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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Aug 19;105(33):11963-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0804045105. Epub 2008 Aug 15.

Successful choice behavior is associated with distinct and coherent network states in anterior cingulate cortex.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Brain Research Centre, University of British Columbia, 2211 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 2B5.

Abstract

Successful decision making requires an ability to monitor contexts, actions, and outcomes. The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is thought to be critical for these functions, monitoring and guiding decisions especially in challenging situations involving conflict and errors. A number of different single-unit correlates have been observed in the ACC that reflect the diverse cognitive components involved. Yet how ACC neurons function as an integrated network is poorly understood. Here we show, using advanced population analysis of multiple single-unit recordings from the rat ACC during performance of an ecologically valid decision-making task, that ensembles of neurons move through different coherent and dissociable states as the cognitive requirements of the task change. This organization into distinct network patterns with respect to both firing-rate changes and correlations among units broke down during trials with numerous behavioral errors, especially at choice points of the task. These results point to an underlying functional organization into cell assemblies in the ACC that may monitor choices, outcomes, and task contexts, thus tracking the animal's progression through "task space."

PMID:
18708525
PMCID:
PMC2516968
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0804045105
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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