It is well established that inducible transcription is essential for the consolidation of salient experiences into long-term memory. However, whether inducible transcription relays information about the identity and affective attributes of the experience being encoded, has not been explored. To this end, we analyzed transcription induced by a variety of rewarding and aversive experiences, across multiple brain regions. Our results describe the existence of robust transcriptional signatures uniquely representing distinct experiences, enabling near-perfect decoding of recent experiences. Furthermore, experiences with shared attributes display commonalities in their transcriptional signatures, exemplified in the representation of valence, habituation and reinforcement. This study introduces the concept of a neural transcriptional code, which represents the encoding of experiences in the mouse brain. This code is comprised of distinct transcriptional signatures that correlate to attributes of the experiences that are being committed to long-term memory.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2018, Mukherjee et al.
- experience-dependent plasticity
- immediate-early genes
- inducible transcription
- limbic system
- prospective coding