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Scopolamine and Medial Frontal Stimulus-Processing during Interval Timing.

08:00 EDT 9th July 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Scopolamine and Medial Frontal Stimulus-Processing during Interval Timing."

Neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and Alzheimer's disease (AD) involve loss of cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain. Here, we investigate how cholinergic dysfunction impacts the frontal cortex during interval timing, a process that can be impaired in PD and AD patients. Interval timing requires participants to estimate an interval of several seconds by making a motor response, and depends on the medial frontal cortex (MFC), which is richly innervated by basal forebrain cholinergic projections. Past work has shown that scopolamine, a muscarinic cholinergic receptor antagonist, reliably impairs interval timing. We tested the hypothesis that scopolamine would attenuate time-related ramping, a key form of temporal processing in the MFC. We recorded neuronal ensembles from eight mice during performance of a 12-s fixed-interval timing task, which was impaired by the administration of scopolamine. Consistent with past work, scopolamine impaired timing. To our surprise, we found that time-related ramping was unchanged, but stimulus-related activity was enhanced in the MFC. Principal component analyses revealed no consistent changes in time-related ramping components, but did reveal changes in higher components. Taken together, these data indicate that scopolamine changes stimulus-processing rather than temporal processing in the MFC. These data could help understand how cholinergic dysfunction affects cortical circuits in diseases such as PD, DLB, and AD.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Neuroscience
ISSN: 1873-7544
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