Bidirectional Modulation of Goal-Directed Actions by Prefrontal Cortical Dopamine

Department of Psychiatry, Division of Molecular Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06508, USA.
Cerebral Cortex (Impact Factor: 8.67). 01/2008; 17(12):2820-7. DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhm010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Instrumental actions are a vital cognitive asset that endows an organism with sensitivity to the consequences of its behavior. Response-outcome feedback allows responding to be shaped in order to maximize beneficial, and minimize detrimental, outcomes. Lesions of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) result in behavior that is insensitive to changes in outcome value in animals and compulsive behavior in several human psychopathologies. Such insensitivity to changes in outcome value is a defining characteristic of instrumental habits: responses that are controlled by antecedent stimuli rather than goal expectancy. Little is known regarding the neurochemical substrates mediating this sensitivity. The present experiments used sensitivity to posttraining outcome devaluation to index the action-habit status of instrumental responding. Infusions of dopamine into the ventral mPFC (vmPFC), but not dorsal mPFC, restored outcome sensitivity bidirectionally-decreasing responding following outcome devaluation and increasing responding when the outcome was not devalued. This bidirectionality makes the possibility that these infusions nonspecifically dysregulated vmPFC dopamine transmission unlikely. VmPFC dopamine promoted instrumental responding appropriate to outcome value. Reinforcer consumption data indicated that this was not a consequence of altered sensitivity to the reinforcer itself. We suggest that vmPFC dopamine reengages attentional processes underlying goal-directed behavior.

Download full-text


Available from: Paul K Hitchcott, Feb 23, 2015
1 Follower
18 Reads
  • Source
    • "On the one hand, the association of the medial PFC volume with general fluid intelligence is broadly consistent with several structural imaging studies of intelligence in healthy populations, which found a correlation between general fluid intelligence and GM signal in the medial PFC [Frangou et al., 2004; Goh et al., 2011; Gong et al., 2005; Haier et al., 2004; Ull en et al., 2008; Wilke et al., 2003]. Previous studies have demonstrated the medial PFC participates in several higher order functions including selective attention, response selection, reasoning, decision making and goaldirected behaviors [Dalley et al., 2004; Hitchcott et al., 2007; Kroger et al., 2002; Rushworth et al., 2004]. All these kind of functions seem to play an important role in approaching and solving the tasks in the standard tests of human intelligence. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Lower parental education impairs cognitive abilities of their offspring such as general fluid intelligence dependent on the prefrontal cortex (PFC), but the independent contribution of mother's and father's education is unknown. We used an individual difference approach to test whether mother's and father's education independently affected general fluid intelligence in emerging adulthood at both the behavioral and neural level. Behaviorally, mother's but not father's education accounted for unique variance in general fluid intelligence in emerging adulthood (assessed by the Raven's advanced progressive matrices). Neurally, the whole-brain correlation analysis revealed that the regional gray matter volume (rGMV) in the medial PFC was related to both mother's education and general fluid intelligence but not father's education. Furthermore, after controlling for mother's education, the association between general fluid intelligence and the rGMV in medial PFC was no longer significant, indicating that mother's education plays an important role in influencing the structure of the medial PFC associated with general fluid intelligence. Taken together, our study provides the first behavioral and neural evidence that mother's education is a more important determinant of general cognitive ability in emerging adulthood than father's education. Hum Brain Mapp, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Human Brain Mapping 08/2015; DOI:10.1002/hbm.22934 · 5.97 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Indeed, ethanol exposure can promote habit formation (Corbit et al., 2012) and alter dorsal lateral striatum plasticity in adults (Depoy et al., 2014), so it is unclear why the same effects would not occur in adolescence. However, the brain undergoes many developmental changes during adolescence including in the dorsal striatum and prefrontal cortical dopamine systems, which are known to regulate the development of habitual behavior (Naneix et al., 2012; Balleine and O'Doherty, 2010; Barker et al., 2013; Hitchcott et al., 2007). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Early age of onset alcohol drinking is significantly more likely to lead to alcohol use disorders (AUDs) than alcohol drinking that begins after the age of 18. Unfortunately, the majority of people in the United States begin drinking in adolescence. Therefore, it is important to understand how early alcohol drinking leads to increased risk for AUDs so that better treatments and prevention strategies can be developed. Adolescents perceive greater rewarding properties of alcohol, and adolescents may be more likely to form alcohol-seeking habits that promote continued use throughout the lifetime. Therefore, we compared the development of alcohol seeking habits in adolescent and adult male, Sprague-Dawley rats. Rats were trained to lever press to receive 10% ethanol + 0.1% saccharin on a schedule that promotes habit formation. Rats were tested using a contingency degradation procedure at different points in training. Adult rats formed ethanol-seeking habits with only moderate training, while adolescents remained goal-directed even with extended training. Nevertheless, adolescents consumed more ethanol than adults throughout the experiment and continued to consume more ethanol than adults when they reached adulthood. Therefore, early onset alcohol use may promote AUD formation through establishment of high levels of drinking that becomes habitual in adulthood.
    Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience 12/2014; 67. DOI:10.1016/j.dcn.2014.12.002 · 3.83 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "We predict that a more globally effective intervention would engage the brain regions that integrate new data into preexisting models. For example, dopamine levels in pre-frontal cortex can increase model-based reinforcement learning in rodents (70). Also, Tim Behrens, Laurence Hunt, and Matthew Rushworth (38, 71) have found that developing a model about how much to trust another person’s advice engages the superior temporal sulcus and temporoparietal junction (mirror-neuron regions), and that weighing the advice with one’s personal factual models engages the ACC and ventromedial pre-frontal cortex. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Social dysfunction is a prominent and disabling aspect of borderline personality disorder. We reconsider traditional explanations for this problem, especially early disruption in the way an infant feels physical care from its mother, in terms of recent developments in computational psychiatry. In particular, social learning may depend on reinforcement learning though embodied simulations. Such modeling involves calculations based on structures outside the brain such as face and hands, calculations on one's own body that are used to make inferences about others. We discuss ways to test the role of embodied simulation in BPD and potential implications for treatment.
    Frontiers in Psychiatry 08/2014; 5:111. DOI:10.3389/fpsyt.2014.00111
Show more