A neural circuit for memory specificity and generalization

Wei Xu, Thomas C. Südhof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

245 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Increased fear memory generalization is associated with posttraumatic stress disorder, but the circuit mechanisms that regulate memory specificity remain unclear. Here, we define a neural circuit - composed of the medial prefrontal cortex, the nucleus reuniens (NR), and the hippocampus - that controls fear memory generalization. Inactivation of prefrontal inputs into the NR or direct silencing of NR projections enhanced fear memory generalization, whereas constitutive activation of NR neurons decreased memory generalization. Direct optogenetic activation of phasic and tonic action-potential firing of NR neurons during memory acquisition enhanced or reduced memory generalization, respectively. We propose that the NR determines the specificity and generalization of memory attributes for a particular context by processing information from the medial prefrontal cortex en route to the hippocampus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1290-1295
Number of pages6
JournalScience
Volume339
Issue number6125
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2013

Fingerprint

Midline Thalamic Nuclei
Fear
Prefrontal Cortex
Hippocampus
Optogenetics
Neurons
Generalization (Psychology)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Automatic Data Processing
Action Potentials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

A neural circuit for memory specificity and generalization. / Xu, Wei; Südhof, Thomas C.

In: Science, Vol. 339, No. 6125, 15.03.2013, p. 1290-1295.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Xu, Wei ; Südhof, Thomas C. / A neural circuit for memory specificity and generalization. In: Science. 2013 ; Vol. 339, No. 6125. pp. 1290-1295.
@article{375474bd025b42048b39a69c838fa738,
title = "A neural circuit for memory specificity and generalization",
abstract = "Increased fear memory generalization is associated with posttraumatic stress disorder, but the circuit mechanisms that regulate memory specificity remain unclear. Here, we define a neural circuit - composed of the medial prefrontal cortex, the nucleus reuniens (NR), and the hippocampus - that controls fear memory generalization. Inactivation of prefrontal inputs into the NR or direct silencing of NR projections enhanced fear memory generalization, whereas constitutive activation of NR neurons decreased memory generalization. Direct optogenetic activation of phasic and tonic action-potential firing of NR neurons during memory acquisition enhanced or reduced memory generalization, respectively. We propose that the NR determines the specificity and generalization of memory attributes for a particular context by processing information from the medial prefrontal cortex en route to the hippocampus.",
author = "Wei Xu and S{\"u}dhof, {Thomas C.}",
year = "2013",
month = "3",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1126/science.1229534",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "339",
pages = "1290--1295",
journal = "Science",
issn = "0036-8075",
publisher = "American Association for the Advancement of Science",
number = "6125",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A neural circuit for memory specificity and generalization

AU - Xu, Wei

AU - Südhof, Thomas C.

PY - 2013/3/15

Y1 - 2013/3/15

N2 - Increased fear memory generalization is associated with posttraumatic stress disorder, but the circuit mechanisms that regulate memory specificity remain unclear. Here, we define a neural circuit - composed of the medial prefrontal cortex, the nucleus reuniens (NR), and the hippocampus - that controls fear memory generalization. Inactivation of prefrontal inputs into the NR or direct silencing of NR projections enhanced fear memory generalization, whereas constitutive activation of NR neurons decreased memory generalization. Direct optogenetic activation of phasic and tonic action-potential firing of NR neurons during memory acquisition enhanced or reduced memory generalization, respectively. We propose that the NR determines the specificity and generalization of memory attributes for a particular context by processing information from the medial prefrontal cortex en route to the hippocampus.

AB - Increased fear memory generalization is associated with posttraumatic stress disorder, but the circuit mechanisms that regulate memory specificity remain unclear. Here, we define a neural circuit - composed of the medial prefrontal cortex, the nucleus reuniens (NR), and the hippocampus - that controls fear memory generalization. Inactivation of prefrontal inputs into the NR or direct silencing of NR projections enhanced fear memory generalization, whereas constitutive activation of NR neurons decreased memory generalization. Direct optogenetic activation of phasic and tonic action-potential firing of NR neurons during memory acquisition enhanced or reduced memory generalization, respectively. We propose that the NR determines the specificity and generalization of memory attributes for a particular context by processing information from the medial prefrontal cortex en route to the hippocampus.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84874979770&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84874979770&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1126/science.1229534

DO - 10.1126/science.1229534

M3 - Article

VL - 339

SP - 1290

EP - 1295

JO - Science

JF - Science

SN - 0036-8075

IS - 6125

ER -