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Nicotine reinforces smoking behaviour by activating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the midbrain dopaminergic reward centres. Upstream of the dopaminergic neurons nicotine induces long-term potentiation of the excitatory input to dopamine cells in the ventral tegmental area, and depresses inhibitory inputs. Both effects of nicotine were shown to last(More)
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients report memory problems greater than those normally expected with ageing, but do not fulfil criteria for clinically probable Alzheimer's disease. Accumulating evidence demonstrates that impaired performance on the Paired Associates Learning (PAL) test from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery(More)
The late positive potential (LPP) is an event-related potential (ERP) component over visual cortical areas that is modulated by the emotional intensity of a stimulus. However, the functional significance of this neural modulation remains elusive. We conducted two experiments in which we studied the relation between LPP amplitude, subsequent perceptual(More)
We investigated to what extent Pitx3 deficiency, causing hyperdopaminergic transmission in the nucleus accumbens microcircuitry, may lead to developmental changes. First, spontaneous firing activity of cholinergic interneurons in the nucleus accumbens was recorded in vitro. Firing patterns in the Pitx3-deficient mice were more variable and intrinsically(More)
The rat nucleus accumbens contains acetylcholine-releasing interneurons, presumed to play a regulatory role in the electrical activity of medium spiny output neurons. In order to examine this issue in detail, we made electrophysiological recordings in rat nucleus accumbens slices. These experiments showed that gamma-aminobutyric acid-mediated inhibition of(More)
Electrophysiological studies have identified a scalp potential, the late positive potential (LPP), which is modulated by the emotional intensity of observed stimuli. Previous work has shown that the LPP reflects the modulation of activity in extrastriate visual cortical structures, but little is known about the source of that modulation. The present study(More)
A robust increase in dopaminergic transmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell has been reported to be consistently associated with the long-term expression of behavioural sensitization to drugs of abuse. However, little is known about how this affects the neuronal network of the NAc. We made cellular recordings in NAc slices of saline- and(More)
When our brain detects the commission of an error, we slow down immediately thereafter: a phenomenon called post-error slowing (PES). Some researchers have speculated that slowing after unexpected errors or negative feedback is related to the activity of the neuromodulatory locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system. In the present pilot study, we tested whether(More)
There is evidence that noradrenergic coeruleo-cortical projections are involved in different forms of cognitive flexibility. So far, no studies in humans have investigated the involvement of beta receptors on task-switching performance, a well-established measure of cognitive flexibility. The present study investigated whether the administration of(More)