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The relationship of measures of retrosplenial cortex neurons with parameters of instrumental behavior in rats

DOI 10.18127/j19998554-201810-05


A.G. Gorkin – Ph.D. (Psychol.), Senior Research Scientist, Institute of Psychology RAS (Moscow)
E.A. Kusina – Junior Research Scientist, Institute of Psychology RAS (Moscow)
O.A. Solovieva — Associate Research Scientist, Institute of Psychology RAS; Junior Research Scientist, P.K. Anokhin Institute of Normal Physiology (Moscow)

In our previous studies we found in retrosplenial cortex (RC) of adult animals, along with specialized in respect to acts of instrumental food-acquisition behavior (IFB) neurons, other cells, which activity was modulated by behavior, but did not meet the criterion of specialization. These two types of neurons have differentiated activity unlike cells that do not change activity in behavior. It is not known how the individual peculiarities of the realization of the behavior learned in the experimental environment are related with different parameters of the differentiation of neural activity. We compared the characteristics of behavior associated with the quality of its performance (the proportion of ineffective acts of checking the feeder, the duration, as well as the variability of the time of acts) with the parameters of differentiation of neuronal activity (the proportion of specialized neurons in different animals, the irregularity of activity of a neuron in the acts of the IFB, number of significant differences in pairwise comparisons of the spiking frequency in the acts of the IFB).
Significant individual differences in the parameters of behavior and differentiation of neural activity were found. Interindividual comparison revealed the correspondence between such characteristics of behavior as duration and variability of acts time, on the one hand, and variability and differentiation of neuronal activity frequency, on the other. Rats with higher indices of duration and variability of IFB acts realization time had on average more neurons with high variability of spiking frequency and less neurons with differentiated activity in these acts, and animals with the lower duration and variability of acts time had the higher number of differentiated neurons. We also found differences in behavior on two different sides of the experimental cage in most animals. In this case, a similar pattern was revealed: lower variability of behavior execution time was related with low frequency variability, greater differentiation of neuronal activity and a greater number of cases of significant correlation of frequency and duration in successive realizations of the similar acts.
The work was financially supported by RSF grant № 14-28-00229.

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