May 9, 2021

Controlling one’s world: identification of sub-regions of primate PFC underlying goal-directed behavior

Impaired detection of causal relationships between actions and their outcomes can lead to maladaptive behavior. However, causal roles of specific prefrontal cortex (PFC) sub-regions and the caudate nucleus in mediating such relationships in primates are unclear. We inactivated and over-activated five PFC sub-regions, reversibly and pharmacologically: areas 24 (perigenual anterior cingulate cortex), 32 (medial PFC), 11 (anterior orbitofrontal cortex, OFC), 14 (rostral ventromedial PFC/medial OFC) and 14-25 (caudal ventromedial PFC), and the anteromedial caudate, to examine their role in expressing learned action-outcome contingencies using a contingency degradation paradigm in marmosets. Area 24 or caudate inactivation impaired the response to contingency change, while area 11 inactivation enhanced it, and inactivation of areas 14, 32 or 14-25 had no effect. Over-activation of areas 11 and 24 impaired this response. These findings demonstrate distinct roles of PFC sub-regions in goal-directed behavior and illuminate the candidate neurobehavioral substrates of psychiatric disorders including obsessive-compulsive disorder.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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