Pathway-Specific Striatal Substrates for Habitual Behavior.

Journal Article

The dorsolateral striatum (DLS) is implicated in habit formation. However, the DLS circuit mechanisms underlying habit remain unclear. A key role for DLS is to transform sensorimotor cortical input into firing of output neurons that project to the mutually antagonistic direct and indirect basal ganglia pathways. Here we examine whether habit alters this input-output function. By imaging cortically evoked firing in large populations of pathway-defined striatal projection neurons (SPNs), we identify features that strongly correlate with habitual behavior on a subject-by-subject basis. Habitual behavior correlated with strengthened DLS output to both pathways as well as a tendency for action-promoting direct pathway SPNs to fire before indirect pathway SPNs. In contrast, habit suppression correlated solely with a weakened direct pathway output. Surprisingly, all effects were broadly distributed in space. Together, these findings indicate that the striatum imposes broad, pathway-specific modulations of incoming activity to render learned motor behaviors habitual.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • O'Hare, JK; Ade, KK; Sukharnikova, T; Van Hooser, SD; Palmeri, ML; Yin, HH; Calakos, N

Published Date

  • February 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 89 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 472 - 479

PubMed ID

  • 26804995

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-4199

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0896-6273

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.12.032

Language

  • eng