Bennet Givens

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The psychological construct 'sustained attention' describes a fundamental component of attention characterized by the subject's readiness to detect rarely and unpredictably occurring signals over prolonged periods of time. Human imaging studies have demonstrated that activation of frontal and parietal cortical areas, mostly in the right hemisphere, are(More)
Cortical cholinergic inputs are hypothesized to mediate attentional functions. The present experiment was designed to determine the single unit activity of neurons within the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of rats performing a sustained visual attention task. Demands on attentional performance were varied by the presentation of a visual distractor. The(More)
Low doses of ethanol can alter neural activity in the septohippocampal pathway, a pathway critical for spatial working memory. The present study was designed to determine whether acute ethanol induces impairments in working memory and disrupts septohippocampal function as measured by the hippocampal theta rhythm. Rats were preoperatively trained on delayed(More)
The relationship between memory and rhythmic neural activity in the dentate gyrus was investigated by analyzing spontaneous dentate field potentials in rats performing either a working or reference memory task. The baseline level of rhythmic theta activity was similar in both groups. Following an initial negative potential in the sensory-evoked response, a(More)
The hypotheses that the medial septal area (MSA) is critical for working memory and that MSA neural activity is positively regulated by cholinergic inputs leads to two testable predictions: (1) working memory can be bidirectionally modulated by muscarinic manipulations of the MSA and (2) muscarinic activation of the MSA can enhance memory under conditions(More)
The role of the septohippocampal pathway in working memory was investigated by direct microinfusion of compounds into the medial septal area (MSA). Behavior was measured by performance in a continuous spatial alteration task in a T maze, and hippocampal theta rhythm was also recorded. Intraseptal saline had no effect on choice accuracy or hippocampal theta(More)
Connections among theta rhythm, long-term potentiation (LTP) and memory in hippocampus are suggested by previous research, but definitive links are yet to be established. We investigated the hypothesis that resetting of local hippocampal theta to relevant stimuli in a working memory task produces optimal conditions for induction of LTP. The timings of the(More)
Aged rats have impairments in several types of cognitive functions, including spatial working memory (WM), that are dependent upon the septohippocampal cholinergic system. The present series of experiments was designed to assess the effectiveness of pharmacological manipulations of the medial septal area (MSA) in order to influence the physiology of the(More)
The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) plays an integral role in visuospatial attention. Evidence suggests that neuronal activity in the PPC predicts the allocation of attention to stimuli. The present experiment tested the hypothesis that in rats performing a sustained attention task, the detection of signals, as opposed to missed signals, is associated with(More)
 Acute exposure to ethanol produces deficits in sustained attention in humans, but these attentional deficits have not been modeled in animals. In this study, an operant task was used to investigate the effects of low and moderate doses of ethanol on sustained attention in rats. Performance on a two-choice reaction time task over a 1-h session was assessed(More)