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Social transmission of food safety depends on synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex

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Science  07 Jun 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6444, pp. 991-995
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw5842

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This is safe, you can eat it

Social transmission of food preference is a model for studying nonspatial memory. In mice, a signal that food is safe to eat is transmitted by its smell along with molecules in the breath of a conspecific. How the odor itself is encoded and assigned valence is poorly understood. Loureiro et al. found a monosynaptic pathway between two brain areas, the piriform cortex and the medial prefrontal cortex, that plays a central role in this process. This connection strengthens during social interaction, thereby allowing a mouse to provide a food safety message to its companion.

Science, this issue p. 991