A central aim of neuroscience studies is to locate physical substrates of memory, namely neurons and molecules encoding memory. Achieving this goal requires cell-specific interrogations of neural circuitry. However, it has remained difficult to rapidly and accurately quantify the memory of animals expressing a transgene in a cell-specific manner. This study presents an advanced imaging system to perform cell-specific behavioral genetic analysis in a high-throughput manner. We demonstrate the utility of this system by identifying two interneurons as the neural substrates of mechanosensory memory in C. elegans. We propose that our identified interneurons can be novel targets for cell-specific exploration of the molecular substrates of memory.
Research Area “Design and Control of Cellular Functions”
Research Theme “Reconstruction of Memory”
Takuma Sugi, Yasuko Ohtani, Yuta Kumiya, Ryuji Igarashi, and Masahiro Shirakawa. “High-throughput optical quantification of mechanosensory habituation reveals neurons encoding memory in Caenorhabditis elegans.” PNAS, Published online November 17, 2014, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1414867111.
Takuma Sugi, Ph.D.
PRESTO Researcher, JST, Assistant Professor, Kyoto University
Koji Matsuo, Takafumi Kawaguchi, and Yuji Yamagishi
Life Innovation Group, Department of Innovation Research, JST