Successful and unsuccessful attempts to swallow in a reduced Aplysia preparation regulate feeding responses and produce memory at different neural sites.
ABSTRACT: Sensory feedback shapes ongoing behavior and may produce learning and memory. Motor responses to edible or inedible food in a reduced Aplysia preparation were examined to test how sensory feedback affects behavior and memory. Feeding patterns were initiated by applying a cholinomimetic onto the cerebral ganglion. Feedback from buccal muscles increased the response variability and response rate. Repeated application of the cholinomimetic caused decreased responses, expressed in part by lengthening protractions. Swallowing strips of "edible" food, which in intact animals induces learning that enhances ingestion, increased the response rate, and shortened the protraction length, reflecting more swallowing. Testing memory by repeating the procedure prevented the decrease in response rate observed with the cholinomimetic alone, and shortened protractions. Training with "inedible" food that in intact animals produces learning expressed by decreased responses caused lengthened protractions. Testing memory by repeating the procedure did not cause decreased responses or lengthened protractions. After training and testing with edible or inedible food, all preparations were exposed to the cholinomimetic alone. Preparations previously trained with edible food displayed memory expressed as decreased protraction length. Preparations previously trained with inedible food showed decreases in many response parameters. Memory for inedible food may arise in part via a postsynaptic decrease in response to acetylcholine released by afferents sensing food. The lack of change in response number, and in the time that responses are maintained during the two training sessions preceding application of the cholinomimetic alone suggests that memory expression may differ from behavioral changes during training.
Project description:Cerebellar plasticity underlies motor learning. However, how the cerebellum operates to enable learned changes in motor output is largely unknown. We developed a sensory-driven adaptation protocol for reflexive whisker protraction and recorded Purkinje cell activity from crus 1 and 2 of awake mice. Before training, simple spikes of individual Purkinje cells correlated during reflexive protraction with the whisker position without lead or lag. After training, simple spikes and whisker protractions were both enhanced with the spiking activity now leading behavioral responses. Neuronal and behavioral changes did not occur in two cell-specific mouse models with impaired long-term potentiation at their parallel fiber to Purkinje cell synapses. Consistent with cerebellar plasticity rules, increased simple spike activity was prominent in cells with low complex spike response probability. Thus, potentiation at parallel fiber to Purkinje cell synapses may contribute to reflex adaptation and enable expression of cerebellar learning through increases in simple spike activity.
Project description:Sleep supports memory consolidation as shown in mammals and invertebrates such as bees and Drosophila. Here, we show that sleep's memory function is preserved in Aplysia californica with an even simpler nervous system. Animals performed on an inhibitory conditioning task ("learning that a food is inedible") three times, at Training, Retrieval 1, and Retrieval 2, with 17-h intervals between tests. Compared with Wake animals, remaining awake between Training and Retrieval 1, Sleep animals with undisturbed post-training sleep, performed significantly better at Retrieval 1 and 2. Control experiments testing retrieval only after ?34 h, confirmed the consolidating effect of sleep occurring within 17 h after training.
Project description:We discovered that optical stimulation of the mystacial pad in Emx1-Cre;Ai27D transgenic mice induces whisker movements due to activation of ChR2 expressed in muscles controlling retraction and protraction. Using high-speed videography in anesthetized mice, we characterize the amplitude of whisker protractions evoked by varying the intensity, duration, and frequency of optogenetic stimulation. Recordings from primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in anesthetized mice indicated that optogenetic whisker pad stimulation evokes robust yet longer latency responses than mechanical whisker stimulation. In head-fixed mice trained to report optogenetic whisker pad stimulation, psychometric curves showed similar dependence on stimulus duration as evoked whisker movements and S1 activity. Furthermore, optogenetic stimulation of S1 in expert mice was sufficient to substitute for peripheral stimulation. We conclude that whisker protractions evoked by optogenetic activation of whisker pad muscles results in cortical activity and sensory perception, consistent with the coding of evoked whisker movements by reafferent sensory input.
Project description:Insufficient sleep in individuals appears increasingly common due to the demands of modern work schedules and technology use. Consequently, there is a growing need to understand the interactions between sleep deprivation and memory. The current study determined the effects of acute sleep deprivation on short and long-term associative memory using the marine mollusk Aplysia californica, a relatively simple model system well known for studies of learning and memory.Aplysia were sleep deprived for 9 hours using context changes and tactile stimulation either prior to or after training for the operant learning paradigm, learning that food is inedible (LFI). The effects of sleep deprivation on short-term (STM) and long-term memory (LTM) were assessed.Acute sleep deprivation prior to LFI training impaired the induction of STM and LTM with persistent effects lasting at least 24 h. Sleep deprivation immediately after training blocked the consolidation of LTM. However, sleep deprivation following the period of molecular consolidation did not affect memory recall. Memory impairments were independent of handling-induced stress, as daytime handled control animals demonstrated no memory deficits. Additional training immediately after sleep deprivation failed to rescue the induction of memory, but additional training alleviated the persistent impairment in memory induction when training occurred 24 h following sleep deprivation.Acute sleep deprivation inhibited the induction and consolidation, but not the recall of memory. These behavioral studies establish Aplysia as an effective model system for studying the interactions between sleep and memory formation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:There is an urgent need to assess the linkages between diet patterns and environmental sustainability in order to meet global targets for reducing premature mortality and improving sustainable management of natural resources. This study fills an important research gap by evaluating the relationship between incremental differences in diet quality and multiple environmental burdens, while also accounting for the separate contributions of retail losses, inedible portions, and consumer waste. METHODS:Cross sectional, nationally-representative data on food intake in the United States were acquired from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005-2016), and were linked with nationally-representative data on food loss and waste from published literature. Survey-weighted procedures estimated daily per capita food retail loss, food waste, inedible portions, and consumed food, and were summed to represent Total Food Demand. Diet quality was measured using the Healthy Eating Index-2015 and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010. Data on food intake, loss, and waste were inputted into the US Foodprint Model to estimate the amount of agricultural land, fertilizer nutrients, pesticides, and irrigation water used to produce food. RESULTS:This study included dietary data from 50,014 individuals aged ?2 y. Higher diet quality (HEI-2015 and AHEI-2010) was associated with greater per capita Total Food Demand, as well as greater retail loss, inedible portions, consumer waste, and consumed food (P?<?0.001 for all comparisons). Consumed food accounted for 56-74% of agricultural resource use (land, fertilizer nutrients, pesticides, and irrigation water), retail loss accounted for 4-6%, inedible portions accounted for 2-15%, and consumer waste accounted for 20-23%. Higher diet quality was associated with lower use of agricultural land, but the relationship to other agricultural resources was dependent on the tool used to measure diet quality (HEI-2015 vs. AHEI-2010). CONCLUSIONS:Over one-quarter of the agricultural inputs used to produce Total Food Demand were attributable to edible food that was not consumed. Importantly, this study also demonstrates that the relationship between diet quality and environmental sustainability depends on how diet quality is measured. These findings have implications for the development of sustainable dietary guidelines, which requires balancing population-level nutritional needs with the environmental impacts of food choices.
Project description:In addition to protein synthesis, protein degradation or protein cleavage may be necessary for intermediate (ITM) and long-term memory (LTM) to remove molecular constraints, facilitate persistent kinase activity and modulate synaptic plasticity. Calpains, a family of conserved calcium dependent cysteine proteases, modulate synaptic function through protein cleavage. We used the marine mollusk Aplysia californica to investigate the in vivo role of calpains during intermediate and long-term operant memory formation using the learning that food is inedible (LFI) paradigm. A single LFI training session, in which the animal associates a specific netted seaweed with the failure to swallow, generates short (30min), intermediate (4-6h) and long-term (24h) memory. Using the calpain inhibitors calpeptin and MDL-28170, we found that ITM requires calpain activity for induction and consolidation similar to the previously reported requirements for persistent protein kinase C activity in intermediate-term LFI memory. The induction of LTM also required calpain activity. In contrast to ITM, calpain activity was not necessary for the molecular consolidation of LTM. Surprisingly, six hours after LFI training we found that calpain activity was necessary for LTM, although this is a time at which neither persistent PKC activity nor protein synthesis is required for the maintenance of long-term LFI memory. These results demonstrate that calpains function in multiple roles in vivo during associative memory formation.
Project description:A range of animal species possess an evolutionarily ancient system for representing number, which provides the foundation for simple arithmetical operations such as addition and numerical comparisons. Surprisingly, non-human primates tested in ecologically, highly valid quantity discrimination tasks using edible items often show a relatively low performance, suggesting that stimulus salience interferes with rational decision making. Here we show that quantity discrimination was indeed significantly enhanced when monkeys were tested with inedible items compared with food items (84 versus 69% correct). More importantly, when monkeys were tested with food, but rewarded with other food items, the accuracy was equally high (86%). The results indicate that the internal representation of the stimuli, not their physical quality, determined performance. Reward replacement apparently facilitated representation of the food items as signifiers for other foods, which in turn supported a higher acuity in decision making.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Sensory properties of foods promote and guide consumption in hunger states, whereas satiation should dampen the sensory activation of ingestive behaviors. Such activation may be disordered in obese individuals. OBJECTIVE:Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we studied regional brain responses to food odor stimulation in the sated state in obese and normal-weight individuals targeting ventral frontal regions known to be involved in coding for stimulus reward value. DESIGN:Forty-eight women (25 normal weight; 23 obese) participated in a 2-day (fed compared with fasting) fMRI study while smelling odors of 2 foods and an inedible, nonfood object. Analyses were conducted to permit an examination of both general and sensory-specific satiation (satiation effects specific to a given food). RESULTS:Normal-weight subjects showed significant blood oxygen level-dependent responses in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) to food aromas compared with responses induced by the odor of an inedible object. Normal-weight subjects also showed general (but not sensory-specific) satiation effects in both the vmPFC and orbitofrontal cortex. Obese subjects showed no differential response to the aromas of food and the inedible object when fasting. Within- and between-group differences in satiation were driven largely by changes in the response to the odor of the inedible stimulus. Responses to food aromas in the obese correlated with trait negative urgency, the tendency toward negative affect-provoked impulsivity. CONCLUSIONS:Ventral frontal signaling of reward value may be disordered in obesity, with negative urgency heightening responses to food aromas. The observed nature of responses to food and nonfood stimuli suggests that future research should independently quantify each to fully understand brain reward signaling in obesity.
Project description:Fungal diseases threaten natural and man-made ecosystems. Chytridiomycota (chytrids) infect a wide host range, including phytoplankton species that form the basis of aquatic food webs and produce roughly half of Earth's oxygen. However, blooms of large or toxic phytoplankton form trophic bottlenecks, as they are inedible to zooplankton. Chytrids infecting inedible phytoplankton provide a trophic link to zooplankton by producing edible zoospores of high nutritional quality. By grazing chytrid zoospores, zooplankton may induce a trophic cascade, as a decreased zoospore density will reduce new infections. Conversely, fewer infections will not produce enough zoospores to sustain long-term zooplankton growth and reproduction. This intricate balance between zoospore density necessary for zooplankton energetic demands (growth/survival), and the loss in new infections (and thus new zoospores) because of grazing was tested empirically. To this end, we exposed a cyanobacterial host (Planktothrix rubescens) infected by a chytrid (Rizophydium megarrhizum) to a grazer density gradient (the rotifer Keratella cf. cochlearis). Rotifers survived and reproduced on a zoospore diet, but the Keratella population growth was limited by the amount of zoospores provided by chytrid infections, resulting in a situation where zooplankton survived but were restricted in their ability to control disease in the cyanobacterial host. We subsequently developed and parameterized a dynamical food-chain model using an allometric relationship for clearance rate to assess theoretically the potential of different-sized zooplankton groups to restrict disease in phytoplankton hosts. Our model suggests that smaller-sized zooplankton may have a high potential to reduce chytrid infections on inedible phytoplankton. Together, our results point out the complexity of three-way interactions between hosts, parasites, and grazers and highlight that trophic cascades are not always sustainable and may depend on the grazer's energetic demand.
Project description:This study tested the role of the superior colliculus in generating movements of the mystacial vibrissae--whisking. First, we compared the kinematics of whisking generated by the superior colliculus with those generated by the motor cortex. We found that in anesthetized rats, microstimulation of the colliculus evoked a sustained vibrissa protraction, whereas stimulation of motor cortex produced rhythmic protractions. Movements generated by the superior colliculus are independent of motor cortex and can be evoked at lower thresholds and shorter latencies than those generated by the motor cortex. Next we tested the hypothesis that the colliculus is acting as a simple reflex loop with the neurons that drive vibrissa movement receiving sensory input evoked by vibrissa contacts. We found that most tecto-facial neurons do not receive sensory input. Not only did these neurons not spike in response to sensory stimulation, but field potential analysis revealed that subthreshold sensory inputs do not overlap spatially with tecto-facial neurons. Together these findings suggest that the superior colliculus plays a pivotal role in vibrissa movement--regulating vibrissa set point and whisk amplitude--but does not function as a simple reflex loop. With the motor cortex controlling the whisking frequency, the superior colliculus control of set point and amplitude would account for the main parameters of voluntary whisking.