Recalling a salient experience provokes specific behaviors and changes in the physiology or internal state. Relatively little is known about how physiological memories are encoded. Here we examined the neural substrates of physiological memory by probing CRHPVN neurons of mice, which control the endocrine response to stress. We demonstrate these cells show contextual memory following exposure to a stimulus with negative or positive valence. Specifically, a negative stimulus invokes a two-factor learning rule that favors an increase in the activity of weak cells during recall. In contrast, the contextual memory of positive valence relies on a one-factor rule to decrease the activity of all neurons. Finally, the aversive memory in CRHPVN neurons outlasts the behavioral response. These observations provide new information about how specific physiological memories of aversive and appetitive experiences are encoded and demonstrate that behavioral readouts may not accurately reflect physiological changes invoked by the memory of salient experiences.
Model Type: Spiking neural network
Region(s) or Organism(s):
Cell Type(s): Abstract integrate-and-fire leaky neuron
Simulation Environment: MATLAB
Implementer(s): Nicola, Wilten [wnicola at uwaterloo.ca]