Executive control signals in orbitofrontal cortex during response inhibition

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Daniel W Bryden, Matthew R Roesch


Orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) lesions produce deficits in response inhibition and imaging studies suggest that activity in OFC is stronger on trials that require suppression of behavior, yet few studies have examined neural correlates at the single-unit level in a behavioral task that probes response inhibition without varying other factors, such as anticipated outcomes. Here we recorded from single neurons in lateral OFC in a task that required animals in the minority of trials to STOP or inhibit an ongoing movement and respond in the opposite direction. We found that population and single-unit firing was modulated primarily by response direction and movement speed, and that very few OFC neurons exhibited a response independent inhibition signal. Remarkably, the strength of the directional signal was not diminished on STOP trials and was actually stronger on STOP trials during conflict adaptation. Finally, directional signals were stronger during sessions in which rats had the most difficulty inhibiting behavior. These results suggest that "inhibition" deficits observed with OFC interference studies reflect deficits unrelated to signaling the need to inhibit behavior, but instead support a role for OFC in executive functions rela...Continue Reading


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