Brown, Joshua W.

    2014-01-01

    The functions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) underlie higher-level cognition. Varying proposals suggest that the PFC is organized along a rostral-caudal gradient of abstraction with more abstract representations/processes associated with more rostral areas. However, the operational definition of abstraction is unclear. Here, we contrasted 2 prominent theories of abstraction—temporal and relational—using fMRI. We further examined whether integrating abstract rules—a function common to each theory—recruited the PFC independently of other abstraction effects. While robust effects of relational abstraction were present in the PFC, temporal abstraction effects were absent. Instead, we found activations specific to the integration of relational rules in areas previously shown to be associated with temporal abstraction. We suggest that previous effects of temporal abstraction were due to confounds with integration demands. We propose an integration framework to understand the functions of the PFC that resolves discrepancies in prior data. PMID:23563962

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

    PubMed Central

    Negrón-Oyarzo, Ignacio; Aboitiz, Francisco; Fuentealba, Pablo

    2016-01-01

    Chronic stress-related psychiatric diseases, such as major depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia, are characterized by a maladaptive organization of behavioral responses that strongly affect the well-being of patients. Current evidence suggests that a functional impairment of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is implicated in the pathophysiology of these diseases. Therefore, chronic stress may impair PFC functions required for the adaptive orchestration of behavioral responses. In the present review, we integrate evidence obtained from cognitive neuroscience with neurophysiological research with animal models, to put forward a hypothesis that addresses stress-induced behavioral dysfunctions observed in stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders. We propose that chronic stress impairs mechanisms involved in neuronal functional connectivity in the PFC that are required for the formation of adaptive representations for the execution of adaptive behavioral responses. These considerations could be particularly relevant for understanding the pathophysiology of chronic stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:26904302

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

    PubMed Central

    Coricelli, Giorgio; Nagel, Rosemarie

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Testing the involvement of the prefrontal cortex in lucid dreaming: a tDCS study.

    PubMed

    Stumbrys, Tadas; Erlacher, Daniel; Schredl, Michael

    2013-12-01

    Recent studies suggest that lucid dreaming (awareness of dreaming while dreaming) might be associated with increased brain activity over frontal regions during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. By applying transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), we aimed to manipulate the activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) during REM sleep to increase dream lucidity. Nineteen participants spent three consecutive nights in a sleep laboratory. On the second and third nights they randomly received either 1 mA tDCS for 10 min or sham stimulation during each REM period starting with the second one. According to the participants' self-ratings, tDCS over the DLPFC during REM sleep increased lucidity in dreams. The effects, however, were not strong and found only in frequent lucid dreamers. While this indicates some preliminary support for the involvement of the DLPFC in lucid dreaming, further research, controlling for indirect effects of stimulation and including other brain regions, is needed.

  20. Representation of abstract quantitative rules applied to spatial and numerical magnitudes in primate prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Eiselt, Anne-Kathrin; Nieder, Andreas

    2013-04-24

    Processing quantity information based on abstract principles is central to intelligent behavior. Neural correlates of quantitative rule selectivity have been identified previously in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). However, whether individual neurons represent rules applied to multiple magnitude types is unknown. We recorded from PFC neurons while monkeys switched between "greater than/less than" rules applied to spatial and numerical magnitudes. A majority of rule-selective neurons responded only to the quantitative rules applied to one specific magnitude type. However, another population of neurons generalized the magnitude principle and represented the quantitative rules related to both magnitudes. This indicates that the primate brain uses rule-selective neurons specialized in guiding decisions related to a specific magnitude type only, as well as generalizing neurons that respond abstractly to the overarching concept "magnitude rules."

  1. Representation of economic preferences in the structure and function of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Fermin, Alan S. R.; Sakagami, Masamichi; Kiyonari, Toko; Li, Yang; Matsumoto, Yoshie; Yamagishi, Toshio

    2016-01-01

    Social value orientations (SVOs) are economic preferences for the distribution of resources – prosocial individuals are more cooperative and egalitarian than are proselfs. Despite the social and economic implications of SVOs, no systematic studies have examined their neural correlates. We investigated the amygdala and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) structures and functions in prosocials and proselfs by functional magnetic resonance imaging and evaluated cooperative behavior in the Prisoner’s Dilemma game. We found for the first time that amygdala volume was larger in prosocials and positively correlated with cooperation, while DLPFC volume was larger in proselfs and negatively correlated with cooperation. Proselfs’ decisions were marked by strong DLPFC and weak amygdala activity, and prosocials’ decisions were marked by strong amygdala activity, with the DLPFC signal increasing only in defection. Our findings suggest that proselfs’ decisions are controlled by DLPFC-mediated deliberative processes, while prosocials’ decisions are initially guided by automatic amygdala processes. PMID:26876988

  2. 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

  3. Elevated metabolites within dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in rapid cycling bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Michael, Nikolaus; Erfurth, Andreas; Pfleiderer, Bettina

    2009-04-30

    Metabolites within the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) of six inpatients with bipolar II rapid cycling (RC) during various mood states (depressed, hypomanic, and euthymic), six depressed inpatients with non-RC bipolar disorder (BIPD), and six healthy controls (HC) were assessed by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). We hypothesized that glutamate/glutamine levels should be altered in RC compared with HC. Patients with RC in contrast to BIPD and HC exhibited elevated levels of N-acetylaspartate (NAA), choline (Cho), creatine (Cr), and glutamate/glutamine (Glx) during all mood states. The Glx levels of BIPD compared with HC did not differ significantly; the other metabolites were increased, though less than in RC patients. Our findings of elevated metabolites in patients with RC, especially Glx as a possible marker of cortical activity, indicate that increased neuronal activity may constitute an important neurobiological feature of RC.

  4. A dynamic code for economic object valuation in prefrontal cortex neurons

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui, Ken-Ichiro; Grabenhorst, Fabian; Kobayashi, Shunsuke; Schultz, Wolfram

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal reward valuations provide the physiological basis for economic behaviour. Yet, how such valuations are converted to economic decisions remains unclear. Here we show that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) implements a flexible value code based on object-specific valuations by single neurons. As monkeys perform a reward-based foraging task, individual DLPFC neurons signal the value of specific choice objects derived from recent experience. These neuronal object values satisfy principles of competitive choice mechanisms, track performance fluctuations and follow predictions of a classical behavioural model (Herrnstein's matching law). Individual neurons dynamically encode both, the updating of object values from recently experienced rewards, and their subsequent conversion to object choices during decision-making. Decoding from unselected populations enables a read-out of motivational and decision variables not emphasized by individual neurons. These findings suggest a dynamic single-neuron and population value code in DLPFC that advances from reward experiences to economic object values and future choices. PMID:27618960

  5. 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

  6. From Concrete Examples