A cognition-related neural oscillation pattern, generated in the prelimbic cortex, can control operant learning in rats

Samuel Hernández-González, Celia Andreu-Sánchez, Miguel Ángel Martín-Pascual, Agnès Gruart, José María Delgado-García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2017 the authors. The prelimbic (PrL) cortex constitutes one of the highest levels of cortical hierarchy dedicated to the execution of adaptive behaviors. We have identified a specific local field potential (LFP) pattern generated in the PrL cortex and associated with cognition-related behaviors. We used this pattern to trigger the activation of a visual display on a touch screen as part of an operant conditioning task. Rats learned to increase the presentation rate of the selected θ to β–γ (θ/β-γ) transition pattern across training sessions. The selected LFP pattern appeared to coincide with a significant decrease in the firing of PrL pyramidal neurons and did not seem to propagate to other cortical or subcortical areas. An indication of the PrL cortex’s cognitive nature is that the experimental disruption of this θ/β-γ transition pattern prevented the proper performance of the acquired task without affecting the generation of other motor responses. The use of this LFP pattern to trigger an operant task evoked only minor changes in its electrophysiological properties. Thus, the PrL cortex has the capability of generating an oscillatory pattern for dealing with environmental constraints. In addition, the selected θ/β-γ transition pattern could be a useful tool to activate the presentation of external cues or to modify the current circumstances.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5923-5935
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume37
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2017

Keywords

  • Behaving rats
  • Brain–machine interaction
  • Local field potentials
  • Neural oscillations
  • Operant conditioning
  • Prelimbic cortex

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