FRANCESCO CECCARELLI

PhD Graduate

PhD program:: XXXIV



Thesis title: Mixed and flexible temporal dynamic in macaque prefrontal cortex during strategy and associative tasks: contribution of putative pyramidal cells and interneurons

The prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a key role in several cognitive processes related to goal-directed behavior, including short-term memory, response generation, and mapping associations between stimuli and responses. Several neurophysiological studies have elucidated the involvement of different areas within the PFC in these processes. However, relatively little is known at the microcircuitry level, especially how local cell types composed of interneurons and pyramidal neurons contribute to the coding mechanisms of these processes. A large body of literature has shown that intrinsic firing features and duration metrics of extracellularly recorded waveforms are good predictors of membership in a specific cell type. To fill this gap, we investigated the coding properties of cells recorded in the dorsolateral and dorsomedial macaque prefrontal cortex while performing a strategy task (N= 1306) and two mapping tasks of novel (N= 881) and familiar (N= 552) stimulus-response associations (NovelMap and FamMap). First, we applied an unbiased clustering to classify cells in broad spiking putative pyramidal cells (BS) and narrow spiking putative interneurons (NS), in agreement with the trough-to-peak duration of the cell mean waveforms. We found a more robust ability of interneurons than pyramidal cells to carry information about novel and familiar associations in NovelMap and FamMap during the delay period. We found the same higher selective coding for stimulus and response in the strategi task, where we could dissociate these two signals. Great attention has been given to characterize how cells at the population level interact to represent information over time during the delay period, resulting in an ongoing debate regarding the coding scheme used. Based on this, we investigated how BS and NS populations represented such task-related information over time according to a static or dynamic temporal coding scheme, and we statistically quantified the intensity of the stability of the coding. A direct comparison of the population coding schemes highlighted how a dynamic coding characterizes the NS population compared to the BS population, where the representation was static for both stimulus and response in the strategy task. A direct comparison of coding schemes showed greater stability in the BS population for novel and familiar associations in NovelMap and FamMap and for stimulus and response in the strategy task than in the NS population. The marked reduction in stability in the NS population suggests the presence of a dynamic coding scheme in the NovelMap task. Surprisingly, a direct comparison between NovelMap and FamMap showed a general increase in stability in familiar associations in FamMap, but with differences based on cell type. Such differences involved an earlier rise in stability in FamMap by BS populations and a change in the coding scheme from dynamic to static by NS populations in comparison with the NovelMap task. These findings shed light on the cellular mechanisms underlying the local processing of task-related information.

Research products

11573/1711090 - 2024 - Connecting the dots in the zona incerta: A study of neural assemblies and motifs of inter-area coordination in mice
Londei, Fabrizio; Arena, Giulia; Ferrucci, Lorenzo; Russo, Eleonora; Ceccarelli, Francesco; Genovesio, Aldo - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: ISCIENCE ([Cambridge MA] : Cell Press Elsevier Inc.) pp. - - issn: 2589-0042 - wos: WOS:001154110300001 (0) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85181797872 (0)

11573/1708983 - 2024 - Neurons in the monkey frontopolar cortex encode learning stage and goal during a fast learning task
Nougaret, Simon; Ferrucci, Lorenzo; Ceccarelli, Francesco; Sacchetti, Stefano; Benozzo, Danilo; Fascianelli, Valeria; Saunders, Richard C; Renaud, Luc; Genovesio, Aldo - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: PLOS BIOLOGY (San Francisco, CA : Public Library of Science, c2003-) pp. - - issn: 1545-7885 - wos: (0) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85185411196 (0)

11573/1714595 - 2024 - Dynamic pupil responses and neuronal correlates during free view exploration in one rhesus macaque
Segreti, Mariella; Ceccarelli, Francesco; Ferrucci, Lorenzo; Elyasizad, Leyla; Genovesio, Aldo; Brunamonti, Emiliano - 04f Poster
conference: Behavioural Neuroscience Conference (Rome, Italy)
book: Behavioural Neuroscience Conference - ()

11573/1697201 - 2023 - Disentangling the identity of the zona incerta: a review of the known connections and latest implications
Arena, Giulia; Londei, Fabrizio; Ceccarelli, Francesco; Ferrucci, Lorenzo; Borra, Elena; Genovesio, Aldo - 01g Articolo di rassegna (Review)
paper: AGEING RESEARCH REVIEWS (Amsterdam : Elsevier BV) pp. 102140- - issn: 1872-9649 - wos: WOS:001137493800001 (1) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85178496869 (1)

11573/1697200 - 2023 - Static and dynamic coding in distinct cell types during associative learning in the prefrontal cortex
Ceccarelli, Francesco; Ferrucci, Lorenzo; Londei, Fabrizio; Ramawat, Surabhi; Brunamonti, Emiliano; Genovesio, Aldo - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: NATURE COMMUNICATIONS (London: Nature Publishing Group-Springer Nature) pp. 8325- - issn: 2041-1723 - wos: (0) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85179767250 (1)

11573/1681947 - 2023 - The transitive inference task to study the neuronal correlates of memory-driven decision making: a monkey neurophysiology perspective
Ramawat, Surabhi; Marc, Isabel Beatrice; Ceccarelli, Francesco; Ferrucci, Lorenzo; Bardella, Giampiero; Ferraina, Stefano; Pani, Pierpaolo; Brunamonti, Emiliano - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: NEUROSCIENCE AND BIOBEHAVIORAL REVIEWS (Elsevier Science Limited:Oxford Fulfillment Center, PO Box 800, Kidlington Oxford OX5 1DX United Kingdom:011 44 1865 843000, 011 44 1865 843699, EMAIL: asianfo@elsevier.com, tcb@elsevier.co.UK, INTERNET: http://www.elsevier.com, http://www.elsevier.com/locate/shpsa/, Fax: 011 44 1865 843010) pp. 105258- - issn: 0149-7634 - wos: WOS:001019059200001 (0) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85161351209 (1)

11573/1669091 - 2022 - Neural representation of others during action observation in posterior medial prefrontal cortex
Falcone, Rossella; Cirillo, Rossella; Ceccarelli, Francesco; Genovesio, Aldo - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: CEREBRAL CORTEX (New York, NY : Oxford University Press, c1991-) pp. 4512-4523 - issn: 1047-3211 - wos: WOS:000868822700009 (2) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85136645723 (3)

11573/1660818 - 2022 - Social monitoring of actions in the macaque frontopolar cortex
Ferrucci, Lorenzo; Nougaret, Simon; Ceccarelli, Francesco; Sacchetti, Stefano; Fascianelli, Valeria; Benozzo, Danilo; Genovesio, Aldo - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: PROGRESS IN NEUROBIOLOGY (-Oxford:PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, -Oxford; New York; Toronto; Rushcutters Bay; Braunschweig: Pergamon Press Vieweg & Sohn.) pp. 102339- - issn: 0301-0082 - wos: WOS:000857205900002 (2) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85136710586 (3)

11573/1585622 - 2022 - Dedicated representation of others in the macaque frontal cortex: from action monitoring and prediction to outcome evaluation
Ferrucci, Lorenzo; Nougaret, Simon; Falcone, Rossella; Cirillo, Rossella; Ceccarelli, Francesco; Genovesio, Aldo - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: CEREBRAL CORTEX (New York, NY : Oxford University Press, c1991-) pp. - - issn: 1047-3211 - wos: WOS:000756588000001 (5) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85124578072 (3)

11573/1621825 - 2021 - Stable and dynamic response population coding in prefrontal cortex
Ceccarelli, Francesco; Londei, F.; Dibello, F.; Ramawat, S.; Marc, I. B.; Brunamonti, E.; Genovesio, A. - 04d Abstract in atti di convegno
conference: 71st SIF National Congress The Italian Society of Physiology (Milan (Online))
book: 71st SIF National Congress - ()

11573/1621826 - 2021 - Formation of cell assemblies in the prefrontal cortex of macaque monkeys during a distance and a temporal discrimination task
Londei, Fabrizio; Ceccarelli, F.; Ferrucci, L.; Ramawat, S.; Marc, I. B.; Russo, E.; Genovesio, A. - 04d Abstract in atti di convegno
conference: 71st SIF National Congress (Milano (Online))
book: 71st SIF National Congress - ()

11573/1621811 - 2021 - Failure of the race model accounting for inhibition in a stop signal selective task of upper and lower limb
Marc, I. B.; Romano, V.; Ramawat, S.; Fiori, L.; Andujar, M.; Londei, F.; Ceccarelli, F.; Ferraina, S.; Brunamonti, E. - 04f Poster
conference: 71st SIF National Congress (Milano (Online))
book: 71st SIF National Congress - ()

11573/1621813 - 2021 - Differences in task-difficulty encoding during logical decision-making in prefrontal and premotor cortical activity from non-human primates
Ramawat, S.; Marc, I. B.; Andujar, M.; Ceccarelli, F.; Londei, F.; Pani, P.; Genovesio, A.; Ferraina, S.; Brunamonti, E. - 04f Poster
conference: 71st SIF National Congress The Italian Society of Physiology (Milan (Online))
book: 71st SIF National Congress - ()

11573/1511620 - 2021 - Macaque monkeys learn and perform a non-match-to-goal task using an automated home cage training procedure
Sacchetti, Stefano; Ceccarelli, Francesco; Ferrucci, Lorenzo; Benozzo, Danilo; Brunamonti, Emiliano; Nougaret, Simon; Genovesio, Aldo - 01a Articolo in rivista
paper: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS (London: Springer Nature London: Nature Publishing Group) pp. - - issn: 2045-2322 - wos: WOS:000616811600007 (6) - scopus: 2-s2.0-85100008525 (6)

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