Involvement of catecholamine neurotransmission in the rat anterior cingulate in effort-related decision making.
Schweimer J., Saft S., Hauber W.
This study examined whether catecholamine-mediated signals in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) contribute to effort-based decision making. Rats were tested after 6-hydroxydopamine or vehicle infusions into the ACC in a T maze cost-benefit task in which the rats could choose either to climb a barrier to obtain a high reward in one arm or run into the other arm without a barrier to obtain a low reward. Results demonstrate that infusions of 6-hydroxydopamine induced a near total loss of tyrosine hydroxylase-positive fibers in the ACC. Unlike sham-lesioned rats, 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned rats exhibited a reduced preference for the high-cost-high-reward response option when given the choice of obtaining a low reward with little effort. Thus, catecholamine-mediated signals in the ACC could play a role in effort-based decision making.