Role of rat anterior cingulate cortex in effort- and courage-based decision making

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Holec, Victoria
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, [Dept. of] Neuroscience, c2013
When given a choice between getting a high reward that requires climbing a high ramp or pressing a lever multiple times, versus freely obtaining a low reward, healthy rats prefer the former, while rats with lesions to the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) prefer the latter. We developed two novel effort tasks to examine if ACC mediates other types of physical effort (weight-lifting) as well as emotional effort (courage). We replicated previous findings on a modified version of the ramp-climbing task, showing that ACC lesions impair these decisions. Lesions of ACC did not impair weight-lifting effort, even when higher levels of effort were used and training on the task was eliminated. Initially, lesions of ACC did not impair courage effort. When the task effort was subsequently increased, rats with ACC lesions showed a failure to adapt to novelty throughout testing. This research indicated that not all effort is mediated by ACC.
xii, 177 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm
Rats -- Behavior , Prefrontal cortex -- Physiology , Brain -- Research , Decision making -- Physiological aspects , Rats as laboratory animals , Dissertations, Academic