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Impromptu seminar – Julien Courtin

12 April 2022 / 11:00

Julien Courtin

Post-doctoral researcherFriedrich Miescher Institute, Basel


Venue: Centre Broca


Amygdala in action


Acting to achieve goals depends on the ability to motivate specific behaviors. By definition, instrumental goal-directed actions are oriented toward specific outcomes and are sensitive to variations in outcome value and action-outcome contingency. However, the underlying neuronal mechanisms that encode and maintain such parameters are poorly understood. Here we used calcium imaging and optogenetic manipulations in basolateral amygdala of freely moving mice performing non-cued, self-paced instrumental goal-directed actions to receive and consume rewards. We show that distinct neuronal activity patterns sequentially represent the entire actionconsumption behavioral sequence. Whereas action-associated patterns integrate the identity, value and expectancy of pursued goals, consumption-associated patterns reflect the identity and value of experienced outcomes. Thus, the interplay between these patterns allows the maintenance of specific motivational states necessary to adaptively direct behavior toward prospective rewards. Finally, by tracking the neuronal activity of same neurons over a multiphase behavioral task we show that such motivational states allow the transfer and reinstatement of specific memories.

Invited by Cyril Herry (Neurocentre Magendie)

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12 April 2022
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