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Behavioral Neuroscience

Elisa Cristiana Winkelmann Duarte, Márcia Scherem de Azevedo, Gabriela Augusta Mateus Pereira, Marilda da Cruz Fernandes, Aldo Bolten Lucion
The Locus Coeruleus (LC) is a noradrenergic nucleus involved in several neuroendocrine and behavioral functions. During the neonatal period, the LC is critical for olfactory learning. Full development occurs during the early postnatal period. Environmental interventions after birth may affect neurogenesis. In rats, the neonatal handling procedure has been used as a model to analyze the effects of environmental intervention early in life. It has been related to several long-lasting behavioral and neuroendocrine changes...
November 28, 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Yuji K Takahashi, Geoffrey Schoenbaum
We recently showed that ventral striatal (VS) lesions abolished reward prediction errors that reflect changes in reward timing while leaving relatively unaffected errors that reflect changes in reward number. Here we extended those results by examining whether normal learning-related changes in firing to the reward-predictive cues in the same dopamine neurons were also disrupted by VS lesions. This analysis revealed that dopamine neurons recorded in VS-lesioned rats failed to show value-related changes in firing to the cues in timing but showed normal changes in number blocks...
December 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Meghan D Caulfield, David C Zhu, J Devin McAuley, Richard J Servatius
Historically known for its key contribution to motor behavior, the cerebellum continues to break boundaries. Researchers have demonstrated the cerebellum also plays a role in learning, memory, and more recent evidence for contributions in language, attention, working memory, emotions, and social processes. Here, we present a study that adds to the list of nonmotor processes of the cerebellum. We used images of faces and outdoor scenes to examine the cerebellar response to familiar and novel stimuli. Participants were familiarized with a subset of stimuli, and then underwent functional MRI (fMRI) where they were presented with the previously stimuli and new stimuli while making "old" and "new" judgment...
December 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Barbara J Knowlton
Richard Thompson's seminal contributions to neuroscience include the discovery of the cerebellar interpositus nucleus as the site of essential plasticity in the formation of the conditioned eyeblink response. In this section, context for this body of research is provided, as well as new findings on cerebellar function using a range of procedures. Current work on the role of the cerebellum in learning and memory include studies of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of plasticity in cortex and deep nuclei, as well as functional magnetic resonance imaging studies in humans...
December 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Wendy Portillo, Oscar González-Flores, Francisco J Camacho, Shaila K Mani, Raúl G Paredes
Sexual receptivity in female rodents induced by the sequential injection of estrogen and progesterone is followed by a period in which females do not respond behaviorally to a second administration of progesterone (P); this is known as sequential inhibition. It has been proposed that the induction of sequential inhibition by progesterone in rats depends on down regulation of the progesterone receptor (PR) in brain areas involved in the expression of female sexual receptivity. P is rapidly metabolized to a variety of 5α- or 5β-ring A-reduced progestins (RPrg)...
December 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Moritz Duesenberg, Juliane Weber, Carmen Schaeuffele, Juliane Fleischer, Julian Hellmann-Regen, Stefan Roepke, Steffen Moritz, Christian Otte, Katja Wingenfeld
Most of the studies focusing on the effect of stress on false memories by using psychosocial and physiological stressors yielded diverse results. In the present study, we systematically tested the effect of exogenous hydrocortisone using a false memory paradigm. In this placebo-controlled study, 37 healthy men and 38 healthy women (mean age 24.59 years) received either 10 mg of hydrocortisone or placebo 75 min before using the false memory, that is, Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM), paradigm. We used emotionally charged and neutral DRM-based word lists to look for false recognition rates in comparison to true recognition rates...
December 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Renee E Shimizu, Allan D Wu, Barbara J Knowlton
Effective learning results not only in improved performance on a practiced task, but also in the ability to transfer the acquired knowledge to novel, similar tasks. Using a modified serial reaction time (RT) task, the authors examined the ability to transfer to novel sequences after practicing sequences in a repetitive order versus a nonrepeating interleaved order. Interleaved practice resulted in better performance on new sequences than repetitive practice. In a second study, participants practiced interleaved sequences in a functional MRI (fMRI) scanner and received a transfer test of novel sequences...
December 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Stella Li, Bronwyn M Graham
The first-line psychological treatment for anxiety disorders is exposure therapy, which can be modeled in the laboratory using fear extinction. In healthy women, estradiol levels predict return of fear following extinction, whereas low levels are associated with greater return of fear. Investigating whether estradiol is similarly associated with extinction in clinically anxious women may provide insight to mechanisms underlying symptom relapse following exposure therapy. In the present study, women with spider phobia and healthy women participated in a 2-day fear conditioning and extinction procedure during a period of high or low estradiol levels...
December 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Jessica L Hanson, Laura M Hurley
A fundamental task of sensory systems is to extract relevant social information from a range of environmental stimuli in the face of changing behavioral contexts and reproductive states. Neuromodulatory pathways that interact with such contextual variables are 1 mechanism for achieving this. In the mouse inferior colliculus (IC), a midbrain auditory region, the neuromodulator serotonin increases in females interacting with courting males, but events downstream of serotonin release have not been investigated...
December 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Hunter E Halverson, Loren C Hoffmann, Yujin Kim, Eszter A Kish, Michael D Mauk
Averaging artifacts inherent in group acquisition curves can mask behavioral phenomena that are potentially revealing in terms of underlying neural mechanisms. To address this, we implemented a behavioral analysis of 106 rabbits trained over 4 sessions using delay eyelid conditioning. Group results showed the typical monotonic increase in conditioned responses (CRs). For most subjects CRs first appeared (as indexed by the criterion of 8 CRs in 9 trials) during the first 18 trials of the second training session...
December 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Kutibh Chihabi, Anthony D Morielli, John T Green
Protein kinase M zeta (PKM-ζ), a constitutively active N-terminal truncated form of PKC-ζ, has long been implicated in a cellular correlate of learning, long-term potentiation (LTP). Inhibition of PKM-ζ with zeta-inhibitory peptide (ZIP) has been shown in many brain structures to disrupt maintenance of AMPA receptors, irreversibly disrupting numerous forms of learning and memory that have been maintained for weeks. Delay eyeblink conditioning (EBC) is an established model for the assessment of cerebellar learning; here, we show that PKC-ζ and PKM-ζ are highly expressed in the cerebellar cortex, with highest expression found in Purkinje cell (PC) nuclei...
December 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Michael R Foy, Judith G Foy
One of the most prolific behavioral neuroscientists of his generation, Richard F. Thompson published more than 450 research articles during his almost 60-year career before his death in 2014. The breadth and reach of his scholarship has extended to a large multidisciplinary audience of scientists. The focal point of this article is arguably his most influential paper on cerebellar classical conditioning entitled "The Neurobiology of Learning and Memory" that appeared in Science in 1986 and has been cited 700 times since its publication...
December 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Sarah H Meerts, Jin Hong Park, Ria Sekhawat
Sexually experienced female rats return to the male more quickly after intromissions, exhibit shorter interintromission intervals, and spend more time with the male rat during a test of paced mating behavior in comparison to naïve rats. The present study tested whether these changes reflect heightened sexual motivation independent of receipt of vaginocervical stimulation and/or neurochemical changes in the medial preoptic area (mPOA). Ovariectomized, female rats were given estradiol benzoate and progesterone, and then received either 6 paced mating encounters (experienced) or 6 control exposures to an empty paced mating arena (naïve)...
October 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Jenna A McHenry, Christopher L Robison, Genevieve A Bell, Vincent V Vialou, Carlos A Bolaños-Guzmán, Eric J Nestler, Elaine M Hull
The transcription factor deltaFosB (ΔFosB) is induced in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) by repeated exposure to drugs of abuse and natural rewards. Less is known about its role in other brain areas. Here, we compared the effects of mating versus cocaine history on induction of ΔFosB in the medial preoptic area (MPOA), an integral site for reproductive behavior, and in the NAc. ΔFosB immunoreactivity (ir) was increased in the MPOA of previously naïve and experienced male rats that mated the day before euthanasia, compared to unmated controls and experienced males with recent mating abstinence...
October 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Janice M Kan, Bridget L Callaghan, Rick Richardson
Recent evidence has shown that pups exposed to maternal separation exhibit profound changes in their emotional development, for example, early emergence of adult-like fear retention and fear inhibition (Callaghan & Richardson, 2011; Callaghan & Richardson, 2012). Numerous studies have shown that maternal separation is also a significant stressor for the mother. However, no studies have examined how a mother's prior parenting experience affects emotion development of pups in her subsequent litters. In this study female rats were bred and were then separated from their pups (maternal separation, MS) or remained with their pups (standard rearing, SR)...
October 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Stephen Soncin, Donald C Brien, Brian C Coe, Alina Marin, Douglas P Munoz
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder (BD) are highly comorbid and share executive function and emotion processing deficits, complicating diagnoses despite distinct clinical features. We compared performance on an oculomotor task that assessed these processes to capture subtle differences between ADHD and BD. The interaction between emotion processing and executive functioning may be informative because, although these processes overlap anatomically, certain regions that are compromised in each network are different in ADHD and BD...
October 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Vincent D Costa, Laura C Kakalios, Bruno B Averbeck
Dopamine and serotonin have opponent interactions on aspects of impulsivity. Therefore we wanted to test the hypothesis that dopamine and serotonin would have opposing effects on speed-accuracy trade offs in a perceptual decision making task. Unlike other behavioral measures of impulsivity, perceptual decision making allows us to determine whether decreasing premature responses, often interpreted as decreased impulsivity, corresponds to increased behavioral performance. We administered GBR-12909 (a dopamine transporter blocker), escitalopram (a serotonin transporter blocker), or saline in separate sessions to 3 rhesus macaques...
October 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Alya Elmadih, Ming Wai Wan, Darragh Downey, Rebecca Elliott, James E Swain, Kathryn M Abel
Increasing evidence suggests that discrete neural networks that mediate emotion processing are activated when mothers respond to infant's images or cries. Accumulating data also indicate that natural variation in maternal caregiving behavior is related to maternal oxytocin (OT) levels. However, brain activation to infant cues has not been studied comparing mothers at disparate ends of the "maternal sensitivity" spectrum. Based on observed mother-infant play interaction at 4-6 months postpartum in 80 antenatally recruited mothers, 15 mothers with the highest sensitivity (HSMs) and 15 mothers with the lowest sensitivity (LSMs) were followed at 7-9 months using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine brain responses to viewing videos of their "own" versus an "unknown" infant in 3 affect states (neutral, happy, and sad)...
October 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Michelle L Tomaszycki, Kimberly K Richardson, Kyle J Mann
The nonapeptides oxytocin and vasopressin have been implicated in a variety of social behaviors. In zebra finches, oxytocin antagonists decrease pairing in both sexes, and pairing, in turn, increases expression of both mesotocin (the avian homologue of oxytocin) and vasotocin (the avian homologue of vasopressin). Increases in mesotocin and vasotocin mRNA are correlated with the amount of directed singing by males. Thus, in the present study, we examined the hypothesis that activation of cells containing nonapeptide receptors in song-related regions (ventral tegmental area, lateral septum, and medial preoptic nucleus) would also be correlated with directed singing in males...
October 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
Nadja Herten, Tobias Otto, Dirk Adolph, Bettina M Pause, Robert Kumsta, Oliver T Wolf
Cortisol release in a stressful situation can be beneficial for memory encoding and memory consolidation. Stimuli, such as odors, related to the stressful episode may successfully cue memory contents of the stress experience. The current investigation aimed at testing the potency of stress to influence startle responsivity 24 hr later and to implicitly reactivate emotional memory traces triggered by an odor involved. Participants were assigned to either a stress (Trier Social Stress Test [TSST]) or control (friendly TSST [f-TSST]) condition featuring an ambient odor...
October 2016: Behavioral Neuroscience
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