Cholinergic modulation of the medial prefrontal cortex: the role of nicotinic receptors in attention and regulation of neuronal activity
Author(s)Bloem, Bernard; Poorthuis, Rogier B.; Mansvelder, Huibert D.
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Acetylcholine (ACh) release in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is crucial for normal cognitive performance. Despite the fact that many have studied how ACh affects neuronal processing in the mPFC and thereby influences attention behavior, there is still a lot unknown about how this occurs. Here we will review the evidence that cholinergic modulation of the mPFC plays a role in attention and we will summarize the current knowledge about the role between ACh receptors (AChRs) and behavior and how ACh receptor activation changes processing in the cortical microcircuitry. Recent evidence implicates fast phasic release of ACh in cue detection and attention. This review will focus mainly on the fast ionotropic nicotinic receptors and less on the metabotropic muscarinic receptors. Finally, we will review limitations of the existing studies and address how innovative technologies might push the field forward in order to gain understanding into the relation between ACh, neuronal activity and behavior.
DepartmentMcGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT
Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Frontiers Research Foundation
Bloem, Bernard, Rogier B. Poorthuis, and Huibert D. Mansvelder. “Cholinergic Modulation of the Medial Prefrontal Cortex: The Role of Nicotinic Receptors in Attention and Regulation of Neuronal Activity.” Front. Neural Circuits 8 (March 11, 2014).
Final published version