Research Article

Median raphe controls acquisition of negative experience in the mouse

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Science  29 Nov 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6469, eaay8746
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay8746

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Keeping tabs on bad experiences

Identifying the neural basis underlying how we acquire, process, and store negative experiences could help the search for effective treatments for mood disorders. Szőnyi et al. used a range of neuroscientific tools to elucidate the role of a specific neural circuit that originates in the median raphe region of the murine brainstem (see the Perspective by Ikemoto). A subpopulation of excitatory neurons projected to aversive brain areas and received recurrent feedback from the lateral habenula and convergent feedback from a range of fear-related circuitry. These neurons were activated by aversive stimuli, and artificial stimulation promoted aversion or anxiety-related behavior. This group of cells thus plays a pivotal role in a network that helps to mediate aversive motivation.

Science, this issue p. eaay8746; see also p. 1071

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