Anterior cingulate cortex is necessary for adaptation of action plans

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Previous research has focused on the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) as a key brain region in the mitigation of the competition that arises from two simultaneously active signals. However, to date, no study has demonstrated that ACC is necessary for this form of behavioral flexibility, nor have they shown that ACC acts by modulating downstream brain regions such as the dorsal medial striatum (DMS) that encode action plans necessary for task completion. Here, we performed unilateral excitotoxic lesions of ACC while recording downstream from the ipsilateral hemisphere of DMS in rats performing a novel variant of the stop-signal task. We show that on stop trials lesioned rats perform worse, in part due to the failure of timely directional action plans to emerge in DMS, as well as the overrepresentation of the to-be-inhibited behavior. Collectively, our findings suggest that ACC is necessary for the mitigation of competing inputs and validates many of the existing theoretical predictions for the role of ACC in cognitive control.


Included in this folder are the data guide (word doc), variable and files names (excel file), and all data files (.mat) file associated with this manuscript that was submitted to PNAS. The purpose of this folder is comply with the Materials and Data Availability requirement.

Please note that all analyses were conducted using the provided Matlab workspaces. Cells were cut using Offline Sorter (Plexon, Version 3.3) and processed in Neuroexplorer (Plexon; Version 4). Neuroexplorer files were then exported as “.mat” files, and all analyses were conducted in Matlab (Mathworks; Version 2018a). The excel document, Brockett_2020_variables_and_file_names, contains lists of all cells from both control and lesioned animals used for the analyses of the data presented in the paper. File name (i.e., file_name), time series data from the cell (i.e., sigxxxx), and which hemisphere was targeted (i.e., lesioned_and_recorded_hemisphere) are provided for control and lesion animals, respectively. The ‘variables’ workbook provides the names of the relevant strobes within each Matlab workspace that were used to align and analyze the data. If you have questions about the data provided, please reach out to Matthew Roesch.