Format of Original
Society for Neuroscience
The Journal of Neuroscience
Original Item ID
The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) plays an important role in memory. By maintaining a working memory buffer, neurons in prelimbic (PL) mPFC may selectively contribute to learning associations between stimuli that are separated in time, as in trace fear conditioning (TFC). Until now, evidence for this bridging role was largely descriptive. Here we used optogenetics to silence neurons in the PL mPFC of rats during learning in TFC. Memory formation was prevented when mPFC was silenced specifically during the interval separating the cue and shock. Our results provide support for a working memory function for these cells and indicate that associating two noncontiguous stimuli requires bridging activity in PL mPFC.
Gilmartin, Marieke R.; Miyawaki, Hiroyuki; Helmstetter, Fred J.; and Diba, Kamran, "Prefrontal Activity Links Nonoverlapping Events in Memory" (2013). Biomedical Sciences Faculty Research and Publications. 31.