Optogenetic dissection of cortico-subcortical interactions during movement control in rodents

Ilka Diester (PI), Ahmed Adžemović

The initiation and inhibition of movements is one of the most fundamental but yet sophisticated behavioral phenomena in humans and animals. The PFC as the hub of executive control plays an instrumental role in this context. The exact functional roles of distinct PFC subareas as well as their projections to subcortical areas remains elusive. In recent studies in rats, we observed that inactivation of medial PFC subareas strongly influence proactive behavior (according to internal cues) with orthogonal effects of infralimbic and prelimbic cortex, while inhibition of orbitofrontal cortex subareas significantly impaired reactive movements (in response to external cues). The project aims at elucidating the role of outgoing projections of the PFC subsections to their subcortical targets. For this, we will combine in vivo extracellular recordings with optogenetic manipulation of the projections, connectivity analysis and modeling.