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Evolutionarily conserved mechanisms for the selection and maintenance of behavioural activity

Fiore, VG; Dolan, RJ; Strausfeld, NJ; Hirth, F; (2015) Evolutionarily conserved mechanisms for the selection and maintenance of behavioural activity. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B , 370 (1684) 10.1098/rstb.2015.0053. Green open access

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Abstract

Survival and reproduction entail the selection of adaptive behavioural repertoires. This selection manifests as phylogenetically acquired activities that depend on evolved nervous system circuitries. Lorenz and Tinbergen already postulated that heritable behaviours and their reliable performance are specified by genetically determined programs. Here we compare the functional anatomy of the insect central complex and vertebrate basal ganglia to illustrate their role in mediating selection and maintenance of adaptive behaviours. Comparative analyses reveal that central complex and basal ganglia circuitries share comparable lineage relationships within clusters of functionally integrated neurons. These clusters are specified by genetic mechanisms that link birth time and order to their neuronal identities and functions. Their subsequent connections and associated functions are characterized by similar mechanisms that implement dimensionality reduction and transition through attractor states, whereby spatially organized parallel-projecting loops integrate and convey sensorimotor representations that select and maintain behavioural activity. In both taxa, these neural systems are modulated by dopamine signalling that also mediates memory-like processes. The multiplicity of similarities between central complex and basal ganglia suggests evolutionarily conserved computational mechanisms for action selection. We speculate that these may have originated from ancestral ground pattern circuitries present in the brain of the last common ancestor of insects and vertebrates.

Type: Article
Title: Evolutionarily conserved mechanisms for the selection and maintenance of behavioural activity
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0053
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2015.0053
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 The Authors. Published under the CC BY licence http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: action selection, attractor state, basal ganglia, brain evolution, central complex, sensorimotor representation
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 Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1474352
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