July 19, 2017 16:00 - 17:30
BSI Central Building 5F Seminar Room
Long-term plasticity in the cortex is thought to be important for learning and experience-dependent changes in behavior, but when do such changes occur during natural experience? Activation of subcortical neuromodulatory systems is often required to enable mechanisms of synaptic and spiking plasticity, and thus it is important to relate periods of heightened modulation to changes in cortical responses in a behavioral context. Social interactions such as forms of maternal care are likely to involve increases in activity particularly of the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) oxytocin neurons, but it has remained unclear when these neurons fire during maternal experience, and what behavioral episodes might drive experience-dependent maternal abilities.
Recently we examined how oxytocin acts in the mouse left auditory cortex to enhance responses to ultrasonic infant distress calls, promoting long-term synaptic plasticity and enabling maternal care towards pups in virgin females co-housed with an experienced mother and her litter. To understand when these changes might occur during days of natural maternal experience, we constructed a system for synchronously and continuously recording audio, video and neuronal responses before, during and after days to weeks of co-housing. Using this system, we documented episodes of interactions between the adult females and between adults and pups, while making tetrode recordings from PVN neurons and/or auditory cortical neurons in behaving mice. We found that in virgin mice, PVN neurons spiked more frequently during interactions with another female or with a pup, suggesting that the ongoing activity of this neurons would be higher during co-housing compared to single-housing conditions. PVN neurons in virgins also fired robustly when these mice observed a retrieving episode performed by the dam with which they were co-housed. We confirmed that PVN neurons also fire in mothers during the retrieval behavior. Our data indicate that a similar neuronal population is activated in dams during pup retrieval and in virgins while observing pup retrieval. This system therefore allows us to determine what environmental conditions or social interactions activate modulatory neurons, gating behaviorally-relevant plasticity in real time.
- Open to Public
- Kumi Kuroda [Kumi Kuroda, Affiliative Social Behavior ]
Name: Yuko Goto