Functional neuroimaging studies indicate that interconnected parts of the subcallosal anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), striatum, and amygdala play a fundamental role in affect in health and disease. Yet, while the patterns of neural activity engaged in striatum and amygdala during affective processing are well established, especially during reward anticipation, very little is known about subcallosal ACC. Here we recorded neural activity in non-human primate subcallosal ACC and compared this to interconnected parts of basolateral amygdala and rostromedial striatum while macaque monkeys performed reward-based tasks. Applying multiple analysis approaches, we found that neurons in subcallosal ACC and rostromedial striatum preferentially signal anticipated reward using short bursts of activity that form temporally-specific sequences. By contrast, basolateral amygdala uses a mixture of both sequential and more sustained activity to signal anticipated reward. Thus, sequential patterns of neural activity across populations of neurons are engaged in affect, especially in subcallosal ACC.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience