Event Abstract

Specific contribution of medial prefrontal dopamine to goal-directed behavior in the Rat

  • 1 CNIC CNRS UMR 5228, France

Control of goal-directed instrumental responses requires both the encoding of the contingency between an action and its outcome and the representation of the outcome as a goal, as assessed through contingency degradation and outcome devaluation procedures respectively. Previous research has established that the integrity of the medial prefrontal cortex is essential for instrumental responses to be goal-directed. The present experiments aimed at evaluating the role of mesoprefrontal dopamine system in these responses. In a first experiment, dopamine terminals within either the prelimbic (PL) or the infralimbic (IL) cortices were lesioned before training using the toxin 6-OHDA. Control and IL animals exhibited goal-directed responses that were sensitive to both outcome devaluation induced by sensory specific satiety and to contingency degradation. By contrast, rats of the PL group failed to adapt their response to contingency changes, although their behavior remained sensitive to outcome devaluation. In a second experiment, microinfusions of the dopamine D1/D2 receptor antagonist flupenthixol were performed in the prelimbic cortex during contingency degradation sessions only, to determine whether dopaminergic activity was specifically required when contingency changed. Animals injected with flupenthixol failed to adapt their response to contingency changes, thus replicating the effects of dopaminergic denervation of the prelimbic cortex. Taken together, these results show that dopamine signaling within the prelimbic cortex is specifically required to detect changes in action-outcome contingency but is not needed to update the representation of outcome value.

Conference: 41st European Brain and Behaviour Society Meeting, Rhodes Island, Greece, 13 Sep - 18 Sep, 2009.

Presentation Type: Poster Presentation

Topic: Poster presentations

Citation: Naneix F, Marchand A, Di-Scala G, Pape J and Coutureau E (2009). Specific contribution of medial prefrontal dopamine to goal-directed behavior in the Rat. Conference Abstract: 41st European Brain and Behaviour Society Meeting. doi: 10.3389/conf.neuro.08.2009.09.243

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Received: 12 Jun 2009; Published Online: 12 Jun 2009.

* Correspondence: Fabien Naneix, CNIC CNRS UMR 5228, Bordeaux, France, f.naneix@cnic.u-bordeaux1.fr