Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Commun. 2018 Mar 8;9(1):1000. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03438-y.

Activation of serotonin neurons promotes active persistence in a probabilistic foraging task.

Author information

1
Champalimaud Research, Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, 1400-038, Lisbon, Portugal.
2
School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, CA, 92697-3950, USA.
3
Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, Center for Neuroscience, Faculty of Science, University of Amsterdam, 1098XH, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
4
Champalimaud Research, Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, 1400-038, Lisbon, Portugal. zmainen@neuro.fchampalimaud.org.

Abstract

The neuromodulator serotonin (5-HT) has been implicated in a variety of functions that involve patience or impulse control. Many of these effects are consistent with a long-standing theory that 5-HT promotes behavioral inhibition, a motivational bias favoring passive over active behaviors. To further test this idea, we studied the impact of 5-HT in a probabilistic foraging task, in which mice must learn the statistics of the environment and infer when to leave a depleted foraging site for the next. Critically, mice were required to actively nose-poke in order to exploit a given site. We show that optogenetic activation of 5-HT neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus increases the willingness of mice to actively attempt to exploit a reward site before giving up. These results indicate that behavioral inhibition is not an adequate description of 5-HT function and suggest that a unified account must be based on a higher-order function.

PMID:
29520000
PMCID:
PMC5843608
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-018-03438-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center