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THE ACTIVITY OF THE PRELIMBIC CORTEX IN RATS IS ENHANCED DURING THE COOPERATIVE ACQUISITION OF AN INSTRUMENTAL LEARNING TASK

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2019-09-12
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Elsevier Ltd
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Abstract
The objective of this study was to identify the functional properties of the prefrontal cortex that allow animals to work together to obtain a mutual reward. We induced pairs of male rats to develop a cooperative behavior in two adjacent Skinner boxes divided by a metallic grille. The experimental boxes allowed the two rats to see and to smell each other and to have limited physical contact through the grille. Rats were progressively trained to climb onto two separate platforms (and stay there simultaneously for>0.5 s) to get food pellets for both. This set-up was compatible with the in vivo recording of local field potentials (LFPs) at the prelimbic (PrL) cortex throughout the task. A dominant delta/theta activity appeared mostly during the period in which rats were located on the platforms. Spectral powers were larger when rats had to stay together on the platforms than when they jumped individually onto them. When paired together, rats presented significant differences in the power of delta and low theta bands depending if they were leading or following the joint activity. PrL cortex encodes neural commands related to the individual and joint acquisition of an operant conditioning task by behaving rats.
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MINECO-BFU2014-56692-R
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Se ha realizado un estudio sobre cómo el cerebro facilita los comportamientos sociales. El objetivo de la investigación ha sido determinar la presencia de comportamientos cooperativos o colaborativos en ratas de laboratorio y la contribución de los circuitos cerebrales prefrontales a estas actividades sociales. Se trabajó con ratas que fueron entrenadas, primero individualmente y luego en parejas, para saltar sobre plataformas separadas y ubicadas en dos cajas adyacentes desde las cuales podían observar sus respectivos comportamientos. Los animales tenían que permanecer uno o dos segundos sobre sus respectivas plataformas para poder obtener una bolita de comida como recompensa.
Keywords
Cooperative behaviors; Local field potentials; Operant conditioning; Prelimbic cortex; Rats
Bibliographic reference
Progress in Neurobiology, vol 183, 101692, p. 1-13
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