Spontaneous pauses in firing of external pallidum neurons are associated with exploratory behavior

Alexander Kaplan*, Aviv D. Mizrahi-Kliger, Pnina Rappel, Liliya Iskhakova, Gennadiy Fonar, Zvi Israel, Hagai Bergman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Spontaneous pauses in firing are the hallmark of external pallidum (GPe) neurons. However, the role of GPe pauses in the basal ganglia network remains unknown. Pupil size and saccadic eye movements have been linked to attention and exploration. Here, we recorded GPe spiking activity and the corresponding pupil sizes and eye positions in non-human primates. We show that pauses, rather than the GPe discharge rate per se, were associated with dilated pupils. In addition, following pause initiation there was a considerable increase in the rate of spontaneous saccades. These results suggest that pauses are a powerful mechanism by which the GPe may influence basal ganglia downstream structures and play a role in exploratory behavior.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number612
JournalCommunications Biology
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

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