Articles by Aya Zucca in JoVE
New Variations for Strategy Set-shifting in the Rat Sho Aoki1, Andrew W. Liu1, Aya Zucca1, Stefano Zucca1, Jeffery R. Wickens1 1Neurobiology Research Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Set-shifting, a form of behavioral flexibility, requires an attentional shift from one stimulus dimension to another. We extended an established rodent set-shifting task1 by requiring attention to different stimuli according to context. The task was combined with specific lesions to identify neuron subtypes underlying a successful shift.
Other articles by Aya Zucca on PubMed
Acute Ethanol Exposure Inhibits Silencing of Cerebellar Golgi Cell Firing Induced by Granule Cell Axon Input Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience. 2014 | Pubmed ID: 24567705 Golgi cells (GoCs) are specialized interneurons that provide inhibitory input to granule cells in the cerebellar cortex. GoCs are pacemaker neurons that spontaneously fire action potentials, triggering spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents in granule cells and also contributing to the generation tonic GABAA receptor-mediated currents in granule cells. In turn, granule cell axons provide feedback glutamatergic input to GoCs. It has been shown that high frequency stimulation of granule cell axons induces a transient pause in GoC firing in a type 2-metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR2)-dependent manner. Here, we investigated the effect ethanol on the pause of GoC firing induced by high frequency stimulation of granule cell axons. GoC electrophysiological recordings were performed in parasagittal cerebellar vermis slices from postnatal day 23 to 26 rats. Loose-patch cell-attached recordings revealed that ethanol (40 mM) reversibly decreases the pause duration. An antagonist of mGluR2 reduced the pause duration but did not affect the effect of ethanol. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings showed that currents evoked by an mGluR2 agonist were not significantly affected by ethanol. Perforated-patch experiments in which hyperpolarizing and depolarizing currents were injected into GoCs demonstrated that there is an inverse relationship between spontaneous firing and pause duration. Slight inhibition of the Na(+)/K(+) pump mimicked the effect of ethanol on pause duration. In conclusion, ethanol reduces the granule cell axon-mediated feedback mechanism by reducing the input responsiveness of GoCs. This would result in a transient increase of GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition of granule cells, limiting information flow at the input stage of the cerebellar cortex.
Role of Striatal Cholinergic Interneurons in Set-Shifting in the Rat The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Jun, 2015 | Pubmed ID: 26109665 The ability to change strategies in different contexts is a form of behavioral flexibility that is crucial for adaptive behavior. The striatum has been shown to contribute to certain forms of behavioral flexibility such as reversal learning. Here we report on the contribution of striatal cholinergic interneurons-a key element in the striatal neuronal circuit-to strategy set-shifting in which an attentional shift from one stimulus dimension to another is required. We made lesions of rat cholinergic interneurons in dorsomedial or ventral striatum using a specific immunotoxin and investigated the effects on set-shifting paradigms and on reversal learning. In shifting to a set that required attention to a previously irrelevant cue, lesions of dorsomedial striatum significantly increased the number of perseverative errors. In this condition, the number of never-reinforced errors was significantly decreased in both types of lesions. When shifting to a set that required attention to a novel cue, rats with ventral striatum lesions made more perseverative errors. Neither lesion impaired learning of the initial response strategy nor a subsequent switch to a new strategy when response choice was indicated by a previously relevant cue. Reversal learning was not affected. These results suggest that in set-shifting the striatal cholinergic interneurons play a fundamental role, which is dissociable between dorsomedial and ventral striatum depending on behavioral context. We propose a common mechanism in which cholinergic interneurons inhibit neurons representing the old strategy and enhance plasticity underlying exploration of a new rule.