Functional reorganization of a prefrontal cortical network mediating consolidation of trace eyeblink conditioning

Shoai Hattori, Taejib Yoon, John F. Disterhoft, Craig Weiss*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been studied for its role in various cognitive functions, but the roles of its subregions remain unclear. We performed tetrode recordings simultaneously from prelimbic (PL) and rostral (rACC) and caudal (cACC) anterior cingulate subregions of the rabbit mPFC to understand their interactions during learning and tests of remote memory retention for whisker-signaled trace eyeblink conditioning. cACC neurons exhibited an innate response to the conditioning stimulus (CS) that rapidly decreased across sessions, suggesting an attentional role for facilitating CS-US associations. rACC neurons from conditioned rabbits exhibited robust responses to the CS that decreased within each session, possibly evaluating its emotional salience. PL neurons exhibited robust persistent activity during the trace interval during tests of remote memory retention, suggesting its involvement in retrieval and execution of a consolidated response. Mechanistically, conditioning was associated with a greater percentage of persistently responsive neurons than neurons from pseudoconditioned control rabbits, and responses differed significantly between trials with and without conditioned responses. Collectively, these responses reflect a functional reorganization of neural activity within the prefrontal network from an attentional mode to one that orchestrates the retrieval and execution of the learned response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1432-1445
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014


  • Anterior cingulate cortex
  • Hippocampus
  • Medial prefrontal cortex
  • Memory acquisition
  • Persistent firing
  • Prelimbic cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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