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Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) on dopaminergic (DA) and GABAergic (Gaba) projection neurons of the substantia nigra (SN) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) are characterized by single-cell RT-PCR and patch-clamp recordings in slices of rat and wild-type, beta2-/-, alpha4-/-, and alpha7-/- mice. The eight nAChR subunits expressed in these nuclei,(More)
In the mammalian visual system the formation of eye-specific layers at the thalamic level depends on retinal waves of spontaneous activity, which rely on nicotinic acetylcholine receptor activation. We found that in mutant mice lacking the beta2 subunit of the neuronal nicotinic receptor, but not in mice lacking the alpha4 subunit, retinofugal projections(More)
Abstract Despite their lack of language, human infants and several animal species possess some elementary abilities for numerical processing. These include the ability to recognize that a given numerosity is being presented visually or auditorily, and, at a later stage of development, the ability to compare two nume-rosities and to decide which is larger.(More)
A minimal hypothesis is proposed concerning the brain processes underlying effortful tasks. It distinguishes two main computational spaces: a unique global workspace composed of distributed and heavily interconnected neurons with long-range axons, and a set of specialized and modular perceptual, motor, memory, evaluative, and attentional processors.(More)
Release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the mesolimbic system of the brain mediates the reinforcing properties of several drugs of abuse, including nicotine. Here we investigate the contribution of the high-affinity neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor to the effects of nicotine on the mesolimbic dopamine system in mice lacking the beta2 subunit of(More)
Neuropsychologists commonly use the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test as a test of the integrity of frontal lobe functions. However, an account of its range of validity and of the neuronal mechanisms involved is lacking. We analyze the test at 3 different levels. First, the different versions of the test are described, and the results obtained with normal(More)
Worldwide, 100 million people are expected to die this century from the consequences of nicotine addiction, but nicotine is also known to enhance cognitive performance. Identifying the molecular mechanisms involved in nicotine reinforcement and cognition is a priority and requires the development of new in vivo experimental paradigms. The ventral tegmental(More)
The identification of the molecular mechanisms involved in nicotine addiction and its cognitive consequences is a worldwide priority for public health. Novel in vivo paradigms were developed to match this aim. Although the beta2 subunit of the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) has been shown to play a crucial role in mediating the(More)
Nicotine affects many aspects of behaviour including learning and memory through its interaction with neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). Functional nAChRs are pentameric proteins containing at least one type of alpha-subunit and one type of beta-subunit. The involvement of a particular neuronal nicotinic subunit in pharmacology and(More)
Although the expression patterns of the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits thus far described are known, the subunit composition of functional receptors in different brain areas is an ongoing question. Mice lacking the beta2 subunit of the nAChR were used for receptor autoradiography studies and patch-clamp recording in thin brain(More)