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Science. 2016 Jan 1;351(6268):aac9698. doi: 10.1126/science.aac9698.

Prefrontal cortical regulation of brainwide circuit dynamics and reward-related behavior.

Author information

1
Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
2
Neurosciences Program, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
3
Brain Mind Research Institute, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY 10065, USA.
4
Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
5
Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
6
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
7
Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
8
Department of Radiology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA.
9
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA.
#
Contributed equally

Abstract

Motivation for reward drives adaptive behaviors, whereas impairment of reward perception and experience (anhedonia) can contribute to psychiatric diseases, including depression and schizophrenia. We sought to test the hypothesis that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) controls interactions among specific subcortical regions that govern hedonic responses. By using optogenetic functional magnetic resonance imaging to locally manipulate but globally visualize neural activity in rats, we found that dopamine neuron stimulation drives striatal activity, whereas locally increased mPFC excitability reduces this striatal response and inhibits the behavioral drive for dopaminergic stimulation. This chronic mPFC overactivity also stably suppresses natural reward-motivated behaviors and induces specific new brainwide functional interactions, which predict the degree of anhedonia in individuals. These findings describe a mechanism by which mPFC modulates expression of reward-seeking behavior, by regulating the dynamical interactions between specific distant subcortical regions.

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PMID:
26722001
PMCID:
PMC4772156
DOI:
10.1126/science.aac9698
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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