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Nature. 2014 Nov 13;515(7526):269-73. doi: 10.1038/nature13897. Epub 2014 Nov 5.

The participation of cortical amygdala in innate, odour-driven behaviour.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.
2
1] Department of Biological Sciences, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York 10032, USA [2] Department of Neuroscience and Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York 10032, USA [3] Division of Integrative Neuroscience, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York 10032, USA.
3
1] Department of Neuroscience and Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York 10032, USA [2] Division of Integrative Neuroscience, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York 10032, USA [3] Department of Pharmacology, Columbia University, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York 10032, USA.

Abstract

Innate behaviours are observed in naive animals without prior learning or experience, suggesting that the neural circuits that mediate these behaviours are genetically determined and stereotyped. The neural circuits that convey olfactory information from the sense organ to the cortical and subcortical olfactory centres have been anatomically defined, but the specific pathways responsible for innate responses to volatile odours have not been identified. Here we devise genetic strategies that demonstrate that a stereotyped neural circuit that transmits information from the olfactory bulb to cortical amygdala is necessary for innate aversive and appetitive behaviours. Moreover, we use the promoter of the activity-dependent gene arc to express the photosensitive ion channel, channelrhodopsin, in neurons of the cortical amygdala activated by odours that elicit innate behaviours. Optical activation of these neurons leads to appropriate behaviours that recapitulate the responses to innate odours. These data indicate that the cortical amygdala plays a critical role in generating innate odour-driven behaviours but do not preclude its participation in learned olfactory behaviours.

PMID:
25383519
PMCID:
PMC4231015
DOI:
10.1038/nature13897
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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