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Neuronal activity in the rat prelimbic prefrontal cortex and cingulate cortex during a sustained attention task

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Totah, N., Homayoun, H., & Moghaddam, B. (2008). Neuronal activity in the rat prelimbic prefrontal cortex and cingulate cortex during a sustained attention task. Poster presented at Fourth International Workshop Statistical Analysis of Neuronal Data (SAND4), Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-92B3-D
Abstract
Attention is a critical component of normal cognitive functioning that requires the prefrontal cortex. Lesion studies in rats suggest that the medial prefrontal (mPFC) and anterior cingulate (Cg) sub-regions are both involved in controlling attention. However, little is known about how cells in these regions encode different aspects of attentional processing. We have developed the 3-choice serial reaction time task (CSRT), which is an analog of the 5-CSRT task used to study visual attention in the rat. The task requires a rat to divide attention between 3 brief light stimuli (300 msec duration) presented in random order across nose poke holes in an operant conditioning chamber. A correct response into a lit cue results in a reward delivery, while an incorrect response into an unlit cue or a missed response is punished with house-light extinguishment. We are utilizing extracellular recording arrays during behavior task performance to study the neuronal correlates of visual attention in the mPFC and Cg regions. Our results suggest that both regions have neural activity at both the single neuron and local field potential level, which correlates with attention. We are currently assessing the multi-scale "functional integrations" among discrete and distributed attention networks by 1) analyzing the correlations between single unit pairs and 2) the relationship between single unit firing and local field potential oscillatory phase.