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Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2015 Feb;118:198-208. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2014.12.006. Epub 2014 Dec 24.

Inactivating the infralimbic but not prelimbic medial prefrontal cortex facilitates the extinction of appetitive Pavlovian conditioning in Long-Evans rats.

Author information

1
Center for Studies in Behavioural Neurobiology/FRQS Groupe de recherche en neurobiologie comportementale, Department of Psychology, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada.
2
Center for Studies in Behavioural Neurobiology/FRQS Groupe de recherche en neurobiologie comportementale, Department of Psychology, Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada. Electronic address: nadia.chaudhri@concordia.ca.

Abstract

The infralimbic medial prefrontal cortex (IL) has been posited as a common node in distinct neural circuits that mediate the extinction of appetitive and aversive conditioning. However, appetitive extinction is typically assessed using instrumental conditioning procedures, whereas the extinction of aversive conditioning is customarily studied using Pavlovian assays. The role of the IL in the extinction of appetitive Pavlovian conditioning remains underexplored. We investigated the involvement of the IL and prelimbic medial prefrontal cortex (PrL) in appetitive extinction in Pavlovian and instrumental conditioning assays in male, Long-Evans rats. Following acquisition, a gamma-aminobutyric acid agonist solution (0.03 nmol muscimol; 0.3 nmol baclofen; 0.3 μl/side) was bilaterally microinfused into the IL or PrL to pharmacologically inactivate each region before the first extinction session. Compared to saline, PrL inactivation did not affect the acquisition of extinction or the recall of extinction memory 24-h later. IL inactivation caused a more rapid extinction of Pavlovian conditioning, but had no effect on the extinction of instrumental conditioning or extinction recall. IL inactivation during a Pavlovian conditioning session in which conditioned stimulus (CS) trials were paired with sucrose did not affect CS-elicited behaviour, but increased responding during intervals that did not contain the CS. The same manipulation did not impact lever pressing for sucrose. These findings suggest that the IL may normally maintain Pavlovian conditioned responding when an anticipated appetitive CS is unexpectedly withheld, and that this region has distinct roles in the expression of Pavlovian conditioning when an appetitive unconditioned stimulus is either presented or omitted.

KEYWORDS:

Inhibitory conditioning; Instrumental conditioning; Learning; Pavlovian conditioning; Prefrontal cortex; Sucrose

PMID:
25543024
DOI:
10.1016/j.nlm.2014.12.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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