Rosenblum Lab Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms Underlying Learning and Memory

    Taste and the insular cortex

    The identification of a novel source of food as such and the recognition of a familiar source of food along with retrieval of its "safe" or "hazardous" labels is essential for the survival of all species, and is therefore evolutionarily conserved. As such, taste-related learning and memory paradigms are highly robust (Gal-Ben-Ari et al. 2012; Yiannakas and Rosenblum. 2017).

    Taste learning is unique compared to other learning forms dependent on other senses, especially in associative learning: the time interval during which association between the sensory stimulus (conditioned stimulus) and the unconditioned stimulus (a stimulus which triggers a physical or an  emotional response such as malaise, fear, satisfaction) lasts seconds to minutes in paradigms involving other senses, whereas paradigms involving the sense of taste have an association interval of up to 8 hours (Adaikkan and Rosenblum. 2015). The cortical gustatory region resides within the anterior part of the insular cortex and thus we aim to dissect out the role of the insular cortex in taste learning and interactions with other brain structures. However, the insular cortex is involved not only in taste information but in many other functions. We have identified different molecular mechanisms underlying taste learning which take place in the insular cortex (Belelovsky et al. 2005; Yefet et al. 2006; Costa-Mattioli et al. 2007; Elkobi et al. 2008; Belelovsky et al. 2009; Stern et al. 2013; Inberg et al. 2013; Rappaport et al. 2015; Levitan et al. 2016; Rosenberg et al. 2016a, 2016b; Inberg et al. 2016). We are continuing this line of research, but in addition are interested in identifying the specific cells and brain circuits which are part of the taste memory formation process. Using two-photon calcium imaging of defined gustatory cortex neurons in vivo, we have recently shown that conditioned taste aversion dynamically shifts neuronal population coding by recruiting neurons that project to the basolateral amygdala (Lavi et al., under revisions). In parallel, we measure neuronal activity in the insular cortex using tetrodes together with a unique system for delivering taste solutions (Salalha, Holzman, and Rosenblum, in progress). Another way to measure activity in the insular cortex is a mini-microscope, which we are setting up these days. Currently, we aim to put the identified molecular mechanisms within the context of specific cells and circuits in the insular cortex (Yiannakas, Kayal, and Rosenblum, in progress). 

     

    References

    Activity of Insula to Basolateral Amygdala Projecting Neurons is Necessary and Sufficient for Taste Valence Representation.

    Kayyal H, Yiannakas A, Kolatt Chandran S, Khamaisy M, Sharma V, Rosenblum K.

    J Neurosci. 2019 Nov 20;39(47):9369-9382. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0752-19.2019. Epub 2019 Oct 9

    A molecular mechanism underlying gustatory memory trace for an association in the insular cortex.

    Adaikkan C, Rosenblum K.

    Elife. 2015 Oct 9;4:e07582. doi: 10.7554/eLife.07582.

    ERK-dependent PSD-95 induction in the gustatory cortex is necessary for taste learning, but not retrieval.

    Elkobi A, Ehrlich I, Belelovsky K, Barki-Harrington L, Rosenblum K.

    Nat Neurosci. 2008 Oct;11(10):1149-51. doi: 10.1038/nn.2190. Epub 2008 Sep 7.

    Taste familiarity is inversely correlated with Arc/Arg3.1 hemispheric lateralization.

    Inberg S, Elkobi A, Edri E, Rosenblum K.

    J Neurosci. 2013 Jul 10;33(28):11734-43. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0801-13.2013.

    The Insula and Taste Learning.

    Yiannakas A, Rosenblum K.

    Front Mol Neurosci. 2017 Nov 3;10:335. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2017.00335. eCollection 2017. Review.

     

     

     

     

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    © 2017 Sagol Department of Neurobiology, University of Haifa | Tel: +972-4-8280015 | Fax: +972-4-8240339 | Email: elkobi.a@gmail.com, Designed by: Shani Zylberman, Computing and Information Systems division