Distinct prefrontal top-down circuits differentially modulate sensorimotor behavior

Rafiq Huda, Grayson O. Sipe, Vincent Breton-Provencher, K. Guadalupe Cruz, Gerald N. Pho, Elie Adam, Liadan M. Gunter, Austin Sullins, Ian R. Wickersham, Mriganka Sur

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Sensorimotor behaviors require processing of behaviorally relevant sensory cues and the ability to select appropriate responses from a vast behavioral repertoire. Modulation by the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is thought to be key for both processes, but the precise role of specific circuits remains unclear. We examined the sensorimotor function of anatomically distinct outputs from a subdivision of the mouse PFC, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Using a visually guided two-choice behavioral paradigm with multiple cue-response mappings, we dissociated the sensory and motor response components of sensorimotor control. Projection-specific two-photon calcium imaging and optogenetic manipulations show that ACC outputs to the superior colliculus, a key midbrain structure for response selection, principally coordinate specific motor responses. Importantly, ACC outputs exert control by reducing the innate response bias of the superior colliculus. In contrast, ACC outputs to the visual cortex facilitate sensory processing of visual cues. Our results ascribe motor and sensory roles to ACC projections to the superior colliculus and the visual cortex and demonstrate for the first time a circuit motif for PFC function wherein anatomically non-overlapping output pathways coordinate complementary but distinct aspects of visual sensorimotor behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6007
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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