Autonomic, Behavioral, and Neural Analyses of Mild Conditioned Negative Affect in Marmosets

Yevheniia Mikheenko, Mei-See Man, Katrin Braesicke, Moira E. Johns, Gemma Hill, Carmen Agustin-Pavon, Angela C. Roberts*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Avoidance and alerting behaviors and accompanying physiological responses, including changes in heart rate (HR), are core components of negative emotion. Investigations into the neural mechanisms underlying the regulation and integration of these responses require animal models that simultaneously measure both the physiological and behavioral components of emotion. A primate model is of particular importance in view of the well developed prefrontal cortex of primates, and this region's critical role in emotion regulation and the etiology of affective disorders. Therefore, we have developed a simple aversive conditioning paradigm to assess, simultaneously, cardiovascular and behavioral responses in the marmoset (Callithrix jacchus). Validation of the paradigm was achieved by (1) comparing conditioned responses to a predictive cue with pseudoconditioned responses to a nonpredictive cue: (2) assessing the acquisition of conditioning following lesions of the amygdala, a region essential for associative learning in humans and rats; and (3) determining the contributions of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system to the conditioned autonomic responses. Marmosets acquired conditioned HR and behavioral responses in the conditioned, but not the pseudoconditioned or amygdala lesioned groups. Conditioned HR accelerations were reduced by both parasympathetic and sympathetic blockade. Thus, a model of associative learning of mild negative emotion in the marmoset has been validated by psychological, neurological, and pharmacological investigation. Future studies will determine the role of the prefrontal cortex in the regulation of these negative emotional responses, to provide insights into the neuropathology of affective disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-203
Number of pages12
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Volume124
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

Keywords

  • emotion
  • aversive conditioning
  • cardiovascular
  • amygdala
  • primate
  • MONKEY CALLITHRIX-JACCHUS
  • PRIMATE ORBITOFRONTAL CORTEX
  • FEAR-POTENTIATED STARTLE
  • MEDIAL PREFRONTAL CORTEX
  • HEART-RATE
  • MACACA-MULATTA
  • RHESUS-MONKEYS
  • BLOOD-PRESSURE
  • EMOTIONAL RESPONSES
  • ANIMAL-MODELS

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