Corticoamygdala Transfer of Socially Derived Information Gates Observational Learning
Author(s)Allsop, Stephen Azariah; Wichmann, Romy; Mills, Fergil; Burgos-Robles, Anthony Noel; Chang, Chia-Jung; Felix-Ortiz, Ada; Vienne, Alienor; Beyeler, Anna; Izadmehr, Ehsan; Glober, Gordon; Cum, Meghan I.; Stergiadou, Johanna; Anandalingam, Kavitha; Farris, Kathryn; Namburi, Praneeth; Leppla, Christopher Albert; Weddington, Javier; Nieh, Horng-An Edward; Smith, Anne C.; Ba, Demba E.; Brown, Emery Neal; Tye, Kay M.; ... Show more Show less
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Observational learning is a powerful survival tool allowing individuals to learn about threat-predictive stimuli without directly experiencing the pairing of the predictive cue and punishment. This ability has been linked to the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the basolateral amygdala (BLA). To investigate how information is encoded and transmitted through this circuit, we performed electrophysiological recordings in mice observing a demonstrator mouse undergo associative fear conditioning and found that BLA-projecting ACC (ACC→BLA) neurons preferentially encode socially derived aversive cue information. Inhibition of ACC→BLA alters real-time amygdala representation of the aversive cue during observational conditioning. Selective inhibition of the ACC→BLA projection impaired acquisition, but not expression, of observational fear conditioning. We show that information derived from observation about the aversive value of the cue is transmitted from the ACC to the BLA and that this routing of information is critically instructive for observational fear conditioning. Video Abstract: [Figure presented] For an individual to watch another's experience and learn from it, signals need to move from cortical neurons to the basolateral amygdala during detection and integration of the necessary social cues.
DepartmentPicower Institute for Learning and Memory; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Research Laboratory of Electronics
Allsop, Stephen A. et al. "Corticoamygdala Transfer of Socially Derived Information Gates Observational Learning." Cell 173, 6 (May 2018): P1329-1342.e18 © 2018 Elsevier
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