Format

Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e26701. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026701. Epub 2011 Oct 24.

Electrical stimulation of the primate lateral habenula suppresses saccadic eye movement through a learning mechanism.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Sensorimotor Research, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America. mmatsumoto@pri.kyoto-u.ac.jp

Abstract

The lateral habenula (LHb) is a brain structure which represents negative motivational value. Neurons in the LHb are excited by unpleasant events such as reward omission and aversive stimuli, and transmit these signals to midbrain dopamine neurons which are involved in learning and motivation. However, it remains unclear whether these phasic changes in LHb neuronal activity actually influence animal behavior. To answer this question, we artificially activated the LHb by electrical stimulation while monkeys were performing a visually guided saccade task. In one block of trials, saccades to one fixed direction (e.g., right direction) were followed by electrical stimulation of the LHb while saccades to the other direction (e.g., left direction) were not. The direction-stimulation contingency was reversed in the next block. We found that the post-saccadic stimulation of the LHb increased the latencies of saccades in subsequent trials. Notably, the increase of the latency occurred gradually as the saccade was repeatedly followed by the stimulation, suggesting that the effect of the post-saccadic stimulation was accumulated across trials. LHb stimulation starting before saccades, on the other hand, had no effect on saccade latency. Together with previous studies showing LHb activation by reward omission and aversive stimuli, the present stimulation experiment suggests that LHb activity contributes to learning to suppress actions which lead to unpleasant events.

PMID:
22039537
PMCID:
PMC3200355
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0026701
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center