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Functional, Spatial Organization of Posterolateral Cortical Amygdala in the Control of Odor Evoked Behavioral Valence


Posterolateral cortical amygdala (PLCoA) is known to participate in innate behavior response towards odor stimuli. The participation of PLCoA is not restricted to one end of the spectrum: they take part in both aversive and appetitive behaviors that are triggered by exposures to a variety of different odors. By selectively targeting subregions of PLCoA along the anterior-posterior axis and activating the subregions through optogenetic methods, we were able to demonstrate that the posterior subregions incite attraction when activated, while the anterior subregion triggers aversion. Further tests using Arc-CreERT2 mice, which allowed the selective activation of the aversive fox odor, 2,3,5-Trimethyl-3-thiazoline (TMT), the fox odor that is innately aversive to rodents, indicated that the TMT responsive neurons of the posterior PLCoA is, in fact, not sufficient by themselves to cause aversive behavior, unlike its anterior counterpart, which was sufficient for aversion. These data suggest the existence of spatial organization of neurons across the anterior posterior axis within PLCoA tied strongly to the innate behavioral response towards the odor stimulation.

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