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There are several brain regions that have been implicated in the control of motivated behavior and whose disruption leads to the pathophysiology observed in major psychiatric disorders. These systems include the ventral hippocampus, which is involved in context and focus on tasks, the amygdala, which mediates emotional behavior, and the prefrontal cortex,(More)
Goal-directed behavior is believed to involve interactions of prefrontal cortical and limbic inputs in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), and their modulation by mesolimbic dopamine (DA) seems to be of primary importance in NAcc function. Using in vivo electrophysiological recordings simultaneously with DA system manipulation in rats, we show that tonic and(More)
The prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus exhibit converging projections to the nucleus accumbens and have functional reciprocal connections via indirect pathways. As a result, information processing between these structures is likely to be bidirectional. Using evoked potential measures, we examined the interactions of these inputs on synaptic plasticity(More)
Dopamine has undergone extensive investigation due to its known involvement in a number of neurological and psychiatric disorders. In particular, studies into pathological conditions have focused on the roles of high amplitude, phasically evoked dopamine release in regions such as the prefrontal cortex and striatum. However, research has shown that dopamine(More)
The nucleus accumbens regulates goal-directed behaviors by integrating information from limbic structures and the prefrontal cortex. Here, we review recent studies in an attempt to provide an integrated view of the control of information processing in the nucleus accumbens in terms of the regulation of goal-directed behaviors and how disruption of these(More)
Nucleus accumbens neurons show membrane potential fluctuations between a very negative resting membrane potential and periodical plateau depolarizations. Because action potential firing occurs only during the depolarized state, the control of transitions between states is important for information processing within this region, with an impact on(More)
The hippocampus is one of the brain regions involved in cognitive functions, including learning and memory. Extensive studies have unveiled how information is processed within this system. However, the mechanisms by which hippocampal activity is translated into action remain unsolved. One important target of hippocampal projections is the nucleus accumbens,(More)
The nucleus accumbens is a brain region in which limbic and motor inputs converge. How these information modalities shape accumbens output is not clearly understood. Here, we report that synaptic inputs from the prefrontal cortex and limbic structures interact differently depending on their timing. Coincident inputs may result in enhancing information flow(More)
Prefrontal cortex (PFC) mediates an assortment of cognitive functions including working memory, behavioral flexibility, attention, and future planning. Unlike the hippocampus, where induction of synaptic plasticity in the network is well-documented in relation to long-term memory, cognitive functions mediated by the PFC have been thought to be independent(More)
Information gleaned from learning and memory processes is essential in guiding behavior toward a specific goal. However, the neural mechanisms that determine how these processes are effectively utilized to guide goal-directed behavior are unknown. Here, we show that rats utilize retrospective and prospective memory and flexible switching between these 2(More)