Striatum processes reward differently in adolescents versus adults

David A. Sturman, Bita Moghaddam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Adolescents often respond differently than adults to the same salient motivating contexts, such as peer interactions and pleasurable stimuli. Delineating the neural processing differences of adolescents is critical to understanding this phenomenon, as well as the bases of serious behavioral and psychiatric vulnerabilities, such as drug abuse, mood disorders, and schizophrenia. We believe that age-related changes in the ways salient stimuli are processed in key brain regions could underlie the unique predilections and vulnerabilities of adolescence. Because motivated behavior is the central issue, it is critical that age-related comparisons of brain activity be undertaken during motivational contexts. We compared single-unit activity and local field potentials in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and dorsal striatum (DS) of adolescent and adult rats during a reward-motivated instrumental task. These regions are involved in motivated learning, reward processing, and action selection. We report adolescent neural processing differences in the DS, a region generally associated more with learning than reward processing in adults. Specifically, adolescents, but not adults, had a large proportion of neurons in the DS that activated in anticipation of reward. More similar response patterns were observed in NAc of the two age groups. DS singleunit activity differences were found despite similar local field potential oscillations. This study demonstrates that in adolescents, a region critically involved in learning and habit formation is highly responsive to reward. It thus suggests a mechanism for how rewards might shape adolescent behavior differently, and for their increased vulnerabilities to affective disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1719-1724
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume109
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 31 2012
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Reward
Nucleus Accumbens
Learning
Mood Disorders
Adolescent Behavior
Brain
Habits
Substance-Related Disorders
Psychiatry
Schizophrenia
Age Groups
Neurons

Keywords

  • Addiction
  • Basal ganglia
  • Depression
  • Development
  • Electrophysiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Striatum processes reward differently in adolescents versus adults. / Sturman, David A.; Moghaddam, Bita.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 109, No. 5, 31.01.2012, p. 1719-1724.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{8d1f2caff1b24bfe92c79a41cd5750aa,
title = "Striatum processes reward differently in adolescents versus adults",
abstract = "Adolescents often respond differently than adults to the same salient motivating contexts, such as peer interactions and pleasurable stimuli. Delineating the neural processing differences of adolescents is critical to understanding this phenomenon, as well as the bases of serious behavioral and psychiatric vulnerabilities, such as drug abuse, mood disorders, and schizophrenia. We believe that age-related changes in the ways salient stimuli are processed in key brain regions could underlie the unique predilections and vulnerabilities of adolescence. Because motivated behavior is the central issue, it is critical that age-related comparisons of brain activity be undertaken during motivational contexts. We compared single-unit activity and local field potentials in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and dorsal striatum (DS) of adolescent and adult rats during a reward-motivated instrumental task. These regions are involved in motivated learning, reward processing, and action selection. We report adolescent neural processing differences in the DS, a region generally associated more with learning than reward processing in adults. Specifically, adolescents, but not adults, had a large proportion of neurons in the DS that activated in anticipation of reward. More similar response patterns were observed in NAc of the two age groups. DS singleunit activity differences were found despite similar local field potential oscillations. This study demonstrates that in adolescents, a region critically involved in learning and habit formation is highly responsive to reward. It thus suggests a mechanism for how rewards might shape adolescent behavior differently, and for their increased vulnerabilities to affective disorders.",
keywords = "Addiction, Basal ganglia, Depression, Development, Electrophysiology",
author = "Sturman, {David A.} and Bita Moghaddam",
year = "2012",
month = "1",
day = "31",
doi = "10.1073/pnas.1114137109",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "109",
pages = "1719--1724",
journal = "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America",
issn = "0027-8424",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Striatum processes reward differently in adolescents versus adults

AU - Sturman, David A.

AU - Moghaddam, Bita

PY - 2012/1/31

Y1 - 2012/1/31

N2 - Adolescents often respond differently than adults to the same salient motivating contexts, such as peer interactions and pleasurable stimuli. Delineating the neural processing differences of adolescents is critical to understanding this phenomenon, as well as the bases of serious behavioral and psychiatric vulnerabilities, such as drug abuse, mood disorders, and schizophrenia. We believe that age-related changes in the ways salient stimuli are processed in key brain regions could underlie the unique predilections and vulnerabilities of adolescence. Because motivated behavior is the central issue, it is critical that age-related comparisons of brain activity be undertaken during motivational contexts. We compared single-unit activity and local field potentials in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and dorsal striatum (DS) of adolescent and adult rats during a reward-motivated instrumental task. These regions are involved in motivated learning, reward processing, and action selection. We report adolescent neural processing differences in the DS, a region generally associated more with learning than reward processing in adults. Specifically, adolescents, but not adults, had a large proportion of neurons in the DS that activated in anticipation of reward. More similar response patterns were observed in NAc of the two age groups. DS singleunit activity differences were found despite similar local field potential oscillations. This study demonstrates that in adolescents, a region critically involved in learning and habit formation is highly responsive to reward. It thus suggests a mechanism for how rewards might shape adolescent behavior differently, and for their increased vulnerabilities to affective disorders.

AB - Adolescents often respond differently than adults to the same salient motivating contexts, such as peer interactions and pleasurable stimuli. Delineating the neural processing differences of adolescents is critical to understanding this phenomenon, as well as the bases of serious behavioral and psychiatric vulnerabilities, such as drug abuse, mood disorders, and schizophrenia. We believe that age-related changes in the ways salient stimuli are processed in key brain regions could underlie the unique predilections and vulnerabilities of adolescence. Because motivated behavior is the central issue, it is critical that age-related comparisons of brain activity be undertaken during motivational contexts. We compared single-unit activity and local field potentials in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and dorsal striatum (DS) of adolescent and adult rats during a reward-motivated instrumental task. These regions are involved in motivated learning, reward processing, and action selection. We report adolescent neural processing differences in the DS, a region generally associated more with learning than reward processing in adults. Specifically, adolescents, but not adults, had a large proportion of neurons in the DS that activated in anticipation of reward. More similar response patterns were observed in NAc of the two age groups. DS singleunit activity differences were found despite similar local field potential oscillations. This study demonstrates that in adolescents, a region critically involved in learning and habit formation is highly responsive to reward. It thus suggests a mechanism for how rewards might shape adolescent behavior differently, and for their increased vulnerabilities to affective disorders.

KW - Addiction

KW - Basal ganglia

KW - Depression

KW - Development

KW - Electrophysiology

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84857126883&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84857126883&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1073/pnas.1114137109

DO - 10.1073/pnas.1114137109

M3 - Article

C2 - 22307637

AN - SCOPUS:84857126883

VL - 109

SP - 1719

EP - 1724

JO - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

JF - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

SN - 0027-8424

IS - 5

ER -