Symposia | Invited Symposia | Poster Sessions | Data Blitz Sessions

Distinct prefrontal area contributions to rule-guided decision-making in primates: mechanistic insights from multi-area e-phys. and neurostimulation.

Poster Session A - Saturday, April 13, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall
Also presenting in Data Blitz Session 2 - Saturday, April 13, 2024, 1:00 – 2:30 pm EDT, Ballroom Center.

Mark Buckley1 (, Juan Galeazzi1, Matthew Ainsworth1; 1University of Oxford

Lesion studies have previously shown that different prefrontal cortex (PFC) areas contribute in distinctly different ways to rule-guided behaviour in the context of a Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) analog for macaques. Yet we do not understand how these functional specializations relate to intrinsic neuronal activities nor the extent to which these neuronal activities differ between different prefrontal regions. Here we present new data from our studies using multi-area multi-electrode recording techniques in NHPs. ‘Utah arrays’ were chronically implanted in dorsolateral PFC, ventrolateral PFC, orbitofrontal cortex, and frontopolar cortex (FPC) of two macaques, allowing us to simultaneously record single and multiunit activity, and local field potential (LFP), from all regions while the monkey performs the WCST analog. Rule-related neuronal activity was widespread in all areas recorded but it differed in degree and in timing (task-epoch) between different areas. Decoding analyses and inter-area coherence measures applied to rule-related neuronal activities confirmed dynamic task-epoch related activities and inter-area interactions that differ between prefrontal regions. Moreover, after observing modulation of LFPs within beta and gamma bands in FPC tracked reward and unchosen rule value, we used single-trial-specific causal interventions in that frequency range (electrical microstimulation via arrays) to FPC to significantly enhance and impair animals’ WCST performance in WCST functionally relevant ways. All results are therefore consistent with an emerging picture of regional functional specialization within a distributed network of interacting and interconnected PFC regions, about which the combination of electrophysiology and neurostimulation provides mechanistic insights.

Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Goal maintenance & switching


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