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      Response inhibition signals and miscoding of direction in dorsomedial striatum


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          The ability to inhibit action is critical for everyday behavior and is affected by a variety of disorders. Behavioral control and response inhibition is thought to depend on a neural circuit that includes the dorsal striatum, yet the neural signals that lead to response inhibition and its failure are unclear. To address this issue, we recorded from neurons in rat dorsomedial striatum (mDS) in a novel task in which rats responded to a spatial cue that signaled that reward would be delivered either to the left or to the right. On 80% of trials rats were instructed to respond in the direction cued by the light (GO). On 20% of trials a second light illuminated instructing the rat to refrain from making the cued movement and move in the opposite direction (STOP). Many neurons in mDS encoded direction, firing more or less strongly for GO movements made ipsilateral or contralateral to the recording electrode. Neurons that fired more strongly for contralateral GO responses were more active when rats were faster, showed reduced activity on STOP trials, and miscoded direction on errors, suggesting that when these neurons were overly active, response inhibition failed. Neurons that decreased firing for contralateral movement were excited during trials in which the rat was required to stop the ipsilateral movement. For these neurons activity was reduced when errors were made and was negatively correlated with movement time suggesting that when these neurons were less active on STOP trials, response inhibition failed. Finally, the activity of a significant number of neurons represented a global inhibitory signal, firing more strongly during response inhibition regardless of response direction. Breakdown by cell type suggests that putative medium spiny neurons (MSNs) tended to fire more strongly under STOP trials, whereas putative interneurons exhibited both activity patterns.

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          Most cited references74

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          Activity of striatal neurons reflects dynamic encoding and recoding of procedural memories.

          Learning to perform a behavioural procedure as a well-ingrained habit requires extensive repetition of the behavioural sequence, and learning not to perform such behaviours is notoriously difficult. Yet regaining a habit can occur quickly, with even one or a few exposures to cues previously triggering the behaviour. To identify neural mechanisms that might underlie such learning dynamics, we made long-term recordings from multiple neurons in the sensorimotor striatum, a basal ganglia structure implicated in habit formation, in rats successively trained on a reward-based procedural task, given extinction training and then given reacquisition training. The spike activity of striatal output neurons, nodal points in cortico-basal ganglia circuits, changed markedly across multiple dimensions during each of these phases of learning. First, new patterns of task-related ensemble firing successively formed, reversed and then re-emerged. Second, task-irrelevant firing was suppressed, then rebounded, and then was suppressed again. These changing spike activity patterns were highly correlated with changes in behavioural performance. We propose that these changes in task representation in cortico-basal ganglia circuits represent neural equivalents of the explore-exploit behaviour characteristic of habit learning.
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            The basal ganglia: a vertebrate solution to the selection problem?

            A selection problem arises whenever two or more competing systems seek simultaneous access to a restricted resource. Consideration of several selection architectures suggests there are significant advantages for systems which incorporate a central switching mechanism. We propose that the vertebrate basal ganglia have evolved as a centralized selection device, specialized to resolve conflicts over access to limited motor and cognitive resources. Analysis of basal ganglia functional architecture and its position within a wider anatomical framework suggests it can satisfy many of the requirements expected of an efficient selection mechanism.
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              Striatal interneurones: chemical, physiological and morphological characterization.

              The neostriatum is the largest component of the basal ganglia, and the main recipient of afferents to the basal ganglia from the cerebral cortex and thalamus. Studies of the cellular organization of the neostriatum have focused upon the spiny projection neurones, which represent the vast majority of neurones, but the identity and functions of interneurones in this structure have remained enigmatic despite decades of study. Recently, the discovery of cytochemical markers that are specific for each of the major classes of striatal interneurones, and the combination of this with intracellular recording and staining, has revealed the identities of interneurones and some of their functional characteristics in a way that could not have been imagined by the classical morphologists. These methods also suggest some possible modes of action of interneurones in the neostriatal circuitry.

                Author and article information

                Front Integr Neurosci
                Front Integr Neurosci
                Front. Integr. Neurosci.
                Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                07 September 2012
                : 6
                [1] 1simpleDepartment of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park MD, USA
                [2] 2simpleProgram in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, University of Maryland, College Park MD, USA
                Author notes

                Edited by: Mark Laubach, The John B. Pierce Laboratory, USA

                Reviewed by: Matthijs van der Meer, University of Waterloo, Canada; Patricia H. Janak, University of California, San Francisco, USA

                *Correspondence: Matthew R. Roesch and Daniel W. Bryden, Department of Psychology, Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA. e-mail: mroesch@ 123456umd.edu ; dbryden@ 123456umd.edu
                Copyright © 2012 Bryden, Burton, Kashtelyan, Barnett and Roesch.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

                Page count
                Figures: 9, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 86, Pages: 15, Words: 12686
                Original Research Article

                single unit,dorsal striatum,stop-signal,rat,inhibition,behavioral control
                single unit, dorsal striatum, stop-signal, rat, inhibition, behavioral control


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