2013年9月18日水曜日

The Ventral Striato-Pallidal Pathway Mediates the Effect of Predictive Learning on Choice between Goal-Directed Actions

Beatrice K. Leung and Bernard W. Balleine
J. Neurosci. 2013;33 13848-13860

腹側線条体(側座核)と腹側淡蒼球(ventral pallidum)の経路が「パブロフ型条件づけと道具的条件づけの転移(Pavlovian-instrumental transfer)」に重要な役割を果たす。

The nucleus accumbens shell (NAc-S) plays an important role in the way stimuli that predict reward affect the performance of, and choice between, goal-directed actions in tests of outcome-specific Pavlovian-instrumental transfer (PIT). The neural processes involved in PIT downstream of the ventral striatum are, however, unknown. The NAc-S projects prominently to the ventral pallidum (VP), and in the current experiments, we assessed the involvement of the NAc-S to VP projection in specific PIT in rats. We first compared expression of the immediate-early gene c-Fos in the medial (VP-m) and lateral (VP-l) regions of the VP and in addition, used the retrograde tracer Fluoro-gold combined with c-Fos to assess the involvement of these pathways during PIT. Although there was no evidence of differential activation in neurons in the VP-l, the VP-m showed a selective increase in activity in rats tested for PIT compared with appropriate controls, as did NAc-S neurons projecting to the VP-m. To confirm that VP-m activity is important for PIT, we inactivated this region before test and found this inactivation blocked the influence of predictive learning on choice. Finally, to confirm the functional importance of the NAc-S to VP-m pathway we used a disconnection procedure, using asymmetrical inactivation of the NAc-S and either the ipsilateral or contralateral VP-m. Specific PIT was blocked but only by inactivation of the NAc-S and VP-m in contralateral hemispheres. These results suggest that the NAc-S and VP-m form part of a circuit mediating the effects of predictive learning on choice.

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