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Elife. 2015 Nov 17;4:e10719. doi: 10.7554/eLife.10719.

Reward signal in a recurrent circuit drives appetitive long-term memory formation.

Author information

1
Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.
2
Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Martinsried, Germany.
3
Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States.

Abstract

Dopamine signals reward in animal brains. A single presentation of a sugar reward to Drosophila activates distinct subsets of dopamine neurons that independently induce short- and long-term olfactory memories (STM and LTM, respectively). In this study, we show that a recurrent reward circuit underlies the formation and consolidation of LTM. This feedback circuit is composed of a single class of reward-signaling dopamine neurons (PAM-α1) projecting to a restricted region of the mushroom body (MB), and a specific MB output cell type, MBON-α1, whose dendrites arborize that same MB compartment. Both MBON-α1 and PAM-α1 neurons are required during the acquisition and consolidation of appetitive LTM. MBON-α1 additionally mediates the retrieval of LTM, which is dependent on the dopamine receptor signaling in the MB α/β neurons. Our results suggest that a reward signal transforms a nascent memory trace into a stable LTM using a feedback circuit at the cost of memory specificity.

KEYWORDS:

D. melanogaster; behavioral genetics; long-term memory; neuroscience; reward circuit

PMID:
26573957
PMCID:
PMC4643015
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.10719
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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