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Theta synchronization between medial prefrontal cortex and cerebellum is associated with adaptive performance of associative learning behavior.


ABSTRACT: Associative learning is thought to require coordinated activities among distributed brain regions. For example, to direct behavior appropriately, the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) must encode and maintain sensory information and then interact with the cerebellum during trace eyeblink conditioning (TEBC), a commonly-used associative learning model. However, the mechanisms by which these two distant areas interact remain elusive. By simultaneously recording local field potential (LFP) signals from the mPFC and the cerebellum in guinea pigs undergoing TEBC, we found that theta-frequency (5.0-12.0 Hz) oscillations in the mPFC and the cerebellum became strongly synchronized following presentation of auditory conditioned stimulus. Intriguingly, the conditioned eyeblink response (CR) with adaptive timing occurred preferentially in the trials where mPFC-cerebellum theta coherence was stronger. Moreover, both the mPFC-cerebellum theta coherence and the adaptive CR performance were impaired after the disruption of endogenous orexins in the cerebellum. Finally, association of the mPFC -cerebellum theta coherence with adaptive CR performance was time-limited occurring in the early stage of associative learning. These findings suggest that the mPFC and the cerebellum may act together to contribute to the adaptive performance of associative learning behavior by means of theta synchronization.

SUBMITTER: Chen H 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4754690 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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