Chemogenetic Inactivation of Dorsal Anterior Cingulate Cortex Neurons Disrupts Attentional Behavior in Mouse

" We virally expressed inhibitory hM4Di designer receptor exclusively activated by a designer drug (DREADD) in dACC neurons, and examined the effects of this inhibitory action with the attention-based 5-choice serial reaction time task. DREADD inactivation of the dACC neurons during the task significantly increased omission and correct response latencies, indicating that the neuronal activities of dACC contribute to attention and processing speed. Selective inactivation of excitatory neurons in the dACC not only increased omission, but also decreased accuracy. The effect of inactivating dACC neurons was selective to attention as response control, motivation and locomotion remain normal. This finding suggests that dACC excitatory neurons play a principal role in modulating attention to task relevant stimuli. This study establishes a foundation to chemogenetically dissect specific cell-type and circuit mechanisms underlying attentional behaviors in a genetically tractable species."

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