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Differential engagement of frontal-striatal circuits during decision making under different behavioral rules

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 — Poster Session IV

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Natcher Conference Center




  • E Lee
  • M Seo
  • BB Averbeck


Frontal-striatal interactions have been implicated in cognitive control processes. However, the interaction between the frontal cortex and the striatum in flexible vs. overlearned processes has not been assessed directly. We used an oculomotor sequential decision making task in non-human primates to investigate the role of this circuit in these behaviors. The task was carried out under two conditions; either the correct spatial sequence of eye movements varied randomly every trial, or remained fixed for blocks of eight correct trials, always following one of eight highly over-learned sequences. Behavioral results showed higher accuracy and shorter reaction times in the fixed than random sequence blocks and performance in the random blocks scaled with the difficulty of the perceptual decision. We recorded field potentials from lateral prefrontal cortex (lPFC) and the dorsal striatum (dStr) simultaneously using multi electrodes. Coherence in local field potentials between lPFC and dStr was higher in high beta and low gamma bands during the fixed blocks than during the random blocks. Overall, our results show that cooperation of lPFC and dSTR is higher during automatic execution of overlearned sequences than during flexible responding on the basis of a perceptual decision.

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