A circuit mechanism linking past and future learning through shifts in perception

Crossley, Michael, Kemenes, George, Staras, Kevin and Kemenes, Ildiko (2023) A circuit mechanism linking past and future learning through shifts in perception. Science Advances, 9 (12). pp. 1-13. ISSN 2375-2548

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Long-term memory formation is energetically costly. Neural mechanisms that guide an animal to identify fruitful associations therefore have important survival benefits. Here, we elucidate a circuit mechanism in Lymnaea, which enables past memory to shape new memory formation through changes in perception. Specifically, strong classical conditioning drives a positive shift in perception that facilitates the robust learning of a subsequent and otherwise ineffective weak association. Circuit dissection approaches reveal the neural control network responsible, characterized by a mutual inhibition motif. This both sets perceptual state and acts as the master controller for gating new learning. Pharmacological circuit manipulation in vivo fully substitutes for strong paradigm learning, shifting the network into a more receptive state to enable subsequent weak paradigm learning. Thus, perceptual change provides a conduit to link past and future memory storage. We propose that this mechanism alerts animals to learning-rich periods, lowering the threshold for new memory acquisition.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Neuroscience
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2023 09:57
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2023 15:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/110722

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