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Cell. 2017 Jan 12;168(1-2):311-324.e18. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.12.027. Epub 2017 Jan 12.

Integrated Control of Predatory Hunting by the Central Nucleus of the Amygdala.

Author information

1
The John B Pierce Laboratory, New Haven, CT 06519, USA; Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519, USA; School & Hospital of Stomatology, Tongji University, Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Tooth Restoration and Regeneration, Shanghai 200072, China.
2
The John B Pierce Laboratory, New Haven, CT 06519, USA; Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519, USA.
3
The John B Pierce Laboratory, New Haven, CT 06519, USA; Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519, USA; Department of Anatomy, Biomedical Sciences Institute, University of São Paulo, São Paulo 05508, Brazil.
4
Department of Anatomy, Biomedical Sciences Institute, University of São Paulo, São Paulo 05508, Brazil.
5
Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519, USA.
6
The John B Pierce Laboratory, New Haven, CT 06519, USA.
7
Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Biomedical Sciences Institute, University of São Paulo, São Paulo 05403, Brazil.
8
The John B Pierce Laboratory, New Haven, CT 06519, USA; Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519, USA; Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06511, USA. Electronic address: iaraujo@jbpierce.org.

Abstract

Superior predatory skills led to the evolutionary triumph of jawed vertebrates. However, the mechanisms by which the vertebrate brain controls predation remain largely unknown. Here, we reveal a critical role for the central nucleus of the amygdala in predatory hunting. Both optogenetic and chemogenetic stimulation of central amygdala of mice elicited predatory-like attacks upon both insect and artificial prey. Coordinated control of cervical and mandibular musculatures, which is necessary for accurately positioning lethal bites on prey, was mediated by a central amygdala projection to the reticular formation in the brainstem. In contrast, prey pursuit was mediated by projections to the midbrain periaqueductal gray matter. Targeted lesions to these two pathways separately disrupted biting attacks upon prey versus the initiation of prey pursuit. Our findings delineate a neural network that integrates distinct behavioral modules and suggest that central amygdala neurons instruct predatory hunting across jawed vertebrates.

KEYWORDS:

central amygdala; craniofacial control; jaw; locomotion; motor control; periaqueductal grey; predation; predatory hunting; reticular formation

PMID:
28086095
PMCID:
PMC5278763
DOI:
10.1016/j.cell.2016.12.027
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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