Subscribe: Behavioral Neuroscience - Vol 123, Iss 6
Preview: Behavioral Neuroscience - Vol 123, Iss 6

Behavioral Neuroscience - Vol 131, Iss 4

The primary mission of Behavioral Neuroscience is to publish original research papers in the broad field of the biological bases of behavior.

Last Build Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2017 04:00:46 GMT


Promoting transparency and reproducibility in Behavioral Neuroscience: Publishing replications, registered reports, and null results.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 04:00:00 GMT

The editors of Behavioral Neuroscience have been discussing several recent developments in the landscape of scientific publishing. The discussion was prompted, in part, by reported issues of reproducibility and concerns about the integrity of the scientific literature. Although enhanced rigor and transparency in science are certainly important, a related issue is that increased competition and focus on novel findings has impeded the extent to which the scientific process is cumulative. We have decided to join the growing number of journals that are adopting new reviewing and publishing practices to address these problems. In addition to our standard research articles, we are pleased to announce 3 new categories of articles: replications, registered reports, and null results. In joining other journals in psychology and related fields to offer these publication types, we hope to promote higher standards of methodological rigor in our science. This will ensure that our discoveries are based on sound evidence and that they provide a durable foundation for future progress. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

No evidence for enhancements to visual working memory with transcranial direct current stimulation to prefrontal or posterior parietal cortices.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 04:00:00 GMT

The present study examined the relative contributions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and posterior parietal cortex (PPC) to visual working memory. Evidence from a number of different techniques has led to the theory that the PFC controls access to working memory (i.e., filtering), determining which information is encoded and maintained for later use whereas the parietal cortex determines how much information is held at 1 given time, regardless of relevance (i.e., capacity; McNab & Klingberg, 2008; Vogel, McCollough, & Machizawa, 2005). To test this theory, we delivered transcranial DC stimulation (tDCS) to the right PFC and right PPC and measured visual working memory capacity and filtering abilities both during and immediately following stimulation. We observed no evidence that tDCS to either the PFC or PPC significantly improved visual working memory. Although the present results did not allow us to make firm theoretical conclusions about the roles of the PFC and PPC in working memory, the results add to the growing body of literature surrounding tDCS and its associated behavioral and neurophysiological effects. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

The development of perineuronal nets around parvalbumin gabaergic neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex and basolateral amygdala of rats.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 04:00:00 GMT

Perineuronal nets (PNNs) are extracellular matrix structures that preferentially surround mature GABAergic neurons that express the calcium-binding protein parvalbumin (PV). It has been suggested that aberrant PNN formation in humans may contribute to psychological disorders, many of which emerge during childhood and adolescence. The present experiment investigated the normative developmental trajectory of PNN formation in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and basolateral amygdala (BLA) in juvenile (P24), adolescent (P35–36), and adult (∼P70) rats. Dual-immunofluorescence staining revealed that there was a marked increase in the number of PNNs in both the prelimbic and infralimbic regions of the mPFC across the transition from the juvenile to adolescent period. Although there were no differences in the number of PV neurons across age groups, adolescent and adult rats had more PNNs surrounding PV neurons than juveniles. In contrast to the mPFC, juvenile and adolescent rats had similar total numbers of PNNs in the BLA, and total numbers of PNNs were even higher in adults in this region. In the BLA, adults had more PNNs around non-PV cells whereas the number of PV cells with PNNs did not differ across ages. However, expression patterns differed within subregions of the BLA such that adults had the most PNNs around both PV and non-PV cells in the lateral nucleus, with no age differences observed in the basal nucleus. These findings demonstrate that the juvenile to adolescent developmental period is an important time for the formation of prefrontal PNNs and the maturation of PV inhibitory neurons. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

CB₁ receptor antagonism in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis interferes with affective opioid withdrawal in rats.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 04:00:00 GMT

The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is a region of the extended amygdala that is implicated in addiction, anxiety, and stress related behaviors. This region has been identified in mediating the aversive state of naloxone-precipitated morphine withdrawal (MWD) and cannabinoid Type I (CB1) receptors have been found to modulate neurotransmission within this region. Previous findings suggest that the CB1 antagonist/inverse agonist, AM251, administered systemically or by infusion into the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) prevented the aversive affective properties of MWD as measured by conditioned place aversion learning. As well, when administered systemically or by infusion into the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) or the interoceptive insular cortex, the monoaclyglycerol lipase (MAGL) inhibitor, MJN110 (which elevates 2-arachidonlyglycerol), also prevented a naloxone-precipitated MWD induced place aversion. Given the connectivity of these regions and the BNST, the present study sought to determine whether cannabinoid modulation of the BNST would also prevent the affective properties of naloxone precipitated MWD-induced place aversion learning. Prior to conditioning trials, rats received intra-BNST infusions of AM251, in Experiment 1, or MJN110 in Experiment 2. AM251, but not MJN110, prevented the establishment of the MWD-induced place aversion. The current findings emphasize an important role for the BNST in opioid withdrawal and suggest that the ameliorative effects of systemically administered CB1 antagonists are mediated, in part, by their actions within this region. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

Acetylcholine contributes to the integration of self-movement cues in head direction cells.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 04:00:00 GMT

Acetylcholine contributes to accurate performance on some navigational tasks, but details of its contribution to the underlying brain signals are not fully understood. The medial septal area provides widespread cholinergic input to various brain regions, but selective damage to medial septal cholinergic neurons generally has little effect on landmark-based navigation, or the underlying neural representations of location and directional heading in visual environments. In contrast, the loss of medial septal cholinergic neurons disrupts navigation based on path integration, but no studies have tested whether these path integration deficits are associated with disrupted head direction (HD) cell activity. Therefore, we evaluated HD cell responses to visual cue rotations in a familiar arena, and during navigation between familiar and novel arenas, after muscarinic receptor blockade with systemic atropine. Atropine treatment reduced the peak firing rate of HD cells, but failed to significantly affect other HD cell firing properties. Atropine also failed to significantly disrupt the dominant landmark control of the HD signal, even though we used a procedure that challenged this landmark control. In contrast, atropine disrupted HD cell stability during navigation between familiar and novel arenas, where path integration normally maintains a consistent HD cell signal across arenas. These results suggest that acetylcholine contributes to path integration, in part, by facilitating the use of idiothetic cues to maintain a consistent representation of directional heading. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

Multiple sclerosis reduces sensitivity to immediate reward during decision making.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 04:00:00 GMT

Individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) often face important health-related and financial decisions that involve trade-offs between short-term and long-term benefits, yet decision making is rarely studied in MS patients. The temporal discounting paradigm is a useful tool for investigating such time-dependent choices in humans. Here, we investigated whether patients with relapsing-remitting MS differed from healthy controls when making choices between hypothetical monetary rewards available at different points in time. Participants were tested in two conditions: in one, the choice was between a smaller amount of money available immediately and a larger amount of money available at a later date; in the other, a fixed delay of 60 days was added to both options. We found that, compared with healthy controls, MS patients favored less the sooner reward in the condition involving an immediate reward, whereas no difference between MS patients and the control group emerged in the condition involving only delayed rewards. Moreover, the decreased immediacy bias was corroborated by lower scores at scale that assesses responsiveness to rewards in MS patients. Taken together, these findings indicate reduced sensitivity to immediate reward and a consequent stronger willingness to defer gratification in MS individuals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

Temporal ventriloquism effect in European starlings: Evidence for two parallel processing pathways.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 04:00:00 GMT

The brain constantly has to interpret stimuli from a range of modalities originating from the same or different objects to create unambiguous percepts. The mechanisms of such multisensory processing have been intensely studied with respect to the time window of integration or the effect of spatial separation. However, the neural mechanisms remain elusive with respect to the role of alerting effects and multisensory integration. We addressed this issue by choosing a test paradigm where we could manipulate potentially alerting stimuli and simultaneously activating stimuli independently: We measured the temporal ventriloquism effect in European starlings by using the temporal order judgment paradigm with subjects judging the temporal order of the lighting of 2 spatially separated lights. If spatially noninformative acoustic stimuli were added to the visual stimuli the performance improved when the 2 visual stimuli were flanked by acoustic cues with a small time-offset compared to synchronous presentation. Two acoustic cues presented with asymmetric offsets showed that this effect was mainly driven by the cue trailing the second visual stimulus, while an acoustic cue leading the first visual stimulus had less effect. In contrast, 1 singleton acoustic cue prior to the first visual stimulus, without a second acoustic cue, enhanced performance. Our results support the hypothesis that the first stimulus pair with the leading sound activates alerting mechanisms and enhances neural processing, while the second stimulus pair with the trailing sound drives multisensory integration by simultaneous activation within the temporal binding window. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

The behavioral effects of chronic sugar and/or caffeine consumption in adult and adolescent rats.

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 04:00:00 GMT

Caffeine is a psychostimulant frequently consumed by adults and children, often in combination with high levels of sugar. Chronic pretreatment with either substance can amplify both amphetamine and cocaine-induced hyperactivity in rodents. The present study sought to elucidate whether age at the time of exposure to sugar and/or caffeine alters sensitivity to an acute illicit psychostimulant (methamphetamine, [METH]) challenge in adulthood. Adult and adolescent (Postnatal Day 35 on first day of treatment) male Sprague–Dawley rats were treated for 26 days with water, caffeine (0.6 g/L), 10% sucrose or their combination. Locomotor behavior was measured on the first and last day of treatment. Following 9-days treatment free, animals were challenged with saline (1 ml/kg, i.p.) or METH (1 mg/kg, i.p.) and locomotor activity was measured. During the treatment period, adolescent rats maintained a higher caffeine (mg/kg) dose than their adult counterparts. Adding sugar to caffeine increased adolescent consumption and the highest caffeine dose consumed was measured in these animals. Drinking sugar-sweetened caffeinated water or combination did not produce cross-sensitization to METH administration in either age group. Nevertheless, the finding that regular exposure through adolescence to caffeinated sugar-sweetened beverages could increase consumption of caffeine and sugar later in life is important, as there is a large body of evidence that has linked excess consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages to a broad range of other negative physical and mental health outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)