Dopaminergic Modulation of Cognitive Control: Distinct Roles for the Prefrontal Cortex and the Basal Ganglia

Author(s): Martine van Schouwenburg, Esther Aarts, Roshan Cools

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Design

Volume 16 , Issue 18 , 2010


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Abstract:

Evidence from psychopharmacological functional neuroimaging begins to elucidate the neurochemical mechanisms of cognitive control. Here the role of dopamine in two subcomponent processes of cognitive control is discussed: the active maintenance and the flexible updating of goal-relevant representations. A range of studies have highlighted a role for the prefrontal cortex (pFC) and its modulation by dopamine in the active maintenance of distractor-resistant goal-relevant representations. This work suggests that dopamine might modulate top-down signals from the pFC, thereby increasing the activity of posterior cortical regions that process goalrelevant representations and rendering them distractor-resistant. Conversely, other studies highlight a role for dopamine in the basal ganglia in cognitive switching, which might reflect a modulation of the selective gating of cortical cognitive and motor programs. We present a working hypothesis that integrates these two disparate literatures and states that the flexible adaptation of current goal-relevant representations is mediated by modulatory influences of activity in the dopamine-sensitive basal ganglia on connectivity between the prefrontal cortex and posterior cortex.

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Article Details

VOLUME: 16
ISSUE: 18
Year: 2010
Page: [2026 - 2032]
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.2174/138161210791293097
Price: $65

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