High beta rhythm amplitude in olfactory learning signs a wellconsolidated and non-fexible behavioral state
Published: 12-30-2019 In Publication
Beta rhythm (15–30 Hz) is a major candidate underlying long-range communication in the brain. In olfactory tasks, beta activity is strongly modulated by learning but its condition of expression and the network(s) responsible for its generation are unclear. Here we analyzed the emergence of beta activity in local field potentials recorded from olfactory, sensorimotor and limbic structures of rats performing an olfactory task. Rats performed successively simple discrimination, rule transfer, memory recall tests and contingency reversal. Beta rhythm amplitude progressively increased over learning in most recorded areas. Beta amplitude reduced to baseline when new odors were introduced, but remained high during memory recall. Intra-session analysis showed that even expert rats required several trials to reach a good performance level, with beta rhythm amplitude increasing in parallel. Notably, at the beginning of the reversal task, beta amplitude remained high while performance was low and, in all tested animals, beta amplitude decreased before rats were able to learn the new contingencies. Connectivity analysis showed that beta activity was highly coherent between all structures where it was expressed. Overall, our results suggest that beta rhythm is expressed in a highly coherent network when context learning - including both odors and reward - is consolidated and signals behavioral inflexibility.
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