UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Inactivation of Basolateral Amygdala Specifically Eliminates Palatability-Related Information in Cortical Sensory Responses

Piette, CE; Baez-Santiago, MA; Reid, EE; Katz, DB; Moran, A; (2012) Inactivation of Basolateral Amygdala Specifically Eliminates Palatability-Related Information in Cortical Sensory Responses. Journal of Neuroscience , 32 (29) 9981 - 9991. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0669-12.2012. Green open access

[thumbnail of 1388814.pdf]
Preview
PDF
1388814.pdf

Download (1MB)

Abstract

Evidence indirectly implicates the amygdala as the primary processor of emotional information used by cortex to drive appropriate behavioral responses to stimuli. Taste provides an ideal system with which to test this hypothesis directly, as neurons in both basolateral amygdala (BLA) and gustatory cortex (GC)—anatomically interconnected nodes of the gustatory system—code the emotional valence of taste stimuli (i.e., palatability), in firing rate responses that progress similarly through “epochs.” The fact that palatability-related firing appears one epoch earlier in BLA than GC is broadly consistent with the hypothesis that such information may propagate from the former to the latter. Here, we provide evidence supporting this hypothesis, assaying taste responses in small GC single-neuron ensembles before, during, and after temporarily inactivating BLA in awake rats. BLA inactivation (BLAx) changed responses in 98% of taste-responsive GC neurons, altering the entirety of every taste response in many neurons. Most changes involved reductions in firing rate, but regardless of the direction of change, the effect of BLAx was epoch-specific: while firing rates were changed, the taste specificity of responses remained stable; information about taste palatability, however, which normally resides in the “Late” epoch, was reduced in magnitude across the entire GC sample and outright eliminated in most neurons. Only in the specific minority of neurons for which BLAx enhanced responses did palatability specificity survive undiminished. Our data therefore provide direct evidence that BLA is a necessary component of GC gustatory processing, and that cortical palatability processing in particular is, in part, a function of BLA activity. Evidence indirectly implicates the amygdala as the primary processor of emotional information used by cortex to drive appropriate behavioral responses to stimuli. Taste provides an ideal system with which to test this hypothesis directly, as neurons in both basolateral amygdala (BLA) and gustatory cortex (GC)—anatomically interconnected nodes of the gustatory system—code the emotional valence of taste stimuli (i.e., palatability), in firing rate responses that progress similarly through “epochs.” The fact that palatability-related firing appears one epoch earlier in BLA than GC is broadly consistent with the hypothesis that such information may propagate from the former to the latter. Here, we provide evidence supporting this hypothesis, assaying taste responses in small GC single-neuron ensembles before, during, and after temporarily inactivating BLA in awake rats. BLA inactivation (BLAx) changed responses in 98% of taste-responsive GC neurons, altering the entirety of every taste response in many neurons. Most changes involved reductions in firing rate, but regardless of the direction of change, the effect of BLAx was epoch-specific: while firing rates were changed, the taste specificity of responses remained stable; information about taste palatability, however, which normally resides in the “Late” epoch, was reduced in magnitude across the entire GC sample and outright eliminated in most neurons. Only in the specific minority of neurons for which BLAx enhanced responses did palatability specificity survive undiminished. Our data therefore provide direct evidence that BLA is a necessary component of GC gustatory processing, and that cortical palatability processing in particular is, in part, a function of BLA activity.

Type: Article
Title: Inactivation of Basolateral Amygdala Specifically Eliminates Palatability-Related Information in Cortical Sensory Responses
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0669-12.2012
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0669-12.2012
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. The license allows you to copy, distribute, and transmit the work, as well as adapting it. However, you must attribute the work to the author (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work), and cannot use the work for commercial purposes without prior permission of the author. If you alter or build upon this work, you can distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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 Brain Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1388814
Downloads since deposit
107Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item