1. Neuroscience
Download icon

Reliability of an interneuron response depends on an integrated sensory state

  1. May Dobosiewicz
  2. Qiang Liu
  3. Cornelia I Bargmann  Is a corresponding author
  1. The Rockefeller University, United States
Research Article
  • Cited 1
  • Views 1,902
  • Annotations
Cite this article as: eLife 2019;8:e50566 doi: 10.7554/eLife.50566


The central nervous system transforms sensory information into representations that are salient to the animal. Here we define the logic of this transformation in a Caenorhabditis elegans integrating interneuron. AIA interneurons receive input from multiple chemosensory neurons that detect attractive odors. We show that reliable AIA responses require the coincidence of two sensory inputs: activation of AWA olfactory neurons that are activated by attractive odors, and inhibition of one or more chemosensory neurons that are inhibited by attractive odors. AWA activates AIA through an electrical synapse, while the disinhibitory pathway acts through glutamatergic chemical synapses. AIA interneurons have bistable electrophysiological properties consistent with their calcium dynamics, suggesting that AIA activation is a stereotyped response to an integrated stimulus. Our results indicate that AIA interneurons combine sensory information using AND-gate logic, requiring coordinated activity from multiple chemosensory neurons. We propose that AIA encodes positive valence based on an integrated sensory state.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. May Dobosiewicz

    Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior, The Rockefeller University, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Qiang Liu

    Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior, The Rockefeller University, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Cornelia I Bargmann

    Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior, The Rockefeller University, New York, United States
    For correspondence
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-8484-0618


Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

  • May Dobosiewicz
  • Qiang Liu
  • Cornelia I Bargmann

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

  • May Dobosiewicz
  • Qiang Liu
  • Cornelia I Bargmann

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

Reviewing Editor

  1. Manuel Zimmer, Research Institute of Molecular Pathology, Vienna Biocenter and University of Vienna, Austria

Publication history

  1. Received: July 26, 2019
  2. Accepted: November 12, 2019
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: November 13, 2019 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: December 5, 2019 (version 2)


© 2019, Dobosiewicz et al.

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.


  • 1,902
    Page views
  • 426
  • 1

Article citation count generated by polling the highest count across the following sources: Crossref, PubMed Central, Scopus.

Download links

A two-part list of links to download the article, or parts of the article, in various formats.

Downloads (link to download the article as PDF)

Download citations (links to download the citations from this article in formats compatible with various reference manager tools)

Open citations (links to open the citations from this article in various online reference manager services)

Further reading

    1. Developmental Biology
    2. Neuroscience
    Yasmine Cantaut-Belarif et al.
    Research Article Updated

    The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) contains an extracellular thread conserved in vertebrates, the Reissner fiber, which controls body axis morphogenesis in the zebrafish embryo. Yet, the signaling cascade originating from this fiber to ensure body axis straightening is not understood. Here, we explore the functional link between the Reissner fiber and undifferentiated spinal neurons contacting the CSF (CSF-cNs). First, we show that the Reissner fiber is required in vivo for the expression of urp2, a neuropeptide expressed in CSF-cNs. We show that the Reissner fiber is also required for embryonic calcium transients in these spinal neurons. Finally, we study how local adrenergic activation can substitute for the Reissner fiber-signaling pathway to CSF-cNs and rescue body axis morphogenesis. Our results show that the Reissner fiber acts on CSF-cNs and thereby contributes to establish body axis morphogenesis, and suggest it does so by controlling the availability of a chemical signal in the CSF.

    1. Neuroscience
    Bob Bramson et al.
    Short Report

    Control over emotional action tendencies is essential for everyday interactions. This cognitive function fails occasionally during socially challenging situations, and systematically in social psychopathologies. We delivered dual-site phase-coupled brain stimulation to facilitate theta-gamma phase-amplitude coupling between frontal regions known to implement that form of control, while neuropsychologically healthy human male participants were challenged to control their automatic action tendencies in a social–emotional approach/avoidance-task. Participants had increased control over their emotional action tendencies, depending on the relative phase and dose of the intervention. Concurrently measured fMRI effects of task and stimulation indicated that the intervention improved control by increasing the efficacy of anterior prefrontal inhibition over the sensorimotor cortex. This enhancement of emotional action control provides causal evidence for phase-amplitude coupling mechanisms guiding action selection during emotional-action control. Generally, the finding illustrates the potential of physiologically-grounded interventions aimed at reducing neural noise in cerebral circuits where communication relies on phase-amplitude coupling.