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Nat Neurosci. 2011 Nov 6;14(12):1507-9. doi: 10.1038/nn.2954.

Paradoxical reversal learning enhancement by stress or prefrontal cortical damage: rescue with BDNF.

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1
Laboratory of Behavioral and Genomic Neuroscience, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, US National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Abstract

Stress affects various forms of cognition. We found that moderate stress enhanced late reversal learning in a mouse touchscreen-based choice task. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) lesions mimicked the effect of stress, whereas orbitofrontal and dorsolateral striatal lesions impaired reversal. Stress facilitation of reversal was prevented by BDNF infusion into the vmPFC. These findings suggest a mechanism by which stress-induced vmPFC dysfunction disinhibits learning by alternate (for example, striatal) systems.

PMID:
22057192
PMCID:
PMC3389817
DOI:
10.1038/nn.2954
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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