RESCUING AGE-RELATED BEHAVIORAL SLOWING VIA PHARMACOLOGICAL ENHANCEMENT OF CORTICAL GAMMA OSCILLATIONS

picture of Arturo Espinoza presenting his/her poster: RESCUING AGE-RELATED BEHAVIORAL SLOWING VIA PHARMACOLOGICAL ENHANCEMENT OF CORTICAL GAMMA OSCILLATIONS

Arturo Espinoza , Ajay Uprety, Alex Thomé, Dr. Carol Barnes

RESCUING AGE-RELATED BEHAVIORAL SLOWING VIA PHARMACOLOGICAL ENHANCEMENT OF CORTICAL GAMMA OSCILLATIONS

The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) has been widely implicated in a number of behaviors ranging from action selection to attention. Recently, it was shown that decision making speed is linked to the frequency of gamma oscillations in the ACC, with older memory-impaired rats showing gamma slowing. Age-related behavioral slowing is associated with a downward shift in the speed of the gamma oscillation in the ACC (Insel et al.,2012). Recent advances in structural chemistry have enabled the targeted design of drugs postulated to specifically enhance gamma oscillations, via a GABAa receptor mechanism. The goal of the experiment is to determine whether selectively increasing the frequency of gamma oscillations is a useful intervention for targeting age-related cognitive slowing. To investigate this question, neurophysiological recordings were collected from the ACC of aged rats during a three-choice, cued-making decision task. A task trial began when a rat entered a central platform and was presented with two cues, auditory and visual, which congruently signaled one of the three arms. If the rat followed the cues correctly it would be rewarded; if incorrect then the trial would not be rewarded. Single neurons from the anterior cingulate cortex were recorded to observe and analyze the neuronal activity in conjunction with the behavior of the rats.  Behavioral analysis was done pre- and post-drug administration on the aged rats, and the effects of the drug on the cortical gamma oscillations were examined. In a preliminary experiment we have not detected a significant effect of compound 6 on gamma oscillation frequency. Further experimentation, however, is required to increase the “n” for this study so that we may have the power to detect an effect. This work was supported by the McKnight Brain Research Foundation and NIH grant AG012609.

Conference Home | List of Abstracts | Photo Gallery