Vagal nerve stimulation may accelerate motor refinement in primary motor cortex via cholinergic signaling

NeuroNexus 32-channel acute and reusable optoelectrodes (A1x32-Edge-10mm-20-177-OA32LP) were used for single-unit recording and opto-tagging of cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain of healthy mice during vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) following a reach learning task. Spencer Bowles et al. in Cristin Welle’s lab at the University of Colorado School of Medicine describe in Neuron that VNS accelerates motor learning. They propose that VNS effects target behavior-responsive neurons in the primary motor cortex and reinforce correct behavior through acetylcholine signaling. Their results may help refine VNS treatment.

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