Divergent Routing of Positive and Negative Information from the Amygdala during Memory Retrieval

Anna Beyeler, Praneeth Namburi, Gordon F. Glober, Clémence Simonnet, Gwendolyn G. Calhoon, Garrett F. Conyers, Robert Luck, Craig P. Wildes, Kay M. Tye
Neuron. 2016-04-01; 90(2): 348-361
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.03.004

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Comment in
Neuron. 2016 Apr 20;90(2):209-11.

Although the basolateral amygdala (BLA) is known to play a critical role in the
formation of memories of both positive and negative valence, the coding and
routing of valence-related information is poorly understood. Here, we recorded
BLA neurons during the retrieval of associative memories and used
optogenetic-mediated phototagging to identify populations of neurons that synapse
in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), the central amygdala (CeA), or ventral
hippocampus (vHPC). We found that despite heterogeneous neural responses within
each population, the proportions of BLA-NAc neurons excited by reward predictive
cues and of BLA-CeA neurons excited by aversion predictive cues were higher than
within the entire BLA. Although the BLA-vHPC projection is known to drive
behaviors of innate negative valence, these neurons did not preferentially code
for learned negative valence. Together, these findings suggest that valence
encoding in the BLA is at least partially mediated via divergent activity of
anatomically defined neural populations.

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus