Oct 26, 2018

The rat medial prefrontal cortex exhibits flexible neural activity states during the performance of an odor span task

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Emanuela De FalcoJohn G Howland

Abstract

Medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) activity is fundamental for working memory (WM), attention, and behavioral inhibition; however, a comprehensive understanding of the neural computations underlying these processes is still forthcoming. Towards this goal, neural recordings were obtained from the mPFC of awake, behaving rats performing an odor span task of WM capacity. Neural populations were observed to encode distinct task epochs and the transitions between epochs were accompanied by abrupt shifts in neural activity patterns. Putative pyramidal neuron activity increased significantly earlier in the delay for sessions where rats achieved higher spans. Furthermore, increased putative interneuron activity was only observed at the termination of the delay thus indicating that local processing in inhibitory networks was a unique feature to initiate foraging. During foraging, changes in neural activity patterns associated with the approach to a novel odor, but not familiar odors, were robust. Collectively, these data suggest that distinct mPFC activity states underlie the delay, foraging, and reward epochs of the odor span task. Transitions between these states enable successful performance in dynamic environments placing strong demand...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Memory, Short-Term
Patterns
Neurons
Environment
Interneurons
Metabolic Inhibition
Pyramidal Cells
Medial Prefrontal Cortex
Base Sequence
Attention

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