Hypotheses of striatal orchestration of behavior ascribe distinct functions to striatal subregions, with the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) especially implicated in habitual and skilled performance. Thus neural activity patterns recorded from the DLS, but not the dorsomedial striatum (DMS), should be correlated with habitual and automatized performance. Here, we recorded DMS and DLS neural activity in rats during training in a task promoting habitual lever pressing. Despite improving performance across sessions, clear changes in corresponding neural activity patterns were not evident in DMS or DLS during early training. Although DMS and DLS activity patterns were distinct during early training, their activity was similar following extended training. Finally, performance after extended training was not associated with DMS disengagement, as would be predicted from prior work. These results suggest that behavioral sequences may continue to engage both striatal regions long after initial acquisition, when skilled performance is consolidated.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
National Institute for Health Research R01DA035943 Patricia H Janak National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism R01AA026306 Patricia H Janak The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
© Vandaele et al.