Neuronal circuits of associative learning
Principal investigator: Cyril Herry, PhD.
The main objective of our work is to identify the anatomical and physiological properties of prefrontal and tonsil excitatory neuronal circuits and inhibitors involved in the implementation and expression of Pavlovian associative learning. In particular, we use behavioural approaches associated with electrophysiological techniques of unit recordings of prefrontal neural activity in vigilous animals as well as optogenic approaches to manipulating specific neuronal populations.
Researchers, teacher-researchers, hospital practitioners: Cyril Herry
Postdoctoral fellows: Cecilia Gonzalez-Campo; Thomas Welcome
Doctorants: Julien Courtin
Research axis: Synapse / Normal and pathological cognition
Research Themes (FENS): Cognition and Behaviour / Animal Cognition and Behaviour / Behavioural Pharmacology / Motivation and Motion / Neurological and Psychiatric Conditions
Scientific expertise: neural circuits / neural circuits / neocortical circuits ; prefrontal cortex ; tonsil; memory and memory system ; neural plasticity ; auditory conditioning of fear ; associative learning of appetizer type ; associative learning of aversive type ; extinction of conditional fear ; and
Technological expertise:quantitative analysis of animal behaviour; fear conditioning; electrophysiology in animals in behaviour and anaesthesia; pharmacology of memory memory; optogenetic memory
Keywords: conditioned fear / extinction / tonsil / prefrontal cortex
National and international collaborations: Pier Vincenzo Piazza - Véronique Deroche Gamonet (Bordeaux) / François Georges (Bordeaux) / Manuel Mameli (Paris) / Yann Humeau (Bordeaux) / Andreas Lüthi (Bäle) / Karim Nader (Montréal).
Financial Support: ERC starting grant-NEUROFEAR
Our main research project concerns the identification of the functional, anatomical and physiological properties of neural circuits involved in controlling emotional responses to fear. This project is based on a very innovative multi-level approach that combines electrophysiological recording techniques, selective optogenic manipulations and behavioural approaches. In a first step we will examine the activation and connectivity of prefrontal excitatory and inhibitory circuits involved in the control of fear responses through the use of extracellular unit electrophysiological recordings and extracellular stimuli. In a second step, we will selectively manipulate these neural circuits during behaviour using optogenic approaches to test whether reversible activation or inhibition of neural activity within these circuits induces changes in the behavioural expression of fear responses. Finally, we will use intracellular recordings in the anesthetized animal to study the plasticity and anatomical properties of the prefrontal neural circuits involved in controlling fear behaviour. The results obtained will provide detailed knowledge of the cellular bases of fear behaviour in particular and behavioural control in general. In addition, the identification of neural circuits controlling fear behaviour should also allow the development of new therapeutic strategies for pathologies such as post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorders.
Dynamical prefrontal population coding during defensive behaviours.
Jercog D, Winke N, Sung K, Fernandez MM, Francioni C, Rajot D, Courtin J, Chaudun F, Jercog PE, Valerio S, Herry C
Impact factor 42.778
Coping with threatening situations requires both identifying stimuli that predict danger and selecting adaptive behavioural responses to survive(1). The dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) is a critical […]
Central amygdala micro-circuits mediate fear extinction.
Whittle N, Fadok J, MacPherson KP, Nguyen R, Botta P, Wolff SBE, Müller C, Herry C, Tovote P, Holmes A, Singewald N, Lüthi A, Ciocchi S
Nat Commun ; 12(1):4156
Impact factor 12.121
Fear extinction is an adaptive process whereby defensive responses are attenuated following repeated experience of prior fear-related stimuli without harm. The formation of extinction memories involves […]
The advent of fear conditioning as an animal model of post-traumatic stress disorder: Learning from the past to shape the future of PTSD research.
Bienvenu TCM, Dejean C, Jercog D, Aouizerate B, Lemoine M, Herry C
Impact factor 14.415
Translational research on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has produced limited improvements in clinical practice. Fear conditioning (FC) is one of the dominant animal models of PTSD. In fact, FC […]
Breathing-driven prefrontal oscillations regulate maintenance of conditioned-fear evoked freezing independently of initiation.
Bagur S, Lefort JM, Lacroix MM, de Lavilléon G, Herry C, Chouvaeff M, Billand C, Geoffroy H, Benchenane K
Nat Commun ; 12(1):2605
Impact factor 12.121
Brain-body interactions are thought to be essential in emotions but their physiological basis remains poorly understood. In mice, regular 4 Hz breathing appears during freezing after cue-fear conditioning. […]
Neuronal coding mechanisms mediating fear behavior.
Rozeske RR, Herry C
Curr Opin Neurobiol
Impact factor 6.267
The behavioral repertoire of an organism can be highly diverse, spanning from social to defensive. How an animal efficiently switches between distinct behaviors is a fundamental question whose inquiry […]
Anass EL AZRAOUI
Ha Rang KIM
Valentine LE GALL