Wiring adaptiveness: A neural circuit architecture that mediates action selection - School of Science, the University of Tokyo
Dec 1, 2017

Wiring adaptiveness: A neural circuit architecture that mediates action selection

 

Overview of the press release

Animals adaptively respond to external sensory stimuli to successfully survive and reproduce. Importantly, such adaptiveness requires an animal to respond differently to the same modality of sensory inputs depending on the location on the body. However, how the brain perceives sensory cues from distinct input sites, selects an appropriate action, and subsequently produces motor outputs has remained largely unknown.

Here, Suguru Takagi (Ph.D. student, Graduate School of Science), Hiroshi Kohsaka (Lecturer, Graduate School of Frontiers Science) and Akinao Nose (Professor, Graduate School of Frontiers Science) at the University of Tokyo, and their colleagues at HHMI Janelia Research Campus and RIKEN Brain Science Institute, have elucidated a neural circuit architecture that is used by Drosophila (fruit fly) larvae to adaptively respond to tactile stimuli. They found that the divergent connectivity of a class of command neurons, which they named “Wave”, links sensory inputs at different body locations to distinct motor outputs in an ethologically relevant manner. Such diverged circuit formations by homologous command neurons could be a general mechanism by which animals develop and evolve their nervous system in accordance with external environments.

 

Figure 1. Sensorimotor circuitry revealed by the present study. Divergent connectivity of Wave neurons relays distinct sensory inputs (i.e. head touch) to adaptive motor outputs (i.e. backward locomotion).

 

Publication details

Journal Neuron
Title Divergent connectivity of homologous command-like neurons mediates segment-specific touch responses in Drosophila
Authors Suguru Takagi, Benjamin Thomas Cocanougher, Sawako Niki, Dohjin Miyamoto, Hiroshi Kohsaka, Hokto Kazama, Richard Doty Fetter, James William Truman, Marta Zlatic, Albert Cardona and Akinao Nose*
DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.10.030
Paper link http://www.cell.com/neuron/fulltext/S0896-6273(17)31022-X?rss=yes

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