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J Neurosci. 2008 Oct 1;28(40):10075-80. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2192-08.2008.

Uncoordinated firing rate changes of striatal fast-spiking interneurons during behavioral task performance.

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Department of Psychology, and Neuroscience Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.


Basal ganglia circuits make key contributions to decision making. Distributed, synchronous feedforward inhibition of striatal medium spiny neurons by fast-spiking GABAergic interneurons (FSIs) has been argued to be important for the suppression of unwanted actions, and a deficit in FSIs has been found in human patients with Tourette syndrome. However, no studies have yet examined how striatal FSIs change their activity during behavioral tasks. Here I describe 36 presumed striatal FSIs recorded in rats during well practiced performance of a radial maze win-stay task. Although most FSIs showed robust task-related activity, the temporal patterns of firing rate change were highly idiosyncratic. In contrast to other classes of striatal neurons, FSIs showed little or no coordinated population response to major task events such as instruction cues or rewards. Even when multiple FSIs were recorded simultaneously from the same local region of striatum, firing rate changes were dissimilar, and no clear evidence for synchronous firing was found using cross-correlograms (18 FSI pairs examined). These results suggest that FSIs play a more complex role in the information processing achieved by striatal microcircuits than supposed by current theoretical models.

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