Circuit Dynamics and Computational Neuroscience H.4.c Function and mechanisms Monday AM + Wednesday AM

2454 - Resonance in prefrontal-striatal circuitry induced by optogenetic activation of ascending dopamine fibers

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H.4.c Function and mechanisms
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Abstract Body

Dopamine (DA) cells play an important role in cognitive functions such as reward, executive functions, learning, memory, and motivation. DA projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to striatal and frontal cortical areas are particularly important for cognitive and executive functions, and can modulate neural activity in both local and large-scale networks. Rhythmic activity, particularly in low frequency ranges (delta and theta, 1-10 Hz), has also been implicated in the same cognitive functions that DA is known to regulate. Furthermore, synchronization between the prefrontal cortex and striatum is thought to be a mechanism of information transfer that supports executive functioning. However, little is known about the specific causal contribution of DA oscillatory activity to neural synchronization within and between the prefrontal cortex and striatum. We aimed to assess the role of rhythmic DA activity in frontal-striatal synchronization by optogenetically manipulating the ascending DA fibers into the prefrontal cortex and striatum in a range of frequency bands, while performing simultaneous electrophysiological recordings within VTA, striatum and prefrontal cortex. The preliminary data suggest that optical stimulation of the VTA induces resonance in the PFC and Striatum. Such oscillatory activity driven optogenetically by VTA can differ between the PFC and the striatum. We conclude that by comparing the power changes elicited by stimulation at different frequency trains we are able to map the resonance effects of different forms of phasic activation of dopamine neurons.