Flexible behaviors over long timescales are thought to engage recurrent neural networks in deep brain regions, which are experimentally challenging to study. In insects, recurrent circuit dynamics in a brain region called the central complex (CX) enable directed locomotion, sleep, and context- and experience-dependent spatial navigation. We describe the first complete electron-microscopy-based connectome of the Drosophila CX, including all its neurons and circuits at synaptic resolution. We identified new CX neuron types, novel sensory and motor pathways, and network motifs that likely enable the CX to extract the fly’s head-direction, maintain it with attractor dynamics, and combine it with other sensorimotor information to perform vector-based navigational computations. We also identified numerous pathways that may facilitate the selection of CX-driven behavioral patterns by context and internal state. The CX connectome provides a comprehensive blueprint necessary for a detailed understanding of network dynamics underlying sleep, flexible navigation, and state-dependent action selection.
All data are freely available at https://neuprint.janelia.org/
- Romain Franconville
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Ronald L Calabrese, Emory University, United States
© 2021, Hulse 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.
Strong gamma-band oscillations in primate early visual cortex can be induced by homogeneous color surfaces (Peter et al., 2019; Shirhatti and Ray, 2018). Compared to other hues, particularly strong gamma oscillations have been reported for red stimuli. However, precortical color processing and the resultant strength of input to V1 have often not been fully controlled for. Therefore, stronger responses to red might be due to differences in V1 input strength. We presented stimuli that had equal luminance and cone contrast levels in a color coordinate system based on responses of the lateral geniculate nucleus, the main input source for area V1. With these stimuli, we recorded magnetoencephalography in 30 human participants. We found gamma oscillations in early visual cortex which, contrary to previous reports, did not differ between red and green stimuli of equal L-M cone contrast. Notably, blue stimuli with contrast exclusively on the S-cone axis induced very weak gamma responses, as well as smaller event-related fields and poorer change-detection performance. The strength of human color gamma responses for stimuli on the L-M axis could be well explained by L-M cone contrast and did not show a clear red bias when L-M cone contrast was properly equalized.
Resolving trajectories of axonal pathways in the primate prefrontal cortex remains crucial to gain insights into higher-order processes of cognition and emotion, which requires a comprehensive map of axonal projections linking demarcated subdivisions of prefrontal cortex and the rest of brain. Here, we report a mesoscale excitatory projectome issued from the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC) to the entire macaque brain by using viral-based genetic axonal tracing in tandem with high-throughput serial two-photon tomography, which demonstrated prominent monosynaptic projections to other prefrontal areas, temporal, limbic, and subcortical areas, relatively weak projections to parietal and insular regions but no projections directly to the occipital lobe. In a common 3D space, we quantitatively validated an atlas of diffusion tractography-derived vlPFC connections with correlative green fluorescent protein-labeled axonal tracing, and observed generally good agreement except a major difference in the posterior projections of inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus. These findings raise an intriguing question as to how neural information passes along long-range association fiber bundles in macaque brains, and call for the caution of using diffusion tractography to map the wiring diagram of brain circuits.