It has been suggested that the basal forebrain (BF) exerts strong influences on the formation of memory and behavior. However, what information is used for the memory-behavior formation is unclear. We found that a population of neurons in the medial BF (medial septum and diagonal band of Broca) of macaque monkeys encodes a unique combination of information: reward uncertainty, expected reward value, anticipation of punishment, and unexpected reward and punishment. The results were obtained while the monkeys were expecting (often with uncertainty) a rewarding or punishing outcome during a Pavlovian procedure, or unexpectedly received an outcome outside the procedure. In vivo anterograde tracing using manganese-enhanced MRI suggested that the major recipient of these signals is the intermediate hippocampal formation. Based on these findings, we hypothesize that the medial BF identifies various contexts and outcomes that are critical for memory processing in the hippocampal formation.
- Basal forebrain