2020-07-13Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/22171
Play, but not observing play, engages rat medial prefrontal cortex
Cluster im Rahmen der Exzellenzinitiative
Rats have elaborate cognitive capacities for playing Hide & Seek. Playing Hide & Seek strongly engages medial prefrontal cortex and the activity of prefrontal cortex neurons reflects the structure of the game. We wondered if prefrontal neurons would also show a mirroring of play‐related neural activity. Specifically, we asked how does the activity in the rat medial prefrontal cortex differ when the animal plays itself versus when it observes others playing. Consistent with our previous work, when the animal plays itself we observed medial prefrontal cortex activity that was sharply locked to game events. Observing play, however, did not lead to a comparable activation of rat medial prefrontal cortex. Firing rates during observing play were lower than during real play. The modulation of responses in medial prefrontal cortex by game events was strong during playing Hide & Seek, but weak during observing Hide & Seek. We conclude the rat prefrontal cortex does not mirror play events under our experimental conditions.
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