UBC Undergraduate Research

The Role of Interactions Between the Cortex and the Amygdala in Risky Decision-Making Symonds, Nicola; Jenni, Nicole; Floresco, Stan 2019-03-16

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Nicola	SymondsNicole	Jenni,	Dr.	Stan	Floresco,	Neural	Circuits	and	Cognition	LabDepartment	of	Psychology	and	Brain	Research	CenterUniversity	of	British	ColumbiaThe	Role	of	Interactions	Between	the	Cortex	and	the	Amygdala	in	Risky	Decision-MakingMarch	16,	2019OverviewØ Big	rewards	tend	to	come	at	a	riskØ Cost-benefit	analysis	required	to	determine	optimal	actionsØ mOFC	and	BLA	implicated	in	value-based	decision-making	(Izquierdo,	2017;	Stolyarova et	al,	2017)Medial	Orbitofrontal	CortexBasolateral	Amygdala1	pelletmaybe	4	pelletsSmall/Certain	leverLarge/Risky	Lever(uncertain)??%	choice	of	the	Large/Risky	leverLarge	Reward	ProbabilityRisky	lever	advantageousCertain	lever	advantageousEvenMoneyProbabilistic	Discounting	Task0255075100100% 50% 25% 12.5% 6.25%Measuring	risky	decision-makingmOFC	and	BLA	involvementHow	are	the	reciprocal	pathways	between	the	mOFC	and	the	BLA	involved	in	regulating	risky	decision-making?BLAØ mOFC	and	BLA	are	anatomically	connected	through	a	bidirectional	pathway	(Izquierdo,	2017;	Stolyarovaet	al,	2017)Ø Inactivation	of	the	BLA decreases risky	choice	(Ghods-Sharifi et	al,	2009)Ø Damage	to	and	inactivation	of	the	mOFCincreases risky	choice	 (Bechara et	al,	1994;	Clark	et	al,	2008)BLAmOFCØInfuse	DREADDs	virus	into	BLAØReceptors	implanted	in	the	terminals,	wait	6-8	weeks	for	full	expressionØInfuse	designer	drug	into	mOFC	to	prevent	signal	transmission	from	BLA	to	mOFCManipulating	brain	circuitsØDesigner	Receptors	Exclusively	Activated	by	Designer	Drugs	(DREADDs)Experimental	DesignDREADDs	virus Control	virusDRUG DRUG SALINESALINEResults:	BLA	àmOFC	pathwayBLA%	choice	of	the	Large/Risky	lever02550751000255075100Large	Reward	Probability100% 50% 25% 12.5% 6.25%SalineDrugLarge	Reward	Probability100% 50% 25% 12.5% 6.25%%	choice	of	the	Large/Risky	lever0255075100SalineDrugNo	change	in	risky	decision-makingDREADDs	virus Control	virusResults:	mOFC	à BLA	pathwayBLA0.400.600.801.00Proportion	of	TrialsWin-Stay Lose-ShiftLarge	Reward	Probability%	choice	of	the	Large/Risky	lever0255075100100% 50% 25% 12.5% 6.25%SalineDrug%	choice	of	the	Large/Risky	lever0255075100Large	Reward	Probability100% 50% 25% 12.5% 6.25%Increase	in	risky	decision-makingDREADDs	virusControl	virusWhat	does	this	mean?PrelimbicCortexBLAØUnidirectional	mode	of	communication	from	mOFC	to	BLAØTop-down	processingØConsistent	with	findings	from	medial	prefrontal	cortex	to	BLA	(St.	Onge	et	al,	2012)Summary	and	ImplicationsØmOFC	à amygdala	circuitry	promotes	economic	decisionsØHelps	individuals	learn	from	non-rewarded	actions	in	order	to	update	future	choicesØProvides	insight	into	maladaptive	forms	of	decision-making	observed	in	addiction

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