Temporal processing and context dependency in Caenorhabditis elegans response to mechanosensation.

TitleTemporal processing and context dependency in Caenorhabditis elegans response to mechanosensation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsLiu, M, Sharma, AK, Shaevitz, JW, Leifer, AM
JournalElife
Volume7
Date Published2018 06 26
ISSN2050-084X
KeywordsAnimals, Behavior, Animal, Biophysics, Brain, Caenorhabditis elegans, Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins, Neurons, Optogenetics
Abstract

A quantitative understanding of how sensory signals are transformed into motor outputs places useful constraints on brain function and helps to reveal the brain's underlying computations. We investigate how the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans responds to time-varying mechanosensory signals using a high-throughput optogenetic assay and automated behavior quantification. We find that the behavioral response is tuned to temporal properties of mechanosensory signals, such as their integral and derivative, that extend over many seconds. Mechanosensory signals, even in the same neurons, can be tailored to elicit different behavioral responses. Moreover, we find that the animal's response also depends on its behavioral context. Most dramatically, the animal ignores all tested mechanosensory stimuli during turns. Finally, we present a linear-nonlinear model that predicts the animal's behavioral response to stimulus.

DOI10.7554/eLife.36419
Alternate JournalElife
PubMed ID29943731
PubMed Central IDPMC6054533
Grant ListP40 OD010440 / OD / NIH HHS / United States
National Human Genome Research Institute Award Number T32HG003284 / NH / NIH HHS / United States
T32 HG003284 / HG / NHGRI NIH HHS / United States