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Effects of cholinergic enhancement on conditioning-related responses in human auditory cortex

Thiel, CM; Bentley, P; Dolan, RJ; (2002) Effects of cholinergic enhancement on conditioning-related responses in human auditory cortex. EUR J NEUROSCI , 16 (11) 2199 - 2206. 10.1046/j.1460-9568.2002.02272.x.

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Abstract

It has previously been shown that cholinergic blockade attenuates conditioning-related neuronal responses in human auditory cortex. The present study was conducted to investigate the effect of cholinergic enhancement on such experience-dependent cortical responses. The cholinesterase inhibitor physostigmine, or a placebo control, were continuously infused into healthy young volunteers, during differential aversive conditioning whilst brain activity was measured using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Volunteers were presented with two tones, one of which (CS+) was conditioned by pairing with an electrical shock whereas the other was always presented without the shock (CS-). Conditioning-related activations, expressed as an enhanced blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) response to the salient CS+, were evident in left auditory cortex under placebo but not under physostigmine. This absence of conditioning-related activations under physostigmine was due to enhanced responses to the CS- under physostigmine as compared to placebo. We suggest that an overactive cholinergic system leads to increased processing of behaviourally irrelevant stimuli and thus attenuates differential conditioning-related cortical activations.

Type: Article
Title: Effects of cholinergic enhancement on conditioning-related responses in human auditory cortex
DOI: 10.1046/j.1460-9568.2002.02272.x
Keywords: acetylcholine, learning, neuroimaging, plasticity, psychopharmacology, CEREBRAL BLOOD-FLOW, RECEPTIVE-FIELD PLASTICITY, BASAL FOREBRAIN, CORTICAL ACETYLCHOLINE, INVERSE AGONIST, WORKING-MEMORY, FRONTAL-CORTEX, VISUAL-CORTEX, PHYSOSTIGMINE, STIMULATION
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/66487
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