Research Article

Behavioral state coding by molecularly defined paraventricular hypothalamic cell type ensembles

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Science  16 Oct 2020:
Vol. 370, Issue 6514, eabb2494
DOI: 10.1126/science.abb2494

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How neuron types encode behavioral states

What is the contribution of molecularly defined cell types to neural coding of stimuli and states? Xu et al. aimed to evaluate neural representation of multiple behavioral states in the mouse paraventricular hypothalamus. To achieve this goal, they combined deep-brain two-photon imaging with post hoc validation of gene expression in the imaged cells. The behavioral states could be well predicted by the neural response of multiple neuronal clusters. Some clusters were broadly tuned and contributed strongly to the decoding of multiple behavioral states, whereas others were more specifically tuned to certain behaviors or specific time windows of a behavioral state.

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