The ability to form emotional memories of aversive or rewarding stimuli is a crucial ability to determine avoidance or approaching behavior. Recent reports identify specific populations of nThe ability to form emotional memories of aversive or rewarding stimuli is a crucial ability to determine avoidance or approaching behavior. Recent reports identify specific populations of neurons within the basal and lateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) and their corresponding projections that are selectively activated during the retrieval of memories of positive or negative valence. Interestingly, BLA neurons projecting to the CA1 area of ventral hippocampus (vCA1) are tuned for either positive or negative predicting cues, suggesting the existence of two distinct pathways routing opposite information to vCA1. How emotional values originating from the BLA are differentially processed by downstream vCA1 neurons remains unclear. An appealing possibility is that vCA1 encodes different valence-related information through distinct spiking patterns and temporal structures. Distinct signal processing in the two BLA-vCA1 pathways might be supported by specific non-linear dendritic input integration, a mechanism that can be promoted by input clustering induced by heterosynaptic plasticity. We hypothesized that an organized synaptic distribution within BLA-vCA1 subnetworks exists, and that local heterosynaptic plasticity determines different temporal structures of neuronal output vCA1 in the processing of negative or positive information. We will use a novel viral-based tracing approach combined with an established assembly-labeling strategy to understand the anatomical input-specific structural organization synapses of different valence-related information along vCA1 dendritic arbour. Then, to dissect the functional implication of such synaptic organization, we will employ a combination of single-spine calcium imaging, electrophysiology, behaviour and in vivo endoscopic calcium imaging.
Fields of science
- HORIZON.1.2 - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Main Programme