Liste des publications

Team publications

IF du Neurocentre

16 publications

* equal contribution
The indicated IF have been collected by the Web of Sciences in June 2018

2019 | Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
Valence Coding in Amygdala Circuits
Pignatelli M, Beyeler A

The neural mechanisms underlying emotional valence are at the interface between perception and action, integrating inputs from the external environment with past experiences to guide the behavior of an organism. Depending on the positive or negative valence assigned to an environmental stimulus, the organism will approach or avoid the source of the stimulus. Multiple convergent studies have demonstrated that the amygdala complex is a critical node of the circuits assigning valence. Here we examine the current progress in identifying valence coding properties of neural populations in different nuclei of the amygdala, based on their activity, connectivity, and gene expression profile.

07/11/2018 | Nature   IF 41.6
Dopamine enhances signal-to-noise ratio in cortical-brainstem encoding of aversive stimuli.
Vander Weele CM, Siciliano CA, Matthews GA, Namburi P, Izadmehr EM, Espinel IC, Nieh EH, Schut EHS, Padilla-Coreano N, Burgos-Robles A, Chang CJ, Kimchi EY, Beyeler A, Wichmann R, Wildes CP, Tye KM

Dopamine modulates medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) activity to mediate diverse behavioural functions(1,2); however, the precise circuit computations remain unknown. One potentially unifying model by which dopamine may underlie a diversity of functions is by modulating the signal-to-noise ratio in subpopulations of mPFC neurons(3-6), where neural activity conveying sensory information (signal) is amplified relative to spontaneous firing (noise). Here we demonstrate that dopamine increases the signal-to-noise ratio of responses to aversive stimuli in mPFC neurons projecting to the dorsal periaqueductal grey (dPAG). Using an electrochemical approach, we reveal the precise time course of pinch-evoked dopamine release in the mPFC, and show that mPFC dopamine biases behavioural responses to aversive stimuli. Activation of mPFC-dPAG neurons is sufficient to drive place avoidance and defensive behaviours. mPFC-dPAG neurons display robust shock-induced excitations, as visualized by single-cell, projection-defined microendoscopic calcium imaging. Finally, photostimulation of dopamine terminals in the mPFC reveals an increase in the signal-to-noise ratio in mPFC-dPAG responses to aversive stimuli. Together, these data highlight how dopamine in the mPFC can selectively route sensory information to specific downstream circuits, representing a potential circuit mechanism for valence processing.

31/05/2018 | Cell   IF 31.4
Corticoamygdala Transfer of Socially Derived Information Gates Observational Learning.
Allsop SA, Wichmann R, Mills F, Burgos-Robles A, Chang CJ, Felix-Ortiz AC, Vienne A, Beyeler A, Izadmehr EM, Glober G, Cum MI, Stergiadou J, Anandalingam KK, Farris K, Namburi P, Leppla CA, Weddington JC, Nieh EH, Smith AC, Ba D, Brown EN, Tye KM

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.

05/03/2018 | Nat Neurosci   IF 19.9
Nontoxic, double-deletion-mutant rabies viral vectors for retrograde targeting of projection neurons.
Chatterjee S, Sullivan HA, MacLennan BJ, Xu R, Hou Y, Lavin TK, Lea NE, Michalski JE, Babcock KR, Dietrich S, Matthews GA, Beyeler A, Calhoon GG, Glober G, Whitesell JD, Yao S, Cetin A, Harris JA, Zeng H, Tye KM, Reid RC, Wickersham IR

Recombinant rabies viral vectors have proven useful for applications including retrograde targeting of projection neurons and monosynaptic tracing, but their cytotoxicity has limited their use to short-term experiments. Here we introduce a new class of double-deletion-mutant rabies viral vectors that left transduced cells alive and healthy indefinitely. Deletion of the viral polymerase gene abolished cytotoxicity and reduced transgene expression to trace levels but left vectors still able to retrogradely infect projection neurons and express recombinases, allowing downstream expression of other transgene products such as fluorophores and calcium indicators. The morphology of retrogradely targeted cells appeared unperturbed at 1 year postinjection. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings showed no physiological abnormalities at 8 weeks. Longitudinal two-photon structural and functional imaging in vivo, tracking thousands of individual neurons for up to 4 months, showed that transduced neurons did not die but retained stable visual response properties even at the longest time points imaged.

23/01/2018 | Cell Rep   IF 8
Organization of Valence-Encoding and Projection-Defined Neurons in the Basolateral Amygdala.
Beyeler A, Chang CJ, Silvestre M, Leveque C, Namburi P, Wildes CP, Tye KM

The basolateral amygdala (BLA) mediates associative learning for both fear and reward. Accumulating evidence supports the notion that different BLA projections distinctly alter motivated behavior, including projections to the nucleus accumbens (NAc), medial aspect of the central amygdala (CeM), and ventral hippocampus (vHPC). Although there is consensus regarding the existence of distinct subsets of BLA neurons encoding positive or negative valence, controversy remains regarding the anatomical arrangement of these populations. First, we map the location of more than 1,000 neurons distributed across the BLA and recorded during a Pavlovian discrimination task. Next, we determine the location of projection-defined neurons labeled with retrograde tracers and use CLARITY to reveal the axonal path in 3-dimensional space. Finally, we examine the local influence of each projection-defined populations within the BLA. Understanding the functional and topographical organization of circuits underlying valence assignment could reveal fundamental principles about emotional processing.

06/2017 | Nat Neurosci   IF 19.9
Amygdala inputs to prefrontal cortex guide behavior amid conflicting cues of reward and punishment.
Burgos-Robles A, Kimchi EY, Izadmehr EM, Porzenheim MJ, Ramos-Guasp WA, Nieh EH, Felix-Ortiz AC, Namburi P, Leppla CA, Presbrey KN, Anandalingam KK, Pagan-Rivera PA, Anahtar M, Beyeler A, Tye KM

Orchestrating appropriate behavioral responses in the face of competing signals that predict either rewards or threats in the environment is crucial for survival. The basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) and prelimbic (PL) medial prefrontal cortex have been implicated in reward-seeking and fear-related responses, but how information flows between these reciprocally connected structures to coordinate behavior is unknown. We recorded neuronal activity from the BLA and PL while rats performed a task wherein competing shock- and sucrose-predictive cues were simultaneously presented. The correlated firing primarily displayed a BLA-->PL directionality during the shock-associated cue. Furthermore, BLA neurons optogenetically identified as projecting to PL more accurately predicted behavioral responses during competition than unidentified BLA neurons. Finally photostimulation of the BLA-->PL projection increased freezing, whereas both chemogenetic and optogenetic inhibition reduced freezing. Therefore, the BLA-->PL circuit is critical in governing the selection of behavioral responses in the face of competing signals.

04/11/2016 | Science   IF 41.1
Parsing reward from aversion.
Beyeler A

20/04/2016 | Neuron   IF 14.3
Divergent Routing of Positive and Negative Information from the Amygdala during Memory Retrieval.
Beyeler A, Namburi P, Glober GF, Simonnet C, Calhoon GG, Conyers GF, Luck R, Wildes CP, Tye KM

Although the basolateral amygdala (BLA) is known to play a critical role in the formation of memories of both positive and negative valence, the coding and routing of valence-related information is poorly understood. Here, we recorded BLA neurons during the retrieval of associative memories and used optogenetic-mediated phototagging to identify populations of neurons that synapse in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), the central amygdala (CeA), or ventral hippocampus (vHPC). We found that despite heterogeneous neural responses within each population, the proportions of BLA-NAc neurons excited by reward predictive cues and of BLA-CeA neurons excited by aversion predictive cues were higher than within the entire BLA. Although the BLA-vHPC projection is known to drive behaviors of innate negative valence, these neurons did not preferentially code for learned negative valence. Together, these findings suggest that valence encoding in the BLA is at least partially mediated via divergent activity of anatomically defined neural populations.

30/04/2015 | Nature   IF 41.6
A circuit mechanism for differentiating positive and negative associations.
Namburi P*, Beyeler A*, Yorozu S, Calhoon GG, Halbert SA, Wichmann R, Holden SS, Mertens KL, Anahtar M, Felix-Ortiz AC, Wickersham IR, Gray JM, Tye KM

The ability to differentiate stimuli predicting positive or negative outcomes is critical for survival, and perturbations of emotional processing underlie many psychiatric disease states. Synaptic plasticity in the basolateral amygdala complex (BLA) mediates the acquisition of associative memories, both positive and negative. Different populations of BLA neurons may encode fearful or rewarding associations, but the identifying features of these populations and the synaptic mechanisms of differentiating positive and negative emotional valence have remained unknown. Here we show that BLA neurons projecting to the nucleus accumbens (NAc projectors) or the centromedial amygdala (CeM projectors) undergo opposing synaptic changes following fear or reward conditioning. We find that photostimulation of NAc projectors supports positive reinforcement while photostimulation of CeM projectors mediates negative reinforcement. Photoinhibition of CeM projectors impairs fear conditioning and enhances reward conditioning. We characterize these functionally distinct neuronal populations by comparing their electrophysiological, morphological and genetic features. Overall, we provide a mechanistic explanation for the representation of positive and negative associations within the amygdala.

2014 | prog mol biol transl sci   IF 3.1
Deciphering memory function with optogenetics.
Beyeler A, Eckhardt CA, Tye KM

Optogenetics has accelerated the field of neuroscience by overcoming many of the spatial, genetic, and temporal limitations of previous techniques to control neural activity. The study of learning and memory has profoundly benefited from these tools mainly from their use in rodents. New insights have been made regarding the involvement of specific cell types or populations of synapses in the acquisition, consolidation, and retrieval of memories. The cellular specificity and temporal precision of optogenetic manipulations have also shown to be useful to study synaptic mechanisms supporting learning and memory including long-term synaptic plasticity. Recently, new light-sensitive molecules have been developed to control intracellular pathways or gene expression, which promise to enhance our understanding of the molecular mechanism of memory function.