Association learning-dependent increases in acetylcholine release in the rat auditory cortex during auditory classical conditioning.
ABSTRACT The cholinergic system has been implicated in sensory cortical plasticity, learning and memory. This experiment determined the relationship between the acquisition of a Pavlovian conditioned approach response (CR) to an auditory conditioned stimulus (CS) and the release of acetylcholine (ACh) in the primary auditory cortex in rats. Samples of ACh were collected via microdialysis during behavioral training in either an auditory classical conditioning task or in a non-associative control task. The conditioning group received daily pairings of a white noise CS with a sucrose pellet unconditioned stimulus (US), while the control group received an equal number of CS and US presentations, but with these stimuli being presented randomly. Training was conducted on three consecutive days, with microdialysis samples being collected on Days 1 and 3 in separate sub-groups. The level of ACh released in the auditory cortex during conditioning trials increased from the first to the third day of training in the conditioning group as rats acquired the CR, but did not change in the control group, which did not acquire a CR. These data provide direct evidence for the hypothesis that ACh release increases in the primary auditory cortex during natural memory formation, where cholinergic activation is known to contribute to the formation of specific associative representational plasticity in conjunction with specific memory formation.
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ABSTRACT: Temporal coherence among neural populations may contribute importantly to signal encoding, specifically by providing an optimal tradeoff between encoding reliability and efficiency. Here, we considered the possibility that learning modulates the temporal coherence among neural populations in association with well-characterized map plasticity. We previously demonstrated that, in appetitive operant conditioning tasks, the tone-responsive area globally expanded during the early stage of learning, but shrank during the late stage. The present study further showed that phase locking of the first spike to band-specific oscillations of local field potentials (LFPs) significantly increased during the early stage of learning but decreased during the late stage, suggesting that neurons in A1 were more synchronously activated during early learning, whereas they were more asynchronously activated once learning was completed. Furthermore, LFP amplitudes increased during early learning but decreased during later learning. These results suggest that, compared to naïve encoding, early-stage encoding is more reliable but energy-consumptive, whereas late-stage encoding is more energetically efficient. Such a learning-stage-dependent encoding strategy may underlie learning-induced, non-monotonic map plasticity. Accumulating evidence indicates that the cholinergic system is likely to be a shared neural substrate of the processes for perceptual learning and attention, both of which modulate neural encoding in an adaptive manner. Thus, a better understanding of the links between map plasticity and modulation of temporal coherence will likely lead to a more integrated view of learning and attention.Brain Topography 03/2014; DOI:10.1007/s10548-014-0359-5 · 2.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is considered critical to the consolidation of procedural memory - the memory of skills and habits. Many antidepressants strongly suppress REM sleep, however, and procedural memory consolidation has been shown to be impaired in depressed patients on antidepressant therapy. As a result, it is important to determine whether antidepressive therapy can lead to amnestic impairment. We thus investigated the effects of the anticholinergic antidepressant amitriptyline on sleep-dependent memory consolidation. Double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, parallel-group study. Sleep laboratory. Twenty-five healthy men (mean age: 26.8 ± 5.6 y). 75 mg amitriptyline versus placebo. To test memory consolidation, a visual discrimination task, a finger-tapping task, the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test, and the Rey Auditory-Verbal Learning Test were performed. Sleep was measured using polysomnography. Our findings show that amitriptyline profoundly suppressed REM sleep and impaired perceptual skill learning, but not motor skill or declarative learning. Our study is the first to demonstrate that an antidepressant can affect procedural memory consolidation in healthy subjects. Moreover, considering the results of a recent study, in which selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors were shown not to impair procedural memory consolidation, our findings suggest that procedural memory consolidation is not facilitated by the characteristics of REM sleep captured by visual sleep scoring, but rather by the high cholinergic tone associated with REM sleep. Our study contributes to the understanding of potentially undesirable behavioral effects of amitriptyline. Goerke M, Cohrs S, Rodenbeck A, Kunz D. Differential effect of an anticholinergic antidepressant on sleep-dependent memory consolidation. SLEEP 2014;37(5):977-985.Sleep 05/2014; 37(5):977-985. DOI:10.5665/sleep.3674 · 5.06 Impact Factor