Interneuronal mechanisms for learning-induced switch in a sensory response that anticipates changes in behavioural outcomes

Pirger, Zsolt, László, Zita, Naskar, Souvik, Crossley, Michael, O'Shea, Michael, Benjamin, Paul R, Kemenes, György and Kemenes, Ildikó (2021) Interneuronal mechanisms for learning-induced switch in a sensory response that anticipates changes in behavioural outcomes. Current Biology. pp. 1-8. ISSN 0960-9822

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Sensory cues in the natural environment predict reward or punishment, important for survival. For example, the ability to detect attractive tastes indicating palatable food is essential for foraging while the recognition of inedible substrates prevents harm. While some of these sensory responses are innate, they can undergo fundamental changes due to prior experience associated with the stimulus. However, the mechanisms underlying such behavioral switching of an innate sensory response at the neuron and network levels require further investigation. We used the model learning system of Lymnaea stagnalis1, 2, 3 to address the question of how an anticipated aversive outcome reverses the behavioral response to a previously effective feeding stimulus, sucrose. Key to the switching mechanism is an extrinsic inhibitory interneuron of the feeding network, PlB (pleural buccal4,5), which is inhibited by sucrose to allow a feeding response. After multi-trial aversive associative conditioning, pairing sucrose with strong tactile stimuli to the head, PlB’s firing rate increases in response to sucrose application to the lips and the feeding response is suppressed; this learned response is reversed by the photoinactivation of a single PlB. A learning-induced persistent change in the cellular properties of PlB that results in an increase rather than a decrease in its firing rate in response to sucrose provides a neurophysiological mechanism for this behavioral switch. A key interneuron, PeD12 (Pedal-Dorsal 12), of the defensive withdrawal network5,6 does not mediate the conditioned suppression of feeding, but its facilitated output contributes to the sensitization of the withdrawal response.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: learning, memory, aversive conditioning, invertebrate, Lymnaea, neural circuit, electrophysiology, sensitisation
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Neuroscience
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2021 09:32
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2022 17:26

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Updating of memories during memory consolidationG2208BBSRC-BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCILBB/P00766X/1