A midline thalamic circuit determines reactions to visual threat

@article{Salay2018AMT,
  title={A midline thalamic circuit determines reactions to visual threat},
  author={Lindsey D. Salay and Nao Ishiko and Andrew D. Huberman},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2018},
  volume={557},
  pages={183-189}
}
How our internal state is merged with our visual perception of an impending threat to drive an adaptive behavioural response is not known. Mice respond to visual threats by either freezing or seeking shelter. Here we show that nuclei of the ventral midline thalamus (vMT), the xiphoid nucleus (Xi) and nucleus reuniens (Re), represent crucial hubs in the network controlling behavioural responses to visual threats. The Xi projects to the basolateral amygdala to promote saliency-reducing responses… 
A thalamo-amygdalar circuit underlying the extinction of remote fear memories.
TLDR
It is shown that the extinction of remote fear memories depends on thalamic nucleus reuniens (NRe) inputs to the basolateral amygdala (BLA), and the NRe is identified as a crucial BLA regulator for extinction, the first functional description of the circuits underlying the attenuation of consolidated fear memories is provided.
Dynamical prefrontal population coding during defensive behaviours.
TLDR
It is shown that, in mice, threat representations and the initiation of avoidance behaviour are dynamically encoded in the overall population activity of dmPFC neurons, and optogenetic inhibition of prefrontal activity constrained the selection of adaptive defensive responses in a time-dependent manner.
The Contribution of Thalamic Nuclei in Salience Processing
TLDR
It is proposed that the thalamus has a broader role in coordinating the cognitive process and regulating emotions, and the convergence of neural circuits involved in reward and pain processing, arousal, and attention control in thalamic structures is highlighted.
Prefrontal cortex modulates firing pattern in the nucleus reuniens of the midline thalamus via distinct corticothalamic pathways
TLDR
It is demonstrated that ilPFC input, both via direct projections and via the TRN, can modulate RE neuron firing pattern in nuanced and complex ways and highlights the ilP FC‐TRN‐RE circuit as a likely critical component of prefrontal–hippocampal interactions.
Dendritic and parallel processing of visual threats in the retina control defensive responses
TLDR
In mice, a retinal interneuron is identified that responds robustly to looming, but not to related forms of motion, and these retinal computations initiate an innate survival behavior.
The anterior insular cortex unilaterally controls feeding in response to aversive visceral stimuli in mice
TLDR
A unilateral neural circuit is identified from the CamKII-positive neurons in the anterior insular cortex to the vGluT2-positive neuron in the lateral hypothalamus that controls feeding responses to visceral aversive stimuli.
Visual Information Processing in the Ventral Division of the Mouse Lateral Geniculate Nucleus of the Thalamus
TLDR
How vLGN processes visual information is asked, making comparisons with dLGN and SC for perspective, suggesting that vL GN enables rapid movement by releasing target motor structures from inhibition.
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 35 REFERENCES
Processing of visually evoked innate fear by a non-canonical thalamic pathway
TLDR
The results demonstrate that neurons in the superior colliculus (SC) are essential for a variety of acute and persistent defensive responses to overhead looming stimuli, and reveal a novel collicular–thalamic–Amg circuit important for innate defensive response to visual threats.
Excitatory transmission from the amygdala to nucleus accumbens facilitates reward seeking.
TLDR
Optogenetic manipulation of anatomically distinct synaptic inputs to the NAc reveals functionally distinct properties of these inputs in controlling reward-seeking behaviours, showing an important role of this specific pathway in controlling naturally occurring reward-related behaviour.
Basomedial amygdala mediates top–down control of anxiety and fear
TLDR
The basomedial amygdala (BMA) represents the major target of ventral mPFC in amygdala in mice, and BMA activation decreases fear-related freezing and high-anxiety states, defining a broadly relevant new top-down behavioural regulation pathway.
Amygdala circuitry mediating reversible and bidirectional control of anxiety
TLDR
The results implicate specific BLA–CeA projections as critical circuit elements for acute anxiety control in the mammalian brain, and demonstrate the importance of optogenetically targeting defined projections, beyond simply targeting cell types, in the study of circuit function relevant to neuropsychiatric disease.
Activity in Prelimbic Cortex Is Necessary for the Expression of Learned, But Not Innate, Fears
TLDR
It is suggested that PL integrates information from auditory and contextual inputs and regulates expression of fear memories via projections to the basal nucleus of the amygdala.
The participation of cortical amygdala in innate, odor-driven behavior
TLDR
Genetic strategies are devised that demonstrate that a stereotyped neural circuit that transmits information from the olfactory bulb to cortical amygdala is necessary for innate aversive and appetitive behaviours.
Multiarchitectonic and stereotactic atlas of the human thalamus
TLDR
The complementary distributions of PV and CB appear to correlate with distinct lemniscal and spinothalamic somatosensory pathways and to cerebellar and pallidal motor territories, respectively.
...
...