Dopaminergic neurons write and update memories with cell-type-specific rules

  1. Yoshinori Aso  Is a corresponding author
  2. Gerald M Rubin  Is a corresponding author
  1. Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, United States

Abstract

Associative learning is thought to involve parallel and distributed mechanisms of memory formation and storage. In Drosophila, the mushroom body (MB) is the major site of associative odor memory formation. Previously we described the anatomy of the adult MB and defined 20 types of dopaminergic neurons (DANs) that each innervate distinct MB compartments (Aso et al., 2014a; Aso et al., 2014b). Here we compare the properties of memories formed by optogenetic activation of individual DAN cell types. We found extensive differences in training requirements for memory formation, decay dynamics, storage capacity and flexibility to learn new associations. Even a single DAN cell type can either write or reduce an aversive memory, or write an appetitive memory, depending on when it is activated relative to odor delivery. Our results show that different learning rules are executed in seemingly parallel memory systems, providing multiple distinct circuit-based strategies to predict future events from past experiences.

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Author details

  1. Yoshinori Aso

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    For correspondence
    asoy@janelia.hhmi.org
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-2939-1688
  2. Gerald M Rubin

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    For correspondence
    rubing@janelia.hhmi.org
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Funding

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

  • Yoshinori Aso
  • Gerald M Rubin

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Liqun Luo, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford University, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: March 21, 2016
  2. Accepted: July 18, 2016
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: July 21, 2016 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: August 16, 2016 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2016, Aso & Rubin

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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  1. Yoshinori Aso
  2. Gerald M Rubin
(2016)
Dopaminergic neurons write and update memories with cell-type-specific rules
eLife 5:e16135.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16135