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Brain Res. 2014 Jan 13;1542:79-84. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2013.10.033. Epub 2013 Oct 23.

Features and timing of the response of single neurons to novelty in the substantia nigra.

Author information

1
Columbia University Medical Center, Department of Neurological Surgery, 710W 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, United States. Electronic address: cbm2104@columbia.edu.
2
Barrow Neurological Institute, 350 West Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85013, United States.
3
Columbia University Medical Center, Department of Neurological Surgery, 710W 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, United States.
4
Columbia University, Department of Neurology, 710W 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, United States.
5
Department of Neurosurgery, St. Luke's-Roosevelt and Beth Israel Hospitals, 1000 10th Ave, New York, NY 10019, United States.

Abstract

Substantia nigra neurons are known to play a key role in normal cognitive processes and disease states. While animal models and neuroimaging studies link dopamine neurons to novelty detection, this has not been demonstrated electrophysiologically in humans. We used single neuron extracellular recordings in awake human subjects undergoing surgery for Parkinson disease to characterize the features and timing of this response in the substantia nigra. We recorded 49 neurons in the substantia nigra. Using an auditory oddball task, we showed that they fired more rapidly following novel sounds than repetitive tones. The response was biphasic with peaks at approximately 250 ms, comparable to that described in primate studies, and a second peak at 500 ms. This response was primarily driven by slower firing neurons as firing rate was inversely correlated to novelty response. Our data provide human validation of the purported role of dopamine neurons in novelty detection and suggest modifications to proposed models of novelty detection circuitry.

KEYWORDS:

Deep brain stimulation; Dopamine neurons; Human substantia nigra; Neurophysiology; Novelty

PMID:
24161826
DOI:
10.1016/j.brainres.2013.10.033
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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