Burk JA, Otoya D, Leong C, Ng A, Kozikowski CT (2014) Assessing removal of illumination as a signal: Effects of loss of basal forebrain corticopetal cholinergic neurons. Neuroscience 2014 Abstracts 263.06. Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC.
Summary: In the vast majority of experiments assessing visual attention in animal models, tasks are employed that require the detection of a stimulus that was previously absent. Relatively few experiments have employed procedures where the signal is the removal of a previously presented stimulus. In the present experiment, we modified a previously validated measure of a visual attention that required detection of a signal (illumination of a central panel light for 500, 100 or 25ms) from “blank” trials when the light was not illuminated. Loss of basal forebrain corticopetal cholinergic neurons has been shown to decrease signal detection in this task. We modified the task so that the central panel light was illuminated throughout the intertrial interval and a signal occurred when the light was turned off (4-s) whereas a blank trial occurred when the central panel light remained illuminated. Male FBNF1 hybrid rats were trained in this revised attention task and then assigned to receive infusions of 192IgG-saporin or saline into the basal forebrain. Rats were retrained in the task after surgery and then received one session with a houselight flashing in the back of the chamber throughout testing and a second session with the signal decreased from 4-to 2-s. During presurgical training, we observed that animals required a longer signal to maintain stable task performance when the signal involved turning off the central panel light. Surprisingly, loss of basal forebrain corticopetal cholinergic inputs was associated with higher rates of signal detection compared with sham-lesioned animals, although this effect was attenuated with subsequent training. Flashing the houselight decreased accuracy on blank trials, but did not differentially affect lesioned and sham-lesioned animals. Signal detection accuracy significantly declined in both lesioned and sham-lesioned animals when the signal duration was decreased. Collectively, these results suggest that task manipulations appear to have similar effects whether the signal involves turning the central panel light on or off. However, the neural mechanisms that are engaged during these two types of tasks appear to be different. Future work in our laboratory will explore the role of basal forebrain noncholinergic neurons in performance of a task with turning the central panel light off serves as a signal.
Related Products: 192-IgG-SAP (Cat. #IT-01)