D1-dependent 4 Hz oscillations and ramping activity in rodent medial frontal cortex during interval timing


Organizing behavior in time is afundamental process that is highly conserved across species.Here we study the neural basis of timing processes. First, we found that rodents had a burst of stimulus-triggered 4 Hz oscillations in the medial frontal cortex (MFC) during interval timing tasks. Second, rodents with focally disrupted MFC D1 dopamine receptor (D1DR) signaling had impaired interval timing performance and weaker stimulus-triggered oscillations. Prior work has demonstrated that MFC neurons ramp during interval timing,suggesting that they underlie temporal integration. We found that MFC D1DR blockade strongly attenuated ramping activity of MFC neurons that correlated with behavior. These macro- and micro-level phenomena were linked, as we observed that MFC neurons with strong ramping activity tended to be coherent with stimulus-triggered 4 Hz oscillations, and this relationship was diminished with MFC D1DR blockade. These data provide evidence demonstrating how D1DR signaling controls the temporal organization of mammalian behavior.

Published in: The Journal of Neuroscience


Krystal L. Parker, Kuan-Hua Chen, Johnathan R. Kingyon, James F. Cavanagh, and Nandakumar S. Narayanan

Publication Information:

The Journal of Neuroscience, December 10, 2014 • 34(50):16774 –16783
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