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Nucleus Isthmi Is Required to Sustain Target Pursuit during Visually Guided Prey-Catching

Henriques, PM; Rahman, N; Jackson, SE; Bianco, IH; (2019) Nucleus Isthmi Is Required to Sustain Target Pursuit during Visually Guided Prey-Catching. Current Biology , 29 (11) 10.1016/j.cub.2019.04.064. Green open access

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Abstract

Animals must frequently perform a sequence of behaviors to achieve a specific goal. However, the neural mechanisms that promote the continuation and completion of such action sequences are not well understood. Here, we characterize the anatomy, physiology, and function of the nucleus isthmi (NI), a cholinergic nucleus thought to modulate tectal-dependent, goal-directed behaviors. We find that the larval zebrafish NI establishes reciprocal connectivity with the optic tectum and identify two distinct types of isthmic projection neuron that either connect ipsilaterally to retinorecipient laminae of the tectum and pretectum or bilaterally to both tectal hemispheres. Laser ablation of NI caused highly specific deficits in tectally mediated loom-avoidance and prey-catching behavior. In the context of hunting, NI ablation did not affect prey detection or hunting initiation but resulted in larvae failing to sustain prey-tracking sequences and aborting their hunting routines. Moreover, calcium imaging revealed elevated neural activity in NI following onset of hunting behavior. We propose a model in which NI provides state-dependent feedback facilitation to the optic tectum and pretectum to potentiate neural activity and increase the probability of consecutive prey-tracking maneuvers during hunting sequences.

Type: Article
Title: Nucleus Isthmi Is Required to Sustain Target Pursuit during Visually Guided Prey-Catching
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.04.064
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.04.064
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Behavioral sequences, calcium imaging, hunting, nucleus isthmi, optic tectum, pretectum, prey-catching, sensorimotor processing, visually guided behavior, zebrafish
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Neuro, Physiology and Pharmacology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10075445
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