Memory stability is essential for animal survival when environment and behavioral state change over short or long time spans.
The stability of a memory can be expressed by its duration, its perseverance when conditions change as well as its specificity to the learned stimulus. Using optogenetic and pharmacological manipulations, we show that stability of an odor-reward association can be modulated by noradrenergic inputs to the first olfactory network, the olfactory bulb. We show that while manipulations of noradrenaline during an odor-reward acquisition have no acute effects, they impact learning flexibility as well as the duration and the specificity of the memory.
We use a computational approach to propose a proof of concept model showing that a single, simple network effect of noradrenaline on olfactory bulb dynamics can underlie these seemingly different behavioral effects. Our results show how acute changes in network dynamics can have long term effects that extend beyond the network that was manipulated.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience