Volume 20, Issue 1, 2015
The globus pallidus is a major output station for the basal ganglia, a subcortical region of the brain that is heavilyimplicated in action selection and decision making. A subpopulation of neurons in the internal segment (GPi) projects tothe laternal habenula (LHb), often associated with the limbic system and known to encode for negative motivational value.Dysfunction in these structures have been implicated in neurological diseases, such as depression and schizophrenia,which are ultimately disruptions in the ability to evaluate environmental cues and regulate motor output. In order togain more information about the neurons which encode for this behavior, we conducted extracellular recordings whilethe mice are carrying out a set of reward learning tasks and analyzed the collected spike trains. We detail here themethods of information extraction from the neuronal populations that we have classified. We also present preliminaryresults of their activity profile for various outcomes as well as for reward history and prediction error. With collection ofinformation from a larger set of cells, we might be able to more definitively gain an understanding of the methods bywhich these neurons encode motivation, action selection and outcome evaluation.
'The Human Microbiome: Slowly Getting There'; by Alexander Reynaldi
'Scientists Selling Genetically-Engineered Micro-Pigs'; by Kara Turner