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Appetite suppression occurs after a meal and in conditions when it is unfavourable to eat, such as during illness or exposure to toxins. A brain region proposed to play a role in appetite suppression is the parabrachial nucleus, a heterogeneous population of neurons surrounding the superior cerebellar peduncle in the brainstem. The parabrachial nucleus is(More)
Homeostatic synaptic plasticity adjusts the strength of synapses during global changes in neural activity, thereby stabilizing the overall activity of neural networks. Suppression of synaptic activity increases synaptic strength by inducing synthesis of retinoic acid (RA), which activates postsynaptic synthesis of AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) in(More)
Phasic dopamine (DA) transmission encodes the value of reward-predictive stimuli and influences both learning and decision-making. Altered DA signaling is associated with psychiatric conditions characterized by risky choices such as pathological gambling. These observations highlight the importance of understanding how DA neuron activity is modulated. While(More)
Animals learn to avoid harmful situations by associating a neutral stimulus with a painful one, resulting in a stable threat memory. In mammals, this form of learning requires the amygdala. Although pain is the main driver of aversive learning, the mechanism that transmits pain signals to the amygdala is not well resolved. Here, we show that neurons(More)
The calcium-activated small conductance potassium channel SK3 plays an essential role in the regulation of dopamine neuron activity patterns. Here we demonstrate that expression of a human disease-related SK3 mutation (hSK3Δ) in dopamine neurons of mice disrupts the balance between tonic and phasic dopamine neuron activity. Expression of hSK3Δ suppressed(More)
Dopamine is broadly implicated in fear-related processes, yet we know very little about signaling dynamics in these neurons during active fear conditioning. We describe the direct imaging of calcium signals of dopamine neurons during Pavlovian fear conditioning using fiber-optic confocal microscopy coupled with the genetically encoded calcium indicator(More)
The mammalian brain contains tremendous structural and genetic complexity that is vital for its function. The elucidation of gene expression profiles in the brain, coupled with the development of large-scale connectivity maps and emerging viral vector-based approaches for target-selective gene manipulation, now allow for detailed dissection of gene-circuit(More)
In the face of starvation, animals will engage in high-risk behaviors that would normally be considered maladaptive. Starving rodents, for example, will forage in areas that are more susceptible to predators and will also modulate aggressive behavior within a territory of limited or depleted nutrients. The neural basis of these adaptive behaviors likely(More)
UNLABELLED Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance among adolescents, promoting the development of substance use disorders and compromised decision-making in adulthood. We have previously demonstrated, with a preclinical model in rodents, that adolescent alcohol use results in adult risk-taking behavior that positively correlates with phasic dopamine(More)
Complexity in the nervous system is established by developmental genetic programs, maintained by differential genetic profiles and sculpted by experiential and environmental influence over gene expression. Determining how specific genes define neuronal phenotypes, shape circuit connectivity and regulate circuit function is essential for understanding how(More)