Frequency-Related Dynamic Interactions Across VTA, Striatum and PFC regions in Rats

Monday 3 June 2024, 10:30 am
PhD student
N. Marzban
prof. dr. F.P. Battaglia
dr. B. Englitz

Using theoretical and experimental backgrounds, we aimed to reveal the frequency-dependent mesoscopic brain dynamics of the frontostriatal tegmental (FST) regions in awake-behaving rats. Specifically, we investigated oscillatory changes in neuronal population interactions across the prefrontal cortex (PFC), striatum (STR), ventral tegmental area (VTA), and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC) across frequency ranges in both behavioral and non-behavioral contexts. Experimentally, we used in vivo electrophysiology to record neuronal oscillatory activity signals simultaneously from the VTA, SNC, STR, and PFC regions using high-density silicon probes combined with optogenetic activation of the mid-brain SNC and VTA dopamine neurons within a given range of frequency bands. Therefore, we investigated the oscillatory activity changes in neuronal populations across FST dynamics upon specific frequency band activation of VTA and SNC dopamine cells. Theoretical and analytical approaches have revealed the specific frequency-based activity of spatially restricted clusters across local and wide-ranging microcircuit dynamics in FST circuits. Overall, this thesis will help link oscillatory activities in FST neural circuits at the meso level to the micro- and macro levels.