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Full Access Natural odors modulate processing of sounds in motherhood

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Natural odors modulate processing of sounds in motherhood

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Motherhood is associated with different forms of physiological alterations including transient hormonal changes and brain plasticity. The underlying impact of these changes on the emergence of maternal behaviors and sensory processing within the mother’s brain are largely unknown. I will discuss our recent work using electrophysiology in lactating mice shortly after giving birth to their first litter. Using in vivo cell-attached recordings in the primary auditory cortex (A1) we found that lactating mothers showed a novel form of multisensory interaction. Specifically, exposure to pups body odors reshaped neuronal responses to auditory stimuli in A1. This novel olfactory–auditory interaction appeared naturally in lactating mothers shortly after parturition and was long lasting. Naive virgins that had experience with the pups also showed an appearance of olfactory–auditory integration in A1, suggesting that this phenomenon may be experience dependent. I will discuss our recent data using targeted two photon patch clamp to study how multisensory plasticity is represented by specific populations of interneurons. Our data reveals that plasticity is tunneled via decreases in feed-forward inhibitory circuits.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Neurobiology, Inst. for Life Sciences and the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Motherhood is associated with different forms of physiological alterations including transient hormonal changes and brain plasticity. The underlying impact of these changes on the emergence of maternal behaviors and sensory processing within the mother’s brain are largely unknown. I will discuss our recent work using electrophysiology in lactating mice shortly after giving birth to their first litter. Using in vivo cell-attached recordings in the primary auditory cortex (A1) we found that lactating mothers showed a novel form of multisensory interaction. Specifically, exposure to pups body odors reshaped neuronal responses to auditory stimuli in A1. This novel olfactory–auditory interaction appeared naturally in lactating mothers shortly after parturition and was long lasting. Naive virgins that had experience with the pups also showed an appearance of olfactory–auditory integration in A1, suggesting that this phenomenon may be experience dependent. I will discuss our recent data using targeted two photon patch clamp to study how multisensory plasticity is represented by specific populations of interneurons. Our data reveals that plasticity is tunneled via decreases in feed-forward inhibitory circuits.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22134808-000s0009
2013-05-16
2016-12-04

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