Selective Activation of a Putative Reinforcement Signal Conditions Cued Interval Timing in Primary Visual Cortex

Cheng Hang Liu, Jason E. Coleman, Heydar Davoudi, Kechen Zhang, Marshall G. Hussaina Shuler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Summary As a consequence of conditioning visual cues with delayed reward, cue-evoked neural activity that predicts the time of expected future reward emerges in the primary visual cortex (V1). We hypothesized that this reward-timing activity is engendered by a reinforcement signal conveying reward acquisition to V1. In lieu of behavioral conditioning, we assessed in vivo whether selective activation of either basal forebrain (BF) or cholinergic innervation is sufficient to condition cued interval-timing activity. Substituting for actual reward, optogenetic activation of BF or cholinergic input within V1 at fixed delays following visual stimulation entrains neural responses that mimic behaviorally conditioned reward-timing activity. Optogenetically conditioned neural responses express cue-evoked temporal intervals that correspond to the conditioning intervals, are bidirectionally modifiable, display experience-dependent refinement, and exhibit a scale invariance to the encoded delay. Our results demonstrate that the activation of BF or cholinergic input within V1 is sufficient to encode cued interval-timing activity and indicate that V1 itself is a substrate for associative learning that may inform the timing of visually cued behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11971
Pages (from-to)1551-1561
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume25
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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